Is Low-carb Eating Really Better For Blood Sugar?
A review of popular low-carbohydrate diets finds that while restricting carbs can reduce blood sugar in the short run, evidence in support of long-term benefits is lacking. While very low carbohydrate diets (LCD) promise to cut blood sugars, a review of popular LCDs finds that while very low-carb eating can reduce blood sugar in the short run, little evidence exists to show long-term benefits. The study, published online in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, reports that while LCDs may be “slightly better than low fat diets for weight and triglycerides management” they are “not superior for the management of blood glucose, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels.” However, researchers note that physicians should be aware that “available evidence for LCDs is limited because of variable definitions, lack of long-term studies, and lack of patient adherence.” Diets considered ranged from very low carb—less than 20 to 60 grams per day—to less restrictive diets that averaged about 130 grams per day. The American Diabetes Association says diets should be tailored to individual needs, but recommends starting at 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. “Patients can likely follow a version of the low carbohydrate diet for longer than the studies suggest, but we don’t know the health effects of a very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet of less than 20 grams of carbs per day,” says Heather Fields, MD, an author of the study and a doctor of integrative medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. “With so few people adhering to a truly ketogenic diet long term [more than a year], we will likely never be able to study the health effects in a meaningful way.” Dr. Fields finds that if type 2 patients have not had success with a plant-based, who Continue reading >>
Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)
Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may Continue reading >>
Why Would You Have High Blood Sugar If You Have Not Eaten In 12 Hours?
When humans eat carbohydrates, the body converts them to sugar. The sugar fuels every cell in the human body, but it’s important that sugar levels be neither too high nor too low. Low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia, can cause brain damage and even shock. High blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, is another matter. Video of the Day When you consume carbohydrates, the starches are digested in the small intestine. After entering the bloodstream, the starches, which have been converted into sugars during the digestion process, cause your blood sugar, or glucose, to rise. When the blood sugar increases, the pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin helps most tissues of the body absorb and use the sugar. Only the brain and liver are not dependent on insulin. Since prolonged hyperglycemia can damage body cells, insulin is used to keep the blood sugar within a fairly narrow range. As the blood sugar falls – for example, several hours after a meal when you are starting to get hungry again – the liver releases glucagon, which increases the blood sugar until it is back within the desired range. This seesaw effect goes on constantly in the body, and if your metabolism is healthy, no problems occur. Diabetes mellitus, usually known simply as diabetes, is a disease in which the process of glucose regulation is disrupted. The first problem occurs when the cells become more resistant to insulin. This is called metabolic syndrome and is often a precursor to full-fledged diabetes. Sometimes the pancreas can stop producing insulin suddenly; this is called type 1 diabetes. Or insulin production in the pancreas can slow down gradually – type 2 diabetes. The slowdown of insulin production and a decrease in the cells’ ability to respond to insulin can also happen together. Once the prod Continue reading >>
13 Diabetes Myths That Don't Lower Blood Sugar
Skipping meals could potentially push your blood glucose higher. When you don't eat for several hours because of sleep or other reasons, your body fuels itself on glucose released from the liver. For many people with type 2 diabetes (PWDs type 2), the liver doesn't properly sense that the blood has ample glucose already, so it continues to pour out more. Eating something with a little carbohydrate signals the liver to stop sending glucose into the bloodstream and can tamp down high numbers. Skipping meals can also lead to overeating, which can cause an increase in weight. And if you take certain diabetes medications that stimulate the body's own insulin such as common sulfonylureas, or you take insulin with injections or a pump, you risk having your blood glucose drop too low when you skip or delay meals. Going Low-Carb Low-carb diets "are not balanced and deprive the body of needed fiber, vitamins, and minerals," says Constance Brown-Riggs, M.S.Ed, R.D., CDE, CDN, author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes (Career Press, 2010). Recently, Brown-Riggs counseled a PWD type 2 who ate very little carbohydrate. The result: poor energy and severe headaches. Brown-Riggs helped the person balance out his meal plan by suggesting fruits, grains, and other carb-containing foods. "His headaches subsided, his energy level was restored, and he was happy to learn that he could eat healthy sources of carbohydrate and manage his blood glucose levels successfully," Brown-Riggs says. The keys to success are to manage portions of all foods, spread your food out over your day, and work with your health care team to devise an individualized meal, activity, and medication plan. Eating Pasta Al Dente It is best to eat your spaghetti al dente, says David J. A. Jenkins, M. Continue reading >>
Why Your Fasting Blood Sugar Might Still Be High On Low Carb
It’s not too uncommon to have slightly high fasting blood sugar on low carb and keto diets. Is this a problem? It depends on your insulin levels, as outlined by Dr. Ted Naiman below. If you’re insulin sensitive, and have slightly higher fasting blood glucose, it’s likely just fine. More The dawn phenomenon – why are blood sugars high in the morning? Insulin Advanced low-carb topics Diabetes Dr. Naiman Earlier with Dr. Naiman All earlier posts about Dr. Naiman Continue reading >>
8 Tips To Avoid Blood Sugar Dips And Spikes
If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar levels are racing up and down like a roller coaster, it's time to get off the ride. Big swings in your blood sugar can make you feel lousy. But even if you aren't aware of them, they can still increase your risk for a number of serious health problems. By making simple but specific adjustments to your lifestyle and diet, you can gain better blood-sugar control. Your body uses the sugar, also known as glucose, in the foods you eat for energy. Think of it as a fuel that keeps your body moving throughout the day. Blood Sugar Highs and Lows Type 2 diabetes decreases the body’s production of insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and can damage nerves and blood vessels. This increase of blood sugar also increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Over time, high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can lead to more health problems, including kidney failure and blindness. "Keeping blood sugar stable can help prevent the long-term consequences of fluctuations," says Melissa Li-Ng, MD, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr. Li-Ng explains that high blood sugar can cause a number of symptoms that include: Fatigue Increased thirst Blurry vision Frequent urination It's also important to know that you can have high blood sugar and still feel fine, but your body can still suffer damage, Li-Ng says. Symptoms of high blood sugar typically develop at levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). "You can have high blood sugar that's between 150 and 199 and feel perfectly fine," Li-Ng says. Over time, your body can also get used to chronically high blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel the symptoms, she says. On the flip side, if you Continue reading >>
8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels
Skipping breakfast iStock/Thinkstock Overweight women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later than they did on another day when they ate breakfast, a 2013 study found. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher chance of developing diabetes than those who didn’t. A morning meal—especially one that is rich in protein and healthy fat—seems to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. Your breakfast is not one of the many foods that raise blood sugar. Here are some other things that happen to your body when you skip breakfast. Artificial sweeteners iStock/Thinkstock They have to be better for your blood sugar than, well, sugar, right? An interesting new Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still take a negative toll and are one of the foods that raise blood sugar. When researchers gave mice artificial sweeteners, they had higher blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water—or even water with sugar! The researchers were able to bring the animals’ blood sugar levels down by treating them with antibiotics, which indicates that these fake sweeteners may alter gut bacteria, which in turn seems to affect how the body processes glucose. In a follow-up study of 400 people, the research team found that long-term users of artificial sweeteners were more likely to have higher fasting blood sugar levels, reported HealthDay. While study authors are by no means saying that sugary beverages are healthier, these findings do suggest that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages should do so in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Here's what else happens when you cut artificial sweetener Continue reading >>
How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar
If you are one of the millions of people who has prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or any other form of “insulin resistance,” maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging. Over the past several decades, these chronic disorders have swept through the U.S. and many other nations, reaching epidemic proportions and causing serious, but often preventable, side effects like nerve damage, fatigue, loss of vision, arterial damage and weight gain. Elevated blood sugar levels maintained for an extended period of time can push someone who is “prediabetic” into having full-blown diabetes (which now affects about one in every three adults in the U.S.). (1) Even for people who aren’t necessarily at a high risk for developing diabetes or heart complications, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to common complications, including fatigue, weight gain and sugar cravings. In extreme cases, elevated blood sugar can even contribute to strokes, amputations, coma and death in people with a history of insulin resistance. Blood sugar is raised by glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating many different types of foods that contain carbohydrates. Although we usually think of normal blood sugar as being strictly reliant upon how many carbohydrates and added sugar someone eats, other factors also play a role. For example, stress can elevate cortisol levels, which interferes with how insulin is used, and the timing of meals can also affect how the body manages blood sugar. (2) What can you do to help avoid dangerous blood sugar swings and lower diabetes symptoms? As you’ll learn, normal blood sugar levels are sustained through a combination of eating a balanced, low-processed diet, getting regular exercise and managing the body’s most important hormones in othe Continue reading >>
Should You Skip A Meal If Your Blood Glucose Is High?
High blood glucose levels can damage the small arteries and nerves in your eyes, kidneys, heart, brain and feet over time. If you have diabetes, high blood sugar is defined as higher than 130 mg/dL when fasting and above 180 mg/dL two hours after eating, unless your doctor has specified a different target for you. Managing your blood glucose levels closely is the key to healthy living with diabetes. If your blood glucose levels are high, don't skip a meal; rather, try to understand the causes behind your high reading and do some damage control by eating healthy and exercising. The Cause If your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, start by determining what caused the rise. Did you eat more carbohydrates than usual? Carbohydrates found in grains, potatoes and sugar increase your blood sugar levels the most, and eating too much can result in high glucose levels. Are you more stressed than usual or are you feeling sick? Stress and illness also increase your blood sugar levels. Did you skip your usual walk or did your forget to take your medications? Both exercise and prescribed medications decrease your blood sugar levels. Keeping a journal of what you eat, how you feel, how much you exercise and the medications and supplements you take can help you figure out the cause of your high blood sugar. Skipping Meals Skipping meals can actually increase your blood glucose levels. If your body doesn't get a regular supply of energy from food, your liver may panic and start releasing glucose into your bloodstream. This glucose can come from stored liver glycogen or can be newly synthesized from protein. Skipping a meal can cause you to have high blood glucose levels, so don't skip a meal in an attempt to lower high blood sugar. Healthy Meal Instead of skipping a mea Continue reading >>
Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>
Using Low Carb Diet And Sugar Is Still High, How Do I Get It Lower?
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Using low carb diet and sugar is still high, how do I get it lower? I have been diabetic type 2 for 15 years. Im now 48. I have been on a very low carb diet for the past 2 months. Ive been on insulin (lantus) for 2 years, I also take glyclazide and metformin. My sugar levels are only stabalized from the hours of 3pm to 6pm. Otherwise im always high. I do not eat after dinner till brekky most days. On the occasion I might have a protein snack, like nuts or cheese. When I exercise my sugar level rises. I have just upped my level of insulin and there has been no change. Im at my wits end. I don't know where im going wrong. I have spoken to my doc about this. He has said a side effect of insulin is weight gain, just do more exercise. Well its not working, my weight is rising.. Im barely eating any carbs. I eat lots of veggies and meat, I snack on nuts, seeds. The only fruit I eat are berries, the occasional apple. Hi and welcome to the forum. I'm tagging @daisy1 so that she can provide you with the standard information for newcomers. You say you are low carb - can you give us an idea of your intake for an average day so that we can maybe help you troubleshoot your diet? Have you tried using myfitnesspal or chono-meter to track you intake so that you can be sure you're sticking to the correct calorie limit for weight loss? You may find this nutritional calculator helpful: Sorry I can't help you with the insulin side of things, but hopefully someone else can. If you take a look around the low carb diet forum you may pick up some useful information also. Here is the information we give to new members and I hope you will find it helpful. Ask as many questions Continue reading >>
How You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs
How You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs Can you have high blood sugar without carbs? Well, its important to look at common beliefs about high blood sugar first. High blood sugar is bad. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar. Therefore carbohydrates are bad. The theory is simple, and yet incredibly flawed. The truth is, you can have chronically high blood sugar even while religiously avoiding every starch and sugar in sight. Low-carb forums are littered with posts asking a very relevant question: Why is my blood sugar so high when Im not eating any carbs? The answer is simple, yet often overlooked. The Hormone that Raises Blood Sugar: No Carbohydrates Required If the body were an engine, glucose would be its fuel. Most people think glucose only comes from carbohydrates (sugar and starch), but protein can also be turned into glucose when there arent enough carbs around to do the job. This is called gluconeogenesis, and its performed by one of the major stress hormones cortisol. When you have high cortisol levels (from diet, lifestyle, etc.), the cortisol rapidly breaks down protein into glucose, which can raise blood sugar levels considerably. For some folks, this results in chronically high blood sugareven if they are on a low-carb diet. The trouble is, cortisol isnt just breaking down the protein you eat. Its doing something far more destructive. The body is quite a smart machine, and it has no problem taking detours to get energy if necessary. If your body isnt getting the energy it needs from your diet, it has a back-up source: its own tissue. It sounds kind of cannibalistic, eating your own lean body tissue for energy. I mean, I seriously doubt any one of you would relish cutting off a chunk of your leg for dinner. I know I wouldnt. But every time your body uses c Continue reading >>
Eating Right But Sugar Still High.
I started a diet (Weight Watchers) in January and have lost weight so why is my sugar still so high? I am on 2500mg of metformin daily. It could be that the meals you are eating still contain more carbs than you can handle. Do you check your blood sugar 2 hours after eating? That would show if the meal was low carb enough. How many carbs do you allow per meal? You may need to lower that number. I know others will jump in here to help you out Eating right means different things for different people. For diabetics, it is usually fruit, cereals, whole grain bread and pastas that raise bgs. Also metformin alone will not compensate for a diet too high in carbs. It works in the liver, not the pancreas. Some type 2 diabetics may need insulin to see lower bgs. 115 pounds, Breast Cancer dx'd 6/16, 6 months of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation 2000 metformin ER, 100 mg Januvia,Glimperide, Prolia, Gabapentin, Meloxicam, Probiotic with a Prebiotic, , Lisinopril, B-12, B-6, Tumeric, Magnesium, Calcium, Vit D, and Occuvite mostly vegan diet, low fat and around 125 carbs a day, walk 5-6 miles every other day and 1 hour of yoga and light weights. Continue reading >>
Low Carb Vs. High Carb - My Surprising 24-day Diabetes Diet Battle
Twitter summary: What I learned from doubling my carb intake: the same average blood sugar, but four times as much hypoglycemia, more work, stress, & danger. As a teenager, I ate a high carb diet that included lots of Goldfish crackers, white sandwich bread, pasta, and white potatoes. It was tasty, but it put my blood sugars on a wild roller coaster every single day. Things turned around in college when I learned about nutrition, got on CGM, and spent time with health conscious friends. I soon realized that eating less than 30 grams of carbs at one time was a complete gamechanger. I’ve stuck with that approach ever since. But is this lower carb method actually better for my blood sugars, or have I just been fooling myself? To find out, I took on a somewhat terrifying self-tracking experiment: 12 days of my usual, lower-carb diet, which averaged 146 grams of carbs per day (21% of daily calories). My carbs were primarily from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and a bit of fruit. 12 days of a higher-carb, high whole-grain diet, which averaged 313 grams of carbs per day (43% of my daily calories). My sources of carbs were NOT junk food: plain oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa, wild rice, and fruit. Neither of these was unrealistic. My lower-carb diet was nowhere near Atkins level (20 grams per day), and the higher-carb diet was consistent with the “average” 45% carb diet in people with diabetes (according to ADA). Even though this was a one-person (n=1) experiment, I wanted to be as scientific and fair as possible: eating whole, unprocessed foods in both periods; counting and tracking every single gram of carbohydrate (LoseIt! app); wearing CGM 24/7 and downloading the glucose data to document what happened (Dexcom G5 and Clarity); taking insulin before meals (5-15 minutes pr Continue reading >>
6 Things To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
Grapefruit also has a low glycemic index (GI), around 25, which means it doesn't raise blood sugar as quickly or as much as high-GI foods like white bagel (72) or even a banana (48) or watermelon (72). (The highest GI score is 100.) A 2006 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, found that people who ate grapefruit (juice or half a fruit) before a meal had a lower spike in insulin two hours later than those taking a placebo, and fresh grapefruit was associated with less insulin resistance. All 91 patients in the 12-week study were obese, but they did not necessarily have type 2 diabetes. While the results are promising in those without diabetes, blood-sugar reactions to food can vary widely, so if you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, test your blood sugar after eating grapefruit to make sure it can be part of your healthy eating plan. Getty Images Blood sugar is a tricky little beast. Yes, you can get a high reading if you throw caution to the wind and eat several slices of cake at a wedding. The problem is that you can also have a high blood sugar reading if you follow every rule in the type 2 diabetes handbook. That's because it's not just food that affects blood sugar. You could have a cold coming on, or stress may have temporarily boosted your blood sugar. The reading could be wrong, and you need to repeat it. Or it could mean that your medicine is no longer working, and it's time to try a new one. The point is, it's the pattern that matters, not a single reading. Whatever you do, don't feel bad or guilty if you have a high blood sugar reading. A 2004 study found that blood sugar monitoring often amplifies feelings of being a "success" or "failure" at diabetes, and when readings are consistently high, it can trigger feelings of anxiety or self-bla Continue reading >>