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High Blood Sugar Ketosis

What Is Ketosis?

What Is Ketosis?

"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>

Common Concerns About Low-carb Dieting And Hypoglycemia

Common Concerns About Low-carb Dieting And Hypoglycemia

I magine that you’re a few days into your low-carb diet and when you suddenly you begin to feel “off”. You’re experiencing “brain fog”, light-headedness, weakness, and mood swings. Thoughts race through your mind. I don’t feel right…could I be hypoglycemic? Oh no, my blood sugar is low. Maybe, I should drink some fruit juice… STOP! Hold it right there! There is a better solution, but first, let’s try and figure out what may be the cause. Why am I feeling this way? When I hear someone say that they are hypoglycemic, I often raise an eyebrow. It is possible for some to experience episodes of acute hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, but that term gets tossed around more than a hot potato. In fact, the medical field uses a variety of values in glycemic control as cut-off points in order to define hypo- or hyperglycemia. The cut-off values aren’t clear-cut[1]. If you have a true underlying medical cause, such as diabetes, or some other condition, then this article isn’t intended for you. This is for the rest of the population, most of whom may not even know what a common fasting blood glucose range is. When one begins The Carb Nite® Solution, Carb Backloading™, or any other low-carb diet, there are some foreign physiological changes that can occur, and it is normal to be concerned or aware of these shifts. The “feeling” that you’re experiencing may indeed be a drop in blood sugar. Even if it’s within the normal range, you may experience the symptoms of hypoglycemia. However, there could be other reasons that you aren’t feeling optimal. Improving metabolic flexibility to use fats for fuel, namely the rate at which fat oxidation adjusts to high fat intake, can vary[2-4]. You could also be experiencing a shift in electrolytes[5]. That being s Continue reading >>

How You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs

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 >>

Doing Keto? Consider Buying A Blood Glucose Meter

Doing Keto? Consider Buying A Blood Glucose Meter

The amount of glucose in your blood at any given time can give you valuable insights into how your body is reacting to the food you eat. If you’re doing a keto-based diet, the data you get from a glucose meter will help you optimize your eating for maximum weight loss! The premise of a keto-based diet is simple: Keep the carbs as low as possible so that your body is forced to get glucose (energy) from fat, rather than carbs. Any sort of glycemic reaction could cause a weight-loss stall for several days. Not sure what a Keto diet is, or want to learn more about it? I talk about what a keto diet is, and the pros and cons of this approach, in this blog article. What is a glycemic reaction? In short, a glycemic reaction is what happens when you eat carbs. It’s a fancy name for an even fancier process. Effectively, when you eat carbs, your body produces a hormone called “insulin” which is responsible for delivering the glucose (the energy from your the carbs you just ate) to the muscle cells in your body. In a keto-based diet, you want to avoid the production of insulin at all costs. Not because insulin itself is bad — but because it means you’ve short-circuited the keto process by eating too many carbs, and allowing your body to get energy from carbs, rather than fat. If this happens, it can take days to “reset” your body back into ketosis. In short, if you are doing a keto-based diet and your blood-glucose levels spike, you screwed up. How to measure your blood glucose level Get yourself a blood-glucose meter!! You can buy a blood-glucose meter from any pharmacy in the $20 to $40 range. The test-strips come in packs of 100 for around $25. (around $0.25 each if you’re bad at math). Here’s a link on Amazon to a glucose meter kit that’s perfectly adequat Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet & Level Up Coffee

The Ketogenic Diet & Level Up Coffee

The ketogenic diet is quickly losing its status as a “fad diet” and is becoming a new way of life for many people - and for good reasons. People who initially go on the ketogenic diet to lose weight are realizing that this diet not only helps them to slim down, but it can also improve energy levels, appetite control, mental clarity, and is sustainable long-term. Researchers are discovering that it seems to have very powerful therapeutic effects as well - from helping to treat those with epilepsy, migraines, diabetes and potentially even cancer, the ketogenic diet is one of the best diets to promote overall health. When you go on a ketogenic diet your goal is to lower your carbohydrate intake to 20 - 50 grams per day and to use fat as the body's main fuel source instead of carbohydrates. When fats are broken down they are converted into ketones - and when carbohydrates are broken down, they are converted into glucose (sugar). Since our bodies are incredibly adaptive, we all have the ability to switch between using either glucose (sugar) or ketones for energy. This is known as being “metabolically flexible.” The main advantage of using ketones as the body’s main fuel source, however, is that their effect on blood sugar and insulin levels is minimal. Blood Sugar The biggest obstacle for people who follow a high-carbohydrate diet is their appetite. When someone eats a high-carbohydrate meal, these foods will be quickly broken down by the digestive system and converted into glucose (sugar). This glucose will then enter into the bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. If we were then to go for a prolonged period of time without eating during the day, let's say 3-4 hours, our blood sugar levels would eventually start to dip and become very low. Low blood Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

Ketogenic diets around the world have been known to be extremely effective in helping improve health and lose weight fast. The diet takes into account and addresses the underlying causes of your weight gain, which could include things such as hormonal imbalances. With the ketogenic diet, you are restricting your net carb intake to under 50 grams a day. With the number of restricted carbs, your body needs to reset its way of getting the fuel that it needs. See how a diet high in healthy fats can help improve insulin resistance by changing the bodies preferred fuel source from glucose to ketones. What is Insulin and Insulin Resistance Insulin is a fat storing hormone formed by the pancreas that enables your body to manage glucose and sugars from carbs within the food. It prevents blood sugar levels from hyperglycemia or reaching too high or hyperglycemia which is too low. Insulin resistance has many symptoms including sugar cravings, weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.(1) Insulin resistance is also linked to type 2 diabetes. Therefore, cutting out or reducing sugar in your meal planning will help prevent becoming diabetic. The worrying thing about insulin resistance is symptoms take a long time to appear. When symptoms surface such as weight gain, multiple other problems may creep up. Why You Gain Weight Insulin in your body helps to regulate your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar also referred to as glucose is the primary fuel in the body for energy and brain function. When blood sugar rises, the insulin your pancreas releases move the glucose into your bloodstream. If there is glucose in your system your body will burn it first for fuel. If your body is already filled with higher glucose levels, more cannot be broken down for fuel. So because of this, your Continue reading >>

What Are Ketones?

What Are Ketones?

Ketones are an acid remaining when the body burns its own fat. When the body has insufficient insulin (or cannot use sufficient insulin), it cannot get glucose (sugar) from the blood into the body's cells to use as energy and will instead begin to burn fat stores. When the body is burning too much fat, it may cause ketones to become present as by product shown in your urine. Burning fat instead of glucose can lead to a condition called ketosis. It can make you feel poorly, with lack of energy. If you have healthy or low BMI it can also be dangerous as you may also lose too much weight. Testing for ketones Your urine is usually tested for ketones during your diabetes clinic appointments. You may also be tested for ketones if you have been taken into hospital with high blood sugar levels. Ketones are detected by testing the urine with a dip stick. They are measured on a scale with 0 being lowest and 4++ being the highest. The test sticks can be purchased from a pharmacy or online and in some cases you may be prescribed test strips for home testing for if you get blood sugar levels over a certain level. Your diabetes midwife will usually complete ketone tests when you attend clinic appointments, so it is not necessary to purchase dip sticks for home use unless you're advised to by a medical professional. Blood ketones can also be tested and are much more accurate than the urine dip sticks. Type 1 diabetics may be given ketone blood testing monitors. Why are ketones common in ladies diagnosed with gestational diabetes? Ketones can be detected when you have not eaten for a long period of time and may be found in samples taken in the morning due to fasting overnight. It is common for mothers with gestational diabetes to develop ketones due to limiting too many carbohydrates f Continue reading >>

When To Worry About Ketones

When To Worry About Ketones

“Your blood sugar is over 250. We’ll have to test for ketones, just to make sure you’re not spilling any.” The nurse stuck a label featuring my name and date of birth onto a plastic cup. “The bathroom is down the hall and to the right,” she said. By now, I was familiar with the drill, having experienced it a handful of times in the past: Provide urine sample to endocrinologist and keep my fingers crossed that it’s negative. Fortunately, it was—no ketones spilled. Though we often toss the word ketones around when we talk about diabetes, there tends to be confusion about what ketones are and when they’re dangerous. What are ketones? Ketone bodies are produced by the liver and are byproducts of fat metabolism. They occur when muscles in the body (which normally uses glucose as fuel) begin to use fat instead. This can happen when a person restricts carbohydrates (i.e., following a ketogenic diet—see below), eats too little, or feels ill. Simply put, ketones are markers of fat burning in the body. People with diabetes need to be concerned about ketones, though, because they can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. The presence of ketones makes the blood acidic and can result in an illness known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which occurs when blood sugar levels are very high. DKA can be caused by not getting enough insulin, and it may occur prior to a diagnosis of type one diabetes. DKA symptoms of concern include a dry mouth, blood sugar levels greater than 240 mg/dL, strong thirst, and frequent urination. Without treatment, these symptoms can worsen into confusion, extreme fatigue, flushed skin, fruity-smelling breath, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and difficulty breathing. The most serious effects include swelling in the brain, loss of conscio Continue reading >>

Glucose Numbers And Ketogenic Diet

Glucose Numbers And Ketogenic Diet

GLUCOSE NUMBERS and KETOGENIC DIET When eating a ketogenic diet, the most exposure to carbohydrates is overnight especially towards morning as the liver produces glucose to keep your brain fueled and to prepare you for getting up. Therefore, if you are eating a very ketogenic diet, the blood ketones go up during the day as you burn more fat for fuel (as apposed to a high carb diet where the opposite happens). Something to consider, a ketogenic diet rapidly induces insulin resistance. This is a normal physiological response to carb restriction. Carb restriction drops insulin levels. Low insulin levels activate hormone sensitive lipase. This breaks down fatty tissue into ketone bodies (blood ketones). Your muscles prefer to run on ketones and so they become insulin resistant leaving the glucose in your blood for other cells (like the brain). However, while muscles are in “refusal mode” for glucose any glucose put into your bloodstream, from food or gluconeogenesis (blood glucose made from protein or other tissues), will rapidly spike blood glucose. This is fine if you stick to LC in your eating. It also means that if you take an oral glucose tolerance test you will fail and be labelled diabetic. In fact, even a single high fat meal can do this, extending insulin resistance in to the next day. So if you are getting a blood glucose test, you can increase your carbs to 150 grams a day for 3 days prior and your blood glucose levels will show normal according to the standards. Otherwise, you can look at a better marker for metabolic syndrome which is you HbA1c levels. If these are low (5.5 or less is what a doctor will define as low diabetes risk, 5 or less is ideal), it doesn’t matter what your fasting blood glucose levels are. Also an interesting note, when mice in a r Continue reading >>

The Dawn Phenomenon – T2d 8

The Dawn Phenomenon – T2d 8

The occurrence of high blood sugars after a period of fasting is often puzzling to those not familiar with the Dawn Phenomenon. Why are blood sugars elevated if you haven’t eaten overnight? This effect is also seen during fasting, even during prolonged fasting. There are two main effects – the Somogyi Effect and the Dawn Phenomenon. Somogyi Effect The Somogyi effect is also called reactive hyperglycaemia and happens in type 2 diabetic patients. The blood sugar sometimes drops in reaction to the night time dose of medication. This low blood sugar is dangerous, and in response, the body tries to raise it. Since the patient is asleep, he/she does not feel the hypoglycaemic symptoms of shakiness or tremors or confusion. By the time the patient awakens, the sugar is elevated without a good explanation. The high blood sugar occurs in reaction to the preceding low. This can be diagnosed by checking the blood sugar at 2am or 3am. If it is very low, then this is diagnostic of the Somogy Effect. Dawn Phenomenon The Dawn Effect, sometimes also called the Dawn Phenomenon (DP) was first described about 30 years ago. It is estimated to occur in up to 75% of T2D patients although severity varies widely. It occurs both in those treated with insulin and those that are not. The circadian rhythm creates this DP. Just before awakening (around 4am), the body secretes higher levels of Growth Hormone, cortisol, glucagon and adrenalin. Together, these are called the counter-regulatory hormones. That is, they counter the blood sugar lowering effects of insulin, meaning that they raise blood sugars. The nocturnal surge of growth hormone is considered the primary cause of the DP. These normal circadian hormonal increases prepare our bodies for the day ahead. That is, glucagon tells the liver Continue reading >>

Video: What Eating “high-fat” Or “keto” Does To Your Blood Sugar

Video: What Eating “high-fat” Or “keto” Does To Your Blood Sugar

What happens to your blood sugar when you eat fat? The steps you need to stabilize your blood sugar and increase your fat-burning hormones (by following a Fat Fueled, keto eating style). Up until I found keto (high-fat, low-carb living) I was in the “eat every 2-3 hours in order to control blood sugar” camp. What I didn’t know, was that the constant eating; generally of carbohydrates, was exactly what was causing my blood sugar irregularities – constant “hangry” feelings, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and more. After a couple of weeks of eating Fat Fueled, keto, I no longer struggled with hypoglycemia. It was as if my sugar lows just… disappeared. And I’m not the only one that’s experienced massive changes to blood sugar shortly after shifting to a Fat Fueled, keto life. I invited Dietitian Cassie on the show today to help explain exactly what happens to our blood sugar when we eat fat – the ins and outs of insulin resistance, actions that affect blood sugar, how to use carb-ups to heal insulin resistance and much more. Today’s keto video encourages us to use dietary fat as our ally, to rely on it to support balanced blood sugar, thriving hormones and a healthy body. For video transcription, scroll down. Highlights… What foods affect blood sugar How dietary fat affects your blood sugar If combining carbohydrates and fat is a good thing How fat cells are created How to get into fat-burning mode Signs and symptoms of insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity How cortisol (and a poor sleep) affects your blood sugar How carb cycling and carb refeeding can help bust through insulin resistance How to heal yourself from insulin resistance Resources… Watch the video: When to know it’s time to carb-up (and how to do it) Step-by-step guide on goin Continue reading >>

How The Ketogenic Diet Works For Type 2 Diabetes

How The Ketogenic Diet Works For Type 2 Diabetes

Special diets for type 2 diabetes often focus on weight loss, so it might seem crazy that a high-fat diet is an option. But the ketogenic (keto) diet, high in fat and low in carbs, can potentially change the way your body stores and uses energy, easing diabetes symptoms. With the keto diet, your body converts fat, instead of sugar, into energy. The diet was created in 1924 as a treatment for epilepsy, but the effects of this eating pattern are also being studied for type 2 diabetes. The ketogenic diet may improve blood glucose (sugar) levels while also reducing the need for insulin. However, the diet does come with risks, so make sure to discuss it with your doctor before making drastic dietary changes. Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, so a high-fat diet can seem unhelpful. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to have the body use fat for energy instead of carbohydrates or glucose. A person on the keto diet gets most of their energy from fat, with very little of the diet coming from carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you should load up on saturated fats, though. Heart-healthy fats are the key to sustaining overall health. Some healthy foods that are commonly eaten in the ketogenic diet include: eggs fish such as salmon cottage cheese avocado olives and olive oil nuts and nut butters seeds The ketogenic diet has the potential to decrease blood glucose levels. Managing carbohydrate intake is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because carbohydrates turn to sugar and, in large quantities, can cause blood sugar spikes. If you already have high blood glucose, then eating too many carbs can be dangerous. By switching the focus to fat, some people experience reduced blood sugar. The Atkins diet is one of the most famous low-carb, high-p Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

We recently touched on how you can use the ketogenic diet to control symptoms of diabetes such as elevated glucose and triglycerides. In this article, we examine research showing the impact that the ketogenic diet has on levels of the hormone insulin, a key regulator of blood sugar in the body. What is Insulin’s Role in the Body? Before we look at the research, we need to know our main players. Insulin is a protein-based hormone produced by beta-cells located in the pancreas. The pancreas, which is located under the stomach, also produces enzymes that aid with digestion. Insulin’s primary purpose is to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, into a molecule called glucose. This compound can be used by cells to produce energy through a process called cellular respiration. Insulin allows cells in the body absorb glucose, ultimately lowering levels of glucose in the blood stream. After a meal is consumed, blood glucose levels increase and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood. Insulin assists fat, liver, and muscle cells absorb glucose from the blood, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose. Insulin stimulates liver and muscle tissues to store excess glucose as a molecule called glycogen and also reduces glucose production by the liver. When blood sugar is low, the hormone glucagon (produced by alpha-cells in the pancreas) stimulate cells to break down glycogen into glucose that is subsequently released into the blood stream. In healthy people who do not have type II diabetes, these functions allow levels of blood glucose and insulin to stay in a normal range. What Is Insulin Resistance and Why Is It a Problem? Unfortunately, for many Americans and other peopl Continue reading >>

Protein, Gluconeogenesis, And Blood Sugar

Protein, Gluconeogenesis, And Blood Sugar

Recently (for some conception of recent) we asked the question: If You Eat Excess Protein, Does It Turn Into Excess Glucose? One of the potentially confusing aspects of this question, is the difference between gluconeogenesis (GNG) — the creation of new glucose that didn't exist before, and increases in blood sugar. In response to our post, several people made comments that indicated an implicit assumption that changes in blood sugar can be used as a measurement of GNG, but as we will explain below, this is not the case. However, it brought to our attention an important distinction. There are several reasons people might care about excess GNG. One we have already addressed: It is not the case that GNG requires excess cortisol. In terms of the effect of the glucose itself that results from GNG, there are two distinct concerns: How does excess GNG affect blood sugar levels? Blood sugar levels are important because too much sugar in the blood at a given time can cause damage to cells ⁰. Does producing more glucose via GNG ultimately lead to either using more glucose for fuel, or storing it as fat? So when people worry about protein causing excess GNG, what they are really worrying about is that protein will adversely affect their blood sugar levels, or that they are going to use more glucose for fuel than they intended, or that they will store it as unwanted fat. While it would be interesting to understand the effect of eating excess protein on GNG, it doesn't directly address those underlying questions, because there are many other mechanisms in play. We want to know whether for ketogenic dieters eating excess protein adversely affects blood sugar levels, whether it leads to higher consumption of glucose for fuel, and whether it increases the tendency to store fat. In Continue reading >>

Does Long Term Ketosis Cause Insulin Resistance?

Does Long Term Ketosis Cause Insulin Resistance?

“It’s a snake.” “It’s a wall.” “It’s a rope.” “It’s a fan.” “It’s a tree.” “It’s insulin resistance.” I’ve always been fascinated by those describing a “new finding” in medicine. I am reminded of the story of 5 men who, never having seen an elephant before, were blindfolded and asked to describe what he discovered. However, each man was introduced to a different part of the elephant. Each of them had a dramatically different description of the elephant and each made a conclusion that was very different from the others. What is fascinating, is that we usually make our “blindfolded comparisons” to those things we have seen or about which we have some descriptive understanding. Observing and describing human physiology is much like examining an elephant while blindfolded for the first time. This week’s “blind-folded finding” is what has been interpreted by some as “insulin resistance” made worse by a ketogenic diet. Really? This perked my curiosity, because I’ve personally been following a low-carbohydrate/ketogenic diet for 10 years and have thousands of patients doing the same. To this day, I’ve never seen insulin resistance “get worse.” In fact, it gets better. Clinically, it seems to take about 18-24 months to improve, but, it usually gets better. THE QUESTION – I’ve had three people from around the world contact me this week and ask why, after being on a ketogenic diet and “in ketosis,” they suddenly get a notably large blood glucose spike when they cheat. By notably large, I mean that their blood sugars rise to over 200 mg/dl within 2 hours of a carbohydrate containing meal. Now, they admit to rapid glucose recovery within an hour or two, and their hemoglobin A1c levels are subjectively normal (l Continue reading >>

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