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Low Blood Sugar When Starting Keto Diet

Is Your Fasting Blood Glucose Higher On Low Carb Or Keto? Five Things To Know

Is Your Fasting Blood Glucose Higher On Low Carb Or Keto? Five Things To Know

This past spring, after 18 months of great success on the keto diet, I tested my fasting blood sugar on my home glucose monitor for the first time in many months. The result shocked me. I had purchased the device, which also tests ketones, when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in the fall of 2015. As I embarked on low-carb keto eating, I tested my blood regularly. Soon my fasting blood sugar was once again in the healthy range. I was in optimal ketosis day after day. Not only that, I lost 10 lbs (5 kg) and felt fantastic — full of energy with no hunger or cravings. Before long I could predict the meter’s results based on what I was eating or doing. I put the meter away and got on with my happy, healthy keto life. When my doctor ordered some lab tests this spring, I brought the meter out again. While I had no health complaints, excellent blood pressure and stable weight, she wanted to see how my cholesterol, lipids, HbA1c, and fasting glucose were doing on my keto diet — and I was curious, too. To check the accuracy of my meter against the lab results, on the morning of the test I sat in my car outside the clinic at 7:30 am, and pricked my finger. I was expecting to see a lovely fasting blood glucose (FBG) of 4.7 or 4.8 mmol/l (85 mg/dl). It was 5.8! (103 mg/dl). What? I bailed on the tests and drove home — I didn’t want my doctor warning me I was pre-diabetic again when I had no explanation for that higher result. The next morning I tested again: 5.9! (104). Huh??? For the next two weeks I tested every morning. No matter what I did, my FBG would be in 5.7 to 6.0 (102 to 106 mg/dl), the pre-diabetic range again. One morning after a restless sleep it was even 6.2 mmol/l (113 mg/dl). But my ketones were still reading an optimal 1.5-2.5 mmol/l. I was still burnin Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Hypoglycemia

The Ketogenic Diet And Hypoglycemia

I wanted to write a technical post about a question I keep getting regarding the ketogenic diet and hypoglycemia. Even if youre not into the keto diet, I think you may find some useful ideas to makelow blood sugar less invasive in the short term. I recently shot a series of videos about the ketogenic diet and diabetes as part of my daily YouTube vlogging and you can check those out and subscribe here. My general goal in my diabetes management is minimalism. Minimal intervention, treatment and daily impact. The most basic manifestation of this is to aim for the use of less insulin, which can create greater blood sugar stability. This strategyled me to a low carb diet. The need to have athletic performance in addition to the blood sugar stability led me one step further to the keto diet. Using less insulin and eating fewer carbs means that lows do still happen but less frequently and they are easier to handle. Consider driving an empty truck down a hill. Its going to be easier to stop than if its loaded down and has greater momentum. The same concept applies to insulin loads and slowing the drop of blood sugar. Simply lightening the load can simplify control of the vehicle. When a low blood sugar occurs, the treatmentideally involves matching anincrease in BG to the proportionate decrease in order to balance the two out. Therefore all hypo treatments are not created equal, or one treatment does not fit all lows since different methods of raising blood sugar work differently. One of the biggest obstacles to blood sugarstability is over correction of lows. Over correction can result from either the source of the treatment, the quantity of the treatment or a combination both factors. In other words, you dont have to eat the entire pantry to overcorrect and spike. Sometimes 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 >>

Starting Low Carb With Diabetes Medications

Starting Low Carb With Diabetes Medications

So you have diabetes and you want to try a low-carb diet? Congratulations! It may be the single best thing you could ever do for your health. It can start to reverse your type 2 diabetes, and dramatically increase your blood sugar control with type 1 diabetes. However, you need to know what you are doing. Once you start eating low carb you may instantly have to lower any insulin doses, a lot. Avoiding the carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar decreases your need for medication to lower it. Taking the same dose of insulin as you did prior to adopting a low-carb diet might result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You need to test your blood sugar frequently when starting this diet and adapt (lower) your medication. This should ideally be done with the assistance of a knowledgeable physician. No drugs If you have diabetes and you’re treated either by diet alone or just with Metformin there is no risk of low blood sugar on low carb. You can get started right away. Insulin As a general guide you may need to lower your doses by 30-50% or more when starting a strict low-carb diet. Unfortunately there’s no way to know the doses required in advance. You’ll have to test your blood sugar frequently and adapt (lower) insulin doses. This should ideally be done with the assistance of a knowledgeable physician. Note that as a general rule it’s easier to err on the low side, and take more insulin later if needed. That’s fine. If instead you overdose and get low sugar you’ll have to quickly eat or drink more carbohydrates, and that obviously reduces the effect of the low-carb diet. Insulin in type 1 diabetes The advice on insulin above generally applies to type 1 diabetes too. A low-carb, high-fat diet can be fantastic for empowering people with type 1 diabetes to get s Continue reading >>

Why I Chose A Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes Management

Why I Chose A Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes Management

Often people use the term “diet” to mean something that is temporary for a specific purpose, usually weight loss. For me, it is a permanent way of eating now. I am a retired physician living with Type 1 diabetes since 1998. I started to exercise regularly in 2007 to help ward off complications, particularly cardiovascular disease. I was unaware at the time that aerobic exercise alone would have little impact on the development of cardiovascular disease. It wasn’t until 2011 when I contemplated doing an ironman distance triathlon, that I discovered diet is the most important determinate in the development of most chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease. My research led me to begin a very low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet in February 2012. Why I Chose a Low Carb Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes Management Carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose the most, so keeping consumption low is my primary goal. Of next importance is using whole foods that naturally have the necessary micronutrients and enough complete proteins to support my exercise. I had to add fat to my meals to replace calories from the omitted carbohydrates. My protein intake did not change after starting a ketogenic low carb high fat diet. This way of eating has resulted in a significant improvement in my blood glucose control and a 1.2% reduction in HbA1c. Most importantly, the diet supplies my body with the energy, substrates, and nutrients to enable daily resistance and aerobic/endurance exercise, with minimal need for sports nutrition (sugar), or development of hypoglycemia. I completed The Great Floridian Triathlon in October 2012 without any sugar, food, or hypoglycemia thanks to my low carbohydrate ketogenic lifestyle. Nutritional Ketosis My diet keeps me in a state of nut Continue reading >>

Keto Induction Vs Hypoglycemia

Keto Induction Vs Hypoglycemia

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) Well-Known Member I had what must have been false hypos when I switched to low carb, which I treated with a few grapes, then a sit down for a few minutes until the feeling passed. I think that if I had allowed myself to become anxious and consumed a lot of carbs I'd have been bouncing around like a ping pong ball. The relief did not last all that long, but I was at home so it was not all that dangerous - though I did get lost on my way to bed - I turn out all the lights and walk from the landing to bed in almost total darkness, but we have lived here for decades so it was quite a strange feeling to become disoriented. After a day or so the feeling passed and I went into ketosis, but I did have to persist. I could have dropped the carb count more slowly to allow time for my body to adapt - but I have never been afraid of low carb, and still aren't despite the hypo feeling. The article you have just posted is written by people who haven't got a clue about the symptoms and how RH happens, it is a supposition that everyone has reactive hypoglycaemic and it is normal for those who have episodes of RH is normal. The condition they are describing is post prandial symptoms that are not hypos, there is a condition that is not RH but has the exact symptoms but don't hypo. My condition is real, my symptoms are real, I have a high intolerance to carbs and sugars. I have been in ketosis for well over two years, it is symptom free and since going into ketosis I have not had an episode of Hypoglycaemia. I know I still have the condition because of my last eOGTT (extended or prolonged oral glucose test) and I still went into hypo. Don' Continue reading >>

Will Low-carb Diets Cause Blood Sugar Levels To Drop?

Will Low-carb Diets Cause Blood Sugar Levels To Drop?

Video of the Day If you're accustomed to eating a very high-carb diet and suddenly switch to a very low-carb diet, you could experience rather dramatic drops in your blood sugar during the first few days or weeks of your transition. This low blood sugar can cause notably uncomfortable side effects and intense cravings. Carbs and Blood Sugar Your body converts consumed carbohydrates into glucose, a type of sugar. When the glucose enters your bloodstream, it leads to an increase in your blood sugar level. The pancreas produces insulin in response to spikes in blood sugar, which helps your body store the sugar for energy. This insulin release subsides when your cells absorb the sugar and your levels stabilize. In a healthy body, the surge of blood sugar and insulin is relatively moderate and keeps you evenly motoring through your day. When you eat lots of carbohydrates, your body's blood sugar remains consistently high and your system constantly pumps out insulin. This chronic elevation of blood sugar and release of insulin causes inflammation, an increase in fat storage and an inability to burn stored fat. Chronically high blood sugar levels increase your risk of disease, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. You crave carbohydrates regularly for energy, because your body isn't efficient at using stored fat for fuel. How a Low-Carb Diet Impacts Blood Sugar If you regularly consume a large amount of carbohydrates, especially refined ones like white bread and soda, you may experience a notable drop in blood sugar when you drastically reduce your carb intake. In the first week of carb reduction, your body will seek to maintain your high sugar intake. You'll crave carbohydrates and may even feel weak because your body hasn't yet become efficient at burning fat for fuel 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 >>

How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally

How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally

Processed foods like cookies, cakes, and candy (and even starchy plant foods like rice, beans, and potatoes) can cause rapid increases in blood sugar levels. After one meal containing these foods, blood sugar can get so high that insulin can’t keep up. Side effects like fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, trouble concentrating, and frequent urination can result. If you consume high-carbohydrate foods every day, you increase your risk of type 2 diabetes — the medical diagnosis for having chronically high blood sugar levels that are caused by diet and lifestyle. (This is different from type 1 diabetes — a condition where the body produces little to no insulin.) Over 422 million people have diabetes worldwide, and their high blood sugar levels are destroying their bodies. To know if your blood sugar levels are chronically high, many doctors will check your A1C levels. A1C stands for glycated hemoglobin, which is formed when blood sugar attaches to hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells). A1C tests measure the percentage of your hemoglobin that has blood sugar attached to it. If blood sugar levels have been high for the past 3 months, then more hemoglobin will be glycated. Thus, A1C testing provides an accurate measurement of how high your blood sugar has been over the past two to three months. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates pre-diabetes. Below 5.7 is considered normal. Earlier in this article, we explored how you can raise your blood sugar. Just eat cookies, cakes, rice, potatoes, and other high-carbohydrate foods, and you will be on the fast track toward diabetes. Following this logic, won’t eating fewer carbohydrates lower your blood sug Continue reading >>

Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments

Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments

There are many awesome benefits with come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings, and even possibly reduce diseases risks. That being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side effects so you know fully what to expect as you start this new health journey. Not everyone experiences side effects when starting a ketogenic diet, and thankfully, those who do don’t usually experience them for very long. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to breaking down each possible side effect and go over ways to manage and alleviate them if needed. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 1 – Frequent Urination As your body burns through the stored glucose in your liver and muscles within the first day or two of starting a ketogenic diet, you’ll be releasing a lot of water in the process. Plus, your kidneys will start excreting excess sodium as the levels of your circulating insulin drop. Basically, you might notice yourself needing to pee more often throughout the day. But no worries; this side effect of ketosis takes care of itself once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 2 – Dizziness and Drowsiness As the body is getting rid of this excess water, it will also be eliminating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too. This can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and fatigued. Thankfully, this is also very avoidable; all it takes is a little preparation beforehand. Focus on eating foods that are rich in potassium, such as: Leafy greens (aim for at least two cups each day!) Broccoli Dairy Meat, poultry, and fish Avocados Add salt to your foods or use salty broth when cooking too. You can also dissolve about a teaspoon of regu Continue reading >>

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia is a condition in which the body reacts to a perceived catastrophic drop in blood sugar. I say perceived because during an episode, the blood sugar readings may be in the normal range, but still "feel" like low blood sugar to the person having the reaction. In my experience, hypoglycemia happens to most people when first beginning a low carb, ketogenic diet. It may be especially strong in people who have already developed insulin resistance or pre-diabetes from a chronic excess of carbohydrate intake. There are different types of low blood sugar causes. Transient hypoglycemia normally happens when most people who have been eating a high carb diet drastically reduce carbohydrate intake for the first time. This type happens during the first several weeks of carb reduction because the body has not had time to create the enzymes or metabolic state to burn internal fat stores for fuel. Basically there is a gap in the amount of carbohydrate available for fuel, and the process of accessing fat stores for fuel. The lack of fuel sources results in transient low blood sugar. Reactive hypoglycemia is more of an acute reaction to a very high carb meal. For instance, when a person eats 2 or 3 glazed donuts, there is a huge spike in blood sugar and compensating insulin secretion after such a meal. The large insulin spike drives blood sugar very low several hours after the meal. How Reactive Hypoglycemia Happens Insulin, a hormone, is secreted from the pancreas in response to eating food, especially foods high in carbohydrates. Its main job is to move the sugar your body makes from the food you eat into your cells so that this excess sugar can be broken down for energy or stored. Insulin is a very powerful hormone, and it acts very quickly. The amount of insulin Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet And Hypoglycemia

Ketogenic Diet And Hypoglycemia

Grief had me wide awake at 3 a.m. on Saturday, I was trying to figure out which chores I could cram into the 14 hours before I returned to the land of migraine disability. I had admitted defeat with the ketogenic diet. One more meal was all I had left on the diet; dinner would take me back to migraine as usual. Ketogenic Diet and Hypoglycemia: Cause and Effect Frustratingly, even though the ketogenic diet reduced my migraine attack severity and enabled me to be more functional, it also caused hypoglycemia—which is in itself a migraine trigger. Despite a month of various fixes, I couldn’t get it under control. (I’ve actually been wrestling with it for two months. That awful nausea I attributed to dehydration was actually hypoglycemia. The wrung out feeling I woke up with each day was the fallout from hypoglycemia-triggered migraine attacks that came on while I slept.) How I Discovered Hypoglycemia Was the Problem After increasing to 2500 calories to gain some weight back, I woke up each day ravenous and shaky. This seemed odd—how could I be hungrier than when I ate 1700 calories a day? Knowing that a ketogenic diet could cause hypoglycemia, I began researching. Not only did I discover that it was likely I had hypoglycemia, but the nausea and accompanying symptoms of the previous month fit the pattern of reactive hypoglycemia perfectly. Reactive Hypoglycemia Reactive, or postprandial, hypoglycemia occurs two to four hours after eating. It’s usually a crash after eating a meal high in carbohydrates. Although I wasn’t eating many carbohydrates, my blood sugar was so low the rest of the time that I’d crash after my meal each day. It would start two hours after the meal, but I’m so used to ignoring vague physical symptoms that I didn’t notice until they got Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?

Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?

In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>

Can A Ketogenic Diet Cause Hypoglycemia Or Low Blood Sugar?

Can A Ketogenic Diet Cause Hypoglycemia Or Low Blood Sugar?

Short Answer: It can but usually only in the first few weeks of keto and usually in only the most insulin resistant. Your Old Diet Before we get into how hypoglycemia is possible with a ketogenic diet, let’s review what happens with your blood sugar levels when you start a ketogenic diet. While you were eating your traditional high-carb Standard American Diet, you were training your body to produce a large amount of insulin with every meal. This insulin was important because the high levels pf blood glucose your diet was producing was toxic to your body so your body had to get that sugar out of the blood stream and into cells where it could be used as fuel or stored as glycogen of triglycerides. Your New Diet Now let’s look at what happens when you start a ketogenic diet. Your body continues to produce the same amount of insulin when you eat which should cause your blood sugar levels to drop so instead, your body begins to pull sugar out of all the nooks and crannies in your body where it stored it. The first reservoir to be tapped is the glycogen stored in your muscles. This stock of sugar is large enough that you can potentially go several weeks with normal blood sugars on keto but eventually those stores run out and that’s when things can get a crazy. Now for most people, by the time the stores of sugar are depleted, your body has already begun making a few of the necessary changes to your metabolism to run on fat and the feeling of being “run down” or what is sometimes called the “Keto Flu” only last a few days. The body makes the transition over to running on stored fat and ketones and you are off to the races but for a few people, especially the really insulin resistant ones, you can start to feel the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Symptoms of Hypoglycemi Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia And Low-carb

Hypoglycemia And Low-carb

Many people know that low blood sugar or hypoglycemia (HG) is usually associated with persons with type-1 diabetes. Their blood sugars are often very labile –going too high and dropping too low. In this situation HG not only causes severe symptoms that diminish one’s quality of life but can be lethal. One of the benefits of carbohydrate restriction in a person with type-1 is that blood-sugar swings even out with more moderate highs and far less hypoglycemic reactions. One reason why this happens is because we are able to decrease medications including insulin that a person with type-1 diabetes must take. Reactive Hypoglycemia: Lots of People Have It The purpose of this article is to talk about reactive hypoglycemia (RHG), a far more common occurrence. It is often unrecognized and undiagnosed. It is not likely to cause death but is associated with a long list of symptoms that can interfere with everyday life. Symptoms of RHG are often treated with prescription drugs but because it is the result of lifestyle it should be treated with lifestyle changes. Reactive hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is not the opposite of diabetes (high blood sugar). It is the same condition just an earlier phase. When one eats too many carbs, especially simple sugars and starches, glucose is digested and dumps in the blood quickly. The body responds by making insulin to carry glucose into the cells for energy. Any excess glucose is stored as glycogen and when the glycogen store is full, the glucose gets stored as fat in fat cells. There are a number of factors than can lead to diabetes. If a person has a genetic risk for diabetes they are likely to be carbohydrate intolerant to some degree. This means their cells may be resistant to the effects of insulin requiring more and more to be produ Continue reading >>

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