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Low Carb Blood Sugar Spikes

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 >>

Slow Carbs, Not Low Carbs: The Truth About Low-carb Diets

Slow Carbs, Not Low Carbs: The Truth About Low-carb Diets

The low-carb frenzy hit its zenith in the early 2000’s and has since ebbed and flowed in popularity. I’ve seen patients get impressive results doing very low-carb diets, but eventually many become burned out and regain the weight as the novelty of eating bacon and other formerly forbidden foods becomes monotonous. Traditional thinking suggests carbohydrates are bad for you. I have something surprising to say that might go against everything you’ve heard: Carbs are the single most important thing you can eat for health and weight loss. In fact, I often say my plan is a high-carb diet. But wait, you say, don’t carbs contribute to insulin resistance, heart disease, and other health concerns? Some do, but the truth is more complicated. You see, “carbohydrates” encompasses a huge category. A hot fudge sundae and cauliflower both fall into the “carbs” category, yet they are entirely different foods. In fact, almost all plant foods fall into the carbs category. These are what I refer to as slow carbs, which are low-glycemic and don’t spike your blood sugar or insulin. These slow carbs come loaded with nutrients, fiber, and amazing molecules called phytochemicals. When you eat a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables teeming with phytonutrients — carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols – they help improve nearly all health problems, including dementia, diabesity, and aging. Ideally, about 75% of your carb intake should come from non-starchy veggies plus low-glycemic fruits. By volume, most of your plate should be carbs. Note I said volume, not calories. Many plant-based carbs actually have very few calories. Why All Carbs Are Not Created Equally Carbs are necessary for long-term health and brain function. But not the doughnuts, breads, bagels, and swee Continue reading >>

Why Low-carb Diets Aren’t The Answer

Why Low-carb Diets Aren’t The Answer

What raises blood sugar? The simple answer is carbohydrates. So why not just yank them out of your diet like weeds in your garden? Why not quash blood sugar by swearing off bread, pasta, rice, and cereal? Been there, done that. The low-carb craze is on the downswing, and that’s a good thing because over the long haul, very low carb diets simply aren’t good for you, as you’ll discover in this chapter. That doesn’t mean it’s not smart to cut back on carbs—but don’t go crazy. When low-carb diets first became popular, they seemed to be a breath of fresh air after the low-fat (and high-carb) diets that preceded them. Remember low-fat cookies, lowfat snack cakes, and low-fat everything else? With low-carb diets, suddenly people could load up on bacon and still lose weight as long as they were willing to eat hamburgers without buns and pretty much give up sandwiches and spaghetti. People were amazed at how effective these diets could be. Weight loss could happen very quickly, sometimes within days. And amazingly, it often seemed to come with added health benefits, including lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides (blood fats linked to heart attacks.) The most extreme kind of low-carb diet was pioneered by the late Robert Atkins, M.D., whose first book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, came out in 1972. It promised quick and long-lasting weight loss and prevention of chronic disease, all while allowing high-fat steak and ice cream. Since then, other, more moderate low-carb diets have allowed small amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods, but they still cut out most grains as well as starchy vegetables and even fruit. The Downsides of These Diets The Atkins diet and the many other low-carb diets that followed in its footsteps have turned out to be less effect Continue reading >>

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage. As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall. When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar. This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar. Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops. Glycemic index In the past, carbohydrates were commonly classified as being either “simple” or “complex,” and described as follows: Simple carbohydrates: These carbohydrates are composed of sugars (such as fructose and glucose) which have simple chemical structures composed of only one sugar (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides). Simple carbohydrates are easily and quickly utilized for energy by the body because of their simple chemical structure, often leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from the pancreas – which can have negative health effects. Complex carbohydrates: These carbohydrates have mo Continue reading >>

Low Carb Vs. High Carb Ii – My Diabetes Diet Battle Continued

Low Carb Vs. High Carb Ii – My Diabetes Diet Battle Continued

Tripling my carbs --> 5 fewer hours in-range per day, 64% more insulin (!), & more lessons learned. I’ve discovered a therapy that: Keeps my blood sugar in range ~75-95% of the time with a low risk of hypoglycemia; Uses ~30-65% less insulin; Cuts my odds of taking the wrong dose of insulin and experiencing severe hypoglycemia; Requires less time spent on diabetes tasks; Eliminates lots of diabetes anxiety, frustration, and feelings of failure; Keeps my blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight in a healthy range; Counters what I was told at diagnosis, what the average diabetes diet looks like, and what the food environment encourages me to eat. And it’s only three words: eat fewer carbohydrates. I’ve been doing this for about six years now, and my Low Carb vs. High Carb article last fall showed some of these takeaways in a 24-day self-tracking experiment. Doubling my carb intake led to the same average blood sugar, but four times as much hypoglycemia, 34% more insulin, and a lot more diabetes work and feelings of failure. Since then, I’ve been dying to repeat the same experiment, but with two key tweaks: (i) eating even lower carb (to get more separation between the two phases); and (ii) dosing insulin slightly less aggressively during the high-carb phase (to cut the hypoglycemia). This article documents what happened after I tripled my carb intake, comparing six days of ~106 grams per day (“low carb”) to six days of ~331 g per day (“high carb”), or 15% vs. 50% of my daily calories from carbohydrate. For comparison, last fall I roughly doubled my daily carbs: 12 days of 146 g per day vs. 12 days of 313 g per day (21% vs. 43% of daily calories). The topline results were similar to version one, but even more in favor of low carb this time: On low carb, I spe Continue reading >>

12 Simple Tips To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

12 Simple Tips To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

Blood sugar spikes occur when your blood sugar rises and then falls sharply after you eat. In the short term, they can cause lethargy and hunger. Over time, your body may not be able to lower blood sugar effectively, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a rising health problem. In fact, 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 25% of them don't even know they have it (1). Blood sugar spikes can also cause your blood vessels to harden and narrow, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This article looks at 12 simple things you can do to prevent blood sugar spikes. Carbohydrates (carbs) are what cause blood sugar to rise. When you eat carbs, they are broken down into simple sugars. Those sugars then enter the bloodstream. As your blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which prompts your cells to absorb sugar from the blood. This causes your blood sugar levels to drop. Many studies have shown that consuming a low-carb diet can help prevent blood sugar spikes (2, 3, 4, 5). Low-carb diets also have the added benefit of aiding weight loss, which can also reduce blood sugar spikes (6, 7, 8, 9). There are lots of ways to reduce your carb intake, including counting carbs. Here's a guide on how to do it. A low-carb diet can help prevent blood sugar spikes and aid weight loss. Counting carbs can also help. Refined carbs, otherwise known as processed carbs, are sugars or refined grains. Some common sources of refined carbs are table sugar, white bread, white rice, soda, candy, breakfast cereals and desserts. Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Refined carbs are said to have a high glycemic index because they are very easily and quickly digested by the body. This leads to blood sugar 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 >>

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 >>

Top 3 Diabetes Myths, Busted: Fruit, Starchy Vegetables, And Blood Glucose

Top 3 Diabetes Myths, Busted: Fruit, Starchy Vegetables, And Blood Glucose

Almost 10 percent of Americans have diabetes and that number is growing. Unfortunately, the myths surrounding diabetes are as widespread as the disorder itself. Here we debunk the most common diabetes myths. For the past 50 years, people diagnosed with all forms of diabetes have been advised to eat low-carb diets high in fat and protein, and to avoid eating high-carbohydrate foods like fruits, potatoes, squash, corn, beans, lentils, and whole grains. Despite this popular opinion, more than 85 years of scientific research clearly demonstrates that a low-fat, plant-based whole foods diet is the single most effective dietary approach for managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This means that a low-fat diet—not a low-carb diet—has been shown across the board to minimize oral medication and insulin use, stabilize blood glucose, and dramatically reduce long-term disease risk in people with diabetes. Myth #1: You Develop Type 2 Diabetes From Eating Too Much Sugar Eating sweets is not a direct cause of type 2 diabetes. People develop type 2 diabetes over time by slowly developing a resistance to insulin, the hormone that escorts glucose out of your blood and into tissues like your muscle and liver. I like to think of type 2 diabetes as a very advanced form of insulin resistance in which glucose remains trapped in your blood because your body cannot use insulin properly. In this way, elevated blood glucose is a symptom of diabetes, and NOT the root cause. The real cause of insulin resistance is dietary fat. We discussed it at length in this article. People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are told to eat foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat and protein simply because they don’t create an immediate need for insulin. But in the hours and days after a meal hi Continue reading >>

Using Low Carb Diet And Sugar Is Still High, How Do I Get It Lower?

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 >>

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 >>

Why Do My Blood Sugars Rise After A High Protein Meal?

Why Do My Blood Sugars Rise After A High Protein Meal?

Complex issues often require more detail than you can pack into a Facebook post. One such area of confusion and controversy is gluconeogenesis and the impact of protein on blood sugar and ketosis. Some common questions that I see floating around the interwebs include: If you are managing diabetes, should you avoid protein because it can convert to glucose and “kick you out of ketosis”? If you’ve dropped the carbs and protein to manage your blood sugars, should you eat “fat to satiety” or continue to add more fats until you achieve “optimal ketosis” (i.e. blood ketone levels between 1.5 and 3.0mmol/L)? Then, if adding fat doesn’t get you into the “optimal ketosis zone”, do you need exogenous ketones to get your ketones up so you can start to lose weight? This article explores: the reason that some people may see an increase in their blood sugars and a decrease in their ketones after a high protein meal, what it means for their health, and what they can do to optimise the metabolic health. You’re probably aware that protein can be converted to glucose via a process in the body called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the process of converting another substrate (e.g. protein or fat[1]) to glucose. Gluco = glucose Neo = new Genesis = creation Gluconeogenesis = new glucose creation As shown in the table below, all but two of the amino acids (i.e. the building blocks of protein) can be converted to glucose. Five others can be converted to either glucose or ketones depending on the body’s requirements at the time. Once your body has used up the protein, it needs to build and repair muscle and make neurotransmitters, etc. any “excess protein” can be used to refill the small protein stores in the blood stream and replenish glycogen stores in the liv Continue reading >>

10 Foods That Lower Blood Sugars In Diabetics

10 Foods That Lower Blood Sugars In Diabetics

While a low carb diet appears to be useful on the whole, there are also many foods shown to help. Either by lowering blood sugars and/or improving insulin sensitivity. This articles looks at 10 of the best foods and supplements for lowering blood sugars, based on current research. Just know they should never be used in place of your diabetes medication, but rather alongside. 1. Resistant Starch Lowers Sugars After Meals Starches are long chains of glucose (sugar) found in oats, grains, bananas, potatoes and various other foods. Some varieties pass through digestion unchanged and are not absorbed as sugar into the blood. These are known as resistant starch. Many studies show resistant starch can greatly improve insulin sensitivity. That is, how well the body can move sugar out of the blood and into cells for energy. This is why it’s so useful for lowering blood sugar levels after meals (1, 2). The effect is so great that having resistant starch at lunch will reduce blood sugar spikes at dinner, known as the “second meal effect” (3). Problem is many foods high in resistant starch, such as potatoes, are also high in digestible carbs that can spike blood sugar. Therefore resistant starch in supplement form – without the extra carbs – is recommended. Summary: Supplemental resistant starch is a fantastic option for those struggling to control sugars or have hit a plateau. 2. Ceylon Cinnamon Several cinnamon compounds appear to prevent the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, minimising blood sugar spikes. It may also dramatically improve insulin sensitivity (4, 5). In a recent clinical trial, 25 poorly-controlled type 2 diabetics received either 1 gram per day of cinnamon or placebo (dummy supplement) for 12 weeks. Fasting blood sugar levels in the cinnamon gro Continue reading >>

Low Carb Vs. High Carb - My Surprising 24-day Diabetes Diet Battle

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 >>

Low Carb Diet And High Bg Spikes After Lunch On Low Carb Vegetables

Low Carb Diet And High Bg Spikes After Lunch On Low Carb Vegetables

Low carb diet and high BG spikes after lunch on low carb vegetables Low carb diet and high BG spikes after lunch on low carb vegetables I've been sticking to a low carb diet for about two weeks now. I've also been diligently titrating up my insulin dosage and figuring out my IC ratio, figuring out how much insulin to have before a meal, etc. Gradually my sugars are coming down, but I really have a problem with lunches spiking my blood sugar up into the 200s, and what I really can't figure out is why they are going up so high. For lunch I have some sort of protein and a cup or so of low carb vegetables, and a small salad. I am not eating more than 30 carbs a day, most days it's around 25. I have a good nutritional ketosis going on, so I feel this indicates I am not eating too many carbs... basically I am sticking with the Atkins Induction Phase as a diet. Today was particularly frustrating. My AM glucose was 124, one of the lowest I've had (hurrah). Bedtime last night was 104, and at 3:00 a.m. it was 91. So I thought I was doing pretty good and on the right track, and I thought today of all days I should have a postprandial glucose that was in the normal range. I had figured my IC ratio was about 1:7 (I am very insulin resistant). I aim for the carbs at lunch with veg & salad to be not more than 20 carbs. Lunch is the meal have the most carbs at any one time. I had originally figured that for me 1 unit of Novolog would drop my BG by 27 points, but this does not seem to be the case, it seems like it's maybe dropping it 20 points, if that. So, I thought I would try 4 units to cover my lunch today, which was grilled salmon and zucchini, about 5 carbs. I was dismayed to find my 2-hour postprandial glucose to be 204. Even if I underestimated the zuccinhi and it was 10 carbs, Continue reading >>

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