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Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics?
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Post: #1 Rolleyes Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 07:48 AM
(This post was last modified: 04-07-2012 12:12 PM by LindaSue.)


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I've seriously been considering doing some blood glucose testing just because I am obsessive and analytical like that. I follow a strict LC/HF diet and have done over 16 weeks of nothing higher than 20-25 grams of carbs a day with 2 planned cheat days (which only stalls me for 2-3 days) at 5-6 week intervals minimum. But it helps keep me motivated to stay clean on LC otherwise I add another week every small slip up I have (which hasn't happened yet). It works out well for me psychologically. Positively reinforcing myself haha! Glad to report while sedentary, almost all 25 pounds I lost is almost entirely fat and hardly any muscle. Plus I'm about to ramp up muscle mass via weight training do the 2ish pounds of muscle lost should come back on in no time.

Anyways, Ive been looking into a less accurate but less painful alternative to blood glucose testing. It would seem they are impractically expensive or some aren't on the market yet (let alone less accurate). I'm in this position where I want to know this info but don't NEED to know it like a diabetic. And I'm afraid of the pain I'd put myself through throughout the day just to prick my finger. I hear until you get used to it, it could feel like the instant of a bee sting. That sounds incredibly unpleasant.

So for those of you who test their blood sugar, is it really that bad? Are their tricks to doing it? And do any of you who are not required to test your levels due to diabetes/pre diabetes test anyways? Was/is it worth the pain/cost?
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Post: #2 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 11:06 AM


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I have two older brothers with Type II diabetes. I am deathly afraid of getting that disease so I stick with low carb with infrequent vacations. This past year I decided to invest in blood glucose testing equipment to see how I am doing at controlling my blood sugars. The equipment is relatively inexpensive (for medical equipment) and only took me one day to learn to use -- I tested myself after every meal the first day at one and two hours after each meal. It doesn't take long to get used to the tiny pin prick and find different places that will draw blood. Bernstein, in his books, shows different locations that are good for this purpose. He may even have them on his website. Anyway I tested myself daily for one week and found my blood glucose readings were pretty consistent. It was clumsy at first and my readings were strange but as I got more used to it, things evened out. Its cheaper than going to the doctor's office and gives instant information. Well worth the investment, time and pin pricks IMO.

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Post: #3 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 02:10 PM


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Don't bother. See a doc and get insulin checked. Manage that instead. Keep insulin low and you will be on track.

Checking glucose all the time is trying to micro manage something that isn't micro managed easily.
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Post: #4 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 09:46 PM


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I was only considered borderline diabetic and feel I have been helped a lot by glucose blood testing especially but only because I read Dr. Richard Bernstein's books.

It can be deceptive though. My brother who is a type II diabetic insists that if he drinks a sugary coke (not the diet rite kind), his blood sugar goes down. He is right it does, but his body takes a terrible hit because as a type II, his body shoots out way more insulin than a normal person to get his blood sugar down. I believe it was Barry Sears who said in one of his books that high insulin levels are just as harmful (maybe more so) than high sugar levels.

My brother is so stubborn and hard headed. Right now, he is only avoiding complex carbs because he says they make your blood sugar go up and stay up for a long time. He is right that complex carbs (starch) need to be avoided too, but I can't get him to realize that the insulin that makes his blood sugar go down rather quickly after eating pure sugar (cola) are hurting his body, especially his heart too. He is currently using pure sugar like a type I diabetic would inject insulin. If he keeps it up, his pancreas will quit on him and he'll end up insulin dependent if his heart doesn't give out first (he already has major heart problems).

Testing my blood sugars helped me overcome the warnings my doctor gave me about low carb though so if you want to prove to yourself that low fat/high carb is dangerous, self testing can help in that respect. It is what convinced me that low carb is not only not dangerous but extremely healthy. Just remember that just because eating something sugary makes your blood sugar go down quickly, that your body is being damaged by too much insulin even though the next reading looks good.

I will also say that testing my blood sugar makes me avoid cheat days or cheats period. Like Jimmy Moore, I think of sugar as rat poison because I have tested myself enough to know how I react to sugar and complex carbs. Everyone is going to have strawberry shortcake for desert tomorrow after the Easter Ham dinner except me. I'm having plain strawberries with some heavy cream.

Also remember that Dr. Bernstein also makes it clear that the blood sugars most doctors say are acceptable are really very damaging and encourages even type II diabetics to go for completely normal blood sugars.

If you do test your blood sugars though, I really encourage you to read Dr. Bernstein's books first.

If you feel confident that low the low carb diet is healthy though, it is probably unnecessary and I will say that I have developed callouses on the sides of my fingers.
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Post: #5 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 09:50 PM
(This post was last modified: 04-07-2012 09:50 PM by bboylayz.)


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Well, since the forum was down for a while I figured I'd go out on a limb and get a glucometer. I did my first test after fasting overnight and it came in at 66mg/dl. That seemed pretty low to me. I'm at a healthy weight by the way (still got fat to lose and muscle to put on, but healthy at 143lbs 5'6"). I don't get hungry and shakey when I haven't eaten in a while as I used to. So I don't THINK this is hypoglycemia.

So just to be sure I waited 10 minutes and ran the test again. It came in at 67mg/dl. And then I went to In n Out burger for my first meal of the day and got a protein/animal style 4x2 (for those of you unfamiliar with In n Out burger, animal style is fried mustard, grilled chopped onions, thousand island like sauce. And protein style is instead of a bun, they wrap the burger in lettuce. 4x2 means 4 meat patties, 2 cheese slices. I told them to hold the pickles and tomatoes. My estimate comes in at 10 grams carbohydrate). I ate this 700-800 cals 10 grams carbs and after 30 minutes I tested again. I came in at 75mg/dl. Then after an hour I tested again expecting to be at my peak. I came in at 71mg/dl.

I'm going to test again soon (after 1.5 hours). But these numbers seem low to me! I don't feel awful or anything. This is a typical day for me (eating this amount of carbs 2-3 times a day). Sometimes accidentally intermittently fasting (like today, I slept in and didn't eat til a few hours after I woke up) cause I don't get shaky or hungry.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I worked out intensely with P90X yesterday and my muscles are reaching for as much as possible to recover? I do feel incredibly sore from pushing my workout.

Is a lower than 70mg/dl base blood sugar level something to be worried about when low carbing? Or is ti normal to be lower than the average person on baseline?
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Post: #6 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 09:54 PM


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Oh and also, it isn't so much micromanaging as it is pure scientific curiosity. Like I said, I am incredibly analytical and obsessed with LC science/history/etc. Also, it doesn't hurt to test to see what kinds of foods I react to. I'm curious to see what things like the Cheesecake Factories "low carb cheesecake" does to me, since I know they use erithritol (not so bad) and I think I read a little bit of maltitol (bad). If I have a big spike, I know to only have that when I really really really can afford it and want to treat myself.
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Post: #7 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 09:59 PM


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Anything below 70 is considered low, but always test your finger a second time because your blood sugar may have dropped to 66 for just a second or two plus you could have gotten a bad strip. The fact that you didn't feel shaky too means you were probably okay.

You were smart to eat a protein meal instead of sugar though to get your blood sugar back up and you can see that it worked!

75 is a good reading.
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Post: #8 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 10:01 PM


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Be careful not to eat sugar to get high readings to drop. Exercise is the best way to get you blood sugar to drop. Sugar is your enemy.
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Post: #9 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 10:49 PM
(This post was last modified: 04-07-2012 11:39 PM by Texasgoldengirl.)


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When the levels get to around 60 you start to get symptoms and when they reach the 50 you start to get problems in brain function. Eventually when you start getting below the 50's it'll lead to seizures, coma, and death.

If your blood sugar gets down near the 50's, you may need to eat sugar or candy to get it back up quickly.
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Post: #10 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 10:50 PM


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So 65 is fine then although getting low? It seems that my baseline is somewhere around there...
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Post: #11 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 11:05 PM
(This post was last modified: 04-07-2012 11:08 PM by Texasgoldengirl.)


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If I were you, I would add more protein to my diet and try to get your blood sugar average little higher. Sugar may bring it up right away, but then cause an even worse drop later (crash) in which case you could end up with terrible blood sugar swings and maybe even dangerously low blood sugars. Maybe keep some nuts or protein snacks on hand for a pick me up.

Dr. Bernstein found that by lowering his carbs, he could prevent dangerous hypoglycemic episodes. Keep testing. If your blood sugars consistently run low even when you haven't finished working out strenuously, you might want to call your doctor.
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Post: #12 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 11:14 PM
(This post was last modified: 04-07-2012 11:15 PM by Texasgoldengirl.)


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I would also recommend that you do not skip breakfast or meals and add protein snacks throughout the day.
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Post: #13 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 11:31 PM
(This post was last modified: 04-07-2012 11:36 PM by Texasgoldengirl.)


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Just found this comment on another website about P90x:

P90x Workout will tell patients that they should do sports 1 hour after meal. Patients movement should avoid the error that they can do exercise when the blood sugar is low.

The best time to do exercise is 1 hour after dinner. 1 hour after dinner, the blood glucose value of this time generally increased faster. Because the digestion of food is running out, faster absorption of glucose, blood glucose levers increased rapidly. If you start exercising at this time, as the movement of energy consumption, enhance the catabolism of sugar, it would allow increased blood sugar down after meals to prevent blood sugar fluctuations.

P90x Workout warns that the patients should grasp the appropriate amount of exercise. When the patients do exercise, they should know that not the more the better, they should grasp the amount of exercise. Excessive movement, it not only may cause a low blood sugar reactions, it may also cause high blood sugar response. Because the large amount of exercise, when sympathetic activity caused by the body, it may cause blood sugar levels increase, and cause high blood glucose.

When doing P90x workout, you should pay attention to the ideal time for exercise. I have mentioned above that cold temperature will decrease human’s metabolism and increase the blood sugar. So, patients should invest longer time in workout than in summer. Adding 10 minutes is most suitable for them. According to the different body condition, people who are thin should train themselves for 30 minutes and persons who have some excess fat should spend 40 minutes on it in winter.

http://optifastprogram.com/weightloss/di...in-winter/
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Post: #14 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-07-2012 11:43 PM


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(04-07-2012 09:54 PM)bboylayz Wrote:  Oh and also, it isn't so much micromanaging as it is pure scientific curiosity. Like I said, I am incredibly analytical and obsessed with LC science/history/etc. Also, it doesn't hurt to test to see what kinds of foods I react to. I'm curious to see what things like the Cheesecake Factories "low carb cheesecake" does to me, since I know they use erithritol (not so bad) and I think I read a little bit of maltitol (bad). If I have a big spike, I know to only have that when I really really really can afford it and want to treat myself.

Nothing wrong with being curious. That's cool.

Just note that it's a version of precision vs accuracy, if you ever heard that one. It's precise because it gives you precise numbers. It's not accurate because what those numbers mean is still fuzzy!

What really matters is how much insulin is in the system at any given time. All glucose tells you is a number that the body is adjusting all the time.

In other words glucose can look good right up to a crash.
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Post: #15 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-08-2012 12:07 AM


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I use a glucometer all the time...powerful tool!

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Post: #16 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-08-2012 04:05 AM
(This post was last modified: 04-08-2012 04:06 AM by CampCook.)


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(04-07-2012 10:49 PM)Texasgoldengirl Wrote:  When the levels get to around 60 you start to get symptoms and when they reach the 50 you start to get problems in brain function. Eventually when you start getting below the 50's it'll lead to seizures, coma, and death.

If your blood sugar gets down near the 50's, you may need to eat sugar or candy to get it back up quickly.
HMMM, Not to be argumentative BUT I really don't have trouble with low glucose readings. True, I did in the past. When my typical morning fasting BG was running above 180 mg/dl, I would start to get shaky when readings got below 80. However, using low carb, I have been able to keep my usual fasting BG below 100 for a coupe of years. Now, I have seen BG read ins as low as 40 and frequently in the 50's with no noticeable symptoms. I suspect that I have become keto adapted and substitute ketones for glucose easily

Once again, I believe and my experience tells me, we are all our own anecdotes where our responses are very much dependent on our specific circumstances. We each need to do controlled experiments to see what we are individually all about. There is a high probability that what works for me may not work for you and vice versa.
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Post: #17 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-08-2012 08:36 AM


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One of the things Dr Bernstein mentions is that it isn't just the composition of a meal that triggers the blood-sugar/insulin reaction, it is the amount of food eaten as well. Large meals will trigger a glucose/insulin response whether or not there are a lot of carbs in the meal.

I found that an interesting bit of information.

Benay
My low-carb journey: http://www.beyondprose.com/index.php/how...-me-80178/
My view of the Paleo diet: http://www.livinghealthy360.com/index.ph...imes-5592/
Some measures: http://www.livinghealthy360.com/index.ph...ain-15439/
Suggestions on getting started:http://www.livinghealthy360.com/index.ph...iet-16074/
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Post: #18 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-08-2012 11:43 AM


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(04-08-2012 04:05 AM)CampCook Wrote:  
(04-07-2012 10:49 PM)Texasgoldengirl Wrote:  When the levels get to around 60 you start to get symptoms and when they reach the 50 you start to get problems in brain function. Eventually when you start getting below the 50's it'll lead to seizures, coma, and death.

If your blood sugar gets down near the 50's, you may need to eat sugar or candy to get it back up quickly.
HMMM, Not to be argumentative BUT I really don't have trouble with low glucose readings. True, I did in the past. When my typical morning fasting BG was running above 180 mg/dl, I would start to get shaky when readings got below 80. However, using low carb, I have been able to keep my usual fasting BG below 100 for a coupe of years. Now, I have seen BG read ins as low as 40 and frequently in the 50's with no noticeable symptoms. I suspect that I have become keto adapted and substitute ketones for glucose easily

Once again, I believe and my experience tells me, we are all our own anecdotes where our responses are very much dependent on our specific circumstances. We each need to do controlled experiments to see what we are individually all about. There is a high probability that what works for me may not work for you and vice versa.

Interesting. Another good reason to test our own blood sugars and learn about our individual responses.
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Post: #19 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-08-2012 08:56 PM


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Thanks for all the replies guys!

I kept testing and found some verrry interesting things. CampCook, I think you are right. My fasting glucose levels are much lower than "recommended" because I am very ketoadapted (I've been in ketosis for 3 months now with only 2 breaks at 5.5 week intervals for 1-2 days due to a cheat day). But I don't get hungry anymore and even when my BG is low, apparently my body regulates the amount of glucose it needs. No more no less. And it is around 65 because I run on ketones! Big Grin

I tested all day yesterday and food only raised my fasting level of 64ish to about 76 max. Woohoo! But then, I did P90X plyometrics about 2 hours after eating my last meal. I was down to my baseline of about 64 again before I started. I let it get to fasting because I wanted to test Dr. Phinney's statement on one of the JM podcast that exercising while keto adapted usually has the affect of making someone LESS hungry. Well I can tell you, after the workout, I felt... unusually energized and still satiated. And p90x plyometrics is one of the most intense workouts I've ever experienced in my life. It is VERY intense. Very HIIT like. I tested my blood glucose right after finishing working out. And guess what. My BG shot up to 110! Thats 5x more than food make my BG go up. Still under very safe levels though. At first I was nervous that I had a big insulin spike as well (I wish there was a way to test this at home). But this test proved that the body DOESN'T need oral glucose to fuel INTENSE athletic activity afterall. The body's response to growth hormone and adrenaline speed up the gluconeogenesis process, created more glucose for energy and more ketones at the same time (at least this is my speculation). Honestly, before low carbing when I did this workout, I couldn't make it through the entire thing. This time, I felt like I could go for a light jog when I finished. Yay for this lifestyle!

Anyways to ease my mind about possibly having an insulin spike due to exercise, I researched. And found this article (can't find the link I'll try and dig it up in a bit). It was saying that blood glucose may spike during intense exercise but counter intuitively, insulin levels drop. So it was this odd X shape on the graph with glucose going up and insulin going down. And it stated that insulin isn't required for glucose to be taken up into muscles, there are other means of doing that. Free fatty acids are released, gluconeogenesis is ramped up to fuel the workout, and a whole bunch of other stuff was happening.

Anyways, within 2 hours right before bed, my BG went down to 70. Not sure what this signifies Big Grin. Maybe I am becoming more insulin sensitive after all and it had no problem clearing my BG.


I woke up this morning to find I was at 61. I checked 2 hours after waking up on the way to Easter service and was at the same. I had a dry (light milk) cappuccino and 30 min later I was up at 79 (not sure if it was the caffeine, or the milk, or a combo that made it go so high - I am going to do a control test tomorrow with black coffee after fasting). An hour later I was back down to 61. These numbers are lower than yesterday. But again, I feel totally fine, no hypoglycemic symptoms. And trust me, I know what that feels like to "hit the wall" and feel like you are gonna pass out from hunger/shakiness in my pre LC days. As mentioned, I think my glucose requirements are very low now since I'm pretty ketoadapted.


Anyways, I'm cooking a nice prime ribeye roast with all that goody fattiness for Easter tonight.

Then I'll workout and report my weird glucose rise once again Big Grin.
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Post: #20 RE: Thoughts on/experience with blood glucose testing for non diabetics? , 04-08-2012 11:39 PM


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Home testing meters can be off by 10 to 15%, so your low blood glucose readings aren't necessarily pinpoint accurate. Some people calibrate their readings by getting a laboratory FBG and taking their FBG with their home meter at the same time. It may be that your meter reads a little low, if you're not having symptoms of low blood sugar.

If you have a pretty normal metabolism you just may not see much variation. Or you may have missed a peak or valley. It helps to eat something a little more carby than usual, and test every 15 minutes for a few hours to see if you can detect when you peak--some people peak quickly and some people have a delayed peak, or you may find that your BG's stay pretty even overall. If you know you tend to have an early or delayed peak, you can time your post prandial readings more accurately. If you only test 1 hour after starting a meal, you may miss the "excitement".

I'm insulin resistant, so I see higher FBG's sometimes (which paradoxically go DOWN once I eat something in the morning). Interestingly, last night I had a bit of a cheat, a sliver of flourless chocolate cake (it had plenty of sugar!) with some lightly sweetened whipped cream and berries, and my highest PP reading was 82. Of course, it was after a very fatty meal with moderate protein. When I cheat, I always make sure to have a good low carb meal FIRST, so that there is as little impact on my blood glucose as possible. And I'm much less inclined to crave and overeat if I'm already satisfied from my low carb meal.

And see, it really doesn't hurt that much! Sometimes I barely feel it, but even when I do, it's just for a second or two.
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