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Coffee and Spikes

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Auckland Canary, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Auckland Canary

    Auckland Canary Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if anyone else has experiences of coffee making their blood sugar spike? I am not really a coffee drinker (prefer tea) but after my last trip to NZ at Christmas I often found myself in some of the numerous and excellent coffee shops and drinking a lot more coffee than I normally do. I ummed and ahhed a bit but decided to get a Nespresso machine when I got back. I was careful not to get too into coffee as I think that it is addictive and don’t think caffeine is the best thing for anyone. So normally I just have 1 coffee a day when I get home from work with some frothy milk which frankly is pretty tasty. However I have started to notice that my blood seems to be spiking in the evenings now and also during the night. Normally I regard anything over a 7 as high but have regularly now started getting 10’s and 12’s before bed and during the night.
    Now I haven’t changed anything I normally do but I have noticed that when I was in NZ my levels and insulin requirements went up substantially (I am on a pump) which I put down to the fact I wasn’t cycling 20 miles every day which I do here and just the change in routine and it being Christmas and eating out etc. However strangely my basal levels have remained high since I have come back particularly in the evening. Before going to NZ I was on about 0.7 units an hour in the evening but now I am over 1 unit despite having the same routine as before I went. I am even bolusing 2 units for the coffee now which seems a bit extreme but I am not getting the levels down. So I am wondering if just one cup of coffee can have this effect on people? My levels during the day are pretty much spot on with similar basal rates I had last year.
    I spoke to a friend of a friend last year who is T1 and she said that she had to bolus for coffee but only if she drank it in the morning not in the evening so does the caffeine have an effect on sugar levels?
     
  2. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I dont see any significant change with coffee....

    it sounds to me that you just need to do basal testing in the evening.....

    its quite normal for our basal needs to change with weight, weather, age, etc.....and as you say, the lack of activity over Christmas.....

    everyone is different and some may see an effect from coffee, might be worth omitting it for a while and seeing what happens....
     
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  3. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    I have been noticing recently that I do see an increase in blood glucose from coffee after having a period where I wasn't drinking any. I hadn't had it when I was drinking bulletproof coffee, so I suspect the fat had an effect too, but with a filter coffee with cream, there is definitely a raise that I can't account for any other way. I think it's because caffeine stimulates cortisol, which in turn triggers a glucagon release, lifting up blood glucose. Depending on the amount of milk you are having that may also have an effect.

    Paper on Caffeine and Cortisol: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2257922/
     
  4. Wurst

    Wurst Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I can't handle coffee and haven't had a cup in 4 years. Never tried it in the evening though, if I did I'd probably be awake all night!
    I drink decaffeinated tea in the mornings and green tea in afternoon. (Green tea has some caffeine but it doesn't impact my BS)
     
  5. LucySW

    LucySW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It wouldn't have that big an effect though. Hmmm - something else at work as well.
     
  6. zoze_j

    zoze_j Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yep! Same here.

    Every morning I was getting a latte from greggs, and couldn't understand why I was getting spikes, even though I was doing the correct dose for my breakfast.

    Turns out there's 16g of carbs in a greggs latte! I was really surprised! Anyway, since I started counting that, mine have been way better :)
     
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  7. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    I found it was the milk content in coffee that caused my spikes, once i'd bolused correctly for the milk it was ok ;)
     
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  8. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    I find my BG rises when I've had milk. Even the small amount that I used to have in a cup of tea would do it and a latte really spikes me. :( So it could be your frothy milk that's causing you problem.
     
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  9. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    Snap!!
     
  10. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    I'll have to do some proper tests to see the coffee effect. I'm fairly sure it raises me about 1.5-2.5 mmol/l over about an hour.
     
  11. Auckland Canary

    Auckland Canary Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies everyone. I may have to start doing a bit of experimentation and see what happens. I'll maybe do a basal check tonight and then start reducing milk or even not frothing it. I do feel as if I have the start of a cold coming on but that would probably affect my levels all day not just in the evenings. The coffee is the only thing that is different from before Christmas.
    It is still a mystery as to why my basal rates have gone so high though during this time. I love being diabetic sometimes. It's like being Miss Marple trying to figure it out sometimes.
     
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  12. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    In the interests of science, I am taking my lovely flat line and attempting to disrupt it with coffee and cream. There are fewer than 2g of carbs in the drink and its >2 hrs since I ate so let's see what happens in about an hour.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. LucySW

    LucySW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  14. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Here's my not very conclusive hour later follow up. The graph has definitely taken a clear uptick after drinking the coffee, but there's no way I'd call it a spike. I'll report back in a little while!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Last one of these. In this wholly unscientific experiment, coffee definitely seems to have caused a rise, but I certainly wouldn't call it a spike. More a shallow ramp.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Bakerjass

    Bakerjass Type 1 · Active Member

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  17. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    I get about the same reaction to coffee that @tim2000s does.
    Either using a Costa black coffeencream, a nespresso lungoncream or a dolcegustograndencream
    Doesn't seem to make any difference whether it is caff or decaff.

    And yes, I tend to use different words than 'spike' when describing the resulting tiny hummock.

    I would be FAR more suspicious of the milk (not that frothing makes the slightest difference!)
    That is why I switched to using cream
     
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  18. Minigman_

    Minigman_ Type 1 · Member

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    Coffee is a stimulant which causes adrenalin levels to increase, a bit like stress. This effectively cancels out insulin. I recently started the low GL diet by Patrick Holford which explains this. I didn't really believe it but now I've given it up I found it played a big part in high BG levels.
     
  19. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    It stimulates cortisol, which causes an adrenal response. This leads to a glucagon release which causes raised bg levels.
     
  20. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    A basal test would confirm if its the coffee or not, if you still want milk just use a lower carb one like the lacto-free milk, it has around half the carbs of standard milk.

    A word to the wise about some hot drink dispensing machines, some use whitening which contains a high levels of glucose.
     
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