1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

High Blood Sugars Despite No Carbs

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Andriana.P, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Andriana.P

    Andriana.P Type 1 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    I have been a type 1 diabetic for 9 years now. I have always had a semi-good control with this past year having had my Hba1c in the 50s. However as I finished uni (end of May) and went to find a job which I am due to start in a week my blood sugar has gone out of control. I stopped eating any carbs whatsoever however my blood sugar still remains above 10 regardless of the amount of correction doses I give. I know I am not eating any carbs as I have studied nutrition, I have done a DAFNE course (following which I initially had brilliant BMs). I know I have become less active recently but the spike in blood glucose levels came later and now even exercise doesnt seem to help.

    I don't know if it is stress with moving to a new city and starting a new job or what it is but I can't seem to get my blood sugars in the single digits at all. As a result of the constant loading with insulin despite not eating carbs I have also put on weight. It has all become a viscous where I give more insulin which leads to putting on weight and needing even more insulin. And worse thing is how depressing it all is. Checking my blood sugars and despite all my efforts them showing up as 15mmol/L sometimes even higher. Having people close to me keep saying how they can see me putting on weight and need to lose it.

    My question is - has anyone else been in a similar situation where things just don't work out rationally at all, where despite all the insulin and carbs restriction their bloods sugars spike? And what did you end up doing, how did you get you BMs under control? Getting desperate over here...
     
    • Hug Hug x 5
  2. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,835
    Likes Received:
    7,025
    Trophy Points:
    298
    How about your basal insulin?
     
  3. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,367
    Likes Received:
    2,241
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Yes, if your basal is wrong then it's very hard to get anything else right. Also, if you have an illness then that can put your blood sugars up. Have you tried seeing your GP or diabetic specialist?
     
  4. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,219
    Likes Received:
    7,629
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hello and welcome, tagging @daisy1 for the welcome blurb :)

    My initial thought is your basal - could that be too low? If you tell us a little about your insulin regime we may be able to help,you get to the bottom of it. As you know, stress raises BG levels, which won’t be helping any. By no carbs at all, are you just eating meat?
     
  5. Shirley N.

    Shirley N. Prediabetes · Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    You say you are not eating any carbs. whatsoever. What, no vegetables at all!

    I find that I cannot
    estimate my intake at all. If I stop weighing to the nearest gram and then calculating the carb. content of what I am eating, my blood sugars rise rapidly and can stay up for many hours. My estimates get, I'm afraid, further from reality by the day! But if I weigh my food carefully, and then keep the carb. content of each meal at around 20 g, my blood sugars fluctuate between 5 and 8 mmol/l quite happily over long periods, without any medication.

    The problem is certainly made worse by my varifocal lenses. Every time my prescription is changed, the size of the image of any object in front of me grows subtly. But, probably due to my age, 69, I cannot relearn and remember what size image corresponds to what weight. Meat, fish, cheese etc. have to be ordered strictly by weight otherwise me and my husband might get either tiny or huge portions! Tiny portions now look huge to me, so I over-compensated before I insisted on buying a definite weight. Also shop assistants, I find, vary considerably in their ability to make such judgments, even though they are doing it all day long.
     
  6. Andriana.P

    Andriana.P Type 1 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Thanks for everyone's input! I have never used this forum but it helps to just be bale to ask other people with diabetes!

    I tried increasing the basal - I am on Levimir twice a day and Novorapid with meals. I eat vegetables but at the moment I am giving way more insulin then theoretically I should - even stopped tomatoes now to see if they rise. I am genuinely mainly eating green vegetables like cucumbers, olives and meat and I am definitely getting bored now...

    Funny thing is I tried lowering my basal over night back to 11 unites yesterday (had raised both night and day ones to 13U each) and today my BMs in the morning were 5.1 for the first time in months....Maybe I am overdoing the insulin right now which somehow leads to high BMs?
     
  7. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

    Messages:
    26,457
    Likes Received:
    4,879
    Trophy Points:
    248
    @Adriana.P

    Hello Adriana and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask as many questions as you want and someone will help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEW MEMBERS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 235,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:
    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.
    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. Most of these are free.

    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why

    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
  8. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,219
    Likes Received:
    7,629
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Have you done basal rate testing? It’s a PITA, but once you’ve got the doses and timing right, especially with a peaky insulin like Levemir, you’ll have a solid foundation to base your Novorapid doses on. This page gives a great guide on how to do it, it deals with both pumps and injection regimes: https://mysugr.com/basal-rate-testing/

    Some people are finding that Levemir works better with a three-way split, but you’d need to do a fair bit of basal rate testing to work that one out. It doesn’t last nearly as long in the body as the manufacturers claim - some folk are saying it lasts just 8 hours for them. We’re all different, of course. It may be worth considering a really long acting insulin like Tresiba, or maybe a pump?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,367
    Likes Received:
    2,241
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Could you be sleeping through night time hypos accompanied by sugar dumps from your liver?
     
  10. scotteric

    scotteric Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Are you bolusing for protein? Even if you're not eating carbs, you still need insulin with just about every meal. Your body will convert protein to glucose over an extended period of time. NovoRapid is generally not a good insulin for this, as it will start working, peak and leave your system before protein to glucose conversion has started and finished. You're better off using small amounts of Actrapid/Regular if you are not eating carbs, which takes 30 min to an hour to start working, peaks at 2-3 hours and lasts for 6-8 hours.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Hoping4Cure

    Hoping4Cure Type 1 · BANNED

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    114
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Write down exactly what you eat every day, for a week, and then come back here and post it, and we'll tell you why your sugars are high.

    Stress does raise sugars but not constantly, it comes and goes. I suspect, despite not eating carbs, you're ingesting sugar present in whatever food you're eating. Even salad dressing is loaded with sugar these days. Do you drink? That's my primary source of carbs. Try to keep at around 35g of healthy carbs per day. Your body can also produce sugar from excess protein, via gluconeogenesis, if you aren't eating any carbs.

    It's actually not good to eat zero carbs, just eat healthy green carbs with lots of fibre, green stuff basically. I bet any money it's your diet the culprit and unless you are making all your food yourself, you're likely getting excess calories from somewhere.
     
  12. Khushi Nagpal

    Khushi Nagpal Type 1 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Could be a temporary case of insulin resistance that has slightly built up?
     
  13. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,826
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I think a lot of replies on here are missing the point. All food pushes up BGs to some extent. There's two processes here:
    1. Just the action of eating will stimulate your liver to produce glucose in anticipation of the upcoming meal. Ever been starving hungry, eaten and within a few mins feel ok, despite the food not being digested yet? This is what's going on. It's called The Chinese Restaurant Effect (have a google). This effect, can be quite small however, around 1-2 mmol/l.
    2. In the absence of carbs, your body will convert protein and fat via a process called glucneogenesis, to glucose. Lots of us on here low carb (I'm on <30g per day) and need to inject for protein. In the absence of carbs, around 10-20% of protein will get converted.

    I agree, however, that basal is the foundation, without getting that correct, carb:insulin ratios will be wrong; as indeed will everything else. From Gary Scheiner's Think Like a Pancreas book, don't eat or inject at least 3 hours before bed (ideally 5), then for every 1.6 mmol/l change in before-bed and before-brekfast BGs, adjust your basal by 10%.
     
  14. wiserkurtious

    wiserkurtious Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    368
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    103
    if your not eating carbs then you will need to bolus for protein,if your eating alot of protein through the day that will keep you levels high for sure.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook