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Testing Blood Levels

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Snichy, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Snichy

    Snichy Type 2 · Member

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    Hi,

    I am newly diagnosed T2 and just started my new life on a low carb diet within the last week or so. Been taking 1 x 500g Metformin per day but GP says to up it to 3 x 500mg per day from this week. Prior to 2 weeks ago my diet was high fat, high sugar, sedentary lifestyle and basically overweight and unhealthy

    I've been reading with interest everything on this website and its been really helpful but I have a question or two about testing my blood levels. I've bought a blood testing monitor and have been regularly testing my blood whilst I get used to the types of food I can eat. Im quite a fussy eater (hate veg and fish!) but I think I have found a range of food that I like and low carb, and have resigned myself to the fact that before eating anything, I have to check the nutritional information on the packaging for low carbs before eating!!

    Now to my question: is the blood level result an exact science or is it just a rough guide? The reason I ask is because last night I tested my level just before my main evening meal (fresh chicken breast with mushrooms, onions and a bit of Chorizo and a sprinkling of Paprika, all low carb and reasonably LCHF healthy) and it was around 7, then I tested it again 2 hours later and it had jumped up to over 9 and I dont know why. Can anyone explain why this would be considering my meal was presumably low carb, low sugar? Are there other factors in why the level would jump up? Maybe it takes a while for my body to even out after 15 years of unhealthiness? I would hate to think that this meal, which will form the main part of the diet from now on, is something that I cannot tolerate.

    Also perhaps you could share with me your experiences in blood testing as a Type 2 - do I need to test my levels every day if I am confident that I am eating low carbs as this website quotes that testing regularly isn't required by Type 2's?

    Sorry for all the text, just wanted to give as much info as possible!
     
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  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Not sure where you got that from .. most of us test regularly certainly for the first 2 or 3 months until you get into the swing of low carbing especially to see your improving results.
    But hello and welcome to the site anyway..
    There could be a number of reasons for your 2-3 point spike but your meal sounds pretty good for low carb so don't fret yet.
    As you say you have been eating badly for ages your body's glucose stores are likely to be over brimming with sugar so by eating low carb and not putting more in you are allowing the body to get rid of some of those stores releasing them into your blood.. so... your sugars go up. You have intimated this yourself in your
    statement so you are having the right kind of thoughts. Well done.
    It may take a few weeks to get your sugars to reduce but keep on with the great start you have made.
    Blood sugar monitors are also not especially precise tools so it's not worth getting hung up on one specific reading its a lot more about monitoring (haha) trends.
    Anyway all the best and if you have any further questions (you will) just ask away.
     
  3. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    Bear in mind there are many things that can affect BG readings.
    Food is the obvious one: this is usually carbs but some people find with very low carb meals, the protein can cause a bit of a spike. For example, If I have a cheese omelette, I still get a small BG spike.
    Other things that can affect BG include exercise, illness, stress, drugs, weather, heat and time of day.
    Some of these we have more control of than others. Therefore, I look for trends rather than one offs - if I eat a meal that unexpectedly causes a spike, I try it again, when I may be less stressed or on a colder day or when I don't have the sniffles, and see if it has the same impact.
     
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  4. badcat

    badcat · Guest

    I would agree with what @bulkbiker has said but would also add that it might be worth checking how much onion is in the dish and whether it is red or white onion - 1 average red onion ( about 150g) has nearly 14g carbs
     
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    #4 badcat, Sep 26, 2017 at 11:11 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2017
  5. Dragon63

    Dragon63 Type 2 · Newbie

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    Hi, i am a newbie, i was diagnosed T2 back in December 2016, they have me on Linagliptine atm but my sugar is still high. A recent bt came back at 93. I have no idea if this is too high, boarderline, or OMG YOUR GONNA DROP DEAD high. Even doin the prick your finger test at home its not been below 10.9 and thats fasting. Can someone plz tell me what I'm doin wrong ☹️
     
  6. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Snichy and Hi Dragon63, welcome to the forum.

    As already mentioned, not sure where you read that, it's not the way most forum members do things, it's much better to get into a routine so that any surprises are when it happens and not after waiting 3 or 6 or 12 months for an HbA1c.

    Assuming that's mg/dL please see below:

    normal-blood-sugar-levels-chart-adults.jpg

    Doesn't look like you're doing anything wrong. You might like to look at diabetes.co.uk pages on normal BG levels, they'll be close to WebMD above, but will have more info.
     
  7. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I tested myself in the early days just before eating and then two hours later. By sticking to low carb foods - I found that even a small amount of high carb foods put me back a couple of days progress, I saw my levels drop down to about 8 after meals. As I was eating the same sort of thing for my first meal and seeing under 8 then I stopped testing for that, and just went through all the various meals I was likely to eat for dinner.
    As time went by my levels dropped, even though I was actually eating a bit more. Now I only test if I eat something new. My tests show normal levels, so I am not all that concerned about the future.
     
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  8. Snichy

    Snichy Type 2 · Member

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    Yes I seem to have spikes when Im naughty and have something that is high in carbs - as you can see I spike when I had a bit of Spaghetti and again when I had some sausages (processed meat) so I guess in a way its working as I know to avoid these food, but I was just baffled as to why it increased after eating low carb meal but like @helensaramay said there may be other factors :

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Rats!!! I just discovered red onions in my new quest for tasty vegetable dishes (in my life before A1c I despised vegetables) and now I find I might just as well eat apples. Oh well, thanks anyway.
     
  10. Salvia

    Salvia Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Snichy, and welcome to the forum. Seems to me you've got a good handle on this lchf malarky, and in a very short time too. Great achievements so far.

    Reading through the passage above, it occurred to me that you might not have kept a record of your numbers, because you mention "around 7" and then "over 9", without saying exactly what the numbers were. The general concensus that I learnt from this site, is that a rise in bg levels of under 2 mmol/l is ok, preferably less than 1.5 mmol/l rise. So, if your "around 7" was in fact 7.4 (say), and your "over 9" was (say) 9.2 - you would be just about under the less than 2 mmol/l rise (actual 1.8 mmol/l in this example). Couple that with your body still adjusting from the years of poor diet, and that might explain the apparently high rise from what was a low carb meal.

    If you are keeping records - then ignore the rest of this :)
    To help you get better control of your bg numbers, and to check back over which foods are ok for you and which are not, you might find it useful to keep a food and testing diary, either on paper or using a computer spreadsheet, or you could use one of many apps that you'll find on line. Couple that spring to mind are MyFitnessPal and Mysugr. (Dr Google may help find one to suit). The basic tests that many follow are: immediately on waking, before eating, 2 hrs from first bite of food, and before bed (up to a total of 8 for the day). It's not necessary to do all of those tests - you choose what suits you. After a bit, you may only need to keep records occasionally, just to make sure you're still on track.

    :)
     
  11. robertconroy

    robertconroy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's not counting carbs. No two food carbs effect your blood sugar the same. That's why we have glycemic load. The foods that spike blood sugar, even more than pure sugar are: #1 grains, #2 potato, #3 dried fruits, #4 all types of sugars. We all need to learn the the glycemic loads of foods.
     
  12. Snichy

    Snichy Type 2 · Member

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    Yes those particular types of food I am trying to avoid altogether - no more cereals, potatoes, fruit etc (although I may have a bowl of fruit and fibre every now and then to get some fibre!)

    Thats good information, thanks. Yes I am keeping precise records with MySugr app (see above). Ive learned that when I test first thing in the morning before breakfast (not having eaten anything since 8-9pm the night before) my levels are quite high, e.g. it was 11 this morning for no apprent reason. I read somewhere though that during the night liver produces more glucose to make up for the fasting so that coupled with me only being 2 weeks in may be distorting the level somewhat.
     
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  13. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    What test was this? was it an HbA1c? If so then it is high. It needs to be under 48. If not, please tell us what it was. Are you following a suitable eating plan and testing before eating and again 2 hours after first bite in order to see what your food choices are doing to your levels? Any rise from before to after should be less than 2mmol/l . More than that there were too many carbs in the meal.
     
  14. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If fibre is a problem, look into Vit C powder, Holland & Barret do tubs of the stuff. A very effective replacement for fibre, just have to be careful not to OD on the stuff, if you know what I mean.
     
  15. jenbokay256

    jenbokay256 Type 2 · Newbie

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    Hi Snichy.... on a low carb diet, it will take some time to see your blood sugar going down and an improvement in insulin sensitivity - I have never taken medication which I don't believe in. I have successfully lowered my bloods down to between 4.7 and 5.2 (fasting) but I keep a food diary, counting carbs. I try to keep my carbs under 30g per day and it's very easy to experience "carb creep" - those hidden carbs that you haven't counted. May I suggest that you look at work by Prof Sarah Hallberg and associated with her research on reversing T2 with a ketogenic diet, there is an amazing site called Diet Doctor where you can get a really good idea of nett carb numbers (excluding dietary fibres). Dr Jason Fung has written a great book called "Obesity Code" - it's really worth reading. There is also Dr David Perlmutter, Dr David Ludwig, Dr Mark Hyman who are all opinion leaders in this research. A lot of the work is related to brain function - dementia is now called T3 diabetes because the brain becomes "insulin resistant" as well. It's very complex and the reason why pharma have failed to find "the silver bullet" is because it's mult-faceted.
     
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  16. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    If you like sausages try the 97% meat ones like Black Farmers and Heck. Sainsbury's and Tesco also do their own 97% ones.
     
  17. slinkimalinki

    slinkimalinki Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Mushrooms could be the problem, they do spike some people (me included). Try them again another day, test, and see if you get a similar result.
     
  18. Kentoldlady1

    Kentoldlady1 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Not mushrooms!!! I think I will live on dust.
     
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  19. Element137

    Element137 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum - reference testing, you will see from the different comments above that we are all different in response to foods, you have made a massive step in the right direction with using a meter, this along with a food diary and logged results will allow you to see what spikes you, and allow you via elimination to find foods that allow you to reduce your BG level. Couple of pointers, don't get too hung up on individual results, this is a long game, single point test anxiety will drive you mad-for me I focus on longer term results. I only test three times per day - fasted in the morning - once before my main meal of the day ( 6.00PM ish) and two hours after - I try not to repeat food/meals that cause me to rise more than 2 full points - however - there are many variables at play that sometimes throw up odd results - retest-or move on. For some perspective, your morning levels typically are the last to show reduction, so hang in there - I am just over a year on from diagnosis - my fasted level is average 6.0, pre -meal average 5.5 and post meal average 5.7 - most recent Hba1c has risen slightly, but only to 38. Over a year period I have taken my meter reading average, added 15% to it - and that has always been spot on to my Hba1c actual. Your meter is the best tool you have in this battle.
     
  20. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Why is Vit C a substitute for fibre?
     
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