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Sun, Sep-23-01, 23:29
I got my numbers last month when I went to the doc and since I had gotten a little lax during the summer months, my numbers sent me a warning I couldn’t ignore. She wanted me to repeat them after a month so, I was "good" last month. Strict low-carb. The day before giving my blood, I ate practically no carbs and I fasted 16 hours instead of the required 12:
Here's the breakdown:
Total Cholesterol: Before: 245 H (ideal range: <239)
                           After: 220 (ideal range: <239)

HDL:                   Before: 36 (ideal range: >35)
                          After: 34 L (ideal range: >35)

LDL:                   Before: unable to calculate: triglycerides too high! (ideal range: <129)
                          After: LDL: 137 H (ideal range: <129)

Triglycerides:       Before: 434 H (ideal range: <399)
                          After: 243 (ideal range: <399)

So far not so bad, especially after just a month, right? Especially on the triglycerides and LDL front! [and they say low-carb doesn't work!) I know the HDL takes longer to adjust…
But then, there’s this:
Glucose:              Before: 124 H (ideal range: 60-115)
                          After: 128 H (ideal range: 60-115)
So, can anyone tell me what gives? Where in the hell does my body find that sugar from? I am at a loss here. I am confident that my Cholesterol numbers will improve in time as long as I don't stray but the glucose thing puzzles me. What to do?

Mon, Sep-24-01, 00:34
Since we don't have a clue as to what you've been eating, I would say it was a hostile alien invasion of the Polyol race from planet Maltitol... ;)


Mon, Sep-24-01, 05:54

Mon, Sep-24-01, 06:55
Soem people have naturally high or low blood pressure, could you just have naturally high blood sugar?
Or maybe you are eating too much meat? Isn't it said that 58% of protein is turned to glucose, so maybe it's more in your body than someone else's?
Just my 2¢

Mon, Sep-24-01, 07:09

Karen you crack me up!

Mon, Sep-24-01, 11:33
Originally posted by Michelle:
maybe you are eating too much meat? Isn't it said that 58% of protein is turned to glucose, so maybe it's more in your body than someone else's?But wouldn’t that negate the whole high protein principle? If protein turned into glucose, then we’d have to cut it too! And then what’s left to eat? Isn’t it one the Protein Power Plan critics that that plan’s protein requirement calculation scheme actually yields a minimal protein requirement that’s way too low?

Mon, Sep-24-01, 20:24
Thanks Michelle and vitaka! I'm glad my health predicament isn't a comical matter to all on this board. It's definitely not "LOL funny" to me as this abnormally elevated glucose is indeed an entirely new thing for me. As a chef on low-carb for 2 1/2 years, I think I would know what to eat and not to eat. I find the meat tip puzzling. I have never heard of that either. As I reflect on last month, there may have been more red meat than white meat or fish than usual hough… Veggies were definitely the lowest carb, mushrooms, hearts of palm… and I didn't eat any artificial sugar because I only make low-carb desserts on weekends and I didn't during that period of time. In fact, I haven't in a long time…

Mon, Sep-24-01, 21:02
I did some research and came up with this:

How does the liver convert the food you eat into fuels?
The protein, complex carbohydrates, and fat that you eat -- and the protein, carbohydrate, and fat in your body -- can all be used to fuel your body functions. But first, the liver converts them into chemicals the body's tissues can use as fuel, as follows:

The liver converts the carbohydrates into a simple sugar, glucose, which can fuel most body functions.
It converts any excess protein you eat, over and above what you need to replace the proteins in your body, into glucose as well.
It converts the fats into chemicals called ketone bodies.
Once these conversions are made, the liver exports the glucose and ketone bodies into the blood stream for distribution to the tissues for use as fuel. Found at http://www.nutrition.cornell.edu/nutriquest/ketosis.html

Please note that this website does not endorse a low carb diet.
I'm sure I read about it elsewhere (maybe on the ASDL-C newsgroup?) but it escapes me now.

Mon, Sep-24-01, 21:55
I'm sorry..your predicament wasn't funny at all...I just got a giggle at Karen's reply...Personally I had no answer for your situation...sorry if you felt offended.

Opps..just to add...I thought your 7 inches was a bit too much in another thread...so maybe your a bit touchy here..where as I read that and went...ok......LOL

Mon, Sep-24-01, 22:05
Happy to hear about the good cholesterol testing...not so happy about the not so good blood sugar test. I have no idea why - this is something I know nothing about - in fact I have to get my own blood tested soon, for the first time in about 20 years - and I've been too chicken to make the appointment!

I believe it is true that some percentage of the protein we eat is broken down into glucose, but I don't know if that's enough to produce a high blood sugar reading. I suppose it is a possibility, though.

I'm checking Atkins, and on p. 146-48 of New Diet Revolution he talks about chromium and zinc supplementation for normalizing blood sugar. Maybe it'll help?

Good luck on your quest for info, I may be joining you after the results of my own testing!


doreen T
Mon, Sep-24-01, 22:24
You are right to be concerned here.

I think the other folks might have missed the most important point here, and that is the fact that you had been FASTING for 16 hrs. There are a few possible explanations.

First, and worst case scenario ... it could be a potential sign of diabetes (ie, Type II). For a non-diabetic, after 8 hrs of fasting, your bld gluc. should be around 85 to 90. From Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution,In the fasting nondiabetic, and even in some Type II diabetics, the pancreas constantly releases a steady, low level of insulin. This baseline, or basal, insulin level prevents the liver from inappropriately converting bodily proteins (muscle, vital organs) into glucose and thereby raising blood sugar, a process known as gluconeogenesis. The nondiabetic ordinarily maintains blood sugar immaculately within a narrow range—usually between 80 and 100 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter),* with most people hovering near 85 mg/dl.* There are times when that range can briefly stretch up or down—as high as 160mg/dl and as low as 65—but generally, for the nondiabetic, such swings are rare.

You will note that in some literature on diabetes, "normal" may be defined as 60–120 mg/dl, or even as high as 140 mg/dl. This "normal" is entirely relative. No nondiabetic will have blood sugar levels as high as 140 mg/dl except after consuming a lot of carbohydrate. "Normal" in this case has more to do with what is cost-effective for the average physician to treat. Since a postmeal (postprandial) blood sugar under 140 mg/dl is not classified as diabetes, and since the individual who experiences such a value will usually still have adequate insulin production eventually to bring it down to reasonable levels, many physicians would see no reason for treatment. Such an individual will be sent off with the admonition to watch his weight or her sugar intake. Despite the designation "normal," an individual frequently displaying a blood sugar level of 140 mg/dl is a good candidate for full-blown Type II diabetes. I have seen "nondiabetics" with sustained blood sugars averaging 120 mg/dl develop diabetic complications.This is talking about your body breaking down its own proteins (ie, your muscle tissue) when you are in a fasting (ie, starving) state. Dietary proteins (ie, that you EAT) are broken down into amino acids in the small intestine, and utilized for tissue building and repair. Excess amino acids received through diet get de-aminated in the liver and converted to fatty acids ... which are joined to a glucose molecule to make triglycerides then stored in the body fat (when the diet is also high in carbs) OR the free fatty acids get burned as is for fuel or converted to ketones (when the diet is LOW in carbs). We discussed this in a recent thread, here (http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20767)

I highly recommend that you check out Dr. Bernstein's website, .. http://www.diabetes-normalsugars.com/ .. Some of the chapters from his book are posted online. Chapter One is very informative, especially the third section "Blood Sugars: The Nondiabetic Versus the Diabetic" (http://www.diabetes-normalsugars.com/readit/chapter1-3.shtml)

In Chapter Six, which is unfortunately NOT posted online, he discusses some unusual physiologic phenomena which occur with diabetes or insulin resistance. One is known as "the Dawn Phenomenon"Gluconeogenesis .. is the mechanism by which the liver converts amino acids to glucose ... (a certain level of insulin is required to prevent this) ... However, once your insulin production drops below a certain level, your liver will inappropriately produce glucose and thus raise your blood sugar even while you're fasting.

The Dawn Phenomenon .. describes an overnight rise in blood sugar. ... Although the mechanics of the dawn phenomenon aren't yet entirely clear, research suggests that the liver deactivates more circulating insulin during the early morning ... Investigators ... find that the entire blood sugar increase occurs 6 to 10 hrs after bedtime.... Although it occurs most frequently in Type I (ie, insulin-dependent) diabetes, many Type II (ie, insulin-resistant) also show signs of this ... OK, that's the worst case scenario. There are some NON diabetic causes for higher than normal blood sugars. Infection ... were you coming down with a cold or sore throat. Do you have sore gums or maybe a bad tooth?? Even athlete's foot or jock-itch ... these are chronic low-grade stressors to your system, and can lead to raised blood sugar levels.
Sudden emotional stress - did someone cut you off in traffic on your way to get the bloodwork done? Have a fight with someone, or other upset?? Were you stressed out about the blood test?? This can cause a sudden increase in adrenaline which will stimulate stored glycogen to be converted to glucose (the so-called "fight or flight" response) Spikes in blood sugars (http://www.diabetes-normalsugars.com/articles/short_term_spikes.shtml) .. article by Dr. Bernstein, 33 pages long!!
I suggest you get your hands on a copy of Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution. You can likely borrow a copy from the library. I'm not diabetic, but there is so much excellent info. on low-carbing and insulin-resistance, that I went out and bought my own copy. And the recipe section is pretty impressive too ;)

My suggestion is that you pursue that high blood sugar. As Dr. B. states, many general doctors aren't concerned with a blood sugar under 140, but if you have a personal history of obesity, and a family history of diabetes and insulin-resistance, it should be checked out. They can also do fasting insulin levels, and other tests.

Good luck with this.


Mon, Sep-24-01, 22:29
Originally posted by vitaka
If protein turned into glucose...

It does, provided your diet is high in carbs and raises your insulin levels. In a low-carb diet, excess protein, simply passes through.

BTW, welcome to our forum! :)


Wed, Sep-26-01, 00:34
Originally posted by r.mines:
I'm checking Atkins, and on p. 146-48 of New Diet Revolution he talks about chromium and zinc supplementation for normalizing blood sugar. Maybe it'll help?OK. I’ll have to go back to that. I am not at all avert to supplementation so that’s a good lead. Thanks!

Originally posted by tamarian:
It does, provided your diet is high in carbs and raises your insulin levels. In a low-carb diet, excess protein, simply passes through.All right! I don’t have to worry about that one then! Shukran zhazeelan ya habibi!

Originally posted by doreen T:
From Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes SolutionWell, here’s one low-carb book I haven’t read. It looks like I should… :( because I reviewed your hypotheses and no Infection, no cold, no sore throat, no sore gums or bad tooth. No athlete foot or jock-itch (Boy! You’re making me undress! :D). I don’t smoke. Nobody cut me off in traffic on my way to get the bloodwork done (I’m always in the fast lane!). No fight with nobody or upset. :( And I certainly wasn’t stressed out about the blood test so I’ll have to read that book. Thanks a zillion for that terrific info! :thup:

Thu, Sep-27-01, 09:31
This was just a fasting glucose test right? Not a glucose challenge test? Has your doctor suggest a challenge test? If he does be very very careful as you're on a low carb diet. Generally to have this test you should not restrict your carb intake for 3-4 days before. I believe this is because drinking that icky drink when your body's got accustomed to reduced carbs will tend to put you into reactive hypoglycemia.

Furthermore the new recommendations from the ADA indicate that anyone with fasting glucose level of 126 should be tested further.


Thu, Sep-27-01, 09:48
No it wasn’t. Nothing icky to drink. It was a 12-hour fasting glucose test by blood draw. But we’re on top of things: next time I’ll have a random one and a Fructosamine one. One calculates your blood sugar over past months and the other over past weeks.

Fri, Sep-28-01, 13:07
As you are concerned about your blood sugar one option that you might want to consider is home monitoring until you have figured out what it is that is driving it up. My close friend has been monitoring his with the unit recommended by Dr Bernstein, the Elit XL glucometer. Using this and taking regular checks he found that the smallest amount of fruit would cause his blood glucose to climb and then crash. So much for an apple a day.....
So monitoring your blood glucose on a regular basis and recording it against the foods that you eat, both quantity and type, could help you to understand the relationship (if any) between your diet and your blood sugar.
Again I strongly recommend the Bernstein book Diabetes Solution.

Fri, Sep-28-01, 22:19
That’s an idea! I’ll ask my doctor if I’m still in trouble after my next visit. Thanks a lot for the tip!

doreen T
Sun, Sep-30-01, 13:53
OK, I've been doing more thinking on this very topic, ......

Bill, I have another non-diabetes theory about why your fasting bld. glucose was elevated. You stated that you'd fasted for 16 hrs, in hopes that the results (ie, the blood fats - cholesterol & triglycerides) would be "good". I'm wondering if maybe that length of time was too long (since only 12 hrs is required) ... and what happened is your body began to break down some of your muscle tissue to provide proteins/amino acids ... AND ... this would have stimulated the liver to produce and release glycogen (ie glucose) into the bloodstream.

OK, that's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it .. ;) ... Anyway, I sincerely hope your aberrant blood sugar result was just a fluke, a one-time blip in an otherwise healthy profile. Here's hoping.


Tue, Oct-30-01, 08:21
BillT - Are you taking Glucophage or Insulin for your Diabetes?