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squidgy
Wed, Jul-17-02, 14:09
I would like to investigate the effect that the food I eat has on my blood sugar levels, and for this purpose, I've just bought an "Accu-Chek Advantage." In particular, it would be good to try and simulate the "Glucose Tolerance Test" that Atkins describes as closesly as possible in the comfort of my own bedsit, and I have questions about this.

Firstly - when Atkins says normal fasting is 70-100 mg% - does "fasting" mean just before you take the test glucose dose? Or does it mean something else?

Secondly - Atkins says that the test traces your sugar for five to six hours after you take a test dose of glucose with no other food or beverage. Presumably that means that you mustn't eat or drink anything else for a certain amount of time before this. Does anyone know how long that is?

Thirdly - what would you suggest I use for this "test" dose? I'm thinking a little bottle of Lucozade, or should it be a bit more controlled than that? (Still, I guess I could always do it again if I mess it up, it'll be good to have a bit of a play with the machine so that I can get used to it. Ten test strips and lancets were included in the package, so I don't suppose extra ones will be expensive.)

Fourthly - Atkins lists what he considers normal results in mg% - but my self testing kit gives readings in mmol/L - whatever they are. How do you convert between mg% and mmol/L?

I asked the bloke in the store if any of the testing kits test insulin levels too, but they don't, so I went for the cheapest sugar test kit, which was the "Accu-Chek Advantage", 17.63 including VAT at 17.5%, includes batteries, ten test strips and lancets, and two bottles of "pretend blood" with a known amount of glucose, that you can test if you think this gizmo isn't working properly.

Thanks. :)

nopie
Wed, Jul-17-02, 19:36
When I had a fasting blood glucose test done at the Doctor's office, he said not to have food after midnight for a test the next morning. I suppose fasting would mean at least 8 hours without food or liquid, other than water.

doreen T
Wed, Jul-17-02, 23:20
hi squidgy,

Firstly - fasting means at least 8 hrs without food or drink except for water. And other than the glucose load, you don't eat or drink except for water during the test as well. If you smoke, don't do that either, since nicotine will alter insulin response. That includes nicotine gum and patches too.

Secondly - Hmm .. most GTT's run over 3 hrs ... the blood is checked in the fasting state, the glucose is consumed, then blood checked at 30 min, 1 hr, 2 hr and 3 hr. Perhaps a longer test is run at Dr Atkins clinic in New York?

Thirdly - only glucose or dextrose are used. Fructose, fruit juices or drinks sweetened with fructose or high-fructose corn syrup are unsuitable. Fructose doesn't require insulin, therefore it's rapidly absorbed into the cells. So rapidly, that a blood test will not detect a rise in blood sugar.

As for the testing strips ... my dear fellow they ARE expensive. Chances are good that a box of 50 strips will cost as much as the meter, if not more. But .. the bright side is .. if tracking your blood sugar enables you to detect a problem early, then it could ultimately save you from high medical costs later.

Fourthly - 1 mmol/L = 18 mg/dL But, if you're feeling mathematically challenged ;) .. here's a handy dandy calculator from About.com for converting mmol/L to mg/dL (http://diabetes.about.com/library/blforms/blconversioncalc.htm) and vice versa.

My opinion is that trying to do a GTT on your own is unwise. You could experience a hypoglycemic episode, become quite nauseous and even pass out. However, checking your blood sugar after challenging with certain carb foods to see how you react isn't a bad idea at all. Karen posted an article from holdthetoast.com about Doing Your Own Low Carb Research (http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=32471). You might want to have a look at that. As well, a member did her own testing, and posted the results here What makes your insulin spike??? (http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=270202#post270202)

hth,

Doreen

squidgy
Thu, Jul-18-02, 03:54
Thanks ever so much for the info, it's really appreciated. :)