I had a previous post where I questioned why my morning blood sugar measurements were higher than normal and I had posited that this was due to the Dawn Phenomenon but I think there may be something else at play here.
To further investigate this rise in morning blood sugar measurements I decided to take my blood sugar measurements during a typical day approximately every hour to see if that data would point me to a culprit.
Before I dive into this data, let me share a graph that shows multiple blood sugar measurements during a day back in March of 2015.
As you can see, my blood sugar levels stayed very consistent through the day and never rose above 120 ug/dL even after a meal. This data validated that the Paleo lifestyle that I had been leading controlled my Type 2 diabetes without the help of medicine and that my blood sugar levels were indistinguishable from someone who didn’t have Type 2 diabetes. Normal blood sugar measurements should be less than 100 mg/dL at a fasting level (when I wake up) and not increase above 150 mg/dL 2 hours after a meal and that is exactly what my measurements show even though I have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
But as I mentioned above, something has changed and now my blood sugar levels are not consistent with someone who doesn’t have Type 2 diabetes.
So let’s see what the data looks like recently.
First off, notice that my blood sugar levels started off elevated and ended elevated as compared to the graph from 2015. This data proved to me that my elevated blood sugar measurements in the morning were not due to the Dawn Phenomenon but due to something else. Note also that this is a conclusion that I would not have been able to make until I did this experiment. Taking your blood sugar measurements only in the morning doesn’t reveal what happens during the day and this is further evidence that folks with Type 2 diabetes need to take more measurements than their doctor normally prescribes.
There were two spikes that should be investigated and maybe these will provide clues to the source of my elevated fasting blood sugar measurements.
The first spike occurred about 15 minutes after I finished exercising during lunch (run 800m, lift weights upper body, lunges with weights and then finish with another 800m run). I had not eaten lunch yet and this spike was due solely to the exercise.
I have noticed this over the past few years when I’ve taken a blood sugar measurement after an exercise so this is nothing abnormal and I think this is generally understood.
The other spike that happened before dinner is more curious.
This spike happened after I drove home from work and I was quite surprised by this but as I reflected on what may have caused this I realized that I had chewed two pieces of gum and eaten a few sour candies on the ride home and I think this was the explanation for this spike.
Over the past 6 months or so I have developed a habit of passing the long commute by chewing Cry Baby gum and eating Shockers candies and I had thought that this small amount of sugar would be negligible but obviously it wasn’t!
Although many people recoil at sour tastes, for some reason I love it (which might explain why I love Gose style beer) and the pictures and nutritional info of these gum/candies are given below.
As you can see, these items are loaded with all kinds of bad stuff including High Fructose Corn Syrup and sugar and these ‘treats’ on the ride home easily explain the spike in my blood sugar levels before dinner.
But back to my original question as to why my morning blood sugar measurements are higher than normal….
I think these candies/gums that I eat (not only on the ride home but I’ve started eating them after lunch too) have remained in my system and this might be the culprit of my elevated blood sugar levels.
I have since stop indulging in this sour treat and after a week of this I’ll see if this has an effect on my blood sugar levels.
Hieght, weight, body fat percentage, chest, waist, hips?
If your waist is more then 32″ or 33″, that may be the biggest problem. Certainly the candy is a disaster. Your blood sugar will go down when you stop it. Try raspberries instead. Could take several days.
I too have noticed blood sugar spike immediately after strenuous exercise followed by big drops. Cortisol release.
Loose the fat, build muscle, give up candy and fried foods and you will be back to your 2015 levels. (Grill the chops, not a single French Fry, Maybe once a month or two).
I’m 5’9″, 149 lbs this morning, 14% body fat and depending on the brand of pants I wear a 30″ or 31″. Don’t know my chest measurements or hips. When I was the most physically active and running a marathon I weighed 145 lbs so while I have a few pounds of fat to lose its not a lot.
I’ll be waiting for the follow-up. Interesting that the blood sugar baseline has increased. A new normal for you again. I’m surprised it didn’t just spke when you had the candy.
I am disinheartened by the latest news, because it brings to mind the more than widely held believe that progression is inevitable. If you are up to the challenge, I would go ultra low carb for a few weeks — it may take some planning and mental adjustment. I would forgoe any strenuous exercise and make sure you have your micronutrients, supplements, protein targets and healthy fats available. Lots of fresh water, cruciferous vegetables and absolutely nothing with added sugar or even fruits or berries for this period. No alcohol, smoking or stress, of course. Think of it as a monastic retreat, but still having to go to work and do stuff, etc. I am betting you will see even better numbers than before. You must avoid emotional and unmindful eating. Those candies were no nos, but unless your were eating grab bags of them, I find it weird that they could have such an effect. Still, the numbers don’t lie, so something is going on. Doctora treat Type 2 patients almost cavalierly in most cases. They see your A1c as being “low” — ie 6 or lower — and they think you are fine. You have got to kill any spikes if you can. I think you have to explore the limits of your capability to reach a baseline, hold you A1c to that level without medication with a combination of diet, exercise and supplements for a few months and then explore killing any spikes that you are experiencing. You can only see this by measuring multiple times a day, usually on a schedule that includes measuring at these times:
1 hour after meals
2 hours after meals
1 hour after major workout
Middle of the night (if you happen to wake up in the middle if the night )
This type of regimen will give you a great picture, along with your food journal, of what is going on. The natural biofeedback of interpreting these results will get you on a good course. Demanding? Yes, but it can be done. I think you might have to hit it this hard to blast you back and perhaps to even a better position than where you were.
It would be so much easier with a non-invasive glucose meter. In fact, when that technology becomes generally available, like a FitBit let’s say, it will pretty much spell the end of the fast food industry as we know it. Just about everyone in our culture over the age of 35 has evidence of disglycemia of some kind: the abundance of starchy and cheap sugary foods is an environmental hazard, as well as sedentary life styles and daily emotional stress. When the average middle-aged guy drinks a coke and his blood sugar jumps to 130+, he has to be told that this isn’t normal. The sad thing is that many people that may still have relatively normal blood sugars have highly elevated insulin levels, which even if they are keeping sugars in relative check, is still indicative of overly stressed beta cells and hormone irregularities.
Have you had your fasting insulin levels checked? You may want to compare what they are now to what they were. If you haven’t, this would be a good time to start so you can track how your body’s insulin sensitivity is being handled.
Let’s try to get past this hurdle and see where you land. At 149 lbs., it doesn’t seem that weight is too much of an issue. Did you have an ideal weight at your current height? Is 149 close? How is your muscle tone? 149 seems light to me, but I think Americans are so used to seeing big people that our perceptions ate skewed…
Take care of yourself and good luck at whatever you try. Keep us up to date. I know that people are rooting for you.
Thanks so much Karim for taking the time to stop by an comment.
Periodically I do spend a week on a ‘monastic’ type diet as you mentioned. It is actually an 800 calorie diet that I usually do for 5 days and the last time I did it was April so I’m due for another round and I plan to do this before Thanksgiving. Link to the blog post from this last ‘fast’ can be found here – https://cosmoscon.com/2016/05/22/fasting-experiment/
I plan to use a day during and after of this fast to take hourly blood sugar measurements like I did here.
I was 145 lbs when I was training/running a marathon so yes I’m close to my ideal weight now but I could stand to lift weights more than I do now.
Still don’t know what exactly is going on but getting back to a strict Paleo lifestyle that I was on when I started this journey is my plan now. I got cocky and started throwing in potatoes and other ‘cheat’ foods over the past year or so and I think it is catching up with me. We’ll see…..and I’ll write about it after I have some data!
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