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Blood Sugar Control/Fat v Carbs

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by bertiedog, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    I have had really severe problems with controlling my blood sugar since before I crashed with ME/CFS/Lymes in 2000. I used to eat a very high carb diet, I am sure I was addicted to carbs and sugar and ended up putting on 2 stone in weight around 2000. I had severe reactive hypoglycaemia which I worked out for myself not medically diagnosed.

    The next year I learned all about how fat was good and carbs weren't so great for many of us and managed to loose a stone and did feel better but especially in the mornings I always felt very bad until my blood sugar rose a bit. My fasting bs would have been around 4.6. In 2002 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and mild adrenal insufficiency and had to take Prednisolone for this plus desiccated thyroid. I have never been able to come off the meds, in fact I did for a few months in 2006 but ended up with 2 adrenal crisis, one was milder than the other which was sufficiently bad that I knew it wasn't an option for me to ever stop the steroid (passed out and couldn't get off the floor after uncontrollable vomiting and diahorrea.)

    As the years have gone on and I have stayed on a medium carb diet 50-60 g carbs daily and no sugar and very little fruit, just a few berries from our garden with the evening meal. However my bs has been rising steadily except the fasting one though that has gone up to 5.3 on some days. It now takes 4 hours in the evening to get my bs to drop back to 5.5 without me eating anything and only having a small meal of meat or fish plus non starchy veg.

    Having read and listened to the Fat Summit and doctors like David Perlmutter who say our brains actually prefer to function on fats I know that in my case this just isn't so. In the mornings I have to have some carbs to raise my bs otherwise I cannot do anything and will have severe dizziness (like falling off a chair type dizziness) plus usually a migraine will develop no matter how much fat I might eat plus my legs are completely empty and sciatica will be triggered.

    When I read the sort of breakfast people on a low carb diet eat (Omelette with veg plus coconut oil) I absolutely cannot function on that which got me wondering whether it's to do with the condition of ME/CFS. Can somebody explain to me in simple terms why our brains/body cannot seem to operate on fat rather than a small amount of carbs plus fat whereas "normal" people can do fine on a tiny amount of carbs?

    (As the day goes on provided I have some nuts and a cup of tea as a snack between meals I do improve, its the early mornings that are a nightmare.

    Pam
     
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  2. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    @bertiedog Not sure if this applies to you, but I focus on protein in the morning more than fat. The reason why I went into the high fat/low carb thing was mainly because carbs make me more tired, and fat seemed to have a good effect on my brain. But I was also prone to sugar/starch cravings, mainly in the afternoon.

    I started this after reading somewhere that if you focus on protein in the morning this really has a huge impact on your blood sugar for the rest of the day. I do this mainly in the form of full fat dairy but not everyone can tolerate that. Some days I eat eggs. And I usually also add some nuts. I guess you could eat meat or fish too (if you're not vegetarian) but I haven't tried that. Good quality protein powder (in a smoothie or something) could work too (although not for me - my body doesn't do very well on extracts of any kind).

    For me personally it has made all the difference. I do feel that my blood sugar is now stable throughout the day. If I don't eat protein in the morning, the rest of the day is pretty much a disaster.
     
  3. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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  4. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    Thanks for the link, I do watch that programme and find it fascinating. I still have one episode to catch up with.

    It's a great concept that one food is good for somebody but bad for another person. Meanwhile I am going to try and continue to eat less at every meal and hope that my pancreas eventually improves my bs levels. It has always confused me how most healthy eating plans say an apple or pear is fine to eat but with me they really spike my bs badly.

    Pam
     
  5. guitarmary

    guitarmary

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    Hello Pam,

    I'm not any kind of expert, but know something about diabetes.

    Maybe you weren't diagnosed - most people probably aren't - but I do think you are a diabetic and believe you ought to be taking frequent blood sugar readings. You might find it better to adjust to taking some insulin every day than what you are feeling now. If nothing else, at least start in taking frequent blood sugar readings - like maybe eight times a day.

    There are many, many diabetics who'd not be labeled as diabetic according to the way it's usually done on a general checkup. Many, many times I'd not happened to be diagnosed that way.

    The authoritative person on diabetes is Richard K. Bernstein. You can Google him; too much to tell here. He does have a free forum and I believe that most, if not all, of the chapters from his book are available for free.

    For some reason (which I've forgotten if I ever truly did understand), coconut oil is a different sort of fat that your intestines handle differently from every other fat, and the brain can live off that kind of fat. At least, at the time I was researching it, that was the state of knowledge of the subject for the general population. As to whether there are differences for CFS/ME people, I don't know anything about that.

    I have noticed somewhere on this forum a post about tinnitus. For me, the usual tinnitus gets many, many times worse during a low blood sugar attack. Another telling sign is when I start losing my vision. In those times, I don't/can't take a blood sugar reading but take a glucose tablet right away. Later I'm absolutely exhausted from the experience. If, by any chance, you are going through frequent bouts of low blood sugar, you'd be naturally exhausted from them.

    Best wishes, Mary
     
  6. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    @guitarmary No definitely not diabetic as my HbA1c last year was only 32 which isn't even near pre diabetes. There is just something about the way my body handles carbs and sugar. I have lost 4 lbs of weight in 4 days just by not eating so often or quite so much and bs readings are coming down. I could only do with loosing a few more pounds around my middle, definitely don't want to loose anymore than that because I am quite slim anyway.

    It's the reaction my body has to eating or not eating that is not normal somehow. Glad to say since cutting back on carbs this week I have been able to walk a lot better and yesterday did 10,000 steps, somehow everything felt lighter. If only the morning headaches/migraines would stop everything would be so much better.

    Pam
     

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