A mystery high

February 5, 2007 at 4:57 pm 9 comments

Even though I have a lot of background and explaining I’d like to post first, I may as well jump right in with my issue du jour. It’s 11:25 am, my usual lunch time. I decided to test my blood before going to warm up my lunch, and, surprise! It’s 148 mg/dl. I check from the other hand – still too high at 141. So here I am hungry with high blood sugar. What was my mistake and what do I do now?

I suspect the mistake was either the cup of skim milk I drank with breakfast at 7am, or the 5-6 pieces of mixed nuts I ate an hour ago for mid-morning snack. But of course since I didn’t check my sugars any other time this morning I really don’t know. (Insert grumbling about lack of readily available constant blood sugar monitoring technology here.)

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to wait for my sugars to fall before I eat, but I’m hungry and my lunch is pretty innocuous: approx. 5 oz. of bbq chicken breast, and 20 french green beans. Its more meat than green so not exactly a gold-star lunch but at least it has the low-carb thing going for it, so I’m going to take my 120mg Starlix and dig in. This makes me think that as long as I’m trying to unravel the mystery of why my blood sugars are running high, I might need to start measuring my foods and running them through FitDay or another diet-tracking site to find out exactly how many carbohydrates I’m taking in at each snack and meal in addition to simply writing down what I’m eating.

Fellow diabetics or low-carb dieters: what tools do you use to figure out carbohydrate values for your foods that don’t come out of a box or package?

Update: BG 1 hour after lunch: 124. Barely back under target. πŸ™‚


Entry filed under: counting carboyhdrates, diabetes, diet, high blood sugar.

Introduction Diabetes-tracking tools

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tara  |  March 13, 2007 at 11:28 am

    I know this is a little after the fact, but it’s better late than never! Congratulations in getting back on track with your diabetes. I am a Type 1 diabetic on insulin.
    In answer to your question I use information from calorie king, which I have in a program on my palm pilot, or look information up in calorie & carb counting books – It may sound like I’m watching my weight but I don’t look at the calorie values at all, just the carb ones. I differ from you in that I am just looking up the value to know how much insulin to take, I don’t follow a low-carb diet as I am studying to be a nutritionist and this goes against everything we have been taught about the way the body uses energy, but I understand if it is working for you then you are going to stick to it!
    I also estimate a lot using the idea of carbohydrate exchanges, and if you look up the information enough in the books and stuff you get a feel for it.
    Good luck with the HbA1c!

  • 2. lancetqueen  |  March 13, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Tara!

    I know it’s probably more than you can sum up in a blog comment, but I’m curious as to what about a low-carb diet contradicts what you are leaning in school. Is it that the body, even diabetic bodies, need a certain amount of carbohydrates to be healthy? Or is it the high-fat, high-protein aspect? My PA is sending me to a dietitian soon, so I’ll be curious to see what kind of diet she recommends.

  • 3. Tara  |  March 13, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    I’ll do my best to try to make this explanation short!

    Basically it is a combination of the two reasons you just put forward. Our bodies need energy, and the primary source for our bodies to get this energy is in the form of carbohydrates. They are the preferred source of energy for our bodies because they give the best quality energy.

    If you are following a low-carb diet then the body must feed of the fat and protein in your diet for energy. You might think that it using the fat for energy is a good thing because then it doesn’t end up on your thighs/stomach/wherever, but it is a poorer source of energy, as is protein.

    The other problem is that if there is a lack of carbs for a prolonged period, the body can go into crisis mode and start feeding off it’s own tissues and organs for energy! A high fat diet may also increase your cholesterol, etc leading to heart problems.

    As I said in my previous comment, I understand that if this low-carb diet is working for you (which it seems to be) then you aren’t going to be stopping it anytime soon. If you have found something that works for you that is great, just make sure you think about the long term and are well informed.

    My bet is that the dietitian will recommend that you eat more carbs (just a moderate amount – not carb overload), but that they are more complex, low-gi carbs such as wholegrains, legumes, vegetables & fruits. They will probably also tell you to lower your fat and salt intake (if you haven’t already done so).

    Let me know how it goes!!

  • 4. lancetqueen  |  March 13, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Tara – wow, thanks for taking the time to write all of that. What strikes me primarily is that much of what you wrote is in conflict with what I’ve read in Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution book, which recommends a diet extremely low in carbs and high in fat and protein. I will say that I’m approaching everything I read with an open mind yet with caution because ultimately only I can know what’s best for my body. I’m confident that the dietitian can help me find that perfect balance between low-carb and enough of the right carbs. πŸ™‚

  • 5. erin  |  March 26, 2007 at 1:03 am

    Hey B, Since we just chatted about diabetes, I thought I’d hop on your new blog (it’s been a while). One thing I remember from when the low-carb craze was in full swing, which I’ve copied from this website http://www.barillaus.com/Dangers_of_LowCarb_Diets.aspx, is that carbs are brain food, and if your diet is too low in them (or you don’t eat any), your brain gets a wee bit sllllow. Anyway, I’m sure you’re keeping a balance, but I’d always found this little tidbit interesting.

    “Carbohydrates are the only source of fuel that the human brain β€” the most energy-demanding organ in the body β€” can use. Muscle cells can burn both fat and carbohydrates, but the brain does not have the β€œmachinery” to burn fat. Depriving the brain of carbs means depriving it of energy β€” and the shortfall can affect intellectual performance, such as memory and cognitive processing.”

  • 6. erin  |  March 26, 2007 at 1:05 am

    oh, and I do realize that comes from the pasta website… just happened to be the first thing that popped up on google — it’s well-documented elsewhere πŸ™‚

  • 7. lancetqueen  |  March 26, 2007 at 2:28 am

    I don’t know what’s more disturbing – that you sent your diabetic friend medical advice from a pasta manufacturing website, or the GIANT SLAB OF RAW MEAT oozing from that web page! πŸ˜› Just kidding. Making sure I have the right balance in my diet is precisely why I’m looking forward to both the dietitian visit and the insulin. πŸ™‚ And maybe my brain IS getting slow because I read “sllllow” as “sillow” and though wow, now that’s a cool word.

  • 8. lancetqueen  |  March 26, 2007 at 4:00 am

    OK, I decided to actually read that Barilla webpage and I had to stop because it strikes me as the same kind of propaganda and conclusion-jumping used by corporations such as Coke to try to paint their products in a “healthy” light.

    So women make seratonin ONLY after eating carbohydrates without protein, and seratonin is a mood-regulator, therefore women who eat less carbohydrates are short-tempered? That seems like quite a jump to me, as does the claim that eating a steak STOPS seratonin production. I would love to see the actual text from that MIT study, because all references to the study I’m finding on Google mention neither the actual amount of carbohydrates (are we talking LOW or are we talking ZERO?) these women were consuming nor evidence of them becoming snippy as a result. If they were truly eating zero carbohydrates for weeks at a time, of course they are going to be ill, both mentally and physically!

    I agree that balance is crucial to a healthy diet, but I hope most people can see straight through a company (who’s profits just happen to depend on customers buying their high-carb products) threatening people with a laundry list of scary consequences (CANCER, Alzheimers, BLINDNESS, heart disease, ad naseum) if they don’t keep simple carbohydrates in their diet.

  • 9. erin  |  March 26, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    heh. i knew i’d be in trouble both for barilla and that piece of raw meat. here’s something a little more thoroughfrom webmd.

    i’m sure you’re eating enough carbs (hard not to), but i’ve always found this interesting.


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