Day 5 – Wednesday, December 30, 2015 – Wt: 269.8 Blood Glucose 95 – 74.8 pounds to go – in Ketosis
My favorite number here is not the weight, nor being in ketosis. My favorite number is the blood glucose – 95. This is before taking my medication. This was also my blood glucose more than 10 years ago when I had gotten down to 180 pounds after 2 years on a low carb diet.
It is also a 25-35 point drop from before I started this diet. It also puts me in the ‘normal’ range – before taking my meds.
This is why diabetics need to be careful on a low carb diet: the blood glucose drop from the diet can be so pronounced that their regular dose of diabetes medication is now too high and needs to be adjusted lower. If you are doing a low carb diet you should be checking your blood glucose and reporting any drastic lowering to your doctor so they can advise you about your medications.
I took my blood glucose a few more times during the day – at one point it was at 90 – not bad. If I was able to get it to be in the mid 80s even with the low dosage diabetes medication I’m taking, it would be a fucking miracle given my family history and siblings with severe diabetes that started in their 40s.
My Half-Assed Science Minute
[As always, remember that I am not qualified to write what I am about to write – it’s just my understanding – which might be quite flawed. If fact, if you are knowledgeable in the field and see an error, please let me know. There’s enough misinformation on the Internet spread my well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) dopes like me. You might want to read my disclaimer also.]
As I understand it, a spot-check of your blood glucose is a cheap and easy way to measure whether you are a type II diabetic, and if so, how much. Now, you need glucose in your bloodstream as some parts of your body will NOT run on ketones. You’d think that – hey – I’m not eating ANY sugar or carbs – where is it coming from?
Gluconeogenesis – that’s where. Your body will take protein and make enough glucose for you to function unless there’s something wrong with this mechanism in you.
What doesn’t get measured is insulin resistance. Typically, in someone like me, I eat crap food full of carbs, my body has WAY more carbs than it can deal with and they get poured into my bloodstream. While you need glucose, it is WAY too much of a good thing. Blood glucose is like you car’s gasoline – you need it to run the car, but you wouldn’t start pumping it all over the surface and over the seats. Putting the fire hazard aside, it is FUEL. Fuel is corrosive and would ruin your paint and interior.
Same thing with blood glucose. You want the amount your body needs – no more and no less – because extra can wreak havoc on your tiny blood vessels – like the ones in your eyes and fingers and toes. Untreated, it can lead to blindness amputations, organ failure – a whole bunch of great stuff. It might also be a major cause of dementia.
You body is pretty on top of this, however, and if it sees glucose levels go up it tells the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin then persuades the cells to take up the glucose which is burned for fuel, stored (you can store a few days worth as glycogen in your muscles and liver), or converted into fat.
Simply put: insulin produces fat. In fact, some type I diabetics (people who don’t produce their own insulin) take their lives in their hands and intentionally NOT inject themselves with insulin when they should because they lose weight this way.
All of this is complicated by the poorly understood and increasingly common ‘insulin resistance’. I told you insulin makes your body get rid of the excess glucose by producing insulin that signals the cells to take it up.
Over years of a constant diet of Ho-Hos, gummy bears, beer, and pizza, this relentless carb-loading and resultant insulin-producing causes your body to stop responding to insulin as efficiently. Your body then produces MORE insulin, overworking your pancreas, which over time, makes the cells even less responsive to insulin and makes your pancreas pump out even more insulin.
At this point you are more or less metabolically damaged. Your blood glucose shoots up, your overworked pancreas is pumping out way more insulin than normal, and the insulin storing fat like crazy – even when the insulin can no longer regulate your blood glucose, it seems it’s still great at storing fat.
At this point you’ve broken a finely-tuned and complex mechanism that is meant to regulate the energy in your body – and now you’re fucked.
The good news (you mean after all that theres good news?!?) is that there are medications that can help – but some can make you fat. Another way – drumroll – is a low carb diet.
Now back to that blood glucose measurement. When I look at my number today – 95 – I have to ask myself: is that because my pancreas is chugging out so much insulin, combined with my elimination of most carbs, to get to that number? Or is my insulin resistance lessening and my body more responsive to insulin because I’ve stopped carb-loading?
I dunno. You’d have to measure your blood insulin to know that – and most doctors – for reasons I don’t know. stop at the blood glucose side of the equation. Your run-of-the-mill blood test has a fasting glucose test. When diabetes is suspected, the A1C test is requested. This is more than a simple snapshot like your fasting glucose and gives a 3-month average of your blood glucose.
While they tell you to fast in the morning before the blood test, for people with insulin resistance, that fasting glucose level could vary greatly depending on what you ate the night before. If you ate a quart of Haagen Daz the night before, the fasting in the morning isn’t enough time to correct things. The A1C is way more reliable.
As for me, I’d like to think that the 95 shows a combination of the reduction of insulin production and a gradual lessening of the insulin resistance. The hope is the lessening of the insulin will reduce fat storage – and the blood glucose level is just darn good for my overall health.
So while day 5 only shows a loss of around 3 pounds, there are other signs of improving health – and that’s the bigger picture of what I want to achieve in the new year: better overall health.
The New Year’s Dilemma
About mid-afternoon I got grumpy. I have to go to work tomorrow – and then a party. I was *so* enjoying my malingering. I usually experience this type of grumpiness Sunday afternoons – but I am also usually used to the work grind – I’m out of condition now.
And then I can’t just come home and recharge because we were invited to a party.
I also have a dilemma: to drink or not to drink at the party.
I’m not ‘party material’, not being one for mingling with strangers and small talk, and alcohol is a great social lubricant. Booze is also not carbs, but it’s own food category. It would not hurt me to have a few drinks – as long as they stay on the left side of midnight. If I mess up and bring it into 2016, I’ve screwed the pooch.
I did say I would give up alcohol for new years but started early. I don’t know what to do at present – I’ll have to think about it.
What I ate
I woke around 7:30 and had my usual coffee and cream. About 11:30am I had a few ounces of good quality roast beef and cream cheese with salt and pepper – that was *really* good.
It wasn’t until 7:30 that I grabbed a half tomato and 3 pieces of american cheese before running out to pick my wife up from the train.
Once I came home I had my psyllium with a glass of water. I had put it off from the afternoon.
Then I drank an energy drink, perhaps stupidly, as it was past 8pm when I finished and I want to get up at 5am tomorrow to go to work.
And that was it. I wan’t hungry anymore and went to bed – thought that dam energy drink kept me up past 1am.