An Interesting Blood Sugar Experiment – Type 2 D

So I’d gotten some tingle in the feet on the last long drive from Florida back to California. Figured it was just because I didn’t sleep much for 40 hours and just drove. Feet on vibrating floor and pedals the whole time. But it had not happened before on such marathons. Still, when I got home I was definitely a bit of a mess. I’d mostly just had cat naps in the car for the prior few days and became ‘reluctant’ to stop from about New Mexico to here as the car would “run very rough” when started cold. (Later I figured out this was from “wobbly shaft” in the distributor and not a symptom of imminent bricking of the car.)

Well, after a few days of sleeping, I was pretty much normal again.

Then a few times on other days I’d have the tingle again. Turns out this is “peripheral neuropathy”. That can be caused by a lot of things, but high blood sugar is one of them. (Type 2 Diabetes). So I got to wondering if mine was in line (or, horrors, might it be the one caused by alcohol too much…) Being the DIY sort, I ran out and bought a blood sugar measuring device at Walmart. (Got the “Pink” one that was on clearance for $7. Hey, I’m not going to be wearing the thing, so that everyone else hated pink is fine with me ;-)

Tested. About 1/2 hour after a large meal washed down with sugary drinks. 240

Hmmm… Looking into that, it’s in the “Worry” range. Then I read the manual and found that when you eat, and what, matters. A lot.

OK, I then stopped the morning bowl of sugar diluted by grain support structures, and shifted to black coffee. Next reading, not within 2 hours of eating, was about 142. Still not what is desired. That’s more like the “digesting meal” reading range. OTOH, I know I have a long digestive tract (colonoscopy Dr. commented on needing to use the whole thing…) and relatively long digestion duration. Basically, I’m a “food and drink camel”. It takes me over 24 hours to notice lack of food as I’m still pulling something out of the last 36 hours of meals.

Digging Into It: Seems that cortisol can cause your blood sugar to go high. Gee, where might I have gotten high cortisol levels? Oh, I know, on a 4 day nearly no sleep bus trip followed by a few days of marathon car preparation and then an OMG what’s wrong with the car dash for home for a few days with again nearly no sleep…

What else contributes to sugar levels? Low activity. Since returning, I’d been a couch potato as much as possible. Weather was not that great, I’d had some joint pains (resolved mostly now that I’ve been more careful about the “cow stuff” in the diet) and the new Roku gave me endless days of new stuff to watch. Hmmm… Waistline an inch bigger, legs and arms getting smaller… Less muscle mass to soak up any influx of sugar, fatty tissues full too…

So a week or so of garden work and cleaning the garage…

Somewhere in the middle of that, the sporadic (about 10 minutes once a day or skipping a day) peripheral neuropathy ended.

Also found a few references that said a 600 calorie / day “fast” for a week or two had been shown to “cure” T2D. (Type 2 Diabetes). So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been eating more modestly. Added salads to the dinner plate, reduced the starches. Smaller portions.

Then ran into another article that said alcohol can block the liver from converting fat to blood sugar, so T2D folks need to watch their insulin levels if they are drinking as “the usual dose” can be too high. Seems a decent guzzle of wine can give you LOW blood sugar into the next day. OK…

So this week I’ve had about an average of 1/2 bottle of wine a day for a few days. I tested blood sugar levels with / without wine, and they were a bit lower with wine.

Having not tested for a few days, I decided today was test day to see the net effect of it all. Had scrambled eggs for breakfast, couple of cups of coffee. Then spent about 2 hours doing decent garden work. Cutting bamboo… Having worked up a bit of a sweat, I decided to have a starchy lunch. Thick Split Pea soup. 2 hours later, the result is a 92. Normal.

Golly. That’s nice to see.

Now the instrument goes out of its way to scold NOT TO USE FOR DIAGNOSIS! OK, I didn’t. I used it to measure. I also never really hit a full on T2D level of “issues”. More the Pre-whatzit the doctors are now loving as a way to scare folks into doing what they are told.

For me, the interesting thing is to realize how much one can swing blood sugar from simple changes of diet and activity. Yesterday I had a slow cooker chicken dish for dinner. Chicken, celery, carrots, potatoes, can of cream soup (i.e. flour thickener). Not exactly avoiding starches. Ham sandwich for lunch some days, tuna sandwich others. IMHO, the biggest difference is from the activity.

You just can’t stuff 1/2 cup of sugar into your stomach without somewhere for it to go. Once the liver is full up on glycogen, the fat cells are saying “Hey, none for me thanks” and the muscle mass is just not doing anything, where is it to go? Umm…. So just getting the input vs output back into balance, everything now measures normal. Not ramping up my cortisol levels likely also helping a bit.

Sidebar on Insulin Resistance:

Along the way found some interesting bits about folks developing insulin resistance. IMHO that happens when all the cells are individually full up on sugar. They just have to start saying “NO!”. The glands see all the sugar and start raising the insulin levels, but if you cram too much into the cells, they are going to be sick, so they adjust to not respond to that particular sugar “dinner bell”. Get the saturation of sugar out, the response to insulin can return to normal. IMHO, that’s how the “fasting ‘cure'” works. I also think I’d not reached the insulin resistance point anyway, so it was easier for me to just cut back the sugar shocks.

Sidebar on Alzheimer’s:

Several articles popped up claiming Alzheimer’s is now being called “Type 3 Diabetes”. I have a few links saved that I may add in comments later. The bottom line is about 50% higher co-morbidity between the two diseases. There was a great lab experiment with the researcher giving rats an insulin blocker and them getting Alzheimer’s. (Nitrosomines… so maybe not so much nitrates in the processed meats would be a good idea…) Showed how the insulin receptors would ramp down on the rat cells too, leading to insulin resistance. That experiment was the one that sold me on the T3D claim. When you can demonstrate control of the machinery and get the expected results, well, it’s pretty clear evidence. So maybe it isn’t so much a disease of age, as one of inactivity and high sugar intake… There is a genetic component, but looks like environmental triggers may be needed too. Basically, it isn’t the beta-amyloid that’s the cause, but rather a symptom. The rats got it too, IIRC, after the insulin blocker was given.

So bottom line:

The machinery is designed for a fairly regular level of use and if you don’t do that, you can’t keep dumping in more fuel. It will overflow. Eventually it will fight you on that. Balance the sugar load to the fuel burn, and maybe take a weekend or even a week to do some kind of very low calorie episode. Get off the damn couch, turn off the TV, and go DO something. Then have a glass of wine with dinner, or a beer with the game on. It’s OK.

Oh, and sporadic tingling of hands or feet is the early sign you ought to do something differently. Don’t ignore it too long or the damage to nerves becomes permanent (sugar is toxic to nerve cells and at too high a level, the longest axons start to suffer and eventually die). If brief and dealt with inside a few weeks, it just goes away…

I’m planning on a good work-over of the entire back yard. With hand tools… and I found my old bike in the garage (where I hung it up when the kids got their drivers licenses…) so it’s getting a clean up and service too. Don’t know what I’m going to do when winter returns, but that’s 1/2 a year away for now.

I figure about once a week I’ll continue to get blood sugar data points, just to check on the longer term effects, if any. For now I’m quite happy with a cut of well over 1/2 and in the normal side of the range. Especially given I’ve not really done all that much. Modest normal activity and not eating a bowl of sugar everyday. Hardly a hardship. I’ve even found black coffee tastes OK, once you get used to the idea you are not going to be drinking coffee flavored sugar syrup ;-) (I do still have my mocha at Starbucks, though… but that’s only a once / week treat most times.)

FWIW, the biggest drop seemed to come when I tried doing “Jazzercise” to various music videos. While it is enjoyable, I don’t really like whacking the floor with my feet, and it isn’t exactly productive. So then I swapped over to yard work stuff. That feels like I’m actually accomplishing something, so I don’t feel guilty about “wasting my time”. Activity is activity is activity, in any case. 30 minutes a day of very active, or 2 hours of modest every other day seems to be “enough” for me. I intend to do over that level just to get my “fat pants” back in the closet and my “skinny pants” back on the body…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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42 Responses to An Interesting Blood Sugar Experiment – Type 2 D

  1. Sandy McClintock says:

    “drinking coffee flavored sugar syrup ;-)” – That was my downfall 15 years ago and led to thirst at mid day. Having cut out sugar from drinks and replaced by “Equal” I’m pretty much back to normal.
    I see argument about the safety of Equal (aspartame & phenylalanine) but I figure that these are ubiquitous in the body anyway, so Equal should do less damage than sugar.

  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    That is one of the benefits mentioned when you look into “Intermittent fasting” as a way to reduce weight. The longer than normal fasting period combined with controlled calorie intake stabilizes insulin response and insulin sensitivity. This makes you less prone to binge eating since the long fasting cycle suppresses hunger sensation as long as you are well hydrated.

  3. Nick Fiekowsky says:

    You may enjoy this blog entry: http://www.thefatemperor.com/blog/2017/4/3/fat-emperor-at-weston-price-limerick-a-root-cause-talk-cholesterol-diabetes

    It discusses how sugar and insulin imbalance drive both diabetes and heart disease.

    Ivor Cummins describes himself as adopting an analytical engineering approach to these health issues. While you were driven by blood sugar, he was motivated by cardiac risk.

  4. Power Grab says:

    Caffeine thrashes the adrenals (source of that cortisol). I’m wondering if the blood sugar would not have gone so high that first morning without the sweet stuff if the caffeine had been limited or avoided.

  5. Power Grab says:

    Substituting TV for chores could be what started the sugar seesaw and wardrobe issue.

    After living for 2 years with only a bicycle to get around, after I bought a car, I put on 15 pounds the first month! I had to limit my intake of Spudnuts at work.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @Sandy:

    Yeah, I was a 2 to 3 spoons / cup guy up until about 3 weeks ago… I accidentally put 2 spoons in again about a week back – WOW that tasted like syrup! Almost wanted to dump it and make a new cup…

    For me, the problem with Nutrasweet et al (aspartame) is that they bind to the sugar sensors on the tongue and then regular sugars don’t taste sweet anymore. Takes me 1/2 a day to a full day to get normal taste back. When accidentally served a diet soda with a meal, I can tell it as the food just goes flat-ish. Then again, I think I may be a supertaster… so YMMV.

    @Larry:

    One thing I noticed is that I was eating when I was really thirsty. The brain is not that discriminating…. “JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING!!!” it says. Found that a glass of water made the desire to “eat” go away most times, more than food even. Now I drink a glass of water and wait 5 minutes. If I’m still “hungry” I’ll eat something.

    @Nick:

    I’ll take a look. Thanks.

    @Power Grab:

    I did some non-sugar with coffee tests I didn’t report here. Only time I got that one high number was with normal full sugar intake. Even today, I doubled up my normal one cup starter to 2 cups and got a “normal range” number. Maybe it is because I’m fully habituated now ;-)

    On another occasion (back about that Friday Posting with the dancers in it…)
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/friday-videos-no-tds-allowed/
    I did a series starting from after dinner to legs feeling a bit ‘wiggly’ to then “dancing to the TV” and then measured again. Sugar dropped fast with dancing. IIRC, something like 150 down to about 110? Something like that. All “odd feelings” in the legs promptly left.

    That was when I decided the #1 issue was not enough muscle mass at rest to soak up the sugar surges, or enough use during the day. I’d been doing a “mostly meat and non-starch veggies” meal plan for about two weeks by then (avoiding the need for a full on fast…) and it helped, but the biggie was the activity.

    Now that I’ve got Daily Activity back in play, I’ve added back starches (bread, potatoes) and still have a normal range.

    Basically I sensitivity tested coffee, wine, starches, activity, pure sugar. The biggest responses were from sugar reduction and activity increase. Mild changes with everything else, and not much from coffee (for habituated me…) Thus my general conclusion that it is the sugar / activity balance that needs most adjusting, then gross calories and body form (more muscle mass at rest soaking up calories) with only a minor effect from things like wine, starches, and coffee (in decreasing order I think…)

    Then again, I’m most likely not actually having any T2D and have not been diagnosed with it, just in that “pre” stage where they say “Hey, get off the couch and put down the high fructose drinks.” Which I’ve done.

    But we’ll see how things change over time. I’ve got a half dozen more test strips and stickers left before I have to buy another batch. About $20 when the time comes, IIRC, so not a big deal if I see anything interesting in the last batch.

    I got the bike cleaned off and tires aired up this afternoon (worked in a 1 block test just fine) so one of these days I’m going to put a few miles on, several hours after a meal, and then see where it goes. I’m thinking I can likely get to a 40 – 50 range pretty easy. IIRC, below 20 is “an issue” with being too low (unless you are a hard core athlete I think it said), so if I hit 40 to 50, I’m thinking that is sort of a low normal. Then I’ll try the old bowl of Sugar Coated Wheaties and see what happens… (Hey, it’s my blood and I can play with it if I want too! ;-)

    A friend had hypoglycemia and some 40 years ago I managed to get my generally rock solid metabolism into a hypoglycemic state (via a whacko diet with little real nutrition in it, lots of carbs, and sugar in bursts) then out of it (over the course of a mildly scary couple of weeks… longer than I expected) via a high meat, modest fat, very healthy vegetables diet. Why? Just to find the set of triggers and circumstances. I.e. characterize the system and find the limits. Develop suggestions for how to get him more stable.

    Because of that, I’m more inclined to think I just got me out of whack on the “sugar, fast food, and lots of fries” adrenaline and about 500 mg caffeine a day marathon drive followed by a sudden halt into lump land. Putting me back into a more familiar pattern seems to have fixed it after about 2 to 3 weeks. About the time it takes for cells to change the receptors on their surfaces…

  7. John F. Hultquist says:

    Wine is taxed at $1.07 per gallon if under 14%;
    between 14% and 21%, the tax is $1.57;
    next jump is to $3.15 per gallon.

    The bottle we opened tonight claims 13.5%.
    Wineries are allowed a little leeway, so could be more, because they do not want to go over that 14% line.

    Still, 10 to 12 oz. Per day X 7 days = 1,740 to 2,100 cal. per week
    [1/2 bottle = 12.68 oz.]
    That is 3 to 4 hours of active gardening.

    Work harder, drink more.

  8. Larry Ledwick says:

    @Larry:

    One thing I noticed is that I was eating when I was really thirsty. The brain is not that discriminating…. “JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING!!!” it says. Found that a glass of water made the desire to “eat” go away most times, more than food even. Now I drink a glass of water and wait 5 minutes. If I’m still “hungry” I’ll eat something.

    Very true! One other thing I noticed was that if you are drinking a lot of water, you need to periodically take a little salt or salty food (popcorn with salt and no butter, is a great low calorie filler that gives your gut something to play with without being high in calories) Low in calories as long as you avoid drenching it with butter but also adds some fiber to make you feel full.

    Too much water intake washes salt out of your system and you get thirsty because your body is actually craving trace minerals not because you need water. (note many bottled water brands add a little bit of minerals to the water for that reason, it greatly improves is ability to satisfy).

    http://www.businessinsider.com/bottled-distilled-water-salt-electrolytes-2016-4

    http://www.rawstory.com/2014/07/your-pure-bottled-water-contains-added-chemicals-and-other-natural-additives/

    The thirst sensation is cross wired with hunger and it is hard to tell the two apart. I have also found that a big glass of water will often dull the hunger sensation.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @John F. Hultquist:

    Seems to be the ticket…

    @Larry:

    When working in the cannery tossing cases ( 50 # each, 400 / hour, hot central valley summers over 100 F ) we’d sweat a river. They had salt tablets, and I started taking one with runs to the water cooler (where they were located).

    Well, sweat would get in my eyes. It got salty enough to burn when I was eating the salt tablets. Nearly like pure water when I stopped. I think folks with a “problem with salt” really have a “not sweating enough” problem.

    In general, I think our ‘design’ is for a very active sweaty workout in the outdoors and much of our “problems” come from running the machine out of spec…

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes heat adapted athletes sweat nearly distilled water but they still lose salts in both sweat and urine so some is needed to prevent electrolyte problems (water poisoning) due to salt and potassium depletion. In long distance runners, they found that there are two classes of people some are “salt dumpers” the sort of folks that get salt rings on their tee shirts and the folks that efficiently manage salt, so probably a mix of both a genetic disposition to have good or poor salt management and adaptation to heat stress.

    For most marathon runners, when I was doing that sort of thing Gatoraid was too strong and would make you sick if you drank it by itself, so we would usually grab one cup of Gatoraid and one of plain water, chug the Gatoraid, then chase it with one or even two glasses of water, but a few runners took it straight with no problems.

    The best tasting food I have ever had in my life, was a single raw half orange at about 16 miles into a marathon here in Denver on an 80 degree day when folks were getting dry heaves from dehydration and over heating.

    When I am dehydrated from exercise I really crave that sort of fruit juice. A couple weeks ago after a work out, I got home and had an ice cold glass of Ocean Spray Cran-Grape Juice right after my run, and it was nearly as intense as that half orange, it tasted Fantastic!

    My body made it very clear to me that it needed something in that juice.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, I wasn’t saying too little salt / electrolytes is not a problem. I’ve found Dasani and Calistoga to be favorites as they have a higher dissolved solids level.

    My intent was (apparently in-artfully) aimed at the paranoia over too much salt. IF you are sweating some amount, the sweat glands can produce water so salty it burns your eyes. We can dump salt if in excess, provided we sweat. No sweating, the excess can’t be dumped and you get problems like high blood pressure, water retention, edema et. al.

    I guess maybe I’m just too literal. I can’t call hyponatremia a “salt problem” as it is a water problem ;-)

    FWIW, I mix some KCl with my NaCl to get a better ion mix on my food. I’d likely use one of those fru-fru fancy salts with the whole ocean pallet in it if I felt it was worth the money. Or the prices were lower.

    When working out a lot, in the heat, I’ll preferentially use a mineral water with something like a gatoraid. I also can’t stand “soft” water for long. Just doesn’t have what a body needs… or flavor. “Hard” water from the faucet is also good.

  12. philjourdan says:

    Since my BP went a little high a few years back, I have to do the annual physical. Which includes glucose levels. That is one thing that has been fine all these years (the BP is not a real problem, but I watch it since it can get you bumped for donating). But I have found diet works very well to regulate the blood chemistry. So I stay away from Starches (not totally – got to have my pasta!), and eat rabbit food every day. The only thing that is consistently high, and then not alarmingly so, is Cholesterol – I refuse to do Statins. But then they are saying now that is not abnormal (gee, you mean they do not know it all?). My “bad” is in the low 100s, so niacin is all I do. However, that can cause an elevation of blood sugar, hence my avoidance of starches.

    I let the doctor check me out once a year, and then just eat based upon what is converted to what.

    Oh, and NO aerobics for me. Yard work is more pleasing. ANd a lot more sweaty given the humidity. But that is the price to pay in a non-desert area.

  13. angech says:

    Adult onset diabetes is a nuisance but liveable with and not preventable. It will slowly get worse with time. It is age and weight and exercise dependent. It is alright to take sugar if sugar is part of your natural diet but cutting down the calories, and hence the sugar, will help you lose weight and reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to produce.
    You will find a number of described methods claiming to stop or control the problem but basically anything you do once diagnosed will initially help and then slowly fail. The problem is you are producing less insulin as the insulin producing cells in the pancreas atrophy or in rare cases insulin resistance builds up.
    Think of a graph of Insulin running along and going into a long slow decline at say 110 years of age. Now think of a type 2 with the graph dropping more quickly to 80 years Run a line along at say 65% that is where you need diet control/weight loss. At 60% you need tablets. Metformin is good but causes peripheral neuropathy in a small percentage, tough with your comments. At 50% cent which could take 2-15 years you may need insulin added.
    If you make that graph weight relevant then a 100 Kmg guy who drops to 90 Kgms needs less of their natural insulin to keep control so the need to take tablets can get extended out say 2-5 years but the insulin keeps dropping.
    Exercise does much the same thing.
    So go for it.
    Re the peripheral neuropathy thing it is too early for the sugar to cause it in >99% of cases (not impossible) just highly unlikely. I strongly suggest you do a B12 (cyanocobalamin) level as it can be fixed by injections of B12, and the sooner you fix it the better as it is irreversible once left too long. Check the folic acid as it helps the B12 and if it persists see your friendly neurologist in case it is something else rare.
    Best of luck.
    Might be a faulty machine.
    But you are human, male, over 50 and type 2 risk material.

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    @PhilJourdan:

    I’ve yet to fail a physical and will likely get inspected again in a few months. They used to tisk-tisk at my BP, then I discovered that if you stop breathing during the test is pops your pressure a dozen points… I’d been not breathing so as to not jiggle the cuff… So now I do deep rhythmic breathing (did a posting about that…) A couple of years back I had my wisdom teeth extracted (yeah, a 60-something in with all the late teens…) and when the assistant was going to take my BP, posted a spot on normal. Just took about 5 minutes of breathing / relaxation after I asked her what reading she wanted ;-) (true story!)

    It is really amazing to me how much diet and breathing can move the blood chemistry around and / or change the typical parameters measured. Just wish this machine came with a better users manual ;-)

    @angech:

    I take a B Complex vitamin from time to time. There seems to be no corelation between when I’m taking it and when I had a bit of tingles. The tingles are very sporadic and seem to have vanished entirely at this point. I’m also prone to taking a specific B-12 pill if doing marathon drives, late nights, or just not feeling zippy, so unless I’ve got some unexplained anemia that has never shown a hint in any medical exams, I think the B-vit path unlikely.

    Heck, I’m not even really sure it IS peripheral neuropath. Just a sort of vague tingle feeling in the bottoms of the feet a few times, one of them after driving about 40 hours straight and the other under less demanding but high sugar intake circumstances. I’d guess about an hour, maybe less, in total duration for all of it. (i.e. add up all the times I’ve noticed, it’s like 4 x 15 minutes )

    At any rate, it will be an issue for my GP when next I see them if I ever have it again.

    The meter isn’t faulty. It is accurately tracking what things ought to be. One modestly high reading with a belly full of sugar, then “what you would expect” as about normal readings for fasting / post meal, etc. once the sugar bowl is gone and some quality garden time added. The missing bit is what the blood sugar was on the trip when this started and I was living on junk food and sugar drinks out and back. ( A steady diet of “gorp” on the bus – chocolate, peanuts, raisins… ; then fast food joint all the way back, i.e. giant soda, fries, and burrito / burger, all periodically seasoned with a Vente Mocha or 24 oz truck stop coffee with sugar to the very very sweet stage… not a vegetable or balanced meal in site for a couple of weeks…) Thus my conclusion that I moved myself into a metabolic edge case state, and now have likely nudged it back to normal.

    It takes a couple of weeks for the binding sites on the cell surface to adapt, and I had given mine about 3 weeks all told of abuse, maybe 5 if you count the prep time not being ideal and my recovery time as a lumpkin post trip. Now it’s taken about the same 2 to 3 weeks to get them moved back to normal response. (I can actually feel the difference. Before I’d feel an inner low energy hunger of sort, but not the belly growl kind. Like the metabolism was hungry but the stomach wasn’t. Now it’s the other way around. I’m again energized, and the hungries come as a disquiet of the stomach and that “feed me” urge is strong, but I’m not feeling “low and slow” in the process.) My interpretation is just that I’d started the insulin resistance process of the cells reducing insulin receptors from sugar overload, and now I’ve reversed that with the number of receptors and their sensitivity again rising.

    In short, I don’t see any evidence that my insulin levels are low at all. I do see evidence that an exotic diet / life style for a few weeks can whack out your metabolism until you shove it back. My numbers are now tracking as normal range, and my diet is moved from “very low carbs of all sorts” back to “normal but leave out the sugar bowls”. That is, I’m not having a morning bowl of sugar coated puffs with an added 4 spoons of sugar washed down with coffee with 3 spoons of sugar in it. Black coffee and eggs with buttered toast works fine. I’ve put back in breads and potatoes and such, and even things like bananas and applesauce. Things are staying on track. Heck, the spouse made chocolate chip cookies and I’ve been having 3 to 6 a day for the last week and things are still doing fine. Note that I’ve replaced sugar with fats for breakfast… not cut back those calories. Dinners were cut back for a while, but I’m now letting them be normal portions. I have added a dinner salad (topped with cheese shreds and ranch dressing, so again not a calorie reduction…)

    I slammed SUGAR to “way low” and calorie intake to “somewhat low” for a week or two, upped the exercise, and when things hit normal again, have moved calorie intake back to near normal, kept the exercise, and continued to swap fiber for sugar. Essentially I went for about a 1 day indication of “benign dietary ketosis”, then moved back toward normal. I didn’t use the test strips as I don’t know if we still have them (some decades back the spouse did the all meat and fiber ketosis thing with test strips…) so my guess that I was “getting there” for about a day is just that, a guess.

    That’s why I have called this a blood sugar experiment, and not titled it as me being diagnosed as anything, T2D or otherwise.

    What has intrigued me the most about the whole process is the hysteresis of the system. That you can shove it into a quasi-latched state and stabilize there, but a whack the other way can move the center point in about a week, full response in about 2 weeks. I think that is the insulin receptors on the cell surface changing (as was seen in the rat studies)

    BTW, I don’t see any of this as being counter to your description of insulin change over a lifetime. When I was a teenager, I could eat buckets of sugar all day and not induce any noticeable “issues” other than dentist visits… I’m just asserting I’m not in the T2D range at this time, and as the “pre” range type, can move my center point back into normal with the recommended changes ( i.e. do what the AMA says and up the fiber, drop the sugar, and get off the couch…) The major takeaway for me being to not revert to the “Teen On The Road” diet when doing a Hail Mary couple of weeks on the road…

    But if any tingles return, a trip to the doctor will be on my agenda. I’m fine with “playing with the machinery” as long as it does what I expect. When it surprises me, I ask the mechanic to look it over ;-)

  15. cdquarles says:

    Yeah, EM, that 240 number is high. Normal fasting blood glucose (be aware that this number is a net between constant metabolic synthesis of it from amino acids, absorption of it, temporary storage as starch, conversion of starch back to glucose, and combustion of it to carbon dioxide and water) is between 80 and 100. Below 80 or so (the personal set point varies from person to person), one may begin to have symptoms of low blood glucose. Above 100 fasting these days is considered high fasting blood sugar.

    Note that after meals, the blood sugar will rise, tempered by liver, fatty tissue and muscle action. Muscle will convert it to starch and fat. The liver will covert it first to starch, as will muscle. Fat will convert it to fat. Later, liver and muscle will also convert it to fat. Muscle will preferentially burn fat or starch, depending on local needs. Liver tends to burn fat for local needs, though will burn starch first, too. After meal blood sugar ‘normals’ have been drastically lowered over the last 60 years, so people in the 1950s that were not considered diabetic will be so considered today (that is a part of the so-called epidemic we have now. Personally, I think these so-called epidemics of diabetes and obesity are not really epidemics; but convenient means of imposing tyranny. In the old days, 240 would have just been over the ‘post-prandial’ ‘normal’.Now-a-days, yeah, an MD or DO will nag you about your lifestyle.

    The fact is that fat is the most efficient way for chemically mediated embodied life forms to store excess energy from meals right now for use later. Since the next meal is not guaranteed, this is a survival mechanism. It wasn’t that long ago that the ‘fat’ person was seen as healthy and prosperous, whereas the ‘skinny’ one was seen as unhealthy and ‘poor’.

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    Yes, that 240 was “post sugar bowl”… My interpretation is that I was injecting a bigger dollop of sugar than could be dealt with in the time available with the muscle mass available. Adding fiber, slowing the absorption, and removing most of the “prompt sugar” put me back in “normal” pretty quickly. Building muscle mass will let me have my cookies too ;-)

    I’ve had no number over 140 in the last week+, even near meals. Below 100 away from meals. Per the numbers I’ve found on various sites, 120-140 digesting is about normal, under 100 fasting. Near as I can tell, I’m there. (They said under 50 gets you into low blood sugar and risk of shakes and such. Sometime this weekend I’m going to see if I can get there with a fasting bike ride… Yeah, playing with the machinery ;-)

  17. cdquarles says:

    One other thing. Coffee and calcium increase stomach acid production. Too much HCl in the stomach isn’t good. Too little and you get malabsorption problems. About H. pylori and ulcers, well, they are more acid tolerant … so, yeah, watch that caffeine (which plants make to limit animal predation, among many other poisons, where poison is dependent on the chemical and how much you get exposed to). As we age, intrinsic factor production declines. Most folk don’t have that happen to the degree that they get B12 deficient, but if you have auto-immune diseases yourself or in your family, that can happen. B12 deficiency is insidious. It takes years of it to result in symptoms. 1mg of it goes a long way. 500 mg of caffeine is a lot! It also affects intercellular signalling, which in turn affect cell surface proteins, among other things.

    Mortal Man doomed to die. Our bodies last at most 120 years. That’s not going to change by human action alone. The very processes that allow growth and development from the seed (fertilized ovum) destroy to body from within. Moderation in all things helps, including exercise.

    Someone said that your tingling foot likely isn’t from the sugar you reported. i agree, yours was more likely a combination of vibration, poor sleep, unusual posture from prolonged driving plus having to work on that auto, nerve compression in your neck, back and near your knees plus possible, temporary, vitamin deficiency.

    As one who does have auto-immune related illnesses, beginning in childhood, yeah, I have to watch what I eat and drink.

    With respect to cholesterol, it is an acute phase reactant, so local inflammation will have local high cholesterol plus the activated oxygen species used by the body to deal with inflammation. When that’d from an infection, there is less body damage taken. When it is not, the body parts affected take all of the damage. At least my family doctor told me that I don’t have to take B12 shots the rest of my life if I am careful.

    @ Phil, people taking pharmaceutical doses of niacin for its cholesterol effects are taking it in way higher amounts than normally needed. If I am remembering correctly, peripheral neuropathy is also an effect of vitamin poisoning as well as deficiency. For the B complex, they’re water soluble, so normal diets rarely result in poisoning. Excess normally gets excreted in the urine.

  18. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. Re: Blood Pressure

    I discovered that by accident as well. I found that I could lower by BP by slow steady breathing. But only by a few points. The one thing I cannot play with is my Hemoglobin count. Which is good in my case. While I have not had any cancer, I do have a propensity for benign polyps in my colon which lowers my hemoglobin ( I guess due to excessive bleeding). So far they have found 3 (over 15 years). I am on a schedule to be checked now every 3 years, but if I turn up anemic when donating, I do not wait. I just go to the doc and tell him I have another one.

  19. cdquarles says:

    @Phil, re the BP effects of breathing. Those were noted when the sphygmomanometer was created. “Self-hypnosis”, which uses controlled slow breathing as one of a number of techniques, has been used to modestly lower BP, mainly by lowering the diastolic number through small muscle cell relaxation, of which nitric oxide is one of several local chemical mediators of arterial and more importantly, arteriole smooth muscle contractile state. Given that pipe flow is a 4th power function of vessel diameter, a little increase in vessel diameter goes a long way. I forget now the fluid viscosity function, but that helps too (part of how aspirin does its thing, by reducing platelet aggregation). Nitric oxide is also one of the acute phase reactants, created via superoxide dismutase action (superoxide dismutase is a large family of metalloproteins, where the active site uses ATP to add an electron to oxygen as O2. The superoxide radical so produced goes on to make hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid (chlorine atom abstracted from the chloride anions in solution and attached to oxygen as HOCl).

  20. philjourdan says:

    @CD – Oh yea, it is in much higher doses. But under the Doctors supervision. I do the 500mg tablets and yes, I get hot flashes and histamines out the wazoo! Given the meme is changing about cholesterol (it was never over 135 for LDL), I may stop it. The cure is almost worse than the disease.

  21. cdquarles says:

    About sugar being anti-food, as I have seen claimed, if that is so, please answer this question. Why do we become ill when blood glucose drops below a personal tolerance set point? I am being serious this time.

  22. cdquarles says:

    Phil, given that I am aware of parts of the “cholesterol/saturated fat is bad”/”no it isn’t” debate, having done scientific work in a pathology lab that published papers on it and knowing how faddish medical science can be, I’m wondering if your MD is feeling political pressure. If your LDL has never been above 135, what were the HDL levels if they were done and how were they done? I know that current politics in medicine push a 3:1 ratio for those, but I am skeptical because local inflammation matters too, maybe more than the ‘global’ blood levels do. Finding that out takes a lot more work than just extrapolating from blood levels.

  23. cdquarles says:

    Another thing: to the body, there is no chemical difference between glucose and fructose. The absorption pathways are slightly different due to one being an aldose while the other is a ketose (from part of the ring being an aldehyde versus a ketone). Both are polyalcohols in nature, though maybe more precisely oligo-alcohols.

  24. cdquarles says:

    I also know that people don’t like statins, but they do work and they work on both the inflammatory component and the non-inflammatory components. Sure that’ll have side effects. I think worrying over the diseases of long life is not worth it. Cardiovascular disease can’t really be prevented. What you can do is move the time to symptoms and maybe even keep someone from dying from it; but that person will then survive to die of something else. If a person would rather not have the side effects and risk associated with the medicine versus the effects of not taking it and the risks associated with that, then more power to them. Government, butt out!

  25. E.M.Smith says:

    @CDQuarles:

    No difference to the body, but they have different effects on the brain and response to them. Sucrose doesn’t stimulate more eating as much as fructose. (Cited the paper about it in a fructose thread some months ago, maybe years…)

    The 500 mg was when in the middle of a no-sleep marathon… Normally I’m at about 150 / day (one or two cups of coffee in the morning). When I’m pushing all nighters at 80 MPH I don’t fancy dozing off, so it’s about 12 ounces / hour… Though given my lesser quality response to the last couple of these, I think my days of 60 hours coast to coast are over and my Best Western bill is going up ;-) Either that or I’m getting an RV…

    Yes on the Niacin as a peripheral neuropathy agent. In fact, it is possible that my taking the “Mega B Complex” pills during the marathon was contributory to the issue for me. Part of my “mix” is to attempt to offset the stress and caffeine with added vitamins.

    Truthfully, I have no idea of the tingle was sugar related. I do know it wasn’t alcohol related as I did a “challenge” for a few days and things got better, not worse. It is also possible that it is some kind of auto-immune issue as I am known to have reactions to some foods. (In particular, “cow stuff” causes arthritic responses and I’m starting to suspect pork might be doing it as well. I’ve been almost entirely “fish and birds” the last three weeks, so I’ve confounded the blood sugar vs tingle testing with no red meat… Meaning I need to assure I’ve got stable normal blood sugar then repeat a meat challenge…

    I don’t thing sugar is an “anti-food” so don’t know who that question is directed toward. I just see it as an input to as system with a normal capacity to process it. If input exceeds throughput you get “issues’ as it builds up and “the poison is in the dose”.

    @Phil:

    Another odd one: If the anal sphincter is tightened, it adds, for me, 10 to 20 points. Now the Doc has me perch on the bench on a paper over leather slippy surface. But clenching trying to not slip off. Put me in a relaxed chair, it’s about 10 points lower. So nurse takes it in the chair, then doc checks on the “table” and I’m typically about 10 point higher…

    The blood flow rate adjust to the oxygenation rate. Breath deep and fast enough and you can get pressure “way down”. I went from 160 (pushing all the “bad” buttons) to 100 (pushing the good ones) in 20 minutes… then back. Testing the methods.

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/kaiser-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-and-blood-pressure/

    So breathe until you start feeling a little light headed, relax your sit-upon, and see what happens…

  26. philjourdan says:

    @CD – Re: Sugar

    Anything in excess is not good for you. Remember the WII battle.

  27. cdquarles says:

    EM, I’m not sure that I’d give that fructose thing very much weight. Again, having done scientific work in a pathology lab and knowing how faddish medicine can be. Just sayin’

    Exactly. Excess is not good; but what “excess” and “not enough” mean to an individual is much more variable than told and even when told, the uncertainty levels given are far too often too narrow.

  28. philjourdan says:

    @CD- Re: Cholesterol

    I do not have it at my finger tips, but the best I can recall my HDL was in the normal range? I am thinking 49 maybe? Anyway, I have always had moderately high Cholesterol (runs in the family). And my family problem is pancreatic and colon. Not heart.

    As I said, I am seriously considering stopping it. Due to the side effects.

  29. cdquarles says:

    Normal HDL? 35 to 45 if I am remembering correctly and is method dependent. So under 3:1. Talk to your physician and get him/her to go over all of the evidence, pro and con. If you stopped the niacin, I’d not complain at all. No nagging from me. I’d probably not put you on it in the first place, if I were in your physician’s shoes.

  30. cdquarles says:

    Hmm, EM, does your Doc not know about ‘white coat hypertension’? If it is a problem, if I am remembering correctly, you’d want multiple readings lying down, sitting in a normal chair and standing. Standing BP is higher than lying down, and sitting in between.

  31. cdquarles says:

    Oh, don’t forget diurnal variation. BP is highest in the afternoon, when exercising. It is lowest at rest, when sleeping. The normal hormonal diurnal cycle starts the raising the BP just before you wake up, partly to keep you from hitting the floor when standing up.

  32. Jeff says:

    @philjourdan
    “Remember the WII battle”

    Midway??? :) (Midway between the table and me…).

    @cdquarles
    “I’m not sure that I’d give that fructose thing very much weight.” Pun of the day; it might give EM or someone some extra weight (otoh I just look at food pics and gain weight – by proxy?)

    @EM and those who like fine food, med stuff, and geekiness, There’s a great site by a fellow who’s a Cardiologist AND a gourmet chef called http://www.drgourmet.com .

    He has various newsletters on food, diets, medical issues (cholesterol, coumadin, blood pressure, heart issues, exercise, various intolerances, etc.) and, of course, some great recipes and cooking instruction/tech infos. Seriously good food. And healthy, at that.

    He is a proponent of the “Mediterranean Diet”, as well as moderation in eating/drinking/etc. He’s also a good writer, funny, and his recipes work. Well worth having a look!

    Also, speaking of fads, pharma industry pressure, and mis(sed) diagnoses, there’s a book called “How Doctors Think”, by Dr. Jerome Koopman, who had quite an experience being worked up for some problems he was having.

    A very interesting and though-provoking read.

  33. Jeff says:

    Oops. Sorry. Didn’t think it would pop the cover pic. Sigh. At least y’all know what it looks like. It’s also a sobering view of how diagnoses often fall into “ooh, that fits THIS syndrome…or maybe THAT one”. Read: there’s some research money in them thar hills.

    Also, with regard to BP, it varies between arms, too, and the reader (is it an electronic one, or the traditional vacuum pump, stethescope and stopwatch kind). And the wrist cuff ones are usually terrible. Then again, they’re easier than trying the arm cuff versions all by yersel’ …

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    A friend of mine was an EMT (ran a small town ambulance service) and Vietnam war Army combat medic. He always took blood pressure twice, and ignored the first reading. Apprehension about being tested always bumped the first reading. Going back a little later to re-take it had less stress associated with it and was more reliable. Lots of factors can change blood pressure as noted above, caffeine, mental stress about possibly failing a physical, for guys getting blood pressure checked by a pretty young nurse etc.

  35. philjourdan says:

    Statins are merely my poster child for the reality that drugs are toxic. The side effects are just natures way of telling us there is no free lunch. So I avoid them where possible. Statins just have a bad rep over all, but I prefer not to use any drugs (even aspirin when I have the flu). One dose is not going to kill you (probably), but reliance on them is not going to make you healthier either. As you said, it will just change the date and cause of your death.

  36. Dale Cozort says:

    One thing I’ve noticed: Lack of sleep leaves me ravenous. Don’t know what, if anything, it does to blood sugar, but I suspect it is doing something. Sleep certainly seems to have an impact on my weight. I’ve been monitoring my sleep via a Fitbit for about three weeks and making sure I get a minimum of seven and a half hours. My weight dropped maybe 10-12 pounds without much in the way of hunger. I should be logging my food intake to see how I’m doing there, but I haven’t been. Data point: I woke up at 4 am this morning for some reason and am already very hungry three hours after breakfast.

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    @Dale Cozort:

    I’ve used the modest fungibility of food and sleep many times. First noticed it pulling allnighters at work. Avoid sugars (did pancakes once and went promptly to sleep) but meats and fats at 4 AM get me to noon pretty easy…

    Each food element (carbs, fats, proteins) give about a 5% metabolic lift when digesting. Ham, eggs, hashbrowns and you are up 15%, toss in coffee and you can get a 20%+ bump…

    @Philjourdan:

    Even aspirin… freind was hospitalized from a stomach bleed from it (arthritis dose too long)

    @Jeff:

    Pictures are ok.

    @cd:

    Yeah. Didn’t believe me and my home done numbers showing a 30 point rise on the drive in, so a 24 hour monitor… showing low / normal… until the drive in to remove it….

  38. philjourdan says:

    @Jeff – NOT WWII – WII – Wee – the lady who succumbed to dihydrogenmonoxide poisoning. But thanks for the chuckle anyway. I thought about WWII after posting it, but no edit key, so I let it stand.

  39. E.M.Smith says:

    An update:

    Yesterday was another neuropathy experience. A bit longer than the others. Yet blood sugar was normal the whole time. OK, it is unrelated.

    That leaves me with two top contenders.

    1) Super Vitamin B Complex pills. I was taking them during the marathon drive back, and I think on the days of the other episodes. I had not taken them for a few weeks, so took 2 to “catch up” as a loading dose. B vit interactions, deficincies, and excess are known causes. Within hours of swallowing, tingly returned.

    2) Pork. I had gone basically fish & birds during the test. On the road, I usually do ham sandwiches for lunch, made in the car, breakfast jack that has ham on it, and love carnitas for dinner… Yesterday, while prepping dinner, cut some slabs off the ham for lunch, then more as dinner. I have a known beef immune response, tendency to several allergies, and ate a lot of ham and pork when beef got dropped. It is quite possible pork has joined the list of foods with issues.

    As of now, a repeat of the vit B, followed the next day by another ham fest… will disambiguate them.

    I’m most happy to have learned that avoiding over the top sugar meals leaves me with normsl blood sugar. Tonight had salmon, rice & butter beans for dinner, water beverage, and rice pudding desert. At the 1.5 hours, still digesting, point: 129. Spot on between the 120 to 140 normal end points. So looks like it is only sugar by the cup that’s a problem

    I really was prone to having a bowl of sugary cereal and adding a few spoons of suger to it, washed down with coffee with 2 more spoons of sugar… so the meter told me that is too much too fast. But regular meal with starch and small sweet enough desert is fine. I’m very happy with that.

    Now I just need to figure out the tingles. The rapid remission between episodes, the irregular onset, and the long gap during the narrow diet of sugar testing all argue for something in the diet, and the only ones modulated out during the test and back in yesterday (that I can remember) are pork and the Super B. Two days ought to sort them.

    I’m thinking it’s the pills, since there were times of pork / ham and no tingles between the trip and recently, while the B Vit was being ignored. Then again, it might just need a big meal of it to cause an issue. We’ll know in two days, I guesd.

  40. cdquarles says:

    @ Phil, well, every chemical is toxic, conditionally, even those not considered so when exposed to typical doses. Drugs are designed to alter pathological states, so taking them in the absence of such states is risky and even more so when medical conditions have signs and symptoms that overlap, making the diagnosis an educated guess. Still, though, diagnoses are guesses. Dose and route make the medicine. Dose and route make the poison.

  41. E.M.Smith says:

    @CDQuarles:

    Yup.

    BTW, the Super B Complex trial is done. Had onset of “tingly” about 1 hour after taking it, resolved about an hour after the pee reverted from bright yellow to normal. At this point the thesis of Hypervitaminosis B Complex is supported. I’m going to give it 24 hours to fully normalize, then tomorrow will be a Big Ham trial.

    I’m about 90% certain at this point that I’ve got things worked out.

    THE real issue is taking too much Vit-B complex in too rapid a way causing the tingles. Secondarily, in doing the blood sugar measures, found out I was doing the same with the “bowl of sugar and coffee syrup” breakfast; but eating normal meals blood sugar is normal; so mostly a distractor, but worth tending so as to avoid long term issues from sugar spikes. A nice discovery of a long term developing process, but not the immediate worry.

    That’s the hypothesis du jour. If, tomorrow, the Ham Day is a Happy Day, I’ll be quite happy. Then it will just be: Avoid the B pills and the sugar bowls and ‘monitor for a few months’ to closure.

  42. Pingback: T2 Diabetes – Hibernation Lite? | Musings from the Chiefio

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