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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little about myself.....my last A1C in June was 5.7 with an FBS of 109. That was the first time my A1C had been in prediabetic range, though my FBS has dipped in and out over the years. My doctor didn't want me to worry too much as I was only .1 in prediabetes range. He told me the standard stuff, watch diet, exercise, lose a bit of weight. I had started exercising prior to June, actually, so I've been exercising consistently for more than a year but upped the intensity and have, since June, been making changes to my diet to include, most days, a pretty large reduction in carbs and sugar from what I used to consume. This does not mean I gave up the sugar/carbs, just that I reduced them. I lost an additional 12 lbs and really don't need to lose any more than that.

A few months ago, on my own, I purchased a glucose monitor so that I could start testing my FBS daily and that helped me to reduce my sugar/carb intake even more, the monitor sort of spurring me on to see what kind of FBS' I could get by eating differently.

Anyway, then the holidays came and I had some days where I just ate whatever I wanted. And this is what has led me to this forum. It's left me confused. Some of these indulgences seem to have resulted in days long, high FBS readings. I have searched and searched the internet about this and most everything I have read is from some medical journal that says that blood sugar will lower 12-24 hours after eating high carb meals. This is not my experience (and I am not checking sugar before/after all meals, just once in the morning upon waking) and it's kind of freaking me out wondering if, despite all the work I've done, I'm now in diabetic territory. I did not indulge and then just keep indulging for a week or two or the entire month. I had a day where I ate what I wanted, even exercised vigorously, drank a bunch of water that same day - all the things they tell you to do when you have a bad day or meal - and then the next day I got right back on the wagon, low carb/sugar, exercise, water. So, to have high FBS in the 125-130 range for the next few days seems odd. I'm starting to wonder if some of the advice I've seen - like going for a walk after eating a high carb meal to reduce FBS - does anything for me. I didn't just walk...I did an hour of pretty sweaty cycling immediately afterwards, then the next day ate very cleanly, continued my exercise regimen and two days later my FBS is still high.

Sorry for the long story but I wanted to give a clear idea of where I am at and what I have tried. Understanding, after doing all the reading I've done on this subject that nothing about diabetes is "normal" and that it is a confusing and unpredictable disease, do others of you experience this?
 

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Hi, Rigby! Welcome to the site! I'm glad you're here.

I've seen studies from about 2-3 years or so that trace the biological path of "cheat days" for people on very-low-carb eating plans. Here's one: Just one plate of fries on the keto diet can damage your blood vessels . The language in the article is a little alarmist; the study results are the interesting part.

It is very common for us here to notice the effects of excess even a couple of days after the event, depending on the size of the "infraction" and other elements, like time of day, activity levels, medications being taken, etc. There also is Dawn Phenomenon -- something that affects each diabetic differently -- and if you're testing just in the morning, you may be seeing this effect as well.

The proof will be in your next A1c, which will measure blood glucose averages over the preceding three months. You seem to be on the right track in managing your metabolic syndrome. You might choose to use what you've learned about your body's response to guide cheat meals and cheat days. This is a lifelong condition, though, and many people find an unyielding approach to eating difficult to maintain. Food in our culture is far more than just fuel.

Rigby, I hope you stick around here and read what interests you and feel free to post other questions you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for your response. I am glad this is not unique to just me. It's funny because I have a friend who is a Type 2 diabetic who said "130? If I have a 130 FBS I consider that a great day." So, I do understand this is all a matter of perspective and the fact that I am not yet, that I know of, diabetic is a good thing. I'd just like to do whatever I can to avoid it if possible. Unfortunately, I also have some family genetics working against me and it's frustrating that the whole "just lose weight, just up your water and exercise and that will bring your blood sugars down" that actually does work for so many people, may not be something that works for me. Not that I won't keep doing those things because they are all good things to do no matter the outcome, but just that I may not be able to reverse the course as some do. But, this is all just supposition at this point. As you say, the next A1C, which I will be having done this month, will give me additional data for me to use going forward.

Thanks again, I've been to a lot of forums looking for information. This was the first one I felt encouraged to join after reading other posts/comments.
 

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Hi Rigby, welcome to the forum. Congrats on being proactive with your approach to managing. I'm Type 2 and manage my diabetes with diet, exercise, and I take metformin.

There is an old adage here in regards to what raises and lowers blood sugar and how much, in regards to meds, exercise, food, illness, stress, etc. It's called YMMV, your milage may vary. Sounds like you've already discovered it.

There is no one size fits all approach to managing your blood sugar, but one thing that definitely helps is reducing carbs, which you've already done. Just adding exercise, drinking water, loosing weight may be a short term fix for some, but without addressing the biggest source of what becomes blood sugar, carbs, the higher BS will come back and those little tricks will not work as well to get it back down.

To make better use of your meter, look at seeing how what you eat affects your BS. Test before a meal, an hour after starting to eat and two hours after. A non-diabetic persons BS should peak about an hour after eating and be back to near the pre-meal level after 2 hours. Knowing what the carbs were in that meal and seeing the results should help guide you in whether to reduce portion size or eliminate something from your diet. Once you have a good idea of how your meals will affect you, then you can reduce the amount of testing you do. Tracking averages of those readings should also help to give you a better idea over time of what your future A1c will be than just testing FBS.
 
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Hello and welcome! You are not alone!
I've found that just one slip-up shows on my meter for days--especially my morning numbers. As for other diabetics, they are all different and some are happy with their higher numbers. One of my friends was selling a meal replacement powder and he was so proud of his numbers on it. He said it was the only way he got his blood sugar below 200!!!
Glad you're here and hope you stick around and keep posting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Etherea,

Thank you for responding. Your comment actually triggers another question for me. Something I've been wondering since noticing this pattern. You say it shows on your meter for days but especially in your morning numbers. Since I am not yet testing before/after every meal, or other times throughout the day, and it sounds like you may be doing that, do you notice your sugars ever go down into a more normal range after a slip up at other times? For instance, even though yours may show higher in the mornings after a slip up, they don't stay at the higher morning range constantly for three or four days around the clock? Keeping in mind every person's body is different, I'm just wondering if it's possible these really high numbers (for me) could be going into more normal ranges throughout the day/night and then back up before morning. Before the holidays, I did do a few days of testing at 3 in the morning as was recommended just to see if I had Dawn Phenomenon and that didn't appear to be the case for me normally - when my blood sugars are good.
 

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Rigby, I'm not etherea but I can tell you that my Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) typically is my highest reading of the day unless I have a meal with (what is for me these days) a lot of carbs. I'm sure etherea will relate her experience, too.
 

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Rigby,
I don't test before/after meals very often. I usually test mornings and usually one more time during the day. I rarely test more than twice a day. I do find that mornings are the highest numbers of the day. Afternoon/evening numbers are lower unless I've eaten a higher carb meal or let my husband talk me into going to a buffet!
I've found that sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to my numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Itisssteve and etherea - That's actually really helpful to know and makes me a feel a bit more relieved that a high FBS doesn't necessarily mean that it has stayed that high, or higher, for a full three days. Which was what I was concerned about.

Yes, the one thing I've been reading over and over is that the numbers can be confounding sometimes and not to get too worked up about them all of the time. Obviously, they are a useful tool that provides good data but sometimes you can do everything right and have high numbers and sometimes you can have a slip-up and the numbers aren't nearly as bad as you anticipate they are going to be. For me, it's daunting because there are so many different variables - sleep, stress, medications, not to mention all the different foods and/or combinations of foods and/or time of days/night that you eat that could either cause a rise or not. I really admire all of you who battle this disease daily as I can see that it's hard work to manage.

Thanks again all for your input!
 

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Rigby, many times you will see the advice to not be concerned so much about the individual numbers as you should about the trend they (may) represent. As you've seen, individual tests are affected by many factors. Over time, however, the minor factors (small blood sample, questionable strip, not feeling quite right when you tested) should minimize. A FBG of 110 one morning, 132 the next, and 107 the day after is "fine". Noticing that you typically ran 110 or so in the morning and now have run 140 for most of the last 12-14 days should be a cause for more exploration. This may make it a little easier to manage the many factors that affect individual numbers.
 
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