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  • blood glucose while in ketosis?

    Sorry if this doesn't belong in this part of the forum, but it seems better here than the other places in the forum.

    I am having trouble finding a solid answer to this. Everywhere I look online tells me something different. I see some say around 50 mg/dl which I would think is totally hypoglycemic. So I don’t really believe that. I see others saying as long as you are below about 97 mg/dl. I see others that say in the 80s. Some say other things. I just want a straight answer. So I need some advice from a successful keto person.

    What is proper blood glucose levels for someone who is in ketosis? I got this blood glucose monitor and I think it may be defective or just a crappy brand. Yesterday my fasting blood glucose (after a 14 hour fast) was 83 mg/dl. Today (again after a 14 hour fast) was 97. I couldn’t believe it so I took my blood glucose again and it said 92. Then I ate exactly 3 pieces of bacon and a piece of cheese, and two hours later my blood glucose was 102. I thought WTF, so I immediately took it again and it said 109.

    So maybe I have a defective monitor (the Nova Max Plus), but regardless, there is probably at least a little bit of truth to it. But I seriously eat 25 grams or less of carbs per day. Usually less.

    Could someone please explain glucose levels to me in regards to ketosis.

  • #2
    In the absence of dietary carbohydrates, your body will break down fats and proteins to maintain your blood glucose in the normal range. Here's an explanation:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluconeogenesis

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JBean View Post
      In the absence of dietary carbohydrates, your body will break down fats and proteins to maintain your blood glucose in the normal range. Here's an explanation:
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluconeogenesis
      Very interesting. Thanks for the info, that helps me a lot!!

      Cheers

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      • #4
        Yes it sound like defective monitor, as per my knowledge the good reading will be around 80 mg/dl and around 180mg/dl after meal.

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        • #5
          It's probably not a defective number. Fingerstick glucose readings are both volatile and error prone. Make sure your monitor is calibrated.

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          • #6
            Re your first question about potential readings in the 50s: my guess is that low numbers are not indicative of hypoglycemia if you're in ketosis. (When I'm fasting I drop to the 60s and even 50s after a few days and I feel great.)

            I would think that gluconeogenesis (JBean's link) would explain the jump after bacon and eggs. I don't know a lot about ketogenic diets, but I think that's why they are not just low in carbs but relatively low in protein as well.

            Your meter might have issues, but all those numbers make sense to me. It sounds like you started checking relatively recently? If so, keep going because you'll see some patterns over time and will be able to make sense of things.

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            • #7
              Also - are you checking ketones as well? I don't check ketone levels so I have no experience there, but somewhere online you can find a blood glucose:ketone ratio that some folks strive for in fasting (you can do searches for Thomas Seyfried's cancer-prevention recommendations if you want to follow that up.)
              Last edited by LinaR; 05-04-2017, 07:08 AM.

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              • #8
                And one more: if you do find a decent guide to glucose numbers while in ketosis, please share! Since diabetes is so common, any searches for blood glucose ranges are overwhelmingly geared to diabetes management, and at least in the US, "normal" numbers seem skewed b/c so many of us are insulin resistant, so it's hard to get a sense of what healthy numbers really might be.

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                • #9
                  Your monitor is probably just fine. The problem is thinking that ketosis should result in lower fasting glucose. The reality is ketosis, and the high fat intake, CAUSES insulin resistance and therefore the rising fasting glucose that you're getting.
                  https://nutritionfacts.org/video/wha...in-resistance/

                  There are also a number of people on this forum that are on very low carbs and yet they still report higher than normal fasting glucose, pre-diabetic and diabetic levels. I, on the other hand, eat nearly 300g carbs daily and my fasting glucose in the last 2 years has ranged from 70 - 81 mg/dl (normal is 65-99). And my last A1c was 5.2% (normal is 4.8-5.6 and prediabetes is 5.7-6.4).

                  So carbs are not the problem. As the video explains, high fasting glucose and insulin resistance can be the result of intramyocellular lipids that interferes with insulin signaling. And diets high in fat makes things worse.
                  Last edited by KimLean125byMar15; 05-04-2017, 08:08 AM.
                  *Starting Wt - 151 lbs (January 2015) * Current Wt - 113 lbs (November 2016)
                  *95% Plant-Based (from June 2015) ~ *75%Carbs *10-15%Protein *10-15%Fat
                  *Exercise ~7-10 hrs/week

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JBean View Post
                    In the absence of dietary carbohydrates, your body will break down fats and proteins to maintain your blood glucose in the normal range. Here's an explanation:
                    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluconeogenesis
                    In addition to converting ingested protein, losing weight often involves breaking down muscle for fuel. That can happen with any weight loss method, and resistance exercise is the way to minimize it.
                    I moved to primalforums.com to escape the spam.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LinaR View Post
                      And one more: if you do find a decent guide to glucose numbers while in ketosis, please share! Since diabetes is so common, any searches for blood glucose ranges are overwhelmingly geared to diabetes management, and at least in the US, "normal" numbers seem skewed b/c so many of us are insulin resistant, so it's hard to get a sense of what healthy numbers really might be.
                      I have read in many places that blood ketone levels start at .5 millimolars and can go up to 2.0 or greater. My blood glucose monitor can read ketones as well, but I am still waiting for the ketone strips to come in the mail. If you google search blood ketone levels, there is a pretty nice graphic that pops up that sums up most things that I've read on that matter.

                      Thank you everyone for all your advice.

                      and "wow" to KimLean125byMar15 on eating 300 carbs per day. If I did that it would kill me haha.

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                      • #12
                        Also, some told me this yesterday (their words not mine):

                        If you aren't a diabetic then, IMHO, you are wasting your time being concerned about your blood glucose level. Your readings are perfectly fine. I say that as a type 1 diabetic who uses a continuous glucose monitor. There will always be a slight increase and decrease in your BG as your pancreas reacts to what you eat, what you are doing and a whole host of other things (being sick, waking up, etc). But your levels are statistically flatline.

                        All foods will raise your blood glucose level somewhat, even proteins and fat have an effect. Also, there is no such thing as a perfect meter. Yours and mine may differ as much as 20 points and still be considered accurate. So don't worry about your meter being flawed in someway.

                        hipe this helps. I feel like it makes sense and it helps me.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sharperhawk View Post

                          In addition to converting ingested protein, losing weight often involves breaking down muscle for fuel. That can happen with any weight loss method, and resistance exercise is the way to minimize it.
                          Yup. Not to mention there are lots of junk proteins, damaged enzymes, free floating aminos...etc that are recycled long before we begin breaking down lean tissue..... autophagy. This happens when you employ lean mass sparing techniques like resistance training, intermittent fasting, or low carb eating.

                          not a fan of Wikipedia, but whatever....
                          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autophagy
                          Last edited by Neckhammer; 05-05-2017, 08:06 AM.

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                          • #14
                            As to the original question, fasting glucose is a moving target and conditional on many things. The limited data you shared in OP is all within normal limits. No indications of metabolic dysfunction to be seen there. All in all what your friend told you and you state in post #12 is correct.

                            Measuring glucose levels while in ketosis is faulty because all the accumulated data in regards to reference ranges are on high carb diets and their "normals". The current recommendation to keto dieters is to raise carb levels to 150g/day for a few days before you test. This will move your physiology out of ketosis and in line with what these tests where built for. Measuring glucose tolerance while in ketosis is like using a screwdriver to hammer a nail.

                            I think Mark even addressed this to some extent in a recent post if you want to check his daily blog.
                            Last edited by Neckhammer; 05-05-2017, 08:46 AM.

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