Glucose sparing?


(Tony H) #1

Hi very new to low carb/keto here and having some issues. Was diagnosed with SIBO whilst working with a nutritionist who then decided to put me on a low carb diet (150g max). I started finding it easier over time and edging down towards 100g then I pushed and went full keto for a week with IF. I was not aware at this point that my body wouldnt like carbs so in a family meal I ate some mashed potato with my main then ate some dessert thinking the odd meal wont do me any harm. The following 24 hours made me quite unwell, feeling sick, sweating, diarrhoea, sulphur burps etc. I spoke with my nutritionist who told me this was likely ‘glucose sparing’ and not to panic its perfectly normal. I found this quite scary so I backed off keto and started to push for 100/150g a day again and over the next few days it seemed to settle and I assumed id switched back. Fast forward 2 weeks and its happened again. My fasting blood sugar has been as high as 6.4 but during the day when im eating my levels are generally never higher than 6.4 within an hour or so of eating but im still feeling unwell and riding the spikes. I did have a smoothie for breakfast today, tested 30 mins or so later cus it made me feel awful and noticed it had temp spiked to 10.5. Im 34 and never had an issue with blood sugar but I feel as tho I have broken my body. Will this reverse and go back to ‘normal’ on its own or do I have to adhere to a certain diet to make it go back? Cut down on fats? Ive just had my bloods done at doctors and am worried they will just label me diabetic cus the nurse looked confused when I was talking to her about glucose sparing. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks


(Joey) #2

@Tony210987 Welcome to the forum!

I’m no SIBO expert, but from what little I know, cutting out the carbs is an ideal approach to reducing the sugar-hungry bacteria in your small intestine. Directionally, this should help - not hurt - your digestive tract.

As for keto hurting your body, on the contrary. While keto isn’t a cure for everything, it’s certainly a cure for a lot of things. Setting your gut biome back on a healthier course is clearly one of them.

If your body revolts when you add carbs/starch/sugar, well… there you go. Stop giving it reason for such insurrection.

Best wishes. Please keep us posted. :vulcan_salute:


(Denise) #3

When I started out I found reading others stories here on the site so helpful, felt it saved my life even. I also took up watching Videos on youtube and learning form articles etc. as much as I could about T2 diabetes. I don’t know what SIBO is but couldn’t hurt to look it up and study about it.

I believe in Dr. Ben Bikman on Insulin Resistance and I don’t have a clue if this would help with your diagnosis. But, I am reading his book as well, even though he gives more than enough info for free in Youtube. He’s the real deal in my opinion, and speaks so I can understand what he is teaching. The book is called “why we get sick” and I am a few chapters in so far.

Glad you are here and looking for help. I find learning about my own body has been more helpful than conventional docs and dieticians which I’ve seen them as well. My MD is the best as he listens to what I’ve learned, and excepts that I want to avoid drugs if at all possible.


(Allie) #4

It’s not keto wrecking your body. The reactions you’re getting are due to the bad bacteria suddenly getting fed again and throwing a massive party as a result. If you want them kept quiet, don’t feed them.


(Bacon is better) #5

If I’m reading your post correctly, it seems as though when you eat low-carb, your digestion is fine, but when you add back potatoes and eat dessert, you have a bad reaction?

It sounds to me as though you are discovering just how beneficial a low-carb diet can be. Try going even lower in the carb intake, say under 20 g or so a day. I’ll bet you’ll feel quite a bit better.

When I first joined these forums, there were a lot of people with candidiasis who had gone keto and were experiencing a massive die-off of the yeast. It was not pleasant for them, but they all agreed, once it was over, that it had been worth it, to be free of all the symptoms they had experienced while eating a lot of carbohydrate.

Prof. Benjamin Bikman, who was mentioned in an earlier post, once mentioned in a lecture (available on YouTube) that fasting was a great way to kill off unwanted bacteria. I believe he was joking when he said it, but I also believe he had a real point underneath the joke. I wonder if fasting might not help you deal with the overgrowth and get back to a better microbiome.

So all I can say is to hang in there! It will get better over time.


(Tony H) #6

My practitioner put me on a diet free from processed food and grains, said up to a maximum of 150g of carbs is ok (sibo wise). I think mentally I am struggling to take that leap of not being allowed something because my body wont accept glucose and not being able to eat all foods in moderation. Twice in 2 weeks I have woken up feeling super sick and sweating with what I assume is the dawn phenomenon. Having read a bit about glucose sparing I was under the impression it can be reversed? Ive done a diet for a short period of time which feels like it has given me temporary(hopefully) diabetes and obv that scares me. Will my body in time start to accept glucose again?


(Tony H) #7

I think in my mind I was hoping to do keto for a few months, lose some weight and improve my markers before edging out to a more low carb way of eating long term. I had no idea my body would say no…


(Denise) #8

how about listing a typical day of eating and drinking? Try not to skip anything, include any hours of fasting :wink:


(Joey) #9

This is a common and understandable point of resistance to anything that smacks of the word “diet.”

FWIW, many of us who are thriving with highly restricted carbs don’t experience this way of eating as “not being allowed.”

Given how truly satisfying and satiating our fat + protein eating habits are, and how unpleasant sweetness and flavorless starches become once your addiction to carbs subsides, we never look at carb-based foods as something we’re “not allowed.” We look at them as something we’d more than likely gag on.

Like once you quit smoking cigarettes, there comes a point where it’s just a disgusting thing to be around - no less inhale. If you try one, you quickly remember how gross it was.

Still, associations can be hard to break. With smoking, it could be drinking alcohol, hanging out with friends, or taking a break from work.

With carbs, it’s often family gatherings, celebrations, dessert after a heavy meal.

But still, getting past such associations, with carb restriction many folks reach that point where their bodies realize they’ve got nothing of value to offer. Eventually, the habits and associations catch up with the reality.


(Denise) #10

I can’t agree more, well said Joey! It’s hard to believe, but just 14 months ago I would have NEVER considered giving up bread, potatoes (especially chips) and the list goes on!

Today, and for that 14 months, I look at what I can eat, not at what I “choose” not to. My body changes are undeniable, I lost 23 lbs, well, 24 now, just by dropping the high-carb foods I ate. I still eat just under 30, some days up to 50g, no meds either.


(Tony H) #11

Typically I aim for 3 meals when shooting for a max of 150g carbs:

Breakfast: I have Kefir 250ml, 80g frozen blueberries, 15g Almonds, 15g chia seeds, 15g walnuts, 15g pumpkin seeds.

Lunch: Handful spinach, 1 seasoned chicken breast, 1/2 tin chickpeas, 1/2 bell pepper, 4 cherry toms, 1 avocado

Dinner: Homemade air fryer chips(1 tbsp EV olive oil) with either eggs/salmon and 50g petit pois.

This comes out to roughly 1800 cals, 95P, 147C, 96F


(Joey) #12

Reading the details of your typical menu, it sounds like you’re giving those pesky bacteria a lot to munch on. I won’t pretend to know much about SIBO, but my guess would be you’re still stringing those little buggers along for the ride with so many carbs.

I thought the idea was to starve them, not to tease them. :thinking:


(Denise) #13

PH Balance comes to mind as well. Seems I’ve read about dealing with the gut issue, and it coincides with Insulin Resistance.

Check this out, short and sweet article, might make you curious to seek out more info so you can take control of your own body for the most part?
https://advancednaturopathic.com/sibo-and-insulin-resistance/


(Tony H) #14

It was originally, I did 6-7 week elimination diet where I wasnt allowed any carbs and food wise it was the hardest thing ive ever done. Towards the end I could of cried. Never been someone who enjoys eating meat and you take carbs away and meat and veg was pretty much all I had and I hated it.


(Joey) #15

Crying over what you can eat really sucks. To be honest, if you don’t like eating meat you’re not coming to carb-restriction with a very cooperative palate.

Have you considered a plant-based keto eating style? It can be done - with careful protein management and probably nutrient supplements. But there are those who manage to pull it off successfully and keep their carbs way lower than 150 g/day.


(Denise) #16

I don’t like that word “diet” either because too many “diets” are shown not to work. Keto isn’t a one size fits all way of eating. Everyone finds their own way of adapting your body so that it no longer relies on sugars for energy, but instead, relies on fat (good fats). I mentioned I’m 69 and while everyone around me where I live is giving life up for a recliner and the boob-tube, I’m gaining more quality of life than I had when I was younger.

I had to want it more than anything, yes, the T2 diagnosis drove me into Keto, but meeting others that were so successful with it, pushed me on. I can’t imagine ever going back to the way I ate. Now I eat for fuel, and that quality of life, how ever long I live :wink:


(Tony H) #17

Yes very interesting. Im sure like many of you ive spent hundreds of hours on google looking into my health issues but very few regarding insulin because up until I did keto I never had an issue with my blood sugars so I know extremely little about what is happening to my body right now. I have read that glucose sparing is temp if you reintroduce carbs but after 2 weeks mine feels like its getting worse tbh


(Denise) #18

I don’t think you’ll hurt yourself if you try for 2 weeks to eat 50g or less carbs?? Why not give it a shot? No cheating :wink: Hey, anyone that can go 6 or 7 weeks without any carbs, can do 2 weeks on Keto!! Gotta hand it too you, I would have cried with no carbs :grin: Eat chicken, turkey, bacon, sausage, lots besides red meat, plus dairy has protein as well! Eggs!! I love my eggs!!


(Joey) #19

“Glucose sparing” can be a fraught term.

“Sparing” usually means that your body is no longer wasting something valuable. Not wasting a resource is a good thing which takes place when you change environmental variables and your body adapts accordingly.

The opposite of sparing is wasting or squandering (like peeing away excess ketones in your urine before your muscles/organs become more fat-adapted. Eventually ketone sparing kicks in - a more efficient metabolic state in the long run).

What specifically are you concerned about with respect to glucose sparing?


(Tony H) #20

Im not concerned about keto, i felt good when doing it and think I could easy do 2 weeks tbh. My issue is I just dont like the idea that its final and I cant eat the odd thing here and there without feeling terrible. I know at this point id feel better if i did keto cus my body is clearly adapted, my concern is weather this process is reversible and my body is capable to switching back which atm it doesnt feel as tho it is.