What happens when we consume sugar after being adapted, and accidental N=1

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #1

So, I was given some tea that I didn’t realize didn’t have sugar-free flavoring in it, and NO, it did not taste sweet, so there was no reason to think something was off. I called the store to ask abotu it, and the drink I had had about 27g of sugar (carbs)! Yikes! Unfortunately, my body decided to reject the FreeStyle Libre sensor, so I had to resort to many fingersticks to track my glucose. And yes, I was not feeling great. I was feeling flushed, and a general sense of being warm. Also, my blood flow was fast (tends to happen with me when body is warm or glucose is high).

This is what my glucose looked like. I went from a very nice and respectable 65 to a shocking 147 as a high, only 1 hour and 15 minutes later. Almost 5 hours after eating my glucose was finally down to 84. That took way too long. And my glucose is finally starting to get back into my normal range for the day.

Now, I’m not saying everyone will have this same extreme reaction, but its certianly something to keep in mind.

HELP! crashing /sleepy after meals. Trouble adapting 8 weeks in
I have come to a realization. Keto and me
(Joey) #2

Yikes, that’s quite a visual.

Where along the spectrum between insulin-resistant and insulin-senistive do you think you fall? While your glucose spiked sharply as seen, it’s worth reflecting on what might have happened to your insulin, which as you know really drives most everything taking place downstream, metabolically speaking.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #3

Thanks for this. I love it when someone does the experiment and reports the results!

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #4

I’m VERY insulin sensitive.
On 8/22 I completed a 72 hour fast and ate supper. Then I had to fast for a PET scan, so after that meal I didn’t eat again until supper on the 23rd. My insulin was likely very low, due to the fast.

Here’s the big picture graph, including leading up to breaking my fast on the 22nd.

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #5

I wasn’t intending to do an experiment, but figured I should report on the results.
I know we all tell people to not cheat, but it really helps having a visual of WHY we shouldn’t.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #6

(Joey) #7

Then my understanding is that the good news is, since you’re highly insulin-sensitive, despite the unsettling spike in serum glucose, the associated insulin spike was likely short-lived. Your healthy tissues are highly responsive to a call for having that excess glucose taken up. Flash in the pan :wink:

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #8

Yeah. I’m not too worried about it. Just thought it might make for a good learning experience for others. And now my hubby knows to specify that he wants the sugar-free syrup.

(Susan) #9

Wow, that is certainly something to watch for. Thanks for posting it and letting us all know!

(Bob M) #10

You’re actually highly physiologically insulin resistant, not insulin sensitive. Otherwise, you wouldn’t get that spike. This is the reason why it’s recommended for keto folks to eat high(er) carb for three days before an oral glucose tolerance test, so that they won’t have a massive spike.

You could test by eating higher carb (say 100g+) for three days and retest. You should get a much lower response.

Now, in general, you may be insulin sensitive, but to see that, you’d have to do an OGTT with insulin, for at least 2 hours.

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #11

My point was that I’m not insulin resistant in the way that a T2D, pre-diabetic, or someone with metabolic syndrom is. Physiologic insulin resistance is different from pathologic insulin resistance.

I’m not going to test for it though. And while I know that fasting insulin isn’t really an indicator of anything, mine has been low the last few times I’ve had it tested.

Also, the carbs were basically from a big shot of sugar, so I’m not surprised at the spike. Additionally, I’ve noticed that when my glucose is already low the spikes tend to be larger than they would otherwise.

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #12

So, even though my fasting BG is low/normal I have physiological insulin resistance?

@PaulL, @Brenda do you have any input on what happened and why?

Also, is there a good way to test for physiological IR without doing an OGTT (and measuring insulin)?

(Bunny) #13

That’s what is so neat about ketogenic diet is that you have that health reserve window if you do eat a big blast of free sugars (carbs) you burn it up very rapidly but it also triggers a heat induced thermogenesis (why you were feeling warm, flushed and producing more brown fat?) like when one is exposed to colder conditions because of the formation of more brown fat (BAT) when you do the ketogenic diet for a long-time which is a type of iron rich mitochondrial adipose tissue that burns up the ad libitum sugar immediately for fuel in addition to the mitochondria within the brown fat also using ketone bodies for fuel except for acetone (only the brain uses that)!

That temporary blast of sugar was a good thing not a bad thing!

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #14

Yes, but as someone with cancer, I’m always concerned about the amount of sugar I take in. Now, I don’t think that one blast of sugar will be particularly harmful, but I don’t know how it affected things otherwise.

(Bunny) #15

Thank you for sharing little details like you did here it helps me know I’m not the only one…lol

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #16

Thanks! I am very interested in numbers. I just hope I’m not overdoing it and annoying people. :smiley:

(Joey) #17

Mmm… I’m not sure I’m clear on this.

@ctviggen Bob, Are you sure this is an accurate statement? The glucose spike itself would largely reflect the consumption of the dietary sugar/carbs - not one’s level of sensitivity to insulin - right?

Isn’t this largely independent of the subsequent release of insulin, which is a secondary step… and then, the body tissues’ response (sensitive vs resistant) to that insulin spike is yet another step, no?

@KetoCancerMom I’m likely out of my league here, but I would have thought that - if one is highly insulin sensitive - the spike in glucose from eating sugar/carbs is quickly “cleared out” of the blood serum because the body (= muscles, organs, other tissues) responds more promptly/fully to the insulin’s signals.

As a result, someone who is highly insulin-sensitive can tolerate a higher dose of carbs (than an insulin-resistant individual) because the metabolic mechanism to clear it out of the blood (i.e., bring blood sugar back down again) is highly functional - as opposed to a diabetic who is insulin-resistant. In IR individuals, that same response (i.e., producing/releasing insulin) is either non-existent (T1D) or impaired (production/tissue response) from overuse (T2D).

Please, anyone with a better grasp of this stuff would be wise to set the record straight if I’m mangling the science here.

But assuming I’m right, then the bottom line for an individual keeping blood glucose low out of cancer-related concerns is as follows: An insulin sensitive individual can “get away with” an occasional spike in glucose without the same level of risk of nourishing potential cancerous cells because most of the rest of the body is quick to take in the glucose - and thus, less of it becomes available for the cancerous cells (which would otherwise get a larger share of that serum glucose).

Again - others with true expertise are encouraged to help me learn if I’m all wet here!

Advice on Sugar and Keto
(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #18

I should also note that I had broken my fast on the 22nd, so my body was still adapting to eating again. I’ve noticed also, that when my glucose is very low it goes up a lot higher than it normally would when I eat.

(IDM Educator) #19


You can do a simple fasting insulin blood test. Under 4 is a normal number. Higher (mine was 11 and a year later measured at 7) means insulin resistance. Test your blood glucose at that same time and you will have an even more accurate indicator of insulin resistence. (there is actually a mathematic formula). I should check mine again. Its been a few years. It should have continued to trend down as I have been consistently ketogenic and fasting for years.

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #20

I’m getting it done again in a few weeks. My last one had my fasting insulin at around 2.4.

Fasting glucose has always been under 100, except once when it was 102.

The question is if I have physiologic insulin resistance (aka adaptive glucose sparing).