This blog tracks updates to the Blood Sugar 101 Web site.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Page Added: Common Phosphate Additives Damage Your Kidneys and Cardiovascular System

Page Added:Common Phosphate Additives Damage Your Kidneys and Cardiovascular System This new page on the main Blood Sugar 101 Web Site combines information that was posted in several blog posts in 2013. It is now also linked to from the Diabetic Kidney Disease page.

Friday, September 30, 2016

I report about my bad experience with Intermittent Fasting

Page Changed:  Is Your Low Carb Diet Safe?

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8. Intermittent Fasting--Another Way to Provoke the Starvation Response and Ruin Your Metabolism. Intermittent fasting diets like the 5:2 Diet are very popular now but most of us who have tried them for extended periods of time have learned they have all the problems seen with other extreme diets, though they don't seem like starvation diets, as you can eat "normally" when not fasting.

Encouraged by the success reported by some people I trust, I tested out a very strict 5:2 Fast Diet for two years. It took the whole two years for me to see the toll that this kind of dieting took on my body. During the two years I participated daily in an active online fasting-support group where I observed that the ultimately negative outcome I experienced was what most of the dedicated participants in the online group experienced: Very good weight loss results for the first seven months were followed by a sudden reversal where I first stalled and then then began to gain weight relentlessly eating exactly the way I'd been eating while losing so quickly. Worse, my appetite went out of control and by the end of the two years I had developed what felt like a binging disorder.

This was something I had never before experienced in 65 years of controlling my weight with various diet approaches, including 11 years of maintaining a substantial weight loss achieved eating a very low carb diet featuring occasional days off. At the end of my 2 years of intermittent fasting I ended up with far more jiggly subcutaneous fat than I had started with, even though I ended up at the same weight I started at.

I believe this happened because fasting lowered my estrogen levels dramatically.
This was evidenced by my developing menopausal symptoms after a year on the diet--a decade after last experiencing them, at the same time as the diet had, indeed gotten rid of subcutaneous tummy fat.
It took me a good year to get back to having a normal relationship with my appetite. During that year I had to give up entirely on dieting in any way. The tummy fat seems to have moved in permanently.

This experience was very much like what I saw others experience, too, including personal friends and people on the online support group. To me this suggests that long-term intermittent fasting changes your brain chemistry and hormonal balance in a way that makes it much more likely that you will eventually run into this kind of problem.

If you are considering trying intermittent fasting be aware that all the research that is currently used to promote fasting by the usual suspects who get rich selling celebrity doctor diet books is based on very short studies which lasted only a few weeks or, at most, months. Almost all the studies on fasting looked at the physiological changes caused by very short stints of medically supervised complete fasting. Almost none examine the kinds of intermittent fasting dieters use in the currently popular diets like 5:2. The truth is, there is zero data about the long term experience of intermittent fasters.
The sad outcomes most people in my online fasting support forum experienced and my own results suggest that the outcomes over extended periods of time are mostly poor.

Eating a low carb intermittent fasting diet doesn't seem to produce better results, either, based on the reports of those on the fasting support group, who were eating that way.Those dieters stalled and regained on very low carb diets too.

My experience and that of participants in low carb diet support groups suggest that those who figure out a way to cut carbs in a way that doesn't make them feel deprived are able to stick to their diets for far longer with much better results and, most importantly, without the rebound hunger and metabolic slowdown that is so characteristic of more extreme diets. It's worth noting, however, that my polling of those who ate low carb diets for extended periods after achieving weight loss goals showed that most of the successful dieters who did this maintained eating at a non-ketogenic intake level--one close to 110 g a day. It is possible that extended ketogenic dieting may also provoke the starvation response in some people.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Page Changed: Research Connecting Blood Sugar Level to Organ Damage
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NOTE: It is important to keep in mind that the readings people get on glucose tolerance tests may be lower at two hours after consuming the glucose than the readings they get while eating meals containing carbohydrates that require digestion. The speedy absorption of the glucose that occurs during a glucose tolerance test often causes reactive hypoglycemia in people with prediabetes, giving them what look like normal numbers. But in daily life they may be experiencing blood sugars well above normal for an hour or two after slower-digesting meals. Unless you live on a diet of pure glucose, this is an important finding. Because it is the number of hours your nerves spend exposed to high blood sugars that appears to damage them.

Sadly, there are no studies where subjects with neuropathy were given meal tests rather than the highly artificial oral glucose tolerance test. However, anecdotal reports from people with neuropathy who have lowered their post meal blood sugars suggest that keeping blood sugars under 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L) at one hour after eating meals can slowly reverse neuropathy.

Unfortunately, since most doctors are not aware that it is possible reverse neuropathy by lowering blood sugars to normal levels or believe it is impossible for people with diabetes to lower their blood sugars to normal levels at all, few doctors suggest that patients with neuropathy treat it by striving to achieve normal blood sugars. Instead, they prescribe the very dangerous brain drugs, gabapenin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) which may relieve neurological pain to some extent but don't in any way heal damaged nerves. These drugs can have devastating side effects, so before you try one, try lowering your blood sugars to normal levels for a few months. You can learn how to do that HERE

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The reason slightly elevated fasting blood sugars correlate with beta cell dysfunction and/or destruction is almost certainly that people with slightly elevated fasting blood sugars who eat high carbohydrate meals are experiencing high, and often long lasting, blood sugar spikes after each meal they eat.  ...  It is almost certainly those high post meal readings that go along with elevated fasting levels that cause the glucose toxicity that damages organs and causes complications, not the slightly higher than normal fasting blood sugars.This conclusion is backed up by the experience of those of us with diabetes who have kept our post-meal blood sugars under 140 mg/dl after meals for a decade or more. We generally find that our diabetes does not progress and that we do not develop the classic diabetic complications.

Other minor changes have been made and dead links repaired.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Page Changed: Nutritional Calculator Results Page
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This calculator will not prescribe a diet of under 1000 calories a day, because very low calorie diets are not healthy or sustainable over the long term for most people.

Very low calorie diet do take off the pounds, however they tend to result in the dieter burning off too much muscle tissue. This can harm the heart. If you diet at a sub-1,000 calorie level you are also likely to slow your metabolism. That makes it difficult to get to your goal, and worse, it makes it much easier to regain weight even if you start eating at a more reasonable calorie level.

The very low calorie diet also is very likely to change your brain chemistry in a way that raises the hormones that make you hungry. When this happens you will only be able to maintain your weight loss by living in a state that feels like you are always starving.

Losing weight on a higher calorie low carb diet, though it may take more time to get to goal, ensures that you will be able to maintain your weight loss by eating at the level predicted for maintaining your new weight. It also keeps you from experiencing the rebound hunger that explains why so many people who lose a lot of weight on low calorie diets gain it all back and more.