How long does it take to impact blood sugar levels?

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  • posted by Daydreamer89
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    I’ve been doing the Fast 800 for 3 weeks now. Long story short, I was diagnosed during pregnancy (but went on to miscarry), have a family history of diabetes and I’m Asian, so double whammy! My diabetes nurse had zero bedside manner and it’s really put me off engaging with the doctors and I know she wouldn’t be supportive of this. So anyway, I was given metformin but have now run out and I’m keen not to take any meds and get it diet controlled, but despite losing 7.5kg so far (and being in the healthy BMI range) I’m not seeing a reduction in my blood sugar levels. So just looking for some reassurance really that what I’m doing is right and that it should have an impact in the long run.

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Hi Daydreamer89, well done on trying to do this without meds. In fact Metformin is one of the small guns and makes little difference though some and it then needs more and more or more with a combination of other meds so good for you.

    How long does it take to see a reduction in BG. First need to know if you are testing, when i.e. morning, after food etc. What were your pre diet readings and what are they now. Also, how strict are you doing the diet – 800 cals, how many carbs, no white carbs etc. After 3 weeks of no white starchy carbs you should be seeing a reduction although this can be masked by other things. One is the Dawn Effect when your body sees you are going without food so pumps glucose stored from the liver therefore giving a false reading. Just need a bit more information. I personally saw a reduction in one week down from 150ish to 120 but it can spike back up again.

    If you read my memories blog called 5 years BSD blog – or something like that – I wrote a diary when I started on this diet 5 years ago and it is interesting to read back and see how far I have come. Good luck.Just looked and it is called 5 Years of BSD.

    Can I finally say you should keep your doctor informed. Just say you are going to try to control the diabetes with diet and if they argue about it ask them to give you a certain amount of time to see if this can work – say 3 months or 6 months, whenever your next blood test is due.

  • posted by Daydreamer89
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    I was told to take 4 metformin a day and my sugars were still high to begin with. Before tablets they were around the 10 mark, but the pregnancy hormones and miscarriage all had an impact on them too. Stress is a big factor for me. With tablets and low carbs they went down to between 6 and 7 depending on when I measured.
    I measure a lot at the moment, first thing in the morning, then before lunch and dinner and before bed.
    Since I’ve stopped taking tablets and started the 800, they’re now ranging from 7-9.
    In terms of how strict I’m being, I’ve tried to be very strict. Stick to 800 calories, except on some Saturdays if I’m going out for food, but even then I’m avoiding all white carbs and limiting wholemeal carbs too. I’ve also tried to up my activity levels, with longer walks, jogs and hitt workouts.

  • posted by Daydreamer89
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    I should say when I was first alerted to my sugar levels being an issue it was 13, so I guess it has been reducing, but i just need to be patient.

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Then you are doing the best you can. Although can I say that wholemeal carbs are nearly as bad a white carbs. If your bread is really wholemeal it is a better choice but some ‘wholemeal’ bread is just white bread with some grain in it and colouring so it is good you are watching out for them too. Wholewheat is made from wholegrains but they are too finely ground down to be good for you. Multigrain is white flour with some seeds thrown in. It has to be wholegrain to get the good effects like protection against bowel cancer or even, as it claims, helping prevent diabetes. Personally dont touch it but you need to carefully read the labels and even added seeds like linseed, soya, chia, quinoa all make it a better choice.

    Dont worry, you are making progress and I am sure you will see more in the coming weeks.

  • posted by Daydreamer89
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    Thanks. It’s actually down to 7s today so I’m feeling positive. I’ve actually not had any bread, but I picked up some Hovis nimble bread and frozen it for the dates when I’m desperately craving it. Any thoughts on that bread?

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Hi, from what I understand Nimble is a real blast from the past, not heard of it for years. However, it is only 50 cals per slice and low in sugar although it does have 9.7g of carbs per slice. You are right to have it for a treat and to be honest I occasionally have a slice of Ryvita so I cant preach to be too strict. That is my little treat and maybe just when I want cheese and biscuits or I might have an oatcake. If you are diabetic then you are going to have to make this diet your main way of life so dont make it too hard on yourself. However, it is early days and you need to get a good grip of the basics and get those BG numbers down then you can play around a bit. With the diet that is…. 🙂

  • posted by Verano
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    Daydreamer I occasionally have a slice or two of ‘Livlife’ seeded bread which is not so low calorie at 80 per slice, but it is low carb at just 3.4g which includes 1g of sugars. The carbs really are the secret to controlling blood sugar but as sunshine-girl says, don’t be too hard on yourself. Ideally you should probably not be having more than 50g of carbs a day. Low calorie isn’t always low carb, apples, for example, have only 52 calories in 100g but over 11g of carbs, all of which are sugars. Easy to see how you can stay within 800 calories but not be low carbing..
    Anyway, best of luck and enjoy your journey to being diabetes free.

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Daydreamer, what Verano didnt tell you is that she is one of the people who was diabetic when she started this diet with me 5 years ago and on medication. She is now 4 years diabetes free and one of the success stories. Hope that gives you some real hope and motivation.

  • posted by Daydreamer89
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    That’s really great to hear. Feeling pretty positive about it all today, I guess we all go through ebbs and flows. I think stress is probably a big factor for me, and something I need to get control over more as I get more comfortable with the diet and exercise elements. Was 6.8 this morning, so maybe it’s all starting to fit into place now. Thanks for the support!

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    No worries Daydreamer. Dr M recommends doing 10 mins of mindfulness or meditation to reduce stress. I find being stressed can raise my BG as can minor illness like an upset stomach or cold or an infection.

  • posted by waveCrest
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    Hi all, I started the diet exactly a week ago and lost 5.9 kilos (starting baseline was 136kg).
    I bought a meter to measure my blood glucose and the results have been:
    9.0 8.8 8.8 7.8 7.1 7.8 8.0 8.1
    (All in mmol/L and measured about 10 mins after waking)

    Can anyone help me with these questions? :
    1 … Typically, How long does it take to get into the green zone? (<5.5mmol/L)
    2 … To what extent do these readings bounce about?
    3 … Am I being too analytical? Should I just do a single reading each week?

  • posted by Verano
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    Hi waveCrest
    1. Typically….. there is no typical we are all individuals. In my experience the amount of carbs I eat are the crucial factor…. less than 50g a day and I’m usually fine.
    2. How long is a piece of string? Finger prick tests are really unreliable they depend on what you have eaten, how much, when ……
    3. The only reliable blood test is the HbA1c. I finger prick at odd times but have a wide range for example anything in the high 7’s is a warning sign for me but in the last four years, without medication, my HbA1c has been in the low 5’s and even lower.
    I use finger prick tests just as a very, very rough guide. If I have something unusually carby I test the next morning purely as a guide.
    BTW your weight loss is great, keep going and don’t worry too much about your blood sugar….. if you stay away from processed foods, starches …bread, rice, pasta and potatoes, you are pretty much there. Processed foods are particularly bad. Recently I heard … ‘if it wasn’t in your grandma’s cupboard then don’t eat it” . So many processed foods have weird ‘additives’ just start to be aware of labels.
    Good luck on your journey.

  • posted by AnnieW
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    Hi Wavecrest, all good information from Verano. I notice that your finger pricking is being done on waking which isn’t the best time to do it as your numbers maybe due to the dawn phenomenon. There have been many posts about it over the years; put it into the search box at the very top of this page to find out about it if this is a new phrase to you. Best wishes

  • posted by waveCrest
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    Thanks Both !
    Yesterday’s 8.1 dropped to 7.9 at noon – Still disappointing (I’m not a breakfast person and never was)
    I plan to do a similar check on this morning’s reading then put the meter in a drawer. I’ll do one reading a week going forward.
    I’m realistic about the weight loss. I guess the first week is the easy week and it’s largely water loss. The next two weeks will be more difficult.

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