Why do glucose numbers range so different?

Posted by kateia @kateia, Tue, Aug 13 6:50am

My number before supper last night was 135. I had BBQ pork sandwich, tomatoes, raw veggies, muskmelon, and a Chrystal Lite drink. When I checked my numbers 1 1/2 hours later my glucose was 220!! I can't believe that a "bun" would cause it to raise that much. So being frustrated, I took a bath, drank a full glass of water and checked numbers again 45 minutes later. It was 147. Why do they range so much? Was it the Chrystal Lite and the fake sugar?It was supposed to be a treat but if it raises numbers like that I guess I can't drink it.

The book I studied from describes the blood sugar numbers as a modulating number that is low in the morning, rises for two hours after eating, then drops and then starts back up again, depending on how much exercise you do which uses the sugar, in normal bodies. Think of a graph that goes up and down during a 24-hour period, depending on how well your insulin does its job of transporting the sugar to the cells for use or storage. When the testing shows a spike up and a spike down over time, that tells your condition and perhaps your stress levels, or drugs used, or how much carbs and sugar you have eaten and not used up in metabolism or exercise. I don't know abut the drink, but muskmelon spikes my number and the peak time is usually about two hours after eating. Expect the ups and downs and control the spikes with low carbs, low sugar, and more activity. You don't want spikes but a gentle rise and drop throughout a 24 hour period. It would be different for each person, based on your eating and activity. Check the glycemic index on tomatoes, but varieties differ. It is probably not one food that causes the rise, but the total in a balanced diet. I use a glycemic index list and choose the foods I like that are low on the list. I eat multigrained bread and only a small amount of melon which differs in sweetness according to the variety and ripeness. What time was the 147 test? What matters is what works for your body to meets your desired goals, based on your age and condition, weight, activity, stress level, other health concerns. I am an old lady now, and getting less careful and lazy, but I can discipline myself for lower numbers on a good day. Dorisena

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A doctor or nutritionist can explain your metabolism much better than I, but I learned much in my physiology class about the entire metabolism process which runs our bodies. You might find something informative in the library which helps you understand the busy life inside your digestive system. I have always been interested in learning more, but my doctor doesn't have time to educate me much, however he did send me to the nutritionist, which Medicare paid for the lesson. I believe that watching my husband die from not taking care of his diabetes and from cancer that came back with roar when he wouldn't stay on the medical protocol, did more for me than any lessons I learned in the past. He had an eating disorder and he loved restaurants. I couldn't help him.
Let's not get into that painful memory. As we learn more about our bodies, we can succeed despite the hard work at times. Dorisena

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@dorisena

A doctor or nutritionist can explain your metabolism much better than I, but I learned much in my physiology class about the entire metabolism process which runs our bodies. You might find something informative in the library which helps you understand the busy life inside your digestive system. I have always been interested in learning more, but my doctor doesn't have time to educate me much, however he did send me to the nutritionist, which Medicare paid for the lesson. I believe that watching my husband die from not taking care of his diabetes and from cancer that came back with roar when he wouldn't stay on the medical protocol, did more for me than any lessons I learned in the past. He had an eating disorder and he loved restaurants. I couldn't help him.
Let's not get into that painful memory. As we learn more about our bodies, we can succeed despite the hard work at times. Dorisena

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The BBQ sauce usually has lots of sugar in it. Again, it is not one food, but the total for the meal which counts, and whether or not you take a walk after dinner. It is really difficult to count the total sometimes in a meal, but having meat in a meal and a little fat seems to slow down the rise. Perhaps we should be hungry before we eat a meal, so the number is as low as possible. Some days I give up my afternoon snack and eat an early dinner which satisfies me if I have a glass of milk later in the evening. Knowledge is power. Dorisena

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I am not much on blaming diabetes on genetics until the researchers come out with evidence we can count on. I never experienced people with diabetes in my younger life, and there wasn't much education going on except denying yourself foods you love and much self pity, it seemed. My mother had all the physical evidence of metabolic syndrome but claimed she didn't have diabetes, however I don't know how much she was tested years ago because she always told the doctor how well she felt except for the arthritis and taking eight aspirin a day. My father had obesity, cancer, and was told to eat veggies, so he learned to eat peas in addition to green beans, and of course corn, which didn't help diabetes. None of us were educated about the matter, so it has been difficult learning to change our eating habits after thinking for years that we had a wonderful diet from our gardens, and we raised the meat in some cases.
I learned about good nutrition in 4-H programs but there was no discussion about sugar because it has no nutritional value. Everything was sweet and fat in my younger cooking days, and we reveled in the joy of eating. My father would say "we get too late smart" in his Pennsylvania Dutch style. Dorisena

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@dorisena

I am not much on blaming diabetes on genetics until the researchers come out with evidence we can count on. I never experienced people with diabetes in my younger life, and there wasn't much education going on except denying yourself foods you love and much self pity, it seemed. My mother had all the physical evidence of metabolic syndrome but claimed she didn't have diabetes, however I don't know how much she was tested years ago because she always told the doctor how well she felt except for the arthritis and taking eight aspirin a day. My father had obesity, cancer, and was told to eat veggies, so he learned to eat peas in addition to green beans, and of course corn, which didn't help diabetes. None of us were educated about the matter, so it has been difficult learning to change our eating habits after thinking for years that we had a wonderful diet from our gardens, and we raised the meat in some cases.
I learned about good nutrition in 4-H programs but there was no discussion about sugar because it has no nutritional value. Everything was sweet and fat in my younger cooking days, and we reveled in the joy of eating. My father would say "we get too late smart" in his Pennsylvania Dutch style. Dorisena

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@dorisena I am impressed with your breadth of knowledge. I do think some diabetes is genetic but there is also some that is not. I know of too many families where it has run in the family. Of course it is possible that part of that is the family's style of eating but even then, it shows a genetic propensity toward developing diabetes.

I think our parents' generation was not as aware and I doubt there was as much testing for things like diabetes. Back then too, the range for good blood pressure was higher than it is now. My parents did not have high blood pressure by the standards back then but I am sure they would have by the current standards. When I think of our eating style back then! Butter, butter, butter! Always cake and cookies in the house!
JK

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JK, after the war, we got rid of the cow, so we had to buy butter, limiting our use somewhat, except for sweet corn. And we put it on our peanut butter sandwiches. I skipped the jelly. The reason why we had so much pie and cookies is because the men worked so hard on the farm, and the women thought they were unfit cooks if they didn't have heavy desserts on hand. I baked at least three times a week from the beginning of my marriage, and I also fed the hired man who came and lived with us, against my will, of course. I had no choice in most things in the 1950's. I had an insatiable desire to learn how to cook better and have better nutrition in the family, and I still do, at 83. My husband did not really want to learn new ideas, as his grandmother raised him.
When there are apples on the ground, you were obligated to bake pies, same with peaches. Cookies, especially peanut butter cookies, were a food group.
It was exciting to learn to bake strawberry pies with cream cheese in the bottom. Muffins and cornbread baked at home saved trips to the grocery, and used up old cereal or cornmeal. Pies used up the lard from butchered hogs. Nothing was wasted. But our waists suffered! We ate and went to bed! Dorisena

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@kateia Your roller coaster numbers are probably more common than we know. I am not a doctor, but I have Diabetes 2 and know from researching and going to an endocrinologist that there is no "written in stone" answer for the up and down numbers. The person who can tell you about your numbers is your doctor. One of the problems with Diabetes 2 is that every person is different. What spikes my numbers may not phase someone else. There are just too many variables: age, activity, food, family history, other medical problems, and on and on for as many people as there are who have this disease. It is interesting to read what happens to other people, but it may not ever be the same for you. I tried an experiment on myself to eat the same exact food three days in a row and do the same things to see if the numbers would be the same, and guess what? They were different every day! My endo said there are just too many other variables; it's not just food or activity, but even the temperature and other meds are a part too. Many other things. So, I read the personal experiences but mind myself based on what my doctor tells me from tests for me. Have you asked your doctor about the numbers? That would be good to do to see what he/she says. As time consuming as it is, it's not just one food; it's the combo of what you eat that makes a difference also. Do you check your food numbers? Can you make an appointment to see your doctor and ask? He can help you understand the why better than anyone else. I'm in the same boat with you and would like to know if you see your doctor.
I'll check back with you.
Carol

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@retiredteacher

@kateia Your roller coaster numbers are probably more common than we know. I am not a doctor, but I have Diabetes 2 and know from researching and going to an endocrinologist that there is no "written in stone" answer for the up and down numbers. The person who can tell you about your numbers is your doctor. One of the problems with Diabetes 2 is that every person is different. What spikes my numbers may not phase someone else. There are just too many variables: age, activity, food, family history, other medical problems, and on and on for as many people as there are who have this disease. It is interesting to read what happens to other people, but it may not ever be the same for you. I tried an experiment on myself to eat the same exact food three days in a row and do the same things to see if the numbers would be the same, and guess what? They were different every day! My endo said there are just too many other variables; it's not just food or activity, but even the temperature and other meds are a part too. Many other things. So, I read the personal experiences but mind myself based on what my doctor tells me from tests for me. Have you asked your doctor about the numbers? That would be good to do to see what he/she says. As time consuming as it is, it's not just one food; it's the combo of what you eat that makes a difference also. Do you check your food numbers? Can you make an appointment to see your doctor and ask? He can help you understand the why better than anyone else. I'm in the same boat with you and would like to know if you see your doctor.
I'll check back with you.
Carol

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@retiredteacher Great information for those of us who deal with the numbers-confusion related to diabetes. Thanks, Carol!

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Thanks, Carol, for explaining it so well. My problem is that my doctor tells me nothing. Just runs the blood test. My endocrinologist says I am fine and can't treat me anymore because my AIC is below 7. So I struggle to learn on my own, and I struggle to get the exercise in my day. The best thing to do is to make a list of foods that seem to cause spikes and not bring them into the house and don't eat them at parties. Out of sight, out of mind. It is difficult to remember to eat a variety of foods that are low carb. We like the same thing for breakfast and we are not ready to cook at that hour. Some soups take a lot of work and stirring. Fortunately I like to cook, but not every meal. I didn't have the tomatoes this year for gazpacho soup which I love. Thanks to everyone who shares and helps each other by being cheer leaders and supportive people. It is no fun to manage diabetes alone. Dorisena

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Sorry, I didn't know anyone was posting to my question. I've been plugging along here watching my numbers, eating what I should and exercising. I've been going to a dietician and it has helped. My main goal is to get 50 pounds off setting 10 pound goals. I'm doing this without medication. So far it's working well. Many people that have type 2 diabetes that are on medications do not eat correctly because they just adjust their insulin/medications to meet their lifestyle. I'm changing my lifestyle. I do have my splurges now and then but basically stick with meat, veggies and fruit. My snacks are protein/carb based so I don't get huge spikes in numbers. I'm not as concerned with the spikes in the numbers and just know that with time they will lower on their own. I'm basically on my own from now on. My doctor doesn't care and I can't continue paying $135/hr seeing a dietician. I will get my A1C checked again right before Christmas to see what the change is. Just plugging along.

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Good Job! Medicare paid for my dietician but I think I only went once or twice and she gave me a book for counting carbs. Eventually I went on Metformin but would like to decrease that when I can. I need to lose more weight as well and exercise more. It is all about balance, I think. Dorisena

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@kateia

Sorry, I didn't know anyone was posting to my question. I've been plugging along here watching my numbers, eating what I should and exercising. I've been going to a dietician and it has helped. My main goal is to get 50 pounds off setting 10 pound goals. I'm doing this without medication. So far it's working well. Many people that have type 2 diabetes that are on medications do not eat correctly because they just adjust their insulin/medications to meet their lifestyle. I'm changing my lifestyle. I do have my splurges now and then but basically stick with meat, veggies and fruit. My snacks are protein/carb based so I don't get huge spikes in numbers. I'm not as concerned with the spikes in the numbers and just know that with time they will lower on their own. I'm basically on my own from now on. My doctor doesn't care and I can't continue paying $135/hr seeing a dietician. I will get my A1C checked again right before Christmas to see what the change is. Just plugging along.

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@kateia Congratulations! It sounds as if you are doing everything right. You say your doctor doesn't care. Can you change doctors and find one who does? The dietician I saw was part of my endo's practice, so she was free. I didn't see her but two times and then researched and worked out my own foods. Now, I am still fighting the high/low numbers. But, they are lower after lunch; then they start up again. I don't know what has caused the change, but I'll talk to my endo when I go in three weeks. I am an anti-med person so I am not ready to pop a pill so that I can cheat/eat. I think most of us reach a point where we splurge. The more we can't have something; the more we want it. That's just being human. Keep on the track you have set and see if you can find a good doctor. Don't you think you need someone who can help you? Can you research and find information on your computer? I have good luck with that. Post again when you can. I'll help, if I can.
Carol

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@kateia

Sorry, I didn't know anyone was posting to my question. I've been plugging along here watching my numbers, eating what I should and exercising. I've been going to a dietician and it has helped. My main goal is to get 50 pounds off setting 10 pound goals. I'm doing this without medication. So far it's working well. Many people that have type 2 diabetes that are on medications do not eat correctly because they just adjust their insulin/medications to meet their lifestyle. I'm changing my lifestyle. I do have my splurges now and then but basically stick with meat, veggies and fruit. My snacks are protein/carb based so I don't get huge spikes in numbers. I'm not as concerned with the spikes in the numbers and just know that with time they will lower on their own. I'm basically on my own from now on. My doctor doesn't care and I can't continue paying $135/hr seeing a dietician. I will get my A1C checked again right before Christmas to see what the change is. Just plugging along.

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@kateia Kate, I lost a ton using MyFitnessPal. It makes you accountable for everything you put in your mouth if you are honest with it. If you are not honest you are cheating yourself. It really helped to educate me on which foods were good and not so good too. I rarely use it now but I learned a lot using it and that has stuck with me. I also used a fitness tracker to set a goal for myself every day and that spurred me on. My other tool was a scale that gives a good gauge of how much fluid you are retaining. There were days when I would have gotten discouraged by my weight going up a bit but seeing that it was water weight would relieve me. The scale wasn’t as expensive as it sounds. I think I paid less than $50 on Amazon. That was a few years ago.
JK

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@retiredteacher

@kateia Congratulations! It sounds as if you are doing everything right. You say your doctor doesn't care. Can you change doctors and find one who does? The dietician I saw was part of my endo's practice, so she was free. I didn't see her but two times and then researched and worked out my own foods. Now, I am still fighting the high/low numbers. But, they are lower after lunch; then they start up again. I don't know what has caused the change, but I'll talk to my endo when I go in three weeks. I am an anti-med person so I am not ready to pop a pill so that I can cheat/eat. I think most of us reach a point where we splurge. The more we can't have something; the more we want it. That's just being human. Keep on the track you have set and see if you can find a good doctor. Don't you think you need someone who can help you? Can you research and find information on your computer? I have good luck with that. Post again when you can. I'll help, if I can.
Carol

Jump to this post

Carol, I live in a very rural area and my doctor choices are few and far between. I also have a rare vascular disorder and have to be careful who I have for a doctor. Right now I'm sticking with who I have because she is my husband's doctor and he likes her. She just made promises to me and never followed through herself or her staff. I was given no options once diagnosed and was told that I had to go on medication. Stubborn as I am, I decided to forgo the pills and work hard at it myself. I've lost 15 pounds since the middle of July and a total of 25 pounds since Christmas. I hope to lose 10 more pounds by Christmas and just maintain my weight through the winter months. Living in Iowa, 20 miles from anywhere, makes it kind of hard to work out during the winter. I'd love to have a gym/rec facility close that I could go to. I WILL get my A1C checked when needed. I have researched some on the internet and find so much conflicting information that it's hard to discern what's correct or not. I try to stick with medical groups. On facebook I'm bombarded with so many diabetes cures that I just ignore them anymore. More pills or "drinks" that are supposed to help. Am presently looking for a support group that meets monthly. It's either going to be 20 miles away or 50 miles away to drive anywhere. Right now I'm "stuck" as far as insurance. Paying through the nose for premiums, high co-pay, and large deductible. I cannot leave the state for treatment of my Vascular Disease so I can't see my Mayo doctors until after I'm on Medicare 1 1/2 years from now. Still struggling with my morning fasting numbers. Before and after meal numbers are good. Not perfect but within "range". Went to the Spencer Fair yesterday. Not much for low carb choices there!! Right back at it today!! Thanks for your note!! Like I say…I keep plugging along.

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@kateia

Carol, I live in a very rural area and my doctor choices are few and far between. I also have a rare vascular disorder and have to be careful who I have for a doctor. Right now I'm sticking with who I have because she is my husband's doctor and he likes her. She just made promises to me and never followed through herself or her staff. I was given no options once diagnosed and was told that I had to go on medication. Stubborn as I am, I decided to forgo the pills and work hard at it myself. I've lost 15 pounds since the middle of July and a total of 25 pounds since Christmas. I hope to lose 10 more pounds by Christmas and just maintain my weight through the winter months. Living in Iowa, 20 miles from anywhere, makes it kind of hard to work out during the winter. I'd love to have a gym/rec facility close that I could go to. I WILL get my A1C checked when needed. I have researched some on the internet and find so much conflicting information that it's hard to discern what's correct or not. I try to stick with medical groups. On facebook I'm bombarded with so many diabetes cures that I just ignore them anymore. More pills or "drinks" that are supposed to help. Am presently looking for a support group that meets monthly. It's either going to be 20 miles away or 50 miles away to drive anywhere. Right now I'm "stuck" as far as insurance. Paying through the nose for premiums, high co-pay, and large deductible. I cannot leave the state for treatment of my Vascular Disease so I can't see my Mayo doctors until after I'm on Medicare 1 1/2 years from now. Still struggling with my morning fasting numbers. Before and after meal numbers are good. Not perfect but within "range". Went to the Spencer Fair yesterday. Not much for low carb choices there!! Right back at it today!! Thanks for your note!! Like I say…I keep plugging along.

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@kateia I understand your situation. We live in the county and our PCP and my endo are 30 minutes away. Sometimes being your own dr. which is what I say I have to be for my diabetes, is the only way. Our PCP knows nothing about diabetes; the lab computer discovered that from a routine blood check. I have my last appointment with my endo a week from today. He is retiring at the end of Sept., so I will be my own dr. He is the only endo in the area so I will fly solo. I don't have a gym either, so my exercise is house walking. I do have a two story house so up and down the stairs works too. I also have exercise DVD's and can use those for a workout, and I have a treadmill, but I don't use it because my feet are causing problems. The one thing you do need to know is what your A1C is. Can your husband's dr. check that? It is important to know. You are doing well. Just stay on target.
Carol

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