A Year of Blood Glucose Testing

I’ve been playing with a Precision Xtra glucometer for about a year now. I bought 50 test strips and used them throughout the past year.  My goals were:
  1.  Identify what sort of metabolic damage I have
  2.  Identify a way of eating that will generally keep my blood glucose as low and tight as possible.
I was inspired by this Chris Kresser post:“How to prevent diabetes and heart disease for $16”

“Test your blood sugar first thing in the morning after fasting for at least 12 hours. Drink a little bit of water just after rising, but don’t eat anything or exercise before the test. This is your fasting blood sugar level.

  1. Test your blood sugar again just before lunch.
  2. Eat your typical lunch. Do not eat anything for the next three hours.Test your blood sugar one hour after lunch.
  3. Test your blood sugar two hours after lunch.
  4. Test your blood sugar three hours after lunch.
    …. On the third day, you’re going to do it a little differently. On step 3, instead of eating your typical lunch, you’re going to eat 60 – 70 grams of fast acting carbohydrate.

Then he sets some ideal results (mg/Dl):

Fasting blood glucose: <86
1 hour post carb meal: <140
2 hours post carb meal: <120
3 hours post carb meal: baseline

I was also inspired other N=1 experiments from Jimmy Moore with Nutritional Ketosis and the BJJ Caveman’s work with nutritional ketosis/carb nite.

I did not design a very good experiment though.  I never came close to 3 consistent days of testing like Chris describes.  The data I collected has major problems.  First, I didn’t even consistently test fasting blood glucose as opposed to mid-day or evening readings.   Second, my diet was very inconsistent.

 
Some observations after a year of playing with the glucometer and 50 strips. I used about 25 strips in 2013 and another 25 in 2014.  All numbers are mg/dL:

  • My average BG in 2013 was 92 without much carbohydrate restriction.  Highest BG was 115.
  • My average BG in 2014 was 84 while restricting carbohydrates to <50g on most days.  Highest BG observed was 95.
  • 3-5 days of low carb dieting seems to drop my fasting blood glucose into the 60-70 mg/dL range
  • When eating carbs with each meal, BG seems to float around 100-110 throughout the day
  • When restricting carbs, BG seems to stay much closer to 80.
  • When restricting carbs, the day after a 250g-300g refeed my BG can vary greatly.  It might be 10 points higher than average or it might be 10 points lower than average the next day.
  • 60-70 feels different depending on how many days I have been since a large carbohydrate load. The day after a refeed I might have cold hands/feed and be tired at 65.  3 or 4 days afterwards it might not bother me at all.
HbA1c scores:
  • 5.4 in November 2012
  • 5.2 in May 2013
  • 5.5 in December 2013
I just ordered 100 more glucose strips and 30 blood ketone strips.  I’m looking forward to better using them for some more consistent testing of my cyclical ketogenic diet.
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