Thursday, February 9, 2012

keto puzzle

After drinking plenty of coffee and water yesterday, and going up and down countless steps doing the laundry, my weigh-in this morning was satisfactory.  Felt a little residual puffiness in my hands and feet still, but after doing a bit of flexing and stretching before leaving the bed, i wasn't uncomfortably so.

My first-thing routine seldom varies; after i get up i visit the bathroom and "lighten the load" before stepping on the scale, and don't start taking supplements till after weighing in.  Just a "superstition" about getting the lowest realistic reading....  When i have reason to question whether or not i'm in ketosis, i use the little keto-sticks i learned about in Atkins.

I only used keto-sticks in the morning, in those days, and i always wondered why i never had a reading more than trace-to-small.  After becoming interested in paleo, i learned a good deal more about ketosis and its benefits, and the fact that merely eating a high-fat diet and using a goodly amount of coconut promotes ketosis and a higher reading on the sticks.  Nowadays, i'm more likely to use them at different times of day, for example after a meal out, as a gauge of carb intake when i'm not doing my own cooking.

The first day i was home from TX, i used them several times to see if i was getting back on the beam after my restaurant meal, square of chocolate and three or four segments of grapefruit.  I got trace readings for the first 36 hours, then finally started seeing a good strong pink color.  This morning, it pursued the pattern i've seen recently, and was lower again.

This is what i find so curious, and it makes me wish i had a significant readership on this blog, to get a variety of input in the comment section....  I customarily chug along happily burning fat for fuel during the daytime, but somewhere in the night, my liver takes charge of the process and starts sneaking enough glucose into my veins, to almost take me out of ketosis.  What's the deal here?!  I bought myself a glucose meter several months ago, and took a series of fasting blood-sugar readings so that i know that my morning glucose is reliably in the 80-90 range.  I wish to heaven it were as easy to get such information on insulin.

I guess i'm going to have to do some googling of what goes on, metabolically, while one sleeps....  If anyone reading this has any insights, i'd love to hear them.


  1. Do you read Dr. Jack Kruse's blog ( He is a neurosurgeon and has written some posts on sleep. One post last summer on 7/17/2011 talked about "sleep metabolism" so to speak. I think you will find it interesting. He also had 2 prior posts in June on sleep also.

  2. To answer your specific question about night, liver, and glucose, Jenny Ruhl explains it on her Blood Sugar 101 website - - just look for the section titled "Why Is Blood Sugar Highest in the Morning?"

    Taken from her post:

    "What Causes Dawn Phenomenon?

    The body prepares for waking up by secreting several different hormones.

    First, between 4:00 and 6:30 a.m. it secretes cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrin. You may recognize these as the hormones involved in the "fight or flight response." In this case, their job is more benign, to give you the energy to get up and moving.

    Besides giving you a burst of energy, these hormones raise blood sugar. You aren't going to be able to make any kind of energetic response if you don't have fuel, and after a long night's sleep, the fuel your body turns to to get you going is the glucose stored in the liver.

    So after these stress hormones are secreted, around 5:30 a.m., plasma glucose and, in a normal person, insulin start to rise."

  3. thanks, Johannah! i became aware of Dr. Kruse's website rather recently, and haven't devoted the time to read all his archives yet -- just a few here and there. :-) i guess i need to devote some time to it! i've read Jenny Ruhl's from time to time, but not regularly....