Blood sugar levels....advice please

Since I've got gluten free, I seem to be having a hard time keeping my sugar levels on a even keel.

The past couple of weeks they have totally flipped on me...

Trouble is because its been hot I don't feel like eating, and when I do it tends to be salad, I need to put more carbs in my diet....I have baked potatoes, pasta...I eat gf bread now and again....

I've got a appointment next week at doctors for diabetes test. So what carbs do you suggest I eat... To help with the blood sugar..


22 Replies

  • I have Type 1 diabetes and have found controlling my diabetes extremely hard since changing to the GF diet. I can't really advise - but I have found that most of the GF breads etc are very high GI which means they shoot your blood sugars up very fast. I am tending to stick to a low carb diet as this seems to work best and eat salad a lot and fruit.

    You say you are going for a diabetes test - is this because you suspect you have diabetes or do you have it already and are going for a check?

  • To find out if I have it, I've had a few wobbly does.. Mostly first thing in morning, racing heart beat, shakes, feeling sick....but once I've eaten and had a brew they seem to go, although I still feel shaken inside...for a hour or so then I'm fine....

    I've been dieting and I've cut my carbs right down, so it may just be I'm not eating enough complex carbs, so it's making my blood sugar fall....since I've gone gluten free I've put weight on and it's a bugger to get rid of.....


  • Perhaps you are not eating enough fat? I have cut down on carbs but have increased fat, and it has helped me keep the weight off and not get the wobbles. I eat butter and coconut oil and full fat yoghurt.

    If I eat carbs they tend to be something like sweet potato, or quinoa. I don't eat bread, pasta or white rice because they have a high GI and make your blood glucose go up and down too much. I avoid low fat food because it is usually full of sugar.

  • Perhaps put some olive oil on your salad?

  • I'm going shopping tomorrow with the hubby...bugger the diet.! I'm going back to full fat yogurts, gf bread, and meat/ fish just seems unfair that once you don't eat gluten you put weight on....

    Thanks for the advice....this being coeliac is a massive learning curve, I would be totally at a loss with out this site

    Janie x

  • Good luck Janie. Just try not to eat fat and carbohydrates together if possible. Chips are my occassional treat. Have a look at Zoe Harcombe or Dr Briffa's blog for some hopefully useful suggestions on weight gain.

  • Hi Janie,

    I had this problem last year, after being coeliac for 10 years. Thankfully it seems to have been caused by a bacterial overgrowth in my bowel (look up SIBO) although the specialist eventually said to just be thankful that it's gone!

    My problem was not diabetes but almost the opposite, Reactive Hypoglycemia. I couldn't stabilise blood sugars, but rather than having too much sugar in my blood, like diabetes, my problem was caused by too little in a roundabout way. I'll try to explain...

    If I ate simple carbs (sugar, sweet foods, fruit, potatoes, pasta, etc) my body started to release insulin to convert the sugars (like everyone's body!). However, my 'insulin off' switch was faulty, so I got an overdose of insulin that wiped out all my blood sugars. The reaction to this was feeling wobbly, sudden tiredness, shaking, trembling and feeling like my brain had switched off for a while (the scary thing is it had). My blood sugar regularly fell to 3.3, putting me into a hypo.

    The way I dealt with it was to follow a Reactive Hypoglycemic diet. I ate 6-8 small meals a day, every 2-3 hours. The balance of the meals was about 20% fat, 50% protein, 25% vegetables and 5% max of complex carbs. I took most simple carbs out of my diet. Typical things I ate were chick peas with pesto and salad, fish/ meat and veg, lots of nuts, endamame beans. It was difficult but made such a difference to my health and energy levels.

    I'm now about 6 months into recovery from it, and to be honest, it was such a healthy diet without the sugars that I pretty much stick to it still (without eating every 2 hours though!).

    My advice to you is to look up both Hypoglycemia and Reactive Hypoglycemia and if it seems to strike a chord then follow the hypo diet. There are lots of Low GI cookbooks you can use for ideas.

    This website is a great resource for info on the conditions

  • Hello Janie. I sympathize with you completely as I am in a similar position. I eat no sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, processed food pasta or bread, have been on Max Mosley's fasting days diet and have not lost a single pound. Like you I am so, so fed up.

    A few weeks ago I had blood tests and got my thyroid checked which is okay. However, my sugar levels were up for the second time and the doctor suggested I have a glucose tolerance test. Is this the one that you are having? After fasting you have to drink a bottle of Lucozade and have blood taken straight after and then two hours later. I am not going to have this done yet. I heard, and I don't know if this is true that stress can affect your sugar levels and I have had a lot of stress in the last year. If anybody else knows about this can you let me know if this is possible. Also I am not sure I want to drink Lucozade as I am not convinced it is gluten free. Besides, if I am diabetic the treatment is what I do now - eat a healthy diet and exercise to try and reduce my weight!

  • Hey Urbangirl,

    I had GTT. I had to drink pure glucose rather than Lucozade (which is btw GF).

    Stress can affect your sugar levels, because stress causes more adrenalin, which in turn affects glucagon levels in your body. All these play a part in the production and release of insulin.

    RE: losing weight. The Intermittent Fasting diet isn't great if you're concerned about blood sugar stability. There is an alternative way to intermittent fast, which is to only eat within a 6-8 hour window everyday (and fast for 16-18 hours). I have lost 1 1/2 stone doing this alongside heaps of swimming. I'm sure it's played a part in stabilising my blood sugars too.

  • Thanks Sassyl. Interesting point about the 6-8 hour window. I will try that. I do loads of swimming too and pilates and cycling. I don't know what else to do! But I am concerned about blood sugar levels for the obvious reason I don't want type 2 diabetes. And thank you for confirming that stress can play a part in this as I am convinced that it is responsible for the blood sugar rise. Also - I think this is possibly significant, because of the stress I don't sleep well and I have read that sleep problems can influence weight gain/loss. Other people I know lose weight when they are stressed. But I don't want to hijack Janie's question! I hope you don't mind this diversion Janie.

  • Stress affects our levels of cortisol and leptin and can drive our desire to eat, but metabolisms can differ. Is there any way you can lower your stress levels?

  • I wish Penel! My stress is related to mega family problems which I have no control over. All very boring but involves a lot of contact with the authorities which always causes stress levels to rise! Something else I read suggested that stress can precipitate gluten intolerance. If that is the case then maybe that fits for me.

  • If you can take supplements have a look at L tryptophan to help with sleep. L glutamine may help counteract the effects of stress.

    Good luck.

  • hi Sassyl, I went to the hospital this am and got some literature on diets etc. I also raised the issue of stress in relation to glucose levels and this was not taken up, I was told loud and clear my glucose levels are up because I am overweight. I was disappointed in this response. One piece of info was from diabetes UK saying stress does not cause diabetes, but make the symptoms worse in people who have it. I am still convinced by what you say and wonder why there is resistance to investigate or discuss this possibility. Do you think that sometimes professionals don't want to look outside the box?

  • Yep, thinking outside the box or even being up to date with scientific findings will be lucky to find it. I know you shouldn't self diagnose etc, but ...

    Here's an article on stress and blood sugar.

    If you want an informative book on health and nutrition, have a look for Robert Lustig's book "Fat Chance". He's an American obesity specialist, who is not trying to sell a diet book.

  • Thanks Penel - I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall and came home feeling really demoralised with a leaflet on healthy eating and how to change your lifestyle! Like I don't know! All very prescriptive and not individualised. My husband said I should not be surprised. Don't know where to go from here if there is resistance from professionals to take up a challenge. Some on this site have had some good experiences of dynamic professionals. It is very difficult to know how to react in situations when you want to put over a different point of view. I always think of things to say when I have left the consulting room regardless of whether I take a list. The script never goes to plan!

  • Early waking is also a sign of hypoglycemia. Your body will automatically wake when there is a sudden drop in blood sugar.

  • I'm off to the doctors this morning, didn't feel so bad this morning, but I've been really careful on what I've been eating, and it seems to help... But I need to know what it is... Because I think I'm making it worse by worrying....will let you know how it goes...


  • good luck Janie - keep us posted.

  • A lot of gluten free food it full of sugar in some form, just read the labels and compare to other non gluten free products.

  • I've been for blood test for diabetes and I'm waiting for results. I've been hospital this morning to have a ECG monitor fitted for 24 hours and then I'm having a bp monitor for 24 hours... So I still know nowt..

    I'm having 6 small meals a day and its helping with the bloods sugar drops.. Still feel very queasy in mornings, but once I've eaten it gets better....hopefully will get blood results later today......

    Then I have a appointment back at my doctors next month to get all results.....

    I'm fed up of feeling crap all the time...would be nice to know what causing it.....:(


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