Diabetes Complications

Controlling the Dawn Phenomenon

One of our most stubborn challenges is to control the dawn phenomenon. That’s when our fasting blood glucose readings in the morning are higher than when we went to bed.

The dawn phenomenon is a normal physiological process where certain hormones in our body work to raise blood glucose levels before we wake up, as we wrote in The New Glucose Revolution: What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up…And Down? Professor Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney, Kaye Foster-Powell, and I co-authored that book (Marlowe & Co., first edition 2003, second American edition 2006).

These so-called counter-regulatory hormones, including glucagon, epinephrine, growth hormone, and cortisol, work against the action of insulin. They stimulate glucose release from the liver and inhibit glucose utilization throughout the body. The result is an increase in blood glucose levels, ensuring a supply of fuel in anticipation of the wakening body’s needs.
If you take insulin injections, it could be that the effect of insulin you took is waning. Your blood glucose will rise if you didn’t take enough to keep your insulin level up through the night.

The dawn phenomenon varies from person to person and can even vary from time to time in each of us. That much was clear when our book came out.

But how to control it was a different story. A couple of years ago here I wrote about several efforts for “Taming the Dawn Phenomenon.” People have tried everything from eating a green apple at bedtime to high-maize grain to uncooked cornstarch.
None of these remedies that I have been able to try ever worked for me. I always thought that the most promising remedy was one that a correspondent named Renee suggested – vinegar capsules.

“I am still using vinegar tablets (usually 8) each night and have used vinegar when tabs are not handy,” Renee just tells me. “I have never added food to that, however. I still do have success in reducing the morning reading as proven by the times when I do not use the vinegar tabs and the reading in the a.m. is usually 20 points higher. I am doing well overall with an A1C of 5.6 for some time now. I have been on Byetta for a year now and have lost 35 pounds.”

This makes sense, because several studies in the professional literature clearly show that vinegar can reduce our blood glucose levels.

One of these studies, by Dr. Carol Johnston and two associates in the department of nutrition at Arizona State University in Mesa, Arizona, is particularly intriguing. They reported that “Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes” in a 2004 issue of the professional journal Diabetes Care.

Now, Dr. Johnston and an associate have zeroed in on using vinegar to control the dawn phenomenon. Their study, “Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes, appears in the November 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

They tracked four men and seven women who have type 2 diabetes and were not taking insulin. These people kept 24-hour diet records for three days and measured their fasting blood glucose at 7 a.m. for three consecutive days. They took either 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or water at bedtime with 1 ounce of cheese (8 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrate, and 1.5 grams of fat).

The result was that when they took the vinegar, they cut their fasting blood glucose by about 5 mg/dl (0.26 mmol/l). That was twice as much as what the placebo group did.

And when Dr. Johnston and her associate took a closer look at the data, they found that the vinegar treatment was particularly effective for those people who had a typical fasting blood glucose level of more than 130 mg/dl (7.2 mmol/l). Vinegar helped this group reduce their fasting blood glucose by 6 percent compared with a reduction of 0.7 percent in those people who had a typical fasting blood glucose of less than 130 mg/dl (7.2 mmol/l).

It might not have been just the vinegar that was at work, the authors concluded. Cheese might have a synergestic effect with it. Nobody knows yet, and taking it with the vinegar could be a good idea, especially since it makes the vinegar more palatable.

But “this is the first report describing a hypoglycemic effect of vinegar apart from mealtime,” they concluded. It is a big step forward in our continuing attempts to control the dawn phenomenon.

UPDATE January 9, 2008: Another strategy to control the dawn phenomenon may be to drink a little alcohol with dinner. A study reported in the December 2007 issue of Diabetes Care that the fasting plasma glucose of volunteers who drank 13 grams of alcohol in the three-month trial dropped 32.5 mg/dl compared with those in the control group.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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  • Robert Black May 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    I am beginning to show pre diabetes fasting values ranging 92-120. I am 63 and see the writing on the wall so I have started hitting it hard with turmeric tid, vinegar caps at bedtime, cinnamon with chromium at bedtime and milk thistle tid. I used to always run upper 70’s to lower 80’s fasting and during day and now I am never below 90, often 100-120. I will post after taking a month of the above supplements.

    • David Mendosa May 24, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Your key diabetes level to watch is your A1C, Robert. Keep testing (or getting it tested) every 2 or 3 months until you get your level below 6.0, i.e. back into the normal range.

  • Donna Gimarc May 7, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Joe Turner–First of all–high fives for significantly lowering your numbers from the 300s to the 100s!! Congratulations. Keep up the good work. You did not say what your latest A1C was? I have to disagree with David on his saying your fasting Dawn phenomena numbers are “way too high.” if they are in the 130s, and that “you should start taking insulin immediately.” if the only time you are hitting the 130s is in the mornings your overall progress has been this good over 4 months. I would suggest you choose roasted nuts rather than honey-roasted. Honey is sugar. There are carbs in the milk, that as a liquid goes straight into your system, (it spikes me) so I would not add honey to that equation, and you might see if almond milk works, since it is lower carb, lower calorie, and has more protein. A chart you might find helpful: diabetes-control-chart.jpg I have read that numbers over 175 are damaging your body, and that spikes high or low are what you are striving to void. Also, read. Read about food, supplements, fiber, exercise, sleep patterns, sleep apnea, colds, medications, belly fat, stress–all can affect your blood sugar numbers. I suggest starting with Dr. Mark Hyman’s, The Blood Sugar Solution. Your diabetes is complex. It’s worth trying to find what you are doing right, and what you can improve on– the best path for your body. Keep up the good work.

  • Joe Turner April 14, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Hello, newly diagnosed Type 2 as of January of this year. Became diabetic after weight loss. Had a fasting number of 370 and an A1C of 12.5. On Metformin 1000mg twice a day and glimipride 10mg twice a day. Numbers are way down, under 200. I am only supposed to test fasting numbers but check randomly to see how my numbers fluctuate depending on what I eat or how I feel. Mornings are always high if I don’t eat a snack at night. I’ve found a tall glass of 2% milk and a handful of Honey Roasted Peanuts seem to have been the best so far. Those mornings are in the low 110s. If I don’t have the snack or am not careful with the carb content of the snack, I hit the 150s to 170s. At least for me, the milk seems to really help.
    I do have a question if someone can help. My Dr seems to make a big deal if my fasting numbers are above 130. Like wants me to go on insulin big deal. I have friends who are type 2 and the don’t blink an eye unless they test over 300. AT what point should I really start to worry?

    • David Mendosa April 14, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Now, Joe. Your friends aren’t doing themselves (or you) any favors. Your fasting numbers are way too high. Don’t worry about them; start taking insulin immediately instead.

  • VFAMS March 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    This is great – Just want to get notifications of new comments

  • d a saxt March 11, 2016 at 7:32 am

    hi, my blood sugar was ranging from 160-177 am to up to 276 pm after I started using a cpap machine. (even on days I ate very well and my blood sugar was 98 I would wake up and it would be 157). the CPAP caused my body to become stressed while asleep because was feeling too much pressue exhaling. this stress raises cortisol, which, of course, raises blood sugar… a similar thing that happens regarding the dawn phenomenon or dawn effect. I was able to lower my mornimg blood sugar reading as much as 100 pts overnight by taking 2 source naturals holy basil. this supplement is reputed for lowering cortisol and was extremely effective for me.

  • Linda Ketcham November 18, 2015 at 9:21 am

    What a wealth of information found here -thank you for providing this.

    A few questions over diagnoses. If you experience the Dawn Phenomen and all daytime numbers are within a normal range, are you considered a Type 2, pre-diabetic or someone who experiences the Dawn Phenomen. My FBG was 101. Got up at 2-3 a.m. and everything is within normal range. Wake up at 7 a.m. and FBG can be in the low 80’s. 15 minutes later it goes up 10 points, 30 minutes later a few more. At about 45 minutes it stabilizes. Of course, at home it shows mid-90’s, but the blood draw shows over 100, so I keep that in mind every time I check my BG. Also, if you arise with a normal FBG, why not just have a snack to stop the increase? Would that eventually alleviate the problem? I’ve been eating a handful of almonds before bed and I’ve seen a mild improvement. Only been doing it for a few days though. Thanks!

  • Tom Dunn November 16, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Hello… thank you for this post!

    As someone who was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in January of this year (2015), I have experienced Dawn Phenomenon during all that time.

    I have had some success with vinegar capsules at bedtime, and I am interested in trying the Extend bars, which I read about above.

    I am curious if anyone has tried combining the two?

  • Jennifer Wilson October 25, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I am newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic and currently 31 weeks pregnant. I follow a ketogenic nutrition (about 2000 calories per day for me and my baby) to control my blood sugar, and was trying to avoid taking medication. My fasting blood sugar is generally around 6.5 (117), and during the day stays steady between about 4.9 and 5.6 (88.2 -100.8).
    My doctor told me that my fasting blood sugar wasn’t ideal (I know it should be in the 80’s) and that it would get worse as insulin resistance gets worse in the last trimester. So I started taking metformin and continued following ketogenic nutrition (I eat generally around 30g carbs per day, raw, or lightly steamed Non starchy vegetables.)
    The metformin doesn’t seem to be helping my fasting numbers. All it does is upset my stomach and makes me not want to eat. I’ve also noticed some strange things happening (ahem, sorry for TMI) in the bathroom.
    My doctor is mad at my nutrition WOE, and wants me to take insulin and eat carbs. I’m worried about the effect on my baby…
    I’m sorry this is so long, but I’m so confused. I’m wondering if the vinegar will help? Or if the metformin isn’t working, should I stop it? I’ve been taking 1500 mg per day for 30 days. Should I change my WOE, add carbs and take the insulin? I thought my numbers were doing ok! But he has me scared of lactic acidosis and other things….

    • David Mendosa October 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Your message prompts me to make several comments, Jennifer:

      1. Vinegar can help you, but probably not very much. Of course, it needs to be diluted. Never take it just as is. In a salad it is great, for example. Vinegar may help with the dawn phenomenon, but that is not the same thing as the more important higher levels that we get after eating.

      2. Re lactic acidosis please see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/714920 , which says in part: Increased risk for lactic acidosis associated with metformin is controversial. A Cochrane Systematic Review of over 200 trials evaluated the incidence of lactic acidosis among patients prescribed metformin vs non-metformin antidiabetes medications. Of 100,000 people, the incidence of lactic acidosis was 5.1 cases in the metformin group and 5.8 cases in the non-metformin group. The authors concluded that metformin is not associated with an increased risk for lactic acidosis.”

      3. Metformin is usually taken wrong. Please see http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=1261

      4. Taking insulin in addition to metformin or even instead of it may not be a bad idea. Of course, this doesn’t mean you will have to take it forever! Please see http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=1787

  • Bo Jollimore July 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I disliked reading food labels constantly, especially as my kids and I need to eat gluten free and additionally dairy free. Found this amazing website FoodSniffr.com, which makes discovering cleaner, healthier grocery food items so much snappier and more straightforward. I am already saving money to by not buying crappy foods. Here’s the link: http://www.foodsniffr.com

  • Donna Gimarc June 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Hi David–I found something that works for me.
    Have been fighting Dawn phenomena since 2012. Went low carb, exercise daily, lost 50 pds. Watch portion sizes, get plenty of sleep, meditate to lower stress. My daytime blood sugar readings improved. Now in the 120s.

    The Dawn phenomena persisted. Morning readings in the 180s were not uncommon. Especially if life got stressful. I tried vinegar. Did not work for me. Ate an apple and nut butter as a late night snack. That helped, but not as much as I wanted.

    I take supplements that have helped my daytime numbers, but nothing really made a significant difference with DP until I tried Extend nutritional bars a month ago. I waited to see if the results were consistent before posting this. They keep my blood sugar levels level for 9 hours. They do not lower existing blood sugar numbers, and raise my numbers about ten points (it’s food, you don’t want to eat this if your after dinner numbers are high, it will hold them there) With a good late evening reading, I snack on one before I go to bed, and they keep me steady for the night. That means the dawn phenomena number is significantly (30 points) lower for me when I wake up, and that lowered number is helping keep the rest of the day lower.

    The down side: They are sweetened with malitol. Too much malitol will cause gastric distress, so I recommend all other sources of malitol stop if you are going to try this product. Also, it contains rice starch, so if this is a blood sugar trigger for you, this might not be a good solution for you.

    I have not tried the other products: crisps and shakes, just the bars. The taste/flavor is about on a par with most other low carb bars. I like the chocolate peanut butter Anytime bar best so far.

    I tried eating half a bar when I woke in the middle of the night, after testing for my middle of the night number. This worked as well, but concerned about dental consequences I don’t make a habit of this.

    Thought others might want to give these a try. I think diabetes is a very individual and challenging journey. And Dawn phenomena exceptionally challenging. Thought this might work for some of you who are also struggling with this. Let me know.

    • David Mendosa June 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Thank you so much for your great message, Donna! After reading it, I think that anyone who has the Dawn Phenomenon would do well to use the Extend nutrition bars that you found help you so much. Your cavaets are well taken, and I had actually tried them more than 10 years ago as I wrote at ExtendBars and the Dawn Phenomenon.

  • jane May 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    i have been diabetic for a few years. recently went on lantus solarstar insulin at night to help with dp. my problem is my reading after dinner is between 69 and 73. if i eat a small snack then in the morning my reading is in the 170’s. what can i eat that will only raise my readings slightly. i have tried a sq. of graham cracker w/ cream cheese. a diabetic yogurt which has 3 carbs. not sure what else i can have.

    • David Mendosa May 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      The higher numbers you experience are indeed symptoms of the Dawn Phenomenon, Jane. You might want to read my other articles about it here.

  • Richard January 19, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I absolutely will David. I look forward to hearing if any others get like results.

    For whatever reason the link to the article I posted didn’t show up so I’ll post that again for reference to any of your other readers.


    Also, I should clarify the wording I used in my first post when I said I eat a small low carb snack. I meant a small high carb snack, but only a small amount as the article suggests and in my case under 24 carbs.


  • Richard January 19, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Hello, I’ve read this article many, many years ago. I’ve had an issue that I believed to be the Dawn Phenomenon as well. However, I tried a lot of the suggestions and nothing seemed to work. For year I’d wake up at 1-3am in a sweat. While my morning numbers were never super high, they were always elevated from when I went to bed. Then a few weeks ago I stumbled onto the article from the above website that referenced research from Japan’s Yamaguchi University. In my case, I think it was actually my low carb diet that may have exacerbated my sleeping issues.

    Following the articles instructions I had a small low carb snack. I ate it about an hour before bed. I found If I ate too close to sleep it bothered my stomach. I chose 2 organic dried large Turkish figs that I purchased from Costco. To my complete surprise I slept soundly through the night. I also made it through without a bathroom break and without sweating. What was also a surprise was I drank 1/2 a glass of water too, and prior to this I had been avoiding water after 6pm just so it wouldn’t affect my sleep. Of note as well, is I chose the figs because I already had them and I figured the added fiber may help with the release of carbs. I’m not sure if that’s necessary or not, but I can say for over the week that I’ve been doing this my sleep has been better than it’s been in the last 10 years.

    • David Mendosa January 19, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Dear Richard,

      Thank you for sharing what works for you! Please keep in touch as you learn more!

      Best regards,

  • Sandra P. December 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    David: When you refer to 6 carbs for breakfast and 12 each for lunch & dinner: are those net carbs or total?

    Sandra P.

    • David Mendosa December 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Dear Sandra,

      Great question! I had to ask Dr. Bernstein. It’s total, he said.

      Best regards,

  • David Mendosa July 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Dear Rhonda,

    In that case, it does make sense to increase your insulin dosage until you can figure out what’s making your blood sugar go so high.



  • rhonda d July 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    i am already on low carb diet. breakfast is usually egg omlete with vegies like broccoli, peppers, spinich. my schedule has just changed and i am getting up @ 4:00 am. test again 6:30-7:00 and getting higher readings

  • rhonda d July 3, 2014 at 7:34 am

    my blood sugar has been rising from 50 to 80 points after breakfast. i test 2 to 21/2 hrs after breakfast. my Dr. says it is not dawn p. but is caused by cortisol. her solution is as usual more insulin. any help?

    • David Mendosa July 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Dear Rhonda,

      Your doctor is almost certainly right that the rise AFTER breakfast isn’t the dawn phenomenon. But the rise is almost certainly due to what you eat at breakfast. Our bodies are extremely sensitive to carbohydrates in the morning (which is the reason why Dr. Bernstein recommends no more than 6 grams of carbs for breakfast and up to 12 grams each for lunch, dinner, and a snack in between). Cut out the carbs at breakfast and your rise will certainly be much less if anything at all.



  • Suzy June 8, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Thanks, David. I have had an infection for 6 of the last 12 weeks, but it’s gone, and my BS is still high. I am getting an AIC this week and then seeing my doctor.

  • Suzy May 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I had my last AIC 6 months ago, and it was 6.6, which is fine. I’m 69 and am only on diet and exercise. When I found out I had diabetes 12 years ago, my AIC was off the charts. I started out on insulin 4 times a day and finally got it down to no meds. I don’t take my BS very much, because I can’t help taking it too much. And it had been good for years and years. But now I started taking it, and it is much much higher. I haven’t done anything differently. I exercise a huge amount and think that has always kept my sugar down. Now, it seems to raise it and certainly is not helping. Everything is the same!! Is it just because of my advancing years?? My reading are up to 195 sometimes. 🙁
    What could have happened in such a relatively short period of time? Help!!

    • David Mendosa June 8, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Dear Suzy,

      Infection and any accompanying inflammation can cause a rapid increase in A1C level. I have experienced that myself from periodontal infection and from passing a gallstone.



  • Joanne May 29, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Hi Paul
    Being very sensitive to gluten and wheat proteins, I haven’t eaten much gluten-containing food since the late ’80s.

    And in case anyone thinks the new fads and the marketing have seduced me – most of my food is made fresh, without using substitutes, at home. 🙂 I just cook a different traditional cuisine than modern Western.

    At my last readings, all indicators were in good ranges. Migraines haven’t settled with the new meds, but the nature of the pain has changed; and the dawn effect is much more pronounced. My two fibroids are badly affected, too. I’m feeling that until the hormones settle, none of the rest will.

  • Paul May 23, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Hi Joanne,
    I had some sleep issues as well, I have cut out wheat from diet, which actually increased the diabetes reading slightly higher initially, but the quality of sleep improved dramatically. With the wheat, I was getting sinus congestion and my body temp was higher which is not the case any more.

  • Paul May 23, 2014 at 4:34 am

    This site is great for all the wonderful tips to tame the Dawn effect. I have been tracking and experimenting to reduce the Diabetes reading in the morning. The following are the things that work for me.
    – Have dinner by 6:30 pm consisting of balanced nutrition of good carbs, good protein and good fat. Good carbs are low GI index foods such as chick peas, kidney beans, veg. along with chicken or fish for protein.
    Also for late night snacks best are apple, as well nuts especially peanuts, almonds, roasted chick peas.
    Walking for 20 mins after dinner also was helpful as well the apple cider vinegar at night.
    I also started using liquid milk thistle, it is supposed to help the liver function better. My readings were border line before around 6.1 before now they are around 5.
    Good luck to all.

  • Joanne May 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Started a new med to control the electrical activity in my veins/muscles, and I’m down a full point this morning. Diet was same as usual yesterday.
    (FWIW, I have very healthy-range cholesterols an lipids etc, and good blood pressure so although this is usually a medication for arrhythmia, we’re using it offlist)

  • Joanne May 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    sorry about the typos, above!

  • Joanne May 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    David – thanks for the reply. Post prandial, I’m in the 5s to barely 6.1, so I’m meeting your target. 🙂
    But the family doctor is concerned about the early morning readings, and how that affects the HbA1c (because each single high reading brings the entire average up).

    As my migraines are almost daily, and now appear to be mixed with small seizures, I’m wonderign what research says about the interplay of these body processes: the brain ‘short circuits’ and the control of BGL. We already know that migraine onset and length appears to raise BGL for me – I’m wondering if it’s known if seizure activity can do this, so that diabetes is ‘faked’ through other body processes not being in control.

    IOW, if there’s a relationship, and we control seizsure activity, perhaps I won’t have a problem with Dawn Phenomenon, and I wll no longer be classed as ‘potentially diabetic’ or ‘diabetic in denial’.

    (We’ve already worked out that the Raynaud’s effects mimic some outward signs of poor diabetes management, and since I’ve had them all my life and the Raynaud’s is hereditary, these should be discounted as diabetes ‘signals’ to the doctors)

  • Joanne April 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Hi again, David!
    Been a while since I last wrote: still managing well with diet and exercise, and understanding what seems to make my readings rise overnight. Because it’s overnights that are my downfall – during the day I have excellent readings and everything seems to work well. My early mornings readings bounce around the 7.somethings up to 8 (this morning).

    While I’m overweight (still), and not sleeping for long, I am working with an excellent dietitian and getting better quality sleep. BUT we’ve noticed (as no doubt others have) that:
    menstrual cycle affects my readings (I’m going through a very long perimenopause),
    broken sleep affects my readings,
    allergy season makes the readings high, as I battle to keep immune reactions under control
    chronic pain affects my readings – and the migraines are worse, now usually hitting each morning as I wake or waking me very early morning from a deep sleep,
    there’s chronic low back and shoulder pain as well,
    periods of extended stress makes the readings really high.

    It now appears that some of my migraines might in fact be ‘migralepsy’, small seizures. So I’m wondering if anyone has done any research on how/if seizure episodes affects diabetes management and if so, in which way. I’m already on topiramate daily as a migraine preventative, but that’s about the only prescribed drug I do take. Everything else is still vitamins and minerals. (Remember, I’m allergic to most pain medication as well as loads of food chemicals)

    [FWIW, since writing last, I’ve discovered that my brother and at least one first cousin are also bad migraineurs, and also suffer with gout and psoriasis, like I do.]

    • David Mendosa May 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Dear Joanne,

      Thanks for your message.

      Those readings that rise overnight are the dawn phenomenon. They are an issue with almost all of us. But I actually think that the best thing is to avoid the high readings AFTER meals. As I have written, the best way to do that is to test two hours after any meal in which you have a substantial amount of carbs (the only thing that will impact blood sugar much) and to bring down your level in the short term get some exercise (like walking) and in the long term learn from the mistake if your level is too high.



  • Donna G February 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    About dawn phenomena. After getting my blood sugar in great shape without meds apart from the morning jump of dawn phenomena I had a sudden dramatic rise in BS counts after two family deaths and a good friend being diagnosed with terminal cancer. My diet had not changed, my stress load/cortisol production had. Cortisol is a fight or flight hormone that wakes us up in the morning that causes some of us to have dawn phenomena blood sugar issues. So, I read up on cortisol found a lot of information about Adaptogen Herbs like: Holy Basil tea, ginseng and Rhodiola rosea supplements. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress/cortisol surges–which is what dawn phenomena is all about. With triple whopper stress, not food abuses, making my numbers rise I tried rhodiola (used in Russian and Asian medicine for years)–one tablet, one day, my BS went down 10 points. Second tablet another 10 points. My morning readings are almost back to where I had them–in the excellent range. I’m curious to know if anyone else has tried adaptogens for lowering their their dawn phenomena numbers?

  • Andy January 20, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Can balsamic vinegar be used in place of apple cider vinegar?

  • Olga January 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm


    Thank you for the vinegar warning. It didn’t occur to me to be cautious about taking the tabs.

  • David Mendosa January 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Dear Olga,

    The apple cider vinegar might help and it certainly can’t hurt. I use Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in all of my salad dressings with either olive or coconut oil. But when you take the tabs make sure that you take them with enough water that you don’t burn your insides. This stuff is powerful!



  • Olga January 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm


    Thanks for responding so quickly and for the good advice. Just yesterday I purchased the Kindle version of Dr. Bernstein’s books “Diabetes Solution” and “The Diabetes Diet”. I’m looking forward to reading them.

    I will keep track of my meal carbs to make sure I don’t exceed 6 (breakfast) or 12 (lunch/dinner). And from what I’ve learned from the informative posts in this forum, I decided to purchase apple cider vinegar tabs and plan to take one every evening to see if my fasting blood sugars will reflect normal range.

  • Olga January 13, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I am 67 years old and was diagnosed with T2 Diabetes 8 years ago. For the last year I have not controlled my blood glucose. My last A1C was 8.3. I am starting again from scratch, so to speak. This morning my BG was 175. After having a 20g protein, low carb smoothie for breakfast (whey protein powder, almond milk, 4 strawberries, 1/8 c plain yogurt), my BG shot up to 256. It doesn’t make sense. Can you explain why this happened?

    Also, in the past, any type of carbs consumed at breakfast such as low carb cereal, oatmeal, multi-grain bagel or muffin, etc. would make by BG skyrocket, even if I had protein with it. Why?

    I am not on insulin. My meds are Metformin, Glipizide and Januvia. My endo has given me 6 months to get back on track.

    Thanks for any help you can provide

    • David Mendosa January 13, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Dear Olga,

      You need to measure exactly how many grams of carbohydrates that you are eating at your meals. Your body is much more sensitive to carbohydrates in the morning. That’s why Dr. Richard K. Bernstein recommends no more than 6 grams of carbohydrates for breakfast, while you can have up to 12 grams each for lunch and dinner.



  • Rhonda September 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Is it possible to have something like the dawn phenomon during the day time? Sometimes my glucose readings will run high if my meal is later than usual. But right now it is 200, It is 2 hours after my low carb chia smoothie for breakfast and a light 30 min. work out. This is so frustrating!!

    • David Mendosa September 2, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Dear Rhonda,

      The dawn phenomenon does sometimes extend until noon, according to a study a year or two ago that I reviewed here. That could be it. But it could be the result of exercise, which I had always thought would bring down our levels, as it usually does. But I am beginning to hear more and more stories like yours. Other considerations are drugs and other things that will raise your level, all of which are included in an appendix to Dr. Bernstein’s big book. You also have to consider what you had for dinner the night before. The effects of some foods are notorious for having a lasting effect. Pizza is the most infamous example that people have researched.



  • MC Hammer July 25, 2013 at 4:14 am

    hi people, i was diagnosed diabets with 276 morning bs. i m33 years old. i m normaly engineer but i try learned much thing with this concantration 🙂 now i ll give i good hint to you. before every meal ; 1 cub yogurt or kefir , put inside in quater spaneon cinemaon and 15 gr oat bran . eat it and measure the fast blood. it will be like this ; if the starting point is x than in one hour x + 30 mg , after 2 hour x + 25 . meanly corbonhiydrat based meal it ll be like this. by the way i try with dawn phenemenon 🙂 morning bs is 120 🙁

  • Cheryl June 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Is anyone else awakened by DP? I wake up every night between the hours of 3 and 4 AM, like clockwork. I’ve been testing my BS at that time and am amazed that it is always around 160. Most mornings I go back to sleep til around 7 and it is still around 122. I’m going to try some of the things I found on this site to see if I can help the DP.

    • David Mendosa June 13, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Dear Cheryl,

      If you take insulin injections, it could be that the effect of insulin you took is waning, as I wrote in my first book with Jennie Brand-Miller, “What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up…and Down?” Your blood glucose will rise if you didn’t take enough to keep your insulin level up through the night. Otherwise it is probably the dawn phenomenon.

      If it is the DP, my guess is that it’s the result of a delayed reaction to carbohydrates you had for dinner. Eating a meal that is high in both carbs and fat will give you that delayed reaction. Pizza is a well-known example. Personally, I cut way down on the carbs and control DP that way.



  • Cathy March 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Thank you so much for the reassurance that I can do this. There’s so much conflicting information. I forgot to mention that I have hypothyroid and take synthroid for it. I don’t usually eat a lot of sugary stuff and was eating mostly vegetables. Like a lot of other people, I sometimes get discouraged and take a day (or week) off of trying so hard. I’m considering trying to get some weight off by going ultra low carb for a little while. Last week I joined a gym and have a session with a trainer coming up soon. Years ago I was told that I have hypopituitary also, but frankly thought they were mistaken and never followed up on it. In my upcoming dr. appt I’m going to ask the doc to refer me to an endocrinologist since I have never been to one and would now like to follow up on the hypopituitary.

  • Cathy March 23, 2013 at 5:21 am

    I was just wondering, if a person was able to keep the same blood sugar level all day and all night, what would be the ideal number?

  • Cathy March 22, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Hi all. Thank you all so much for the real tried and tested comprehensive talk about diabetes and metabolism in general really. I have not been diagnosed with diabetes, but have had some symptoms that could be caused by diabetes; eg. eye issues, numb feet, trouble combating toenail fungus for many years, fatigue etc. I am about 50lb overweight. The last two times my doc has (routinely) checked my fasting blood sugar, it has been 101 which I know is not bad, but it is just over the limit for what is considered normal. It was always about 85 before. My father unexpectedly passed away back in October after a long difficult battle which included diabetes and complications of that. I started testing my bs about a month ago. In my youth, I skipped a lot of meals. A lot…and am really just now learning how to eat properly. Anyway, I noticed that when I go to bed my bs is around 85, then surprisingly when I wake it is between 100 and 103. I do realize that this may not sound like a problem to some. But I’m so afraid that if I don’t get the proper education about how my body REALLY works, my 3 year old daughter will have to face the same pain in watching me go through what my Dad did. I can’t put her through that. I feel so blessed to have stumbled on this site. I did notice that in my eating, I have probably been protein deficient for years. This may or may not be related, but I think I read it somewhere that it is. I have no moons on my fingernails. After increasing my protein, I noticed that I was developing a small barely visible moon on my thumbs. I pray that the damage I’ve done over the years can be reversed.

    • David Mendosa March 23, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Dear Cathy,

      You are wise to be concerned now before your weight leads you into becoming a person with diabetes. If you reduce the carbohydrates that you eat, particularly table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup and starches, particularly grains and potatoes, you can reduce your weight and your blood sugar at the same time. You are able NOW to reverse the damage you have done to your body. Many people, myself included, have done that.



  • leeann February 3, 2013 at 6:16 am

    This is a very late reply, but here goes anyway:

    William wrote “the other day I got up after sleeping in for about an hour and half on a sunday and my before meal test was 259! I tested again on a different finger and it was 200, I tested a third time, using the same finger as the 200 test and got a result of 226.”

    The reason that you get differing readings from different samples of blood is because you are checking a miniscule sample of blood from different capillaries. While it is unlikely that your right pinky blood has a blood sugar of 60 and your left pinky has a blood sugar of 300, it is completely possible to have different ammounts of glucose in different samples depending on which cells and which body areas that miniscule sample had been. These could be perfectly accurate results.

    Leeann Smith, RN

  • Mary Ann January 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Forgot to add that hopefully my next A1c in February will be lower and doctor thinks it will with my diet and exercise changes. I think I will buy an at home test kit before then just to see.

  • Mary Ann January 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Just new to Diabetes diagnosis and this site. My first A1C was 6.4. Started testing and my FBG levels were 118-139. Tried 1-2 T regular apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 packet of Stevia and some water at bedtime. No change. Tried a vodka/diet squirt in the evening, a bit lower in the am. Switched to Bragg’s apple cider vinegar with Stevia & water before bed and before lunch and dinner. Also added 2 cinnamon capsules at bedtime…much lower FBG now, under 100. I am very overweight, but doing Atkins (very low carb) to lose weight. Lost 22 lbs in 6 weeks. Walking 30 minutes every day. Doctor said I do not need meds at this time! I think the Bragg’s apple cider vinegar made the difference.

    • David Mendosa January 3, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Dear Mary Ann,

      Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is, I think, the best vinegar we can get for our health. It’s what I use myself for my olive oil and vinegar salad dressing.



  • Tracie Holladay May 10, 2012 at 2:59 am

    I’m on metformin and cannot drink, so wine with dinner is out.

  • Gerru January 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Lisa Try a couple of soup spoons of yogurt about 1 hour before bedtime for IBS. Regarding lo carb, hi protein, I have found a protein that does not aggravate my body, vegetable protein. It is found in all kinds of beans, plus soy beans and all it’s by products such as Tofu. These proteins cut down on all the toxicity of animal protein.

    Good carbs: Eat nothing white ( bad carbs), but eat WHOLE GRAINS. Mix and match them. You can also find whole grain pastas, breads, etc.

    I limit my carb intake to 20 per meal because my body still produces enough insulin to “chew” my food for me. If your dawn phenom is still high, then reduce your meal to 15 carbs.

    When we eat, our body deposits all excess sugars into our liver. During the night, the liver “cleans house” and dumps the excess carbs/sugars into our blood and we wake up with dawn phenom. Then we begin again.

    I hope this has helped you. God bless. Gerry

  • Lisa January 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I meant to say IBS meds, not mess :(. And that I get confused among all the different sources about which carbs are ok, besides just fruits & vegs–they’re just not enough to control the IBS–I have to have starches

  • Lisa January 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I haven’t seen this addressed here or anywhere: I have Type II and irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was originally diagnosed 5-6 years ago, with no symptoms, during health screening at 136. I tell people I’m a “baby diabetic”. My A1c runs 5.9 – 6.4 , with almost all my 100+ numbers in a.m.–unless I’ve messed up on what I eat. I have Dawn Phen–120s – 140s, so will try some of suggestions here. My Dr. added Cycloset last year & it knocks off about 20 pts. but never below 110.

    I tried low-carb when initially diagnosed, but mt occassional digestive problems turned into full-blown IBS. I’ve never missed work due to Diabetes, but was getting in trouble for missing so much w/IBS symptoms 1st thing in a.m. before I even ate breakfast. And I can’t tolerate the IBS mess. So I’ve had to add app. 45 grams carbs per meal back to my diet–trying to choose healthy carbs mostly. My body won’t LET me go lower
    than that. I take 1000 mg metformin ER, .8 Cycloset & just started 5 mg Onglyza. All my cholesterol, etc. #s are excellent, I just had a good eye exam, no neuropathy.

    My worry is the effect not eating low-carb has on the Dawn Phen. I get so confused about what to eat–I think the ADA is too high in carbs, low-carb seems pretty straightforward, but I can’t do it. And I hate to cook:). Anyone else had experience with these two diagnoses?

  • jen November 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    This is a great site and I’m learning so much! I am 5 7 and 110 lbs. My FBS was 112 so I asked my NP for a monitor to check daily (I had gestational diabetes 2 of my 3 pregnancies.) I am finding it ranges from 90-115. I do have the same snack every night 10 wheat thins and 1 string cheese. I will try the atkins peanut cluster and the vinegar. Hopefully can keep it under 100.

  • GERRY November 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Going hungry for a diabetic is not good. Our bodies are like animals, they like continuity, going to bed at the same time, sleeping 8 hours, eating at the same time everyday, eating the same amount of calories, etc per day, getting sunshine and fresh air, plenty of water, and fresh foods and a higher power. Our pets lead a more healthier life than most of us! :+}

    By being consistent with our bodies, they will eventually find their balance and reward you with good health. Most of us that are diabetics have abused our body and now we must learn how to take care of them, something that should have been done earlier in our life.

    I also find that the Seventh Day Adventists 8 rules for healthy living are a big help towards helping our body to heal. That doesn’t mean you have to be an SDA, but they know their good health and how to achieve it.

    I hope this gives you encouragement and you journey through this process to getting back to good health. Diabetes is not a death sentence unless you ignore the things your body is telling you. Gerry

  • minismom November 3, 2011 at 1:13 am

    hi cindy,

    a nice dose of egg protein at night befor sleeping works well with me. i agree with gerry since weight is my problem!! i have a chocolate protein shake in the morning for breakfast too.

    also i loose points with yoga since i do not find it stressful like aerobics!!

    staying hydrated also worked well with me and my headaches!!

  • Suzy Wiberg November 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I have to agree with Irene. Plus I take a cinnamon pill after meal, and it really makes a difference!

  • Irene November 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    cindy. I 4got 2 mention when your fasting make sure u always drink water (plain or with a splash of lemon/lime) or plenty of green tea. the water/green tea will keep u hydrated. (dehydration can also drive up blood sugar).

  • Irene November 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    cindy – I just got diagnosed with type 2 a yr n a half ago. 4 a while there i was having trouble with the dawn phenomenon. As a diabetic you should b eating small meals ev. 2 or 3hrs. In order 2 keep your blood sugar in check. My nutritionist explained it 2 me; when your body thinks your starving it, itl go in2 protection mode, it drives the blood sugar up; as a consequence your body will start 2 store fat = which leads 2 high blood sugar = which leads 2 weight gain. Thats why long term fasting doesnt work. If u want 2 fast do it as a detox, but only a few days a month. Try 2 eat small snacks regularly, (ev 2 or 3 hrs) n at least 30mins of walking ev day. N take a 45min weights class 3 days a wk. The weights will burn fat n drive your blood sugar down. Eating n exercising is a long term solution. Try eatin a small snack 2hrs b4 bed. Eg. Milk, muffin. Fruit, nuts. Etc. C if that works. It did 4 me. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Cindy November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks for your reply. The analogy you make about your liver is a good one. The thing is I’m not eating anything during the day, just a small snack around 3:00 p.m. and then a low carb dinner. But with the dawn phenomenon, my numbers are high in the morning and seem to get higher as the morning progresses, despite me not eating anything. I have a cup of coffee with cream around 10:00 a.m. and nothing else until I eat a small snack at 3:00 p.m. Fasting allowed me to lose weight and improved my lipid profile greatly – I really don’t want to give up fasting, but might have to if I can’t get my blood sugar in check.

  • Cindy November 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Suzy,

    When I started fasting (it’s called Fast-5-which means you fast for 19 hours and you can eat for 5 hours – you can do a search if you’re interested). Anyway within 2-3 months of fasting, I lost 35 pounds. Before that I would try everything and no weight loss – fasting gave me weight loss and improved my lipids tremendously. With my blood sugars acting this way, I might have to start eating a little something in the morning. Thanks for your reply.

  • GERRY November 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    David Speaking about exercise; I have had to deal with gout along with diabetes. So a high protein diet, especially animal protein, was pretty much out of the question, but even as a vegetarian, the bean family carries the products that it takes to create gout. So all my doctors tell me to WALK, but that is easier said than done due to the pain that gout creates.

    So for those of you that have gouty pain, sciatic pain, or nerve pain, here is a product that I have found that really works. It is found in:

    http://www.drleonards.com catalog and it is called

    Sciatic Pain Reliever.

    It is NOT one of those snake doctor formulas, this really does work. You rub it on, leave it exposed to the air until it is absorbed, then go about your life. Pretty soon you notice that you can do things you were unable to do before, and I noticed the next day that I had no pain, sometimes for 2 or 3 days.

    So I hope this has helped you as much as it has helped me, it feels good to be able to walk again and the walking has helped the diabetes.


  • GERRY November 2, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Cindy I fought this problem for about 6 years and finally figured out how to think about it. I pretended that my liver was the “bank” and during the day I was “depositing” my sugar/carbs in my account. At the end of the day, while I slept, my liver would “withdrawn” my sugar deposits and put them in my blood because it was “cleaning house”.

    This thinking works to a point. It is not just what we eat per meal but the whole picture. A nibble here or there, a fatty meal today, and a starchy meal tomorrow, etc. It is the total picture.

    So now, no matter what my morning numbers are, I take a high protein shake (like Atkins, EAS, etc) that is low in carbs, high in protein, and fat. It is simply something to tell my body, “look you are not starving to death, here is a meal for you” but not so much that it is going to shock the body. I also add some cinnamon to the shake because that helps your insulin to behave itself. Then for lunch you can have real food again. I also try to add a little bit of cinnamon to my meal somewhere, even if I simply shake it over a grain of some sort.

    At bedtime I take my numbers, then immediately upon waking, I take them again. The difference will tell you how much sugar your liver stored yesterday and dumped into your blood stream during the night. Keep this up and you will become pretty good during the day, at judging how your food intake is doing.

    I hope some of this helps you. David is not a doctor, but he is more knowledgeable about this disease than most doctors because he has seriously studied every aspect of it and the tools that we need. Doctors ask him about diabetes. Hope this helps your confidence level in his advice.


  • David Mendosa November 2, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Dear Cindy,

    You are right; a handful of pecans (in my larger hand) has just 6 grams of carbs. This implies to me that you could have a high degree of insulin resistance. It might also mean that you are beginning to need insulin or other medication. But to be sure I think your next step is to go to your drugstore and buy a set of two (that’s the only way they sell it) A1CNow Self-Checks. This way you can determine your A1C level. If it is above 6.0, the best favor you can do for yourself is to go on diabetes medication until you can manage your diabetes. Please note that I recommend this although, like you, I do prefer to manage diabetes without drugs — if possible.


  • Suzy Wiberg November 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I think it’s really important to eat breakfast. Sumo wrestlers don’t eat breakfast, and look at them! Breakfast jump starts your metabolism and sets you up for the whole day. Also, exercise is amazing in helping your sugars and to loose weight. Do anything, but just move as much as you can.

  • Cindy November 2, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your quick response. Disclaimer – I know you’re not a doctor. I am in the process of loosing weight, but it is going very slow. What would you suggest I do in the meantime as far as eating in the morning or just continue with my fasting. If my blood sugar starts to rise around 3:00 a.m. and stays high until noon, that’s not good at all. I stated that I ate a handful of pecans this morning and my blood sugar shot up almost 40 points. I wouldn’t think a handful of nuts would have much more than 6 grams of carbs. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks, Cindy

  • Cindy November 2, 2011 at 10:07 am

    It appears I also have dawn phenomenon, waking with numbers from 130-170. A little background – I have been fasting (I don’t eat anything from going to bed until dinner the next day) for approximately 2 years. I checked my blood sugar when I started this and it was fine (90’s). But something strange is happening. Recently when I get up with high numbers, I’ve tried several different things (vinegar/water, pecans, mixed nuts, little cheese, etc.). When I check blood sugar an hour or 2 later, it’s higher than it was when I woke up. Like this morning, I woke with 138 – ate some pecans (handful) and when I checked about an hour later it was at 179. I am trying to stay off medication and just control eating low carb and exercise. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • David Mendosa November 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Dear Cindy,

      Recent studies, which I have written about elsewhere, show that the dawn phenomenon lasts well into the morning, like about to noon in many cases. The implication of that, particularly for those of us who know the benefits of a very low-carb diet, is to minimize carbs in the morning. That gives a lot of support to Dr. Bernstein’s recommendation that we have no more than 6 grams of total carbs in the morning. That’s my first point. The second point is that the dawn phenomenon is much less important in terms of eventual complications than post-prandial (after meal) blood glucose levels. In any case, I have found that as I was able to reduce my A1C to about 5.0 and my BMI to about 19.5 the dawn phenomenon disappeared on its own.


  • c October 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • David Mendosa October 20, 2011 at 7:16 am

      Good question. When I find those violations, I write and ask. In most cases people apologize and remove my articles.

  • joanne August 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Just want to skite a bit – have had a couple of under-6 readings lately (2 hrs post-prandial); toes and feet almost too toasty-warm; best news so far – nearly 5.5 hours of sleep last night AND 6.7 as this morning’s fasting reading at 5.30am. Wow!!! (The reading s after an evening meal of osso bucco sans the red wine, which usually gives me a higher reading in the morning) Am feeling pretty chuffed!!!

    It’s looking as if hitting that Raynaud’s connection and the cortisol, and working away with the improved intake of critical vitamins is helping to reinforce the other good habits emphasised here.


  • Cindy Hill August 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I believe I have Dawn Phenomenon also. I went to Doc 6/11 and FBS was 111 – no reason for concern – I have subsequently been given a glucose monitor by sister and have been taking it on arising and my blood sugars range from 145 to 185 – 2 hours later before I eat my yogurt, apple and flax seed it is 119 – I don’t want to take meds – I’m 5’4, 240lbs, female, I eat very low carb and exercize 2 to 3 times per week – I stay under 1200 calories but no weight loss – my doc gave me diet pills – couldn’t take – they made me feel awful – she says I have a sluggish thyroid but doesn’t warrant medication.

    Now I’m worried about my FBS – I’ve read all the comments and I am going to try some of the evening tricks you all have mentioned. Love this site and all the info –

  • joanne August 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    aha! Vindicated! Saw doc for results of A1c today, and got a 6.4 average. So even though the fasting reading is still high, everything IS ok, and we’re working on controlling other factors.

    I really appreciate all the practical knowledge here, and the personal experiences. Each of us is so complex, and our individuality means that there are so many approaches to what seems like basic engineering. What I’ve picked up from here is keeping my tendencies for diabetes in check, and that’s got to be good!!

  • joanne August 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I agree it’s counter-intuitive. I’m taking my last dose of the vitamin B early enough in the evening that it shouldn’t interfere with the sleep pattern. Luckily I go to bed fairly late! My cortisol levels result in an interrupted sleep pattern, so that when I do sleep I’m constantly waking up; I’m lucky to get 4 hours of quality sleep a night.

    This is one of the things my dietitian and I have been working on. She also believes that an increase in the right mix of vit Bs will help things, however that will require testing and prescriptions. So I will need to get the doc on-side. Hence my hope that there are other migraineurs and/or Raynaud’s folk here…

    And, David, thanks for the prompt reply – I know it’s late over there!

  • David Mendosa August 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Dear Joanne,

    I don’t know enough to make any comment but this one: You mention your sleeplessness, and you are taking B vitamins in the evening. But B vitamins taken late in the day can cause sleeplessness.


  • joanne August 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Oh I should say that sometimes my fasting BGL is 6.9. Mostly it’s in in the 7s unless I’m migraining or sleepless – which seem dependent on my cortisol or hormone levels, neither of which the doc will test for.

  • joanne August 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    The GP and I are arguing (much as predicted): he sees my fasting BGLs as a concern, and wants me to go on a 3-month medication to lower it. I know it’s not an insulin problem, it’s a blip caused by my other health issues…when we met earlier this week, I was coming off an almost 3-week migraine, complete with stomach/bowel involvement, so naturally my readings were high.

    I’ve also told him there’s a correlation with my hormone cycle, and also with my sleeplessness.

    I’ve since been reading about the connection with Raynaud’s (which my Dad had, complete with the gangrenous toes, and which he’s passed on to me in a mild form), and the migraines.

    And all of these connect with the vitamin Bs, homocysteine, vasospasms, cortisol levels and early morning/fasting levels. People with Raynaud’s who get migraines are more likely to get them in the morning, and have bad fasting BGLs but apparently these are greatly reduced with increased B3, B6, folates…. (I’ve been in a migraine study that showed I have inherited a high homocysteine level, genetic migraines and issues around them)

    I can get my daytime readings down to the 5s and 6s. Taking an extra vit B complex in the evening has (so far) lowered fasting BGL from 8.4 to 7.2. But that might be seen to be within my usual fluctuation.

    Are there other migraineurs on this part of the site? Are there other Raynaud’s folk? How does your experience tally with what I’ve read? thanks.

  • Gerry July 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Susan I have never heard of people not having much of a colon and still living, but I tried to put myself in this situation by thinking I had just been to the doctor and he was giving me your news for myself. My first question was, what else feeds the body besides the colon? The liver and the blood. Both of course, hold sugar and are suppose to use it, but yours uses it inefficiently. So what are some of my assets? I have a little bit of colon remaining. How to maximize it?

    I think first I would make yogurt a daily part of my life, possibly plain yogurt in a protein shake. With EVERY intake of food, I would take a one a day vitamin and mineral pill, a good quality one. I use Puritans Pride (puritanspride.com). This would help to assure you of receiving at least some vit/min.

    In the protein shake I would not only use yogurt, but a little bit of vegetable oil, i.e. flaxseed oil, canola, olive, avocado, etc. I even use a tiny bit of chili oil in my food to help my heart. A tiny bit is like 1/4 teaspoon, as it is very spicy hot.

    Does your body make any of it’s own insulin? The way to find out is start by eating a high protein meal with zero carbs. Take your blood sugar right before you eat and about 1/2 hour after you eat. Write it down along with the words, zero carbs.

    Next meal, do a meal with 10 carbs in it and the blood sugar test both before and after.

    The next meal add 10 more carbs for 20 carbs and testing.

    At the end of the day, study your glucose tests and see which one handled which amount of carbs the best. That will be a primitive way of showing you how much insulin your body can produce on its own.

    So lets say, that your body can comfortably handle 20 carbs per meal, without taking insulin. Then you ALWAYS limit yourself to 20 carbs with approximately 2 hours between feedings. If it is zero carbs, then the diet plan is high protein, zero carbs. This doesn’t mean you can eat some carbs but they will be basically “rabbit food”. Such as a small amount of shredded carrot, radishes, lettuce, etc. but in small amounts. Most diets list them as “free foods”.

    I would also add yogurt to help control the irritable bowel syndrom. Contact a Mannatech representative and order MannaCleanse, it is not so much a cleanse for the bowel, so much as it is a strengthener for people with poor bowels or colon problems, it works, it is wonderful. Again, this is trying to maximize and preserve what assets you have left to you. Also, my question to the doctor would be this: “Can a large vein be taken from my leg and used as a new colon by adding it to the colon I already have? Or can a new colon be laboratory grown by using some of my colon’s stem cells?” Remember, you are trying to maximize your assets.

    Continue to take your Metamucil, but take it along with your meal, just be sure that you take in plenty of liquids with it. Cook your veggies in water and serve the water with the veggie and eat it also, it is loaded with that veggie’s nutrients, no sense in throwing it down the drain. The Metamucil will slow down the rate of absorption for you, so that your small colon will have time to absorb some of the nutrient packed liquid from your meal.

    Another thing I would try because I know it works is this: Prayer. God created everything in Creation, He can create a new colon for you at any time, and He responds to people that have faith in Him. He says in the Bible to come BOLDLY to the the Throne of Grace. So try walking by faith for a new colon, He loves to reward faith. So you work like it all depends on you, but live like it all depends on Him. It is a winning combination, especially when applied with common sense.

    I hope some of these suggestions will help you, I pray that God will give you His wisdom, knowledge and understanding of your your situation to help you heal.

    Sincerely, Gerry

  • Susan Brown July 17, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Please help.

    Any suggestions for someone with high morning blood sugars who is also losing weight possibly due to inadequate nutrition/absorption from eating 3 meals yet having at least 8-10 bowel movements daily even with Metamucil as recommended post removal of the colon due to cancer??

    I need something to slow down the digestive process with essentially no colon now, without causing constipation and further weight loss.

    What should someone without a colon do to control high morning blood sugars that are normal at bedtime?

    Any suggestion?? Flaxseed bread?? What about PGX?? Eat at least every 4 hours, even during the night-I think the blood sugar is dropping too low at night and drawing from the liver??

    • David Mendosa July 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Dear Susan,

      I can think of only two ways to control your blood glucose, insulin and a very low carb diet, but I’m not sure. I am thinking about my late wife who lost almost all of her small intestines, so she was not able to take oral meds for her diabetes after that. But maybe you can. She had to eat a restricted diet, the details of which I don’t remember. But I am sure that you can find that from your medical team.


  • Joanne July 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I had read about this; unfortunately I am very allergic to fenugreek and am too scared to try bittermelon because of my reaction to so many other fruits, vegetables and herbs. I am allergic to a substance that most of them produce naturally, salicylates, and have an intolerance to many amines (which is also why I don’t eat many sweetened foods or pre-prepared foods; Irarely eat food I haven’t prepared myself). My last fenugreek experience had me vomiting for days after a tiny amount.

    Two weeks ago I had a nasty respitatory (sp?) virus and had to take an antibiotic. It is one I have taken before; the doctor says it is almost the last one he can prescribe for me. I experienced a disastrous ‘side effect’ – after 1 tablet, thought I was having a heart attack (I would have said it was a reaction to the drug, he said no, just side effect) and had to stop taking the medication immediately. Two days later, thought I was having a stroke – migraine with sinus headache combined, literally knocked me off my feet for 2 days. Can’t take pain meds at all, so you can imagine what it was like unlike my nose started to run and we realised what was happening.

  • danam July 4, 2011 at 9:05 am

    my wife recently brought down her morning bg levels by simply using fenugreek seeds. last year she had tried fenugreek water for few weeks and then gave up. this time (last few weeks), she actually chewed soaked fenugreek seeds and saw her morning glucose drop to levels she hadn’t seen in a year. from 140-150, it immediately came down to ~120 (112 lowest). she also used bitter melon (karela) juice at times but fenugreek (methi) showed direct correlation. she has never taken any diabetes meds, but is little lazy when it comes to natural stuff (herbs).

  • Joanne July 4, 2011 at 6:46 am

    still hoping for information on correlation of DP and menopause… I have daytime readings of 5.2 to 6.8 post-prandial and fasting readings ranging from 6 to 8+, even though my diet rarely changes and my dietitian can find no fault with it, in terms of diabetes management. Higher readings may coincide with bad migraine days or extended ‘spotting’ or restless nights or nothing at all. A reading before bedtime may be within normal range, only to shoot to low 9s by 6 am on a whim.

  • Woody July 4, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Thanks for the tip about the vinagar it helps me
    some. In my reading I found another article that
    I found interesting. It seems that in non diabetic
    people there insulin sensitivity varries during the day also BUT in a patern just the opposit of
    ours. They handel carbs best first thing in the morning and by late afternoon don’t handel carbs verry well at all.

    • David Mendosa July 4, 2011 at 4:45 am

      Interesting! Thanks.


  • Joanne June 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Can anyone tell me if there is much information about DP and going through menopause naturally? All other readings are fine for this type 2 (yeah, I could lose some weight – working on it; I exercise but it doesn’t affect my DP readings; I eat low-carb, low fat and have food allergies).

    I have noticed a correlation between my migraines and my higher readings (get migraines almost daily). The only meds I take are for the migraines, and women’s vit complex that’s heavy on Bs.

    Have worked hard to achieve consistent readings, and they’re now usually just on the high side of normal except for my morning fasting BGL. It keeps going up no matter what I do.

    Thanks for any suggestions – I’m overdue for the A1C but I’m scared to go back… I really don’t want to take more meds. (I react badly to most medication)

  • Gerry May 17, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Irene, I figure our liver is like the bank and insulin is the custodian that keeps the bank clean. If you dump a lot of sugar into the “bank” during the day, the insulin custodian is going to “dump” it into the blood stream, “the garbage collector”, during the night and so you end up with DP. So the trick is to eat consistently night and day.

    For instance, I now know that my body can produce enough insulin to “eat” 20 carbs per feeding without leaving any extra in the bank. So I begin the day and end the day with a pretty level field of playing.

    However, if I eat something that catches me off guard, and fills up my bank, then I get a penalty of DP.

    The best way to find out how much insulin (type II people) that you can produce, use your glucose kit before and after eating.

    Then try to eat accordingly.


  • Irene May 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I got diagnosed with diabetes a year ago; The first 8 months I did really well, stuck to my diet, got my health under control but the last six months Its been a bit of a struggle to stick to a healthy diet and recently I noticed that my blood sugar’s usually higher in the morning [technically that’s always been the case; although I never worried too much if it was under 8 mml] but I got really concerned because the last few weeks I got blood sugar readings over 8mml despite the fact that i’m fully recovered from the flu now. I discovered I experience the dawn phenomenon. I found that the way to counteract that is to make sure that my last snack is 2 -2.5 hrs before bed. [Because i go to bed about 1am n my last meal was 9.30pm. I was going to bed hungry] Voila. My blood sugar readings are now within the normal ranges again. In fact my morning blood sugar reading was in the 6.5 readings, a number that it hasnt been for a very long time…

    Eating a low carb/protein snack 2 hrs before bed is best. E.g.
    1. egg and green tea.
    2. crackers [wholegrain/multigrain] n peanut butter
    3. apple an peanut butter
    4. carrots/celery with dip [avocado, peanut butter.]
    5. half muffin [homemade] with green tea/milk
    6. handful of nuts n dried frut
    7. a few pretzels n fruit [eg. apple, pear, orange…etc.]
    8. small bowl of vanilla custard n 1/4 pear n green tea
    9. berries n greek/natural yogurt.
    10. A handful of popcorn and fruit…
    11. a savoury scone with cottage cheese…etc.

    the possibilities are endless. It worked for me. Good luck.

  • Natalie March 8, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I have a question – I have started taking glucomannon (1 tsp in a glass of water). My question is – will my body percieve this as food and act accordingly (release insulin) or will it just fill up my stomach and keep me from eating (body still thinks I’m fasting)?

  • Mary W February 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Well, I tried 1 oz of apple cider vinegar in water before bed last night, FBG this morning was still 130. I will slowly work up to 2oz this week ea night and see if it makes a difference. maybe I will add evening of primrose ea night also.


  • David Mendosa February 18, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Dear Mary,

    Then, you have no reason to be concerned about a hypo, going too low. Only when your level goes below 70 do you need to do something about it. And you will eventually not feel that you are too low when your level is higher than that.


  • Mary W February 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    No David, I’m not on insulin only metformin 1xday. Sometimes I feel like I might be hypo but when I check it , it’s usually no lower than 96-97., but that’s not very often. I haven’t had a recheck of A1c since Oct. I have only been on Metformin since Dec as well as the diet so I thought I would go back to Dr in March.
    Thanks again David

  • Mary W February 17, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I have gained so much good info here as I’m newly diagnosed type 2 I too have highest # upon arising, and will try vinegar at bedtime and maybe 5os wine at dinner. I am on 500mg metformin 1x day, I take it right before dinner. Also following Bernstien solution diet, At diagnosis morn # 168, after 2 mo on new low carb diet and metformin morn # 121, hope to get it lower with an increase of daily 30 min excersise and weight loss (have lost 11lbs since Dec). So it is ok to add chromium P and cinnomon along with metformin? Wasn’t sure if it would lower BG too much, thanks again.

    • David Mendosa February 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Dear Mary,

      You can reduce your BG too much and go hypo if you are taking insulin or an insulin sensitizer. Are you?


  • minismon February 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    just read this today somewhere

    Wherever we are, no matter how bad our life might look, we can take a step forward. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, what we forgot to do, or what other people think of us — our choice is basically the same: to go forward

  • Gerry Pariseau February 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I know. Before aloe vera, I would wake up with BG of 130-145 now it is 111 to 125, that is encouraging and encouragement is what all diabetics need. As far as I can tell though, the best control for diabetes is exercise and weight loss. Most of us though are overweight too much and can’t get out of our own tracks. However, when I spent that month in bed or sitting with the gout flareups, I did exercise my upper body with bar bells. It is difficult to lift yourself out of a bed or recliner to use the facilities if you are weak, and especially if you are overweight. When I started needing help out of my chair, that scared me, and that is when I started the upper body exercising. It has helped.

    Now that the gout is gone, my legs are very weak, so I make a point of getting out my rollator walker and walking throughout the house. When the sun shines again, I will go outdoors and walk up and down in front of my yeard until I am strong enough to walk further. Get out in the sun as much as possible, diabetics are notoriously low on vitamin D and the sun is the best relieve for that.

    “The main message though is get the excess weight off. I figure that when I am at my normal weight, I should weigh between 120-130 lbs. So that is what God created my internal organs to support. So if I want them to work correctly, I have to get my weight to that level, otherwise, the extra weight is literally killing me by choking off the internal organs. That killing process shows up as diabetes, heart problems, gout, cancer, asthma, etc.

    I heard a woman say the other day that when she was younger, she looked at old people and saw 2 types. The first type was at their correct weight or even a little under, and had a good quality of life. The other type was overweight, and all they did was talk about their medical problems, and suffer from all sorts of diseases and were unable to do anything because of their disabilities. She chose early in life to be slender when she was old, now she is old and is healthy and active, not sitting around talking about illness. Wished I had been that wise at her age.

  • minismon February 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    dear gerry
    for the record,

    DP befor AV was 146
    DP after AV 121.

    will check again today, sending this addl note for other readers.


  • Gerry Pariseau February 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Dear Minismom Glad to help a fellow sufferer. Gerry

  • minismon January 31, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    DEAR Gerry,

    aloe vera juice is indeed soothing, thank you for sharing this experience.
    it helped my DP numbers . its effect on soothing a bad attack of acidity was amazing, relievd me of a evening of agonising headache and nausea.

    god bless for sharing the simple trick of having it at bed time. i had being having it early morning earlier.

  • Gerry Pariseau January 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Dear Mary If you will read the article a the top of this column about the Dawn Phenom, you will get some answers there. I have also discovered for myself that about 2-3 oz of aloe vera juice at bedtime, I usually cut it with about that much sugar free grape juice, helps with DP and inflammation. DP is when your liver cleans house while you sleep and dumps all excess sugar into your blood stream. Diabetes is a part of an on going inflammation in the body, the aloe vera helps to cool it down, much like when you put an aloe vera leaf on a burn. It works and you feel much better.

  • Mary January 30, 2011 at 9:19 am

    My husband has had diabetes type 2 for about 10 years. He has been on many different medications and is now on Byetta and Glimipiride. He weighs about 350. He also has prostate cancer and is on al lot of medication. He also has a pacemaker. His blood sugar goes up and down all the time and confuses his. This morning is was 75 and he therefore did not take his byetta. Sometimes he will wake up and it is 110 or maybe 160 and he takes the byetta then. Why is it so up and down . It never goes over 200.

    • David Mendosa January 31, 2011 at 10:45 am

      Dear Mary,

      If you husband would contact me directly, I would be glad to advise him. My email address is [email protected] and my phone is (720) 319-8423.


  • Gerry Pariseau January 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Dear Reedee I guess we have all been busy mopping up after Christmas. My name is Gerry and it is good to have you on our site.

    For the past month I have been battling 7 gout flareups, plus my prediabetes. Learned some new things along the way.

    I learned that aloe vera juice, buy it at the grocery store, is not only good for gout but also for diabetes. You only need about 2-3 ounces per day and I mix it in with a small amount of some other fruit juice to make it easier to take.

    I also learned that a low purine diet, something all gout victims do if they don’t like pain, is also very good for diabetes. My daughter, who is healthy but eats this diet with me, and I have been showing weight loss just in the one month we have been using this diet.

    So what is a low purine diet? It is little to no animal flesh, but generous use of dairy products and soy products. Also, if you are prone to gout (hereditary), this diet will lessen the amount of gout flare ups that you have, but it also is an anti-infammatory diet, which means you body can do repair work from the diabetes. It also protects your heart

    Also I learned about a medication for gout that is wonderful but dangerous. It is called colchicine. It can be used as a pain manager or a gout preventative, but while I was on it, a lot of my other aches and pains disappeared. It is very dangerous and is easy to abuse it, only take it under a doctors supervision.

    So these are all the new things I have learned in this past month and thought I would share it with all of you. The low purine diet is like what they ate in the Garden of Eden, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and grains that have color to them. It is a very tasty diet. If you want to learn how to cook tasty food with this diet, check with the following site http://www.3abn.org , it is a 7th Day Adventist site, just click on FOOD. I know, I know, I am not 7th Day Adventist either, but their diet is wonderful for us. Get brave, you will be pleasantly surprised. Gerry

  • Reedee January 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    There are no new postings here… is this site still active? I’m going to try the vinegar tonight and I’ll stick a piece of okra in the fridge. My waking level was 208 this morning

  • john December 20, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Forgive my spelling I didnt proof read,,,,smile

  • john December 20, 2010 at 4:39 am

    I was found to be type two 25 years ago when my sugar was 750 and colestrol was 800 as well as trg,,were 2600,,,I was to change my life style or die.
    I lost 80 pounds and took only one pill a day,,,,My sugar has never been below 160 in the mornings for 25 years,,,I now since they have been approved take Glucophage 2000mg aday and glucotrol xl 20 mg a day and sugar still 170 to maybe 200 in mornings,,,I am religious on what i eat and have counted carbs,sugar and fat for 25 years,,,I am 76 now and still no problems with heart ,,legs or eye sight and or kidneys,,,My doctors tell me am the healthest dibeatic he has met.
    I do have one problem and will correct and that is my doctor swithed me to glpizide instead of named brand and my sugar has spiked 60 points and almost feel like a heart attack when just a short walk,,,I never had this problem with named brand,,,How ever i am by nature to research everything and I know that all the drug companies and the FDA claim there is no differance in generic and name brand,,But i also from experiance with my job with the government and dealing with big corps. that they dont always tell the truth when it comest to money,,,so i will quit the generic and take the top shelf stuff as i do every thing,,I dont shop at the dollar store.

  • Suzy November 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I will check it all out! Thanks again, Liz

  • Liz November 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    You could try a Bayer A1CNow. I did use one, and it was pretty close to my real A1C… It gave me an A1C of 5.3%, and the lab was 5.5%.

    I’m really picky when it comes to doctors and medications… I guess, whether it got me in trouble or not, I would ask for a new test… and my personal choice is going to be insulin, and not get on a lot of meds. But that’s just me. I think you do, though, owe it to yourself to ask for a do-over if it means you’re gonna be on some serious new medications. But the A1CNow might help you determine whether to pick that battle, or not.

  • Suzy November 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks, Liz. I agree with you! It was a lab test, but still. He had a chart in his office with those numbers, and when I questioned him about it, he referred to the chart. I think the lab scewed up the test, but hard to believe. But based on that, he’s starting me on medication.

  • Liz November 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Well, while there are various A1C calculators out there, it’s usually a few tenths of a point off… not entire percentage points. 135, according to one of the more used calculators does NOT equal 7.3%… it equals 6.3%. http://professional.diabetes.org/GlucoseCalculator.aspx You can double check it on that list, where eAG is the estimated Average Glucose. Also… did he do a lab A1C, or one of those A1Cs at the office?

  • Suzy November 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I just got back an A1C of 7.3 and am totally shocked. My blood sugars didn’t seem to be that horrible. My doctor averaged them all out to 135 and said that was the correct A1C. I’m just wondering if that sounds right? He has put me on 100mg of Januvia. I was just doing diet and exercise before.

  • Gerry Pariseau November 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Right now I am going through some really serious financial stress and am finding that it is a job to keep the blood sugar down through this time.

    So I am going to try what Prevention Magazine recommends, with everything you eat, add some protein with it. I did that at one time, and it worked very well.

    I truly believe that stress is the #1 cause of diabetes. The stress hormones can really play havoc with your blood glucose system. Gerry

  • Liz October 31, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Drink a LOT of water, if you are bloated. It means you’re retaining water, which is a symptom of dehydration… and about the only way to treat that is with water. I used to have high blood pressure, but I started consuming foods high in potassium, like a lot of nuts, etc… and I’ve lost a lot of weight, too (75 lbs). Since I follow a mostly low carb diet… My bp went from 140 to about 109.

  • saddaf October 31, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    thx liz. i now know for sure that women do suffer higher bg numbers during periods. My numbers get not only much higher but also unpredictable. i also suffer from high bp and hugely bloated tummy during theses days. any suggestions.

  • Liz October 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Update on my dawn phenomenon:

    I have changed a few things to help with this situation:

    1. I make sure I am very well hydrated, every day. Via lots of water, powerade zero, etc.
    2. I have an early dinner, every day… No later than 7 pm. Usually around 5:30 pm.
    3. I always have a light evening snack, lower on the carbs (no more than 15), at around 7:30-8:30pm or so..
    4. I go for a mild, casual stroll right before bed (20-25 minutes), usually at 10-10:30 pm.
    5. I go for a mild, casual stroll first thing in the morning before I eat anything at all (20-25 minutes). Usually 7:30-8:30 am.

    This has been keeping my morning numbers in the 80s and lower 90s most days of the month, except for period ovulation days when I get to higher 90s, and lower 100s.

    I follow a more high protein/high fat diet, with less than 80 grams of carbohydrates a day, with most days averaging around 60, since I only eat about 7 grams of carbohydrates in the morning at breakfast. (I spike too much then, for eating carbs.)

    Hope this helps anyone.

  • Gerry Pariseau October 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Hi All I have learned a few things since I last wrote. The apple cider vinegar is to be taken 1/2 hr before eating, 2 tsp. I figure it sets up an acidic stomach so that you will digest your food instead of storing someplace in the body, only to be found later as poundage.

    I actually “saw” the morning phenom occur this morning. When I woke up, my bg was 137. I was fasting for a blood test. Later when I felt really hungry, I tested it again, thinking it should be down to the 120s, but to my surprise it was at 147!

    So I figured that because I was fasting, my liver decided to clean house and dump yesterdays liver glucose now! Oh lucky me. So I figure that is how it works, the liver is cleaning house.

    The blood test revealed that my a1c was 6.2. I am seriously thinking about eating vegetarian more than meat. An all raw diet does wonders, if you can live with it. It is a hard diet to live with.

    Well gotta go. Just thought I would share these thoughts with you. Gerry

  • jim snell October 29, 2010 at 8:13 am


    playing with meals seems interesting.

    you need to check bs from midnight to am.

    i bet ir is 110 at 1:00am; 150 at 3:00 am
    and 230-268 in am.

    I do not kmow who the idiot pill jocky’s that recommend one dose per day of metformin.

    problem is liver stuck in make sugar mode crtc2 switch always on. Metformin up to strength in blood only shuts this off.

    metformin is only drug to shut this down.

    based upon factors of my body I take

    5:00 am 500mg metformin
    12:00 pm lunch 500 mg metformin
    7:00 pm 500 mg metformin
    10:00 pm and 12:00am midnight 500 mg metformin
    each time – will shut down dawn issue to 5:30 am.

    standard met not ER XR or that Tevi stuff.

    I go to bed at 12:00 am and bs is 120 to 140.
    In am BS is 120 to 140 usally. I have not seen
    190plus and 230 up – a pail of glucose since this regimene.

    Reason for spreading pill charges throughout day is to cut off liver sugar production and crtc2 switch in fasting not make sugar.
    mode as much as possible.

  • Phil October 29, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Ack, moderator, please combine the previous 2 posts and this one. I am also going to pay attention to the 2 Berstein books I bought and follow what they say (Solution & Diet)

  • Phil October 29, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Ack. Also set the alarm for 3:00 and see if my blood sugar is crashing causing the reaction. Frankly I can see how that might be, given times I would have overeaten late, and double dosed on metformin in an attempt to counteract it. I was prescribed 1 1000 MG pill at meals, but after a couple years got lazy about dietary intake and doubled up as a countermeasure.

  • Phil October 29, 2010 at 2:55 am

    OK. My turn. 2 years or so in as a type II and way too much slacking the last few months. Currently 260-270 @ 5’10”, 45Y. Anyways I was prescribed Metformin (1000MT) and Lisinopril(20MG). Lisinopril in the morning, and metformin with meals. It has a habit of feeling like it is ripping up my insides, lots of gastric bubbling a couple hours after meals and repeated bathroom trips with watery discharges. However, I am finding the right balance in term of eating when taking it or having some milk and that really helps. Also, I was doubling up the Metformin because of overeating.

    Recently in the last week, repeated “warmish” feelings in the body and finding high morning readings (250-290) led me to take things serious. Shifting to small meals, cucumbers/pickles and some green apples or kiwi fruits, etc led to some improvements. Last night readings of 107 after bed. Dinner was some salad.

    I wake up this morning horrified at morning reading of 289. I do have some organic vinegar, I will start trying that at morning and night to see if that helps (also for weight loss).

  • jim snell October 11, 2010 at 8:28 am


    metformin works well slicing dawn effect back.
    500mg metformin at 10o:00pm an 12:00 midnight
    cut back dawn effect from midnight to 5:00 am to zero.

    120 bs at night – in am 119 to 130 bs at 5:00 am

    take new metformin of 500 mg at 5:00 am and 23 units of humolog and wait 1 hour then walk 1/2 to 3/4 mile and liver back in cage and numbers back to wakeup.

    please note

  • sonja d October 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    To Jean: Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! While I might have, on a bad day, said “I hate my life”, I WASN’T the person who posted that! I just don’t believe in giving in to the negatives/ temporary setbacks; there ARE indeed so many things I LOVE about my life, including a wonderful husband who loves me for WHO I am, not what I look like (although I still have a nice face!:) lol). I am a cancer survivor (so is my husband-Prostate & stepson terminal brain cancer! all in 2 yrs. all of us are in remission! PTL!) and have been blessed with additional years after a Dx of CUPS in 2006, “cancer of unknown primary site” (this is metastatic) per 2 PET scans 2 yrs apart @ Mayo clinics. Anyway, I (& my family) am a LOVER of JESUS, who provided the strength to get each of us through all these challenges and come out stronger in the end. However, many health challenges remain, I’m 61 with HTN, obesity, now diabetes, so I am somewhat discouraged but will never give up! I am transitioning to a plant based diet, “no white foods”, which I’ve already been moving towards for the past 15 yrs. I will request my Dr to try Victoza, I feel that may be very effective for me with the diet changes I’m making. Lantus has helped DP, I’m enjoying the Ap cider vinegar each eve. Metformin has been going better, now we’ll see what happens with the GI upset once again with Victoza. I still go to work daily as an RN. Thanks so very much for your kind concern. God’s blessings to ALL those with helpful words of advice.

  • Gerry October 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you Jean, you about summed it up correctly. I think the most important hurdle we have is attitude adjustment. Those people that make that hurdle successfully seem to prosper better than those that kick at the traces over it. I am one of the kickers but am working on my attitude. This is NOT what I had planned for a retirement, thank you. LOL I laugh but the attitude will make or break you. Hugs, Gerry

  • Jean October 6, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve been reading this website for quite a while, but haven’t posted in maybe a year or so. Reading Sonja and “I hate my life” (we so need your name), I can certainly relate. I was diagnosed about 5 yrs ago now with type 2. I won’t go into all my numbers, but let’s just say that I’ve vacillated between “uncontrolled” and “not as good as it should be” which equates to A1c as high as 8.8 and the low of 6.2, and always a morning reading 160 – 220. I’ve been on maximum metformin since the beginning of 1000mg 2 Xs/day. My total cholesteral & tryglicerides are high, as well as my LDL. My only saving grace is a high HDL, which gives me a good ratio. I was on Janumet, then Januvia with the metformin separate, then Avandia and a couple more I can’t remember. I have been on Byetta for 2 yrs w/metformin and finally dropped about 10 pounds in a yr. It is a slow process. They Byetta did not bring my readings down low enough and now I am on Victoza for the past month. Again my weight is going down, due to the side effects of nausea, bloating & gas. I still have about 20 pounds to go to be in the normal high weight range for my body. The biggest difference with the Victoza has been the lower morning numbers, which are because my dinners have been very small and light (due to the nausea). Now that I’ve adjusted to the Victoza, I find my numbers going up again since I don’t have the nausea.
    The point I’m getting to is that it’s all about diet and exercise. The medications help, but you have to make the life change adjustments. You also have to experiement with the various medications through your physician to see which ones work best for you and experiment with eating to see what works best for you. I’m a gourmet cook and love eating wonderful food. My favorite hobby (cooking) has been overhauled from what it was, to cooking in a way that incorporates a diabetic life style. Yes, I-hate-my-life, it’s a pain, frustrating and not what we want to do, but it’s a necessity. Diabetes is not a one pill/plan fits everyone; it requires a personal individual plan, but it is a very rewarding journey as you get over each hurdle you tackle, become healthier and live a better life. Sonja, you’re learning that it’s different strokes for different folkes. Follow this site and try the suggestions, but understand that some make work for you and some won’t. Not doing anything is not an option. Trying everything is the only option. I haven’t gotten it totally under control in 5 years for numerous reasons, but it’s something I work at daily and that’s all we can do is take it one day at a time. Best of health to all of you.

  • Gerry October 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Sonja Vermont folk medicine recommends APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. I put a tablespoon in a cup of warm water, with some Splenda and cinammon. It tastes like Apple Cider warm, it is good tasting. For some it works, others not. Gerry

  • David Mendosa October 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Dear Sonja,

    Vinegar does work for some people to reduce or control the dawn phenomenon. And while I haven’t heard that it can prevent stomach upsets from metformin, if it works for you, keep it up!


  • sonja d October 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I started @ 500mg 1x/day, @ one time was on 750mg.(over a mo. or so) sustained release wasn’t much better, but maybe that’s because I took it sporadically depending on my activities for the day. I’ll try again. What about vinegar? I had some red wine vinegar & tried that, no noticeable affect this AM.

  • sonja d September 30, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I am new to this site. Great information. I see no mention of Metformin’s side effect of gas, cramps, loose stools, explosive stools. Is it really true this will get better? I just can’t take it if I’m not sure whether I’ll be VERY near a toilet! Does VERY low carb improve this problem? I think I read that somewhere. Also, why not just any ole vinegar for DP? Thanks for any help.

    • David Mendosa October 1, 2010 at 7:01 am

      Dear Sonja,

      Yes, the side effects of metformin do disappear in just a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, your doctor should have started you on a VERY low dose to get your body used to it. You need to discuss that with your doctor pronto.


  • Gerry September 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Dear I hate my life (I wished you had a name!!)

    If you are vitamin D deficient, ask your doctor about the type of vitamin D and how much you need to take.

    When they found out I was deficient, I had to take a prescription D for a couple of weeks and then switch over to OTC. It also helps if you can take in about 10 minutes of the morning sun or the afternoon sun everyday.

    Most of us work in an office, under flourescent lights, and that does not help us, but robs us of our vitamin D. So take a “sun bath” each day. You could get a 10 minute walk at that time and kill 2 chores with one act. Take a walk with friends.

    We are where we are due to neglect of our bodies for a long period of time. It took me 62 years of neglect before my body said, “ENOUGH”. So I figure that if I spent the next 62 years working on my good health, that is pay back.

    Have fun. Gerry

  • Gerry September 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Everyone: I just came across some wonderful receipes for diabetics. Go to http://www.3ABN.org and click on their food section. This is a 7th Day Adventist channel on t.v. and this is their web site. They are some of the healthiest people in the world, along with the Jews. They have a cooking class everyday.

    I sent off for the Global Vegetarian cookbook from Curtis and Paula Aekins. It is $27 and their website is: hseminars.com The cookbook comes in a white binder, with a platic cover on it. You can take out the receipes and put them under the cover to keep them clean while cooking and the binder keeps them from flying all over.

    They give you lots of information of what each food will do to your body, and then if it is negative, they will give you an alternative. I was surprised to find out that you can actually get “protein poisoning”.

    The receipes are the kind of food that we all eat, nothing strange. You might want to take a look at both websites. They are filled with all sorts of info that will help diabetics. Gerry

  • Gerry September 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    To I hate my life: If you know that your liver is libel to dump into your blood stream in the middle of the night, then be careful what you feed your liver the night before. Eat veggies, and protein after 6 p.m. that will give your liver time to adjust.

    Wake up hungry in the middle of the night? Try a small protein shake made with soy milk and/or almond milk, the working word is SMALL.

    Also, try to get 8 hours of sleep per night. I sleep in bed until my breathing wakes me up. Then I sleep in a recliner, but I do try to get 8 hours of sleep. So far I am up 6 hours, normal used to be 3 hours. For every hour you deprive yourself of sleep, it is every hour you are giving diabetes a helping hand to destroy you. Your body needs time to do it’s “housekeeping”.

    When I was working, I would have given my eye teeth for permission to sleep that long and now I struggle to get all 8 hours of sleep at once. I get 8 hours, but it is broken sleep, 6 at night and small naps during the day. Not the same.

    Keep working at it, the first year is the hardest.

    Hugs, Gerry

  • IHatemyLife September 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I also learned I am extremely vitamin D deficient. I guess I got to get a prescription for that. Perhaps that will help with my morning numbers.

  • IHatemyLife September 30, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for the positive feedback. I understand its all about “attitude”, but its just hard to mentally adjust. Especially when you think “could i have” prevented this. I love food. To be unable to “eat” anywhere because of carb intake. Well that has to be the most humbling experience of my life. No Indian food, no Chipotle, No Italian, No food, No life.

    For those of you with it, how did you combat ”
    dawn phenomenon?” My blood sugars in the morning are still in the 200’s. I don’t know if its cause the medication takes time to work or if i can do anything naturally to suppress the liver from dumping glucose in my body….??

  • Suzy September 27, 2010 at 6:22 am

    You are actually lucky to discover your diabetes so soon. I was in denial for years and now have numb feet, retinophathy, and kidney disease. When I finally got tested, my blood sugar was in the 600 range. I was started on insulin 4 times a day and didn’t have any idea about what to eat. I finally got everything on track and began to realize how grateful I am for diabetes. If not for diabetes, I probably would not be the healthy, active and somewhat muscular old lady that I am. It forced me to finally become healthy, and for that, I’m grateful!!!

  • saddaf September 26, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    i would like to add one more comment to what david and gerry said. they are absolutely right. this forum is wonderfully supportive and guiding. however, it is only you who can bring the postive change by strictly sticking to the rules of the games. if you do, it is like david said, you will be amazed at the new you. if you donot, you will always be’ hating your life’.
    best best wishes and all the support


  • Gerry September 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Dear I hatemy life I agree with David. Your old life is over, but you have a brilliant future ahead of you. Begin by leaving all white foods alone. You can add them back later if your body can handle them.

    This is a good time to start learning about what insulin is and is not, and then start working with your body. I learned that body can still “chew” up to 20 grams of carbs per meal, especially if I accompany those carbs with protein. In fact, Prevention magazine says that the best weight loss diet is to eat protein with every carb that goes into your mouth. It causes you to fill full faster and takes longer to empty out, so you feel satisfied longer.

    I began my journey with a journal, however; not being the kind of person that can stay with that for very long, that ended quickly. I did learn about some of my foibles and weaknesses from it, and some of my strengths.

    The best diet is FRESH. Fresh meat/dairy, fresh fruit, fresh veggies and small proportions. Read some of Marys blogs on this site. She will tell you about PLATE PORTIONS. It works. (P.S. Mary, I have shown a 3 lb weight loss. First one in 2 years.)

    Regarding exercise. Put a “step” in the middle of your path at home/work. Don’t walk around it, but step up on it and keep moving. It isn’t much, but it will add extra step-ups to your day and at the end of the year it will show. I have been doing that and my weak leg is now stronger.

    You are young, so I am assuming that you work. If you have a sit down job, set a timer (I use my cell phones timer) to remind yourself to get up and walk around every 15 minutes. Don’t let your blood “puddle”, keep it moving.

    Keep your filters clean. Just like the filters on your a/c and/or heater, our filters work hard, so keep them clean. That would be your bowels, kidneys, skin, and lungs. They help our body to throw off the sugar. The cleaner the filters are, the lower the blood glucose is.

    Drink lots of water, but also about mid-day allow yourself a fluid “treat” to cleanse your pallete, i.e. sugar free iced tea, sugar free lemonade, watered down cold cranberry juice, then go back to water again. If you like fresh fruit juice, cut it with water, much like adding a “pour-in” resets the flavor of water.

    Don’t be afraid. At first it all seems confusing, and time consuming, but if you make your changes a little at a time, you eventually do not even want to go back to the old way you used to live. Your reward will be a healthy blood glucose, weight loss (if you need it), toned muscles, a happier outlook on life, and no amputations. So put your first foot on the path and don’t look back.

    You will make lots of new friends along the way that will greatly appreciate you. Stick with David also, he is a great Mentor. Read his articles, they remove the fear and give you courage. Shine the light of education on this monster under the bed.

    God bless you and keep us posted on your progress. Gerry

  • Ihatemylife September 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

    32 years old. So i went to the doc for a yeast infection and noticed i lost 14 pounds. I was 148 pounds . I am now 134 pound. Doctor tells me it was a yeast infection and proceeds to say everything is fine. I asked the doctor for a pee test and a glucose test.. because i googled weight loss and yeast infection…Lo and Behold …level of 300 on fasting test. The doctor tells me to come back for another test this coming Monday. I went Friday and asked to see another doctor and they prescribed metformin.

    My question i started taking the medicine Friday night and did not test till yesterday evening. My test came back 145 so i was hopeful i was getting it down. I took metformin and food at around 9pm last night and i wake up with bg 275.

    I am going to try what everyone suggested, but man i can’t believe this didn’t happen to me in 10 years or something, atleast by then there might be a cure and now i feel like my life is basically over.

    • David Mendosa September 26, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      Dear Jazzy Bell,

      Actually, the best part of your life just started! You now have the opportunity to be in the best health that you ever had. You simply got a wake-up call to start respecting your body by getting down to your optimum weight with good food and great exercise. Congratulations!


  • Liz September 15, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Here’s a new thing that has been happening to me. I’ve been trying to have dinner early, every day. At 5:30 pm or so. Then, at around 8:30 pm, I have a snack of a few slices of cucumber with a touch of salt, and 3 slices of hard dry salami. The, right before bed, which is around 10:30 pm or so, I go for an evening walk, for about 2 blocks or so, sometimes more… Nothing strenuous, just a casual stroll around the neighborhood with the mister, while we talk about whatever… Three days in a row now, I’ve woken up in the 80s! 83, 89, and 87! 🙂 I am pretty happy about this. lol

  • mary September 4, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Good Morning Sunshine!

    Hi David and other folks,

    Ok, it is clear to me now that it definitely was carbs in the form of starch and sugar (even the small amount I was eating) that was driving my Dawn Phenomenon.

    Yesterday I said that 113 was the lowest I had ever seen my FBG. I can say that again today, it was 99 this morning! Now, it has been staying low all day too not just the morning readings so, for me, the answer is not low carb but NO carb (other than low carb veg) Maybe once my weight is back to normal range I can add a little back but for now it is NO CARBS except what comes in low carb veg (such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, etc.) I am even staying away from tomatoes, onions, etc. that run a only a little high.

    This is not forever, but only till my weight comes down a little. Once my weight is down, the ratio of normal hormones to body weight (insulin, etc.) will be better.

    So I have, for this point in time, beaten Dawn Phenomenon!



  • Mary September 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Oh I forgot to mention, the Mexican peoples roast them in the oven with a little oil and spices and eat them just like we do peanuts. Very tasty like that too! (roasted after soaking, if dried beans are used)

    I always eat mine like beans or soup though because they really do taste a lot like a snack food such as peanuts or potato chips when roasted and like any salty snack it is too easy to eat too many of them! I am sure they are not using Olive oil when they roast them either and I try to avoid the other oils. (omega -6 oils)



  • Mary September 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Hi William!

    Garbanzo Beans are another name for chickpeas. They are extremely healthy and contain somethings that are known to reduce blood sugar (amino acids? I think). They are about the same as all other dried beans as far as carbs go. If you are eating any form of starchy carbs, they are a good choice and they are also high fiber!

    I soak and cook mine much longer than normal beans. They look a little bit like peanuts in that they contain a double bean in each bean.. if you know what I mean.

    They are in fact touted as a health food by many. But it was still too much carb for my body. Perhaps when I lose enough weight I can add them back into my diet because they are very tasty once you get hooked on them. They are also used to make dip called Hummus where they are mashed up. As a personal choice I do not eat mine mashed because I don’t want to make any of my food less volume… (wink, wink)

    If you are able to work them into your eating schedule, they are well worth looking into.

    Below is a site about Hummus which is made of Chickpeas (Garbanzo is the Spanish word for Chickpeas) They taste a bit like a navy bean but not exactly at all…LOL you simply have to try them to see if you like them. I cook mine in a rich smoked chicken broth with celery, onion, carrot and a dash of garlic in it as seasonings.

    I did not like them the first time I tried them, then I tried them again because of the health thing… finally I was hooked on them! If your body can tolerate healthy carbohydrates, it is worth developing a taste for these little beans.




  • Mary September 3, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Good Morning Sunshine!

    Hi David and other folks,

    I am very happy this morning. In my last note I said I was going to try a day with zero carbs to find out if it is the carbs driving the DP. So I ate only protein and low carb veg yesterday and today my FBG is 113!

    That is so much difference (I am usually happy if it is only 150) I am convinced that, at least in myself, it is the carbs driving the Dawn Phenomenon. I have eaten low carb before with only 20 carbs a day in starchy type carbs without this big difference. 20 carbs must have been the difference because it has never been this low in the morning before!

    I also showed a nice weight loss. I know it was probably partly water, but it is finally low enough I will count it as a loss and not simply water weight.

    I will not get too excited until this works for more than one day. I will continue without starchy or fructose carbs today and see what happens tomorrow morning.


  • william September 2, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks to Mary for correcting my use of the word “impossible”. You are so right that we tend to program ourselves for failure.

    That being said, have you thought of the type of carbs? I don’t know where garbanzos fall on the glycemic scale, but I know that if my evening carbs are very low on the glycemic rating scale, my morning numbers are much better. I also take a 24 hour basal insulin to help with this.

    Now onto tastier topics! I’m an absolute chocolate junky. The darker and more robust the chocolate the better. I’ve found Russell Stover makes a very good product in several flavors.

    I’m still waiting for callebout (probably misspelled) to come out with a sugar free product since I love making chocolate truffels, molded chocolates, and infused chocolates for friends for gifts. I used to buy it in the 10lb brick when I made christmas gifts, but I haven’t done any of that since being put on insulin – too much of a temptation.

  • Gerry September 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Mary I know but we all have a sweet tooth and sometimes it hits us at night. You should read Davids article on chocolate. There are some really delicious tasting sugar free chocolates out there these days. Gerry

  • Mary September 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Hi Gerry,

    I thought the subject is: Controlling Dawn Phenomenon … LOL



  • Gerry September 2, 2010 at 9:29 am

    The subject is: DARK CHOCOLATE
    David, I just read your article about a dark chocolate that diabetics can eat. However, I also like my chocolate with nuts. There are 3 places that I know of that makes delicious, sugar free chocolates that diabetics can have.

    Atkins peanut butter cups. The dark chocolate is really delicious on these and the taste far surpasses Reeses Peanut Butter cups.

    Pacheco Pass’ Casa de Fruta. It is located on highway 152 (Pacheco Pass) in California. They have all kinds of sugar free chocolates. A very wide variety for diabetics. We do not go there often, but when we do, I stock up on them. Some with nuts, some with fruit, haystacks, chocolate and coconut, and none of them leave a bitter taste.

    The next one I do not know the name of the store, I can only say it is located near the food court at Valley Plaza Mall. They have a small selection of sugar free chocolates. These are a shadow of the other two but will do if you can’t get the other two! LOL Valley Plaza Mall is located in Bakersfield, on Ming Avenue.

    However, I highly recommend the Atkins candy, it is very superior to any of the others. Gerry

  • Mary September 2, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Good Morning David and other folks,

    I agree with you William on most everything you said above with the exception of the almost impossible time shedding pounds.

    I also have Metabolic Syndrome (used to be called Syndrome X) anyway I will agree it is much more difficult to lose weight and takes long and hard work for only small amounts of loss but I refuse to say it is nearly impossible, in part because words count and I do not want to “program” that into my brain.

    It simply is more difficult for us to lose weight but each pound we lose counts more because each pound makes such a drastic change in our health.

    Metabolic Syndrome people are NOT lazy but they are often very tired. Hey people, our bodies do not process food into ENERGY! And even at that many of us can and do work regular folks into the ground!

    Because we have struggled with this all our lives, we are very hard working determined people with more will power than most.

    Will power is like making a rope. Every time you resist a craving or urge you are adding another string to that rope and making it stronger and everytime you give in you are cutting a string and making it weaker. Most of us have spent our lives resisting foods and our “rope” of will power is very strong.

    One of the reasons people with Metabolic Syndrome have such a difficult time losing weight is they are carbohydrate sensitive and really only 2 things work for this. Either starvation diet (not healthy) or a extremely low carb diet (such as David keeps recommending) And of course, exercise is an even more important addition to our diet because it helps with insulin resistance and processing the insulin better helps us to lose weight easier by keeping our BG in a more normal range.

    Personally I believe they have it reversed. I don’t believe we got sick because we got fat, which is simply a form of blaming the patient for being sick. I think we got fat BECAUSE we are sick.

    Now having said that, I want to state that does not give us an excuse to not lose weight. A person with an illness needs to do whatever they can to get well (or as close to not sick as possible) In our case that means Diet and Exercise with meds as needed.

    I said something about my 80 year old Diabetic mother losing 40 pounds and getting off meds the other day and she quickly corrected me. She said that was last years news! Her weight loss is now 60 pounds! This is a woman who has had double knee replacements (so doesn’t exercise much) and eats garbage food (fried this and starchy that) at the seniors center everyday. She lost her weight the hard way. She ate 1/2 of everything on her plate. They sometimes refer to this as portion control, but as the portions at the seniors center are actually on the small size of normal, that means she is actually eating a starvation diet. Not an easy or healthy way to lose weight, but it worked for her and she is off meds now. Personally, since I can still cook, I prefer to eat a near starchless/sugarless high fiber diet with plenty of veg (cabbage, etc.) and lean protein. In my opinion this is healthier than the “eat 1/2 of everything” diet, which when the portions are on the small side of normal is in fact a starvation diet.

    Now back to the subject of Dawn Phenomenon (hereafter referred to as DP)

    Yesterday I ate 3 – 1/2 cup servings of garbanzo bean soup (homemade) and they were delicious, high fiber, low fat but I believe it was too much carb for my body because my DP was back today. This morning’s Fasting BG was 150.

    Could it be possible my DP is actually caused in part by my dietary intake of carbs? I am going to go without any starch or sugar carbs (other than low carb veg) for a day or two and see what happens to the DP.



  • william September 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    as I understand it, a type 1 is someone who’s pancrease DOES NOT produce insulin. Period. A type II is someone who’s pancrease produces some inuslin. Diabetes is a spectrum disease. It can run the gamut of someone who is type II who’s pancrease produces normal amounts of insulin but is insulin resistent, to someone who’s pancrease produces decreasing amounts of insulin and is insulin resistent. Complicating the picture is that some type IIs have a defect that causes the liver to dump excess glucose into the bloodstream at night – the “dawn phenomenon” that so many of us have to fight. David has written extensively on this site about the liver’s role in the dawn phenomenon and has written about the role of high-fructose corn syrup in aggravating the condition. Essentially, HFS is only broken down in the liver, unlike normal sugars which are broken down and absorbed in the digestive system.

    Here’s a good article on the difference between type II and type 1 diabetes.


    I disgree with the author on one point – people who are type II are type two because they are lazy and eat too much. I have fought my weight all of my life and it is NOT because I’m lazy and eat too much. Some people have a condition called pre diabetic metabolic syndrome. That syndrome is a collection of defects with the way the body handles food. Generally, people who have it will gain weight at the drop of hat and have an almost impossible time shedding the pounds. Eventually, it turns into type II diabetes as the pancreas burns up trying to pump out enough insulin to overcome the cells’ insulin resistence.

    Since your liver probably does not function normally, I would NOT recommend drinking or eating ANYTHING with concentrated fructose or High Fructose Corn Syryp in it. For example, I don’t drink carrot juice, I eat the carrot because it has lots of fiber and other items that don’t make it into the juice. The fiber slows down the rate at which the sugar is absorbed and metabolized. It also helps you eat less since it gives you a sense of saity.

  • karen September 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Ron, do you have the ability and inclination to consult a different MD? If you have been taking metformin, then it seems as if your MD believes you have type 2. Is the history you describe above been with metformin? Without medication? With any other medication? What supplements are you taking? Have you heard of Lipoic Acid (alpha or R- lipoic, either one?) Helps prevent complications of diabetes. I must say your overall blood sugars/A1c sound good. I wouldn’t just stop medication without researching some more. I say that having been controlling my diabetes (type 2) with diet, exercise, and supplements for 20 years and am still — knock on wood — in good shape. But I have had more ups and downs than you seem to have. So anyway — if I were you I would go consult an MD who does specialize in diabetes at least for a series of tests and consultation. But you do sound as if you have been doing well for a long time, so congratulations.

  • Ron Schumaker September 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Mary Thanks for your advise. My Doctor knows nothing about Diabetes. And have been trying to learn about it myself, but must have read it all wrong, what the heck I’m 77 got to go of something, it may as well be Diabetes.
    My biggest worry has been my eyes, no problems with anything as yet, knock on wood.
    For 20 years I have had the high am bs, but it goes down to about 110 around noon, then I have my carrot juice then it drops to normal, and at bedtime it is normal or very near it.
    My A1c has gone back and forth for the last 20 years between 6.2 and 6.8 thats the highest its ever been, my last one about 3 weeks ago was 6.3 so I always thought I was a type 1 and had the Dawn P) . About 8 years ago the American Diabetes asso. are the ones that told me that I had the Dawn P) and a type 1. So now I don’t have any idea what kind am, and guess it really don’t matter much what kind I am.
    I did not take the metformin last night and not going to any more. Got up this AM and thought it was going to be sky high, and it was 138 go figure. going to get some of that milk T today and I thank you for telling me about it.

    Best Wishes Ron

  • Mary September 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Hey Ron,

    here is a site that will explain the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 with a short video.

    Click here: What Is The Difference Between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes? – ABC News
    The one above may not work, click the one below


  • Mary September 1, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Hi Ron,

    You might try switching to protein for your evening snack. (notice I said snack, you should have a snack just before going to sleep)

    Carbs bring you up fast but won’t stay with you through the night and that can be one of the causes of high blood sugar in the morning. Your body thinks you are starving and tells your liver to dump out sugar into your blood stream so you don’t have a Low Blood sugar attack.

    There are only 3 types of foods. Fats, Proteins and Carbohydrates. The digestion rate is slowest for Fats, next slowest for Proteins and fastest for Carbs.

    So if you want to defeat Dawn Phenomenon you need something that will stay in your system as long as possible, but not necessarily raise your Blood Glucose a lot like carbs. Also it helps to have something Acidic with your protein snack. A shot of apple cider vinegar and low fat cheese works well for me, but some people take vinegar pills I have heard. I used to eat pickles with my cheese, but that was just too much salt for me, so I switched to cider vinegar (both cheese and pickles are high sodium foods)

    Hope this helps



    PS: A type 2 diabetic still makes insulin but just can’t use it correctly. A type 1 usually has stopped making insulin. Most (but not all) type 2 diabetics are overweight. If you are diabetic and overweight the chances are you are type 2 but the best way to tell is to ask your Doctor!

  • Anne September 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Ooops–just realized I meant to write “..usually LESS THAN 120, even if I consume some “bad” carbs…”


  • Anne September 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Dear Dr. Mendoza & Community–
    I just found your site while searching for any information on the “dawn effect.” I’m a 52 yr old female, both parents diabetic, 5’6″ and about 50 lbs over ideal weight. In the past year I’ve had one HA1c of 7.7 and one of 6.8 (that was the second one, so some improvement), fastings measured in Dr.’s office >180 (while having an infection) but my HMO MD will not diagose me with diabetes TII since I “failed to fail” the 2 hr GTT. Am I diabetic?
    I am trying to manage my condition with diet and exercise and self-monitoring, which I haven’t been doing nearly enough or consistently enough, I think.
    Lately I have run AM fastings of >160. I have also found via experiment that exercise will *not* impact these BG’s–will not reduce and may even increase them, in stark contrast to what I have found with PP glucose values which can be quite significantly reduced via moderate exercise for as little as 15 minutes.
    My afternoon and evening tests are usually >120, even if I consume some “bad” carbs during the day.
    I have been reading the comments about what has worked for others and am going to do the vinegar before bedtime. Tried for the first time last night–at 7AM was 149. Not great but better than some. I plan to test very morning for a week and chart the results.
    Best to all,

  • Ron Schumaker August 31, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Dear David

    Does that mean that a type 2 could drink a pint of a high fructose drink and without any meds there bs would be normal 3 to 4 hours later, if so I have been reading the wrong things, or not understanding what I did read.
    Would you mind giving me an indicator of a type 1 or a type 2 .

    Thank you Ron

  • David Mendosa August 31, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Dear Ron,

    Actually, I don’t think that carrot juice is anything of an indicator for type 1 or type 2. It’s high in fructose and probably a poor choice for anyone who has diabetes.

    Best regards,


  • Ron Schumaker August 31, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you David
    If thats the case then I can forget Victoza.
    From all I have read and heard I have to be a type 1 with Dawn P) because a few time I have had only a small can of Tuna and a little raw cabbage and water for my evening meal, no snacks, and wake up with 160 bs then at noon drink a pint of carrot juice and at 4pm just before my evening meal its between 85 and 95 for the last 20 years, no matter what I have for supper, however its always low fat, no salt, no sugar, I use 100% Sucralose for my sweet tooth and at 8pm I have 2 gram crackers and 2 small sugar free cookies, and a glass of fat free milk, then I nibble on a few raw soy beans, and 10 sugar free gummi bears. Then in the AM its always around 160 bs and thats before Metformin, now after 2 1/2 months of taking 500mg of it , my am bs has dropped to between 145 and 155, but my 4pm has slowly been getting higher, between 101 and 114. And with all the side affects I have from it, I just don’t think that the 5 to 10 points are worth it to me.
    I have always thought that if my body can take care of the carrot juice, that I was a type 1 .
    But would really like to know your opinion.
    And I thank you very much. Ron

  • Gerry August 31, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Mary I did a little investigating about magnesium. I belong to Kaiser and they allow you to go back on your test results and study them. I found out that I have traditionally low on magnesium! I am hoping you have solved one more piece of my leg pain puzzle. I will get a jar of magnesium today and start taking it. In the blood test 1.000 is the lowest you should be, I am 1.01. I am praying that this is the last piece to the leg pain puzzle! Thank you Mary. Hugs, Gerry

  • David Mendosa August 31, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Dear Ron,

    Thank you. Yes, the dawn phenomenon is something that both type 1s and 2s have. And no, Victoza is just for type 2s.

    Best regards,


  • Ron Schumaker August 31, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Hello again David I really appreciate this site and all your help, my Doctor has never even heard of the Dawn P) And I am really confused about all this! Is the Dawn P) in a class by itself or would it be a type 1 or type 2. And was wondering why that drug Victoza came when I was shearching for a type 1 drug, when its a type 2 med. All the Doctors are getting the big bucks, and your doing all the work, not fair, but sure glad your here. And thanks for the advice Mary about the milk stuff will try it.
    Best Regards Ron

  • David Mendosa August 31, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Dear Suzy,

    Yes, Victoza has the same weight loss effect as Byetta.

    It may or may not be safe for people with kidney disease. The official prescribing information says that you should tell your doctor if you “have or have had kidney or liver problems.”


  • Suzy August 31, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Does Victoza help you lose weight like Byetta does? Also, is it safe with kidney disease?

  • David Mendosa August 31, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Dear Mary,

    Victoza and Byetta are the same type of drug, i.e. the same class, GLP-1 inhibitors. They are technically somewhat different and in practice they are also different. In practice, Victoza is taken once a day, while Byetta is twice a day. Victoza also seems to cause less nausea. But a long-acting version of Byetta may soon be approved by the FDA. If so, then people would take it just once a week.

    Best regards,


  • Mary August 31, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Hi David and Ron,

    Is that Victoza a mirror drug of Byetta? If so why not take Byetta? I mean there must be some difference or you would be taking the tried and true one not the new one. Just curious, there must be some difference I don’t know about.

    As regards Dawn Phenomenon, I was very excited this morning. I always have the Placebo affect in mind anytime I try something new.

    I started taking those Milk Thistle capsules last week (1 with evening meal) and I did notice my morning BG is better this morning. (125 which is at least 30 points less than normal for me as I suffer with Dawn P) I believe it is the Milk Thistle. That was the only change I made and I find it hard to believe it is my subconscious experiencing the Placebo affect while I sleep…LOL That stuff must actually help some folks.

    I think when something helps one person, that does not mean the same supplement will help someone else. Maybe I was deficient in something that it helped and the next person maybe isn’t deficient in it. BUT if someone tells me it helped them, I will usually try it and see if it helps me. I also had an evening snack but that was as usual for me.

    Oh I forgot I do have one other change, I am off the Glypizide again (hurray!) I hate that stuff as it causes me to have low BG and eat when I don’t want to eat. It also causes weight gain in me. (known side affect) I don’t know if it would have anything to do with Dawn Phenomenon or not, but it would be strange if DP was caused by a Diabetes drug itself that would mean I was paying to get Dawn Phenomenon Grrrrrrrrr.

    The way I got off the Glypizide was to go on an extremely low carb diet, just like you recommend David! Since my carbs were so low I had no high BG and didn’t need the Glypizide. In fact if I had been taking it I would have had Hypoglycemia a lot in the last 2 days.

    I recommend anyone with DP to try the Milk Thistle and also if you are on one those drugs like Glypizide or Glyburide you might want to check and see if they are causing DP.



  • Ron Schumaker August 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Hello David I was searching for type 1 diabetes drugs and it came up with VICTOZA then later found it was for type 2. In your opinion would this be a good drug for the dawn P. Metformin is not working for me and has way to many side affects.
    Would be greatful for your advise.
    Thank you Ron Schumaker A 77 year old male

    • David Mendosa August 30, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      Dear Ron,

      From everything that I have heard about Victoza I think that it is a great drug for controlling diabetes. Just be sure to start slow so as to minimize the side effects.


  • Suzy August 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    OMG Mary!!! Get a new doctor! That is ridiculous!!!! And you can contact your State Department of Health and file a formal complaint against this doctor!!!!
    What he’s doing is criminal!!!

  • william August 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I think I need to extend my sympathy to you! At least I still have insurance and I’m thanking God every day that I do!

    I wish there was easy answer to this problem. There are SO MANY people who are in the same boat as you are.

  • Mary August 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Hi William,

    I am so sorry for you because I have been down this road myself.
    We have been without insurance due to unemployment for over 2 years. It is even worse to be without insurance because my Doctor still wants his “cut” of the money to care for me. He insists on seeing me ($65 office call) and drawing blood ($150 for the Lab and another $35 to the doctor for drawing it) even when my numbers are wonderful. He will not give ANY refills. I have to go to see him to get a refill (if he is in a good mood, he will let me slide a extra month or so). My Doctor costs me more than my food and medicine together! So, I have found a couple of cheaper ways on the strips. (Doctor’s response was I should cut my testing down to every other day, 1x in the morning, this is not reasonable as I am a brittle Diabetic per this same Doctor)

    I refuse to take any medicine that is not a generic. The doctor will generally know of a generic drug that will do about the same as the nongeneric. (I am on Metformin and glypizide and lovastatin and lisinopril) I was able to get stable with the generics just as well as if I was on the more expensive stuff. (a plus is a generic is Old and Tested! No one is using you to test out their meds!) I get mine at Wal-mart for a cost of $4 per drug per month. When I first heard what the cost of test strips were I flat out told them, I can’t afford that! Is there no cheaper way? I was THEN shown the Wal-mart brand of meter (Relion) and strips. The meter is between $9 – $15 depending on which you get and they have about 3 different ones. They are no code and the strips cost about 1/2 of the other strips. $9 = 20 strips. I sure hope this helps you because I believe Testing is out best weapon next to diet and exercise. (without a test I often don’t know if I should eat or exercise)

  • william August 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Sorry if this is a duplicate post. My web browser crashed just as hit submit.

    Well, I just received news on changes to my employer’s health care plan. Mail order pharmacy prescription services are going WAY up. Instead of flat copays, it’s now a tiered structure. Generics are 10.00 per (better deal than the old system), preferred are 50.00 per and non-preferred are 100.00 per. All figures are for 90 day supply.

    I bet you can guess what category my victoza, novolog, and levamir fall into…. non preferred.

    How does lantus compare to levamir? lantus is a preferred medication on the plan.

    also, testing supplies are listed as preferred, but I’m still looking to save money. Does anyone know what meter is the least expensive for test strips and lancets?

  • Gerry August 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Suzy The Bible calls it, “being renewed by the transforming of your mind.” That’s what diabetes is all about. Gerry

  • Suzy August 23, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Thanks, Mary. I read the article and realize Byetta is not for me. Darn and thanks! Just get on the bike and do it! I have to say that the book The Secret has been so helpful to me. I have seen over and over how true it all is. You can contol how you feel with what you think, so just concentrate on changing your thinking, and exercising will become a joy!!!
    Don’t mean to preach but just want to share what has worked for me.

  • Mary August 23, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Hi Gerry!

    Hugs Back hun.

    I think 14 pounds is a wonderful amount to lose. It is so slow and long losing weight when one is diabetic but then each pound seems to count more! I know that even 3 or 4 pounds can make a lot of difference in my health so I can imagine that 14 pounds made a world of difference for you! WTG !

    Thanks for the heads up on the depression. I find that music and movement helps with that too. Hard to be depressed if you have some happy music playing and also getting out and moving around, even if to the grocery store. These 2 things help me the most.



  • Mary August 23, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Hi Suzy,

    Suzy, be sure and read that article from the link Karen gave us! There is a reason Byetta is not for folks with Kidney problems. Thanks Karen!


    Ok, it’s Monday morning and I am looking at that bike… it is staring back at me too, so guess I better start in on it. I will start with 5 minutes, then later another5 minutes … etc until I have 30 minutes in. Tomorrow, 6 minutes and so on until I work up to at a time 30 minute rides. That worked for me before without a terrible strain because it was increased a bit at a time.

  • Gerry August 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    David I am discovering that if I go to bed hungry, I wake up with Dawn Phen. My doctor wants me to take my meds one hour before bedtime, so I try to have something to eat because the meds I take would eat a hole in my stomach otherwise, i.e. aspirin. I find if I do not eat much, I wake up with DP or if I eat foods wrong for me. I never in my life thought I would say, “I need more food.” So far I have lost 14 lbs in 3 years. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but before diabetes, I would have easily put on 20 lbs in that same time, and the best part is, my weight has stabilized. That is a good thing, now I can feel free to lose another 14 lbs and not worry about yoyoing. My numbers are all within the normal range (except my weight) but has been hard work, getting through a lot of depression (now I just tell myself it is the disease that is talking and trying to boss me around, and that brings it to a halt. Depression is nothing you are doing, it is just what it is, nothing more, it comes with the turf. Once I realized it was simply the disease trying to control me, it went away.), diet curves, learning curves, etc. I didn’t know I had retired to become an expert on diabetes!!!

    Also another thing I had to learn, just because I am retired doesn’t mean I can just drop out of the human race. When I was working, weather I wanted to or not, I had to get up in the morning, get ready for work and arrive there on time. I had a self starting job, so I had to know what I would be doing each day I arrived. All of that took discipline. When I retired, I simply stopped doing all that I didn’t even want to get out of p.j.’s for the day, why bother, no one to see me. Now I am learning that I bother for myself, not someone else. This was especially hard piece of news after my husband died and I was living totally alone. I would go for weeks without seeing another human. Finally I started working people back into my life, at my pace. Now I have a social life I feel in control over and I am beginning to redevelop my work ethic again so that I have things to get done during the day. I still take all day Saturday to rest and recharge for the next week.

    I hope this helps others going through diabetes and depression. Please, please remember, it is the disease that is doing this, not you. If it was a snake biting you over and over, you would stop it immediately and fight back. That is what depression is, it is not you, take control over your thought processes and don’t let the disease be your master. I also let God help me all day long, it helps. Hugs, Gerry

  • karen August 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    And one more note about milk thistle re diabetes

    linical Summary
    Derived from the seed, pod, or fruit of the plant. Silymarin, a flavolignan from milk thistle, is used primarily to manage various liver diseases. Placebo-controlled clinical studies show its efficacy in reducing aminotransferases in alcoholic liver disease (9) and conclusions from a systematic review suggest usefulness of silymarin for liver cirrhosis (19). Milk thistle was also shown to reduce liver toxicity associated with chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (20). Studies for other types of hepatic disease are flawed (10) (11).
    Data from a randomized controlled study indicate benefits of milk thistle supplementation in improving glycemic profile in type II diabetic patients (18).
    In vitro and animal studies suggest that flavonoids in milk thistle have antioxidant and anticancer effects (7) (8) (12) (16) (17), but there are no clinical data on survival or quality of life.
    One case of toxicity (sweating, nausea, vomiting, and weakness) has been reported from use of milk thistle (5). Milk thistle inhibits cytochrome p450 3A4 (4), which may result in increased levels of medications that are metabolized via this pathway.

  • karen August 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    P.S. Someone asked about milk thistle- here is a good overview


  • karen August 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Re FDA warning/Byetta/kidney failure

    I have been dealing with diabetes with diet and exercise only for 15 years. Of course when I was diagnosed my MD who was quite elderly said that our goal was fasting blood sugar under 140 — which was the standard back in the day before all the medications were available. So that has been my goal and anything under 140 is good as far as I’m concerned. I have good blood pressure, good enough cholesterol, and so forth. I’m 69 years old and have had no complications — but I have taken a HOST of supplements for all these 15 years, exercised regularly but not insanely, and eaten carefully but not carefully enough to lose the weight I should.
    I feel lucky to have been able to do that — I still need to lose weight, I could exercise more, but mainly I just eat incredibly carefully. As someone mentioned– gluten! I was diagnosed later and independently by a naturopath as gluten intolerant and my life has improved dramatically since avoiding gluten… and of course this really limits the “bad” foods available and so helps with the blood sugar.
    My dawn phenomenon has been so much improved lately and I can’t figure out what I have been doing! I mean I always do many things — the new things that seem to coincide with the real improvement in a.m. blood sugar are sleeping on an earthing sheet, probiotic -Symbion – and a lot of almonds in various forms (almond milk instead of dairy, almonds at bedtime. Oh and milk thistle at bedtime — on the theory that it supports my liver being calm and healthy at night. Anyway for the last few months the a.m. blood sugar has been in the 120s… and the rest of the day it is fine. It goes up a bit after breakfast and then comes down in the afternoon to 95 to 110.
    I keep having this hunch that each one of us is a bit different and that we have to keep trying things… and that’s why I so appreciate this website, David!

  • Suzy August 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks, Mary and David. Mary, really do try and do some work with weights. That’s also helpful with building strong bones, and you will burn up extra calories. I will ask my doctor about Byetta but am very hesitant about doing absolutely anything that might hurt my kidneys. And my insurance would pay for it.

  • David Mendosa August 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Dear Mary,

    Yes, Byetta is expensive — more than $200 per month. But I do think that most insurance will pad for it. Are you sure that yours won’t?

    Byetta will NOT cause hypos, although other diabetes drugs that people may be taking at the same time certainly will.

    I’m not at all sure about Byetta and kidney disease. Just before she died, my late wife went on Byetta but suddenly stopped when she thought she had kidney disease. Actually, however, she had liver disease, and that is what killed her. Please check out with your doctor or Amylin (which makes Byetta) about whether you and others who have kidney disease can take Byetta. I hope so!


  • Mary August 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Suzy,

    Thank you and what a good suggestion!
    I think I will start riding a bike (indoors, I am in Texas and it is just too darn hot in August to even move outside) I do have a stationary recumbent bike and that is low impact too so it really is perfect, except for the boring factor. I will put it in front of the TV and maybe that will help.

    I don’t think Byetta would cause low BG at all because my mother never had that problem with it and she eats such tiny amounts of food with it. In fact she did not diet at all with it. Her doctor told her NOT to diet but just to eat 1/2 of whatever was on her plate. Well, sounds good but I don’t think that would work for me cause I sure can load a plate if I have no restrictions, like a diet.

    There is only ONE problem that I have heard about Byetta and that is the cost. It is very expensive and most insurance won’t pay for it. ($200 or 300 a month maybe???? not sure but I know it is high) Someone out there who uses it, what does it cost and have you had any low BG with it? I bet David knows! I did not know Byetta was a problem with Kidney Disease. I know you have some dietary restrictions with Kidney Disease. My poor brother had that and brittle Diabetes. So many things he could not eat because of the 2 problems. Potassium was a problem (veg and fruits high in this) and protein was restricted because that is hard on the kidneys and carbs a big no no because of the Diabetes. He complained to me once that it didn’t really leave him much to eat! So I am glad to hear you have it under control. I would naturally like to avoid that path because Diabetes is hard enough without the added complications of Kidney problems.

    I think I will go back to vinegar shots and some form of protein if not cheese, maybe tuna (yuck) or cottage cheese until I can find out more about the milk and uncooked cornstarch.

    It is so disheartening to be good all day then wake with high BG because your body made a Liver dump in the night, but I know ignoring the problem will not fix it so it is vinegar “shots” and protein tonight then taking my BG in the morning. ( and getting on the dreaded scale ) By the by, I heard someone in here talking about taking balsamic vinegar. That is probably the ONE vinegar I would not take because it is a sweetened vinegar. Apple cider vinegar would be much better for you and it doesn’t taste all that bad. I drink mine in a shot glass and pretend it is an aperitif. wink wink

  • Suzy August 21, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Hi Mary,
    Thanks for your comments. I exercise twice a day, bike or swim in the morning and treadmill or work out with weights in the afternoon. I think that has made all the difference in my BC. If you can force yourself to do some regular exercise for awhile, it will become a habit. I would kill to take Byetta, but I have kidney disease. It is under control, and I wonder if I could take it? And if it can cause low BG by itself?

  • Mary August 21, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Thank you David! I do try to eat low carb (though sometimes I have a slip if I am really craving something… low carb has so little cravings I figure once and awhile is ok)

    I am really, lucky in a way, because I am an excellent cook and have been dieting my entire life so know a bit about nutrition and have lots of diet tricks on low carb eating. (for example, I use Parmesan cheese instead of cracker or bread crumbs when oven “frying” foods and a small amount of Oatmeal in meatloaf (1/4 Cup in a 3 lb meatloaf) instead of the normal binding agents of bread crumbs or crackers.) White flour is just not used in our house nor does white bread enter our door! We have eaten this way for so many years that these are not dietary changes but are just our normal eating patterns. I seldom eat more than 20 carbs per meal and usually have about 60 to 80 carbs a day. These are always high fiber carbs such as 100% whole wheat bread (50 calories, 10 g carb, 2 g Fiber per slice) Very occasionally I will have potatoes (Sweet potatoes and no more than 3 oz) We eat at least 3 veg with each meal. I am very careful about what I eat and I monitor my BG closely, BUT.. even with logging every bite and taking great care to count both calories (1500 per day) and carbs (60 to 80 g per day) and trying to eat low fat (or if I have fat I make it a good Omega 3 fat such as olives, olive oil, avocados, walnuts, etc.) I only lost 3 pounds in 1 month of this kinda strenuous dieting. Now I know that more exercise would help (I try to walk daily) and only 3 pounds in a month does not sound like much.. though it was enough to lower my meds. Dr. has me on Glypizide and when I lost the 3 pounds I was able to get off that terrible stuff. But I got tired of “dieting” and I kinda gave up and gained the 3 pounds back. So now I am back on 1/2 doses of that Glypizide (terrible stuff). I KNOW it causes weight gain and it also forces me to eat when I don’t want to eat because I get low BG otherwise. I am also taking 500 mg of Metformin which gives me no trouble at all (other than a bit of gas).

    Byetta absolutely works and if I could afford it I sure would give it a try. My mother used it and in 2 years lost 40 pounds without dieting! Now she is off all meds except Byetta and she eats any and everything (just not a lot of anything if you know what I mean.. her portions are in control because of the Byetta) She says it is like being on an all you can eat diet… you just don’t eat much because you get full fast! Sounds like magic to me!

    Pardon me for rambling so much but after reading what I have written I think maybe my problem is I have gotten tired and kinda quit.

    I don’t walk as much as I was walking and some days I skip it entirely. I also quit counting and logging what I eat… I started eating by rote and habit. I think maybe I am finally having the depression everyone says diabetics get. I have worked on my Diabetes for 3 years now so I think maybe I just had “burnout” and took a break. Your blog has inspired me to get that second wind and “get back in the race”. I will get on the scale in the morning (yes, I quit weighing too!) and make a fresh start!

    Still would like to know about the milk and uncooked cornstarch though. Does anyone know if this works for Dawn Phenomenon?

    Thanks for letting me use y’all as a sounding board!


  • Mary August 21, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Wow what a great site! Thanks everyone for the great info. I also suffer from Dawn Phenomenon and got good results with vinagar “shots” and low fat cheese as a bedtime snack. They did help lower my morning BG… but I also have high cholestrol … in fact I have what is referred to as syndrome X (means I just got it all…LOL.. high blood pressure, high cholestrol, high triglycerides, overweight, type 2 Diabetes) So anyway.. the Dr. got onto me because my cholestrol and triglycerides were high but everytime I take the statins my BG goes up … I take the statins intermittantly trying to balance between bad BG and bad cholestrol but now I just kinda gave up. I quit the cheese and vinagar at bedtime and just quit taking the morning BG. My A1C is still under 7 (just under) and my other numbers for Cholestrol, etc. are still high but not as much as when I was eating the cheese at bedtime. I heard that a cup of milk (fat free) with uncooked cornstarch would help Dawn Phenomenon. But don’t know how much cornstarch to add. Anyone know ? I would be willing to try this as I don’t think it would interfer with my Cholestrol. I kinda feel like I am getting Diabetes burnout.. if you know what I mean… just getting so tired!

    • David Mendosa August 21, 2010 at 7:52 am

      Dear Mary,

      Thank you. Rather than taking a statin, you can control your lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) naturally by following a very low-carb diet. That sure worked for me.


  • Good Levels August 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Hello everyone
    Can cinnamon casue increse in the heart rate? How much cinnamon is good?
    What is milk thistle?

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  • Liz July 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I seriously doubt that yeast growth causes Diabetes… In fact, it has been shown many times that yeast infections or outbreaks are a symptom of Diabetes, and that they clear up as soon as blood sugar levels are controlled… but impossible to deal with if your blood sugars are not controlled. I myself had yeast infections that simply would NOT go away at all, until the blood sugars were level. While I have no doubt that candida feeds on friendly bacteria, I think this is a great oversimplification of Diabetes, and the complexity of our immune systems. In this case of what came first, the chicken or the egg… I would say… The chicken, of course.

  • minismom July 7, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    hi karen have you heard of red clover tea?

    how do i know my diabetes is a result of candida? and does milk thistle help people with a not so strong liver? my liver reading alt ast etc go up when ever i am on any antibiotic medication. so could milk thistle help me?


  • Natalie June 25, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Hi – I am new here, but have been lurking for a while. I appreciate the info and experiences shared on this site. I have not yet been “officially” diagnosed, but after a few years of being pre-diabetic, my last FBS came back at 126. I began testing myself and have discovered that I have DP – only my FBS is on the high side, all other numbers are fine. I have been trying various supplements in addition to weight loss and exercise. Each supplement seems to help a little. Using vinegar tabs, cinnamon caps, and aloe, I went from the mid 120’s to the mid teens. In the past two weeks I added a product by NOW Foods called Glucose Metabolic Support which contains an extract from crepe myrtle, and my morning numbers are now below 110. I am probably spending a lot on supplements, but they do seem to be helping and I hope to back off of them once my weight gets in line. I hope info helps someone just like the rest of you have helped me!

  • william June 1, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I’m taking victoza (same class of drug) and I’ve missed my dosing window by as much as 2 hours and have not noticed a negative or positive impact. My readings dont’ change.

    While I don’t recommend that as standard practice, my experience has been that an occasional slip up doesn’t seem to hurt.

    BTW, my last A1c prior to starting victoza was 6.2. My last one (got the results last week) was 5.9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5% club!!!!!!

    When Mr. Mendoza suggested byetta, I was unsure of it since I’m prone to nausea as it is.

    I tolerate the victoza very well and have had 1 or 2 mild (10 minutes) bouts of nausea in the last 4 months since I started the victoza. If you can’t tolerate byetta, I would still give victoza a try since it’s supposed to have a lower incident of nausea.

    Thanks for suggesting this class of medication.

  • David Mendosa May 31, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Dear Linda,

    Very good question, but I don’t know. Please call the Amylin-Lilly support line for the answer.

    Best regards,


  • LindaCC May 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I have been having a glass of red wine sometimes while cooking dinner. Since I am taking Byetta, should I take the pm dose prior to the wine or prior to eating my meal. Will I bypass the Byetta window if I wait?

  • karen May 26, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks to everyone — been reading you for years, controlling w/diet and exercise my type 2 pretty well but dawn phenom. driving me crazy.

    Milk Thistle and 1 tbsp of ‘liquid’ lecithin at bedtime with a small snack – usually nuts and a few berries -have really helped — keeping my fingers crossed that this is a long-term answer. All the others worked a little — this really works!

    Also have gotten candida under control… virtually gone with Three Lac — just by the way to minismom above.

    Thanks David for all you do!

    Oh – and what is Byetta?

  • saddaf sultana May 18, 2010 at 5:28 am

    it is mango season here in pakistan. some studies suggest mangoes and grapes are well ‘good’ for us? any help? i do love mangoes.

  • minismom May 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    i want to rake up an issue here.

    the issue is candida, yeast….. i read a book on it the candida diet cure. the book tracks down the cause of diabetes and many other auto immune diseases to growth of fungus/yeast called candida in the body, caused by death of friendly bacteria due to drugs and other allopathic cures,

    any thoughts? it made a lot of sense to me.

  • danam May 14, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Thanks to David for reminding about importance of reducing obesity.

    btw, i read in a book (by dr. Blaylock) that excess fat inside ABDOMEN causes more insulin resistance than fat in other area. I just googled to find online quotes: “The major culprit is what we call internal fat — or visceral fat — which is found inside the abdomen….these particular fat cells are producing all kinds of chemicals known to cause diabetes, hypertension and abnormal blood lipids (high LDL and triglycerides with low HDL). And they are doing so in large amounts”. (courtsey http://www.lakeschiro.com/Blaylock%20Reports/blaylock_Diabetes_12.pdf)

    Saddaf, keep excercise as an integral part of ur weight loss regimen. Along with diet (doesn’t that remind of pharma tv-ads), abdominal workouts may help you get rid of that 4kg and some insulin resistance. and there are no downsides to this approach; only upsides (or in-sides?).

  • saddaf sultana May 14, 2010 at 10:37 am

    dear william

    thanks for your concern and suggestions. yes, i am depressed and that takes the will out of me to keep trying. if it was not for this supportive community, people like you and specially david as expert mentor, it would have been much more tougher and lonlier.

    so thanks for understanding.

  • william May 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I completely agree, I’m currently taking victoza and my levamir and while it has reduced my appetite somewhat, I’m still finding psychological issues play into “nervous eating” etc.

    One thing I have noticed recently, particularly since my 2 hour postprandial readings are consistently under 120 and often into the low 100’s, is that I find myself reaching for a snack. Prior to starting victoza, when my readings would drop this low (rarely), I would start to feel very hypoglycemic and on the advice of my diabetes doc, would have a snack. It’s now no longer necessary, but I’ve established the habit. So much of weight management or mismanagement seems to be oriented around our habits.

    My point in my previous post was to encourage people who are fighting it not to get overwhelmed or become discouraged if they don’t see progress immediately. Sometimes we need to make changes and stick with them in the face of discouraging short term results. My apologies if that didn’t come across clearly.

    Bariatric surgery is not an option for me because my insurance does not cover it and I can’t afford to pay for it.

    I have to trick myself into getting more exercise, and I’m sure that others are in the same boat. Hence my suggestions re ankle weights, finding more ways to get more walking in, etc. They aren’t a replacement for a more intense exercise regimen, but they are a place to start.

    Thanks again for all of the encouraging work you have done for all of us who have to deal with this on a daily basis.

  • David Mendosa May 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Dear William,

    The best thing you can do to reduce your blood glucose level is to lose weight. You and I and everyone else knows how hard it is to lose weight, and I know only three ways to do it:

    1. A GLP-1 inhibitor like Byetta or Victoza. It was Byetta that helped me come down from 312 to 180 pounds, and I liked it so much that I wrote a whole book about it (“Losing Weight with Your Diabetes Medication”).

    2. A very low-carb diet. By eating almost no carbs our bodies don’t trigger the release of too much insulin, which in turn makes us hungry, so we eat too much. In 2007 I decided to see if I could control both my weight and my diabetes without any drugs. Since then I have been able to bring my weight down to about 155 (with my height of 6″ 2.5′ that’s a BMI of 19.6). But until I read Gary Taubes’s book, “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” I thought that a very low-carb diet would not be safe; it is.

    3. For people who are morbidly obese we now have a third option, bariatric surgery.

    Certainly, when we compare any one of these three approaches to weight loss, all the evidence shows that any of them are more successful than other strategies.

    Best regards,


  • william May 14, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Saddaf –

    I currently tip the scales at just over 500lbs. I spend most of the last year obsessing about it.
    While it’s true that I have to loose weight, the first goal is get my diabetes numbers down, make my diet changes, take my medicine and now I’m starting to make small changes in my activity level.

    What I’m trying to say is that we overweight diabetics have a lot on our plate (no pun intended) to worry about. We can try to take it all in one gulp (impossible) or we can break it up into manageable pieces and deal with each issue individually. Start making small changes in your activity level like wearing ankle weights around the house or when you walk around in your yard. Park farther away from your workplace – that will force you to walk more.

    I’ve started doing these things and It’s having a result. I’m loosing steadily but slowly. I also don’t weight myself every day since weight can fluctuate daily and I’m already an obsessive personality type. I generally weigh once a month or every other month. That gives me a much better grasp on how I’m doing over time.

    keep it up and don’t get discouraged. 90% of battling this is tenacity.

  • saddaf sultana May 14, 2010 at 8:14 am

    dear minismom

    perhaps losing weight is not your problem. i am carrying atleast 4 kgs on my belly. ugh! hate it.

  • minismom May 14, 2010 at 4:50 am

    he he, i had two full chappatis last night followed by a mango, not to mention the fish burger and breakfast toast, this time my morning sugar did not forgive me, it was 120 after metformin.

  • saddaf sultana May 14, 2010 at 1:43 am

    the effect of drinking bhindi juice will prbably take more that three weeks of consistent effort and tight control on diet to show worthwhile results.
    personally, i have been following rules for the past week, except exercise which i did not at all. and i did not lose a single gram of weight. it is very frustating, and today i just took a revenge on myself, ate a small potato chips packet and half cup of boiled rice with daal, and half cup of orange juice, one spoon of icecream. so where would it land me??
    i should have lost atleast one pound. what is happening?

  • minismom May 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    why do number range so wildly? i was 102 today, yes i have been on okra water and also fenugreek water all day!! but i had a all carb dinner yester day night and was expecting a reading of 120 atleast. plus i dont feel hungry now due to the metformin. my number will be anything from 116 to 99 in the morning.

  • william May 12, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Oops, the typo gremlin strikes again! I meant to say that insulin therapy need NOT be permanent….

  • william May 12, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Two things that work good for me are legumes (pinto and navy beans) and sweet potato or yam. (as long as you don’t add sugar or maple syrup or anything like that to it) I usually fix my sweet potato with cinnamon (good for glucose control) and nutmeg and sometimes a little cayenne pepper.

    I’m still having good results on the Victoza (reformulated byetta). Maybe 2 or 3 minutes of nausea after a meal once a month. My morning readings are consistently down to the 103 to 115 range. I go in this week for my labs, so in 2 weeks I should know what affect it’s had on my A1Cs.

    I’m going to try the okra and see if I can get it down into the 80’s and 90’s!

    For everyone who’s fighting high numbers – be patient. 18 months ago my A1Cs were in the mid to high 8 range and my morning readings for 200 or more.

    I would also say not to panic if your doctor recommends insulin. It’s continuing to work for me and it need to be permanent. The most important thing is to get the numbers down and make positive changes for healthier lifestyle.

  • minismom May 10, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    water melon is not a very good fruit for diabetics or weight loss as well as i remember.

  • minismom May 10, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    great research danam, also bay leaf powder, bay leaf is called tejpat, is good for sugar control.

  • danam May 10, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    dear saddaf. i think other names of jaman are jamun, jambul, Syzygium cumini. thanks for mentioning its dosage. we are also planning on using its powdered seeds that someone got from india. For american readers: ‘Jambul’ tincture/extract is sold by herbpharm. i am yet to find supply of seeds in usa (may be ebay).

    regarding Watermelon (tarbuj), i heard that it helps in reducing weight. i believe it is quite healthy but i remember my mom telling me a restriction that milk should not be consumed before and after it.

    btw, it seems fenugreek seeds are quite rich in proteins (30%), etc. From below excerpt , it appears to be more than a multi-vitamin (Mg, Cr, Zinc, K, Phos).

    “Fenugreek: Bulk of the seed is dietary fiber (50%) and protein (30%) . Bitterness is mainly due to the oil, steroidal saponins and alkaloids. For 100 g of mature seeds, there is 30 g protein, 30 g (gel-forming) soluble fiber (15% galactomannan in the endosperm), 20 g insoluble fiber, 7.5 g lipids (6.3 g neutral- mainly triglycerides, 450 mg phospholipids- mainly phosphotidyl choline & phosphotidyl ethanolamine, 135 mg soluble lecithin), 2 g sapogenins (diosgenin, gitogenin, furastanol, yamogenin etc.), 160 mg Ca, 1.5 mg ionizable Fe (total Fe 14 mg), 370 mg phosphorous (phytin 157 mg), 19 mg Na, 530 mg K, 33 mg Cu, 100 mcg Cr, 1550 mg Mn, 160 mg Mg, 7 mg Zn, 16 mg S, 165 mg Cl, 50 mg choline, 380 mg trigonelline, traces of gentianine & carpaine, 43 mg ascorbic acid, 96 mcg carotene, 340 mcg thiamine, 290 mcg riboflavin, 1100 mcg nicotinic acid, 84 mcg folic acid of which 14.5 mcg is free folic acid and 120 U of heat-labile trypsin inhibitor.”

  • saddaf sultana May 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    hello danam

    methi seeds is also supposed to be very good for diabetes control in hikmat as well as jaman, i donot know the englisg name for jaman. unfortunatley, i have forgoten the quantity prescribed for methi. however, they say take 1/2 tea sp. of ground dried jaman seeds every day. but youknow what, given the very limited eatables range on a low carb, less portion diabetic diet, bhindi and karela cooked with meat or separatley is a very tempting dish for me. also because these consume more than average oil in cooking. and oil is allowed in this diet. as for snacks, i keep a jar of simple green sweet saunf handy. infact, i keep ne every where so that i donot munch on wrong food.

    today, i drank 1 whole glass of pure orange juice, and am afraid that it was rather bad for my weight loss goals.
    it is the water melon, red tarbooz, season here, and i am afraid it is not allowed for us special people. any ideas?

  • danam May 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    hi Saddaf, i grew up in india; when I was a kid i used to like okra (bhindi) so much that I grew a personal patch in garden so my mom could make it for me every morning. besides regular spices, her recipe specifically used powdered fennel(saunf) something uncommon in other dishes.

    this weekend we soaked 2 okra. it released a lot of transparent mucilage in water. i didn’t know it had that much of mucilage. speaking of mucilage, I have lot of faith in dana methi (u see love fo rit in my nickname). danaMethi is seed of methi (fenugreek) and i read somewhere that it should be taken in large quantity daily (50-100gm). there are no side effects (may be some initial bloating). i can recall an old saying (by hakims) extolling fenugreek – “one should buy fenugreek even if it is priced like gold”. it is known that fenugreek dissolves hardened masses of accumulated mucus. many organs can suffer from hardened mucus (intestines, pancreas, lungs) . congested pancreatic ducts won’t pass insulin properly and may create a backup causing further harm to pancreas. may be fenugreek diet decongests pancreas and helps in diabetes. i am guessing here as i am not sure. i am just trying to link together bits of info i found on internet and books. earlier my wife occasionally used to drink water of soaked 1tsp fenugreek, but now she wants to consume soaked fg seeds and sprouts in large quantities. we will add okra to the regimen too.

    nice article from Karta Purkh, a practicing herbalist (see pages 28-34):

    Sandy, okra is readily available in indian grocery stores (fresh $2-3/lb, frozen even cheaper). i have lately seen it fresh & frozen in some Wegman’s supermarket also.

  • minismom May 10, 2010 at 7:59 am

    bhindee is lady finger or okra.

  • sandy May 9, 2010 at 7:05 am

    what is bhindee and where can i buy it? my morning numbers are high, 150-160 lately!!!! tried everything. no meds yet. i dont eat dinner late, no carbs, exercise on bike for 35 min. snack in middle of night. if someone has any ideas for me!!!!

  • minismom May 9, 2010 at 6:48 am

    it works!!! BHINDEE works. that was a great alternative to karela and methi seeds,
    i had half a glass of one bhindee dipped overnight after checking my morning sugars which were 116 at that pont. four hours later they were 109 and i had been sleeping those 4 hrs. normally this means a rise of 9 points for me, but it came down 7 points.

    bhindee is okra friends (reminder)

  • saddaf sultana May 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    oh yes bhindi! i am also experimenting.

  • saddaf sultana May 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    dear David!
    i get your point. so iam being honest and writing it all down. there is one thing though. i am not exercising at all. there are some days when i just cannot make myself to it, not even walk to local grocery store. i need to push myself in that direction.
    i am worried about my calcium and other minerals need. given my age, 46, is 1/2 cup yoghurt enough for it? what about the whole milk milk consumed with tea? almost 1 cup per day.
    read about bad effects of aspartame specially in relation to hypertension. so i have dropped it.

    right now my prime concern is losing this dreaded belly fat.

  • minismom May 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    bhindi? BHINDEEE? i don believe it, will try tonight!!!

  • minismom May 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    dear saddaf, bitter melon is karela!!

  • David Mendosa May 8, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Dear Saddaf,

    You are off to a good start on your low-carb diet. Keep it up and in particular for a few days at least keep a record of how much you are actually eating in terms of carbs and calories. I know from my own experience that the numbers are always higher than I would have guessed.

    Best regards,


  • saddaf sultana May 7, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    dear david

    i did it. three days on very low carb menu with portion control. already my urge to drink more than 4 mugs of tea a day has lessened as well as declining thirst and lesser trips to washroom. i just prepare the food for my family, place it on the table, plateout my food and leave the dinning room. this way, i am able to contain my greed for carbs on the table. my tummy no longer feels bloated, i am more focussed on my work which involves lots of reserach and writing.(reform related consultancy and software solutions in legal and health areas).

    however, two confusions:
    1. i have not lost any weight. ( no cheating). is it because:
    2. i do take one or two servings of home made full cream youghurt with aspartame( equivalent to 2 tea spons of sugar) and
    1/4 portion of a home made whole wheat very light weight roti. ( 3-5 bites of roti or plain boiled white basmati rice to satisfy my urge. i can safely say idonot consume more than two level table spoons of rice in whole day.
    3. i take 1/2 dried apricots, one or 2 pieces of peach or almost 100 gm of not so sweet melon(kharboza). is it too much fruit?
    i have yet to buy the glucose testing strips but i do know that it will be uner control in a few days. however, not losing any weight is discouraging.
    dear danam!
    interesting name, from where are you? the feeling of being surrounded with friends and well wishers is great. what is bitter melon? i must thank david for it. as for bhindi experiment, i am pretty excited but unfortunately, my buget does not allow me to buy test strips right now. so i have postponed it till 15th may.

  • danam May 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    thanks for okra info. Looks interesting. I had read earlier the benefits of okra for diabetes, but I didn’t take it seriously because it it was just a regular vegetable that I had eaten as a tasty dish since childhood. Your post renewed my herbal interest in okra. I will ask my diabetic wife to now eat it almost daily (may be alternative it with bitter melon). Do keep us posted with your analyses.

  • saddaf sultana May 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    dear sandy

    here is a local reipee which you might find interesting to try.

    take 2 fresh green lady fingers (bhindi /okra) wash, remove head and tail, place in glass of drinng water overnight in fridge. next morning discard the bhindi an drink its water. it can lower your blood sugar by as much as 50 points . and hopefully, you will see positive effect on your dawn phenmenon. one of my diabetic frinds tried it and told me the good news only today. i will start experimenting from today as it is bhind season in here.

    best wishes

  • sandy May 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    i feel that after all i do and no matter how careful i am my A1C cannot get lower than 7.1. to get to this point, i watch what i eat, no carbs, exercise daily.
    food goups consist of protein, vegetables and dairy. its one thing if i cheat, but after all the work i put in and not see better results is very frustrating for me. does anyone else have this problem??? my only issue is the dawn phenomenon.

  • sandy May 6, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    i was never overweight. b4 i was diagnosed i weighed 142 and now, 2 years later, i weigh 133. my HDL level is 59. LDL is 118. total is 206. cholesterol levels improve every blood test. only problem remains is morning BG. nothing seems to be helping me. can anyone give me some advice about this????

  • David Mendosa May 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    As you continue to lose weight and reduce your A1C level to normal (from 4.5 to 6.0) you HDL will almost certainly rise to a safer range. Stay with it!


  • minismom May 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

    my morning sugars are high again, 128 today,

    well i know thats cause i stopped the aerobics and strenth training i did for a month.

    the results were good, my a1c went down to 6.9 from 8.5 in 50 days flat, i lost 9 lbs in that period and triglycerides went down to 194 from 324.

    all this without the metaformin my doc had asked me to take. i went on a low carb diet and kept starving mildly.

    but the hdl is still low at 29 and ldl went up from 74 to 90.
    can any one explain this? how should i get a good lipid profile?


  • Suzy May 6, 2010 at 4:41 am

    If you’re going to eat something at 3AM to try and stave off morning highs, you need to eat something with carbs to keep your blood sugar from crashing. Like eat a snack glucerna bar.

  • sandy May 6, 2010 at 4:08 am

    so why were my numbers high this morning at 160.
    ate dinner at 7. had 2 quarters of grilled chicken, 2 hot dogs with spice only, veg soup and diet cole slaw. biked for 40 min. and had a sugar free diet jello at 3AM. this is my problem. hoping not to begin meds yet. every time i try something new (such as the snack in middle of night) it works for approx 2 weeks and then back to the high numbers. someone suggested milk thistle (whats that?) and vinegar tabs. what should i do????
    its amazing how you respond and communicate to everyone. i feel that i’m not alone in all this.

  • David Mendosa May 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Dear Sandy,

    That IS the correct food!


  • sandy May 5, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    thank you for responding. This is what i eat on a typical day. breakfast consists of cottage cheese with a little sour cream and a splenda vanilla or coffee yogurt. for lunch i have a lg salad, no bread with a diet drink. cashews or almonds for snack. and for dinner i have chicken or meat with a veg soup and a veg side dish. thats it. quite bored. but i dont mind as long as my BG is stable.

  • sandy May 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    i forgot to mention that i dont take any medications for my diabetes. i am still trying to control it with my diet.

    • David Mendosa May 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      Dear Sandy,

      What do you mean by “correct foods”? In my book they are very low-carb foods. On such a diet your A1C would not be so high.


  • sandy May 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    i have a very stubborn type 2 diabetes. its genetic and i am not overweight. the last few A1C readings were getting higher and higher. finally its beginning to go down. last one was 7.1 (from 7.4 the reading before). i am very careful to eat the correct foods but my only problem that is preventing me from getting lower A1C’s are my morning numbers – between 135-150. i tried exercising for approx 30 minutes after dinner and have been waking up at 3 AM to have a sugar free jello (which was ok’d by dr). numbers were g8 for approx 2 weeks and then didnt work anymore. can you advise please.

  • Liz April 29, 2010 at 8:59 am

    So long as you don’t have a high carb meal for dinner… making you spike at 140 or more… this should be a fine trick. I also try not to eat to late, either… Having dinner around 5-6 pm is fine. 🙂

  • Liz April 29, 2010 at 8:57 am

    So, I am in a new phase of my experimentation with getting lower BG numbers, and I’ve discovered one thing: I can have one snack after dinner, around 9 pm (cus I go to bed at 11:30 pm), SO long as it’s a simple sugar carbohydrate, and does not exceed the limit of grams that would make me spike. So, 1 packet of those 100 calorie cookies from Nabisco, or 1 Yoplait Yogurt, with all the fruit, and fat, and whatever… (so long as it’s less than 20 g of carbs), or 1 glass of milk with 1 tablespoon of chocolate milk… Or 1/2 cup of ice cream. Last night I had 1 8 oz serving of milk with 1/4 cup of blueberries, and 1 packet of truvia, and ice, all blended together… and my morning BG was 79 mg/dL! I was amazed… I still have all my 64-80 ounces of water every day… and can’t even afford the Powerade Zero, right now… Pretty neat, huh? 🙂

  • Suzy April 13, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Stress is huge with blood sugar. When I finally started taking medication for anxiety, I was able to go off all meds and just do diet and exercise.

  • minismom April 13, 2010 at 7:39 am

    hit 99 today, kept myself hydrated all day since last 3 days.

    i also added studies/ brainwork :o) to my shedule, which i had stopped two years back. this kept my devils workshop occupied.

    wonder does stress really effect your sugars?

  • Liz April 10, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I have to make a point of drinking the water because I grew up addicted to Coca Cola, and other sodas, and not having water, ever, so it’s hard for me to tell if I’m thirsty (until I am severely dehydrated)… I also make it a point to not sleep on my back, as this keeps your jaw slack, and open, and dehydrates you fast — and also exacerbates sleep apnea issues in people, dehydrating them more…

  • Liz April 10, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Yeah, I have found some of my biggest issues with numbers is keeping hydrated. (If you happen to have more than one endocrine disorder, like Hypothyroidism or PCOS, on top of the Diabetes, this seems to be even a bigger issue.) So, I take my one 8 oz glass of Powerade Zero in the morning, drink a good amount of water during the day (which we can easily forget to do), and then an 8 oz glass of Powerade Zero about an hour before bed. If I don’t drink enough water during my day, the Powerade will only help me not reach 120, but stay in the lower 100s… If I do drink enough water, I go right down to the 80’s, easily. My numbers for the last 3 days: 84, 86, 87. Not bad, huh? 🙂

  • Seattlemo April 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I am also on Victoza — just started on 4/1 /10 and have lost about 10 lbs so far. I did take Byetta for about 8 months, but quit due mainly to the inconvenience of taking 2 shots that are tied to timing with meals. I take Victoza as soon as I wake, then do not have to worry about eating within 30 minutes to an hour after injection. The nauseau is less severe than Byetta, although I find I must be very careful with anything spicy.
    David, it would be great if you could write about Victoza in the near future. It really does the trick!

  • minismom April 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    sorry i meant 126 and 127, post by liz

  • minismom April 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    REF pos 196 and 197, i also feel so thirsty at night, maybe thats why wine did not work for me, since i am not a drinker, i felt immensely thirsty after drinking wine at bed time. vinegar helped a bit, but will try the electrolyte too.

  • minismom April 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    it works, vinegar is great for the day, my sugar was 94 after a long lunch nap, usually it shoots up after a long day nap. today i added a spoon of vinegar to my lunch and its not all that bad in taste.

  • minismom April 5, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    my fasting after eating fish at dinner is 103, it is other wise 113 to 118. will try a protein shakes at night later, but am still confused which protein powder should i try?

    however will try the vinegar tommo, red wine does not help my fasting.

  • william March 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Victoza update!

    working great! numbers now down to low 100’s or high 90’s. Mornings are down from 130 to 140 average to a 120 average.

    Appetite is sometimes less, sometimes more, so I still have to watch that. On the whole, however, I’m much happier taking 2 shots a day instead of 4! (1 shot of victoza and 1 shot of basal insulin – levamir).

    No nausea since the end of the step up period, but I notice that I have to be careful with high fat foods like avacado. If I go nuts on the guacamole, I’ll have some nausea about 2 – 3 hours after the meal.

    Looking forward to my next A1c!

  • Liz March 29, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Wow, that’s wonderful Vicki! Good job!

  • Vicki March 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Hi all..well I tried adding the poweraide zero with the Atkins penut cluster bar and was also happy to see that my am bloodsugars have also come down now most mornings the are in the 80’s and lo 90’s! just had a A1C done this past week and the results came back today 5.3!! I am sooo happy. please keep this site going it is so nice to read what others have to say and if we can keep patting each other on the back we can help others…don’t give up keep trying there is always help..and this site is a good source

  • Vicki March 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Hi all, I just want to say that I am sooo happy to know there are others out there in the same diabetic boat as I…I’m still struggling with this DP problem and want to loose a final 15 pounds..I have tried the powerade the vinigar and cinn.but with little help has anyone tried the chromium? can I take it at bedtime? with the vinigar? and how much….what about going on byetta (I already take metformin 1500mg 2x”s a day and jenuvia 50mg 2x’s aday) any advice or comments? thanks all and hang in there..oh yea i have heard that they are developing a vacine for diabetis…would be nice for newer generations!!

  • Liz March 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Yeah, it’s worked great for me… While I don’t suggest that this is the solution for ALL DP, if there’s a lot of dehydration overnight (like you wake up at 3 or 4 am incredibly thirsty), it does help… I have slightly more on days when I may have a bit of wine, in a vinaigrette, or when I exercise… I just seem to struggle keeping a lot of electrolytes overnight.

  • LindaCC March 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I ordered one of the home A1C test kits. I hope it is accurate. My last A1C was Nov 09-5.6, the home kit says it is now 5.
    As stated above in previous posts, I am on LC. Have lost a total of 30lbs. and hovering for a few months.
    I may have stumbled on something that seems to be helping my DP however.
    I have not been able to get it below 100, sometimes 110-120. I have tried most all the suggestions (except this Powerade Zero).
    Finally a couple of months ago, I discovered the Atkins Peanut Caramel Cluster bar. I ate one at bedtime….boom….down to 81,84,87,92. Now I am in the 80’s and 90’s most of the time. I have even started waiting until I wake up to go to the bathroom between 2 – 3 and then eat it. Works even better.
    I will try the PowerAde Zero next.

  • Liz March 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Dear David,

    I had been struggling with some mild Dawn Phenomenon for the last month or so… In general, my fasting morning blood glucose numbers had always been in the 80’s range, and they were now climbing to 110’s, in the morning, including 119. I tried everything, you name it: switching to toothpaste and mouthwash with NO sugar alcohol, not eating anything at all after dinner, having a protein snack right at bed time, having vinegar at bed time, exercising closer to bedtime, and having wine. Those things seemed to mildly work, but not by a lot. I might drop to say, 98 mg/dL. One of my additional symptoms during the night, was intense thirst. Now, some might say “check your postprandial meals” etc… But, I have very well controlled BG during the day, and after meals. I generally will not allow myself to surpass 140 mg/dL for any peaks, and for the most part, I stay usually just reach 120 mg/dL postprandial, and lately, even the low 100’s… I stay at the low 100’s or 90’s during most of the day. This is impressive, considering when I was diagnosed, my A1C was 10.5% … so yeah, I have worked really hard to achieve this…. Anywho…. I wanted to let you know that even though I had been drinking a lot of water during the day, that didn’t help… BUT, I decided to have fluids with electrolytes, at bed time… about 8 ounces. (Such as Powerade Zero — with no sugar/no calories/no carbs, but with some potassium, sodium, and vitamin b complex)… And my morning blood glucose numbers have returned to the 80’s, with this morning’s reading being 86 mg/dL. Maybe people ought to consider this if they are dehydrating severely, overnight, and try this, as well… on top of drinking a healthy amount of water, during the day. It has definitely worked for me. 🙂

    I love your blogs, homepage, and I am thankful to you for all your Diabetic research, knowledge, and fight for all of us struggling to maintain tight control. 🙂 Thank you.

    • David Mendosa March 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm

      Dear Liz,

      That’s great advice! We owe a lot to people like you who will perform all these experiments on themselves. While I don’t have the dawn phenomenon myself any more, you have got me thinking about using one of these no calory electrolytes myself. Thank you!


  • Suzy March 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Vicki.. Your A1c is great! When I was first diagnosed, my A1c was 17%, and after I got it down, I became also obcessed with the diabetes. It seemed the sugar had been dulling my nerves and they were finally coming back to life, and I became very anxious and OCD. I was a wreck. I went to a shrink, and he put me on effexor, and my whole life changed. Not saying that is for you, but it saved my sanity.

  • Vicki March 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Hi David..first of all thanks for this site..I still think I have this DP problem…have been using the cinn, and vinegar and seem to be keeping my am test below 100 but I want to get it lower..I don”t want to go on lantis or any other injectable insulins…any advice…my last A1c was 5.6 this diabetis thing is making me nuts…to the point of OCD …please keep this site going we need it…thank you

  • David Mendosa March 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Dear Saddaf,

    It will take you a couple of weeks for your body to convert from burning carbs to burning fats. Please see my article “It’s Low Carb Weak” and my other articles here and at http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17 on the way a very low-carb diet works for us.

    Best regards,


  • Jim March 4, 2010 at 9:06 am

    This might take a bit.

    I was diagnosed with Diabetes late 2004. I pretty much ignored it. My BS averaged from 350-450 througout. I was also over 430lbs at the time.
    Now I’m dealing with nerve pain and other issues and i’ve taken on a quest to lower my blood sugar.
    I’ve slowly lost weight to 360lbs now.
    I started with Pau D’Arco which lowered my blood sugar from 425 to 325 after about a week without a change in diet. then I started taking my left over Metformin to try and push the plateau.
    3 weeks ago I started a low carb diet which has lowered my BS to under 200, usually around 150-175 (no weight loss yet)
    I’m taking Pau D’arco, Vitamin C, Cinnamin, Metformin, Krill and DR Udo’s oil.

    I’ve recently noticed this “dawn phenomenon” and found this website, which is great.
    My BS jumps about 40 points overnight and I usually get up around 4:00am.

    I haven’t found a doctor yet. that is my next step although i have been looking for natural ways to take care of this.

    after reading some of the posts, I’m going to take more cinnamon at night and see if it helps and look into apple cider vinegar.

    I look forward to your insights

    • David Mendosa March 5, 2010 at 12:01 am

      Dear Jim,

      The natural way to control your diabetes is without drugs or supplements or herbs. It is simply a very low-carb diet. It sure works for many of us, myself included.

      Best regards,


  • Saddaf Sultana March 4, 2010 at 3:09 am

    hello david, william and others

    past two months have been a failed effort on my part. doing everything which i was not supposed to. today my fbg is 6.2 whereas lipid profile is as follows:
    serum total cholestrol: 2.97 mmol/l
    hdlc: 1.0
    ldlc: 1.30
    triglycerides: 1.47

    if i eat butter, how would i reduce weight, less carbs and less portions make me really hungry, so much so that i can not stop myself from eating two breakfasts space apart by one hour. i lose control generally after dinner when i watch tv as well as work on laptop from 9 till 12 or later, and then i nibble either on bread or fried chickpeas.
    advice me about any weight controlling / hunger suppressing medication.

  • william March 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Update on the Victoza

    I started the victoza thursday of the week before last. I started out on a step up dose of .6 for 7 days and then went to a dose of 1.2. I will step up to 1.8 on thursday of this week.

    3 days after starting the regimen, I experience 1 bout of moderate nausea which lasted about 2 hours. I also experienced one bout of nausea 2 days after stepping up to the 1.2 dose. I’m assuming it will happen again after I step up to the max dose. My postprandial blood sugars were high and took about an hour longer than normal to drop below 150 and about 3 to 4 hours to drop below 130. Once I stepped up to the 1.2 dose, my postprandial readings were below 120 within 1 1/2 to 2 hours after eating.

    Once thing I’ve noticed is that once readings drop to the 100 to 115 range after meals, they stay there and don’t fluctuate – much better control than the novolog.

    One thing I’ve noticed is when my postprandial readings hit the 130 to 140 range, I start to feel a little shaky, but by the time they hit the 120 and below, the shakiness has passed. I’m assuming this is part of a settling in process as my body becomes accustomed to my readings dropping faster than they did on the novolog.

    I’m completely off of the novolog , but I’m still taking my januvia, glumetza, and levamir. The doctor said he might take me off of the jauniva and scale back the levamir and the glumetza depending on how well I do with the victoza. So far, so good!

  • Larry March 1, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Hi David,
    A friend who is a dietician guided me to your site. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 7 months ago.

    I was slightly overweight when diagnosed. Here is my info: at diagnosis I was 5-8 175 pounds FBG was 189 and A1C was 8.2.
    I made lifestyle changes adjusting or eliminating carbs, eating more protein and vegetables and exercising and I’ve been able to lose 20 pounds. I am currently on no meds. I was dosing my exercise walking 2 miles in the morning and evening. I’m also taking a diabetic formula vitamin, 2000 mg of cinnamon, 3600mg of fish oil daily. At 3 months my fbg was 111 and my A1C was 5.1.

    However lately, I have noticed higher numbers in the morning. The number has crept up to above 120 but is still below 130 and it drops after I eat. I know this is “dawn phenomenon” but I am not sure what to try first. Typically the number is between 122 and 125 in the morning. My doctor is not overly concerned, but I don’t like the variation and I’m a stickler for routine.

    Do you have any suggestions for me regarding bedtime snack, exercise, vinegar or all of the above?

    • David Mendosa March 1, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      Dear Larry,

      Like your doctor, I am not concerned with your dawn phenomenon either. That’s because your A1C level is so good. Especially when you have an A1C of 7 or below, it it how high your BG goes after meals that contributes the most to it, as I wrote here several years ago on the basis of some excellent studies. Furthermore, as you stay on your excellent diet and avoid high carb levels for dinner, even your dawn phenomenon will drop naturally.

      Best regards,


  • william February 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Well, just had my follow up for my labs with my endo. My A1c is still in the very low risk range and he wants me to try Victoza (the new and improved byetta). I have a sample pen and will start the regimen tonight. Has anyone had any direct experience with it? Supposedly it has a lower incident of nausea than byetta, supposedly due to it’s closer similarity to the compound produced naturally in the body than byetta.

    Byetta is supposedly 53% similar to what is produced naturally by the body and this new stuff is 97% similar.

    When starting this class of medication, did any of you notice an immediate effect? or did your Blood sugars go up for a period of time and then come back down?

    Any tips or suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated.

  • Vicki February 17, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Hi.I am new to this site,but really enjoy reading it. I have been dx of type 2 for about a year now. Have lost 90+ lbs and my last a1c was 5.6. I take Metformin 1500mg 2x”s a day and Jenuvia 50mg 2x”s a day. I consistantly test ^100 every mornig This is very upsetting to me and was wondering if the dawn phenomenon could be a problem? Also I am now 64 yrs. and still need tolose another 15 lbs I have not lost anything for 3-4 months (but not gaining either) could my dr. order byetta and can I use that with my other meds? I sure do thankyou for this site. I found it very helpful. Just knowing others feel as I do helps…thankyou

    • David Mendosa February 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

      Dear Vicki,

      Welcome to this diabetes community. You are doing great! Weight loss for people with diabetes is even more important than exercise, because exercise it really hard when we are really heavy. Personally, I am not too concerned with the dawn phenomenon, because as your get your diabetes under great control it will disappear on its own. As to Byetta, yes, you can take it with your other meds. But you may well find that you don’t need one or both of them soon after you start on Byetta.

      Best regards,


  • Rhonda February 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Things have become pretty hectic the last three months, another shoulder surgery, URGH! Morning BS back in the 150 to 180 then diving to 70 to 90 in the afternoon. Back to the vinegar again! Struggling.

  • william January 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Mr Mendosa:

    You’re probably already aware of this, but I ran across this link on new research into the connection between High Fructose Corn Syrup and NAFLD:


    Confirms everything you’ve been saying…

  • Abdul Matin January 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I cannot go below 10mmol/l, I feel pseudo-hypo. I cannot use any medicine. If I take even 1/4 of a Metformin tablet, sugar suddenly drops. If I eat carb, sugar drops suddenly. Sugar bounces when it tries to go below 10. Lot of stress hormone release if I eat carbs. Sugar is too high. Can any body help me in controlling the situation.


    • David Mendosa January 27, 2010 at 5:59 pm

      Dear Abdul,

      This doesn’t sound like diabetes to me, especially where you writing the eating carbs gives you LOWER blood glucose levels. You absolutely need to tell this to your doctor and have him or her diagnose your condition.

      Best regards,


  • Patricia January 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    “And Truvia uses a sugar alcohol that comes from corn — and it is probably GMO.”

    You mean erythritol? : ( I do not like the taste of stevia and was using pure erythritol to make occasional sweet treats. I eat a low-carb paleo diet; some promoters of this diet advocate giving up sweets altogether, advice I might start following.

    • David Mendosa January 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

      Dear Patricia,

      Yes, indeed, erythritol is just what I mean. I too have used it straight, but prefer not to because of the reasons cited (probably GMO and sourced from corn) but also because we have to use a lot more of the stuff because it isn’t as sweet. Also it takes some time for the flavor to bloom.

      Like you, I pretty much follow a paleo diet as taught by Dr. Loren Cordain. Except he still fears saturated fats and for that reason (and others) disdains dairy. But I had not picked up on the fact that some paleo dieters avoid all sweets. At one time, I thought that way myself. But that was based on an old and not very good study that Gary Taubes cited in Good Calories, Bad Calories. But now, please see “Good News About Non-Caloric Sweeteners” at http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=356 (and ignore my praise for erythritol at the end!).

      Best regards,


  • David Mendosa January 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm


    Diabetes is much worse than the metabolic syndrome, which we can basically consider to be a precursor to diabetes.

    Your lipid panel is not good. Your HDL is dangerously low and your triglyceride level is dangerously high. Sounds to me like you are eating far to much carbohydrate.

    Your A1C is getting there. But normal is below 6.0.


  • ralph January 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Dear David
    what about my question?
    please …i am waiting!!



  • David Mendosa January 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Dear William,

    Thank you for this contribution. Your are doing great and your advice is excellent.

    Best regards,


  • william January 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I was put on insulin for type2 exactly 1 year ago when my a1c came back as 8.9 with a FBS of 300. My last a1c – done about 3 months ago – came back as 5.3. It’s taken huge diet changes, exercise, ALA, Cinnamon, and supplemental insulin. I was crushed when I found out I would have to take the “dreaded shots”, but it retrospect it really is NOT that bad. The disposable pens are so darned convenient and it actually keeps me honest on my carb counting. When you take insulin, you can’t lie to yourself about the carbs you’re consuming because it determines your insulin dosage. Take too much or too little for the carbs you’re eating at your meal and you WILL fell rotten – guaranteed.

    I just want to encourage people not to resist supplemental insulin if your Doctor recommends it. It need not be permanent. It partially depends on factors such as diet, weight loss, and exercise.

    One form of insulin that I take is basal – a 24 hour or “long acting” formulation. It’s helped me bring my evening and morning readings down to the 120 to 136 range from a high of 170 to 205 on a very consistent basis. It’s really helped me with my Dawn Phenomenon problem.

    In summary, if your doctor thinks you may need to supplement with insulin to get your diabetes under control, please listen carefully. The choice is still up to you, but I can tell you that I feel SO MUCH BETTER now that I’m on a plan that is showing results. While I don’t enjoy taking the insulin, it’s not nearly as bad as I initially envisioned and the consequences of not getting it under control are FAR worse.

  • ralph January 15, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Thank you David.
    I want to ask about the Metabolic Syndrome,is it much worset than Diabetes?is it just overweight+hyperlipedimia+blood pressure of 140/90+high blood sugar?
    My last tests shows the following:
    Cholestero,total=215 mg/dl
    Triglycerides =218
    LDL= 133
    CHOL/HDLC ratio= 5.7

    what do you think??
    any other members have comments on my using of one tablets metformin,

    thank you David again


  • ralph January 15, 2010 at 3:23 am

    i am diagnosed with type 2….april 28 2009,at age 43,, my FBS was 160,A1c was 8.2///
    Today january 15 2010,my fasting is 105-115,i am using metformin 500 mg once,plus some food supplements,i lost some weight,but need to loss some 30.
    2 hours after dinner my blood sugar is 150-160 mg,this night,after reading about dawn phenomena i checked my sugar it was 206 mg!!!i hot mad and worry..
    my last A1c was 6.1 (one week ago)
    what do u suggest??am i diabetic,prediabetic?
    can i reverse my condition by lossing these 30 pounds?i am now 228,,,my ideal weight sould be 188. i am using cinnamon+flaxeed oil+fish oil+ALA+garelic tabs,daily with one tab 500 mg metformin….thans.


    • David Mendosa January 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

      Dear Ralph,

      You have diabetes, according to new guidelines just published:

      “TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) — In its latest set of clinical guidelines, the American Diabetes Association is promoting a more prominent role for the hemoglobin A1C blood test in the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

      Long used in the management of diabetes, the A1C blood test measures average blood sugar levels for the previous two to three months. The new guidelines call for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at A1C levels above 6.5 percent, and prediabetes if the A1C levels are between 5.7 and 6.4 percent.

      “We’ve added another test that can make it easier to find out if you have diabetes,” said Dr. Richard Bergenstal, president-elect of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

      The new guidelines will be published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.”

      You can put your diabetes in remission and actually be healthier than you ever were, if:

      If you lose weight and get down to a normal BMI (do you know what that is?)

      If you cut way back on sugars and starches, preferably cut them out entirely (the so-called very low carb diet).

      If you follow a regular exercise program.

      Meanwhile, I am surprised at your very low dose of metformin. As I remember, many doctors think that anything less than 1000 mg per day might not be effective enough.

      Best regards,


  • Suzy January 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    My internest first diagnosed me with diabetes and treated me, but I really made much bigger strides forward when I started going to an endo. I definitely think you should go to an endo, who is a specialist in diabetes and much better informed.

  • David Mendosa January 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Dear Jeff,

    I don’t know of any drugs that will lessen the dawn phenomenon. The only thing that works reliably is bringing your blood glucose level down to normal.


  • Jeff January 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks, David. My last A1C was 7.1 so I have some work to do. I do notice that daily exercise helps. I’m still battling morning levels in the 170-180 range. I’m going to try vinegar and cheese to see if that helps. Is there a good oral medication to lessen the dawn phenomenon? Right now I’m take a 500mg Metformin twice a day. Appreciate the guidance! Also, do you recommend I seek an endocrinologist? Right now I’m see a doctor in Internal Medicine.

  • Jeff January 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I am newly diagnosed T2. Was curious if others are experiencing neuropathy in their toes and feet. My toes are quite numb and I get stabbing foot pains, especially at night. Another question I have: does high glucose affect bowel habits? It seems that constipation has coincided with my diabetes diagnosis. Thanks.

    • David Mendosa January 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

      Dear Jeff,

      Peripheral neuropathy is, sadly, one of the most common complications of diabetes. Even though you are newly diagnosed, you are on average likely to have diabetes for about 10 previous years, according to researchers. The cause of the neuropathy is simply the high blood glucose levels that you have had. Reversing it is difficult but probably not impossible. By far the best way to reverse it is to control your blood glucose level, i.e. to bring your A1C level down to normal, which is less than 6.0.

      Your guess about high glucose affecting bowel habits is a good one too. A different form of neuropathy called gastroparesis could be the cause. I think that you need to consult with a diabetes specialist, i.e. an endocrinologist.


  • Linda January 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I have found a wonderful tea that not only lowers your blood sugar level, but satisfies your sweet tooth as well, when you crave something sweet, and it is very healthy for you,and a Natural source of Antioxidants. It taste like a big red gum very yummy, It is called Good Earth caffeine Free Original (Sweet & Spicy Herbal Tea) I use it to make Ice tea as well and does not require sugar it is naturally sweet and does not raise blood sugar. Hope this helps. God Bless you, and keep your faith.

  • William December 17, 2009 at 9:26 am


    You might try pearled barley. Mr Mendoza has written about it here on his blog several times. It’s low on the Glycemic Index and doesn’t appear to spike blood glucose. You can use it as a breakfast staple and as a replacement for pasta and rice in other dishes.

    I’ve also started taking vinegar at night. I can double-up on the vinegar on my salad, or pickle my vegetables and drink the brine to get the vinegar. If you choose to try that, try to use a brine that is as low in sodium as you can possibly make it. Use citrus rind to replace some of the sodium in the pickle brine.

    Also, you can use natural fat sources like olives, avacados, etc. when you tend to snack. It really helps to manage my sweets craving. I so understand and sympathize with you on the whole sweets issue. I have a tremendous sweet tooth. Do you have access to stevia or sucralose (splenda)? I can use that on occasion to keep the cravings under control.

    We have all been in the same situation as you are in at times. Please don’t give up hope. The thing about diabetes is just when you think nothing is going to work and you’re going to throw in the towel, the body adjusts to the changes and you can see a rapid improvement.

    I would also suggest you try steeping cinnamon in your green tea and using sweet cloves or citrus rind to sweeten it. It makes the tea sweet enough to satisfy that craving without spiking your blood sugar. Since you have access to the internet, you might want to investigate natural substances that seem to work to overcome your body’s insulin resistance – like cinnamon.

    Please keep us updated on how you are doing.

    God Bless you and encourage you.

  • Saddaf Sultana December 17, 2009 at 1:53 am

    thanks David
    i am thankful for your support which i badly need.
    as i told you before, i managed to loose 25 lbs and achieved normal bg levels two years ago through constant testing, exercise and dietry advice found on your and dr. bernstein’s website. and i was prescribed zolid(pioglitazone 30 mg twice a day which i took for only one month). i got better,had a marvelous figure, new wardrobe and no high bg readings.
    then i lost control and am in a mess now. and i find myself very lonely.

    almost everyone of my mother’s cousins has it and my father’s side suffers from it too as well as from cardiac problems. one of my brother died at 36 due to heart attack, the other at 48, has gone through two angiplasties(3 stunts in place), and my father and his two brothers died of heart attacks/failures. all were active and physically smart. arthritus also is quite common and i also am heading towards it as i am unable to run now. my knees don’t support me. ( i weigh 67 kg with 5 feet 2 inch height)
    so exercise for me consists of walking on the road or on treadmill for 30-40 minutes five days a week. i have inheritted a weight problem from my mother’s side and so end up putting on weight if i don’t exercise and eat less. always has been a problem.

    i am prone to stress, driving or walking in the sun or staying awake late at night gives me migraine for three four days until i get a full night sleep. i tend to wake up two three times during night and therefore, don’t get a sound sleep as a rule.

    i used to hate sweets when i was younger, never took tea with sugar but since i became diabetic, i seem to long for all things sweet, all roti, paratha, buiscuits, fruits, toffees. what not.

    now i find it difficult to stick to the diet plan. i invariably endup eating some roti or buiscuits or more than a handful of peanuts or fruits at night while relaxing in front of tv with the kids.
    my typical meal plan
    tea with milk and without sugar raises my bg 20-30 points so i take it only twice a day. my breakfast now consists mainly of boiled egg, or shami kabab(beaf or chicken) and 1/2 wholewheat roti as well as tea.
    my lunch and dinner consists of 1/2 plate meat curry, 1/2 whole wheat roti, some green salad or vegetables.
    seems fine except that i tend to eat twice the mentioned amount specially the vegetables.

    you are right about our pakistani diet in which roti, daal, chaawal, all grains are the major part.

    i have started taking a lot of green tea with lemon.
    also, i do occasionally take juice of one bittergourd (karela) in the morning. iam also starting to drink one glass of overnight soaked okra water ( 2 okras only). but can not say much about the impact. becuase i won’t purchase testing strips until next month.

    i have written whatever i think is relevant to my condition and would love to have any advise from you.
    i know i am taking much of your time but i do need help in knowing how to control my hunger pangs.

    allah bless you



  • Saddaf Sultana December 16, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Dear Mr. Mendoza
    i am following ur website as well as dr. bernstein’s since i was diagnosed as type 2 diabetic 3 years ago. learned a lot as well found the will to continue a fight. yes a fight which i won initially and then lost again. i am trying to cope without any medications. only through diet and exercise. low carb and less portions leave me with hunger pangs and i invariably indulge in wrong eating. it is difficult to prepare a different menu for the family and a different one for myself. constant testing is very expensive, unaffordable to test more than 25 times per month. (i am a pakistani so things are different here). i donot know how you people manage it.
    right now, i feel pretty depressed, because i am hungary and the food at the table is not right for me.

    do advise how to motivate myself and what can i take. i will be greatful.
    by the way, i am 47, 10 kg overweight, typical fasting bg is 125 and one hour pp is anywhere between 170-250.

    • David Mendosa December 16, 2009 at 10:32 am

      Dear Saddaf,

      You can win the fight! Diet and exercise will work. Two suggestions:

      1. Eat even less carbohydrate. Somehow I doubt if you are really eating very low-carb if your pp numbers are up to 250. Cut out the rice completely! That’s probably the biggest problem in the Pakistani diet. Also anything made from wheat, including all the wonderful breads that you have there. No potatoes. In other words all the starches. This will be at first the hardest part. Easier will be to cut out table sugar (sucrose) and anything made with high-fructose corn syrup. That will be easier because we have great sugar substitutes now (after a lot of experimenting, my preference now is stevia). But unless you do this right, these restrictions will make you even hungrier and have even less energy. To do it right you will absolutely need to increase the amount of fat that you consume. That’s because either carbohydrates or fat are the source of all of our energy (protein is necessary in small amounts for other purposes). If you switch from eating the amount of carbs that you are now eating to a very low-carb diet, you might in any case go through a week or two of less energy while your body’s fat burner kicks in. But just hang in there for those few days!

      2. You can take one drug, metformin, that won’t increase your weight and will help you control your BG. You may want to consider it temporarily in any case.

      Your best bet for diabetes control and weight loss as well is a very low-carb diet. It’s worth the fight!

      I note also that you write that “the food at the table is not right for me.” Actually, it’s not right for your family either. A very low-carb diet is better for everyone, including those who don’t want to get diabetes and other diseases. But they don’t have the motivation. You do.

      Best regards,


  • william November 16, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I’m Jealous! 🙂

    Keep it up!

  • Allie November 16, 2009 at 9:14 am

    My blood sugar was 108 AFTER EATING!


    Just had to share 🙂

  • william November 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Allie, thanks for sharing the good news! We all know how discouraging it gets and it’s such a relief when you make a breakthrough. It’s like a 10-ton weight just rolled off of your back.

    Keep it up and let us know how things go.

  • allie November 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    David, I get the best info from you and your blog – will check out the home test. I will up my D (I know I’m nowhere near where I should be as I was severely deficient before) to 5k and then test it…

    Many many thanks


  • David Mendosa November 13, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Dear Allie,

    What a great, positive report! Thanks for sharing it.

    I do wonder if 1000IU of vitamin D will be enough. The suggested level that you want to aim for is 40-60 ng/ml. I get my vitamin D tested at http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ with a home test that is quite reasonable. My latest level came back at 105 ng/ml, which may well be too high. I had upped my dose to 15,000IU/day because a high level might protect me from the H1N1 (swine) flu virus until I can get a shot. But taking 5000IU/day will probably put both of us in the 40-60 ng/ml suggested range.

    Best regards,


  • allie November 13, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I just wanted to report that I started Byetta two days ago and my morning numbers have fallen 30 points. During the day, if I haven’t screwed up my carbs, it’s near normal.

    I’m also taking 1000 IU of vitamin D a day. Yesterday I accomplished more in four hours than I have been able to in four weeks. I had energy AND focus. And lost the guilt and shame that goes with constant fatigue – “laziness” is how I interpret it, illness-based or not.

    Have had some nausea – nothing bad, just an occasionally wave that you can deal with. Some stomach upset. Nothing that would really interfere with your life. The shots are NOTHING, guys; anyone who’s nervous about needles, please believe me – it’s less than plucking an eyebrow.

    Also, I use One-Touch but I got an Accu-Check lancet – I don’t know how they do it but it is as nearly painless as can be. This has helped me with the fingerstick.

    Still having dawn phenom if I don’t use my Gerry’s formula, but I can see the numbers dropping. Appetite – I’m eating about 2/3rds less. Noticing that it decreases “nervous eating” some but that’s still an issue as it is not appetite based. However, I have found the more I do, the less I eat (energy = movement =decrease in anxiety)

    Just wanted to report in.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  • David Mendosa November 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Dear Allie,

    I’m so glad that you got tested for vitamin D. I just got my second test (don’t have those results back yet, but the level of my first test was fine). I wish everybody would get this test! MOST Americans have too little vitamin D.

    And I wonder if you need to be tested for sleep apnea. Falling asleep at the wheel was something that I fought for years before being treated.

    Best regards,


  • allie November 4, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Dear David and Gerry –


    Talk about about being on the money….My last lab showed a severe D deficiency. My endo gave me prescription vitamin D and I felt SO much better – joint pain gone, sugar better and I actually did things on my days off instead of huddling in the house. I didn’t attribute it to the D, but to my new meds (Cymbalta) However, the scrip expired, the Cymbalta continued, and the old cycle of high sugar, inexplicable joint pain and depression returned…I just figured it was another lost cause.

    And the sudden sleepiness – almost like you’ve been injected with a sedative, impossible to fight off. Oh Lord, it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one! I’ve never told anyone, but I’ve fallen asleep suddenly at the wheel, so deeply I began to dream. To stave it off I began to pop caffeine tabs. Not the best solution, but I was afraid to say anything, and so afraid I might hurt someone else. Now I know it can be controlled.

    Thank you, Gerry, for asking a doctor how we’re supposed to exercise when we’re in pain! And what a sensible answer. A year ago my ankles were so inflamed I had to use my mom’s walker to stand up in the morning. “Too fat!” was my doctor’s diagnosis. “Get out and walk!” On what, doc? My hands?

    I am sipping your cider vinegar solution now. I agree with the “white poison” – I’m from the deep South, where the three major food groups are fat, sugar, and starch. A balanced meal is when you put equal amounts of butter on everything.

    I need to take a lot more responsibility for my healthcare, including helping my endo by telling her everything and keeping a journal and charts. as ya’ll seem to do. It helps to know I’m not alone. You can’t imagine how it helps. I’m not a freak. I’m normal with diabetes :).

    Ya’ll are earthbound angels, for sure – seems like the cloud of despair lifts every time I come here. Maybe once I get straight I can help somebody like ya’ll have helped me.

    Until then – well, I got a plan.

    Hanging in there,


  • David Mendosa November 4, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Dear William,

    My correspondent Gerry sent me these comments directly that she intended for you:

    Thank you for your comments, I never knew you could tell the state of your health a few days ahead of it materializing. I will have to look back at my blood sugar charts and see if that is true for me. Thank you, Gerry

  • David Mendosa November 4, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Dear Allie,

    My correspondent Gerry sent me these comments directly that she intended for you:

    I can identify with you. I have found that at bedtime a warm cup of water with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey will lower your dawn phenomena. I also leave all white foods alone, they are pure poison to me. I used to fall asleep after every meal, with no warning, makes driving rather difficult. Now I don’t. However, I do take a short morning nap and a short afternoon nap to help my body heal.

    The doctor told me to exercise 30 minutes per day. I was in the middle of a severe gout attack and asked her how I am suppose to that seeing as how I can’t walk or stand. She said to sit in a chair and move whatever will move, move it consistently until the blood is flowing within you, it works. I feel much better.

    These are just little suggestions but they sure do make you feel like you are doing something to get ahead and I find when I do not do these things, my blood sugar is high again in the morning. Gerry

    Then she added:

    I forgot to tell you. I was also in a lot of pain last winter and blamed it on the cold weather. David Mendosa had an article on Vitamin D, so I asked my doctor to test my vitamin D, even though I did not show any signs of a deficiency. T o my surprise, the test showed I was severely deficient. I was put on vitamin D and calcium therapy and this winter my pain is gone. I could also swear that it helps with depression also but don’t know for sure. Gerry

  • William November 3, 2009 at 10:17 am

    We’re all in this boat together. Sometimes we row and sometimes we bail to keep the boat afloat!

    You’re going to have good days and bad days. You’ll experience weeks or days when your readings are high and just won’t come down. Generally that’s due to your immune system fighting something. I’ve found out that I can pretty much chart the time period between and unexpected increase in my numbers and coming down with a cold or the flu. Any kind of brewing infection will cause your numbers to surge. It can take days or weeks for you’re immune system to come back down to normal and your numbers to follow.

    Again, don’t get discouraged, talk to your doctor about things you can do to help your body compensate – increasing your basal insulin dose gradually, decreasing your carb intake, eating smaller meals at shorter intervals throughout the day, steer to low GI foods at each meal, etc. You doctor can help you put together a “tool kit” of things that you can do.

    The most important thing to do is too not get discouraged and to think ahead and plan for these bumps and draw up an action plan of how to deal with it. That way you will be more in control of the diabetes and it will be less in control of you.

    Keep us posted, we’re positive thoughts your way!

  • Suzy November 3, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Good for you!! We are all here for you to give you hope and encouragement. Keep us posted!

  • Allie November 3, 2009 at 5:11 am

    You don’t know how much this helped me. My plan was to turn loose and let it run itself out and then end it…it was just too blame much to deal with.

    Thank you for your encouragement. I pulled my lab orders out of the trash and I’m going to get them done and start my Byetta – and insulin if I need it. Injecting is not a problem for me, (surprisingly!) what is a problem is all the boo stories about how insulin kills your liver, all the complications and horrors, etc. Sometimes the amount of negative information is just overwhelming.

    It really helped to know you guys faced the same issues and that it took time to resolve them but they did resolve. Me, I have the patience of a seat-belt buzzer. Now I know that a lack of instant results doesn’t mean it isn’t working.

    William, I’ll ask my endo about the Low-T issue. I’m missing quite a few things, that might be one of them…:)

    I’ll let ya’ll know how the Byetta works, esp in my situation. And I’ll look forward to being encouraged by ya’ll’s progress and experience.

    Many thanks!

  • william November 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Please don’t give up! I fought going on insulin for 5 years and eventually wound up on it. Last January in fact. Even then my numbers would skyrocket at night and stay in the 150 to 180 range. They stayed that way for months. My diabetes doc finally changed me to new reformulated glucophage and Januvia and put me on Levamir (24 hour basal insulin) 1 shot per day and a “meal dose” of novolog (fast insulin) before each meal. My last A1c (2 weeks ago) was down to 6.2 and my cholesterol is dropping like a rock. I’m starting to see more and more readings in the 105 to 130 range.

    I urge you not to give up. I was so close to throwing in the towel last year and just riding it into the ground. Part of what turned the picture around for me was find out that I have Low T (testosterone) as a result of the diabetes. Since you have it and thyroid issues, it wouldn’t surprise me if you also had it.

    Please talk to your doctor about insulin in conjunction with the byetta. I know nobody likes to have to take it, but it’s really not as bad as I thought it would be. The most important thing is stop the ongoing progression of the disease and then take the lifestyle issues – exercise, diet, etc one step at a time.

    Don’t let it overwhelm you. You beat cancer, you can beat this as well…..

    Please keep in touch and let us know how you’re doing…

  • Suzy November 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Never give up!! Please buy and read the book, The Secret. It really works!!! Also, weight loss will automatically lower your blood sugars. Give Byetta a try!

  • Allie November 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I’m ready to give up. I’m a cancer survivor with one kidney, so the development of Type II was just icing on the cake I can’t have. I’m taking Janumet and Glipizide and I’m about 75 lbs over my ideal weight. My endo is also struggling with getting my thyroid into a normal range – it’s about 8. Good diet, bad diet, my glucose numbers are always between 140-180…it doesn’t seem to matter. I wake up with 178 after a 12 hours fast (dawn phenomenon?) and it stays right there in that range. I’m so tired of struggling to eat correctly (I work shift, which makes it really fun) and the meter doesn’t reflect it. I feel overwhelmed and pretty much doomed, regardless. My doctor wants to start me on Byetta, but I hate to spend the money if it’s just another dead end. Needless to say, the depression is awful! Exercise is nearly impossible, I’m so tired I fall asleep as soon as I get home. I’m beginning to feel pretty hopeless.

    • David Mendosa November 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm

      Dear Allie,

      I certainly understand. Diabetes and depression often go together, particularly when our blood glucose levels are high. I have written several article about this and one of my best friends is working on his dissertation on the subject.

      But Byetta won’t be a dead end. You are so lucky that your doctor wants you to take it! I used it for about two years and lost more than 100 pounds! My blood glucose level also improved. Go for it!

      Best regards,


  • Suzy October 13, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Michael, I started out taking insulin 4 times a day and got a diet plan from a nutritionist. My sugars gradually came down, and I started on pills and then finally, just diet and exercise. I am pretty compulsive and was very careful about everything for a long time. I think exercising twice a day really helps.

  • Michael October 13, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Suzy, did you say that you used to take insulin but now you don’t take meds at all? How did you do that? I have never taken meds but I’m curious as to how you got things under control after being so far out there.

  • Suzy October 12, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Much more than usual! You rock, Michael!!!

  • Michael October 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Suzy, I’ll bet you had planty of energy for the workout too, huh? Very cool.

  • dolores October 12, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Suzy, it is so great when we find something that works for us. That is why these groups are wonderful–the opportunity to exchange ideas. There may be people out there for whom this does not work so we should remember that we are all different and someone else might come up with something that works for us. What did people do before the internet?


  • Suzy October 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    WOW!! I ate a spoonful of natural peanut butter before workout and just took my glucose. It’s 118. I’ve never had it that low after a hard workout! Thanks so much for the tip! I have tried a string cheese before workout, and it helps a little but nothing like this.

  • dolores October 12, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Suzy, when I was first diagnosed about 18 years ago, I was very frustrated when I would go for a long walk and find my blood sugar higher than when I started out. That does not happen anymore–probably because after 18 years my body functions differently.

    I am very interested in what happens if you eat low fat cheese before exercise. Remember that fish, chicken and beef, while they might not raise your blood sugar very high, can raise your insulin levels as much as or more than something like popcorn. I do not know about low fat cheese. It seems to me that what we want is to have the optimum amount of insulin respond to a rise in blood sugar. Too little insulin and the blood sugar does not get absorbed into the cells (if you don’t exercise) and too much means your blood sugar goes lower but then you have all that insulin floating around and doing damage. I am leary of anything that raises insulin–glyburide (the old first drug of choice) or cinnamon which some claim lowers blood sugar. I always want to know the mechanism. Mr. Mendosa would probably be the one with knowledge about this.

    For Michael who eats peanut butter, I am assuming it is natural peanut butter with no added fats or sugars. Am I right?


  • Suzy October 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Great! I will try that tomorrow!!!!!

  • Michael Cobb October 11, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I’m not on meds either. My blood gloucose always goes down after a good workout. But another I do before going to the gym is eat a spoonful of peanut butter which gives me a boost of energy for the workout and keeps my gloucose level from going too low during the workout. I can workout for 2 hours after doing this and not lose energy.

  • Suzy October 11, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I am the person who said about the high sugar after working out. I’m not on medication either. I know what you mean about going low during workout but haven’t really checked that out. I will eat some low fat cheese before and see if that helps. Thanks!!

  • dolores October 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Someone asked how a vegan diet can control diabetes because it is necessarily high in carbs. Firstly, I am not vegan, but eat a plant based diet. I also do not know about eating carbs if you do not exercise. But I exercise and eat potatoes, rice, bread, fruit, corn etc. However, I have about a third to a half cup of rice or corn or a slice or two of sprouted whole grain bread, or a small potato ( not one the size of Rhode Island) with each of my four meals. Pritikin says it is fat which causes insulin resistance, not whole natural starches like rice etc. What is the sense of getting your blood sugar low because it looks good on your monitor and all the while increasing your insulin resistance.

    If you are someone who severely limits carbs and eats more fat and meat and you haven’t had to increase your meds, or take meds at all after several years on your diet then your diet must be right for you.

    McDougall says on his site that humans have between 2 and 15 genes coded for starch digestion. Most people have an average of six. If you have only two–the number our nearest primate non starch eating relatives have–then no matter what Pritikin or anyone else says it is possible that starches just are not for you. If you have 15 then I guess you really can eat a potato the size of Rhode Island.


  • dolores October 11, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    For the person who wrote that he lifts weights and afterwards, his blood sugar is 150 to 160. I am not on meds so I do not know if this would help someone on meds. If you are strenuously lifting weights it is possible that your blood sugar does get lower at some time during your exercise. You might want to check a couple of times during your weight lifting session. It is possible that it goes so low that your liver kicks in and pumps out glucose (or whatever the sugar is) to bring the blood sugar back up. I would eat a small potato before weight lifting. I know that is anathema to people on this group. I am one who thinks the Atkins diet is a very bad diet for diabetics. If you read Atkins’ second book you will see he evidently thought so too. He uses a “meat and millet” diet for diabetics which is surprisingly verging on Pritikin.


  • Suzy October 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I have found that my glucose is very high, about 150-160 after I work out with weights in the afternoon. It’s like this for for a few hours, but then I can eat a somewhat carby dinner and have a below bedtime reading of about 90. I don’t know what to do about my after workout high readings. Any ideas?

  • Michael Cobb October 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    The best thing I have found to drastically bring gloucose levels down and reverse dawn phenom is to lift a few weights before going to bed. I used to be at gloucose levels of 180 in the mornings but have been 89 to 120 every time I lift 25 pounds in several reps of 10 for each arm. Try it!

  • rick October 8, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Dave; wondering if you are familiar with Dr. Neal Barnard’s book and research on reversing diabetes with a vegan diet. Seems very interesting and promising. Thanks, Rick

    • David Mendosa October 9, 2009 at 8:09 am

      Dear Rick,

      I read it and studied Dr. Barnard’s opinions. I don’t see how a vegan diet could possibly reverse diabetes since it is necessarily high in carbs.

      Best regards,


  • Judy September 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Just signed on today. There is alot to learn about diabetes. The coments and tips are very encourging. Thanks

  • Suzy August 26, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    I found out I had diabetes about 8 years ago. My AIC was 17. My doctor had never seen anything like it. I started on insulin 4 times a day and gradually got down to diet and exercise. I feel it was a blessing in disguise and a great wake up call. I have gotten kind of lax about my eating and had a recent AIC of 7. I am being more careful and am getting much better readings. I take cinnamon pills after 2 meals a day and think that helps. I have also started taking gymnema. I am very frustrated by my high blood sugar after working out with weights. It’s usually about 150. But I can eat almost what I want at dinner, and my before bed is about 105. I also have the Dawn effect and wake up with my sugar about 140. I have started taking vinegar pills and eating an extend bar before I go to bed. I am a little worried as I have kidney disease and hope none of this affects my kidneys. I am going to try milk thistle. My doctor wanted me to take insulin (3grams) at night, but I don’t want to start on it unless I absolutely have to.
    I also have problems with hypoglycemia in the mid mornings, as I exercise then too, so it’s all kind of touchy.
    I can’t take Byetta because of my kidney disease, but I wish I could lose about 10lbs. Thanks for reading my ramblings!

    • David Mendosa August 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

      Dear Suzy,

      Too bad that you can’t take Byetta. But a very low-carb diet (which I have written a lot about here), would instead also help you to lose weight.

      Best regards,


  • Jean August 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm


    Why not try some protein at night, like chicken or fish; then eat a little less salad. The salad has a few carbs, but the protein has none. Also, I’ve heard some people get help from taking cider vinegar at night with 1 oz cheese. I take the cider tablets with the cheese and I believe it helps. For me, I can’t eat a potato unless I want my sugar to be over 200. Literally, it kills me, but that’s the way my body reacts. I’ve found Diabetes is a lot of trial and error eating and other peoples’ suggestions sometimes help; sometimes not. Also at dinner, you could skip the salad and just have some roasted or pan fried chicken with green beans, spinach or broccoli. You can try lemon juice instead of balsamic vinegar and mix it with a little mustard and olive oil for a salad dressing.

  • dolores August 19, 2009 at 8:55 am

    It drives me crazy that if I have a salad for my last meal of the day at 8 pm, my morning sugars are about 102-105. If I add a small potato with the meal, they can be in the low to mid nineties. I consume enough balsamic vinegar to float a battle ship since I have given up adding salt to food and I use it to flavor salads and soups and to sprinkle on white potatoes.


  • Jean August 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm


    I’ve been on Byetta since Oct 2008. Without changing my eating habits (and going thru the holiday foods) I had lost 10 pounds by April. It takes awhile especially over 50 like I am; however, since I have been following Atkins diet (my own version), I have lost an additional 10 pounds in about 10 weeks. Eating the lower carbs also lowered my A1c. It was 8.8 in April with Byetta 10 mg and 1000 Metformin x2. It’s the exercise (hate it) and the “appropriate eating”, (aka diet) that I will have to do the rest of my life to keep my A1c down. In 6 weeks, I dropped it from the 8.8 to 6.7. Hope to have it lower by the end of this year – along with my weight. Side note: My blood pressure medicine (Micardis) has been cut from 80 mg to 40 mg. I’m on my way to better health and you will be too!

  • mary piparo August 17, 2009 at 4:38 am

    Hi – I can’t seem to find an answer to this. Hopefully you can help. I started 5mg of byetta in July 09. Took that for 30 days, increased to 10mg. My appetite has decreased quite a bit, no cravings. My A1C went from 8.2 to 7.2 in just the 30 days. It is great at controling my BS. In addition to the byetta I am also on glyburide 5/500 mg. I take one table in the AM and 1/2 in the PM. Getting wonderful morning #s. Now to my question. I have been eating well and doing a little amount of excerise but there has been no weight loss. I am 30 lbs over weight but nothing is moving, in the last 5 years i had lost 65 lbs and put 20 of it back on. I am a very slow loser. I was hoping that the byetta would help. Any thoughts?
    I purchased your book, Lose weight on your diabetic meds, Love it. Thanks for this great web site.

    • David Mendosa August 18, 2009 at 7:23 am

      Dear Mary,

      Thank you for your comment on my book. The weight loss on Byetta is not automatic. But it comes from the decreased appetite that you already have. With that decrease you can eat less — and better food. Keep on and also cut back on the starchy carbs and sugars and the weight loss will come.


  • william August 5, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I just noticed that my previous post may be confusing. The cinnamon seems to help bring my mornings down to the 120 to mid 130s on a much more consistent basis. (better than the 150 to 160 that I was seeing before). The sweet cloves in the tea blend REALLY sweeten it up. Much better than even stevia does and it doesn’t seem to fight the effect of the cinnamon. Sorry if my previous message was confusing…..

  • william August 5, 2009 at 10:01 am

    speaking of cinnamon, I’ve been using it as a supplement and in tea form for about 3 months now and it does seem to work. My favorite way to get it is a medium bodied black tea with cinnamon, orange peel, and sweet cloves called hot cinnamon spice. It’s put out by a company called harney and sons. the web site is http://www.harney.com. I generally order it by the pound in loose leaf form. I get the best results that way. It really tastes like it’s beet sweetened with sugar but it DOES NOT affect my blood sugar readings. Must be the sweet cloves. Has anyone heard about sweet cloves before? has anyone noticed any glycemic affect from it?

  • william July 22, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Hey! Just got my numbers back from my latest test and had to share the good news. I was put on insulin back in January of this year after my a1c came back as a whopping 8.7.

    I’ve been on levamir and novolog and a 1600 calorie, low fat and low procesed carb diet.

    My a1c came back yesterday as a 6.5! My cholesterol was down to 137 with a triglyceride count of 165 and hdl ration of 4.28, a ldl calculated of 72. Non HDL-C LDL 105 and a HDL of 32.

    When I started posting here in January I was very depressed that my numbers weren’t coming down faster. I was advised to be patient, watch my diet and take my insulin as prescribed, and boost my activity level. It worked and I thank everybody for being so supportive. I’m framing this report and sticking to on the wall above my desk!

  • Gerry Pariseau July 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Mr Mendosa Thank you for your article about Vitamin D and diabetics. I had my doctor test me for vit d and found out that I was severely deficient. So I am on therapy now of 50k units per day 3xs per week for 4 weeks, plus I am taking 2 Caltrate tabs per day that totals up to 1200 calcium and 800 vit d. I am now starting to feel really good, have better bs readings, less pain and am sleeping better. So thank you for being there for us diabetics. You are greatly appreciated. Gerry

  • Linda Carpenter July 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Really great clarification. Now I get it. I am trying to cook with and use daily the very smartest choices. Thank you for educating me. I am ordering it now.

  • Jean July 10, 2009 at 11:35 am


    Sorry if I sounded contradictory. I do like the bulking agent. It is Inulin which is a naturally occuring simple sugar in some plants. Also, Inulin, the bulking agent in SweetLeaf, has the benefit of increasing calcium absorption and maintaining digestive health. Nutritionally, it is a form of soluble fiber and considered a probiotic – good for your intestines like yogurt, which has carbs and usually sugars.

    I like that it has minimal impact on blood sugar. Since diabetics generally have raised triglyceride levels which can contribute to NAFLD – non alcohol fatty liver disease – Inulin does not raise your triglycerides levels like products with fructose do.

    So, yes! I like the bulking agent – Inulin.


  • David Mendosa July 8, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Dear Linda,

    I do like the bulking agent in SweetLeaf stevia. It’s a fiber called inulin.

    But the other brands of stevia that I’ve found use maltodextrin. They use it in small amounts, but it does have a high glycemic index. And Truvia uses a sugar alcohol that comes from corn — and it is probably GMO.

    Best regards,


  • Linda Carpenter July 7, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Do you mean “You don’t like the bulking agent”??? Trying to learn all this.

  • Jean July 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm


    I, too, use only the SweetLeaf brand. It is zero on the glycemic index whereas the new Truvia, Stevia in the Raw and some of the others have additives. One has dextrose. And I do like the bulking agent. The packets do not disolve well in cold drinks, like ice tea, but I found their liquids are great. SweetLeaf liquid also works well for cooking and baking. I made a cheesecake (low carb treat) with it that came out great. The original recipe called for Splenda and it was baked in the oven, but I just substituted the SweetLeaf for it.

    By the way, I’m old enough to have the first Dr. Atkins Diet book which I used in 1975! I have the “New Diet Revolution” that I use now, but all those out there who have heard that this diet is bad for you, I’m here to tell you 34 years ago it worked for me. Had I known I was developing diabetes (hindsight is a wonderful thing), I would have stuck to it, but No, I listened to the masses on TV and all the advertising on Low Fat diets. So now, I can say this isn’t a new way of eating. It’s excellent for Diabetics. It’s easy, but like all new things, it takes some getting used to “eating appropriately”.


  • David Mendosa July 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Dear Jean,

    I’m glad that you found my website. Welcome!

    I have “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution” and have read it. It is wonderful diet and I know that it works. Personally, I follow a very similar diet, very much like that of Dr. Richard K. Bernstein in “Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution.”

    I also nowadays use only stevia, and SweetLeaf has become my favorite brand. For one reason, it uses the best bulking agent.

    Best regards,


  • Jean July 5, 2009 at 12:01 pm


    Like others, I’m glad I found this website. I’ve been type 2 since about 2005. I want to give a little history so others may get some help or support from my experiences. By the way, I’m now 57 and most of this started with menopause.

    In late 2005, I started with an A1c of 7.2. With diet (which I prefer to call “appropriate eating”) and no drugs, I was able to lower it to 6.2 and lose about 5 lbs in a 3 month period being about 160 (still too much for my 5’4″ large frame. However, like most newly diagnosed type 2’s, eventually we revert to our “inappropriate eating” and my bs & my weight were on the rise. In 2005, my endocrinologist put me on different types of drugs until we found janumet, which seemed to work. So, my bs levels were again good and I continued to eat wrong! My A1c continued to rise to 7.5, then 7.8, then 8.2, then 8.5 along with my weight that went up to 185 lbs. My mind game was that as long as I had to take medication, I may as well eat what I want. Now it’s 2007 and a new Endo, put me on Byetta & 500 mg metformin x2. Without trying, I did lose 10 lbs over a 6 mo period, but my A1c was still 8.5, so I was increased to 10 mg Byetta & 1000 metformin X2. As of May 2009, my morning bs was 170 – 185 and most of my other readings were in the 150 – 165 range. I do have the Dawn Phenomenon.
    Startin June 2009, here’s what I did. I went on the Dr. Atkins diet (appropriate eating). Very, very low carbs for 2 weeks and then slowly add until I reach my maximum. (You would need to read Dr. Atkins book). Over the past month, I have taken my weight down to 166 (still more to go), but I have been able to reduce my bs numbers. Now I am about 145-155 in the morning. Still DP, but will work on that from the vinegar & wine advice in this site. My B4 meal readings are 111 – 120 which is within a good range. My 2 hr after meal readings are about 145 – 155; definitely in good range.
    I go to my Endo the end of July for A1c, so I don’t know the impact yet, but I’m sure my Endo will be surprised since I anticipate a good drop.
    I also supplement with Chromium Picolinate. I was taking 1 pill of 200mg in the morning. I read that diabetics should take 400 – 600 mg, so I have upped my supplement to 400 in the am and 200 at night, which I believe is helping too. I’m going to reverse that to see if it helps with the DP. I’ve tried cinnamon and don’t see any affect, but other people tell me it’s helped them.

    One other thing that I feel has helped tremendously is changing from all the artificial sweetners to Stevia. It is considered a nutritional supplement and not a sweetner, so you may not find it with the others, but in the “supplement” section of the grocery store. (Don’t get me started on the FDA) Go to http://www.stevia.com for a wealth of information, and be careful of the brands you see. I’ve only found one with a glycemic index of 0%. I’ve found the stevia with the low, low carbs has reduced my carb/sweet cravings tremendously.
    I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to comment.
    PS: I’m not any kind of health professional, nor do I promote anything I mentioned for financial gain; just a diabetic learning from all sources I find.
    To better health,

  • David Mendosa June 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Dear Tanpuia,

    You have a good chance now not to have diabetes. But your post-prandial level of 170 after two hours worries me. You can reverse your pre-diabetes or actual diabetes, however, if you do get regular exercise, stop smoking, and follow a very low-carbohydrate diet. The meat you eat is the least of your concerns! I do hope for your sake that you take action now. Certainly, it will not be easy to stop smoking. It was one of the hardest things that I ever had to do! But I am so glad that I did, and now I can’t even stand the smell of tobacco within 20 feet of me.

    Best regards,


  • tanpuia hnamte June 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    well,it’s worth reading and knowing that others face same problem as mine makes me feel more comfortable.my mother is diebetic,i am 33 now with a fasting level of 98 and a pp level of 170(2hrs), but am too lazy to take regular exercise and a heavy smoker(20 ciggarettes per day),couldn’t resist meat and so on…tonite or this morning at 12:30 am(after 4to5 hours of heavy meal) my bs is 116, am i diabetic or is it reversible?

  • Jackie J June 19, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I have insulin resistance and my doctor recommended “CinndromeX” from Xymogen.

  • David Mendosa June 19, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Dear Jackie,

    I agree that a lower A1C would be better. A level of 6.0 or less is normal, and that means much less chance of complications from diabetes. But your high morning numbers aren’t contributing much to your A1C level, so you can stop worrying about that!

    I have written dozens of articles here about Byetta. So far it has been approved only as an add-on drug to metformin and some others. I was on metformin at first but then my A1C (and weight) got so good that I asked my doctor to take me off metformin, and he agreed.

    Best regards,


  • Jackie June 19, 2009 at 7:14 am

    My A1c is 6.2, so it’s not so bad. I’d like it to be much much lower!

    What does Byetta do? Do you take that with metformin or alone?

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!


  • David Mendosa June 19, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Dear Jackie,

    I’m glad too that you found my site.

    Byetta and a very low-carb diet are the only really good ways to help you bring your weight down. Those two strategies together are even better. I would seriously suggest that you ask your doctor to prescribe it.

    Since your post-prandial numbers are so much better than your fasting levels, the question becomes, What is your A1C? When your A1C is under relatively good control, like below 7.0, recent studies (which I have written about here) show that the fasting numbers aren’t all that important.

    What is really important is to bring your weight down to normal! I sure know that from my own experience. Not only am I more healthy and have a very low A1C now, but I FEEL so much better.

    Best regards,


  • Jackie June 19, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Hi – I am so glad I found this site! I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes late January, 2009. Since then, my doctor and I have tried different combinations of metformin (regular/er/fortamet/janumet) to try to get my morning numbers down. During the day and evening, my numbers are normal – usually 2 hours after a meal my bg is 115 or so. Mornings are a different story! No matter what I do my bg will go back up! I have tried taking my met at bedtime – drinking wine – eating protein at bedtiem – taking cinnamon – taking vinegar tabs – pretty much everything mentioned on here.

    Should I be looking into byetta? I have read that it helps with weight loss and since January, I have lost 43 lbs – but I still have about 50 to 60 more to go to be healthy, I think. I do eat relatively low carb. I only eat complex carbs like vegetables, a little fruit and if I eat any bread at all, it’s 1 slice of whole wheat a day (not often though).

    Any advice on getting this dawn phenomenon contolled? It just ruins my day to wake up and see a high number! (it’s usually between 120 and 145)



  • David Mendosa June 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Dear Linda,

    Thanks for writing. You are lucky to have such a good doctor!

    Best regards,


  • LindaCC June 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

    PS….I am as well reading your new book

  • LindaCC June 17, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I have gone to my doctor and talked to her about starting on Byetta to help bring my morning #’s down to normal. She of course did blood tests again which did show higher morning BS than would be ok to keep from having complications.
    I am very proud that I have brought my A1C down again to 5.9. (Oct 07-6.6/June 08-6.4/Feb 09-6.4/April 09-6/June 09-5.9).
    Due to my morning BS still being too high, I am happy to report that she has sent me home with a 3 months supply of sample Byetta pens and will give me more. She gets plenty of samples.
    She said I should not be classified as diabetic with my insurence co as she is sure this can be reversed.

    I am so happy to be working with a doctor that “Get’s It”. She is very encouraging with the hard work she see’s I have done and what I have accomplished which is why I believe she is glad to help me.
    I will be starting my 1st Byetta injection tonight.
    Thank you for the amazing information.
    I will report my progress.

  • David Mendosa June 1, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Dear Joycell,

    Absolutely. I agree that different strategies seem to work for different folks.

    Best regards,


  • Joycell June 1, 2009 at 7:02 am

    I wanted to add something regarding the Dawn’s Phenomenon. I have tried everything, I was getting OCD regarding this. I will go to bed and my BS will be 98 and wake up in the am and it was 160, I don’t care whether I ate or did not eat. Well I add the vinegar tablets and it came down to 141. Always 141, no matter. The other night I have been taking the milk thistle and not the vinegar tablets. I took one milk thistle, and 2 vinegar tablets and drank a glucernia before going to bed and it was 112. This has happened now for 3 morning in a row. This is great. Everyone has to find that one thing that works for them. I am not saying this is correct, and my MD does not know, because he does not seem to understand the DP, but this has worked for me.
    Just wanted to share this will you.

  • David Mendosa May 31, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Dear Linda,

    Maybe the best thing for you would be to go back to your doctor and get a standard test that would diagnose diabetes. Your numbers sure indicate to me that you either have diabetes now or are very close to having it.

    When and if you get that diagnosis, Byetta would make your weight loss and therefore your blood glucose control rather easy. You could possibly find a doctor who would prescribe Byetta to you. It would be “off-label,” but legal. Some doctors undoubtedly would do it. But then you would have another problem: I doubt if any medical insurance would cover it. And Byetta is expensive. Without insurance it would cost you more than $2,500 per year.

    Your alternative is to follow a very low-carb diet. I have written many articles here dealing with this natural approach to weight loss and blood glucose control. Please consider it, especially now that you are on the verge of getting full-blown diabetes.

    Best regards,


  • LindaCC May 31, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I have not been diagnosed as type 2 however it is very strong in my family. My mother has many complications (which has been a consuming motivation for prevention to me).
    Seeing this and educating myself…. I have been testing with the meter for about 3 months and eating low carb. I am 175lbs (have lost 15 lbs).
    I seem to have normal readings during the day however have morning readings of around 110-115 sometimes up to 125/126.
    I have been more diligent with exercise and I am having the wine at night, often take a brisk walk in the evening. I think it does help some.
    From what I am reading, I need to get my morning readings down under 100 to prevent potential complications that I see my mother has experienced. Would Byetta help? Can Byetta be perscribed without being diagnosed as diabetic?

  • william May 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I just want to take a moment and say thanks to Mr Mendosa in particular and to everyone who posts here for providing such a valuable service. It means so much to know that there are “fellow travelers” out there who have gone through what I’m dealing with now and are willing to help. Thanks so much.

  • David Mendosa May 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Dear William,

    The only guideline I have is that it took me about two weeks.

    Best regards,


  • william May 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    When feeling rotten I always do a test with my meter. Generally, when I feel hypoglycemic, I’m in the low 100’s. Stress makes it far worse. For snacks I generally try to have 5 grams of carb – in the form of fruit of some sort and 2 grams of some lean protien or cheese. My doctor says that as I adjust to the lower levels I will start feeling better. I know everyone’s experience is different, but how long generally does it take for the body to adjust? Does snacking slow down the adjustment process?

  • David Mendosa May 21, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Dear William,

    People do commonly feel hypoglycemic as their levels drop. Often the numbers don’t match the feelings. You need to confirm with a fingerstick test.

    Snacks don’t carry far when they are high in carbs. That triggers the release of more endogenous insulin, which in turn makes you more hungry. Try snacks that don’t have any starches or sugars.

    Both the sudafed and the underlying condition can affect your morning readings.

    Best regards,


  • william May 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Just checking in. My readings are now dropping mid day and evening to the 115 to 119 levels on a more consistent basis. My diabetic MD upped my levamir to 50 mg once daily and may want to split the dose. My mornings are down to a more sedate 130 to 145 (big improvement over 200!) Since my levels are dropping now, I’m finding myself feeling VERY hypoglycemic at times (particularly on stressfull days – I work in the IT field and stress is a fact of life). The problem I find myself battling now is how to better manage a mid morning or mid afternoon snack when I’m feeling RELLY lousy. Snacks genrally only relieve the problem for an hour or so and my readings are back down into “I feel lousy” territory. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, I take sudafed (by prescription) occasionally for colds and such. will that affect my morning readings?

  • David Mendosa May 20, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Dear Rhonda,

    Byetta has not been tested in clinical trials for use with insulin yet. Doctors may, however if they wish prescribe them together “off-label” and many do. This would be something that you would probably want to talk with your doctor about.

    Best regards,


  • Rhonda Dothard May 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Dear David,

    Thank you so much for your all your books and research. I am a Type 2 Diabetic, of many years. I weigh 209 lbs. I am on Lantus Insulin, but I also take a small dose of humalog prior to meals as needed. About a year ago, my Dr. put me on Byetta. I was on it for only a short time, and discontinued it because of the nausea, and I did not see any results. I did not understand that it would not work without diet and exercise. Go figure! Anyway, I am now working out both aerobic and weight training and going Low GI. I have lost 9 Lbs. but it has been a slow go. I was wanting to give the Byetta another try, but your book says that it is not for people on insulin. Can you tell me why? I actually still have a prescription I could use, but now I am wondering if I should. My doctor is not a diabetic specialist.

    Also, is there a particular kind of insulin that might be better for loosing weight? I have been able to cut my dosage back at least by half since I started the Low GI program and exercising 6 days a week.

    Thanks for your help,
    Rhonda D

  • Channah April 15, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    The newer style meters that don’t need the strips coded and use a bit less blood are slightly more convenient (they may save you 15 seconds), but I’ve had horrible luck with them. In my country they’re made by Contour – I believe it’s a USA firm but I don’t know for sure.

    At first I thought it was a defective meter so I exchanged it – and had the same problem. I’m back to my old Ultra OneTouch now (I don’t know if you have that brand in the US). It’s one that wants coding for the strips and a full drop of blood and you get the dread Err5 message if the blood doesn’t go ALL the way up the test strip. (If you’ve had a similar meter, you know of what I speak here 😉

    BUT – my readings are more realistic now, usually between 5 – 6.5 (90 – 117). Let me explain: with the new style meters, I was getting consistent readings of between 8- 18 (144 – 324), once even when I had a hypoglycaemic crash the meter read 18 (324). My A1c’s have been between 5 – 5.3 for the past four years, so you can imagine how confused I was.

    So if it’s a new-style meter, it could be that, or maybe I’ve just been supernaturally unlucky with them.

    I just pulled out the new one again – and yup, it’s still doing it. Old-style meter reading: 5.3 (95). New style meter reads 8.3 (150). Wow – one of the lowest readings I’ve ever got from it ; )

    Meters are usually calibrated to be within ten percent or so of accurate, they aren’t completely precise instruments. But the new style ones aren’t even that close in my experience.

    Also, you do need to wash your hands or at least suck your finger clean before taking a reading – any glucose, including things like glycerin, will give you a wrong reading.

  • Rhonda February 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Hey William, I think we all have played the mind games at one time or another. I have also checked my bs with other meters, a different finger, etc. and have gotten different results. Maybe someone will explain the diff to both of us. Just know that having your types of meds and dosages changed will calculate different until your body adjusts to it. My dr’s suggestion is to stick with the same monitor. The change will eventually work out to a more stable number if you are compliant with your meds and meals. Also, and this may be a myth, I’ve noticed when I have lotion on my hands (lotion has glycerine which is a type of synthetic glucose) my bs tends to be slightly higher, so I wash my hands and use an alcohol prep to clean the area before I stick and wipe the stick pen itself. Hope this helps.

  • William February 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I just wanted to say thanks to David and Rhonda for being so supportive. This is proving to be one of the best resources I’ve found for dealing with diabetes. Surprisingly, the hardest thing for me is not taking the insulin, or dealing with the diet changes. It’s the “mind games” I play on myself when my test results are not tracking. For example, the other day I got up after sleeping in for about an hour and half on a sunday and my before meal test was 259! I tested again on a different finger and it was 200, I tested a third time, using the same finger as the 200 test and got a result of 226. My meter calibrates automatically and I ran a solution test on it and it checked out fine. With that range of values, how do I know what reading is accurate and how much insulin to take? I might also add that it was the morning after switching from humulin to novolog. I had my first dose of novolog prior to dinner the night before. Might that have something to do with the abnormal reading? Normally my mornings are at about 140 to the mid 180s with occasional (becoming more often) tests at 130 to 135. I also started a 500mg evening meal dose of glumetsa. I’ll eventually be increasing that to 1000 or 1500mg nightly.

    Again, thanks for being here and being so helpful.

  • Rhonda February 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Dear William, Welcome to this great blog. I have been a diabetic for 5 years now. The first six months getting started on my meds wasn’t too bad, but I thought as you do now that 170 was still a little high. But just be diligent and patient. The numbers will come down to more normal. Keep up the good work and let me know how you’re doing.

  • David Mendosa February 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Dear William,

    Controlling the dawn phenomenon is essentially a tweak. The key is to control your weight. When you get it down to a normal BMI (body-mass index) you will control it and your diabetes in general.

    In your case the insulin shots are necessary. Eventually, however you will want to get off of them, because insulin shots make it harder to lose weight. Ask your doctor about taking Byetta, the only diabetes medication that will help you lose the weight that you need to lose and thereby control your diabetes.

    Your diabetes is a blessing in disguise. Now you will begin to be and feel a lot better. I promise!

    Best regards,


  • William February 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I’m new to the diabetes scene. Currently, I’m way overweight – over 500lbs and since diagnosis 1 month ago, I’ve started a 1600 calorie a day diet and am loosing weight. I’m taking 38units of levamir in the evening with about 5 units of novolog before meals. My fasting blood sugar before meals has come down from the extreme high 200s (270, 280, etc) to 130 to 150 range. My mornings are still in the 170 to 200 range, so it looks like I may have the morning problem. I’m in between referrals from my GP to a diabetic specialist, so I’m kind of running in a information vacuum. Are these readings considered high for someone who is a month in to this whole thing?

    I forgot to mention that I’m also now on a fitness regiment. Nothing highly strenuous per doctor’s orders until I get some endurance and flexibility built up.

    Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

  • Rhonda December 27, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    After the incident with the reaction to lisinopril and the effects of the steroids Iwas given, my bg is finally down between 90 and 120 morning and evening. It took a lot longer than I thought and I was getting really concerned, but I didn’t give up. Now I have a new year’s resolution, more exercise, better control of my diet and blood pressure.

  • David Mendosa December 26, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Dear James,

    Great question. Perhaps the best answer is on the Web at:

    Best regards,


  • james colon December 25, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    “Almost all medical authorities agree that one glass of wine with dinner is a good idea and a good time. The fact that you are taking Byetta and glucophage would not rule against that advice. The bad time to drink is on an empty stomach.”

    how much wine is too much though? i mean not all glasses are the same size you know?

    i would hate to drink to much wine and have a negative effect ya know?

  • David Mendosa December 15, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Dear Rhonda,

    I don’t know about anything more that you need to know about vinegar. Whether you take Byetta or something else doesn’t seem to be at issue.


  • Rhonda December 15, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    I’m not taking Byetta but Metformin (1000 a.m. adn p.m.) and glipizide 10 mg p.m. Morning bg is near 140. Have heard of cinnamon but considering vinegar. Is there anything more I should know about this since I don’t take Byetta?

  • Chris June 25, 2008 at 7:55 am

    I have been struggling lately – going to bed at leves of 8-12 but waking up between 12. I reduced my slow acting insulin as i thought i was going to low over night to wake up at 18.

    Any advice would be handy, i have been a diabetic (type 1) for 18 months but only the last month or two has these super high morning readings started.

  • sita April 7, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    What are vinegar tablets? Where should I buy them? Should I ask my doctor about this before I can use them?

  • David Mendosa March 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Dear Becky,

    Almost all medical authorities agree that one glass of wine with dinner is a good idea and a good time. The fact that you are taking Byetta and glucophage would not rule against that advice. The bad time to drink is on an empty stomach.


  • Becky March 23, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Can one have a glass of wine with their evening meal whilst using Byetta and Glucophage.. or is that a bad idea or a bad time?

  • Dirk Baeuerle January 26, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Hi David –

    I have some Merlot wine and will try this week the 5 oz. of red wine each night before bedtime.

  • Les January 18, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks for the update but 13 grams of wine is less than 1/2 ounce, not a reasonable or modrate amount. The actual study protocol says they used 150 ml which is a more reasonable 5 oz.
    I believe the published study reference to 13 g meant 13 % alcohol by volume, the usual for many wines.
    For years I have been trying to get into the habit of having a glass of red before bed time. I buy the wine but never get around to drinking more than one glass. Since I have a dawn phenomenon problem I was going to try vinegar, but the taste put me off. Wine, especially Chilean red wine is supposed to have some other good effects on the heart etc. So, 5 oz. a night here I come.