Why it’s important to eat breakfast

I’ve been very calorie conscious this week, being very careful to not eat more than I burn, working to start losing some weight again (it’s been creeping up on me lately…).

drawing of a toasterI had a big lunch scheduled for this afternoon, where I just knew I’d be taking in a TON of calories. I also woke up with a high blood sugar (overtreated a reaction last night). Those two factors combined were enough to convince me to skip breakfast.

I know that your body needs to burn energy from one source or another. If you have carbs on board it will use those, otherwise it starts looking for alternative sources (fatty acids, etc). In this scenario I hadn’t had any carbohydrates since right before bedtime when I overtreated that low.

What else do we know about burning those fatty acids for energy? That’s right – ketones! So, theoretically it is possible to be spilling ketones with a normal blood sugar, just because you are burning fat for energy (a process of which ketones is a side effect). Now, spilling ketones TENDS to make you more insulin resistant, driving your blood sugar higher.

You could theoretically keep your BG’s normal by increasing your insulin, but you are still spilling ketones because you’re burning fat for energy! The insulin will not eliminate the ketones – to get rid of them you need to drink a bunch of water, but it will help manage your blood sugar level.

So, I wake up at 7’ish, not having eaten anything since like 11pm the night before. But, I was high from overtreating a reaction. Here’s the breakdown:

7:17 – 357 – 7.35 unit correction bolus
9:05 – 272 – 0.00 unit correction bolus (still had some on board from earlier dose)
12:51 – 252 – Asking myself, “Why the heck am I still so high – I corrected that high this AM, and haven’t eaten ANYTHING?!?! …”

It was precisely then that I had an “Aha!” moment! By skipping breakfast my body did not have any carbs on board for a fuel source, so it turned to alternative sources like burning fat – spilling ketones, therefore making me a bit resistant to my insulin!

I should have been prepared and had some ketostix around – it would have been very interesting to prove my theory! Maybe if I plan on fasting I have to run a slightly higher basal rate? I would like to test this theory when starting with a normal blood sugar rather than such a high one.

Does this theory sound possible? Crazy? Maybe I’ve got too much glucose in my brain, and I’m just making things up? What do you think?

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…