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PET Scan

Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm having my second PET tomorrow. I have to go on a low carb diet (only meat, eggs, cheese, and green vegetables). Is this for every one or just because I am diabetic? I have friends coming in to town to go out with us to supper. I guess I'll just have to have a plain salad or chef's salad with no dressing.

Debbie in Arkansas

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Good luck with the PET scan. I can't answer your question; I have never had a PET, only CTs, MRIs etc.

jmaddox915's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2009

I am not diabetic and was instructed to go on a low carb diet the day before. It was explained to me that if I didn't, it could give false readings on the PET scan due to the carbs\sugar, etc in a regular diet.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Debbie,

I'm always also told to eat a low carb diet the day before a scan, but they do say it is mostly for diabetics, but that everyone should cut down on the carbs the day before too. It is because they inject us with a radioactive type of sugar & it can make your blood sugar go up when they give it to you, which is why they check everyone's blood sugar before injecting it. I've also been told to not exercise or exert myself much the day befoer either. Apparently, just using certain parts of your body a lot can sometimes cause inflammation, which could show as "lit up" on the PET scan. We don't want that to happen and then worry that it's something cancerous showing up!

I will be thinking of you and praying for calm as you get this test done, then wait for results.

Take care (and try to relax as much as possible today)-

JDuke's picture
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

I drop in. I have never had my blood sugar level checked before a PET, I have had five. In addition to that, I have never been instructed to follow a low carb diet the day before. It is just a little annoying that the medical profession is not on the same page with these procedures. I learned last night, on the Anal board, that some of the members have CEA levels checked. I was told that there are no CEA markers for anal cancer. Such inconsistency sure makes me a little anxious!

Keeping all of you in thought and prayer,

Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I wasn't told about the exercise and I've been cleaning house since I posted the question. You know with company coming, no matter how I feel, I think my house has to be perfect from top to bottom. I still have my bedroom to clean, so I guess I'll just close the door there. Thanks for that information.


geotina's picture
Posts: 2122
Joined: Oct 2009

Being a diabetic could have something to do with it. Years and years ago I wasn't feel well, went to doc and it turned out to be hypoglycemia (made too much insulin). Diet they put me on was the same as you describe high protein/low carb. Solved the problem, slowly added other things and never had a problem since. Never took any medication, just diet change.

There are lots of things you can eat if you go out to dinner, just have to cut the sugar/carbs out. You can order a chicken/meat dish just pass on the potato, bread, sweet pickles, pasta, stuff like that.

George was never instructed to change his diet before scans but he has only had CT Scans.

Best to you in receiving good results with your scan.


RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

best wishes on the outcome of your PET scan. They are very cool. Make sure you get a copy on CD for your records - usually you can look at it on a computer. The fun never ends.

Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I've only had one before and they gave me the written results but I did not get to see the PET scan. I'll ask this time before I leave the clinic if I can pick the results up on a CD.


Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

Generally your blood sugar level should be between 100-200 mg/dl for a pet scan. I have had four and my blood sugar was checked everytime. Why someone would do a test of this expense and not check a blood sugar level is way beyond me.

Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I don't remember having my blood sugar level taken before my last PET scan. But I take it every day and I think I remember them asking me what it was on my meter before I left home.


dschreffler's picture
Posts: 58
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Debbie,

The diet prior to the scan is for everyone. The way my doctor explained it to me is that cancer cells metaboloze glucose more then normal cells. By decreasing certain foods and not exercising, the cancer shows without false indication of nromal body metabolism.

The paperwork I got on food was similar to this found on line: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Imaging-Center/Preparing-for-Your-Exam/PET-Scan-Preparation/

Best of luck,



Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Debbie,
I am wishing you the best with the PET. My husband has had 2 PETs, he is not diabetic. He was put on a no carb diet and told not to exercise or do anything strenuous the day before his PET.


Aud's picture
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

I had 1 PET scan so far. low carb diet the day before, no strenous exercise a couple days prior. There are times I do some heavy lifting at work but I had my co-workers help out for that time. When they check blood sugar, if I remember correctly, they do that after they put the IV in prior to injecting the radioactive glucose. So unless the technician tells you that's what they're doing (which they should), you may not even know that they're doing that.
best of luck with your scan. And try to relax until you see your doctor re: results; keep yourself busy. easier said than done. It's hard to ward off (what I've heard others call) "scanxiety" sometimes.

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