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Thread: Treating Diabetes with a Low-Carb diet

  1. #51
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    My glucose was down to 173 today! Yay! The safe range is 80-130 according to my medical tracking sheet, so I am on my way. Last week I was at 359. I started my low-carb diet on Saturday and my low-dose meds on Tuesday so I know that a huge part of the drop is due to diet. Having the numbers drop so much and so quickly is giving me a good boost of motivation and energy to keep going.

  2. #52
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    That’s great!

  3. #53
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Good to hear such quick success!
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  4. #54
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Well, my rapid progress was short lived. Today my glucose was up by 22 points. I tested at 195. Talk about a letdown.

    At first I couldn't figure out why, because I didn't eat lots of carbs yesterday or anything like that. Then I remembered reading that exercise brings down your glucose quite a bit. Yesterday I tested after my morning walk and today it's raining so no walk before testing. It's so weird that even such mild exercise as a slow 30 minute walk would make sure a difference.

    So now I'm thinking that I should probably test before my walks? To get a more accurate reading?

    This disease is so confusing and has so many moving parts. I've been reading up on it and I still find it all very confusing - low blood sugar, high blood sugar, insulin, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinism, on and on.....

    I've also been reading on how adrenaline affects blood sugar and insulin. So much stuff.
    Last edited by Geila; 2-2-19 at 2:39pm.

  5. #55
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    This disease is so confusing and has so many moving parts. I've been reading up on it and I still find it all very confusing - low blood sugar, high blood sugar, insulin, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinism, on and on.....

    I've also been reading on how adrenaline affects blood sugar and insulin. So much stuff.
    There is, indeed, so much stuff -- and it's different for every diabetic. That's why each of us has to learn what works for ourselves. My morning fasting blood glucose often can identify an infection or a cold by increasing, before I notice overt symptoms. I'm still playing with what form of snacking before sleep has the greatest positive impact on my "dawn phenomenon". You'll find that some exercise, like a walk, is beneficial for blood glucose numbers -- but that extended hard workouts can signal the liver to dump glucagon and leave you with higher numbers than before you started the activity. Stress affects insulin levels. So can adrenaline. All the hormones are part of a wonderful, intricate system and one does not change without affecting others.

    But it will settle down as your body gets used to you eating low-carb and to the meds you're taking. You'll likely feel better knowing that your meter can be off by as much as 10-15% off "true north" and still be considered accurate. And you'll learn that even taking two readings a minute apart will result in different numbers because blood is not homogeneous and there are many factors to taking a blood sample.

    So, Geila, don't let this be much of a setback. It's part of your education and you're still generally moving in the right direction.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  6. #56
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Hey Steve - boy are you right! This morning I tested at 183 without any exercise, so I will just be happy that it's a downward trend and not stress about it. Since stress makes things worse!

    While poking around the net learning about diabetes I found this TedTalk, and while it just confirms what I've already learned, it was still a good watch: https://www.reddit.com/r/type2diabet...with_ignoring/

  7. #57
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Dr. Sarah Hallberg is one of the good guys. I believe she's associated with Dr. Stephen Phinney and his Virta Health program. Phinney is one of my LCHF heroes, along with Dr. Timothy Noakes and others. Excellent video.

  8. #58
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Yes, Dr. Hallberg is one of the best. She often uses the verb "cure" in a way with which I do not agree, but other than that she presents a cogent understandable case for not treating Type 2 (or even T1 ftm) the way it's been treated over the last 30-40 years.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  9. #59
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Maybe this is a good time for me to reiterate the need to be kind to yourself.

    You didn't get diabetes overnight. It was not that second piece of birthday cake last month that put your body over the edge. It wasn't the gym trips you missed because you were sick last week. At this point, we don't even know why two people can have the same risk factors but one (or neither) contracts diabetes.

    Those news reports of 102-year-old people who smoke and drink whiskey every day? There's more to longevity than we can control. You may have a history that you cannot change, but your response can always change. Diabetes can be managed very well. But it will take engagement on your part -- and, perhaps, some forgiveness.

    Know that:

    - you are responsible for managing your diabetes. Medical advice can be useful (and, when Rxes have to be written, necessary ). But care providers are not you. Even if they are diabetic, too, their instance of diabetes will differ from yours and what works for them may not work for you. Do not let your diabetes (you) be treated like every other case of diabetes and do not get on the treatment train if you're not comfortable with where it's going.

    - there is nothing particularly frugal about diabetes. Quality food costs more than heavily-processed empty calories. I've learned there rarely are discounts when ordering out and asking them to leave things off my plate (in fact, sometimes my requested substitution has an upcharge; c'est la vie). There almost undoubtedly will be some communication snafu sometime which will leave you somewhere with something you cannot eat on your plate. Don't feel compelled to eat it because an error was made. Certainly, if you did not get at all what you ordered, do what you need to do. But if croutons arrive on your salad or they leave off the hash browns but (well-meaningly) put fruit on your plate instead, just eat around it. I've suspended my "Clean Plate Club" rule when I don't get to serve myself.

    - in our culture, food plays an big role in many gatherings. At some gatherings (like the movies), it's easy to choose not to eat. At others (birthday parties, funeral luncheons), it's not. Eat what you need to, even if it means taking two dollar-bun sandwiches and eating just the turkey inside and filling your plate with celery sticks, broccoli florets, and dip. I know of people who bring string cheese or such with them to ward off such quandaries. At potlucks, I tend to bring something I know I can eat just to have something there (the gluten-free folks will love you for doing this, too).

    - if it's a food you really want, have some and be done with it. Unless you know you're the kind of person who can't eat one potato chip without finishing the bag, if the idea of trying a poutine-flavored chip excites you, have one or two. You've tasted it; you're done. If you really want a piece of birthday cake on your plate like everyone else at the party, get the smallest piece you can and enjoy what you want of it and be done. Obsessing on what you cannot eat is a waste of energy -- if you ate some cake and your blood glucose went up 15-20 points? It could go up for some other reason, too. Don't make dietary restrictions so grave that you eventually break training and go overboard.

    For me, paying attention to my diagnosis probably made me healthier than I was before I was diagnosed. Now I knew what I was eating and why and I knew I had to start moving. I'm in better shape now than I've been in 10-15 years. Diabetes may be a chronic progressive disease but it does not have to mean the end of things if it's addressed directly and managed well.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  10. #60
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Right now I'm on a bunch of meds for my bacterial infection and they are causing me some nausea so the diet part is really easy right now because I don't have the appetite for anything. I just make sure that I eat three small meals a day and I'm okay. I suspect when that changes it will be more a challenge. But I was wondering if you ever do have the occasional carby food, so thanks for sharing that.

    And thank you for the advise to not be hard on myself - and a thank you to Kim as well. I'm not sure if I'm beating myself up about it, I probably am. I've had to take pain meds every night since I found out just to be able to sleep. So that does say something. I will try to be mindful of being compassionate with myself.

    I've decided to stop taking the glipizide prescribed by my doctor. I picked up an Atkins book because I remembered there being some stuff about diabetes in there and he makes a very valid point for not taking insuling-producing drugs, which is what this is. In addition to increasing insulin levels, it also causes weight gain, stomach issues and headaches. I know that I gained 2 pounds the day after I started taking it. The dosage is small and the diabetes pharmacist said that if I wanted to stop taking it I could (I think she meant down the road, but her point was that the dosage is small and it would not cause a problem).

    Stopping the glipizide will help me see how I do on the Metformin and diet alone and I can take it from there. Dr. Atkins felt that the Metformin was a good drug to address diabetes and it can promote weight loss so I feel more comfortable staying on that. Even though I've been on super low-carb, keto I guess, I have only lost 1 lb in over a week and I think it's the glipizide that's been keeping the weight on. Since weight loss is so beneficial for controlling the disease, I want to give myself the best chances. Plus the glipizide has some other concerning issues like the need to be very careful about when you take it and possible low blood sugar issues down the road.

    I admit I'm nervous about stopping this medication. We are so conditioned to trust our doctors completely that it feels scary to stop taking it. Deep breath....

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