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Old 08-14-2014, 11:03 AM   #1
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Ketones???????

Can someone please explain to me about why you should check for ketones? I don't really understand is this something I should be doing I am diabetic.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:32 PM   #2
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If you are diabetic you would be better speaking to your doctor I think
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:25 AM   #3
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Long involved explanation but if you go to google and do a search on ketosis vs ketoacidosis, you'll pull up lots of sights with explanations.

Short answer, if your BG meter gives you a ketones warning, it means your body is producing excessive amounts of ketones which may be a warning of ketoacidosis. This is not the same as ketosis.

Even at the height of my weight loss when I was losing rapidly because I was in deep ketosis, my meter never reflected ketones.

After reading some of the online explanations, it appears it is because even at the max ketosis on low carb, the body is still not releasing the kind of ketones as it would with out of controlled diabetes. This is also why it's not uncommon for out of control diabetics to actually drop weight quickly. They're burning ketones *but* not in a good way.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:39 AM   #4
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Thanks Aoimel
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:54 PM   #5
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I am diabetic, and after 7 years of struggling on the " diabetic diet ", I started LCHF. I never could get my ketostix to change color much, but it worked. Within 1 year I was off my diabetes meds completely, and maintain a 5.0 A1C.

You should use your meter to tell if it is working. If you wake up, and you are at 70 mg/dl, then it is working. Then use you 2 hour post-meal reading to determine if that food is spiking your blood sugar. I did this because I had the simplistic thought that if I was measuring glucose, then I could match a food, with how much it would spike my blood sugar.

Then, if your blood sugar is 63 mg/dl upon waking, you might choose to have 2 pineapple rings with your eggs, but if it is 83, you may just have a mushroom omelette, or simply eggs.

Use the number from your testing. Make lists of food that spike your blood sugar 10 mg/dl, or 20, or 30, and then if you want to bump it up 30 mg/dl, you eat a serving of food from that list.

Ketones merely show that you are burning fat. When I am below 20 g of carbs a day, I tend to lose a lb a day, so I know I am burning fat. The price, and the fact that I never changed the color much, even on days I lost 5 lbs, made me not buy a 2nd batch of ketostix.

As long as you are keeping blood sugars between 70-120, and losing weight, it is working. You do not really need to test for ketones. You can probably tell from the taste in your mouth, and the smell of your breath too, but I let the scale be my guide, and my A1C has been below 5.4 for 3 and a 1/2 years.

Just eat real food, and test each one. Eat the foods that do not spike blood sugars over 120, and it works. We see a 250 reading, and we know what we ate was bad. The opposite is also true. We can identify good food too.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:16 PM   #6
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Thank you Russell I do all ways check with my BS monitor. My Doc is awesome but she has never said anything about the strips so I was wondering.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:59 PM   #7
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Debbie, there is a definite difference between the desired ketosis and the diabetic ketoacidosis. To achieve ketosis, you need to follow the LCHF diet that Russell mentioned. Since I started eating that way less than 3 weeks ago, my need for injected insulin has been halved. It's amazing. and I'm losing weight (really need to) although slowly due to an anti-cancer med that I must take. A lot of doctors don't know about this way of eating nor do they support it, and that's a shame. It's been around since about the 1930's as a way of controlling childhood epilepsy, although the doctors feel better prescribing meds these days. Jimmy Moore has written an excellent, accurate, and easy to read book called, "Keto-Clarity". It really does a fine job of explaining all this. You can also go to the Nutritional Ketosis section of low carb friends and get a ton of information there. Most people have to do their own research and implementation of the diet because it's hard to find a doctor who will help with it.

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Old 08-23-2014, 09:42 AM   #8
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I looked up ketosis vs ketoacidosis. It explained a lot I didn't even know that my monitor would warn me. My doctor has been super supportive. I was telling her about doing the low carb she said that I could be one of the people who are super sensitive to carbs. She encouraged me to do what works for me.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie View Post
I looked up ketosis vs ketoacidosis. It explained a lot I didn't even know that my monitor would warn me. My doctor has been super supportive. I was telling her about doing the low carb she said that I could be one of the people who are super sensitive to carbs. She encouraged me to do what works for me.
Hang on to her. Even if she doesn't exactly support your chosen diet, it looks like she's not going to give you any grief about.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:39 AM   #10
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I have to say that eating to a meter was more difficult and less efficient (at least for me) than just following Bernstein's protocol. I went nuts trying to to figure out what I could eat based on my meter readings. As a Type 2 my body is still producing insulin, but not in consistent amounts. So one day I might get away with a slice of pineapple and the next day would jump by 75-100 on the meter because of it. Plus, it was a pain in the butt...which meant I didn't stick with it. Throw in how stress and illness can cause higher BG's or certain foods can lower it (e.g. caffeine and cinnamon) and it just seemed less than the best method for me to control my diabetes and reverse my IR>

Bernstein was so much simpler to do and had the added advantage of very quickly bringing my A1c down from 10.5 to 4.9 in about 3-4 months and being off all meds in just a few weeks. Look back over the last 20 months and I can honestly say it was worth giving up the grains, starches, fruits, etc.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
I have to say that eating to a meter was more difficult and less efficient (at least for me) than just following Bernstein's protocol. I went nuts trying to to figure out what I could eat based on my meter readings. As a Type 2 my body is still producing insulin, but not in consistent amounts. So one day I might get away with a slice of pineapple and the next day would jump by 75-100 on the meter because of it. Plus, it was a pain in the butt...which meant I didn't stick with it. Throw in how stress and illness can cause higher BG's or certain foods can lower it (e.g. caffeine and cinnamon) and it just seemed less than the best method for me to control my diabetes and reverse my IR>
We don't eat foods in isolation. So a slice of pineapple by itself with nothing else might have spiked your blood sugar while a slice of pineapple when you have just finished a good meal with plenty of fat and protein might not even be more than a blip in your blood sugar control. That's another reason why the Bernstein approach makes sense.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
We don't eat foods in isolation. So a slice of pineapple by itself with nothing else might have spiked your blood sugar while a slice of pineapple when you have just finished a good meal with plenty of fat and protein might not even be more than a blip in your blood sugar control. That's another reason why the Bernstein approach makes sense.
Fruit, even eaten with a meal, causes much more than a blip in my BG's. Bernstein does not advocate fruits for diabetics and says in several places that diabetics should not be eating fruits. There are no nutrients that are found in fruits that can't be found elsewhere...and without the natural sugars which will spike BG's.

If someone can eat these things without it effecting their BG's, more power to them...but for diabetics struggling for control, wanting to get off all meds *and* keep their A1c at 4.8 or 4.9....I'd recommend following Bernstein.

I *get* that most people are happier with slightly higher A1c's or even taking small amounts of meds if it will let them eat the fruits and higher carbs (above the 26 that Bernstein recommends) and the carbs found in things other than non-starchy vegies. We all have to decide where we compromise and whether that compromise is worth it. Please understand...I am making no judgments, but unlike the medical profession willing to settle for half truths and substandard care because they believe their patients won't stick to the type of diet they need to for tight control, I believe in aiming for the highest standard...and then helping my patients achieve whatever level they *choose* to.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:45 AM   #13
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The method of using the meter to test whether a food is okay, was actually how Dr. Bernstein came up with his menu. He did that himself, if you read his books.

I did it, just because it made sense to me, and was amused to see he also did the same thing.

I find it hard to suggest that a person should follow a plan by an individual, and then say not to use the method he used to come up with the plan. If Dr. Bernstein had not used his meter to test his foods, there would be no Bernstein diet.

I think Bernstein has gotten great results, and if his plan works for you, and you get good results, that is awesome, and much simpler.. I agree on that.

However, if you decide not to stay as strict, or do not like his crackers, and are not going to follow his menu exactly, then you can still use his methods for determining if a food is OK.. by using the meter.

In this way, you can build a list of acceptable foods that you enjoy eating.. EXACTLY like Dr Bernstein did 50 years ago.

This will give you flexibility, if you decide to eat 40 grams, instead of 30 for example, or do not want to eat crackers, and wonder if another fiber rich food is okay. Bernstein liked the food on his diet, and it did the job, but it is not the only food that does the job. You can still follow the principles of his diet, with different foods, and the only way to determine if they are okay, is by testing with a meter, since the goal is keeping BG low.

In the past 5 years, I have not had a reading over 110 mg/dl, unless I cheated. If any food resulted in a 75-100 mg/dl spike, outside of my willingly cheating, I ceased consuming it.

Bernstein said that you could make a list of foods, and their quantity, and determine a SET BG response, that would be repeatable day after day, without variation.

He would eat 1/2 cup of berries for example, and know it would spike his BG 10 mg/dl, and it was repeatable 100 times out of 100. This allowed him to say.. my BG is 53 mg/dl, and I need to eat enough to raise my BG 50 mg/dl.

Then he would consult his list and eat 5 servings of 10 mg/dl foods, or 3 servings of a food that spike his BG 16 mg/dl.

It is the basis of his diet, so while he has provided a diet, and the simplest way is to simply try it, and see if it works, there are benefits to understanding HOW he came up with his diet, and knowing that you can do so also, if you are faced with a food, that Bernstein did not like.

It IS more complicated, and I had to eat all my foods separately, and test them to get my chart, but it does not vary at all. Maybe I do not have a lot of stress, but the food reacts the same, absent a few other minor factors, which I have never experienced enough to make a difference of 5 mg/dl possible.

I think the Bernstein diet is wonderful, an have reduced my carbs down to levels which will hopefully get me lower A1C's ( currently 5.0 ), but find it hard to eat a lot of the food on Dr. Bernstein's menu.. especially the Wasa crackers. I find them to be atrocious. Any variance on the plan, should be tested with the meter.

If you are following his diet exactly, then yes, you do not need to test THOSE foods. Some people might want a little more variety though, especially since we all do not like the same foods. That is where this method comes in handy.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:54 AM   #14
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I have fallen into the idea of eating a serving of fruit on some days Aomiel.

My diet tends to be very strict for a time, and I feel great, but then I wonder.. can I eat peas? Or berries? Or pineapple?

So I expand my menu, and usually it is not good. I see a spike in my BG, but worse, tend to have minor cravings, and usually scurry back to the safety of 20 g a day of carbs, and the foods I know work.

It is human nature to want what we cannot have, even if we know it isn't good for us..lol. We talk ourselves into it over weeks, and months, until we just go ahead, and do it. A month of pineapple slices later, without any weight loss, we finally admit.. maybe fruit wasn't such a hot idea. I have this issue with cheese too. I love cheese, but have to eat it very rarely, and find it hard to stop at 2 ozs. So I just do not eat it any more.

Doesn't stop us from wishing we could though, or eventually caving in. We just have to be aware of that. I tend to talk myself into it, by saying " I need more variety ".

The truth is, it is just an excuse. I want one particular food usually, and my diet has about 10 items, and I like them all. I am not tired of eating chicken twice a day, every day. I just want pineapple slices.. so I lie to myself.

So before adding a food in, it is always best to ask why you are doing so, and if it is necessary, or wise.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:39 PM   #15
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I don't know if it's so much wanting what I can't have. For me, I find that my truly safe foods start losing their appeal after a while, the taste wanes, sort of like getting used to your cologne so you can't smell it anymore. I want to enjoy my food and I do, but the idea of spending the rest of my life eating certain foods so my A1c is 5.0 or less is not for me. It's like Aomiel said, it's about compromise and how much you're willing to compromise. I'm fine with an A1c hovering around 5.4.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:23 AM   #16
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Russell, the problem with 'eating to the meter' is that *all* meters have a +/- error of up to 20%. At one point I had over 10 meters and never got the same reading, at the same time, from any of them.

I'll stick with Bernstein as I think it's a far more accurate way of controlling BG's (so says my 4.8 A1c and off all meds )
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