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Old 08-14-2014, 04:29 PM   #1
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Newly diagnosed; finding

Hi all

New member and my first post. (Yay!) Pleased to meet you!

I'm a newly diagnosed (2 months ago) diabetic who's trying to find her way in the world. I took a diabetes management class that was very helpful from one of the local hospitals. They and my doctor both recommended a "controlled carb" diet to help stablize my blood sugar and potentially help with some weight loss. (Side note: I'm about 350 pounds so desperately need to drop quite a bit of weight. Very discouraged here.) Any time I have lost any weight at all in my life, it was through the use of some form of a low carb diet, so I am thrilled that that was the answer. I can understand a low carb diet in theory. It makes sense to me. I'm allergic to both wheat and dairy, so that helps point me this direction as well.

As I said, I am finding my way around this new lifestyle, and trying various options to see what fits. One thing that is happening astounds me, and I would like to know if anyone else has experienced this. I tried Atkins induction and immediately got ill with body aches and foggy thinking, and the usual induction flu symptoms. But they were SO MUCH worse than they were pre diagosis that they scared me. My blood glucose numbers dropped quickly (though they were still very high. I've gotten them down a little better since then, but they are still high) and that speed frightened me. I have similar issues if I wait too long to eat at any one time - I hurt all over, get very, very tired, and feel profound relief once I've eaten. I'm nervous to experiment any more for fear of doing more damage to myself and my blood sugar stability by cutting carbs too much or eating too many. I'm drawn to the Atkins program - it makes sense to me - but am afraid induction is too strong and the OWL isn't strong enough. Has anyone done this and ended up in the hospital or something from it? I have no doubt once the right mix is found, it'll be fine, but is the testing and seeking period in between dangerous? Will I make myself more sick trying this? I know my mind is running away with me a little, but I'm a little scared to make any changes at all right now.

Am I the only one going through this? Or am I just a little (or a LOT!) crazy over here?

Thanks for any feedback. I appreciate it.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:38 PM   #2
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Hi, hope. Glad to see another Texan on the forum. I've been a diabetic for 24 years with very few side effects. The most important thing you can do is keep your blood sugar at a normal level. Never, never lose sight of that goal. My husband never took the disease very seriously and has now had about 40-50 laser procedures on his eyes (and will never be able to have cataract surgery because of this). He was in the hospital 8 times in one year mostly due to kidney damage that could have been avoided. And he's now got severe foot issues due to the neuropathy caused by diabetes. You must control this disease so it won't ruin your life.

I'm so thankful for what Dr. Atkins taught us. But the best primer on diabetes is Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution. As far as making a low carb diet work, I've had much success from reading Jimmy Moore's new book, Keto Clarity. To make the low carb work, it's helpful to keep your fat intake high, your carbs low, and your protein moderate. Too much protein will cause the liver to put out more sugar which isn't good for diabetics. If you will keep the fat up (up to 80% of daily calories), there should be little or no induction flue. And it should cause all the problems you experienced anyway.

Just remember: Eating correctly brings freedom. Eating otherwise will cause your body to control your life and that's not a bit fun.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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Dr B's book, attitude, and example are great. If you are a reader, get the book and plan to have lots of pages bookmarked.

I am also devoted to Blood Sugar 101 (book & website). I have an inexpensive meter and lots of test strips. When I eat something new, or when I want to know if things have changed, I test my BG before eating, then 1 and 2 hours after.

By eating LCHF, studying current research, and thoughtful BG testing I keep my BG below 115 mg/dl all the time. It is a lifestyle change, but it sure is a good one.
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I did not "lose" weight. I evicted it. It is gone and it ain't coming back!

JUDDD cares about calories. JUDDD does not care what you eat. Your body probably does.
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:28 AM   #4
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Atkins always worked for me as far as weight loss. Not so much for controlling the diabetes. As others have said, I'd get Dr. Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution" as it is low carb specifically for diabetics. His diet is designed to reverse the IR which, ultimately, is what is going to control our diabetes and help us to lose weight.

I discovered that on Atkins I was eating roughly 110+gm of protein per day. Following Bernstein, I never eat more than 63gm. That difference made the difference between BG's under 100 and BG's over 140.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aomiel View Post
Atkins always worked for me as far as weight loss. Not so much for controlling the diabetes. As others have said, I'd get Dr. Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution" as it is low carb specifically for diabetics. His diet is designed to reverse the IR which, ultimately, is what is going to control our diabetes and help us to lose weight.

I discovered that on Atkins I was eating roughly 110+gm of protein per day. Following Bernstein, I never eat more than 63gm. That difference made the difference between BG's under 100 and BG's over 140.
I had read a prior post from you where you mentioned that your BG wasn't controlled with Atkins and I didn't know why, but now I do....it's the protein. Interesting.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:56 PM   #6
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Atkins worked for me. Five years ago I was on 2000 mg Metformin, and Amaryl in the morning, and had very high blood sugars.. 200-500.

I started Atkins, and on day 2, my blood sugar was 90. I spent a year having low blood sugars, doing Induction, under 20 g total, not subtracting fiber, before my doctor cut me off my meds completely, after reducing them at 6 months.

You test your blood sugars, so use that meter to make sure you do not get too low ( below 70 ). If you test and it is 60, have a few carbs, like a cup of berries, or some green beans. You just want to nudge it back over 70, but not over 120.

Now, 4 years after getting off meds, I find that my blood sugars do not drop as fast, without meds. Right now, you are eating carbs, and then taking meds to drop blood sugars. Stop eating as many carbs, and you will have lower blood sugars. If you do it enough, you will eventually not need the meds to maintain a 70-110 blood sugar range, as long as you stick to lower carb. For me, that means under 50 total carbs, usually 35 g a day at most, similar to Bernstein. It's worth it, to not have to take 3 pills a day.

With lowering carbs, your biggest concern as a diabetic is low blood sugars obviously, but instead of trying to keep blood sugars high enough, so that your meds don't cause a low blood sugar, think of it more as if your goal is to eat just enough carbs to stay over 70 mg/dl. Kind of like a balloon that you do not want to touch the ground, just keep bumping it back up.

If you can maintain 130 mg/dl with meds, you can also maintain 80 mg/dl with a meter, and 5 g of carb snacks to bump it up. There is no difference between aiming for the bottom of the range, and the top, except that when you learn to stay near 80, you can reduce meds, until you no longer need them in many cases. Once that happens, you will find that you are much more stable. I can eat 3 g of carbs a day, and not have low blood sugars, but also find that if I space out my 30-50 g of carb on my high carb days, I don't go much above 100 mg/dl. With meds, I would be at 180, and 2 hours later, it would be 96. Now it might be 106, and 5 hours later, without me eating anything, it will be 90. My blood sugars do not go up or down rapidly, because I am not eating lots of carbs to spike my blood sugars, and then taking pills to drop it rapidly.

Now 5 years after starting, I have a 5.0 A1C, and stable blood sugars. Be vigilant about how low your blood sugars go, but aim for 80, not 130. You will know you are having a low blood sugar if you get blurry vision, but do not panic. have a few carbs and wait for it to pass, and try to have 5-15 g of carbs with each meal, depending on how many meals. Test 2 hours later, and see where you are at. Note the food you eat, and how much it spikes blood sugar, and how long it keeps it above 70-80. Some meals take a while to digest, and keep it elevated for 5-8 hours, while others may only do so for 3-4 hours, and require a small snack, like a few slices of tomato, or 2 ozs. of cheese to make it to your next meal.

This only was necessary when I was still on meds. Now I eat every 6 hours, and even if I have 0 grams of carbs, I don't get low blood sugars. I ate at 9 a.m. ( 4 XL eggs.. 3.2 g ), and then had chicken in olive oil for the next 2 meals ( 0 g ), and no low blood sugar. Once high blood sugars aren't a worry, then all you need to focus on is staying over 70, and most days I have a serving of fruit, or 5-8 servings of veggies, so that is not even a problem. The last time I had a low blood sugar was 2 years ago in an overnight hospital stay. For me, diabetes is not something I think about, except to try to explain to others how they can get it under control.

Don't worry about low blood sugars. Learn how to avoid them. Get that A1C below 6.0, and tell your doc to reduce meds, then repeat until you can do that without any meds. It may be uncomfortable when they first drop rapidly, but if you don't spike them back up, you will only feel that once, since you will never have a big drop again, right? It will take some practice, but with time, you will learn to keep it near the bottom of a healthy range, say 80-110, and your doctor will notice, and be required to drop your dosages.

You say your blood sugars are still high, so you are obviously eating too many carbs still, so drop the level until you get blood sugars that are good. Then stay there. With each dosage change, you will need to make sure to make dietary adjustments, but it is easier than you think.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:07 AM   #7
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You say your blood sugars are still high, so you are obviously eating too many carbs still, so drop the level until you get blood sugars that are good.

Too many carbs...or too much protein. Excess protein (and that will vary by individual) will also cause a glucogenic effect...just like carbs. Even on Atkins, when my carbs were below 10, my BG's were still quite high. Since your BG's dropped even on Atkins, Russell, I'll make a guess that you weren't eating excess protein for your body...but it is something to keep in mind if you're doing everything right on Atkins and the BG's still are high.
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