Hey everyone! I was so shocked and excited to find this group involving Dr. Bernstein! I was a former patient of his and went into his treatment plan 2 months after my diagnosis. I was treated very poorly at the local children's hospital and decided that I needed to find another way to manage my disease. My mom came across his book and we rushed to NY to start treatment! I am not going t lie, as an 11 year old girl this was a very overwhelming and hard protocol to follow but I was determined to do it because I wanted to control my diabetes in every way possible. Dr. Bernstein is an extraordinary individual who has made remarkable discoveries of this disease. Now 7 years later, I have hemoglobin A1Cs in the pre-diabetic range (6.2) and still follow his protocol. Unfortunately due to costs I had to stop getting treatment directly from Dr. Bernstein. The experience I had with meeting him and receiving treatment from him has opened my eyes on so many different levels for diabetes! I would be more than glad to talk to any who has questions, or wants to share experiences with!
My son now 16 was diagnosed last year. He is still in honeymoon. I am following a 6 12 12 (not to the letter/Bernstein diet) for my son.
If you where to best describe a day or advise - how would you summarize Dr. Bernstein's teachings to you and what do you follow?
You are a very lucky girl to have such wise parents. I am so happy for you!
Dr. Bernstein taught me that this is a disease that is possible to control, if you go about it in the right way. Instead of avoiding the fact that you have diabetes, like the conventional way advising that you can eat whatever you want, he taught me to face my disease and deal with it. The best way to control type 1 diabetes is by diet. Going on a very low strict carbohydrate diet is very important, which I see you have started!(Dr. Bernstein has a very good cookbook to use!) I can confess though this is very hard to follow especially as a teenager, but if your son is motivated enough to do it he is one strong fighter! It's also very important to monitor his blood sugars throughout the day to notice any patterns so you can avoid any hyper or hypoglycemia. (I usually test my BS 8-10 times a day) Dr. Bernstein really emphasizes on how he wants his patients to have normal blood sugars like any other person who has a working pancreas. I would advise testing his blood sugar 2 hours after he eats to see if the food he is having is agreeing with his blood sugars. (I really found his Gluco-Chart to be very helpful in writing down all my blood sugars so I can see the big picture. I also use a multi color pen to mark high blood sugars in red, normal in green, and low in blue. This helped me a lot in managing it all, and seeing where I need to make adjustments in my insulin.) Another thing to keep in mind is that with being a teenager there are so many variables in managing diabetes and there are going to be your good and bad days and the best thing we can do is just stick it out! I hope this helped you out, and if you want me to share any of my personal experiences with this all I would be more than glad to! I follow a strict version of a paleo diet, and I would advise you to read "Wheat Belly" as well. I wish you and your son the best in fighting this disease.
I couldn't agree more, thank you :)!! I am very thankful to have them.
Are you using a CGM? Perhaps this would be a better way to monitor the constant changes? Since my son is in honeymoon with more stable numbers, the insurance company will not allow (too little insulin given).
No grains are in his diet and and he is following a paleo/bernstein/low carb diet.
About the only place he is not is at the 8 - 10 times bg checks per day to see where what his bg is doing. And since he is not dosing short acting yet - he is not in that arena. That is really the next big step that I think will be important for him. Once he transitions out of honeymoon - Will he accept it? or reject it? Did you have a transition? or did you slide right into full blown Type 1?
How do you best advise that he checks more often without the rejection?
Welcome to the group. I'm so happy that you got the opportunity to treat with Dr. Bernstein before it was too late. Keep up the good work. You should read his book now the you are a big girl. (if you haven't already)
Yes, I just got my CGM the other day before I go to college so I can be more independent with living on my own! I am not too fond of having something attached to me but I am getting used to it all, and it is definitely helpful in seeing the trends of my blood sugars. I did have a transition from the honeymoon stage. I think the biggest thing for me was before I could even understand what was really going on with my body I went into Dr. Bernstein's treatment and he really emphasized how important it is to monitor your blood sugars. So I didn't have time to reject it because he didn't make it a choice. For me, I am really interested in seeing how my blood sugars are effected by different variable throughout the day, since there are so many things that can fluctuate it. I personally believe that this is going to be a transition that he will have to get used to. I feel that it would be best to gradually go into this, by testing more each day. It sounds like to me if he is willing to take such drastic measure with controlling this disease with diet he will have no problem adjusting to this all. Something that really helped me in this all with transitioning to such a strict treatment plan was making sure to take a day off to just be able to relax and almost cope with everything that has been happening cause it is very easy to get overwhelmed with in dealing with diabetes, and it has definitely happened to me before! I think it is honestly so amazing for what you and your son are doing for to manage type 1 diabetes.
I have read his books! "Wheat Belly" is also a very interesting book that shows how the history of wheat is also the history of diabetes, so I would recommend for you to read that if you are interested.
It's cool that we have a couple of members that actually have been Dr. B patients. Thanks for sharing your story!
I've heard of "Wheat Belly" I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet though. Will definitely read it now.
Thanks for sharing your experience. We often hear very shrill cries about Bernstein's diet not being appropriate for children, that they will feel deprived or different. Did you feel different or deprived?
I'd also ask you what your plan is for college. UVM is a great school, but often dining plans don't always have good low carb options.
I will have to admit it was challenging for me to try and cope with being a newly diagnosed diabetic and going on such a different/strict treatment plan compared to other diabetics my age. I did feel different, and it has been hard but I wouldn't change my decision because my results have been so satisfying!
I am a little concern with the dining halls for college but I have been in contact with a dietician there and I should have no problem with them accommodating to my diet. I plan on eating a lot of salads and preparing meals for myself to put in the refrigerator at my dorm!
I do eat certain dairy products recommended in Dr. Berstein's book, such as cream, cheese, and plain greek yogurt. I try to choose dairy products low in sugar and carbohydrate content. I have recently started using almond milk and coconut milk/creamer which has benefited me a lot due to their nutritional value! My meals mostly consist of protein and vegetables. After being diagnosed a grew a huge liking to cooking homemade meals, so I get a lot of my meals from Dr. Berstein's cookbook, the Wheat Belly cookbook, and and Everyday Paleo cookbook. I would recommend any of these cookbooks because its nice to try new things and have variations especially being on such a retracted diet. My go to meals though is usually a chicken cobb salad (which is very helpful to order when going out to eat), or some type of grilled chicken with steamed vegetables. If you do like to cook, I would definitely advise you to try those cookbooks out because that really helped me in adjusting to this type of diet. There are so many different recipes, including dessert! I hope this helped you out, and good luck with going on this diet! (I can definitely understand that this is not easy!)
To anyone following the "Bernstein Diet" or something along those lines, I found a really useful gadget to make vegetable like spaghetti, called "Vegeetti"! It is so quick and easy to make! I have the link below if anyone wants to try it out. I have found this so useful when I am in a rush to make something to eat. (I usually use zucchini and it makes delicious vegetable noodles) I hope you guys find this useful as well! :)
We use it all the time. Use the thicker noodle slicer for cucumber!
My son diagnosed in 2013 has been following Bernstein for a year. And as carlyo7 replied that sometimes it may seem "different" than others,but, it works! therefore so much more satisfying! Tonight we went out for dinner. I had a salad. He had steak and spinach! He is 16. Then we just landed home and I am making coconut bars layered with dark chocolate sweetened with toffee stevia!
Off to college in two years, he will not have all of the fun goodies that we make at home. I am digging for recipes that he can make on his own. Every teen can have a jar of almond butter and organic unsweetened peanut butter on their night stand!
I'm a big fan of these also!
I will second the Vegeeti, I have one. Like carlyo7 I like to cook and cook everything from scratch. I had been using my mandolin but it always made me nervous and my wife would actually leave the room anxious about "accidents." Zucchini spaghetti is now a staple in my house, blanch them quickly for 3-4 minutes in boiling water, drain and coat with olive oil or melted butter and serve with your favorite sauce (I like regular tomato/meatball and pesto).
I have a dear friend, T1 and celiac who just graduated. She was able to have the college assure that there would be appropriate foods in the dining hall for her and they even gave her things like a case of nuts so that she would have appropriate nutrition. Just make sure that you declare your diet and that it is specified by your doctor, don't let the dietician tell you what you should be eating.