Dr. Bernstiens Diet - And Pumping

Hi everyone!

Its been a while since I've done a forum post. But its become necessary now since starting the Dr. Bernstein diet today.

I have a couple of questions. Which would be lovely to hear from Type 1's specifically.

My first worry is that Richard does not recommend being on a pump? It seems like his justification is tissue scaring and in turn worse absorption of ones insulin. But I would love to hear if someone is successfully on this diet with an Insulin Pump and possibly how you dealt with such a big change.

I am also worried about how low the carbs are. I would be grateful if someone could recommend if I should lower my basal rate right from the start. Or weather a temporary rate is useful in discovering how my body reacts to low carb. I know the typical 'consult' your doctor responses may be inevitable, but I am very good with adjusting my rates and would rather see someones own experiences in the transition to a low crab diet.

I've really chosen and inconvenient time, as I am starting UNI this Monday and I don't want to be falling into hypo's every second of the day. Especially during orientation week. As well as not being able to concentrate from the lack of carbohydrates.

Those are my more direct questions. But please let me know how the diet has worked for you (if it did) and any recommendations or suggestions you have concerning how to go about it.

Thanks Tu Diabetics and Loved ones of Tu Diabetics!! I hope you are all doing well in the struggle for a healthy body!!


I don't "Bernstein" however I did go to college. I'm not sure I'd recommend doing a huge diet change right as you start university as college can be a time of huge transformation. I went to the University of Illinois which is a huge (30-40K students...) and a geographically large campus. This was in 1985 so Dr. B *was* around but I never heard anything about him at the time. If you are going to UNI @ Perth, I think there's a huge, municipal park there that would be interesting to explore and it might be a bit dicey to be "fueling" exploration w/ 20G of carbs/ day? If avoiding the "freshman 15" that is a popular "option" in the US is a goal, I'd agree with that but I'm not sure that being the "low-carb" girl @ uni would be the most fun identity? I found crazy rock and roller to be a much more pleasant identity than "diabetic person" who doesn't eat many carbohydrates. That being said, I probably ate (and drank...) way too many carbs and ended up gaining weight during college and for years afterwards until I got on the "losing" bandwagon when I got older. The best thing I *ever* did was to learn about martial arts at that age, getting really into it. I'd suggest finding a club that's not "competitive" but developmental and going that. If I had done that when I was 20, I'd have been a lot better off? Maybe that's not your thing either. I'd recommend having fun and I'd recommend keeping your BG in control but I'd hate to say "college can only be fun with Dr. Bernstein...". Good luck either way!

I am a T2, but may be able to help. I've followed Bernstein since 2006. First off, although Bernstein does not like pumps, I know a number of T1s that pump and do Bernstein (or very low carb) quite successfully. There is a Bernstein group, you could consider joining. It is also good to get his book "Diabetes Solution," which has just been revised.

For the most part, a perfectly tuned basal will only offset your body's natural glucose production which will remain the same on a low carb diet. That being said, there are two things which may cause problems, first while you may think you have a perfectly tuned basal if your current basal levels are providing any significant coverage for your meals you may need to reduce your basal. Second, many people lose weight and become leaner on a low carb diet, this will lead to a reduction in basal as body weight drops (but this is a slower change).

I kinda agree with Acid, you have not picked the most convenient time for your new adventure. Orientation. That is not exactly the time where you will have control over everything. You won't control your activities, you will likely be up at all hours and you may have little control over the food situation. I applaud your idea, but I do provide some caution on the practicality of your start time.

What you might do is take this week to "transition." Eat lower carb, 50, 100 or 150 grams per day (I don't know where you are today). And then when school starts, you can figure out how to deal with a very low carb diet. Many schools now have nutritionists on staff and the dining halls can make special efforts to help meet needs.

Hope that helps.