Looking for fellow low carbers


#1

I started reducing my carbohydrate intake in July. I haven’t had bread since and now I’m having very little carbohydrate at all, just what’s in green vegetables and occasionally a baby new potato with a main meal.
I’m in England,where we have a potato variety called Vivaldi, which is far lower in carbohydrates, whilst still tasting wonderful.
I’ve read everything can and I’m convinced that this is the right way to go. It makes sense after all.
I have also lost about 30 pounds, but now it’s stuck at that. I’m still about 50 pounds above my weight in my 20s. I’m now 60.
I was diagnosed in July 2003 and followed my doctors and nurses instructions. Which meant loads of medication.
Now I’m better able to control the sugars and have managed to reduce the medication drastically.
Initially my GP told me that the condition is progressive. I’m out to prove him wrong.
I also want to stir up Diabetes UK, who insist that the high carb diet is the right one. I have managed to get them to admit, in writing, that they know there are many diabetics who do well on the low carb approach. So I’ve made a tiny chink in the wall.
I’d like to get the word out to as many people as possible and need to find a large cohort of low carb diabetics to support my campaign.
Diabetes uk and the American Diabetic Association are so entrenched in their views that it’s going to be a major battle. to get through them. Even though it would reduce the cost to the NHS considerably.
My diabetes nurse is throwing up her hands in horror and practically shouting “Don’t do it!” whilst having to admit that I’m actually doing very well.
There’s been a lot in the press lately about an explosion in obesity and diabetes, which they say is as serious as global warming.
With the right knowledge spread more widely, maybe we can make a difference.
I’d especially like to hear from diabetics who’ve followed a low carb regime for a long time


#2

Hana,

I ate a very low carb diet for 5 years, and put together a web site filled with information gleaned from daily participation in the alt.support.diet.low-carb newsgroup back when it was extremely active, and from other research.

It is at http://www.phlaunt.com/lowcarb

Getting those last pounds off is extremely hard. For me when I was losing weight the secret was to count calories along with carbs and use software and a food scale to make sure I was getting what I thought I was getting. This is especially true if, like me, you are older, as weight loss gets much harder the older you get.

Are you taking Metformin? It can really help with weight loss. Alternately if you are taking a sulfonylurea drug, it can work against weight loss (glipizide, etc.)

I eventually moved to insulin not because my diabetes got worse–it didn’t, but because I turned out to have a genetic form of diabetes that should be treated with insulin supplementation, not Type 2. But during the years when I could not get a proper diagnosis, the low carb diet kept my A1c in the 5% range.

Even now, when I eat what feels like “a lot of carbs” it is not anywhere near the amount misguided nutritionists suggest people eat. 120 grams a day is for me a HUGE intake of carbs, even with insulin. I am often closer to 60 grams.

The reasons for the promotion of the high carb diet are a combination of very poor science (documented in Gary Taubes’ book, Good Calories Bad Calories, folk-belief–“Eating fat makes you fat” and lobbying by the food companies that profit from selling cheap carbs as processed food.

The “low carb diet” fad of the last 90s, sadly, also discredited low carb dieting for many people because the many “low carb” products that appeared on shelves were NOT low carb, being filled with things like sugar alcohols that raise blood sugars, and so people who ate what they thought were “low carb” foods and did not lose weight or get better blood sugars.

Congrats on doing such a great job with your research and yes, you can look forward to many years of health!


#3

I’ve only had the diagnosis for a month. but I realized right away that carbs were out for me. Before I went to my 2nd dr appt my bg was 118. Then I had 4 no sugar cookies and by the time I got to the dr my bg was 307. I’m staying away from carbs as much as possible. I got my first invitation to a “do” since being diagnosed, and I decided to opt out rather than having to deal with the “why don’t you have one” and the Are you a recovering alcoholic?" I’m not ready to deal with all that yet.
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#4

You’re still very new to this situation, although as you know you’ve probably had diabetes for at least 5 years. Your blood glucose meter is now your best friend. Keep those numbers low and you’ll be fine. Remember YOU are in charge. learn as much as you can and don’t assume the medics know best. They often don’t. Read Richard Bernstein and Gary Taubes and TAKE CONTROL! this kind of forum, where the contributers have personal experience beats any number of years following the party line in medical school. There are no essential carbohydrates. You will learn what to do safely and keep well.


#5

By making sure you do your blood sugars each day that will show you your numbers and to help keep you in control of your diabetes. As far as your eating habits go, each person is different. It is a learning process along the way. Yes, there will be frustrating days. Just take it one day at a time.


#6

In my opinion this graph says it all:

The graph is from an interesting symposium presentation by Professor Jovanovic at:
http://www.diabetes-symposium.org/index.php?menu=view&id=404


#7

thank you so much for putting me on to this. I looked at the whole thing and it’s great. I have emailed the adress to my doctor and will definately refer to it in all further work I’m planning.


#8

I have been low carbing for just over a year now. I follow the Dr. Bernstein program. On Nov 11 2006 when I was diagnosed
I weighed 251 lbs, my A1C was 6.1 and my cholesterol was 167.
One year later I am currently at 175 lbs. A1C is 5.4 and my cholesterol is 155 with triglycerides of 39!
I eat lots of fats. I cook in coconut oil. I use olive oil in my salads and all of my vegetables have butter on them. I think I am living proof that the old low fat diet just doesn’t work for diabetes.
Low carb is the way to go!


#9

lI follow roughly the Bernstein programme. too, but bend it a little.I won’t give up carrots, fruit or peppers! I have a biology degree and think I can do that. I also found a quote from a diabetic dietician working in the NHS. (I’m in England) to the effect that she has NEVER met a diabetic patient who can control the condition on the recommended diet, without loads of medication. The NHS and Diabetes UK recommend pretty much the same as the ADA.
The ESTABLISHMENT would claim that only the brightest students can get into medical school, so what happens to their thinking abilities when they graduate?
The high carb/ low fat diet doesn’t make sense even if you haven’t read Bernstein or Taubes.
I tried doing as I was told and just gained weight. Now I’ve just had my latest retina exam and been told I don’t need to be seen again for 9 months, because I’m so stable. What retinopathy I have( not much) was probably caused pre-diagnosis. Nevertheless the diabetes care nurse has the horrors at my diet, even while accepting that I’m very well.and have lost about 30 pounds. in the 6 months since I started low carbing.


#10

Why am I not strong enough to low carb as I know this is the way to go. I have been Type 1 for 41 years and know that this is the way to go, but I struggle with it daily and now I am at a point where my diabetic body cannot handle the highs and lows any longer. I am also of the age where I am struggling with weight gain. Why cannot I not do the low carbing as I need it for my diabetic health along with the aging process. Ahhhh!!!


#11

Take one step at a time.
Firstly make sure you don’t snack on cookies or crackers and then gradually tighten up. I haven’t eaten bread for 6 months and I love the stuff. I’ve even given my bread maker to my son-in-law.
I have type 2, but my husband has had type 1 for 30+ years. He has a rare gene and developed diabetes in his late 20s. He has complications of eyes and Charcot feet. At his last check up, the doctor said that the kidneys were less good than previously. His A1c have never been very good.
Tthat’s the point at which I put my feet down firmly and for the first time he let me… I had figured out that he was eating carbohydrate to keep up with the insulin regime that the nurse had mapped out for him. I persuaded him that’s not a good idea and that he must cut his carbohydrate intake and match it by reduced insulin. Losing weight whilst taking insulin and keeping sugars low is near impossible. I haven’t got any weight off him, but he’s now measuring much better sugar numbers( 5 to 7 mmol/l c[onversion factor is 16 for American numbers]). He even started to get hypos, until I told him to reduce the slow insulin. Starting by a 10% reduction and then 10% at a time, every few days. It’s working. We’re both eating very little carbohydrate and he seems well. I certainly am. You can make things better, but you have to understand your own body. If you don’t already have it, get the Bernstein book. Everything you need to know is in there. I have chosen not to cut fruits and carrots for myself. Basically we have meats, fish, dairy and leaves. For myself I’m a bit fanatical, but today, I walked with my health group and I did the longer route for the first time. It’s about 3 miles cross country,including a hill. Afterwards I went to my daughter’s house for a light lunch. I ate my small spinach and leek pie and Waldorf salad and took a Starlix to cover it… I only use them on occasions like this now. I find I don’t need them when I’m on my own at home. I have also started to take flax seed oil as a supplement. Take little steps, reduce your carb portions gradually if you find it hard. It soon becomes routine. Trying to go “Cold Turkey” is a recipe for failure in many people


#12

You may be addicted to carbs. It is an issue covered in the Bernstein book. You may actually need to take medication to help you cut your carb craving. I was lucky enough to be able to go cold turkey. Also, you may not be getting enough fat in your diet. Fat makes you feel full. You will see that it helps eliminate the carb cravings. I cook with coconut oil and use lots of butter on my veggies.
Good luck, and don’t give up!


#13

Hana,

Great posts! There’s an English woman named Nicky who posts on alt.support.diabetes and alt.support.diabetes.uk (you can find her posts and read those newsgroups via Google Groups). She has been featured in your media several times. She’s working hard to get Diabetes UK to recognize the advantages of the LC diet.

Things are actually a lot better now than when I was first posting on the advantages of the low carb diet for diabetes n 1998 and people online responded by telling me I was trying to murder people with diabetes! It has taken longer for the UK to catch up. But I do see progress.

The conversion factor for translating blood sugar from mmol/L to mg/dl is 18, not 16.


#14

Karen, maybe we can be a sort of support group for each other. I think I am going to try and cut carbs in the new year. I have gotten Dr Bernstein’s book and I am hoping it inspires me. I know that trying now, during party season and at such a busy time is not a good idea for me, but hopefully I can get it together in January.

Have you tried a low carb routine before? Like any strict diet, it must be hard to maintain for any length of time

Shortly before I was diagnosed, I tried the S Beach diet. I went very low while exercising and tore into a bag of fritoes like my life depended on it. Again, this was before diagnoses…no meds or insulin. I think I am very sensitive to carbs and to insulin, I always struggled with hypo glycemic incidents if I didn’t eat. I am hoping to not have to give up all carbs (wishfull thinking?) but just be very conscious.

Maybe we can get a group together to help each other in Jan…I know, resolutions are so lame, but we need to do it…why not then?


#15

I have also been trying to get some sense into Diabetes uk. So far I have got them to admit to me ,in writing, that they know that many people do well on a low carb diet, but they still recommend the other. I also read a quote somewhere that no type 2 diabetic can control the condition on the recommended diet without medication. Wouldn’t you think they’d see the connection? I know several other type 2 people. Mostly older than me. I’m almost 61., who never test their own blood and who happily eat toast for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch every day. I sometimes go to a little cafe locally for a coffee or tea, where older folks forgather and see them there. The cafe belongs to a church and is run by volunteers, so is a lovely place to go.
I suspect that if most type 2 diabetics were not elderly, more would happen, but most of us belong to the “we cope and don’t complain” generation.
In addition, I have tried to improve the availablity of test strips to type 2 people. the NHS allows me 3 packs of 50 strips per year. I could buy them if I were not on a smallish pension and they didn’t cost twice as much in Britain as in the USA. I can’t buy from a USA website, because they won’t mail to Britain. Apparently someone has decided that frequent testing does nothing to improve the health of type 2 people…
It’s a received wisdom here that the condition is always progressive and leads to complications which eventually kill us. According to both Dr. Bernstein and David Mendosa, there is no need for these things to happen.
I have manageed to keep all complications under control. ( my slight retinopathy probably predates my diagnosis and is stable) I have also reduced my medication whilst keeping blood glucose readings at about 5-6( 90-108) with the occasional slip up. The worst I’ve done in 6 months was 10.1 (181.8) that was the result of overcompensating for a low sugar crash. How do I measure? My husband has type 1 and I steal strips. this is illegal, but I probably save the NHS money by doing it. The only medical treatment I’ve needed in 4 years, other then the diabetes, has been for an ingrowing toenail and my routine influenza vaccine. I rarely even catch cold.
Sorry about the slip up on the conversion factor. I knew it, but just got sloppy.