Low carb diet and varying activity levels.?

I just started reading into the low carb option for me and I am a bit confused. I would like to ask some other T1d users how it is working for them. I have an extremely irregular physical activity level.i can sometimes go a 14 hour shift at work and totally go without insulin use and ingest about 150 grams of carbs in that time frame and still manage to go hypo. Then on other days I can use my usual basal and eat 20-30 grams of carbs per meal and have to bolus to keep my levels in check. I am just looking for some information on amount of food and how many times a day you guys are eating along with levels of activity you are seeing daily and how it’s working out for you? Thanks

Welcome to TUD, @Antonio2!

This is a pretty common topic around here so I’m sure lots of people will be able to respond. It might help us to know what treatment regime you are on first, though. At a guess it sounds like basal-bolus MDI with lantus-novolog or levemir-humalog, is that right?

Yup Humalog on an Omnipod and using a cgm. My last A1c was 5.7 which was up a bit from a 5.2 but I am a bit up and down and that’s what led me to the low carb diet. I see lots of articles regarding type 2 diabetics but not much on us. My main concern is people that have a really steady day to day routine must have a much easier time controlling there levels but I don’t have that luxury my daily activities are all over the place.

@Antonio2 – I’m a long term T1D who started on a carb limited way of eating four years ago. I eat about 50 grams per day. I eat two meals, late breakfast and early dinner and a few snacks, mostly nuts. My exercise consists of daily walking but I do vary between 1.5 and 6 miles per day. I wouldn’t classify my exercise as strenuous but It does elevate my heart rate. It has a noticeable effect on my blood glucose. I recently changed to MDI, Tresiba + Apidra after 29 years on the pump.

About the only suggestion I would have for you is to back off on your basal using a temporary basal rate when you anticipate or realize that you’re getting above average activity. I’d start with minus 20% (80% of normal) and adjust from there. Ideally you should set the temp basal two hours before the elevated activity. I would guess the expected exercise duration and set the length of the temp basal. That way, if you won’t forget to turn it back on, it’ll just time out unlike a pump suspension that requires both an off and on command.

This persuades me that you’re probably producing some significant natural insulin. Be grateful for this as it’s very desirable for controlling blood glucose. You can encourage this lingering natural insulin production by maintaining blood sugars as close to normal as possible. Most people experience the loss of this natural ability over time. Your recent A1c slide from 5.2% to 5.7% may be evidence of this decaying honeymoon. Some people can enjoy the honeymoon phase for years.

I think eating low carb is an excellent choice to extend your honeymoon while keeping your blood glucose in check. Congrats on your awareness of this issue!

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That makes things easier when it comes to managing a shifting routine, but it can still be a challenge if it varies as widely as yours seems to. One thing a lot of us find is that low carb (and I’m not as LC as some around here) helps decrease the amplitude of all your swings so the unexpected is easier to manage. From what you were saying I thought you might be on a fixed basal; one of the great things about a pump is that you can do a temp basal or even suspend delivery for a while when you need to. They all have different ways of doing this stuff, and some have more restrictions than others, but it really sounds like you should be digging into the users manual to see what yours can do. Tricky thing is the lag time between making those changes and having them take effect in your metabolism. Some folks are using the pump just for basal and bolusing with Afrezza, because it acts faster and clears faster. That might be worth looking into.

While I don’t have the experience to offer an opinion on how to set your basal to account for varying amounts of activity, I can respond to the value of a low carb diet.

I started in May, 2015. Since then, my A1c has gone from 6.8 to 5.7. Cholesterol is lower even though I have increased pasture raised fats in my diet like butter and cream. Thyroid medication reduced by 30mg. Insulin requirements down by 20%

Everything just seems to be working better.

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DrBB I used temp basals and I change isulin delivery and quantities as needed but like you mentioned it takes a while for it to take affect.I am going to keep reading into it I just figured I would actually speak to people who are T1Ds and are using the LC diet.I get many responses from people stating they compete in triathlons and other strenuous activity use the LC diet but I am a bit confused as to how eating 15-30 carbs a day can keep your body fueled when doing that much excersize.I know that even though you are not ingesting carbs the food you are ingesting is fueing your body and because of the low blood sugars you tend to feel a bit euphoric well euphoric may not be the best word to describe it but I am sure you guys know what I mean.I’m guessing a person that does the LC thing must constantly be eating in order to not crash when soo much physical activity takes up a greater part of their day.

Just wondering what are everyone’s eating habits during the day for high activity and low activity LC users?i would like to know quantities and how many times a day you guys are eating while using the LC diet? Thanks

I would work on the basal rates and the miss a meal testing. it’s not unusual to have a few different ones to use. as you know, being a lounge lizard on the weekend and working hard need different rates

LCHF should help stabilise BG, ketogenic would do more, as you are running on dietary ketones

Jack16 thanks for the reply but I have a good grasp of the basal rates and how to adjust them my main concern is how the LC diet works in the real world with an extremely active person.I have read about it but it never really explains eating habts like how much food and how many times a day it takes to keep someone going who is really active.I am a bit lost as to how it would work?I mean I would eat tons of carbs and totally turn off my insulin delivery and I would still have extreme lows due to the physical nature of my job so my worry is how would I be able to function on a low carb diet when a high carb diet couldn’t provide enough to get me through a day?

that’s good and one problem out the way.
you can happily burn LCHF all day with 3 meals a day, snack if you want to., some need to bolus for around half the protein "total available glucose"
For T2, It takes about a month to fully adapt to burning fats and the first week can be a challenge, T1’s generally have an easier time of it.

lchf ketogenic athletes

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