New to this

Hi everyone, I'm new here. First, a little background - 51 years, T-2 for 6 years. Initially on Metformin - but it didn't seem to have much effect. My Dr took me off it and recommended instead that I try just diet and exercise (said I'd eventually need insulin anyway).

I was also Sent to a dietician who gave me an eating plan (I might say this was the "standard" high carb diet - here in Australia endorsed by Diabetes Australia - the equivalent of the ADA). Nothing worked, stuck to the diet, exercised vigorously every day for more than 12 months - blood sugars all over the place - average daily reading about 144 - but could go as high as 270.

I'm ashamed to say after 2 years of this I gave up, put my blood glucose monitor in a draw and ignored my diabetes. This year, I started getting a few warning signs - tingling in the toes mainly (also then worried about kidneys, eyes etc). I knew I couldn't go on ignoring my condition - but I couldn't go back to the recommended diet and become frustrated and angry at not being able to control my blood glucose levels.

That's when I started researching on the net and came across Dr Bernstein. First I got his e-book, with questions and answers about diabetes and his regime - then I bought a copy of the Diabetes Solution (2011 version).

I was convinced that this was the way to go. It all just made sense.

I found a new Dr who agreed that from the reserach she'd read - it also made sense - and encouraged me to try it.

I have now been following the Bernstein diet for just over 10 days (adhering to it very strictly).I have also been briskly walking daily for 30 minutes, exercising with weights and doing 30 mins of Tai Chi.

Already I have noticed that my blood pressure has improved markedly (I am on Ramipril and Caduet - an ace inhibitor combined with small dose of Lipitor. Also take low dose aspirin daily). My blood glucose is averaging 180 - I know that to many of you that is high - but it's down from an average the week before (first time I'd tested in 3.5 years) of 270 !.

What I want to know is - how much more of a drop in blood glucose can I expect ? - and over what period ?

Thanks for your help - and for all the wonderful greetings I've received since joining the forum ...

Welcome to the forums!

At 180, I'd say insulin is called for. Even on a Dr. B diet, the glucose will be extracted from your protein / fat intake, but it will still show up and put your BGs in the 140s+. Hitting 270s means your pancreas just can't keep up. At all.

After about 3 weeks on the diet, your metabolism will start to change and you should continue to notice your BG levels come down, but I suspect insulin will be called for as O said. No biggie. They are just small doses and will ensure a much lower BG (say 90s to 100s) which is where you want things to be to avoid the tingles. =^)

Watch for more advice from the others and take it all into consideration, then talk it over with your low carb friendly endo. Good call on ditching the Nutritionist's diet, they generally aren't very good. Also, don't sweat the past. Pat yourself on the back for taking on this beast now. It's not easy, but you're doing right by yourself by trying to get it managed. Now you've got the best tool their is, IMHO, Dr. B's book.

I've been low carb for roughly 2 years and been able to maintain good BP, a nice <6 A1C, and minimal tingles after 27 years with T1 Diabetes.

I became a LADA(Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of the Adult) at 56yo, a Type 1. I was clued into Dr. Bernstein by a PWD who was a nurse. I have followed his plan religiously for three years now. My A1c is 5.1 without insulin, meaning the low carb regime has preserved what residual pancreatic function I have. I have put forth a lot of effort, but just the fact that I've been able to squeeze a few more years out of my pancreas is great.

Now, I am concerned about another issue - have you ever been tested for LADA? Tu has another group for LADAs. Search that group for posts on testing from a woman named Melitta.

We represent 10% of all Type 1s who represent 10% of all diabetics. This is not common, but thought to be highly underdxed. In AU, there are a lot of people of Irish descent. Many of these people also carry genes for Celiac. I am in the US, but have a Celiac gene, no Celiac disease, but that gene is also responsible for LADA.

So, what I am saying is that there is a chance that you could be a Type 1 if you were never tested for GAD65 antibodies and other things. Insulin is the treatment for us because we don't produce enough insulin. Even though I was dxed as LADA from the beginning, my Endo Rxed Metaformin and Onglyza. Neither one of those meds moves my bg more than 5-10 pts. Until you get your antibodies tested, and there is a panel of things you need tested, you should stop beating yourself up.

Just sayin'.....

BTW, I also exercise a whole lot. It is not just the diet.

Thank you Sheila, I do have Irish ancestry. My mother, 3 sisters and 2 brothers all have late onset diabetes T-2 - all are thin as rakes - so I don't think this is "lifestyle related". I will ask my Doc to test for LADA. Thanks for the advice.

Hey Onesaint, thanks for the welome, encoragement and helpful information. I want to give this at least 2-3 months to see where I go in terms of my BG. I want to take the data to my Dr after I have my next A1C, to see where to from here in terms of meds etc. I'm hoping that the progress I've made so far continues ... thanks again.

Agreed. Changes (when possible) should always come one at a time in order to most accurately gauge the effects. Stay steady on your course, you're doing good.

Welcome. Like others here, I have greatly benefited from a low carb diet. But I also decided that Dr. B's recommendation to "normalize" blood sugars also made sense. I wasn't going to be happy with the A1c of 7% my doctors recommended. So I am much more aggressive. And by being aggressive you can also heal from much of the damage that ocurs with high blood sugars.

When I initially started a low carb diet, I saw an immediate effect and after 2-3 months I had achieved most of the benefit. It may take you some time to recover from the higher blood sugars. Those higher blood sugars stress your pancreas, that is why we see more recommendations to start out with insulin. Then when you have normalized and recovered, you may well be able to taper off the insulin.

By using Dr. B's eating plan, you can expect to hit NORMAL blood glucose [5mmol/l 90mg/dl] It may take a week or two to get there, but it's perfectly possible. You can also avoid "progression" to insulin. The think it's inevitable here in Britain too, but I haven't had to increase my 2 x 500mg Metformin per day in 10 years and my control is very near NORMAL BG [A1c in the 5s!]
I eat basic foods home cooked and keep very healthy. Pretty much NO processed food gets into my house. Recently I've gone to the "part-time fasting" eating plan. Just one real meal per day and that one small eg, Portion of Greek salad or chicken and green veggies or piece of fish and veggies. Sometimes an egg with something. I don't eat baked goods or grains, but have the occasional small new potato. I also eat small portions of fruit, which Bernstein wouldn't approve of. If I snack, it's on nuts or cheese. I go to the gym 3 times most weeks and do about 1 1/2 hours of moderate intensity exercise. I'm a grandmother and can prety much keep up with my very young grandchildren. I care for them often as my daughter is aa primary school teacher.

I would definitely echo Sheila's suggestion. If you were never tested for c-peptide/GAD65, but were diagnosed solely based on age/high blood sugar, you could be one of many, many people (including me) who was initially misdiagnosed. There is still a perception that kids get type-1, adults get type-2, even though there is no longer any science behind that. Not sure if you saw this WSJ article of misdiagnoses; it has been widely circulated in the past few weeks:

I still encourage you to learn ways to help your management through diet, but if you need insulin, you NEED insulin, and there's no benefit to delaying it (in fact, there is the potential for increased complications) so I'd want to get a solid diagnosis ASAP.

You can expect to reach completely normal levels. However, like some others have suggested, I would consider getting on insulin as quickly as possible, and once you get in normal ranges, start fine tuning accordingly.

Blue Parrot!
I'm one of those folks who don't believe that progression to insulin is inevitabe. I'm married [41years] to a lifetime T1 and have seen the sting in the tail that insulin has. It's far from being an easy solution, but it gives the illusion you can eat as you might like. It IS of course essential to T1s!!
I've been Bernsteining for about 8 years. I've gone of plan occasionally and I do eat carrots, peppers and tomatoes and a little fruit.
Still I'm holding A1cs in the 5s, which isn't as good a Bernstein himself, but it's pretty near NORMAL on 2 x 500mg Metformin per day. I'm complication free, fit and active .