I had bloodwork done this morning. As most of you know since I say it so often, I have had type 1 for 60 yrs and 3 yrs ago switched to a plant based low fat diet. I eat close to 300 carbs a day while injecting about 19 total units of insulin as long as I ride my exercise bike 7 to 10 miles daily. I love the exercise so it isn’t an effort.
My new A1c is 5.4, but what has me really thrilled is that my total cholesterol is now 149! My previously very high LDL is down to 79. I take 10 mgs of a statin 3 times a week. I am very grateful to a member of this board who suggested taking this very minimal amount. Most people take 50 mgs a day. I didn’t believe that cholesterol mattered until I received heart stents in 2009. Then is was too late. Besides having an off the charts LDL number close to 300, I had a grandfather who died of a heart attack before I was born, 50 yrs of type 1 with many years of urine testing, I was hypothyroid and led an extremely stressful life. I ended up with heart disease, although I did not have a heart attack.
I am so very pleased with these numbers and of course I am pleased too that my A1c has dropped a little. Almost as low as when I was low carbing. I couldn’t be more pleased and had to share.
Wow. No wonder people complain about side effects!
I started on 5 mg/day of a statin about six months ago. It dropped my LDL cholesterol to 50 in US measurements, which actually flagged as a slightly below the lower limit of normal. My total cholesterol was 126 and HDL cholesterol was 62 in US measurements. My previous levels weren’t alarmingly high, but were high for someone with long-term diabetes. I resisted taking statins for years because of what I read on these forums, but I finally decided that I’d rather risk side effects than regret not taking them in 20 years. It turns out I’ve had zero side effects, probably in part because I was started on a dose ten times lower than what others appear to be started on.
I wonder why US doctors seem to want to start people on such high doses of medications (I read about this frequently here)? Mine tend to start me on the lowest dose (or even half the lowest dose sometimes) and work up if it’s not having the desired effect, unless I’m having some acute problem that needs immediate treatment and a higher dose of a medication right away seems necessary.
I’m really happy to hear that your numbers have improved so much and that you’re following a lifestyle that you’re happy with.
Good for you! You are an inspiration. I enjoy many plant based meals including some higher carb things like oatmeal and beans (not together of course) I would like to know how you dose for things like oatmeal and beans. I have tried many different ways. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Congratulations on the A1c. My lowest was the other day at 6.0. I just can’t seem to get below a 6, but I’ll keep trying. I started on a low dose of a statin 3 months ago after quite a bit of argument with my doctor. I finally gave in. I have had no side effects and my lipids are down to normal. Yay. Thank you for sharing.
So glad that a tiny amount of a statin reduced your LDL so much Jen. I would add another day to my statin taking so that I take 40 instead of 30 mgs a week, but I get neuropathy in my feet from the statin which I find rather ironic. Zetia did it to. As soon as I quit taking it, the neuropathy goes away. I have great sympathy now for folks living with neuropathy. I only get a slight burning, which I notice at night, but it still bugs me. It is listed as a side effect.
Yeagen, since I eat a very low fat diet, but insulin resistance is very low. It was unmeasurable the last time I had it tested. I don’t make any of my own insulin either.
All of my meals include beans, rice, oat groats, lentils or potatoes. At night I often have rice and beans along with salad. For breakfast I eat a small amount of oat groats, and 3 kinds of fruit. I just don’t need much insulin any more to cover these foods. When I started this way of eating I couldn’t eat rice, or sweet potatoes without my glucose levels climbing, but now it isn’t a problem. I take 11 units of Tresiba at night and 2 to 4 units of Novolog before meals. The amount of insulin I take depends on how much exercise I am getting.
I’m quite interested in your diet and lifestyle. I’ve read in your other posts that you don’t use any new tech, but would you mind sharing what meter you use and how often you test? I’d like to know more since you have such excellent results. Also do you fast or do anything else of the sort? Thanks in advance
Peep, I use a FreeStyle Freedom Lite monitor. I test whenever I get up at night and then about 6:00am I test again and give a shot if I think my glucose level is going to rise. I usually go back to sleep for another hour. Then as soon as I wake up again I test again, give another shot and eat breakfast. I test again before I go to the gym. If my glucose level is dropping too much I will eat more fruit, I work out for close to an hour, test again and go home take a shot and eat lunch. Sometimes it is an early lunch. I test again within two hrs after lunch. If low I eat more fruit, if higher than 140 I give a shot. I test again before dinner and give a shot, and once I am below 100 which I normally am, I eat dinner. Then I don’t eat again until morning unless I drop too low. I test again two hrs after dinner and then again before bed. I normally go to bed with a glucose level of around 120 because I realize I will drop in the early morning hours. Sometimes I have to eat a piece of fruit to get up to 120. This is the very minimum of what I do. I often need to eat a piece of dried fruit in the early morning hours. I will wake up if I drop down to under about 55. I test then too.
I could probably drop my Tresiba shot from 11 to 10 units, but I don’t like to deal with dawn phenomenon.
When reading this, it all sounds like a lot of work, but it is really very routine for me.
The longest I fast is 13 hrs. I never skip meals. My husband of almost 50 yrs and I
really enjoy eating our meals together. So far I haven’t seen a need to fast.
Our lives have become very routine in our retirement. Our lives in the past have been extremely stressful, and since my husband’s 3 bouts with cancer from 2010 to 2017, we really appreciate our time together. We both are feeling great now and enjoy our lives. We plan to do a lot of traveling once our 14 1/2 yr old dog dies, but now our traveling is limited to going back and forth from our house in the mountains and our beach house 8 hrs away.
Well, that is really interesting. I was posting over at FUD about how I’ve noticed my feet burning during exercise and numbness/tingling at other times. This didn’t start with the statin (I’ve had it for years), but recently has become more noticeable. So maybe the statin is causing something I’ve had for years to be more noticeable. (I’m not convinced it’s neuropathy versus something like a compressed nerve, since it mostly bothers me while exercising or in certain positions.)
The burning is really quite annoying, but so far I only notice it if I’m exercising. It’s something I’ve noticed in the past at times as well, so I don’t think it’s totally new, but definitely more noticeable.
I read in a book that research shows statins can deplete CoQ10 and that some researchers suggest taking it to reduce side effects. I have some in my cupboard that i bought a while ago and never took. So I might start taking it to see if that has any positive impact.
I am overweight so I’m also hopeful that if I can lose 100 pounds I may be able to get off cholesterol and blood pressure medications. That will take a while to do, though. In the meantime, I trust that doctors and researchers that the benefits outweigh any risks. If I do develop further symptoms that I think are side effects, my doctors have always been flexible at stopping medications and trying others.