T2 - 3 years - still no meds. ZERO carbs

Hi friends,
I will try to be short. My doctor told me when diagnosed 3years ago that unavoidably, even if I succeed to control the diabetes, I will end up on drugs and possibly insulin. My A1C was 12% at the time. I refused Meformin or any other meds. Started immediately a zero carb diet.(that is really a misnomer - still getting my carbs from veggies and some fruits and nuts). Successfully holding my A1C at 5.6 - 5.8.
OK, this is my news. Had problems with fasting readings. I am a very early riser (4.30-5.00am). At that time my fasting will ALWAYS be between 95 -105. Regardless of time going to bed, if I succeed to sleep till 6am or longer, my fasting is ALWAYS in the low 80's, often high 70's. I tested this now for many month and it is always so.
Next, I decided to try - and it works, not to eat, only liquids after 5pm. That gives me a full 12-14 hours for a great fasting reading!

KEEP FITING - you can do it, I am doing it.

While diet-control does not work for everyone (regardless of carb level and eating patterns -- and some doctors will tell you a 12-14 hour fast will set you up for some amazing spikes once you break that fast), it is one of the better methods for those of us for whom it works, for as long as it does work.

That all said, please make sure you are consuming at an appropriate calorie level for your weight, height, and activity level -- the sort of diet control needed to stay off diabetes medications can sometimes set us up for some odd eating disorders...

Hi Tmana, thanks for the comments and your concerns. Although I have not seen a slice of bread for 3 years, I do keep a close watch on my diet. So far so good and as long as I can avoid meds, I will do all in my power.
Be well

Great story. For many of us a low or very low carb diet is more effective than any oral medication. I started following Dr. Bernstein soon after diagnosis and it made a huge difference, but sadly my fastings never came down and steadily got worse over the years. I'm glad this worked for you and hope that it continues.

I think too that things change over time? I see changes w/ T1 (rates/ ratios...) all the time so I would think that whatever one might do w/ T2, it might not work the same forever? As long as you are testing a lot and keeping an eye on it, I think that's ok. My goal is always the best BG possible and I'm always alarmed to learn about T2 situations (including several I can think of that have been recounted here on Tu...) where doctors are like "oh, 150 isn't that bad, you don't need any meds..."

God bless, you are so correct. Most doctors are very ignorant about diabetes. They tell you A1C 6-7 is good!!Never mind that you may loose your legs, have kidneys failing and get blind! I am furious when my GP Doc. tells me this kind of stupidity. I know my diet is tough and many people just can't do it. I guess I am very lucky, I do not have a problem with it. This diagnoses really scared the $%^&&@ out of me and it was very easy to do it. I know my pancreas is pretty much gone - if I eat 2 crackers, my sugar goes to 200 immediately. So I don't eat them.
Thanks for your reply,
Be well, Lucy

One issue is that there are several distinct varieties of "T2", but the doctors refuse to recognize this or help us isolate which type we have. Some respond to low-carb, some to calorie-restriction (some to low-carb WITH calorie restriction), some require low sodium, and some don't respond to diet at all... Similarly, we each respond differently to each general class of oral diabetes medication.

I think that T1 is, in many ways, easier? If you want a burrito, you take a bunch of insulin. If you want margaritas and chips and salsa, you take a bunch more. Whee!

But you have to fight to get ENOUGH insulin, because some idiot insurance company says you only need half of enough to handle basal, and you only need to test three times a day, and you don't need a pump or CGM... Not to mention that T1s can develop insulin resistance, not to mention allergic reactions to the various analog insulins, site infections, scar tissues... Some would say you need to eat to minimize your insulin needs, rather than just bolus for that Crumbs cupcake...

LOL, for a while, Walgreens were trying one bottle/ month, instead of 2. The rx was 50U/ day and I don't always use that much and am actively trying to use less but, at the same time, 30x50= 1050 but a bottle is only 1000 units, so I was getting "shorted"! They were cool about it but I am always anticipating trouble. Especially this time of year. The BCBS office is right across from a huge park. I could *easily* put golf balls through their windows if they don't behave...

This is true, but a T1 will still spike ... Or at least I do ... If I eat something like chips and salsa even with a bolus I will spike to a level that many T2s would consider too high.

So it's sort of the same problem, either inefficient pancreas or inefficient synthetic insulin ... Except T1s also have the challenges of lows and highs caused by things out of their control or minute changes in food/activity/stress/hormone levels.

Sorry to hear. I just adore Dr.Bernstein's approach and explanations. How long you had T2? Are you now on some meds? Hope to hear from you. Lucy

Well, I was diagnosed in 2005 and started Dr. B in 2006. Even on the diet and with aggressive exercise I was unable to reach blood sugar goals, working through medications eventually using triple therapy. I started insulin a year ago last december. Diet and exercise wasn't enough for me, but I am pleased that it has worked for you.

I know it is very different for each of us. As long you are in control, you are OK. I do hope I can keep it up. I was overweight, lost about 40 Lb. and plan to loose another 20lb in next two years. Seems that the less fat cells are in the pancreas, the more beta cells recover and start producing more insulin. Will see. For now, God speed, be well. Lucy

Your doctor is repeating what he learned in medical school - and his continuing education is funded by pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, the clinical studies he uses to advise patients were also funded by pharmaceutical companies.
At my diabetes classes, the CDE told us "Everyone in this room has heart disease." I asked how she knew that & she replied, "When diabetics are diagnosed, they've usually had it for several years." She also said, Every diabetic will be on insulin if they live long enough." Guess who develops the curriculum & funds CDE's education? Novo Nordisk, Merck, etc.
Fruits & veggies are the best ways to get carbs.

Congratulations on finding what's working well for you. Hard work & dedication, for sure, and worth it.

I'm T1 & have been following Dr. Bernstein's recommendations for over 3.5 years. Shudder to think where I'd be now without this guidance. My goal is not to take large doses to attempt to cover high carb food. The eat-whatever-cover-with-insulin approach is not the route to control from my experience.

Difficult to find progressive dietary advice. A friend is a CDE. One of her CDE/RN colleagues was threatened with having her credentials revoked because she wrote an article that butter was healthier than margarine. That's how closely people are monitored to toe the party line. Any wonder that we hear the same thing everywhere from everyone?

Congratulations, great story and you have great preservence.

One note on Dr B. I used to have a subscription to his audio service and listened to him for quite awhile. Your A-1C of 5.6-5.8 would be too high for Dr B and he would use meds to get it down. Dr B wants a A1-C for everyone around 4.8, Type 1 or Type 2. If your A1-C's remain in the mid to high 5's your meter could be reading low too.

Meds would likely get that down, but with what your doing it probably would not take much. Understand too though Dr B has alot of zeal for this A1-c of a normal 20-year old and how achievable that is is another thing for many of us.

Research Dr B's recommendations for A1-C and Blood Sugar 101 web site on normal blood sugars for more information.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Shortly after I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes, I quickly discovered that most of the information about diet that is dispensed by CDE's, nutritionists and dietitians, is wrong - starting with the fact that they almost always counsel consuming many more carbs than diabetics should if they want to keep their blood sugars under control.

As far as I'm concerned, any CDE who makes a gratuitous statement like, "Everyone in this room has heart disease. When diabetics are diagnosed, they've usually had it for several years," is not only a bit ignorant, but also veering pretty close to giving a medical opinion without a medical licence.

They would do their clients a real service if they would instead advocate low-carb or lower-carb diets, exercise, medication if their doctor prescribes it, and watching what kinds of carbs are consumed. One dietitian tried to tell me that 'a carb is a carb is a carb'. From the standpoint of normoglycemic people, that's true. But certain kinds of carbs are deadly for diabetics, and some, like the ones contained in fruits and veggies, are beneficial.

Congratulations! Keep up the good work!

I'm 55 and was diagnosed as a T2 diabetic ten years ago. I'm ashamed to say that I have had terrible numbers for much of that time due to an eating disorder and ignorant/unhelpful doctors. I've had more than one A1C in the double digits -- and more than one under six -- over the years. I've lost and regained a lot of weight several times.

I just had a battery of tests done on my heart a few months ago, including a treadmill test, a myo-scan, an echocardiogram, ultrasound, chest x-ray, etc. and every, single test came back perfectly normal. The cardiologist said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my heart.

Every diabetic is different. I was a vegetarian and a vegan for many years and had a total cholesterol below 150 for much of that time. I've never had high cholesterol at any time. Every diabetic body is different.