Tips for getting started on a LC diet

You´re right according to my doctor. He should know since he is both head of the department for endocrinology and senior cosultant at the largest and most renowned hospital in my part of the country. He says it´s almost impossible to control and that the gland probably swithces on and off more often than it´s possible to measure,- he tells me to listen to my body and my own experiences and act accordingly. Off course I draw blood every third week and test both THS, T3 and T4 to adjust my medication, but he telles me to come more often if I feel something is wrong.

Graves´ is exhausting in it´s nature. Remember that every cell in your body works overtime, including your heart cells, so one should be careful and slow down. I find it almost impossible to be physically active on a regular basis. One is the muscle weakness, exhaustion and the short breath (that are all Graves´s or medictaion symptoms), but also that my blood sugar is getting really out of hand for days to come. I think it is the extra stress the activity causes that wrecks my blood sugar and causes the response to be different every time.

Graves´ and type 1 diabetes is rare and really not easy to handle. To me, the hardest part has been (and still is) to really understand that my activity level should be at a minimum. I know it is suposed to burn out after a couple of years, so I try to take it easy and kind of wait it out.

I don’t think my endocrinologist is that comprehensive. I’m getting blood draws every six weeks and only measuring TSH and T4. On my last one my TSH was high, though T4 was in range, so I’ll be curious what the one I get in a few days shows. So far I also have not had my medication adjusted, but I am only four months into this, so I really have no idea how things work.

Yeah, I had to get an echocardiogram done to make sure my heart is okay. I got diagnosed in emergency because my heart rate and blood pressure were dangerously high and would not come down. Turns out I’d been having many symptoms building up for weeks and just didn’t realize they were all connected to Graves’ disease. Now I’m paranoid that I’ll develop another autoimmune disease and not know the symptoms until it becomes an emergency, especially because they were telling me about Addison’s disease (another autoimmune disease that’s associated with both Type 1 diabetes and Graves’ disease) at the hospital.

My endocrinologist did say that I was somewhat rare. :slight_smile: I’ve read that, like Type 1, Graves’ disease only makes up about 10% of autoimmune thyroid problems, so it’s definitely in the minority. It’s nice to find someone else who knows what the combination of the two is like!

Well, this past week has not been low carb, but now that I’ve eaten most of the high carb stuff in my apartment and have done some grocery shopping for low carb stuff, I’m ready to dive back in this week. Even though I struggled a lot with lows this past week, my average blood sugar was still significantly higher than it was the week where I just did partial low carb; further evidence that I really need to do this! (I also think it’s the only way I’m going to lose weight.)

I finally found some dairy-free, potato-free (most dairy-free ones contain potato) cream cheese I can eat and tried making these pancakes, which actually worked and were pretty good! Though they were a bit higher carb, since the dairy-free cream cheese is higher carb than regular cream cheese. I’m going to make more this afternoon and see if they will freeze.

I also found some plain coconut yogurt that is fairly low carb (I was eating plain almond yogurt but it has literally disappeared, I’ve been looking for it for months, so I think it may have been discontinued in Canada or something). I usually eat yogurt and fruit but am thinking yogurt and nuts might taste good. I bought some mixed nuts last week thinking that they would be a good snack, but stupidly did not read the ingredients and started having an allergic reaction as soon as I ate a few (reminder, again, to read ingredients on everything). Turns out they contain potato starch. (Add that to my list of things you would not expect to find potato in, along with deli meat, hamburgers, and chocolate.) I’ll have to get plain nuts and mix my own, I’m thinking.

Today, for the first time, I will try spaghetti squash noodles and cauliflower rice (which I’m hoping I can freeze) and maybe zucchini chips or noodles. If all works out, tonight I’m hoping to have spaghetti squash noodles with “cheese” sauce (made with cashews and nutritional yeast). I’m setting up a menu for Monday to Friday so that I won’t have to think much about what to prepare and can go get all my grocery shopping and as much preparation as possible done beforehand.


Hi Jen,
I am so happy to know that you found the cream cheese pancakes helpful!! I love them and always eat the entire batch!! Oops! I know others who have added savory spices and used them more as a savory crepe stuffed with mushrooms etc…

I had maintained a pretty strict LCHF diet for several years and recently have been really struggling. Your comment about eating all the high carb stuff in the house made me laugh! Thank you for that!!

Oh, and I find spag squash so yummy!! When I cut it in half to roast it, I add lots of olive oil, oregano and other spices. I hope it turns out for you!!
I cannot eat dairy either but do great with sheep cheese such as manchego. Worth a try maybe!? The enzymes needed to digest sheep cheese are very far removed from cow. Goat cheese is still too similar and I don’t do well with that. Most people can do sheep. It’s spendy but worth the indulgent yumminess!!!

Thanks again for making me laugh this morning. It’s been a tough one. Cheers to cooking and LCHF yum. Let me know how the squash goes😜!

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Haha. Well, I had all this food and couldn’t bring myself to throw it out, so had to eat it! It wasn’t unhealthy, but wasn’t low carb. I probably should have waited until I’d done that to start my new eating plan to begin with!

Interesting, I’ll have to look into this. My issue is an allergic reaction (immune response) to the proteins in milk (which are also in cheese, butter, cream, any food with milk listed as an ingredient), not an enzyme issue like lactose intolerance. My allergist said not to eat goat’s cheese, but didn’t say anything about sheep. I’ll do a bit of research on that.

Good for you for your renewed effort. Maintaining health can be time consuming but I’m sure your efforts will be rewarded. Good luck and I hope to read about how it goes.

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Hi Jen, they had almond yogurt at Choices in White Rock last time I went (a few weeks ago, I think?). Don’t know if that’s too far for you, but perhaps they could ship to other areas in Canada?

Three days in and so far things are great! A few minor highs and lows, but incredibly stable overall (so much so that I lowered my upper limit to 7.0 mmol/L, and had to lower my low limit from 4.5 mmol/L to 4.0 mmol/L because there are hours at a time I just hover at 4.3 mmol/L and it was annoying having it alarm constantly!).

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well done… if you find your self going high after a protein meal on low carb., some find a bolus for 20-50% of the protein is needed
(sometimes a struggling T2 finds It’s easy to dislike T1’s and instant control :slight_smile: )

that chart is good enough to joint this site and post it :slight_smile:

So far I haven’t found protein to be an issue. It might be that my basal rates are covering it—I’m still trying to get those sorted out overnight (I’m flat all night but some nights I’m 4.5 all night, some nights I’m 7.0 all night, some nights I’m 10.0 all night…). But I’m also not doing a super-duper low carb diet, the past three days have been around 50-60 grams of carbs.

you do the carb level that works for you, good numbers good weight…a winner

it sounds like your night time basal isn’t too bad, nice and flat in general. Is it the meal/correction bolus setting up your bedtime level?

the good news is when you sort the overnight out, you can skip breakfast and work out your till lunch time basal , then luch, then dinner :slight_smile: that will sort out how much the basal is covering foods, it did go low in the afternoon.

It could be related to the last meal of the day, maybe… I’ve also had to adjust settings a lot lately (all basal rates down by 0.4 u/hr and I:C ratio from 1:8 to 1:12 over the past few days) due to hormones, so every time that happens trying to find the “new right” is hard (happens 2-3x a month as my hormones change).

you know I’m just guessing but would a calendar help to know when they strike and have the different basal rates written down or loaded… depending how many your pump will let you run)

I wish that would work. Unfortunately it’s not that predictable (the timing as well as the amount I need to raise/lower everything). It’s predictable in that I can be like, “This should be happening any day now…” but not predictable in the sense that I can mark a day on a calendar and have my hormones change on that day and know to raise/lower my settings by X amount. I’ve thought about using preset basal rates, but it’s just too variable even for that—sometimes I only have to change things by 0.2 u/hr while other times it’s 0.6 u/hr, and same for the amount that hte ratios get changed, so I find it easier to just use one basal program and change that.

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One (full) week in:

Average BG: 6.2 mmol/L (111 mg/dl)
Standard deviation: 2.0 mmol/L (36 mg/dl)
Highest BG: 13.6 mmol/L (245 mg/dl)
Lowest BG: 2.7 mmol/L (48 mg/dl)
Within target range: 66%
Above 8.0 mmol/L (145 mg/dl): 20%
Below 4.0 mmol/L (70 mg/dl): 14%

One to week two…


Your time in range at 2/3 (66%) is very good. The variability as measured by standard deviation is also respectable @ 2 mmol/L. I think you’ll improve in both of these measures as time goes on. Your time low at 14% is a bit of a concern and you don’t want to move your average lower until you can at least cut that in half down to 7% or lower. Are these times low happening at specific times of day? As you cut your standard deviation, that will lead to less time low. A very impressive first week!

I think the low percentage is so high because I spent a lot of time hovering in the 3.7-3.9 mmol/L range. But I agree, I’d like to get that down. One time I almost always go low (or else have to eat a snack with no bolus to prevent a low) is during my commute home from work. I’ve tried for the past year to fix this by adjusting my basal rate during that time, but it doesn’t seem to be a basal issue. It might be an “activity” issue (commuting for an hour on public transit), as I fairly often start to go low during commutes (except the morning commute to work, which also involves a kilometre of walking from the bus stop to my office, but makes no difference to my blood sugar).

After posting this I had a horrible day today—low of “LOW” on the Dexcom and high of 18.0 mmol/L (324 mg/dl). Not sure what happened. I spent most of the previous three days high, so put my basal rates up by 0.1 u/hr, and then had two lows and one near-low, so put my basal rates back down by 0.1 u/hr, and then skyrocketed way up and have been stuck there for over an hour.

I don’t count it as low until I’m below 3.6 mmol/L. That’s when I can detect physical symptoms so that’s where I set my personal low threshold. Late afternoon is always a low hazard time of day for me. I think that’s true for many people. Perhaps a basal rate change 2 hours before you typically leave your office could help. A temp basal would be a good trial.

Have you ever mixed up some glucagon and used 10-12 units in an insulin syringe to treat a low? It’s not practical or economic for every day use but using some emergency glucagon that’s going to expire anyway might make for an interesting experiment. I say this because I know you’re trying to lose weight. Treating lows with extra calories is maddening albeit necessary.

Bad days happen. Getting back on track sooner than usual can be a meaningful victory.

I’ve never tried using mini-dose glucagon, mostly because I can’t see well enough to measure a syringe. I’m hoping they come out with a glucagon pen soon, because I would definitely use that. I’ve used temporary basal rates before, and they seem to help. If I can get in the habit of setting one, I might try doing that before most commutes I make, since probably 75% of the time I end up drifting low and needing to eat regardless of time of day (and then most of the time drifting high and having to correct…).

Here’s hoping tomorrow is better. The frustrating thing about bad days is when I haven’t done anything to trigger them. I suppose no diet can fix that aspect of diabetes.

Ragarding how things work; in my case I have had my medications adjusted many times. First time was only after two weeks. I have adjusted my meds nearly every third week for 1 1/2 year according to my test results. But that´s me. Thought you would like to know. Maybe this is just as individual as insulin needs.