The Low Carb Diabetic

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    My Diabetes journey.

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    Paul1976
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    My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Paul1976 on Thu Aug 14 2014, 08:39

    I thought I’d post my story as a low carb lifestyle was the only way forward for myself despite what the current guidelines from the NHS and DUK state.

    Around October 2011 I noticed things were ‘Not quite right’ and I was falling asleep at the drop of a hat,my gums were bleeding heavily when I brushed my teeth,I was peeing like a racehorse,boils and abscesses were popping up everywhere and I had more ‘Thrush’ than a songbird chorus with the added nasty complication of ‘Balintitus’,my vision was often blurred,I could drink litres of water but still felt as dry as the desert and had to carry water with me EVERYWHERE which was a right pain. .BUT, I put it down to just getting on a bit and being under stress from another illness in my life.

    After a search on ‘Dr Google’ my symptoms were showing consistency with a condition called Diabetes although I wasn’t sure which type as I didn’t have a clue and I asked a friend who was a Type 1 since aged 4 if I could borrow his spare optium xceed meter. Well a random test many hours after my usual breakfast of 2 weetabix came back with a reading of 19. Well this was a mistake surely? Tested again and it recorded just over 20.This can’t be right I thought, I’m eating a healthy diet of low fat with heart healthy whole grains,cereals and I don’t take sugar so this MUST be wrong…SURELY?

    Well I thought I’d better rule this out with an appointment with a HCP. Well the day came and I got to see the practice nurse who after ordering a fasting blood test and HbA1c asked me in for my results and told me I had something called Type 2 diabetes, my fasted level was over 12 and I had an HbA1c of 7.5% BUT no worries I was told, 7.5% is good control and I should make sure I eat plenty of whole grains,fruit,vegetables,low fat spread,skimmed,milk avoid fatty foods etc. Well this was going to be a piece of cake….wasn’t it?

    Well, not quite! Apart from still always feeling hungry and ‘ill’ all the time my sugars continued to get worse. I’d already joined a support forum just after diagnosis and I was advised that something called ‘Carbohydrate’ as the main factor in raising our BG levels. I didn’t know what a carb was to be honest except that I believed they were healthy and I thought to myself “This can’t be right or healthy surely???” (The irony I feel now!)

    Anyhow, things continued to get worse and I kept reading the forum and saw there was fierce debates between low carbers and another much smaller group that advocated low GI, low carb-low fat-low calorie and me being confused ended up trying all of them, yet my BG’s continued to climb, I was starving hungry, never felt satiated, was as weak as a kitten and was losing fat AND muscle at an alarming rate. My GP, realising my HbA1c was now 14.1% gave up with all the oral meds he had tried me on which did nothing and packed me off to the Endo who ordered tests which revealed I had Type 1 diabetes although it was a slower onset form and I might get away with Byetta for a while…that failed and Insulin it was to be…by this stage I’d been reading the forums for a while and I noticed something big and that was all the success people were enjoying on a low carb high fat diet,weight loss,normal BG’s,blood pressure,lipid panels the lot and I thought to myself ALL these people can’t be wrong and they’re all eating great grub that we had been told to avoid….I then read a link which told a story of another Type 1 diabetic called Fergus who had transformed his health and reduced his insulin requirement way down on a Low carb high fat regime and I’d also heard about Dr Richard Bernstein,a long term Type 1 diabetic who was fighting fit and advocating the very same through his books and his own lifestyle.

    Out went all the low GI cereals,skimmed milk,low fat spread,bread,spuds etc and in came full fat greek yoghurt,blueberries,blackberries,strawberries,real butter, eggs, cream,coconut oil,lard,olive oil,meats,green veggies,salads and bacon,sausages,mushrooms and eggs were back on the menu for breakfast,that filled me up until teatime and I no longer felt the need for lunch and if I got peckish I would nibble on some mixed olives from the deli,or I’d have a few pork scratching or walnuts and I rediscovered mini salamis were handy snacks, too all of which had little or no effect on my BG’s. Dinners are DEAD easy too..meat and 2 veg,chicken salads with plenty of cold hard boiled eggs,roast dinners without the spuds and with some mashed swede,shepherds pie but with a topping of mashed cauliflower and mashed swede mixed together with lots of butter,Indian takeaway without the naan bread and rice but bulked out with spicy lamb kebabs and salad and many other combinations and recipes I’ve learned off the internet have been great!

    My meter was showing great results as an upshot of this and at my diabetic review last year my tests revealed my HbA1c was down into the 6’s despite my insulin use being very low on just 2 injections a day, my BP was down and my lipid panel had all improved to a good level despite being told by the NHS that sat fats will push them through the roof..well they were wrong! I have continued since then with this lifestyle,my weight is the best it’s been in years and my last HbA1c was 31 (4.9%).

    Paul
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    mo1905
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by mo1905 on Thu Aug 14 2014, 09:19

    Nice one Paul, always good to read a success story like that. I've yet to read one from someone who improved their condition increasing their carb intake !


    Last edited by mo1905 on Thu Aug 14 2014, 09:32; edited 1 time in total
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    Paul1976
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Paul1976 on Thu Aug 14 2014, 09:22

    Thanks Mo! I can't think of one either!
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    Andy12345
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Andy12345 on Sat Aug 16 2014, 12:49

    Ok mainly because i like the sound of my own fingers id like to tell a similar stories to pauls (which was great btw) and for a change I'm even going to try punctuation  Shocked 

    My history: lots of diabetes in my family, my nans, granddads etc. it killed my dad, he got diabetes type 2 and was told that as long as his number stayed at 11 or below that was fine, it was fine to eat normally including cakes and drinking alcohol, this has made me angry with the doctors and I know there are good and bad but I am a little doctor phobic, at the time I knew nothing about diabetes (why would I) and accepted what he had been told, I am ashamed of this, I wished I had gone online to research it at the time and it fills my heart when i see a poster of a friend or relative that comes online to try to help someone else out by learning about it. My beautiful youngest daughter was diagnoses type 2 (at 2 years old) I'm not sure her diagnosis is sound even now, she has taken metformin since, she is 11 now and has recently been diagnosed with thyroid and takes thyroxine, she has been pricked and prodded at GOSH & UCH her whole life, she is overweight and we have always tried to find out why with little success really, we have been told she has hyperinsulinism and can expect a type 1 diagnosis, but years pass and so far so good. (her ends and docs where brilliant!)

    February 9th 2013: I am thirsty, really thirsty! I can drink 3 pints of water standing at the tap, take another to the sofa and within 5 minutes I'm dying of thirst, my wife has researched diabetes and is driving me mad to test my bloods, I am a typical bloke and I am far too tough to worry about my health, in fact I've spent my whole life trying to be unhealthy, I eat takeaways everyday because at home all they eat is healthy food because of my little one and theres no way I'm eating any of that green stuff, apart from the thirst I feel as right as rain, I don't get colds and have never been ill in my life, so I let her do a finger prick test with my daughters machine..... 24.9 hmmmm ok try it again ill wash my hands again 24.9 hmmmm the machines broken! try it on you! 5.2 hmmmm let me look this up hmmmm, so she rings the out of hours doc, get him to come up and see me, so off I go, he does a wee sample, turns round to me like I have cancer or something and says, you have to go A&E right now! this is a mistake right? apparently I had key tones in urine, what the hells a key tone right? My BP was 250/150 so I get rushed from through the A&E past sick people, put in a bed with a drip in my arm and I am told I am a ticking bomb, lol I feel fine! this is a mistake! by 3am I've had enough and discharge myself, I went to the doctor the next day when he told me I was within 5 years of major organ failure, no more Mcdonalds and don't drink coke, That was it! so in a daze off I go, during the boring hospital visit I had found the forum and went home to read up.

    I am not a clever bloke to say the least, I left school at 13 and I am as thick as two short planks, I cannot read long reports or even long posts without slicing them up into smaller chunks but one thing made sense to me out of all the stuff I read, Carbohydrates are Sugar, I shouldn't eat sugar!

    I asked lots of questions, and was convinced Low Carbing was the way to go! this just made sense, so armed with my new found knowledge off I go to the shops to buy loads of low carb foods and start my new life, must have been 2 or 3 painful hours later I walked out of asda with an empty basket and suicidal thoughts, wait no need for suicide I'm about to drop dead anyway! its impossible to avoid carbs! they are in everything! ok so more reading, I downloaded "Myfitnesspal" and recorded everything, this is going to be very hard at least, but I have little choice, I was reading about people like my learned friend above that was eating low carb, it can't be impossible!

    My Method: I stopped eating bread, rice, potatoes and pasta straight off the bat as id read so many say this, then started studying the hidden carbs, I would look at the carb content of what I ate on my fitness pal and take my highest carb meal, then try to change it, I had started reading up on recipes and decided to try and bake! did I say bake? lol was I losing the plot? I couldn't cook toast, but off I went to start finding ingredients, at this time I was basically not eating, I made coconut macaroons, wow! amazing, they were delicious and for the first time I felt like it may just be possible, so i became a crazy baker, I made cakes all the time, I would take them to work and give them to anyone who was prepared to try them, lots were plain disgusting but it was a great distraction and started to learn how to cook other foods well, like steak and stir fry and even veg, no wonder I hated veg, I had only ever had veg boiled to death but I was learning how it was meant to be cooked and loving it! so anyway, each day I worked on my worse meal and even the worse thing in that meal and found ways to change the ingredient, even a single carb was huge and before i knew it i was eating below 100g a day and finding it really tasty and eating great food, by far the best and tastiest food id ever eaten, then one day I recorded 26g, huh? but that was impossible! since then I haven't gone back up, sure I've had days when I ate a Mcdonalds or a chinese takeaway but these are few and far between and have always regretted it, firstly because I felt so bad putting this stuff in my mouth I didn't enjoy it anyway and second because my bg numbers rocketed, I repeat my menu a lot, for example I have steak once a week, I have spaghetti bolognaise once a week (minus the spaghetti plus the leek, and with home made sauce not the jars) and so on, is this boring? no! I love steak lol I have never tried to reduce calories, I have never tried to reduce fat, on saying that I have never tried to eat fat either, I just kind of ignore it, I still cut the fat off of meat because I don't like the texture, if I eat crackling on pork it has to be very hot straight of the smouldering pig or I find it slimy, I like bacon crispy and don't like chicken skin, I eat double cream (a lot) and butter, if we are out for the day with the kids, I take cubed cheddar and cold meats with salad, its so easy! I eat cafe fry ups (a lot) but don't have the toast, chips, beans etc, i have pretty much given up tea and coffee in favour of flavoured green tea (lemon or cranberry) i drink about 10+ cups of green tea a day, otherwise water (I love water) or a rare occasion ill drink a zero coke, if I'm on the road during the day and hungry ill go to subway and eat their salads with meat, I eat 85% dark chocolate (too often and too much) Im nuts about jelly lol its my everyday desert after dinner with double cream, I don't feel deprived, I don't miss potatoes with my sunday roast, I make cauliflower mash, I feel pity for everyone around me eating that stuff while they are pitying me for not having it lol people avoid eating their doughnuts in front of me, lol this is ridiculous! am I going to dribble down my t-shirt if I see someone eating arsenic? no! well thats what the doughnut looks like to me now. I have never drank alcohol apart from the teenage binge thing, mainly because my dad was an abusive alcoholic, so thats something id didn't have to give up (phew)

    Today: I was 19 stone, now 13, bg 24.9 (a1c 112/106 1 day apart lol) now 3,4,5's (a1c 36 in october dunno now) BP was 250/150 now 106/65 Average, cholesterol was 5.8 now 2.8 (trigs 0.6) and I feel great! I still don't get colds and still feel fine but that never changed, I exercise a lot (a story for another thread)

    Sorry if this was a ramble, i wanted to write it in case a newbie happened by that thinks its impossible to low carb, it is not! its fantastic! its a secret they don't want you to know.
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    Paul1976
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Paul1976 on Sat Aug 16 2014, 12:56

    That is one of the most inspiring stories I've read in a long time! Smile Well done Andy mate and it's testament to what LCHF can do for your health! It works and it works WELL Smile


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    sanguine
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by sanguine on Sat Aug 16 2014, 13:11

    Fantastic Andy - I think I've picked up snippets before but what a story. Inspirational mate.
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    Andy12345
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Andy12345 on Sat Aug 16 2014, 14:24

    thankyou, Smile
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    graham64
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by graham64 on Sat Aug 16 2014, 14:31

    What an inspirational story Andy but don't dumb yourself down you had the nous to get your diabetes under control in such a short time and that can't be said for many.

    Cheers
    Graham


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    Proving the LowCarb sceptics wrong for over nine years,

    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes

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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Lesley on Wed Sep 10 2014, 17:39

    Have really loved reading this post!! Thanks guys and well done!

    You have inspired me and I'm sure once i get my menu sorted I will be ok. Just to to plan what I want to eat now x
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Jan1 on Mon Mar 16 2015, 12:18

    It is a sad fact that diabetes is on the rise - even children as young as 10 yrs are being diagnosed, with Type 2.

    But there are things that can be done to improve the situation, one of them being, eating less carbs / sugar. I had a re-read of this thread, what Paul and Andy said is well worth a re-read or first read if you haven't seen it, (just scroll up to read them).

    LCHF just makes sense doesn't it ?

    All the best Jan
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by zand on Mon Mar 16 2015, 12:30

    Jan thanks for mentioning Andy and Paul's posts above. I hadn't actually read them all through before. Very inspiring, both of them. Smile
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    Paul1976
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Paul1976 on Mon Mar 16 2015, 13:23

    @zand wrote:Jan thanks for mentioning Andy and Paul's posts above.  I hadn't actually read them all through before.  Very inspiring, both of them.  Smile

    Thanks Zand for your kind words! Very Happy


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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Dillinger on Mon Mar 16 2015, 14:12

    I hadn't read these before either; good stuff Paul and Andy.

    I feel such a fool for wandering around with diabetes for so long with my eyes half closed not getting it together to understand the real problem was the carbs. I remember when I was much younger thinking; why do I have to eat 50 carbs a meal? I bet lions don't eat 150 carbs a day plus snacks and they seem to get by. But that was as far as that train of thought went.

    Best

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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by mo1905 on Mon Mar 16 2015, 23:50

    I'm quite surprised really with all the science & technology available today that there isn't a single recognised "optimum" diet for a human being. Most animals stick to a particular diet that works, a panda won't turn it's nose up at some bamboo for a cheese sandwich. I know part of being human is the ability to make choices and our feeding habits will depend on environment, income, health, religion and lots of other reasons but all that aside, what should our ideal meal consist of ? How much protein ? Veg ? Meat etc ?


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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Indy51 on Tue Mar 17 2015, 00:15

    @mo1905 wrote:I'm quite surprised really with all the science & technology available today that there isn't a single recognised "optimum" diet for a human being. Most animals stick to a particular diet that works, a panda won't turn it's nose up at some bamboo for a cheese sandwich. I know part of being human is the ability to make choices and our feeding habits will depend on environment, income, health, religion and lots of other reasons but all that aside, what should our ideal meal consist of ? How much protein ? Veg ? Meat etc ?
    I don't think there will ever be a single optimum diet because people are so variable - all sorts of issues have to be taken into account, especially genetic factors. Being prescriptive about % of various macronutrients is oversimplifying really complex biochemistry.

    That said, if it ain't real food, we shouldn't be eating it. I think Tess's blog post today says it pretty well:

    http://tesspaleojourney.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/oversimplifying-till-its-not-true_16.html
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Eddie on Tue Mar 17 2015, 00:16

    Humans are the only animals on earth clever enough to make their own food, but then stupid enough to eat it.


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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by horfilmania on Tue Mar 17 2015, 04:03

    Thank you Paul and Andy for the fabulous recount of your experiences. Very fascinating and very true. Some people scoff at anecdotal information but its a lot more real than some mickey-mouse study that was done by a researcher who is funded by big pharma, or big agri squeezing the data this way and that to get the results they want.

    Good work guys!
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    Re: My Diabetes journey.

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Mar 17 2015, 18:35

    @horfilmania wrote:Thank you Paul and Andy for the fabulous recount of your experiences. Very fascinating and very true. Some people scoff at anecdotal information but its a lot more real than some mickey-mouse study that was done by a researcher who is funded by big pharma, or big agri squeezing the data this way and that to get the results they want.

    Good work guys!

    I so agree .... reading someones real life experience and sharing this information is a terrific help to so many.

    It is important to share, to be able to read that story - and if someone wants to ask questions then a Forum or Blog can be the ideal place.

    All the best Jan

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