Diet and Diabetes: A Rant.

This is a rant post.

I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2, some 10 years ago. I have always struggled with weight. Now, I am obese. Morbidly so. And what was the advice given by the educators? Was it to cut carbs and eat vegies and meat? Nope. They STILL want you to eat “healthy grains” (no such thing. ALL grains will a) raise BGL and b) add weight). That food triangle that the health department thinks is king shit… isnt.

Do you know, I was advised to eat NINE serves of carbs a day. NINE!!! That was about 4x my normal. “We dont want you having hypos” they said. “You MUST have them” they said. And I thought they knew best so I did it. And gained 20Kg, and they said to me “You must be cheating on your diet”. I wasnt. I was doing exactly as I was told and it was WRONG. I have managed only to maintain that weight, and have not lost any at all since those days. I wish I had not listened. I wish I had told them all to go take a flying leap. I’d still be overweight, always have been. But I would not be the size I am now.

I’m sick, and I’m tired, and I’m getting all kinds of other medical complications…

So here’s the lesson: If you get diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes DO NOT pay attention to the crap they tell you about carbs. You MUST go low carb. Carbs are what raise blood sugars and put on weight. Increase your fat intake. Avocadoes and eggs are good, OK? So is lamb and pork with the fat still on. I now cook with butter or coconut oil and stay well away from canola etc. I’m a carb addict so i have trouble staying off them… but I’m back to the levels I was at pre-diagnosis, at least. Next step is to remove complex carbs entirely (that is, no sugars, no bread, no rice, no pasta, no potatoes, no diet sodas). I’m well on the way, I have no pasta or rice in the house but I still have the odd small potato and sadly cave in to hot chips every so often. I need to stop both. There’s enough carbs in other vegies (peas, carrots, tomatoes) to make up for it. And I had better learn to make oopsie bread (google it)

I often make recipes as made available at Diet Doctor Which are all very healthy and tasty as heck… but I still get cravings for carbs. Gotta deal with it. Alas my liver and gall bladder hate fat so the LCHF doesnt work so well for me. Pain is not my friend. I just need to work out whats doable and I am still battling with that.

End rant. For now.

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More on Diet.

And then, I’ll leave it alone.

I havent been able to sustain a no-carb diet.  I still seem to want bread, and occasional weetbix.  Nonetheless, a significant reduction has had its effect.  Range is now between 3 and 7.  Occasional spikes to 9 if I am particularly “bad” but overall average is now under 6.  I’m hoping thats where next month’s A1c will be.

I do NOT accept that insulin is the inevitable result, and I do believe that its possible to reverse Type 2.  I don’t think my beta cells are dead yet.

Type 2 Diabetes: Some thoughts on Diet.

I’ve had 6 years of being a Type 2, and am heading down a path of what seems to be an inevitable deterioration, so that in a short time, I am expected to be on insulin. I don’t want it, and its probable that I won’t comply with it, so I have sought out alternatives to that. When I saw my endocrinologist last month, she wanted to put me on insulin right away… but as far as I was concerned, that was NOT the solution. Its easier to do it, but it isn’t the solution I wanted. I argued with her that a third medication would be a more appropriate choice, given that I had already begun to get some decent control over my BGLs. She prescribed Actos, reluctantly, and does not expect that I will be successful. Already, I have slowly begun to reduce my BGLs to the point where my HbA1c *should* come in under 6.5% on the next test (the last one was over 8%) and my fasting should be between 4 and 5 mmol/l (thats 72-108 mg/dl for you northerners :)) Currently, it tends to range between 5 and 9 (90-162).

A number of different events have occurred lately, which make me think that it *is* possible to get control and reduce BGLs without the extreme measures that doctors want to use. One of these was beginning to read online about the Low Carb High Fat diet. It goes against all current guidelines, especially when looking at fat… but it makes sense to me. Begin reading at the following link: Dietdoctor.com. It got me thinking, but I had not yet acted on it.

The second thing which occurred was that I had to have a colonoscopy… that was yesterday… and the preparation (not very pleasant) took 2 days, including one of clear fluids only and then some fasting. My BGL had already begun to decrease so on the morning of the fluid day, it was only 4.3 (I’ve been getting quite a few under 5, lately, thanks to the Actos, I believe). I was allowed a small breakfast, so 2 weetbix was consumed early, and after breakfast my BGL shot up to 5.8… For the rest of the day, it was under 5 and continuing to drop. Rather than risk a hypo, I had some apple juice, which pushed it back up. I did not have my usual evening meds, thinking it would make little sense to take meds when I had just had some juice to stop me going lower. Woke the next morning to a 5.3 which bumped to 6.4 after the last of the prep (picolax) and it stayed up then, between 6 and 7 all day. Notable at this point in time is that its over 24 hours since I had any medication for my diabetes, but I did take the evening meds after it was over. Today, I woke to a 5.6 which was pushed to 10.2 after weetbix and allbran.

and that was the third thing which occurred that made me stop and think. Allbran? Its supposed to be good for you. Realisation: its not. Nor is the weetbix. And that then sent me back to the dietdoctor.com to do some more reading. And the more I read, the more convinced I became. I was chatting with a friend in IM, who is losing tons of weight at the moment which is partially due to a low carb diet… and after that, and returning to diet doctor, I have decided to dispense with ALL carbs at the moment, even the so called “complex carbs” and give the LCHF diet a good chance. Hell, its what I was brought up on (though there was some carb, there was not the level of processed crap or breaded stuff we have now).

My cupboards are going to be quite bare after today. I’ve already thrown out the packs of wrap bread I had, the bread thats in the freezer is going (I’ll see if the neighbours might want a loaf) and the breakfast cereals are gone. I have some jars of pasta which I will store for the moment, they are airtight, so should be OK…

What am I going to be living on? Fresh food, meat, fish, vegies grown above the ground (root veg are too starchy generally) and BUTTER (not margarine) for FRYING the meat, the chicken, and the eggs and bacon which I will enjoy, and also for making scrambled eggs (butter eggs as an old acquaintance used to call them). Fish will be an occasional thing, I’ve never been that keen on it, but maybe some smoked haddock or something… There will be no fruit (SUGAR!!) except as an occasional treat.

It might be a mad notion, but I want to get off most of my meds. I am currently on 3 meds for diabetes, 2 for blood pressure, 1 for cholesterol, and one for thyroid (that wont change, its not about obesity, that was down to autoimmune processes)… I also have a CPAP machine for sleep apnoea. I’m fairly sure nothing will change there, I had it (the apnoea, not the machine) before I got so obese, but you never know… I’d love to be able to sleep properly without it.

For a really GOOD overview of the theory behind the LCHF diet, you must watch Dr Andreas Eenfeldt on the following youtube video. Its long, but its very very good. Its somewhat academic, but not beyond anyone’s capacity to understand, IF they are ready to consider alternatives to today’s obesity-enabling western diet.

Go watch it. Now.

Less than a Minute a Day ‘Keeps Diabetes Away’

This sounds really really good. Seems I havent been using my exercise bike very efficiently.

Scientists at the University of Bath asked volunteers to perform two 20-second cycle sprints on exercise bikes, three times per week and after six weeks, researchers in the university’s department of health saw a 28% improvement in their insulin function.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels build up to dangerously high levels due to reduced insulin function, often caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise can help keep blood sugar levels low but busy lifestyles and lack of motivation mean 66% of the population are not getting the recommended five 30-minute sessions of moderate exercise a week.

Go to the following link for the full article.

Less than a Minute a Day ‘Keeps Diabetes Away’.

Byetta and Diabetes: Love/Hate

Some of you are aware I was prescribed Byetta about 6 months ago. Initially I was on 5mg, and it was an almost instant success. After a month I was put on 10mg and again, it was very successful. But, I began having bouts of nausea a couple of hours after the jab. I tried all kinds of things to stop it. I timed the jab differently… longer between jab and food, shorter between jab and food, having the jab and then the food right away… sometimes it seemed to work, so I began looking at the food I was eating. Certainly, eating “wrong” or “bad” food (ie too much carb or a high glucose content) had a nasty effect, but what happened gradually over the 5 months I was (note the past tense) on 10mg, the nausea began no matter how I timed it or what I ate. Eventually I became fairly noncompliant with it, and my endo has now cut the dose back to 5mg in the hope that the nausea will go and my levels will remain within range. But they arent. and I am getting nauseated again, even on the dose that never affected me before. I am beginning to think that in some of us, a sensitivity presents at some point, and then thats that.

I’ve heard that Victoza doesnt provoke nausea, but we can’t get it in Australia. So I’m going to be on insulin before long and that, for me, is some kind of failure. I feel like I have brought it on myself, sometimes… its just damned depressing.

[end whine]

Diabetes Type 2: Time to get Serious?

Some readers will be aware that I was diagnosed with Type2 Diabetes some six years ago. I’ve struggled with the concept ever since. I have NOT wanted to give up my self-indulgent lifestyle, I have NOT wanted to exercise, and I most certainly have not wanted to comply with medication. After a few initial hiccups, I got with the program on medication, but I have generally ignored good sense when it came to diet and exercise. This is slowly changing, but for reasons other than common sense (which I seem to have a distinct lack of… when it comes to my health).

Just after Christmas, I wasn’t feeling very well and really could not think why… hadn’t been doing anything out of the ordinary, and hd not been overindulging *too* much. Checked my BGL (something I am VERY erratic about) and found that I was at 18, on a normal scale of 4-7. I made an appointment to see my GP, with a view to requesting a new referral to the endo I was seeing the previous year. Done deal, saw the endo, and last week started on an injectable called Byetta (it isn’t insulin). Its not a huge deal to do the jab, its the tiniest needle I have ever seen, and there’s no stinging or anything. Not even as noticeable as a mozzie bite.

So I have gone from BGL levels of 6-9 6 years ago, to levels of 8-20 now. Admittedly I have also had several bouts of bronchitis and/or pneumonia in the interim, requiring massive doses of prednisone which really screws with your BGL at the time, and although I am told there isn’t a long lasting effect, I have noticed that every time I have prednisone, and even after I come off it, my BGLs are in a higher range. Of course, I could be deluding myself and this may just be an effect of my digging my heels in and refusing to acknowledge my diabetes in any meaningful way.

So… seriously… I need to do something constructive about getting some exercise and given that I detest it for its own sake, I’m pretty much stuck with the exercise bike I bought a few years back, and listening to audiobooks while I ride. I would actually *like* to have a proper bike again, its one thing I really did like for itself, not because I was getting exercise, but I am in no fit state to be on the roads yet. So thats one thing.

I need to check my BGLs more frequently and more regularly. At the moment I tend to do it when I feel unwell and then for a few days to keep a check on it but normally I will only do it if I think of it… and given that I haven’t wanted to think of it, its been a bit of a nonevent. I’ve noticed that when I do regular checks, I also keep my ridiculous eating habits under control… so the end result is a reducing BGL.

Diet: I have to stop thinking that somehow I am missing out if I am unable to gobble into easter chocolate, or Christmas pudding, or have that cream bun (or whatever) as I pass by a pastry shop.

I guess one good thing is that I am losing weight. Its very slow, and up and down, but the trend is down, rather than UP and that’s a good thing. It was easier over summer because I absolutely adore salads, and I just live on them… winter, not so good, I love stodgy food and that has to stop. I also love hot chips. BAD. At home, I have all but given up potato, having only a small one every few days, and I’ve added pasta back into my diet to keep the carbs happening (you do need them, just not lots). I struggle with bread. I don’t much like what I call “lumpy bread”… the seeded varieites, and I don’t like most wholemeal/brown breads because they taste like cardboard to me. So I still have white occasionally, and have settled on one of the Helga’s “lumpy” variety, as well as some sourdough flat breads. I only have a couple of slices a day so probably not a big deal.

My diet is BORING. I think that’s what ends up leading me to break out. I need to research more into good, interesting diabetic safe food, and relieve the boredom that way. Otherwise I *am* going to end up on insulin and I really don’t want to go there.

Sorry for the rant, I think maybe I am using the blog as a sounding board as much as anything, and thank god its not often 🙂