3

votes

Would you still recommend Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution to a Diabetic?

Answered on January 29, 2015
Created February 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

There seems to be a trend of going higher carb in the paleo sphere. Bernstein's solution is 40 gram of carbs a day. I read somewhere that his patients that seems to have a lot of success with diabetes end up with thyroid problems from the low carbs.

Would you still recommend Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution to a Diabetic?

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 11, 2012
at 10:59 PM

I can't find the specific blog post where Jaminet talks about how many people end up with thyroid problems due to a very low-carb diet, but IIRC, it's about *2%*. I think that this issue has been blown out of proportion. You either can get yourself tested for FT4, FT3, and RT3 if you notice hypothyroid symptoms in yourself, or you can simply eat some more of Jaminet's "safe starches": sweet potatoes, white potatoes, or white rice.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 25, 2012
at 10:31 PM

http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/disposal-metabolic-changes.html http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/thyroid.html

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 25, 2012
at 10:20 PM

http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/home.php http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/home.action http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/index.html http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/human-effects.html

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 25, 2012
at 10:10 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15458794

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 25, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Time to broaden your field of vision/inquiry. It ain't about Bernstein and it ain't about low carb. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2174406/

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 24, 2012
at 09:58 PM

http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_symptoms_of_hypothyroidism_000038_3.htm

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 24, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Hypothyroidism is rampant and has been for YEARS in the CW SAD, high carb eating population, especially women and especially older women.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 24, 2012
at 09:04 PM

http://www.askthelowcarbexperts.com/2012/02/7-the-long-term-effects-of-the-high-carb-sad-diet-dr-cate-shanahan/

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:17 PM

NambyPamby, you are bringing up very important points. Do you happen to have references for Dr. Bernstein's patients having such difficulties? I'd like to read more on what you've posted. Any references you have would be of help. Thanks very much. :)

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:23 PM

Are you implying VLC itself causes leaky gut NP?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:57 AM

that Dr. B says he's seeing so often among his clients. He's said 100% of his patients have 1 or more autoimmune diseases. 85% are hypothyroid. Almost all have psoriases. Come on now, it's time to start scratching your head and see what this genius has wrought.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:56 AM

Dr. B's whole thesis is, the close your A1c is to 4.3 or your BG is to 80, the healthier you are. OF course diabetics will avoid diabetic complications at that level. But ur setting yourself up for hormonal and thyroid problems. And my suspicion is that other autoimmune diseases will start to cascade down if you're vulnerable. Consider hypothyroid is autoimmune, so are many connective tissue and skin disorders and nerver diseases like SLE, psoriases, MS. If there is a link between thyroid and VLCing, it's likely that the same mechanism (leaky gut) will underlie these other autoimmune diseases

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:49 AM

Since he's only focused on BG control to the exclusion of all others, he is not knowledgeable about autoimmunity or other consequences of VLCing. He's completely unaware that a link between VLCing and thyroid might exist. My point here is that he may unwittingly be setting his patients up for more non-diabetic complications by so rigidly preaching tight BG control. And I no longer believe that 4.3 is the ideal HbA1c, as he preaches. That's too low: around 4.6 to 5.4 or so, I think, is the right range.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:41 AM

Well, eat to your meter is not what Dr. B asks. He asks that you do 12+12+6. 30g of carbs per day. That would be ketogenic for 95% of people. No wonder 85% of his patients are hypothyroid. He says 100% of his patients are autoimmune: either the thyroid or psoriasis and other things piggyback. He and his followers must start wondering why that is the case. That's an important question yet the good doctor is still dumbfounded by all this.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:17 AM

JayJay, there are many who agree with you about increasing carbs as tolerated. They call it "eat to your meter". I know of some who eat less than Dr. B's recommended 30g/CHO/d in order to keep their blood sugar normal and stable, without medications. I think you made a most excellent point. I ought to have mentioned the "eat to your meter" folks. Thanks for posting about that! :)

4a015899134e8660d46d9dfbcf7373bc

(60)

on February 23, 2012
at 11:10 PM

Dr Bernstein's method does not allow you to deviate with carbs, he requires it! If you actually follow the book completerly you will develop a lot of data about how YOU process carbs. At that point, armed with the data, you start to personalize your eating program. His book kept me out of the hospital when I had gestational diabetes and years later, when my father was diagnosed with Type 2, it has kept him off all medication. 55 lbs and 5yrs later he is healthy as a horse and his doctor hasn't a clue, tells him all the time to watch his protein intake. Hilarious!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:03 PM

Guess my disclaimer is that if you can reverse metabolic deficiencies with his plan then I see no reason not to eat more carbs AS TOLERATED on an individual basis. However, for those whose metabolisms are too broken, it is far healthier to follow this plan than to end up relying on meds for life.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Disagree with implying autoimmune disease is exacerbated by his plan. I understand you have your N=1 data on this Namby, but to presume there is causation is incorrect in my book especially in light of all the other N=1 data that says the exact opposite occurs.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 07:39 PM

I think that deserves its own answer rather than just a comment. Like how you came to this conclusion, links to stuff that are bad about it.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 23, 2012
at 07:13 PM

Dr. Bernstein prescribes a one size fits all plan which does not work for all diabetics. Also, he subscribes to the simple theory that VLC =? Best BG control. I used to believe in his method but not anymore. His method is best for those who're T1 and moderate to severe T2 diabetics with a small supply of beta cells remaining. For others, you do not need to do VLC. In fact, you can have better BG control with moderate/higher carbs. Plus you can keep your autoimmune diseases at bay by easing off of VLC. Sadly, both him and his followers have blinders on and think only they have the answer.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 06:21 PM

I do have the second version of the book. I read the first from the library which prompted me to buy the book. Not sure what is new though. WHat's ALA?

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 05:11 PM

More: More threads discussing these supplements and the results: http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=436330 http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=412936 http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=393460 I wish you success. :)

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 05:04 PM

More threads discussing these supplements and the results: http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=436330 http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=412936 http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=393460 I wish you success. :)

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 05:02 PM

Here is a thread discussing those supplements and the results: http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=131572

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 23, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Yes. Type II diabetes. I might have had it for a year or longer without even knowing about it.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Oops, that's ALA, EPO, and Biotin.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:59 PM

Yes, here it is: http://www.diabetes-book.com/book/chapter15.shtml ALA, and Biotin. Also, magnesium helps regulate blood sugar. I'll keep looking.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:57 PM

PK, I, too, find it hard to convince folks to stop killing themselves with the wrong food. Dr. Bernstein recommends supplements in his book. It could be that that section of the book is online, or could be found in a search thru google. I'll have a look and if I find them, I'll post. It is hard, I agree, to watch those we care about make really bad choices.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 04:52 PM

D2? type 2 you mean?

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 04:48 PM

It may be idiotic, but its hard to convince to do otherwise. The drive to eat sugary foods has to be reduced. I would think supplements might help, but not sure which specific ones.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:25 PM

PK, there is no large margin of error for someone with faulty blood sugar regulation. It is idiotic to eat too much CHO or PRO, or even FAT and have to increase insulin dosage due to indulgence.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 04:03 PM

I think I saw it somewhere on paleohacks or Perfect Health Diet. Dr. B recommends keeping the blood sugar level between 80-95. Over at PHD, http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=5027 He claims the ideal blood range is between 70-140 which is quite a bit more leeway. All diabetics I know tend to cheat so a larger margin of error would be quite a selling point to getting them to be more responsible.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:49 PM

PK, do you happen to have a reference for the thyroid problems resulting from LC?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Still like this question in discussion of some of this thyroid stuff, lots of good information....http://paleohacks.com/questions/78343/is-lowered-t3-resulting-from-a-low-carb-diet-problematic#axzz1nDcrnItP

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Its were I think they should start. Depends on a lot of other factors....but in general low carb does not causes pathological thyroid. It is more of a desired physiological adaptation when the person is getting proper nutrition. But, of course adaptations to each individual are going to have to be made as things move along. What those adaptations are will be highly individual.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 03:32 PM

You wouldn't adapt it to address potential thyroid issues once blood sugars are under control?

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6 Answers

8
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on February 23, 2012
at 03:48 PM

Absolutely!!!! I recommend it to anyone interested in having normal blood sugars and eating healthfully.

Merely because some folks eat lots of CHO does not make a high-carb diet at all suitable for someone who does not have normal blood sugar regulation.

Dr. Bernstein's plan is brilliant, easy to follow, and very enjoyable.

Here is a link to one of his web sites, which has much of his book online.

http://www.diabetes-book.com/index.shtml

ETA: Here is a link to the forum for Dr. Bernstein's diet:

http://www.diabetes-book.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl

There are also sub-forums at the two large LC forums on diabetes and LC, and specifically for following Dr. Bernstein's plan.

One must register to read.

IMO, Dr. Bernstein is a genius. There are many posts at the LC forums of folks following Dr. B's plan who say that his plan saved their lives. His life is inspiring. :)

Here is the first part of a talk he gave to the Nutrition and Metabolism Society:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VaNJO7KMgg

Other parts are at youtube, as well.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 23, 2012
at 07:13 PM

Dr. Bernstein prescribes a one size fits all plan which does not work for all diabetics. Also, he subscribes to the simple theory that VLC =? Best BG control. I used to believe in his method but not anymore. His method is best for those who're T1 and moderate to severe T2 diabetics with a small supply of beta cells remaining. For others, you do not need to do VLC. In fact, you can have better BG control with moderate/higher carbs. Plus you can keep your autoimmune diseases at bay by easing off of VLC. Sadly, both him and his followers have blinders on and think only they have the answer.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:49 AM

Since he's only focused on BG control to the exclusion of all others, he is not knowledgeable about autoimmunity or other consequences of VLCing. He's completely unaware that a link between VLCing and thyroid might exist. My point here is that he may unwittingly be setting his patients up for more non-diabetic complications by so rigidly preaching tight BG control. And I no longer believe that 4.3 is the ideal HbA1c, as he preaches. That's too low: around 4.6 to 5.4 or so, I think, is the right range.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:17 AM

JayJay, there are many who agree with you about increasing carbs as tolerated. They call it "eat to your meter". I know of some who eat less than Dr. B's recommended 30g/CHO/d in order to keep their blood sugar normal and stable, without medications. I think you made a most excellent point. I ought to have mentioned the "eat to your meter" folks. Thanks for posting about that! :)

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:41 AM

Well, eat to your meter is not what Dr. B asks. He asks that you do 12+12+6. 30g of carbs per day. That would be ketogenic for 95% of people. No wonder 85% of his patients are hypothyroid. He says 100% of his patients are autoimmune: either the thyroid or psoriasis and other things piggyback. He and his followers must start wondering why that is the case. That's an important question yet the good doctor is still dumbfounded by all this.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:03 PM

Guess my disclaimer is that if you can reverse metabolic deficiencies with his plan then I see no reason not to eat more carbs AS TOLERATED on an individual basis. However, for those whose metabolisms are too broken, it is far healthier to follow this plan than to end up relying on meds for life.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:56 AM

Dr. B's whole thesis is, the close your A1c is to 4.3 or your BG is to 80, the healthier you are. OF course diabetics will avoid diabetic complications at that level. But ur setting yourself up for hormonal and thyroid problems. And my suspicion is that other autoimmune diseases will start to cascade down if you're vulnerable. Consider hypothyroid is autoimmune, so are many connective tissue and skin disorders and nerver diseases like SLE, psoriases, MS. If there is a link between thyroid and VLCing, it's likely that the same mechanism (leaky gut) will underlie these other autoimmune diseases

4a015899134e8660d46d9dfbcf7373bc

(60)

on February 23, 2012
at 11:10 PM

Dr Bernstein's method does not allow you to deviate with carbs, he requires it! If you actually follow the book completerly you will develop a lot of data about how YOU process carbs. At that point, armed with the data, you start to personalize your eating program. His book kept me out of the hospital when I had gestational diabetes and years later, when my father was diagnosed with Type 2, it has kept him off all medication. 55 lbs and 5yrs later he is healthy as a horse and his doctor hasn't a clue, tells him all the time to watch his protein intake. Hilarious!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:23 PM

Are you implying VLC itself causes leaky gut NP?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Disagree with implying autoimmune disease is exacerbated by his plan. I understand you have your N=1 data on this Namby, but to presume there is causation is incorrect in my book especially in light of all the other N=1 data that says the exact opposite occurs.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 07:39 PM

I think that deserves its own answer rather than just a comment. Like how you came to this conclusion, links to stuff that are bad about it.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:57 AM

that Dr. B says he's seeing so often among his clients. He's said 100% of his patients have 1 or more autoimmune diseases. 85% are hypothyroid. Almost all have psoriases. Come on now, it's time to start scratching your head and see what this genius has wrought.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:17 PM

NambyPamby, you are bringing up very important points. Do you happen to have references for Dr. Bernstein's patients having such difficulties? I'd like to read more on what you've posted. Any references you have would be of help. Thanks very much. :)

4
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Yes......and I do regularly.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 03:32 PM

You wouldn't adapt it to address potential thyroid issues once blood sugars are under control?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Still like this question in discussion of some of this thyroid stuff, lots of good information....http://paleohacks.com/questions/78343/is-lowered-t3-resulting-from-a-low-carb-diet-problematic#axzz1nDcrnItP

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Its were I think they should start. Depends on a lot of other factors....but in general low carb does not causes pathological thyroid. It is more of a desired physiological adaptation when the person is getting proper nutrition. But, of course adaptations to each individual are going to have to be made as things move along. What those adaptations are will be highly individual.

3
Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:29 PM

My doctor did the D2 diagnosis. He had me use carb exchange counting to control it and it worked. Losing weight took care of the problem permanently and that part was my idea.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 23, 2012
at 04:52 PM

D2? type 2 you mean?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 23, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Yes. Type II diabetes. I might have had it for a year or longer without even knowing about it.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on January 29, 2015
at 09:56 PM

Evidence that low carb CAUSES hypothyroidism?

I suspect that most people who seek out a low carb diet are ALREADY hypothyroid, diabetic or not.  And while the abrupt drop in calories can cause the thyroid to slow down, a slower approach usually causes no problems. 

3 years into a very low carb diet, my thryoid levels have gone from hypo (before low carb)  to normal--no thyroid hormone replacement necessary. 

0
A116a3552226289438c33c15e0027b9d

on August 10, 2013
at 11:39 PM

Yes! In a heartbeat, it saved my husbands life. Normal blood sugars, three years and counting, no medication and no insulin.

0
34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on February 24, 2012
at 07:08 AM

Yes definitely as a start. Once the blood sugar is under control, I would think it prudent to try and increase the carb levels in the diet and see how it performs. Also you have to keep a check on whether there are any cortisol issues, which might cause problems. In that case you are in between a rock and a hard place :-(.

I have a cortisol problem, and I have trouble getting into ketosis even after long fasts.

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