1

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Diabetic and I know im killing myself by eating the way I do

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 01, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Hi everyone, I am 41 years old, 5'9 and 213 pounds. I have been a type 2 diabetic since I was 27, so about 14 years. I have bought just about every diet book you can think of including the Paleo Solution. I have successfully lost weight 2 times, both times putting the weight back on. The first time was probably 11 years ago, I did the Protein Power Plan and dropped a considerable amount of weight and put it back on pretty fast. The next time was probably about 8 years ago, I did the Atkins diet and I got down to like 158 pounds, again, I put it all back on really fast. I am not getting much help at the doctors office. They want me to take medicine for not only my diabetes but for high blood pressure (which I don't think I have) and high cholesterol.

They sent me to a dietician but it was nothing but the same low fat high carb diet that everyone preaches. I recently purchased the Mayo Clinic Diet book and while I like the idea of the "habits", you break 5 bad habits, do 5 new good habits and then there's 5 bonus good habits, I am not sure this diet is good for a diabetic. It is loaded with carbohydrates and for the first 2 weeks they want you to limit meat to 3 oz a day. My blood sugar levels get really bad when I eat bad, I think the last time they took my A1c which I think is supposed to be around 6, mine was like over 13. I think that meant my average blood sugar level was like 250+. I know I'm killing my body and I can't find something I can stick to.

Anyone who can help me with what to do please let me know. Thanks!

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on September 13, 2012
at 01:41 PM

There is no reason to give a different advice for the frequent exerciser. They will do great in ketosis. I have not figured out what the key is to ketosis and weight lifting - my brother doens't find any problems, I do

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 06, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Yay, you! Be patient with yourself! Just so you know, PH is really a forum for asking questions. If you want ongoing support, you will find a great community forum over at www.marksdailyapple.com. You can post a journal there and keep everyine updated.

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on September 02, 2012
at 10:10 AM

Your A1C is pretty high and it sounds like you have some neuropathies - which means that getting the blood glucose down is an urgent priority. Do you have a meter? You can use it to check your blood glucose levels after each meal. Then you will know which foods are OK and which aren't. It's also a good motivator, as you can see improvements more quickly than with the A1C.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on September 02, 2012
at 09:52 AM

*of meat. Typing on a phone...

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on September 02, 2012
at 09:51 AM

Ron, different types I'd meat contain different proportions of fat and protein. Chicken wings, for example, contain a relatively large amount of (polyunsaturated) fat in comparison to skinless chicken breast, which is mostly protein. Websites like cronometer.com are useful for determining polyunsaturated fat content, but don't drive yourself crazy with numbers. Beef is fair game, low fat seafood and poultry is fine, but watch the high fat fish and birds if you're worried about polyunsaturated fat.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 02, 2012
at 05:01 AM

Theres no evidence that statins reduce heart disease BTW. They increase the incidence of other illnesses too, like gallstones. Thats a med I would probably not want to take.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 02, 2012
at 04:59 AM

Get a new doctor.

F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

(45)

on September 02, 2012
at 01:21 AM

Thanks alot everyone for all of the responses. I did not know eating chicken breast could be bad for my diabetes because it has Pollyunsaturated fats? I have never heard this before. I thought I could pretty much eat any type of protein and since it contained no carbs, it wouldn't affect my blood sugar? If I am wrong on this I really need to know what meats are ok to eat as a diabetic then before I start the low carb lifestyle again.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on September 01, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Most of the Paleo diets aim for a 30 day try-it-to-see-if-you-like-it in order to build good habits, most give you a bit of leeway to cheat (80%/20% rule), and most of us (diabetic or not) feel so good afterwards we have no urge to go back. If you need motivation, try one of the challenges like Whole30 to keep you on track. Or if you really want to go hardcore, try out a ketogenic diet for a week to help reboot your system and then "relax" into one of the Paleo diets. It sound like you already know what you need to do, all that's left is the kick-in-the-pants which only you can do ...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 01, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Make sure you are getting enough Magnesium, too!

7b9b5de13a30c823dae64a971cb14add

(540)

on September 01, 2012
at 04:31 PM

interesting. my vitamin D level has been low (last tested at 24 up from 19 last year) and i have been craving carbs like crazy. thanks for this!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:19 PM

Ron~ Some EFT (tapping) may be helpful to clear the carb addiction. www.eftuniverse.com

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:17 PM

Definitely avoid Actos and, if he won't refill your Metformin, definitely find another doctor. He works for you and should support you, not throw pills at you to "fix" you!!!

F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

(45)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Congratulations on your success, I know you are feeling so much better and I hope I can get there again. I am on 2000 mg a day of metformin but my doctor refused to give me a refill unless I was going to follow all of his reccomendations as far as the other medications go. He is a pill prescriber and thats about it. He tried getting me to take Actos, when I researched it and refused he refused to prescribe me an alternative. So I will find a new doctor. But I know if I just do the right things I can beat this on my own.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:10 PM

This. Getting back on the wagon and not beating yourself up over it is the very most important take away from this!!!

F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

(45)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:03 PM

I agree even after as few as 2 or 3 days on low carb i start to feel better. The numbness in my feet and lower legs get better, I have had high blood sugar for so long, I almost immediately feel the change. I know in the past I have had literally 20 or 30 times where I have went low carb for a week and fell off the wagon, but in just a week of it, I had my blood sugars down in the 120 to 130 range.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on September 01, 2012
at 02:34 PM

It seems that you have a literal addiction to carbs. If so, low-carb may need to be the route you need to stick to. Not to mention, if you have blood sugar issues, low-carb is the best thing you can do for yourself.

78964c5cc470f86a5897db8e1ce8e6f9

on September 01, 2012
at 02:01 PM

So don't add carbs back in? Stick with low carb as long as you're feeling ok on it. Add carbs only if you feel you need to AND you've developed the willpower to do so without completely falling off the wagon.

F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

(45)

on September 01, 2012
at 01:34 PM

I always have a hard time adding carbs back in. With the low carb diets you start off with 20 grams / day then you add 5 grams per day each week after the first 2 weeks. I stay on it and can lose weight, but always fail at adding the carbs back in, then, when I fall off the wagon, I completely fall off the wagon.

F0a9dea438e7943fa05da318773e785e

on September 01, 2012
at 01:25 PM

what issues are you having with "sticking to things"? is it planning? is it emotional? Paleo is definitely not a diet, but a lifestyle, and something you must continue longterm in order to see results. Also, medication may be a short-term solution until you can get the results you need from a Paleo fitness and eating lifestyle. You can always lower doses and go off the meds when you don't need them. Although for cholesterol meds, I would avoid statins. Bad class of drugs.

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11 Answers

15
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on September 01, 2012
at 01:21 PM

Just do paleo, but not as a diet. As a way of eating forever. If you fall off the wagon, get right back on and learn from the mistake. If eating this way makes you look and feel better, then just stick with it for the long haul.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:10 PM

This. Getting back on the wagon and not beating yourself up over it is the very most important take away from this!!!

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Supplementing 400 mg Magnesium Glycinate or Citrate and getting your Vitamin D3 blood level up to 60-80 ng/ml will help your blood sugar control as well as your carb cravings.

More info on D3 at www.vitamindcouncil.org

http://www.diabeteslibrary.org/View.aspx?url=Article819

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 01, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Make sure you are getting enough Magnesium, too!

7b9b5de13a30c823dae64a971cb14add

(540)

on September 01, 2012
at 04:31 PM

interesting. my vitamin D level has been low (last tested at 24 up from 19 last year) and i have been craving carbs like crazy. thanks for this!

3
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:09 PM

I am T2 diabetic and successfully lowered my A1c to below the pre-diabetic range in a few months of eating fewer than 50 grams of carbs a day. Yes, it take a lot of dedication, counting in the beginning, and vigilant mindfulness of EVERYTHING that passes your lips, but it is so worth it.

I am excited for you that you realize that the generally prescribed diets for diabetics are doing more damage than good. Though I would avoid the statins and blood pressure medications, a glucose control medication may be necessary, at least in the beginning. I take 1000 mg of Metformin each day as, even eating VLC, my numbers won't go below 100 without it. Once my metabolism and liver begin to cooperate and I continue losing weight, I am confident that I will be able to stop the Metformin.

F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

(45)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Congratulations on your success, I know you are feeling so much better and I hope I can get there again. I am on 2000 mg a day of metformin but my doctor refused to give me a refill unless I was going to follow all of his reccomendations as far as the other medications go. He is a pill prescriber and thats about it. He tried getting me to take Actos, when I researched it and refused he refused to prescribe me an alternative. So I will find a new doctor. But I know if I just do the right things I can beat this on my own.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 01, 2012
at 03:17 PM

Definitely avoid Actos and, if he won't refill your Metformin, definitely find another doctor. He works for you and should support you, not throw pills at you to "fix" you!!!

1
F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

on September 06, 2012
at 01:38 AM

Hi everyone, thanks again for all of your support and answers/tips. I wanted to let everyone know I weighed in today, 213.4 and I began my journey to get healthy for the last time. For breakfast I had bacon/eggs. For lunch I had 2 hamburger patties with mustard and for dinner I had an 8 oz sirloin and 2 cups of broccoli. I had 1 snack, a piece of jerky and that was it. Black coffee, tea and water for drinks. I got up and went to the gym at 5:00am before work, did 30 min on the treadmill and lifted free weights. I am exhausted right now but excited. I have a hard time talking about my weight with family/friends so you will be my surrogate family when it comes to changing my life. My goals are more around my health than my weight, but I know if I achieve my health goals I will be at a good weight. I wan't to get completely off all medication and control my diabetes with diet and exercise alone. I will keep you posted, day 1 down, many more to go!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 06, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Yay, you! Be patient with yourself! Just so you know, PH is really a forum for asking questions. If you want ongoing support, you will find a great community forum over at www.marksdailyapple.com. You can post a journal there and keep everyine updated.

1
559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

on September 01, 2012
at 10:24 PM

Paleo may well be how we, as humans, originally ate, but if the definition of paleo now includes copious starches, it is not necessarily a panacea for a serious case of T2 diabetes (as you unfortunately have). A lot of paleo people are quite young and already very healthy and the right diet for them will probably not help manage T2 diabetes. In particular, a lot of young, fit paleo people can seemingly tolerate quite high levels of starches in their diets. These young people are admirable in many ways but may not be good role models for someone with severe T2 diabetes. Your diet needs to be thought of more as a therapeutic intervention.

The best resource for diabetes is Dr Bernstein's book and the associated website and forum. A lot of people there are in your situation and they are very expert and knowledgeable about how to get blood glucose down. Jenny Ruhl's website is also very good.

I personally subscribe to most "paleo" dietary recommendations - plenty of saturated fats, getting a good balance between O6 and O3 polyunsaturated fats, plenty of healthy meat and in particular organ meats. But I have metabolic syndrome (arguably "pre-diabetes") and am not young, and I don't eat starches. I have a little sugar sometimes (in dark chocolate and almond flour cake) and eat moderate amounts of low starch vegetables, but no longer any potatoes or rice. I lost 55lb on my regime and reversed a lot of metabolic syndrome symptoms. At the moment I feel happy and satisfied with how I eat - I cannot imagine going back to eating starches.

Other supplements to think about: chromium, choline and - strongly recommended by Dr Bernstein - alpha-lipoic acid. As well as helping with glucose metabolism, alpha-lipoic acid also seems to help heal neuropathies and other effects of elevated blood sugars.

Best of luck in your search for healing.

1
C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 01, 2012
at 09:52 PM

This is not strictly Paleo, but it's consistent with it: Ray Peat believes polyunsaturated fats cause or worsen diabetes. Although I am not diabetic, I found that my ability to process sugar improved drastically after eliminating all significant sources of PUFAs from my diet.

To eliminate PUFAs, get rid of all vegetable oils (except coconut and maybe olive), margarine, mayo, and most nuts. You could use coconut oil or butter for frying. Limit chicken to at most once every 10 days or eliminate it completely. Beef doesn't contain significant amount of PUFAs, while fat from chicken, pigs, and fish do. You could eat fish that doesn't contain a lot of fat.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on September 02, 2012
at 09:52 AM

*of meat. Typing on a phone...

F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

(45)

on September 02, 2012
at 01:21 AM

Thanks alot everyone for all of the responses. I did not know eating chicken breast could be bad for my diabetes because it has Pollyunsaturated fats? I have never heard this before. I thought I could pretty much eat any type of protein and since it contained no carbs, it wouldn't affect my blood sugar? If I am wrong on this I really need to know what meats are ok to eat as a diabetic then before I start the low carb lifestyle again.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on September 02, 2012
at 09:51 AM

Ron, different types I'd meat contain different proportions of fat and protein. Chicken wings, for example, contain a relatively large amount of (polyunsaturated) fat in comparison to skinless chicken breast, which is mostly protein. Websites like cronometer.com are useful for determining polyunsaturated fat content, but don't drive yourself crazy with numbers. Beef is fair game, low fat seafood and poultry is fine, but watch the high fat fish and birds if you're worried about polyunsaturated fat.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on September 05, 2012
at 07:18 PM

In the past you had success with "dieting" but when the diet was over, so was your health benefit. Keep in mind that both PP and Atkins suffer from their age--these "diets" still permitted you to eat wheat products, legumes (especially soy) and highly processed junk as long as it was low carb. These substances sabotage long-term success--read Wheat Belly to see why you can't continue to do grains, even if low carb.

Paleo is different in that it's a way of life, not a diet, and it gets rid of those sabotaging substances. You should NOT begin a Paleo diet with a specific goal in mind, at which point once you reach it you will be "done" with the Paleo "diet".

Instead, embrace it as a lifestyle. Eliminate sugar (in all its forms), grains, legumes, and possibly dairy for life. Eat healthy, whole foods, organic as much as possible, pastured, wild etc. Adopt this as your way of life, way of eating from now on. Every day you can feel good about being healthy and doing good things for your body, instead of striving for a number on a scale.

Perhaps in your case, it's better not to have a specific goal in mind. Just pay attention to things as you may have to reduce your medications along the way, and you may have to buy new, smaller clothes, but don't be stuck on numbers as your goals, because those suggest end points, when you need to carry this on for your life--there's no end point as long as you're living. This way, you don't have to worry about pace of losing weight or stalls, either. Just keep on keeping on doing the right things for your body.

And don't wallow in self-pity about "missing out" on carbage. It's a lifetime of great food (indulge in your favorite steaks, sea food, butter if you keep dairy, etc.) and positives (imagine feeling better, getting off meds, having plenty of energy). Surely you do not want to live the rest of your life as you are now, today. Grasp for better things, and eat like you mean it.

0
89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

on September 02, 2012
at 04:43 AM

Based on your experience with Atkins, which isn't an uncommon one, staying in ketosis may be your best option. In other words, ignore everything about adding carbs back in and just keep eating your fat and protein like a boss.

My approach for dealing with my own non-diabetic blood sugar weirdness is to aim for the 30-60 g carb mark, with greens and whole fruit constituting most of that, a VERY MODERATE amount of starchy vegetables or sweet fruits within 15 minutes of intense exercise. I've found that 20 grams of carbs at one sitting is the most my body can handle, and if I push it, my blood sugar gets weird and I start to crave carbs like a beast. If I were to try to add carbs back in 5 grams per day, I'd be off the wagon within a few days, same as you.

A lot of diet guides steer you away from staying on very low carb diets for long periods of time, but in most cases, it's not a concern. I've kept it up for months at a time with no problems. If you were an ultra-marathoner and a 5x per week Crossfitter, I'd have different advice, but since blood sugar maintenance and weight loss are your top health goals, I'd say you have nothing to worry about and everything to gain from a very low carb diet.

You're absolutely right to stay clear of the Mayo Clinic diet. Recommending low-fat high-carb diets for diabetics is so crazy that in a better world it would be considered malpractice.

I think you're on the right track by taking this seriously. Keep it up.

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on September 13, 2012
at 01:41 PM

There is no reason to give a different advice for the frequent exerciser. They will do great in ketosis. I have not figured out what the key is to ketosis and weight lifting - my brother doens't find any problems, I do

0
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on September 01, 2012
at 10:04 PM

I've been sick with various illnesses for over 10 years, so when I tried Paleo and it fixed these problems (==made asymptomatic), I adopted it for life. I knew that if I go back to eating SAD I would be sick again. The thing with Paleo is that it's not a diet, but a lifestyle. Even if you don't want to follow the whole lifestyle, the diet will have remain for life. The SAD diet is not a normal human diet, it's an abnormal one, so you should never go back to it. Sticking to Paleo is a mentality thing more than anything else. As my husband says: you have to be desperate-enough. I was.

0
E2db1519690001648433e8109eb2c013

on September 01, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I was diagnosed Type II in 2010. A1c at 9.2. Most recent A1c was 5.4.

I fiddled around trying to get weight off (was around 200lbs) and drifted into a 'slow carb' style of eating (look it up in Ferris' 4 hour Body) starting with breakfast, eventually including all my eating. My carb intake stayes below 100 grams per day, almost always under 75. I keep tinkering with my workouts, generally doing bodyweight strength and kettlebell metabolic stuff.

30 lbs came off in about 6 months, 10 have come back and I am not certain if that is entirely bad.

ALL temporary diets have only temporary effects. Make an eating change, or an activity change and see what happens. Then try another. Some will accumulate, some you will discard.

Good luck!

0
931a99246c4b901c8cabd52da1e9f6d2

on September 01, 2012
at 04:53 PM

Start by doing breakfast Paleo style, then add lunch then dinner work your way into it. It does take time to change habits. Also, sounds like you need a strong support system to go to when you feel like you are falling. I hope you have that, twitter and following Robb Wolff and various others s great motivation. A workout class is a great place to start building that support, walk thru a Zumba class at your Y. I wish you the best, really is all about taking one step at a time ;)

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