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I have been battling insulin resistance now for many months. I don't quite know what caused it, maybe eating too much fat, maybe eating too much protein, maybe stress, maybe sleep, maybe my reduced carb intake?? So many possibilities and no definitive answers!
Almost four months ago, my first child was born. It was amazing and he is doing great and I thank my lucky stars that he is doing well and getting bigger every day! In latter part of my wifes pregnancy, my sleep was disrupted due to the normal difficulties that women have sleeping at night in latter part of their pregnancy, e.g. finding a comfortable sleeping position, baby kicking at night etc... and this also affected my sleep. Following the birth, of course this meant it has been very difficult to sleep right through each night, particularly at the beginning. So again, my sleep has been badly impacted. Of course I am not complaining, I wouldn't change things for the world, having a child has been the most amazing experience in my life so far. However, I do feel that as a result of the disturbed sleeping pattern, my stress/perhaps cortisol levels are higher and this could be in part driving up my insulin levels and also part of the insulin resistance problem! My wife and son are currently visiting family in our home country and I have noticed since they left that my morning blood sugar/fasting blood sugar readings have improved significantly! I mean in the past 6 months, a reading in the morning below 6.0 mmol/L has been rare. In the last week they are well below 6.0 mmol/L and some below 5.0mmol/L. Coincidence ? I think there may be something in it as I have been sleeping much better and certainly feeling less stressed.
My wife and son return soon, which I am very much excited about! I am also keen to see how my blood sugar and insulin resistance will react and if my theory will be correct. If it is correct, I may have to camp out in the spare room for a while! :-(
Maintained HbA1c between 5.3 - 5.8%.
Changes to regime:
Went from almost vegan and lowish carb to LC. Eventually in the past 6-12 months moving more towards LCHF. Currently consuming around 50-70g total carbs per day. Some days less, rarely more.
Pretty much completely off sugar, with the exception of some dark chocolate - only choose 90% plus. Normally I am eating a brand called Vivani (made in Germany), either 92% which has some coconut sugar or the 99% strength. Goes well with some nuts or a glass of red!
Haven't touched bread, pasta, potatoes in a long long time, don't miss them either! Also reduced carrot intake, previously had been eating quite a lot of carrots.
Current eating plan looks like this:
B: 07:00 - 08:00 - Some berries with almond milk, chia seeds and flax seeds, handful of nuts like macadamia, walnuts, maybe some natural yogurt and tsp of nut butter. 1-2 boiled eggs and black coffee.
(3-4 times per week I go to the gym before lunch for 30-45 minutes, normally doing 25-30 minutes of stretching and strength training, on a good week )
L: 14:00 - 14:30 - Salad normally with some avocado, fish/meat, fats like olive oil or mayonaisse (which I have started to make myself with olive oil)
D: 19:00 - 20:00 - Usually meat and veg, like beef, chicken or lamb with broccoli, cauliflower, celeriac, asparagus, avocado, salad. Some kind of combo from those items ususally.
Snacks: don't snack during the day normally, If I snack after dinner, its a square of 90%+ dark chocolate.
On Weekends, I eat only twice breakfast later 10:00 - 11:00 and dinner in evening 18:00 - 19:00. may have some LC snacks depending on activity levels.
Mainly resistance and strength training. Frequently get BS spikes from heavy weight training, but experience significant drop in BS within 1-2 hrs of training, even after eating LC lunch/meal. No fast acting insulin taken with Lunch when I have been to the gym before eating.
Reduced running, particularly in winter months. However, looking to increase running again now as we come into the summer months. Running does not spike my BS, unless I am running at a fast pace which I can only sustain for <5 minutes. If running at slow steady rate and HR, BS does not spike and falls slowly after the activity.
Changed Basal from Lantus to Levimir. Dosage of Levimir is 2 units normally at 07:00 and 2 units before bed around 23:00. BS movement overnight usually between 0-0.5mmol/l with this dosage, unless I ate later than normal that evening or exercised in the evening.
Bolus, still Apidra. Normally 1 unit with each meal. Can skip the lunch bolus if I exercise before.
June 2014 - 4 months after diagnosis, I find a doctor advocating a low carb approach to manage my diabetes, get control of my blood sugar and reduce injected insulin requirements.
Doc's guidelines in terms of nutrition - low carb, high protein and good fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts). Low GI fruits like berries, apricots and grapefruit, but before 11am. Gluten free grains were allowed in moderation, again to be consumed earlier in the day, not in the evening. I am talking about quinoa and buckwheat, rice was out and so was oats. Veg as much as I liked, with limits of course on starchy veg, such as sweet potato, buttnerut squash and no potatoes. Bread was out also of course, most dairy was out, particularly milk.
Doc's advice on exercise - exercise in the morning fasted if possible, preferred running.
September 2014 - Lab tests after 3 months of this regime:
Om 6/3 - 5:1
C-Peptide 0.39 (still producing some insulin)
High Arsenic levels (no idea what from)
The HbA1c result was impressive after this three month period, I was pretty strict and stuck to this way of eating for most of the time. Of course, there were bad days and blood sugar spikes on occasions. What I found was that I did not need much if any injected insulin to maintain a blood sugar between 5-7 mmol/l, if I spiked due to non-compliance on the low carb diet, then I took a shot of fast acting Apidra insulin.
During this time, I was eating high amounts of green leafy veg, low consumption of dairy, high consumption of nuts, olive oil, chicken and fish, low consumption of red meat. I tried to run 3-4 times a week in the morning for 30 minutes.
Hello, a newbie to this forum. A little about me, diagnosed with T1 at age 28, just over 3 years ago now. HbA1c at a high of 10.1%, shocker! Big shock, but to be honest at the time I was feeling so **** it almost felt good at least to know that there was something actually wrong with me and that I wasn't just losing my mind! Then the realisation that this is for life set in and as every diabetic will know that is tough! Off I went on the standard prescribed carb/insulin approach advised by endo/nutritionist team, ok this seems fine. I mean I can still eat most things, I just need to take a shot of insulin ? I still remember the Dr. (and Professor no less) saying to the nutritionist and me, "what is it again we recommend our patients consume in terms of carbohydrate at each meal? 80 grams isn't it?". When I think about that now, in addition to the so called "facts" on the information sheet, I am angry, but I try to laugh! The so called "facts" by the way were that you can eat as much protein and vegetables as you wish as they don't impact blood sugar levels...
So, I gave the standard approach a go, of course I found this very difficult for the following reasons:
1. Counting carbs is no fun
2. Depending on the type of carbs, refined, unrefined, sugar content, fiber content, starch content? absorption / conversion to glucose and impact on blood sugar
3. I believe I was what you would call a carb/sugar addict
4. I still made some insulin myself, so getting the dosage right to match the converted glucose from my food consumption was difficult
5. Hypos, followed by more sugar consumption to raise blood sugar
6. While I felt better overall compared to pre-diagnosis, I still felt **** in general
7. Mood swings
Just some of the issues I faced above, of course there are many more. In general though, I was surviving, trying to cut back on sugar, trying to exercise more (I was always active), eat more vegetables of course, adjusting insulin and my blood sugars were lower, but no where near normal. In the initial 6 month period post diagnosis, my HbA1c went down to 7.1%, but looking back at my recorded data daily running between 6-10mmol/l, rarely in the normal range, if ever and of course I was of the understanding that a number below 5mmol/l meant I needed to eat! I almost looked at a lower blood sugar level as an opportunity to eat something nice, which means high carb foods.
In the next post, I will talk about how I stumbled on the low carb approach and those who helped me to transition from the high carb and high HbA1c of 7.1% to low carb and an approaching normal HbA1c of 5.3%.