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A serious attempt to improve my condition

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by target6point4, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. target6point4

    target6point4 Type 2 · Member

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    Hello all,

    I have been reading up on threads on the forum for months now and have finally decided to take the plunge and start a thread myself where I plan to chronicle my efforts at gaining a degree of control over my A1C numbers. I hope to find a little support and encouragement along the way and making a few like minded friends would be an added bonus.

    Let me start off by telling you a little bit about myself.

    I am 32, of Indian descent and have been living in Germany for the past 10 years. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in August last year and have tried (with marginal success) to control the condition through various means. For the first few weeks I had resigned myself to my fate after an initial course of medications and dietary changes produced only limited results. I had an initial A1C of 10.9 which only improved to 8.8 after the first 3 months. My fasting sugars were rarely below 9 mmol.

    It was at this point that I cam across the Dr. Taylors work in Newcastle regarding the role of dietary restrictions in improving blood sugar levels. After toying around with the idea for a few weeks, i decided to give it a try in January 2014. I managed to procure a bunch of food replacement soups and shakes and get going. Despite a rather half hearted effort (It is difficult to get used to just 800 kcal a day) I could still see some results after the first 3 weeks. My fasting sugars were at 6.1 mmol and my post meal sugars were under 7 mmol after two hours (It was just a soup but still!) To celebrate this success and my birthday, I treated myself and the wife to a four day trip to Vienna. To my surprise, despite all the food and alcohol my sugar levels still hoverd under 7 mmol in the mornings. Convinced that I have as good as reversed my condition, I fell back into my eat-as-you-like routine. I realised the stupidity only after my next A1C reading of 8.2%.

    In the meanwhile I underwent a battery of tests at the German Diabetes Centre in Düsseldorf which showed that despite my high blood sugars, there has thankfully been no diabetes related damage. More importantly, the tests confirmed that my insulin production is still okay (Peptide tests) and the clamp test showed that I only had a slightly elevated insulin resistance. The one other thing that the report mentioned was elevated cholestrol and triglycerides, a raised TSH and a staggering body fat percentage of nearly 25% (I am 182 cms and 73 kgs so that last part came as a bit of a shock).

    What has stirred me into action is my last A1C reading of 9.2%. Clearly, I need a plan to systematically reduce these numbers and try to reverse my condition if possible. With this in mind, I plan to update you nice folks about my sugar levels and meals over the next few days on a regular basis. I hope that sharing my experiences with you will provide me the extra bit of motivation I need to see this through.

    The exact plan is as follows:

    Goals : Lose atleast 5 Kilos of weight. Have fasting blood sugars of 6 mmol or lower for a few days atleaset. Reduce my HbA1C as close to 6.4% as possible

    Means : Strict dietary control. Reduce my calorie intake to between 800 and 1000 calories a day while trying to maintain as regular a lifestyle as possible (This means working 5 days a week and running atleast twice a week for atleast 45 mins a day)

    Wish me luck!
     
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  2. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Hello and welcome!

    I wonder, however, if you should be restricting your carbs, increasing your fat and protein, and paying less attention to calories? You don't have a lot of weight to lose, relatively speaking, and cutting carbs to as low as you can sustain will shift that weight and lower your BS levels. I am not sure it is wise to live off 800 to 1000 calories whilst running and exercising as much as you do. This diet has to be sustained for the rest of your life, not just for a few weeks. Have a look at Myfitnesspal. it is free, and when you sign up and type in your vital statistics it will show you how many calories you personally need to lose/maintain/gain weight. Slowly but surely is the best option rather than fast and furious.

    Good luck. I look forward to reading how you get on.
     
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  3. target6point4

    target6point4 Type 2 · Member

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    Hello,

    thanks for the comment. You have rightfully pointed out that I do not have a lot of weight to lose. The idea is to lose weight by reducing fat stored near vital organs like pancreas and the liver. Apparently, this is also the first source of fat for the body when the calorie intake is reduced. During my last attempt at this crash diet, the one parameter that was constant throughout was my weight.

    A simple calculation shows that I am lugging around 18 kgs of body fat around. For a guy of my size and build that is way too much. When I consider that I have just a hint of a flabby gut I cannot help but wonder where all that fat is stored in my body. I am guessing that my organs and insides are lined with fat which can only be a bad thing.

    I did not have an active exercise routine the last time I went on this diet. This time I plan to do that little bit extra to see some definitive weight loss. I guess I can moveto a long term low carb diet once I get my numbers under control.

    Cheers,
     
  4. jack412

    jack412 Type 2 · Expert

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    You need an eating plan for the rest of your life
    Newcastle diet will work on 1200-1500 cal just fine
     
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  5. target6point4

    target6point4 Type 2 · Member

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    So...some first results of my reduced calorific intake. I woke up on Tuesday with a sugar level of just under 12. The level had dropped progressively till yesterday when it was 8.5. I did commit a mistake by having some rice and potatoes for lunch. As a result, my post prandial numbers were up to 16.5. Generally annoyed at myself, I starved myself till around 7 P.M. and decided to go on a nice long run. The result? About 40 mins into the run I felt a nice hypo set in. I pushed it on for another 5 mins till the symptoms got so bad that I had to stop and rest at the nearest park bench....and this barely 700m from the end of my run. Anyways, after trembling for about 5 mins I was back on my feet and managed to walk home. The trusty meter showed a fabulous 4.9 (The lowest numbers I have seen for months). This was followed by some good restraint. I avoided any starches for dinner. The missus was kind enough to stir fry some mushrooms, peppers and beans which were followed by an avocado. I could feel my body craving for some carbs but distracted myself by reading a very nice book.

    It was not that difficult to fall asleep despite the hunger pangs. The other good thing was that I was very prompt at getting out of bed in the morning. No tired ness, no cold feet, no weakness. The meter showed a nice 7.2 in the morning. Again the lowest it has been in the past few months. I then started the day off with a simple meal replacement shake. It is mid day now and the hunger pangs have set in. I plan on having just a soup and push my dinner to maybe past 8 p.m. I hope I can go on another run over the weekend to see how long it takes for a sugar crash. This time though i plan to take my meter and some dextrose pills along.
     
  6. gfmoore

    gfmoore Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Since your numbers dropped from 16.5 to 4.9 (though you didn't measure before run) I think perhaps you may have suffered a so called "false hypo" where your body thinks it's about to starve the brain because of the speed of the fall. It then kicks in with the usual fight or flight adrenaline/sympathetic nervous system response - hence the shakes. Apparently the body, sorry you, can get used to these, just bear with it. A true hypo is well below 4, <3.5 say) though some type 1s on this site get real low numbers (in the 2s even - which would scare me).

    Well done anyway and keep on trucking.

    (Are you checking out the foods you eat on myfitnesspal or similar?)
     
  7. target6point4

    target6point4 Type 2 · Member

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    Hello Gordon,

    thanks for the encouragement. I would like to add some info here. The 4.9 was measured around 15 minutes after the hypo was felt. I am guessing my body could slow down its glucose absorption in this duration to an extent so that my blood sugars appeared normal or maybe my body was able to call upon some glycogen reserves. I agree that real hypos are at very low levels. I have had hypos in the past where I had my meter around me to take a measurement and it turned out to be just under 4. I think I feel the hypos at an earlier stage as my sugars have been high for the past year atleast that I know of.

    I am hoping that if my body is used to higher sugar levels, I can also train it to get used to lower levels. That should be the point where all my cravings should subside for the most part. I hope I can stick to my strict diet for the rest of the day today and see if my sugar drops further tomorrow. I have never seen fasting sugar levels below 4.5 since I have started keeping track. Getting a measurement that low is my primary goal. Let us see how it all shapes up in the coming weeks.

    As for foods I am eating, I am sticking to simple meal replacement soups and shakes accompanied by some low carb veggies (mushrooms, brocolli etc.) No breads, meats, dairy, potatoes etc. I did notice though that the soups too are pretty high in carbs, around 25g per serving. Hence I have chosen to limit myself to just one serving a day and have veggies for the rest of the time.

    Cheers,
     
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  8. target6point4

    target6point4 Type 2 · Member

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    Hello everyone,

    a quick update about the happenings for the past 2 weeks.

    My blood sugars seem to have normalised around 7 (fasting) when I stick to my diet. There were a couple of days when I gave in to temptation and had a beer or pastry too many which saw my fasting numbers shoot up but they were just as fast at coming down. I test once every evening after coming home from work and the levels are always below 6. My post jog numbers are also below 7. I find that despite the reduced calorie intake I can still do a 3 mile run pretty comfortably every other day.

    The most noticeable effect that I have noticed is that my early morning sluggishness has reduced a lot. I remember having to make an effort to get out of bed in the morning, not any more. Also, I have my dinner fairly early and try not to eat absolutely anything after 8 P.M.

    I shall stick to more of the same diet in the coming weeks and hope that my fasting numbers reduce further. Like I have mentioned before, I have never seen a fasting level under 6 so that is the immediate goal. I also plan to do a late night sugar check at maybe 3 or 4 in the morning to see if the high earlymorning numbers are caused by the dawn phenomenon.

    Cheers,
     
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  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Do you check immediately before you go to bed? I do this rather than wake myself up in the middle of the night. On the whole my numbers from going to bed to getting up are flat, and if for some reason they are higher than normal at bedtime , they fall by morning. I am reluctant to test during the night in case I am higher than expected, then I would stress and not get back to sleep again, thus increasing the morning level!!

    Well done, you are getting there.
     
  10. target6point4

    target6point4 Type 2 · Member

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    I used to check pre bed levels and they were also flat, maybe +/- 0.2. I also think that me running late in the evening might be causing these high numbers. I generally come home from my runs around 22:30 and am off to bed by midnight. Could it be that my liver then keeps pumping sugar to replenish my muscles during the night. I wonder if running in the morning will help. Then again, I also think that it is the late night runs that keep my sugar "low" in the morning. I guess I need to do some more trial and error before I can zero in on a cause-effect phenomenon.
     
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  11. bob2025

    bob2025 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi
    I also read the Newcastle University findings. Very interested, so I called them and will be speaking to my GP tomorrow with a view to also start the diet. As you may know, Newcastle are asking for a 5 year study.
    Diagnosed as T2 a month ago reading of 17, getting the hang of it a bit ow down to 7. (morning reading)

    I was going to ask for an MRI scan of my liver and other organs to check the fat content.

    Previously 4-5 years ago I was 18st 6lbs - I went down to under 12 stone in 4 months. 46 inch waist to 32 inch - now 34/36 inch.
    In the past few years I have 'grown' by 2 stone over that and was 13st 11lbs at diagnoses a month ago.
    Now 5ibs lighter for my T2 diagnosis.

    I was on the Cambridge diet when I lost the 4+ stone.
    The purpose of the visit to the Doctor is to determine which type of diet is the lowest risk for my condition and adjust my tablets according.
    I'm on 3 meteformin a day.

    So at 13st 6lbs - I need to loose about 25 pounds. Height is about 5' 11'' - sorry for all those using metric. Age 53.
    Keep at the 'right' weight for 18 months so that my body balances to that correct weight.
    Eat 2/3 of my current portions going forward from then on.

    Anyway - that's the theory..

    Good luck with yours.. and I am following your progress with great interest.
     
  12. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Prof Taylor says that everyone has a personal fat threshold.
    People of Indian descent can be more vulnerable to fat around the organs.
    I would aim for a weight well below the half way point in the 'normal' BMI scale.
    A quick play with the BMI-ometer suggests that 65 Kg might be a good target.
    I see your target is to lose at least 5 kilos - perhaps another 3?

    I have very much taken on board Prof Taylor's research and advice and I am trying to reduce my weight below the mid point of 'normal' BMI.
    I am 6' 0" and this morning I weighed 11 stone 13 lbs.
    So about another 7lbs to go before I review my targets.
    @bob2025 - be a bit more ambitious and take off a few more pounds :)

    In the last 3 months my numbers have come down from diabetic to pre-diabetic but I would like to hit non-diabetic numbers.
    I have the shakes (cue joke) but so far I have managed on low carb and high fat/protein.
    This keeps me from feeling hunger cravings and I no longer crave carbohydrates.
    [Well, now and then but it isn't a constant thing.]
    So I would recommend developing an eating plan which majors on fats and protein with little or no carbohydrates.
    This should be sustainable long term.
    If you read some of Prof. Taylor's comments he says that it is the long term sustained weight loss that matters so the shake route (or other ultra low calorie diet) is only for those who are unable to modify their diet to achieve weight loss when eating normally.

    However I may resort to the shakes if I can't shift this last 7 lbs - I have been stuck at around 12 stone for a while now.

    Cheers

    LGC
     
  13. bob2025

    bob2025 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi LGC

    Thanks for your response.
    You may be right about loosing more weight.

    Previously, when I lost the 4+ stone I used the powdered meal/shakes four times a day. along with a point of water with each meal.
    However, after 12 weeks my body forgot all about wanting to eat.
    I tried to eat a salad in a small restaurant and could no where near finish it.
    During this time I was monitored a visit each week and they spotted that I could be approaching anorexia.
    I was also loosing muscle as well as fat. Obviously, muscle weights more than fat and it really drops your weight much fater than just burner my fat.
    Pretty stupid thing to do.
    People thought I was very serious ill.
    I agree that the shake route is not really an option this time around.
    As I have ably demonstrate, with my own weight gain. it is nigh impossible to keep the weight off if you do use the shake/diet food route.
    Sustainability comes from a lifestyle change not a diet.

    So this time, I want to replace the fats with heavier muscle (& carb burning muscle) Hence the 22 pounds.
    Although I may have plenty more fat to loose.
    Hence, I would like the MRI scan to work out how much fat is around my organs and give me a more factual basis on how to target my fat loss and muscle gain.

    So this morning I did an hour of Aqua aerobics and this evening I trained for about 90 mins at a army boot camp. The Instructor estimate that I would burn 3-400 Kcals during the session. I go once a week - normally on a Tuesday. But no Dog agiltiy training today so it freed me up.
    Tomorrow I have a spin class at 7 am for an hour.
    Like today, some times I am the only guy at the training sessions. Are all the chaps in the pub?

    Have the first talk with my doctor tomorrow and the DN on Monday.
    Will post the Docd and DN's responses

    Cheers all
     
  14. forge

    forge Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello Target 6.4
    I have not read the whole thread but pretty much none of the numbers makes sense to me.

    Even your height and weight and overweight sounds odd. All the numbers sound scrambled. Your A1C does not match your other readings 8.2 A1C (sort of 3 month average) is a lot higher when equated home blood tests. (my last H1C according to my specialist was 6.3 and that equates to 48 or nearly 9 depending on which scale you use.)

    Maybe you need to re test for a starting point (or something) otherwise you will be chasing your tail.
     
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