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Doubts about newly started LCHF diet

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by svgittins, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. svgittins

    svgittins Type 2 · Member

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    I was diagnosed with T2 in mid July 2019 (HbA1C=117) and immediately went onto low Glycaemic Index diet with greatly lowered calorie intake) and lots of exercise. I lost about 10 kilos in 3 months (9% body weight) and started monitoring my BG regularly about a month into this regime - it was fairly consistently around about 6 mmol/l which was a huge reduction from 18 at the time of diagnosis. However my first post diagnosis HbA1C results in October was a comparatively disappointing 51 (my BG app had estimated a much lower figure). I realised my diet was still fairly high in carbs though “good” ones - pulses, fruit, high fibre etc., so I decided to switch to LCHF. I’ve been doing this for just over 2 weeks ago and I am very dubious about the effect, hence this posting. I usually consume under 30 g carbs/day and always under 50 g. I am not counting calorie intake though its obvious to me these have shot up.

    Now my BG HAS gone down - it was averaging about 6 mm/l / day, now its more like 5.2 and my fasting blood glucose has dropped similarly (with a reading low for me of 4.4 mmol/l 2 days ago). However I really find the effects unpleasant - the constipation is awful and I now take daily doses of lactulose to counter it. I always seem to have greasy taste in my mouth, and worse of all my weight loss has ground to a halt and may be rising, which to is not surprising as my calorie intake has jumped right up (and I usually burn 1500-2000 calories a week in exercise). I also confess I really feel uncomfortable about the effects on my cardiovascular system of this diet - both my parents and one of my brother had heart attacks (which immediately puts me as very high risk) and it seems positively dangerous to have a cube of cheese when you are desperate for a snack rather than half an apple (which is what I would have done a month ago).

    What do people think? Should I just live with the constipation and possible heart disease risk? Or maybe up my carb intakes a bit? I Trouble is its over 2 months to my next HbA1C which does seem an age.
     
  2. JAT1

    JAT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Every time I tried to reduce my carb intake by more than 20 carbs/day, I experienced tummy ache etc, to the point that I would backtrack and increase my carbs so that I would feel ok. It's been more than a year now that I have been working to reduce my carbs gradually and now I am at 20 to 25 per day without the tummy troubles. I include some low-carb veggie every meal and snack. Fortunately during this year of carb reduction I never had any trouble staying on the wagon. Now that I am at this carb level, I don't have any more hypos or highs.
     
  3. poemagraphic

    poemagraphic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have read your post svgittins and can understand your apprehension.
    Firstly I would like to say... "It is early days."

    You should not fear the High fat element of LCHF nor the Low in low carb.
    However you could be underestimating your total carb count. Which will have quite an impact.

    Count in the carbs on everything you use, such as sauces for instance, A 'normal' splash of HP or ketchup or worse still 'low fat mayo could quite surprise you. Normal mayo is far better for you than low fat mayo. Low fat cheeses are far worse for you (higher carb content) then normal cheese.
    I, like you, at first, just could not get my head round eating so much butter, double cream, cheese, fat on and around my steaks, bacon, sausages, burgers etc, (the higher the meat content, the better they tend to be).

    Grains, pulses, some fruits, rice, pasta, bread, All of these are all full of carbohydrates that turn out to be, A Type 2s worse choice.

    What are you eating each day? It maybe these hidden critters, that can be so elusive and so damaging to our BGL. and our whole body.

    Drink plenty of water every day... that's at least 2litres (just water, nothing added).

    I hope you see the truth in the above. There is a ever growing amount of evidence to support a lower carbohydrate diet to control Type 2. Check out the success several of us here have experienced.
     
  4. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    You dont mind if I laugh but to a degree you mirror my own circumstances including the constipation. I never had it before in a lifetime until I went LCHF. I do try and address it but not completely successfully.

    My weight has also stopped going down but I think my muscle is increasing owing to a considerable change in physical activity or due to the high levels of fat that I eat or both. Not sure. However I am reasonably happy with where I am at right now as, like you, massive improvements have been gained.
     
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  5. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    By the way I eat loads of high fat cheese, drink full fat milk, double cream and full fat greek yoghourt, eat nuts and streaky bacon. My blood pressure is considerably lower now than before.
     
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  6. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    Might be an idea to let us know what you are eating?

    Your fears (presumably about saturated fats in the diet?) are now thought to be fairly old fashioned and not applicable. Once you switch to fat burning mode you will be using the fats for energy so won't be storing them at all. This can take a few weeks/months.

    As for constipation are you simply going less or do you really have problems, painful evacuations etc? Once you cut carbs out of your diet then there is less "stuff" to come out anyway.
     
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  7. TerryJK

    TerryJK Prediabetes · Active Member

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    Ah! So that's why I now only visit the loo every other day. Interesting, as I just checked why and the body uses up more of what you eat as it's healthy for you, rather than expelling the 'not so good' food. My 'stuff' has not changed really, other than being dark green, which is okay apparently as I eat much more green veg and salad. Thanks for that bulkbiker
     
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  8. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    100% agreed. This is very common on low-carb and shouldn't be confused with actual constipation. Now that I'm super-carnivore I go around twice a week at the most.
     
  9. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    The 'constipation' which many complain of really is a case of no more garbage in garbage out - the food we eat on low carb consists of what we need and use on a daily basis, building muscle is one thing I have noticed - and I am a little old woman - I can now work with knitting machines again when I thought that I was going to lose the income from doing servicing.
    If you are really concerned about the lack of fibre then, when you have a salad, add a teaspoon of psyllium, which is, I believe almost pure fiber. I get the flour for baking but the husk is just the same stuff, only less processed. I sprinkle mine over the coleslaw, as that seems to hold it well and means it gets eaten.
     
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  10. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi svgittins,
    I understand your fear of saturated fat because it has been demonised as associated with heart disease since the 1960's. I too was concerned , I had a 3 x bypass a few years ago while on a High Carb very low Fat diet lasting over 10 yrs. My father died of a heart attack at age 45 (though he was both a heavy smoker, obese and highly stressed due to working a night shift for many years).
    Interestingly, when reviewing all the 'so called evidence', it becomes obvious that there is absolutely no scientific evidence that either of these are true and the original studies into Heart Attacks ignored one of the biggest risk factors which is smoking.

    The false assumptions are :
    A). Low Fat ways of eating are associated with lower heart disease. - The study came to this conclusion by reviewing diet and heart disease in 7 countries which produced a beautiful graph showing a huge correlation. However what that scientist (Ancel Keys) didn't publish was the data he had for another 15 countries. Was this because they didn't fit his theory? Decide for yourself by looking at the graphs side by side in here: https://drdechickerand.com/2017/cholesterol-is-good/

    B). Eating fat makes you fat. - As we know in this forum, it is eating lots of carbs and sugars that makes you fat by raising your Insulin so that 1) Your body can't 'burn' its stored fat 2). The Insulin shoves the excess Blood Glucose into your muscle cells, but when they say 'no more' it shoves it into sub-cutaneous fat cells and into visceral fat cell around your organs and your belly.

    C). A high Fat diet raises LDL ( 'bad cholesterol') . - No, it raises HDL ('good cholesterol') and improves your HDL to Triglycerides ratio.

    Do your own checking, but this was more than enough for me to embrace LCHF having been eating exactly the opposite way for nearly 20yrs!
     
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  11. poemagraphic

    poemagraphic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I feel so smug reading this... Is that wrong of me?
     
  12. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Po,
    It doesn't bother me if you feel smug.

    What bothers me is that the same discredited dietary advice is still being blasted out to (almost) everybody from the Food Industry, Media, GP's, Nurses and Dietitians. Not everybody has the time, motive and training to do their own research in order to find the truth about these things. I'm just fortunate that I didn't get serious health problems before I did have the time i.e. after I retired!
     
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  13. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    hi,

    i guess you are the best person to say whether you are experiencing constipation, or not.
    So i will assume that you are, and not dismiss it as some posters above seem to be doing.

    There are a number of low carb high fibre options, from cooking with psyllium husks, or drinking psyllium husks in a glass of water, eating more nuts, increasing your fibrous veg intake, and so on... but from what i have seen (and experienced) the simplest way to deal with LC constipation is to drink more. Significantly more.

    The bowel is where the digestive tract absorbs water. So if you don’t drink enough, then your body suckes all the water from your bowel contents to prevent dehydration. If you are drinking enough, then the body leaves some water behind to moisten and soften the faeces.

    As for weight loss... please do not feel you have to stuff yourself with fat. There is no obligation to push butter down your throat til you feel queasy. I know some people give that impression, but that is just hyperbole. Just eat ‘normal’ protein portions, drop the carbs, replace them with low carb veg and a bit of mayo, butter, cheese or meat fat until you feel confortably satisfied.

    Also, constipation may explain your weight loss stall. After all, poo is quite heavy. ;)

    You may find that over time, your appetite adapts and you can enjoy more fat on your plate, but there is no rush, and no obligation.

    Hope that helps. :)
     
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  14. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    @svgittins I tend to look at it as full fat rather than high fat so rather than having low fat yoghurts, cheese and ‘healthy’ spreads etc I have, for example, butter, full fat milk (this also helps me find my milk in the fridge at work as I’m the only one who uses blue topped), FFat Greek yoghurt, cheese and, when I fry food, use either olive oil, butter or beef dripping.
     
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  15. bobrobert

    bobrobert Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sodium and potassium intake is important. Are you getting enough?
     
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  16. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just to add my own experience to what @Brunneria say above about drinking sufficient fluid:

    If you are drinking sufficient fluid and still getting constipation on your Low Carb 'Way OF eating', I have found that drinking a small amount of Olive Oil can help.
     
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  17. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    I agree with the above. Fats and alot of water are important. Psyllium husks helped me a bit but I still need some leafy green low carb veg in my diet. When I have tried meat only the consequences have been disastrous. I took months to heal the first time and the addition of all the above next time round didn't do enough to make no carb an option for me.
     
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  18. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Whilst talking about my Toilet habits is not something I would usually indulge in, I would concur with @Jim Lahey and say twice a week is about the norm nowadays, but that is not a problem and constipation is certainly not the reason.
     
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  19. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I tend to have issues with constipation as I take prescribed codeine, so going low carb was a problem at first (not just less fibre from fruits etc but sugar is a laxative. See what happens if you feed sugarly meds to breastfed babies!).
    I adapted by developing my own mix of a little oatbran (lower in carbs than rolled oats) with loads of flaxseed and a little chia. Made with coconut milk and water, served with a pinch of salt, cinnamon and double cream.
    Chia is great for bulking out stools, but I found more than a small spoonful caused cramps/discomfort at first so introduce it slowly.

    Don't forget to add salt to veg, etc. if you've stopped eating processed foods - our bodies need some, especially if you drink more water.
     
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  20. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just to reinforce what has already been said:

    (1) Drink loads of water

    (2) Loads of bulk vegetables - I find that cabbage braised in butter and olive oil does it for me

    (3) If you are worrying about a cube of cheese are you sure that you are getting enough fats and oils? Those generally help to lubricate things through.

    (4) I use Lactulose from time to time. I find there is a very fine line between no noticeable effect and the "aaaargh!" effect. :watching: Perhaps try taking just a little bit more? By routine I go every day first thing in the morning with the occasional "bungo" day.
     
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