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Type 2 Eat to the meter, or play the long game?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Jim Lahey, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Jim Lahey

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

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    Firstly, I respect that discussion of this nature can be quite prickly. I’d therefore like to open by making it clear that nothing I’m about to say is meant as a disparaging attitude toward anyone’s diabetes management. Food is very personal, and it goes without saying that we are all free to manage our condition as we please. I’m asking this question purely out of curiosity to see which camp we all sit in. If you’re uncomfortable with anything I say, or the manner in which I say it, then please accept my apologies and ignore the discussion rather than take the view that it’s an attack on your choices :)

    With that out of the way, my question is as per the thread title. “Do you eat to the meter” as it were? Do you take the view that as long as you can get from one meal to the next with the maximum glucose load that your own prescribed limits will allow, then you’re ok? Alternatively, do you play the “long game” and always keep in mind that your goal is to purge the body of glucose, not keep topping it up to just below the MAX mark, most probably with the aim of reversal/remission/cure or whatever you choose to call it?

    In my own personal view, the latter method is the most effective, and I also find total abstinence of my kryptonite foods to be far easier than negotiating with them - weighing, counting, and then measuring blood glucose. I don’t feel that the former method is sustainable for me for long term, and also I take the stance that it will make my condition ever so gradually worse over the course of my life.

    What say you, folks? Again, I know that people are naturally defensive of their own choices, so please read the first paragraph again if you’re considering expressing disapproval of my question or the way in which I have framed it. Open discussion invited though of course. A or B answers would be a bit boring :D
     
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    #1 Jim Lahey, Jan 17, 2019 at 9:14 PM
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  2. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Either really. It very much depends on whats going in that day - or how I'm feeling. Most days I stick with keto.
     
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  3. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think they go hand in hand - can't see how you can do one without the other
     
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  4. BrianTheElder

    BrianTheElder Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm like you, playing the long game. I consume as few carbohydrates as possible all the time, as well as high fats and moderate protein. That is what keeps my weight down and my fasting bs at 4.5. To be constantly trying different things and pushing the limit doesn't work for me, abstinence is much easier and I enjoy the food I eat, so why change?
     
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  5. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Expert

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    I test regularly so do eat to my meter but in my view that is a long game as it is my aim to keep blood sugars as near to normal for as long as possible not to be able to eat carbs to the limit my body can handle.

    But I am frustrated in this aim quite often as no matter what I eat prednisolone will raise my blood sugars eventually any way.
    And that is beyond my control.

    Just as illness stress and other factors can affect and often disrupt BS conrol but I persist.
     
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  6. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    I have always eaten to my meter. I still eat very low carb but do allow myself the odd carby food such as 2 small spuds and some low carb bread because my meter says I can - this does not affect the amount of carbs I eat as they are factored in. I haven't weighed or counted anything for a long time, years in fact. I know exactly what I can and can't eat, and how much. It has worked for me.

    To clarify, I was diagnosed early. I had no symptoms and my HbA1c was 53. My fasting glucose has been in the 5s ever since. No meds. I have had normal levels for a long time now. I have just passed my 5th anniversary.
     
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  7. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I eat to my meter to make sure I am well under the max my body can take. I think your question is a bit black and white, to be honest.
     
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  8. Jim Lahey

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

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    Perhaps I should clarify.

    Eating to the meter = testing before and after food. Or knowing that the food you’re eating is putting glucose into your body but you’re happy with that.

    Long game = not needing to test before or after. Keeping your toe in the water with occasional or daily fasting checks, but otherwise knowing that you are depleting glucose, not putting some in.

    In my mind there’s a distinct difference between the two and I have extensive experience of both approaches. Anyway thanks for the responses so far :)
     
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  9. Hotpepper20000

    Hotpepper20000 · Well-Known Member

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    I know what foods are ok for me to eat because I have tested them multiple times and different times of the day over the last three years.
    But I still test if its something new.
    I also will not test for a while then test regularly for a week just to make sure I’m on track.
    If I’m feeling unwell I will start testing again.
     
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  10. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the clarification. I wouldnt say i am happy with eating the minimum carbs I can personally get away with, but I have other medical conditions to juggle, so I do the best I can between the two ideas you have put forward. So I use my meter often to keep a check on the balancing act I am doing.
     
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  11. Boo1979

    Boo1979 Other · Well-Known Member

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    Both
    I have spent the last 22 years basing what I include / exclude from my diet on feedback from a) my meter readings and b) my hba1c’s. I was initially diagnosed in a medical emergency following a GP c*** up with BS readings of 26 and have managed to maintain non diabetic / prediabetic hba1c’s on the minimum dose of my meds for the best part of 21 years.
    Stopping meds completely and relying on diet only does not work for my body - my sugars initially drop then rise and rise eVen if I am doing 24 hr / intermittant fasting, as do ketones.
    The other thing I have learnt over the years is that despite extemely tight control, the way my body reacts to the same foods changes the longer I live with diabetes - hoping that the testing has been done and then thinking “job done,” so there’s no need to revisit your reactions, is a dangerous fools errand
     
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    #11 Boo1979, Jan 17, 2019 at 10:16 PM
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  12. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    I should add that I did test regularly before and after meals, more than many folk do. Once I had a suitable eating plan sorted the only reason I continued with this was for my own nerdy data. Since last year I stopped testing like this and now limit it to certain times of the day, and not every day, partly to make sure I am still on the right track and partly to maintain my data stats. It is no longer anything to do with testing out foods. I am a data freak. I am also one of those unfortunates whose HbA1c is falsely elevated due to haemoglobin variances, so I cannot rely on it to show me how I am doing.
     
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  13. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have this strange idea that the human body is full of glucose like some sort of crystallised fruit. Glycogen is stored temporarily but without being topped up would be exhausted in a day or so. Energy is stored long term as fat. By eating low carb we are putting less stress on our ability to deal with glucose and hopefully long term reducing insulin resistance. Your two scenarios are really not different.
     
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  14. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    Still test regularly usually FBG and sometime before and sometime after meals although my dietary patterns these days are for the most part almost no carb. I like to keep my eye on things even though I very rarely get shocks these days.
     
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  15. Jim Lahey

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

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    Respectfully it’s not a strange idea. It’s the view of Dr. Jason Fung, and he knows a thing or two.

    Glucose can be stored in tissues and organs. This is why blood glucose control on its own is not a marker of protection from future complications. It is why those on insulin still lose limbs. I don’t wish to argue with you of course, but your view of the mechanisms of T2DM is not in line with the current belief held by the world’s leading experts :)
     
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  16. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    I think (and I hope @Jim Lahey will correct me if I'm wrong) that Jim means that some here will eat a certain amount of carbs because their meter says they "can" i.e. less than a 2 mmol/l rise after having them. This will of course to a greater or lesser extent do exactly what you say.. .re-stock the glycogen stores so they are in a constant state of flux. Others like myself have the view that as few carbs as possible is a more effective way of looking at things. I guess you could say its the difference between "lower carb" and keto?
     
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  17. Jim Lahey

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

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    Yes it probably would have been easier to ask “low carb or keto?” :D
     
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  18. Daphne917

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

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    I tend to do both as, through testing, I know what foods I can or should not eat. I still test occasionally to make sure I am still on track. I seem to have some fairly low carb days but do not worry if I have an occasional meal with more carbs than usual.
     
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  19. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Feel free to educate me by providing references to these leading experts explaining how glucose is stored in tissues and organs.
     
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  20. Jim Lahey

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

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    I think we’ve had this discussion before. I believe I recommended The Diabetes Code. It’s a brilliant book.
     
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