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Low carb diet for Type 1

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by jottiexo, May 28, 2020.

  1. jottiexo

    jottiexo · Member

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    Hi all, I’ve started a low carb diet to lose a bit of weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle however I seem to be having more hypos (had 4 in one day yesterday which was crazy bad! Not only is it bad but also counterproductive to my goal)

    I normally take novorapid and levermir and haven’t given much novorapid due to not eating as many carbs as I usually do, so I’m guessing my problem is the levemir.

    Decreased the amount I gave today but still had a few hypos - could someone advise on what to do so I can do this diet healthily? Shall I decrease it more? Any there any hints, tips or guidance for me to follow?

    If anyone had the same issue, advice would be warmly welcomed
     
    #1 jottiexo, May 28, 2020 at 2:59 AM
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  2. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
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    Hello and welcome @jottiexo

    Yes your right hypos are counter productive but having them either indicates too much insulin, exercise or indeed the heat can affect your insulin absorption too - are you using a glucose meter or libre ?

    It really is a learning curve though so keep a diary recording food eaten and insulin taken as your carb counting and matching insulin then ensure you taking the right amount of insulin, use carbs and Cals as a guide if you don’t already to check.

    Remember the heat and exercise will also affect your insulin requirements and also hypos can cause you to swing like a pendulum so once you have one take care in case you rebound later so extra testing is required.

    I appreciate I know little about your food/lifestyle etc so have made a few pointers here to help but if you need to speak to your team about insulin adjustments then please contact them to double check in case you need to review.
     
  3. jottiexo

    jottiexo · Member

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    Hi @Juicyj thanks for your advice - the heat affecting my blood sugars had slipped my mind! I’m using a libre which is really helpful and my hypo awareness is good so I know when it’s about to go low, however need to get on top off the whole low carb and hypo situation.

    Thank you again! :)
     
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  4. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. If you are happy with the low-carb lifestyle then just keep reducing the insulin. The 2hour after meal meter reading compared with just before will guide you on Bolus ratio; you may not even need any for some meals? The Basal can be adjusted by checking that it maintains your BS stable after several hours of fasting e.g. overnight. Obviously use the meter frequently to try to avoid more hypos. Note that if you have residual insulin resistance this will reduce as your weight reduces and that will mean you will need less insulin anyway
     
  5. jottiexo

    jottiexo · Member

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    Hi @Daibell great thanks for the advice! Think it’s the basal that is throwing me off but will take this into consideration. Thanks again :)
     
  6. Wayward Blood

    Wayward Blood Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jottie!

    First of all, well done on adopting low carbohydrate as a way of eating; it really does help massively with blood sugar control when balanced correctly. It's definitely tricky to get that balance right at first though.

    The standard way of thinking about hypos is that you haven't eaten enough. I tend to think, instead, that I've taken too much insulin. I don't agree with a lot of what the USA does, but they do have a much better name for hypos: insulin shock. Often, a high carbohydrate diet can mask big miscalculations in doses. I was on about 32 units of long-acting before I switch; now I'm on 14.

    Higher doses can also take longer to get out of the system. I've heard of a study where someone without diabetes was injected with a large dose of insulin and provided with glucose via a drip until it was out of their system. It took a week for their blood sugars to return to normal. Sorry I can't remember more details (Dr Richard Bernstein referenced it somewhere). It could be that you've still got some legacy effect on your blood sugars from your previous higher carbohydrate diet.

    I should probably also mention that a low carbohydrate diet can come with side effects in the early days of taking it up, especially if you substantially lower your carbohydrate intake rapidly. These often last for around three weeks, although everyone has different experiences. I found I needed to massively increase the amount of water I was drinking for a few weeks, and that I was tired for a lot of the time. I also got severe cramps in my legs; this was due to a drop in the amount of salt I was consuming. When I switched away from ready meals. my salt intake plummeted. We know we can have too much, but it's possible to have too little as well. I added a bit of bacon into my diet and sprinkled a small amount of salt on my omelettes and this cleared things up quickly. I also found that my sex drive dropped to almost nothing for a couple of weeks (although I've heard that others have had the opposite happen!). I've heard that a change in diet can also have a temporary effect on the timing of a woman's menstrual cycle, but as I'm male I can't verify this.

    As previously mentioned, all of the symptoms I experienced were short lived. I've been following a low carbohydrate diet since January 2014, and it was definitely the right choice. Make sure you've got plenty of glucose on hand to ward off extra hypos in the short term, and try to make small and measurable adjustments where you can. Your ability to test with your Libre is also essential, but it sounds like you're already on top of that.

    Best of luck with it all!
     
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  7. jottiexo

    jottiexo · Member

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    Hi @Wayward Blood - thanks so much for sharing your story :) I’m the same, was on 24 units of long acting as I was eating quite a lot of carbs but having to decrease it loads now I’m on this diet/exercising more so I’m glad I’m going about it on the right lines

    Sounds like you’re doing great and having done it since 2014 you’re a pro now haha, well done on what you’ve achieved so far! It’s nice of you to share your insights, these have really helped me so thank you

    All the best :)
     
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  8. Wayward Blood

    Wayward Blood Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks and all the best to you too :)
     
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