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Low Carb diet

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by MagicFirefly, May 14, 2018.

  1. MagicFirefly

    MagicFirefly Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Not too long ago, I was at an education night for insulin pump users in my area. The discussion was on low carb diet and how it can help with type 1 diabetes. Has anyone tried it? I've been thinking about it since the session because I always thought it was a bad idea for a type 1 but it all made sense. I'm not a fussy eater and I like to try new things, I'm just not sure where to start.
     
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  2. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    Bearing in mind that a T1 should in theory be able to eat anything - what's your motivation for reducing carbs?

    Depending on your reference source the UK recommended intake is 250g per day. I'd suggest a good starting point would be to count your carbs and find out how much you're eating per day - unless you already know. Once you know this you can try to reduce your portion sizes and insulin requirements to a level that you're happy with.

    I never go higher than 150g per day (yesterday I was below 60) but I realise now that I never ate 250g per day before my diabetes diagnosis anyway so it wasn't hard for me to reduce my intake a little more. It is my perception that my glucose levels are easier to manage with a moderate carb intake.
     
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  3. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I am type 1 dipping in an out of nutritional ketosis. My aim in doing this is a) make my blood sugars less vulnerable to over and under dosing insulin because I am eating such small amounts of carbs b) to avoid becoming a double D or insulin resistant after 36+ years on the stuff.
    This is the theory and so far I feel fine but do get spikes (liver dumps provoked by exercise or missing a meal or taking in too much protein). I will be interested to see how my Hba1c is in September.
    Note that I have totally gone against my consultant's wishes in doing this but they were not able to tell me any reasons why not to do it so it has been done!
    Also interested to hear why you want to go low carb?
     
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  4. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    Pretty much the same as @NicoleC1971 - T1 following a very low (<30g a day) carb diet to keep myself in mild ketosis. I’m doing it to keep my sugars stable and avoid the rollercoaster I get when I eat big carbs and have to take big doses.

    I do get a dawn phenomenon spike, which is quickly and easily dealt with (it wakes me up with a jolt of cortisol just before the liver starts dumping so I can head it off at the pass), and I sometimes have to inject for fish protein, but rarely take more than 6-8u Novorapid a day. My basal dose has more than halved too.

    There’s some good books to look at before jumping in, Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution is great (he’s T1), as is The Art & Science of Low Carb Living by Volek & Phinney. I’d also recommend The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes, by Davis & Runyan (also T1). You need to to a bit of research into it, it’s a big change to make. But I feel great on it, and I’ve dropped my HbA1c from 89 (10.%) to 43 (6.1) eating this way.
     
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  5. MagicFirefly

    MagicFirefly Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My HbA1c is a bit higher than desired, unfortunately so is my weight. I try to follow weight watchers but it's not that easy, especially with my lifestyle. There were results shown to help reduce variance of blood glucose levels whilst improving other results such as cholesterol. I take a statin and have done for years. I have heavy family background of heart problems and it worries me. My mother is also a type 2 and I think if we did it together it would have benefits for both of us. I don't believe we eat more than about 200g carbs daily but it was suggested that 75g daily is okay? I'm a student nurse so I'm also up and down with my activity from spending the day on the wards running around to spending the day (like today) at my laptop looking at evidence based practice and trying to write a few thousand words about it.
    I've looked at Dr Bernsteins book, I'm seriously thinking about purchasing a copy.
     
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  6. Kirbster

    Kirbster Type 1 · Active Member

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    I second everything @Mel dCP has said, and especially recommend Dr Bernstein's book as a good starting point, along with The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes that she has recommended. Both books taught me a huge amount!
     
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  7. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    In my opinion all diabetics need to be controlling their carbs including T1. As a T1 you may be able to be fairly free with them if you don't gain weight but I have to keep them down around 150gm or less otherwise I gain weight. Basically a low'ish carb diet is a healthy diet for almost everyone.
     
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  8. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    Absolutely. None of us can process carbs without pharmaceutical assistance. I’ve spent 20 years trying to balance “normal” quantities of carbs with insulin doses, and to be honest it’s so much simpler when you take most of them out of the equation. My sugars are steady (I’ve been cruising at 6.1 pretty much all day), and when they do move, it’s much slower. Hypos are much milder if they happen at all, and are super easy to deal with using a dextrose tablet or two - and you don’t get that panicky “got to eat the entire kitchen” feeling, I’ve found. You may find it suits your lifestyle better - my days can be pretty erratic, but that’s cool because I’m not having to stop to top up on carbs every couple of hours. I didn’t eat until five pm yesterday, and 7pm the day before - I’d eaten plenty of fat the night before and it kept me fuelled and satiated for most of the following day. All this “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” business is just marketing by cereal manufacturers.

    There’s an increasing body of evidence to suggest that after insulin (which we’d die without taking as we can’t make any at all) that reducing carbs is the most effective treatment for T1. Having said that, there are many T1s here who would disagree with me, and are quite happy and able to balance a high carb diet with their insulin and achieve great levels. I never could, so tried this and it works brilliantly for me. I’ve got my HbA1c way down, and lost a little weight too - plus five inches off my waist. And I haven’t felt this well in years :)

    Maybe read up on it (you’re obviously medically minded!), give it a bash and see how it suits you and your diabetes?
     
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    #8 LooperCat, May 14, 2018 at 6:45 PM
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  9. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Food for thought!
     
  10. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Mel, perhaps you should write a diet book for us?
     
  11. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    I don’t know enough to do that, assuming that was an actual serious suggestion! But I do blog about my food and it’s effects on my diabetes, links are in my sig :)
     
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  12. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Dr B suggests 30g carb daily, or even less if you are very small. (More if you are very large, but you won't qualify for that, I'm afraid!) I strongly second the other people who have recommended his book. Have you looked on his site? There are quite a few chapters available there, and you might enjoy some of his little videos. Something to watch with your mother, perhaps?
    http://www.diabetes-book.com/read-online-diabetes-solution/
     
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    #12 Alexandra100, May 14, 2018 at 8:26 PM
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  13. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Great! Nice one I’ll take a look. I’m intrigued but I’m also concerned about weight loss as I need to put weight on. I’m losing weight again.
     
  14. michita

    michita Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm another T1 who finds low carb diet beneficial. I maintain bs level of between 4.5 and 6.5 most of times. My Hba1c is non-diabetic. I rarely see bs above 8 and hypo is very rare. I find the management this way easy and stress free.

    It's definitely not for everyone but it can be a very effective way of managing type 1. HCPs not recommending it as an option is in my opinion a crime and very frustrating

    Dr Bernstein is great but some of his recommendations are a bit too strict for me.
     
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    #14 michita, May 14, 2018 at 8:50 PM
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  15. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That’s pretty incredible well done
     
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  16. Peppergirl

    Peppergirl Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I too follow a low carb diet for nearly two years and HbA1c is at non-diabetic level. I am so pleased I made the decision to change. I agree with all the comments above - I'm rarely above 8, hypo's are so mild (if I have one) that just one glucose tablet fixes it most of the time. It takes work but it's worth it IMO.
     
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  17. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    This is my Libre trace for the second half of today - lunch had 7g carbs, 47g fat, 38g protein. Dinner had 7g carbs, 28g fat, 19g protein. I didn’t take any Novorapid with lunch, and just half a unit with dinner. I didn’t have anything for breakfast, unless espresso counts :D

    I’ve only taken 3.5 units in total today, 1.5 for the dawn phenomenon at half seven, and another 1.5 late morning when I hit 8 because I was a little stressed at the dentist. I’m now only taking 17u basal too - I was on 36u before. So if you do go down the low carb route, be aware that you’ll rapidly need to reduce yours.

    A1FBE2DF-C53B-4FA1-9944-12673D1E945B.jpeg
     
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  18. MagicFirefly

    MagicFirefly Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This is actually the other thing I was thinking about. I really want a libre trial so I can track what my glucose levels are doing between testing. I'm testing 4+ times a day at the moment anyways because I'm on a minimed paradigm (soon to be a 640g)
     
  19. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    I’m on injections, but Libre has made a world of difference to me.
     
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  20. laurakirkup

    laurakirkup Type 1 · Active Member

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    Please can you post the link here to your blog? It won't let me access it and I would love to give it a read. I tried low carb last year but ended up in hospital after a week with a three day hypo, I am scheduled to get the pump in August though and think it would allow me better control to try low carb again!
     
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