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Low Carb from a younger perspective!

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by candiedmittens, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. candiedmittens

    candiedmittens · Member

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    So I've been somewhat stalking the Low-carb Diet forum for about 3 months now, but never had the guts to sign up and get talking.
    The one thing I have noticed, is that the majority of Diabetics posting here are from an older generation than myself, obviously making you all much wiser than myself.
    I just want to share my story, so that if maybe there are any other younger one's doing the same as I, they realise that perhaps this is achievable and manageable at our age.

    I'm Lydia, and 19 years of age, and have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes since the young ol' age of 3 on December 11th 1997, making me a 15 year old diabetic I guess?

    In any case, when I hit my teens, as most teenage diabetic girls do - I rebelled against everything I'd ever been told.
    I hated what I was, thought that no-one else understood, rejecting my injections and pretty much set myself on a self-destructive course that ended me in hospital with Diabetic KetoAcidosis more times than I can count on my fingers.
    This carried on from age 12 to age 18 - I understand I'll get some complications in my future now, and my eyesight is only now improving slightly. I was lucky enough to get away without any neuropathy/retinopathy.
    Last year, I signed up for the DAPHNE course. My doctors and nurses were always incredibly emotional when I saw them because they saw a bright young girl wasting her future away. Needless to say, I decided that maybe it was time to change after I met my boyfriend of 2 years now and realized I needed my future. As such, I decided to take the course and see what I could do.

    This is where my life changed.
    I went on the week long course, and for the first two days, I saw no change. Why would I? All the glucogen was still being released from my liver.
    Day three hit me hard. I was told my HBA1C% had reached the top of the scale 14. But I saw my first 5.0mmol/l that I had seen in nearly two years.
    I became determined. I spoke to the dietician who ran the course, and she recommended my low-carb diet.
    We calculated that I averaged 300-400g of carbs a day back then, and this is now sitting at 60-80g depending on my activity levels for the day.
    My total daily doses used to be that of a pregnant diabetic with twins, so I was told.
    I'm now taking a healthy level, which is more like someone with a smaller frame than myself.

    To finish my story, last week I returned to my local centre for a check-up.
    In under a year, my HBA1C% had dropped from 13.4% to 7.6%, my carb intake has more than halved, and my insulin levels are virtually non-exsistant compared to what I used to take.
    You always hear stories about how somebody can reverse Type 2 diabetes.
    I feel like I've managed to reverse my Type 1, and have never felt so good.

    So here's my little story.
    I'm not looking for praise or anything, I simply hope that all of the teenagers out there who struggle with things might see this, and realize that low carb can achieve a new lifestyle even at a younger age.

    Finally, thank you all for being so inspirational to me for the past three months! :thumbup:
     
  2. Hooked

    Hooked · Guest

    Lovely to read such a positive story from someone your age. (Gawd I feel old now!) Sounds like you are doing fantastic, keep up the good work! :D
     
  3. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Hey well done candiedmittens :clap:

    btw, wisdom comes from living not from being old :wink:
     
  4. paul-1976

    paul-1976 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done! :D It took a while but i got mine down from 14.1% to 5.1% using that approach...nice one! :thumbup:
     
  5. candiedmittens

    candiedmittens · Member

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    Thank you all!
    Gosh, well done on the HBA1C drop too!
    That's amazing :grin:
     
  6. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant story! Great of your dietician to recommend a low carb diet. Stick at it! (And easy on the older generation thing!...)
     
  7. Thundercat

    Thundercat · Well-Known Member

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  8. candiedmittens

    candiedmittens · Member

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    Haha! My apologies on the 'generation' wording, but when I meet older and younger diabetics at my clinic, I really do feel that there are strong generation differences...
    I'm always happy to speak to all types of people, I just felt that as a teen, there's not many here on this particular forum.. At first it seemed intimidating, I hoped this way to bring more of us in?
    I think I'm digging a hole here :')
    I apologize!

    Seriously though, thank you all :lol:
     
  9. CollieBoy

    CollieBoy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    candiedmittens,
    I think the age/generation gap is probably due to the demographics of the diabetic community!
    most diabetics are T2, and up until recently the tendancy has ben for them to be 40+ and "stuck in their ways" ie doing what they were told(150g carb /day +)and not sticking the head above the parapet :oops:
    The T1s, once they get a routine,, plug on and live their lives as best they can. They, up until recently, have not been guided down the low carb route, and being young, sometimes don't have time to work things out for themselves.
    BTW, when I did Xpert, at 45, I was the oldest in the group by ~20 years, ad found the same at DUK groups I attended.( DUK meetings sem to be attended by subscribers to old pre "low carb dogma" amongst the T2s :shock:
     
  10. KatieCook

    KatieCook · Newbie

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    Hi candiedmittens, a very inspiring story of turning your life around and the best of future health you... I'm new to the forums and I'd really, really appreciate ideas and advice about lo-carb diets as that's what I follow (I can't understand why people would do anything else). I'm 41 and I've been a T1 for 32 years.

    I know we are all very different and male experiences will be different to women's because of hormones etc, but I'd love to hear day to day stories of what people do when they are following lo-carb diets. What do you eat, how many carbs do you eat per meal? How much insulin do you take with meals? What are your basal doses? How often do you test? I seem to have problems in particular with hypos first thing in the morning with my lo-carb diet. I appreciate that it's hard to give out advice when you don't know about the person's entire situation or medical background but I'm sure I'll find all shared experiences useful.

    Thanks all! (PS - it's my ambition to get my HbA1cs - which have been mid 6s/early 7s for the last 11 years or so - down to the early 6s or even to join the fabled 5% club. Any other type 1s out there who have got their HbA1cs to this level?
     
  11. Picci

    Picci Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Parts if your history is similar to mine!! However I was diagnosed at 10 years old, and I'm now 44!!! I too went a bit wild in my teens, and thankfully came out the other end unscathed!! I had a happy and healthy pregnancy and a beautiful healthy child who was of normal weight!! I have milt retinopathy which was diagnosed 3 years ago and has not deteriorated. And like so many, I'm a very low carb girl and average 5 units of novo rapid total, per day and levemir 7 units am and 7 units 12 hours later. Keep up the good work. Christine


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  12. Picci

    Picci Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Ps I test on average 10 times per day. Always before I drive, before meals and bead and also if I feel high/low! As the two can at times feel similar!!


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  13. alaska

    alaska · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Katie

    I'm in my 30s, have been on a low carb diet for the last 4 years or so and my HbA1c results over the last 2 years have been under 6%.

    What do you eat, how many carbs do you eat per meal?

    Breakfast: Yoghurt, bran and nuts (every day) [carbs: around 20g]
    Typical lunches: Mozzarella salad, pork chops with vegetables -fruit for dessert (eg apple, kiwi fruit) [carbs: 20-40g]
    Typical dinners: Roasted vegetables with quinoa, cauliflower cheese, roast chicken, home made soups etc [carbs: 20-40g]

    How much insulin do you take with meals?
    I typically take between 4 and 7 units of Humalog with over 90% of meals

    What are your basal doses?
    3 shots of Levemir (10 units morning, 8 units afternoon, 6 units before bed)

    How often do you test?
    6-8 times a day

    I don't shy away from doing correction doses although I take care to take into account how much 'active' insulin I still have from my last meal bolus.

    Hypos first thing in the morning could be that your basal insulin is too high. One option available is to reduce the basal insulin dose, although this could put your levels slightly higher during the day.

    Which basal insulin are you on?

    Ed
     
  14. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Katie,
    I'm not quite in the 5% club, but have got my HbA1c down to 6.1% by low carbing. I reckon I'd be in the 5% club, if it wasn't for two pre-breakfast readings of 10 mmol/l in the week before my HbA1c test (the first and only double-figure pre-breakfast readings of the year).

    What do you eat?
    At the moment for breakfast I'm having yoghurt with nuts, berries and seeds (around 10g carbs). For lunch I typically have salad, soup, or sandwiches made from low carb bread around (around 15g). For dinner I'll often substitute mash potato for cauliflower blended in a food processor (has the same texture as mashed potato) and have stew, meat, etc. with it (again, around 15g). There's a load of ideas in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=36803

    How often do you test?
    I test before and after every meal, before bed, before and after exercise and before driving.

    How much insulin do you take with meals?
    One unit of Novorapid brings me down by 2 mmol/l, so I give a correction dose if my BGs are over 7 mmol/l. I take 5 units of NR for breakfast, 5 for lunch and 6 for dinner. I don't inject for the carbs as I experience the Chinese Restaurant Effect, coined by Richard Bernstein (have a Google for it), I inject for the size of the portion I've eaten.

    What are your basal doses?
    With basal, I change mine nearly every day. I've learned that my basal changes quite a lot depending on when I last did exercise. So on a day I've exercised, I'll drop my Lantus by 20%. If I exercise on consecutive days, I'll keep dropping by 20% until I plateau at 8 units. If I don't do exercise, I'll need to increase it by 20%, until I plateau around 22 units.

    Hope this helps!
     
  15. pickledpepper2

    pickledpepper2 · Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't consider that a hard and fast rule candiedmittens. Older people can frequently be far from wise! lol

    That's based on my experiences anyway.

    I'm no spring chicken (40) myself, but some of the older lot in my family........the less said the better....
     
  16. PickingPoppies

    PickingPoppies · Newbie

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    Thank you so much for sharing. I'm the mum of a newly diagnosed 11 year old son and have felt like I could burst with the worry of it all (actually I think I have burst, more than once). Thank you for turning your life around, you've given me hope that even if he does rebel (one of my major fears for the future) he can turn it around before it's too late. You've done an amazing job and you do deserve a future. And thanks for the practical advice on a low carb diet. We're not even counting carbs yet so my son's daily carb intake fluctuates wildly whilst his insulin injections stay the same. I think I would at least like to get an idea on regularising his carb intake.
    Keep it up, I think you're amazing.
     
  17. Isobel94

    Isobel94 · Well-Known Member

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    That's amazing candiedmittens, well done! I can understand exactly where you're coming from as I too went through my teenage years with diabetes. I've had it since I was six, and I'm eighteen now. Thankfully my HbA1c never went any higher than the early 8s as I was always the worrying type. It's a very worrying thing to have, especially when Google has something to do with it... :roll:.

    Like yourself I have low-carbed in the last two months and I am noticing the difference big time! It makes things so much easier to control, I find. And you feel so much healthier, too. My last HbA1c was 7.8 mmol/L so fingers crossed it'll be lower this time! I want to eventually get it into the 6s, then I may try and move on to the elusive 5s...

    You're such an inspiration to not just young people with diabetes but everybody who has it. It just goes to show that with a little determination and motivation, it is possible to achieve what your goals and feel better for it.


    Izzy.
     
  18. LemonTree

    LemonTree · Well-Known Member

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    Come on Sam! That can't be right. Isn't the HbA1c an average over several weeks and therefore just two readings of 10 can't have put your % up by that much. Surely it means you must be going higher at other times. Isn't there a calculator somewhere which shows what your average mmol/l is depending on what HbA1c you get...?

    On my ontrack app it says my average glucose for the last 3 months is 6.3mmol/l which they work out to an estimated HbA1c of 5.6%. This is an estimation as it's only based on the readings I take and input, not constant monitoring. I WISH it was under 6%! :angel:
     
  19. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Not quite. It's heavily weighted to your most recent levels. Take a look at this link. Around 8% of the reading comes from the most recent 5 days. If you do the maths with the weighted averages given in the link (I have) then if I hadn't been at 10 mmol/l for 16 hours in the preceding week then I probably would have been in the 5% club - I say "probably" because HbA1c are accurate to within 2-3% of the reading (i.e. an HbA1c of 10% will be accurate to 0.2-0.3%).

    Also, it's a misconception that you can use your average (i.e. mean) sugar level to predict your HbA1c. I've worked in pharmacology working out the relationship between a drug and its affect (called PK-PD modeling). If you were to look at a line graph of time on the x (bottom) axis and sugar level on the y (vertical) axis, then the area underneath the line is what is directly proportional to your HbA1c. It's called exposure, or AUC (Area Under the Curve). If you could use the "mode" average, then that would be more accurate to predict your HbA1c with, but all the testing machines I've used have given the mean.
     
  20. LemonTree

    LemonTree · Well-Known Member

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    Um ok. Although 8% of the A1c does not seem enough to sway it - you've still got 92% of (presumably) lower figures but I will admit that if you were usually in a 4-5 range, then having a couple of 10s is maybe going to increase it.

    Just to defend the app, my last HbA1c was 6.5% when my app had estimated it (from my average BG tests) at 6.3% so not terribly far off and according to the potential inaccuracy of the HbA1c you pointed out, maybe the app was correct... :wink:
     
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