1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Low carb, IF, increased insulin resistance?! Help!

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by Suzanneal, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi everyone,

    I am new and have come here at my wits end! So hopefully someone can shed some light on my dilemma.

    I've been eating a Paleo type diet (all natural, no bread pasta ect very high nutrient dense ALOT of salad, veggies, fish and eggs ect) for a few years now for general health as well as control. I put on a bit of weight the last year I think but have managed to get down from 74kg to just over 69kg in the past few months. Still desperately trying to get back down to 63kg (I'm 5ft3) which I was a good weight at, maybe less but I'll see how I feel when I get there!

    So for a while when I realised how heavy I had gotten I went very low carb, to the point of Dr Bernstein diabetes solution (for those you who don't know this is pretty much zero carb, <6g for dinner/lunch, no tomatoes, even onions are considered carby). This worked for a while with great Non diabetic bloods (5mmol consistently) which was I was delighted about but it ended up that I couldn't keep up with my workouts and had no energy so it just didn't work for me and I had to stop.

    So I am now back to eating pretty low carb like normal but has tightened up a bit and also introduced intermittent fasting which I think has been the main factor in me dropping the small amount of weight I have managed to lose. I was feeling great on this IF which works out having an eating window from about 10/11am til 6/7pm. I have also been having coffee blitzed up with a bit of coconut oil in the morning which has made me feel brilliant (along the lines of the bullet proof coffee craze but just not the TM version). Sometimes I am not hungry until 12/2pm and if I'v got a busy day I will go longer just for convenience. I will emphasise here that I do not under eat, I am pretty sure I eat plenty and nutrient dense meals when I do.

    So I did this to lose weight but also get my insulin down for all the health benefits it brings. When my sugars are **** I feel **** - both physiologically and psychologically :( the past week or two I seem to be suffering some severe insulin resistance - in the past year or two I have always bolused for protein eg if I have a couple of eggs with veggies I'll bolus between 1.5-2.5 units depending on the actual ingredients.

    BUT NOW I cannot seem to get my sugars down no matter what I do. I wake up constantly with high sugars, ranging from 8-11 even if I have done a big bolus to bring them down before bed. It's like I have suddenly gone severely insulin resistant. I have today increased my basal rate. I have dropped the HIIT training I was doing before which does help with my insulin sensitivity - maybe I actually require this and should bring it back in? I have been running, cycling and I horse ride too. But haven't been strength training or intervals as much but even when I do the effect doesn't seem as good.

    Have I given myself insulin resistance with constant low carbing? I do eat berries, some fruits ect, strawberries a lot in the summer! Should I bump up the sweet potatoes?

    Help!

    Any help much appreciated and thanks to any poor souls who have made it to the end of this. If you have any advice please reply or even if you can suggest somewhere/someone to go for advice.

    Thanks S
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,618
    Likes Received:
    19,616
    Trophy Points:
    278
    Some type 1's do become insulin resistant when going very low-carb, seen a few posts on the forum over the years discussing this very subject.

    Have you tried changing your insulin, I'm just thinking that it may be possible that your insulin has been effected by the heat over the last week or so, if your not changed your cartridges I'd recommend you do and if that doesn't work look at the accuracy of your pens.

    I'll tag some members who may be able to help you @Dillinger, @Spiker @LucySW @tim2000s
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi Noblehead, thanks so much for your response! Have been trawling the forum for past posts :) I did think that about the heat ect but I'm in Scotland and it's only really been hot the last two days to be honest! But last week I got a whole new lot of insulin from the chemist just incase as it was like the insulin wasn't working right... And changed my sets/lines ect several times but to no avail.

    Thanks again x
     
  4. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Sorry forgot to mention I am on a pump incase that wasn't clear in my original post! Diagnosed at 5, got my pump at 11 - now 24 to give you an idea :)
     
  5. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,618
    Likes Received:
    19,616
    Trophy Points:
    278

    Well we can rule that out then, but they do always say its the first thing you should do when experiencing unexpected high bg levels, hopefully some of the low-carbing type 1's will be along soon to offer you some advice. Good luck.
     
  6. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Yeah it's not exactly Benidorm up here! Thanks again :) c
     
  7. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,618
    Likes Received:
    19,616
    Trophy Points:
    278

    Moved your thread to the low-carb diet forum.
     
  8. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Just saw that thanks :)
     
  9. NancyE

    NancyE Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi. I'm type 2 diagnosed at 29. I'm kinda in the same boat as you. Before if I went low carb strictly I didn't need meds but now I need to keep up my meds/insulin and my numbers are better. I'm hoping to lose a bit of weight which will help but nothing so far and it's been over a month. At least my bgs are more consistently on a lower level than before.

    I'm just hoping with time and staying away from carbs everything will straighten out and the resistance will be better.
    Good luck!
    ..and I'll be following this thread to see if you and the others can figure something out
    :cat:
     
  10. zjed

    zjed Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    153
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Hi @Suzanneal ,
    I've been on lc for about 6 months now. I found that when I stayed at < 50g a day I was getting high reading, around 8. I had to keep correcting multiple times a day, very frustrating. I believe that I was getting glucagon released for some reason at these levels.
    I have slightly increased my carb intake to around 60-70g a day and this effect seems to have dissipated, although I still get undefined similar rises for short periods every few weeks.
    So maybe you could try increasing/decreasing your carb intake slightly to see if it helps.
    @tim2000s has written a bit about glucagon on this forum and his blog, might be worth a read.
     
  11. zumoney

    zumoney Type 1 · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Hello @Suzanneal
    I am a type 1 diabetic since the age of 9 and now i am 31. Ive been doing a carbnite solution diet for about 3 weeks now which is pretty much no more than 30 carbs per day and every 5th day you basically eat anything and everything. I have eaten snicker bars, ice cream, pasta and EVERYTHING 4 the last 6 hours of that cheat day. Since I have been on this diet I did notice than when I eat no more than 30 carbs a day my sugar has been between 175-300 no matter how much I correct. The cheat day, my sugar is between 70 and 150 and I take a lot less insulin than the other days. keep in mind that this is only for the past few weeks. before this diet I was controlled with sugars between 70-150. from reading many of these forums this is more common then not. I may start eating 40 carbs per day and see how that works.
     
  12. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    8,914
    Likes Received:
    11,774
    Trophy Points:
    198
    This one is an interesting topic. While Protein volumes and Glucagon can play a part, there is also research into the effect of saturated versus non-saturated fats on insulin sensitivity that is often put forward (Vessby et al, 2001).

    They found that when more than 37% of the daily energy requirement came from fats, regardless of type, there was increased insulin resistance. When less than 37% came from fats, saturated fats generated insulin resistance whereas monounsaturated fats actually improved insulin sensitivity.

    If you link through to other papers from the link I provided, you'll find that there are equally opposite views - this one suggesting that low carb, high sat fat causes difficulties with metabolic control - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2547860.

    Personally, I can see the arguments in both, but for me the common aspect of all seems to be "clean eating". By this I mean the removal of processed foods (and that includes gluten from grain as well as sugars). Speaking from a very personal point of view, I initially lost weight on a low carb, high protein, medium fat diet where I was eating 2000 calories a day. I also weight trained alongside this. My insulin sensitivity effectively doubled whilst my body fat levels reduced from 25% to 15%.

    I think the point I am trying to make is that in order to see insulin sensitivity increase on a low carb diet, I think you also need to increase muscle mass/decrease body fat. The study based evidence for this is not terribly helpful though, and I am speaking purely from an anecdotal perspective.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    #12 tim2000s, Jul 2, 2015 at 8:27 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2015
  13. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,671
    Likes Received:
    3,674
    Trophy Points:
    178
  14. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi everyone thanks for the replies massively helpful!

    @zjed that seems like exactly what I am experiencing. I have been low carb/paleo/clean for a good few years but have definitely tightened up again the last 6 months or so following some weight gain that had crept up on me and have recently experienced the exact same - constant correcting, so frustrating! Like the insulin wasn't even going in! My HbA1c was also 7.5% a few weeks ago which I was pretty disappointed about to be honest and want to get it alot lower again..

    @zumoney that is interesting about your carb nights... Last night I went cycling through the woods (so hills ect) then rode a horse then home so that tends to improve my insulin sensitivity (depletes glycogen stores?!) so did a wee experiment and had some sweet potato when I got home which I would never normally do. Bolused for that and woke up this morning to BG of 6.7 - an improvement on the recent high 10/11 readings I have been getting in the morning for no reason recently. So that was interesting...

    Thanks @tim2000s that is really interesting... Away to do some reading around that. I do eat a high sat fat diet, >37% calories from fat alot saturated from being LCHF. Have actually started making a shift away from so much sat fat, partly intuituvely more than anything else so maybe this will help. I do think the IR has been worsened by the intermittent fasting, or seems to be, this would make sense if the insulin resistance was part of a starvation response... I am going to up my carbs and see how we go, they have been around 20% or lower til now and mostly from vegetables. BUT I still have weight to lose and this is really important to me at the minute so I am scared of the carbs!!

    Just to clarify on the diet, I eat really clean.. No grains, no gluten, no dairy (apart from occasional goats cheese and some kerrygold butter)... Majority of my diet is vegetables, meat (although have cut down red meat in favour of fish), a lot of eggs, dark chocolate, berries, nuts (but trying to cut down).

    Good point re the strength training, I have had a break from that in the last wee while and also upped the cardio not really on purpose but just due to getting outdoors more with the better weather. Maybe I need to bring this back in!

    Thanks again
     
  15. Dillinger

    Dillinger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    2,283
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Might you be over thinking this? Isn't it just a case of increasing your basal levels/testing your basal levels to make sure that they are right? Diabetes is fluid so your requirements can and will change.

    I don't know about pumps but could you be having problems there with how much insulin is being released?

    I would always start with the basics before moving to esoteric reasons for control problems. As has been demonstrated above the implication of what you eat on your insulin sensitivity isn't a clearly understood process.

    Best

    Dillinger
     
  16. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43

    Hmm I would like to be just over thinking it but I don't think so! The change is too drastic... Is the only answer really that I need drastically more insulin all of a sudden? My main aim is to reduce insulin and weight so the last thing I want to be doing is going the opposite way
     
  17. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,618
    Likes Received:
    19,616
    Trophy Points:
    278
    I'm going to tag another member (@Wurst) who might share their experience of eating a high-fat diet and experiencing insulin resistance, here's a post about he wrote back in 2013:

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/saturated-fats.48599/#p438010
     
    • Like Like x 4
  18. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Just read the other post from @Wurst thanks, going to try swapping out the sat fats for the other types and see if this works - sounds much more palatable than raising carbs and raising insulin.

    Edited to add:

    This would also make sense as I have started having coconut oil in coffee over the last few weeks which has coincided with the insulin resistance!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #18 Suzanneal, Jul 2, 2015 at 1:03 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2015
  19. Wurst

    Wurst Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    1,679
    Trophy Points:
    198
    At the time of my post in 2013 I also had high cholesterol (caused by low carb high fat diet) which I believed contributed to my insulin resistance. When I dropped the saturated fats in 2013 the change was unbelievable, insulin requirements reduced etc etc Since then I had further problems with cholesterol and was eventually put on statins, LDL cholesterol is lowered now and I generally eat what I want i.e. low carbing high fat ditched and I'd now call myself a medium carber.

    I rely on exercise to improve my insulin sensitivity. Low carbing , high fat diets for some people result in improved cholesterol but for me it was the opposite , so it might be worth getting a cholesterol test.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  20. Suzanneal

    Suzanneal Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Thank you that is really helpful :)
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook