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My first year of LCHF

Discussion in 'Success Stories and Testimonials' started by sanguine, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. sanguine

    sanguine Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    This is adapted from a presentation I prepared for my local surgery

    Self management of Type 2 diabetes

    My first year to April 2015

    Summary
    • Diagnosed Type 2, March 2014 (HbA1c 65 mmol/mol, 8.1%)

    • No medication

    • Self-testing

    • Low-carb diet

    • Now in non-diabetic range (HbA1c 38 mmol/mol, 5.6%)

    • 20 kg weight loss

    • Improved lipid profile
    Highlights.jpg
    HbA1c.jpg

    Weight.jpg

    Introduction and diagnosis

    I had blood tests in March 2014 following reported listlessness and exhaustion. There were none of the ‘classic’ T2 symptoms of excessive thirst, need to urinate, blurred vision etc.

    Diagnosis was confirmed on 24 March with an HbA1c of 65 mmol/mol (8.1%). (It later transpired that in 2008 a blood test showed I had an HbA1c of 44 (6.2%), i.e. prediabetic. Apparently the trigger criterion was different then. Nothing was mentioned anyway, pity.)

    No guidance was given, I was just told this was life-changing, to lose weight (I was 90 kg, BMI of 31.5), exercise more and make an appointment to see the diabetes nurse. The earliest appointment available was for 16 April, over three weeks away. Because of elevated blood pressure (spot reading of 160/90 when blood samples taken) I was told to take two weeks of readings to take to this appointment (how? where? – at a chemist or buy yourself a meter, great, thanks).

    Because of total cholesterol of 6.9 I was prescribed Simvastatin without any explanatory discussion and without my prior agreement (I never took them).

    Something about me

    I’ve never been one for taking medication if I can help it. The human body is often underestimated as a self-healing mechanism. A few paracetamol a year is normally more than enough for me.

    I’m a scientist by training so when faced with something like this my first reaction is to find out about it and not take anything at face value without assessing it myself.

    On the other hand the T2 diagnosis was a wakeup call and the kick I needed to sort my weight and well being out. Immediately I started walking for about 30 minutes every day (average).

    I got on the internet and found the diabetes.co.uk website and forum; learned about carbohydrates and the impact on blood sugars; could understand the logic of low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diets; and just went for it at 50 g carbs per day – no bread, no potatoes, no rice, no pasta. Fortunately I didn’t suffer the withdrawal symptoms sometimes experienced by changing so abruptly. I bought a blood glucose monitor and started testing myself. I started losing weight straight away as I got into ketosis and my body started to preferentially burn stored fat for energy.

    I also read about cholesterol and statins and determined that I wasn’t going to touch them with a barge pole.

    First DN appointment

    Three weeks in and I was already making progress on diet and exercise alone.

    Fasting BGs were down from over 10 mmol/l to around 6.5; pre-dinner BGs in the high 5s; and BGs two hours after eating in the high 6s and mid 7s, so I was learning what I could and couldn’t eat in terms of blood sugar control.

    My weight was down from 90 kg to 84.5 kg, and blood pressure was down to around 140/80.

    It was agreed for me to carry on with diet and exercise alone, no medication, with a review in three months time.

    Interim progress

    In July 2014my HbA1c was 45 (6.3%, down from 65), so I was now in the prediabetic range.

    Total cholesterol was down to 6.0, but more importantly triglycerides were down from 5.66 to 1.97 mmol/l, and HDL-C was up from 1.22 to 1.62, with total/HDL and triglycerides/HDL ratios both dropping into normal range.

    ALT liver function was down from 51 to 17 iu/l, indicating a reversal of fatty liver condition.

    My weight was now 76 kg (BMI 26.6), a percentage loss of over 15%, and BP stable around 125/70.

    I had also invested in a rowing machine to supplement the walking.

    By October 2014my HbA1c was 42 (6.0%), weight was 72 kg (BMI 25.2) and BP around 120/65.

    One year on, March 2015

    A picture speaks a thousand words, so rather than more dull text some more graphs follow covering the period from March 2014 to March 2015.

    My HbA1c is now 38 mmol/mol (5.6%) which is within the non-diabetic range. I am still diabetic of course but I am protecting the remaining beta cell function in my pancreas as best I can, and avoiding exacerbating my insulin resistance. This is all due to carbohydrate restriction, which has also reduced triglycerides significantly, and the fat component of the LCHF diet has helped raise my HDL-C to 1.95. In this context my total cholesterol of 6.1 is of no concern to me.

    The slight rises and falls in fasting blood sugar (the points are two-week averages) reflect life conditions such as work stress – but at least through testing I know what is going on.

    My weight is now stable at 70 +/- 1 kg (BMI 24.5), which represents a 22% loss in 12 months; and BP around 115/65. My waist is now 37 in (94 cm) having been 45.5 in (116 cm) a year ago.

    Fasting.jpg

    Liver.jpg

    Cholesterol.jpg

    Lipidratios.jpg


    What do I eat?

    I’ve done all this without any medication, and just with diet and exercise. So what actually do I eat with LCHF? This is a typical day’s meals:

    • Breakfast – cooked breakfast of bacon, eggs, mushrooms and tomato; occasionally full fat Greek yoghurt with a few berries. Tea and/or coffee with double cream.

    • Lunch – ‘tapas’ style platter, choose from salami, olives, a little hummus, guacamole, cheese, mackerel pate, tomato, salad leaves.

    • Dinner – avocado vinaigrette, meat or fish with above-ground vegetables or salad, berries and double cream, glass of red wine.

    • Snacks if necessary – cheese or brazil nuts.

    • Plenty of water. Decaffeinated tea or coffee after midday.

    Selected reading


    Trudi Deakin (X-Pert Health) - Eat Fat, Step-by-Step Guide to Low Carb Living http://www.xperthealth.org.uk/shop/details/p/handbook-lowcarb-highfat-lifestyle

    Trudi Deakin - High fat, low carb diets and the evidence, Diabetes UK Conference March 2015
    http://www.xperthealth.org.uk/Portals/0/Downloads/High fat, low carb diets and the evidence_Diabetes UK 2015_reduced memory.pdf

    Dyson PA, et al. - A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body-weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non diabetic subjects, Diabetic Medicine, 2007

    Andreas Eenfeldt - Low Carb, High Fat Food Revolution and the website www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

    Feinman RD et al. -Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base, Nutrition 31,1 Jan 2015, http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00332-3/fulltext#bib94

    Zoe Harcombe (diet and nutrition blogger)- http://www.zoeharcombe.com/

    Malcolm Kendrick - book The Great Cholesterol Con and blog at www.drmalcolmkendrick.org

    Jenny Ruhl - books Blood Sugar 101: What They Don’t Tell You About Diabetes, and Diet 101: The Truth About Low-Carb Diets; and the website www.phlaunt.com/diabetes

    Scientific American (after meta-analysis by Krauss RM et al in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2010) - Carbs against Cardio: More Evidence that Refined Carbohydrates, not Fats, Threaten the Heart
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/carbs-against-cardio/

    Shai I, et al. - Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet, New England Journal of Medicine, 2008.

    David Unwin - Diabesity: Perhaps we can make a difference after all? Diabesity in Practice 3, 4, 2014
    http://www.diabesityinpractice.co.uk/media/content/_master/3963/files/pdf/dip3-4-131-4.pdf

    Westman EC, et al - The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus, Nutrition & Metabolism (London), 2008.
     
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    #1 sanguine, Apr 24, 2015 at 4:51 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2015
  2. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Inspirational. As aT2 of almost 10 years duration I have learnt so much from those who advocate the low carb regime.

    Well done @sanguine and thank you for sharing. I hope this will inspire others.
     
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  3. dannyw

    dannyw Type 1 · BANNED

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    Brilliant post Sanguine. Congratulations on your results. LCHF certainly is the way to tackle diabetes.
     
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  4. Pasha

    Pasha Prediabetes · Expert

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    Wonderfully clear presentation of a great outcome.
     
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  5. Fantastic post @sanguine :joyful:

    Did your nurse query your great results or just assume it was the work of the diabetes fairies? (Like mine does)
     
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  6. Fi2000

    Fi2000 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Wow well done
     
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  7. KateA

    KateA Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    What a fantastic journey, collated well with superb results. Congratulations and very well done.
    How was your presentation received by the surgery? Did you present it to your GP, practice nurse or any other combination of staff?
    You should be taking your presentation out on the road, educate everyone!
     
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  8. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have just read out your post to my husband , I found it amazing and hopefully it will inspire him . To achieve all of this without any medication is truly a brilliant effort . I was diagnosed in 2009 and also went it alone , so I know how hard it is , fantastic results and so worthwhile too , thanks for sharing .
     
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  9. Daffodils1

    Daffodils1 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I love this, wonderful.
     
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  10. sanguine

    sanguine Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't know yet, I originally proposed a personal presentation but they said they had no time but to send in a written one.

    I'll let you know.
     
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  11. sanguine

    sanguine Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My nurse is quite good actually - she just smiles knowingly, and last time she said off the record that she thought the Eatwell Plate was mad for diabetics.
     
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  12. Reefshark64

    Reefshark64 Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks for a great post. I hope it is a blueprint for my first year on LCHF and as a diabetic.
     
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  13. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Wow sanguine that's so inspirational! :)

    Thank you for posting it.
     
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  14. Arab Horse

    Arab Horse Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic post, Rod. As a scientist I agree with you regarding taking control as the "mantra" they dish out is really not suitable for diabetics, the "plate" is a death sentence to people like me who are very carb intolerant. Sadly they are 10+ years out of date, knowledge has improved since it was devised and there seems to be no effort to change things. I would have thought having success stories like yours would change their management of T2 but sadly it appears not.
     
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  15. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    That is very inspirational Sanguine. I love the presentation. It is so clear and easy to understand. I hope your nurse/GP takes it forward to inspire others. I also congratulate you on your success. Well done. :)
     
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  16. desidiabulum

    desidiabulum · Well-Known Member

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    A wonderful presentation of a wonderful course of self-treatment. KateA is exactly right, though -- you need to go on the road to publicize and present this. This needs to stay in the public domain, be distributed to all the organizations you can think of, sent blind to every GP surgery in the area, posted on twitter etc. Don't let this linger and then disappear from forum attention after a few weeks, given all the work that you put into it. What is your impact strategy? (as my boss would say)
     
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  17. Patricia21

    Patricia21 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations.
    Brilliant post.
     
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  18. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Although I advocate Newcastle diet, where appropriate, it is a short term intervention. @sanguine has demonstrated that the long term planning for eating regime is essential.

    A fine example of taking responsibility for one's own wellbeing.
     
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  19. sanguine

    sanguine Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No pressure then lol :)
     
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  20. kimbo1962

    kimbo1962 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    What a fantastic presentation rod!! Please don't "waste it !! It needs to be out there for those who meekly follow the "advice" dished out as standard! !
     
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