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One week into Low Carb... four weeks of making lifestyle changes

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by AllieRainbow, May 13, 2018.

  1. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    After reading many other posts about people's experiences with T2 diabetes I thought I would do a post about how things have changed for me over the last four weeks.

    I was diagnosed with T2 on the 27th April, but I started changing my diet and exercising every day from the 15th April, when I woke up feeling particularly awful and decided I really needed to see the doctor to find out what was wrong with me. You can tell how bad I felt when I tell you that I had carpal tunnel symptoms for 30 years and changed to driving an automatic car because of the numbness in my hands when changing gear, and only went to the doctors when I stopped being able to get any sleep at all because of the pain and dead hands whenever I laid down in bed. While I was waiting to talk to the doctor about possible diabetes I made a lot of changes to my diet, and started exercising every day.

    During a telephone consultation the doctor agreed that I might have diabetes and ordered the blood tests. Once diagnosed I was prescribed Metformin, but decided to hold off on that after reading about the possible side effects. I have done really well so far with losing weight and exercising, and thought that Metformin could derail my progress if I experienced side effects. Being chained to a toilet really doesn't appeal.

    So far since the 15th April I have lost just over 21 pounds. I am now feeling a lot slimmer, although there is still a long way to go. I can move better, and have tons more energy. I even ran upstairs earlier today instead of gripping the bannister and hauling myself up with my arms. I am waking up naturally around 6am, and falling asleep a few minutes after I go to bed around 9.30-10.30pm. I started off at 20st 0.6lb, and I am now 18st 7.2lb. I aim to get down to 10st 7lb, which is around the middle of a healthy BMI for me.

    This is a massive change from where I was in the middle of April. Up to that point I was so exhausted I was waking with the alarm at 7.30am and then going back to sleep as I would have had a terrible night, getting up several times to go to the toilet. I was sleeping in until 2-3pm and getting up even more exhausted and dragging myself around. I also had lots of issues with joint pain, and a very fuzzy head. I haven't been able to work for several months due to the fuzzy head.

    I have had a really stressful week with other issues, but it all seems a lot easier to deal with now I am looking after myself better and eating to support my body rather than flinging food at emotional issues like I did before. Changing to a low carb high fat diet has removed the emotional component from my relationship with food, and it is now about feeding my body properly so I can get healthier and stronger.

    I asked the diabetic nurse for a blood glucose monitor, but she told me that Type 2s don't need to test and there would be no point. I couldn't see the point in arguing about it, so I went onto Amazon and bought one, plus a lot of testing strips.

    Once I got the blood glucose monitor I started to log the carbs, fat and protein in my meals on my BG spreadsheet, to see what effect different foods were having on my blood sugars. I already use an online food and exercise diary, which I am using to make sure I am eating a balanced diet and not cutting too many things out. It has proved invaluable for planning meals to tweak the carb content, and to see how different food choices would work before actually eating them.

    I have been testing my blood glucose levels for a week now, on waking, before meals, two hours after the first bite, and at bedtime. If I have had a high reading after a meal I test at hourly intervals for a couple of hours to see how fast or slowly the blood sugar is coming down.

    Over the last week I reduced my carbs over a few days from around 75g/day to under 30g/day, and looked at portion sizes, which were too big: it was obvious from the results post meal that the portion size needed to go down considerably. Once I had been monitoring things for a few days, it looked like I had better results earlier in the day, so I am in the process of switching my eating to earlier. I am doing a 16-20 hour fast every day, and looking at an eating window of around 11am to 3pm. I should be able to change over to that in over the next week or so.

    So far I have found it really easy to stick to two meals a day, and I have rarely felt hungry, even when the fasts have gone on longer than planned.

    I have gone from a daily average at the start of the week of 7.8, to 6.2 later in the week, so I am feeling quite optimistic about turning things around without medication. My HbA1c was 82, which I think works out at 9.6 or thereabouts. I think it will take a while, but I am smoothing out the spikes with each day, and looking at how to eat to the meter. I am also using the MySugr app on my phone to look at results over time.

    I did have a big blip on Saturday, when I went out for a Chinese meal for someone's birthday - something I almost never do, in fact I cannot remember the last time I did. I had been pondering over the last week about whether I was really diabetic or whether it was some kind of mistake, however the reading after the meal put paid to that - 15.4 !!!! OMG. My pre-meal reading was 6.2. When I saw that reading I really understood why my HbA1c was so high. All I can say is Kit Kats, more Kit Kats, mint imperials, enough bread to stock a bakery, not much sleep for months, no exercise and a massive overload of stress with elderly parents who were in crisis at the beginning of the year. My fridge door was open so often I must have looked like I was signalling in morse code with the light inside. My symptoms got dramatically worse by March after 2-3 months that were a total nightmare. It was a perfect storm of stress and terrible choices that made my situation worse instead of supporting me in dealing with the stress.

    I tested a couple of times after the post Chinese banquet reading and found that the blood sugar readings came down pretty rapidly, but I had to admit it to myself - no more denial, no more wishful thinking - this is real. I am glad I had that meal, although it spiked my blood sugar massively. It was a temporary blip upwards, but it has made me more determined to change things with diet and exercise.

    Rather than being depressed by the diagnosis, I feel relieved and grateful that I am able to make changes to make myself as healthy as possible to deal with this condition. It is liberating to realise that you can make such a big a difference to the way you feel with food and exercise.

    I have found this forum so encouraging, and full of helpful advice, backed up by other users experience. I have found out so many things over a short period of time, and read about tools to help me in the journey. I would like to thank everyone who posts on the forums, as this new part of my life would be so much harder without that support.
     
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    #1 AllieRainbow, May 13, 2018 at 10:33 PM
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  2. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Good to hear your news! Sounds like you’re doing really well.
    The only chinese I’ve braved since diagnosis is a quarter crispy duck, I only ate one small pancake with a mere smidge of sauce, I ate all the duck and veggies though :hungry:
     
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  3. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    This in a nutshell is how I feel LCHF/Keto has changed my life for the better and put me (you) in charge of our health again. Not so much the exercise but definitely the way of eating. You have made a great start and long may you continue. Wish you much success.
     
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  4. miahara

    miahara Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to 'the club' @AllieRainbow ! It is a steep learning curve at the start, but it looks like you've found the way to go to manage your D. The OCCASIONAL treats don't hurt, so long as they are OCCASIONAL, and they are all that much enjoyable for being just OCCASIONAL.
     
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  5. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all you replies - I really must get to bed now - I have a busy day ahead of me, fitting in the exercise and planning the week. I am hoping to start writing again in a few weeks, after a long time unable to produce anything die to fuzzy head syndrome.

    I will say that Chinese meal was nice, but nowhere near good enough to justify the big spike - that is something I won't be doing again. Although there seemed to be plenty of veggies with it, when I logged my guesstimates of what I had eaten there were hardly and fruit and veg in my food diary. I suppose the crispy duck was looking at me, and I just had to wrap it in pancakes. I think crispy **** may be okay with a salad rather than a sugary sauce and pancakes with a token shred of spring onion and a sliver of cucumber doing their best to give the illusion of healthy choices.

    I am pretty good usually with going out for meals - I have devised a lot of healthy swaps for carbs over the last few years - curries are great, in small quantities with a salad instead of rice and bread. Most Indian restaurants are only too happy to make a veggie packed salad if asked. The fish and chip restaurant we go to sometimes does an amazing chicken and bacon salad, which I have ordered for the last couple of years as I hate feeling stodged.

    I use courgette or a bowl of salad or veg with pasta sauces. My main problem has been with portion control and this year with my Dad's fridge having a salad drawer stuffed with Kit Kats and Penguin biscuits. Living there for several weeks earlier this year led to some very poor food choices, mainly involving chocolate - I don't even like chocolate, but there is the power of advertising...
     
  6. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oddly enough that is exactly how I felt today - like I had just joined a club.

    As Groucho Marx is often quoted: "I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member."

    I don't think I realised I was up for membership of the Diabetes Club until I was invited to my first meeting with the diabetes nurse. I was still waiting for the test results to come back when I got a phone call to tell me I had an appointment with the diabetes nurse as a new diabetic.

    I will say my fellow members make the club much more interesting place. I would still be trying to find out where the cloakroom was if I hadn't stumbled on this forum the day I was diagnosed.

    Mine's a whisky and soda - I will be sitting in the wing chair near the fireplace waving a lancet around menacingly.
     
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    #6 AllieRainbow, May 13, 2018 at 11:27 PM
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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