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Shocked

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by DanW13, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. DanW13

    DanW13 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    First post here, so would welcome thoughts, advice & any encouragement on my situation.

    I got told by GP 3 weeks ago that following a routine blood check, my blood sugar put me (just) into the prediabetic range - 43mmol. I was stunned, as I’m fairly slim, BMI 25, 46 year old male, run 30km a week & don’t have any family history of diabetes (my dad was diagnosed a few years ago with PD, but he was nearly 80).

    That said I do have a sweet tooth, love cakes, chocolate, pasta & big bowls of cereal (granola), so perhaps it’s not such a surprise. I even managed to put on half a stone in the last 6 months, despite all the exercise!

    So what have I done since? I’ve tried to cut out all the high sugar non natural stuff - swapped granola for weetabix, eating nuts for a snack rather than nature valley bar. For lunch I’ve swapped pasta & spinach for tuna/chicken with spinach (no pasta). In the evening I’ve stopped eating pasta, potatoes, white rice etc, swapping these for quinoa, lentils, brown rice & barley. No more puddings or chocolate either!

    Net effect so far has been a drop of 10lb in weight, now done to a BMI of 23.5. Looking to get down to around 22 then hit the breaks.

    Concerns/queries:

    Is the above likely to be enough to get me back into the normal range? Is insulin resistance reversible?

    If I do get back into the normal range how to prevent further weight loss without wrecking the good work?

    Any great recipe books for someone like me who loves food & is struggling a bit with the absence of sugary treats?

    Any other hints/tips on things I should or shouldn’t be doing. I’ve not changed my exercise - still doing 30k running a week & 1 day weights, though found since changing diet my running stamina has reduced & heart rate hits max range quicker than before, hopefully this will adjust in time.

    thanks
    Dan
     
  2. DanW13

    DanW13 · Well-Known Member

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    Also, GP said didn’t need to see me again for a year, bit surprised by that so talked him into a retest at 6 months, though thinking of having one done privately after 3 months as want to see if the diet is working & improving my Hb1ac score. Should I be pushing for the GP to do more?
     
  3. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Well done for tackling this early. Hopefully the steps you are taking now will halt any progression towards T2.
    - and welcome to the forum! :)

    We are each so very different, and at a different stage along the slide towards T2, that no one can really say whether you will get back into the normal range easily, or not. However, I suspect that the steps you have already taken will show up in your next test, and you had only just nudged into Pre-D. So be hopeful. You are still eating a lot of carbs in the form of weetabix and your lower GI evening meals. That would scupper me completely, but it may work well for you. Time will tell.

    If you get back into the normal range, and don't want to re-introduce the sweet stuff and the carbs, then there is really only one solution to halting weight loss. Eat more. Eat more fats and proteins, to satiety. Nuts, pate, cheese, fat on meat, etc.

    Check out the www.dietdoctor.com website for recipes, including sweets, desserts and snacks. Also lots of non-carby breakfast options as an alternative to the dreaded weetabix.

    If you stick to low carb eating, and give your body time to adapt (it is called becoming 'fat adapted') then your energy levels should improve, however there is a grey area between dropping carbs a bit, and not switching over into ketosis, which you may be in at the moment. That isn't conducive to being fat adapted, and running on fat in ketosis. If your lack of stamina continues for much longer, I would suggest you drop carbs lower, enter ketosis, and reap those benefits for stamina and energy levels.

    As for pushing the GP for 'more'. You are probably on a hiding to nowhere with that. Many GPs don't bother to tell ppl when they are Pre-D and only get the prescription pad out when blood glucose rises much higher than yours. You will probably get very conventional diet advice (low fat, high whole grain), the same nonsense that is causing a diabetic epidemic to sweep vast parts of the world. Just the sort of advice that you are following by swapping white starchy carbs for brown starchy carbs for your evening meals, when in fact the carb intake hasn't dropped by all that much.

    You could try calculating the g of carbs you are eating every day, using the nutrition labels and online info, and maybe an app like Cronometer (which has a free version), to see how much carb you are really eating. That will give you a lot of useful info to assist in future diet choices.
     
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  4. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Hi and welcome
    Brown rice/white rice pretty similar in carb count so best to ditch starchy foods along with the sugary ones.
    10 pounds weight loss is great. Do you have your own meter and are you measuring your blood sugars?
    That's a great way to see the impact of foods and to keep an eye on what's going on under the bonnet.
    More meat/fish and green veg less stodge of any kind would be the best strategy.
    You could try some high cocoa content chocolate if you want 80-100% cocoa.
    If you love cooking the maybe check out some of the recipes on
    www.dietdoctor.com

    Its all about the carbs try to keep them to a minimum and you'll be fine.
     
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  5. Tophat1900

    Tophat1900 Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    This is a well written piece on diet by one of our members. Great advice for anyone imo

    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/blog-entry/the-nutritional-thingy.2330/


    Also a very good idea to get a meter and start testing. This is good data to track your progress. You'll see whether or not you are headed in the right direction. A lot of this falls into your hands as a lot of GP's just don't care, so the hard work is something to take on, but you'll learn a lot about yourself this way.

    And welcome.
     
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  6. DanW13

    DanW13 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for the responses, a couple of comments on the feedback:

    I take the points on the likes of weetabix & brown rice not being ideal, my strategy I guess is to significantly reduce the carbs vs. what I had been eating, as my best guess is that overloading on bad carbs over the years is what’s got me to this position, so hopefully the changes I’ve made should take the pressure off my body & allow sugar levels to normalise over time?

    For example yes I’ll have brown rice maybe once or twice a week, but only a v.small portion, which when compared to the plate full of pasta I used to have should hopefully make a big difference!

    But I’ll review how things are going over the next couple of months,& if I have to make changes or I find my energy levels stay low, I’ll make further ones starting with the weetabix & evening carbs!

    On testing, the GP said not to bother & that he wouldn’t recommend it even if I went full blown T2! Struck me as a bit odd as I’d read some of the views on here saying how important it was. My only fear is whether regular testing is a bit obsessive given I’ve only just passed into the pre diabetes zone, is it worth a more conservative approach for now & get more radical if these don’t work??

    On the upside one thing I’m finding after the initial horrible 1st week when I went through what felt like sugar cold turkey, is that my energy levels do feel more consistent & less spiked. For donkeys years I used to get energy slumps after breakfast & lunch, particularly if I over ate, these seem to have substantially reduced.

    All the best, and thank you for the warm welcome. Will check out the recipe tips!

    Dan
     
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  7. Tophat1900

    Tophat1900 Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    It's entirely up to you what you do. You'll be hard pressed to find a GP who will recommend testing. In general they show complete ignorance on the subject. It's basically a cost cutting measure. I don't think you need to be obsessive, but being you are at a pre-diabetic level, I think it is well worth some testing. Without some testing you have no idea what your levels are doing and this is something GP's clearly can't wrap their heads around.

    There's no going back once you have become diabetic and it well worth avoiding that diagnosis. Being you are slim (Like me) it seems to be easier to breach the personal fat thresh hold, where fat storage becomes an issue much quicker. That is you start storing fat in the liver and pancreas, which seems to be an issue for slim people who cannot store a lot of fat around their body.

    Hope all works out, keep in touch.
     
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  8. DanW13

    DanW13 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tophat, some interesting points and actually my liver test results that came back in the same blood test as the Hba1c, wasn’t particularly amazing either, yes it was in the normal range but in the upper quartile, which I wasn’t all that happy with, so think you’re right about the risk of fat being stored in bad places on slimmer people. I’m hoping the weight loss plan will improve that score also.

    I can see the advantages of testing, particularly to see the impact on my body of those carbs I haven’t fully removed, like the weetabix. I do hate needles though & don’t like the idea of my fingers being covered in sore puncture marks! What do you rate as the best system out there in terms of simple to use, relatively pain free & accurate? I’d hope to probably only need it for a month or so just while I get a clear idea on which bits of my diet don’t suit me. An estimate Hba1c score would be good also.

    thanks
    Dan
     
  9. Rocinante

    Rocinante · Active Member

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    Looks like you're doing all the right things.

    Bear in mind that it takes time to see the effects of what you're doing. Diabetes develops slowly and reversing it is not likely to happen over night.

    Folks often think that low GI carbs are ok, but in my experience, having monitored myself with a CGM, you get a lower spike but it lasts longer which is not really that different to having a higher, but shorter spike, so I would eliminate carbs all together or keep your intake lower than 50 grams / day. Eliminating the sweet stuff is definitely the right thing to do - you may find that you can eat dark chocolate (85%) without having a BG spike.

    I cycle and run (though not as much running as you) and can do about 50km on the bike fasted and easily do 4km running fasted (which is about the limit of my running anyway, but increasing that slowly). The Keto diet is actually more fat based than it is protein based and you need to a bit of time to deplete glucose levels in the muscles before you become fat adapted so again it won't happen immediately.

    I'd recommend getting a Freestyle Libre and just monitoring yourself for a couple of weeks to see how your blood sugar behaves with different foods. This will help inform your diet.
     
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  10. DanW13

    DanW13 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Rocicante, I did look at the Freestyle Libre this morning, but it looks pretty costly, and is it correct you have an ongoing cost having to change the monitor patches fairly regularly? Also wasn’t sure how they’d cope with all the running I do & sweating?
     
  11. Rocinante

    Rocinante · Active Member

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    The Libre, which costs £50 lasts for 14 days. Not that long but you will see some patterns and get an idea of what's going on. You may want to get a couple to give you a bit longer (I'll get another in a few weeks) but 14 days is enough for you to see the effect of what you're eating, exercise and sleep on BG levels.
     
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  12. LaoDan

    LaoDan Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dan,
    You can do experiments, but you’ll need a meter to see what works and what doesn’t.

    I’ve found timing macros works for me , I.e. I moved my carbs to one hour before/after workouts, all other meals outside this timeframe are ultra low carb. Days off from exercise are ultra low carb. I’m about equal protein/fat
     
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  13. DanW13

    DanW13 · Well-Known Member

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    Can you copy a link to this, £50 sounds fine, the Abbott system I was looking at seemed to be upwards of £200 once you added the sensors, is this the same system?
     
  14. Rocinante

    Rocinante · Active Member

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  15. SMS1

    SMS1 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, could I mention that not every smartphone is accepted by the Libre app.For example and according to the app info on the App store, it has to be from an IPhone 7 upwards.I don't know about Android phones.At least , that's what I understood because I was thinking of buying sensors with the app until I saw this.I have an old Iphone
     
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  16. DanW13

    DanW13 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your help with this, I’ve just been on the live chat with an Abbott rep & he confirmed I only have to buy the sensors as my IPhone is compatible. This sounds perfect & cost is fine, so will order one later today.

    Thankyou so much for your help.
     
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  17. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Doesn't happen and you never "see the needle" except when changing lancet ...something I do very rarely.
     
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  18. Tophat1900

    Tophat1900 Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    The thing about finger prick testing is you get good at it over time, (at least I have) mostly I don't feel much at all, but it comes with practice. The libre will be a great tool for you though.
     
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  19. DanW13

    DanW13 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for the help & support, was feeling pretty stressed & rubbish this morning, but much happier now I’ve found this blood testing option.

    Also ran better at the gym just now, heart rate still a bit elevated but not as much as before and stamina felt better, despite not having eaten since 7am.
     
  20. Rocinante

    Rocinante · Active Member

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    I find fasted exercise works very well. No impact on performance, though I can't do as long as I can when re-fueling... yet.
     
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