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Too few carbs?

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Fleegle, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Fleegle

    Fleegle Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was listening to the Radio this evening and they were talking about some science around the brain getting smaller (in mice) when they went deaf. The story was suggesting that the brain like most of the other body parts had a use it or lose it biology. And I know that is so on muscle, and even limbs. Could the same be said for the pancreas?

    I follow a very low carb diet as many do here and am enjoying the results greatly and intend to stick to it. But does anyone think that in order to not become less and less tolerant of carbs, they may need to be re-introduced from time to time in moderation?

    I guess if your intention is to be so low carb (as near to zero as is reasonable) then this might not apply - but if you wanted to maintain somewhere between 50 & 10 a day perhaps a few more do you think you need to keep reminding the body?

    I know many will post you do not need carbs and I get that - but I like veg, I like nuts and one way or another a few trickle in.

    Thoughts welcomed.
     
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  2. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Coincidentally, I spent a bit of time last evening calculating the carbs in my tea. I am known to my grandchildren as Nanna Teapot. When I finished I decided to count how many cups per day I have but the thought of 'Now you're going too far!' has occurred to me. I will be watching this thread with interest as it is an interesting question.
     
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  3. CherryAA

    CherryAA Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been experimenting a bit with carbs recently. About two weeks ago my dawn phenomenon " disappeared" in so far as I stayed in the 6 range, and there was no longer a suspicious " hump" each day.

    Following on from that I then found that if I do eat carbs, I get a spike, but it is very shortlived, eg up to 11 but back to under 6 within an hour.

    Taken together I am thinking that this means that having drained by system of sugars for long enough, my systems have started to respond more normally again , so I can now tolerate eating more carbs than I could.

    I am still overweight ( BMI 31 ) so overall it looks promising that " reversal" might actually be possible if you catch it early enough.
     
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  4. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    People with no insulin resistance and normal pancreas function may become temporarily insulin resistant when on a very low carb diet. After a few days or longer of eating carbs again, normal function comes back. This is why someone on a low carb diet needs to eat carbs for a few days before they do an oral glucose tolerance test to avoid a false positive result. However, I doubt that a very low carb diet will cause any permanent issues with insulin response or sensitivity.

    I think if one were to eat 10 - 50 g of carbs a day, there would be no damage to your pancreas and no need to eat more carbs occasionally. Probably a bad idea, really, if the extra carbs are in the form of starch/sugar.
     
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  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    The pancreas still works hard, even without carbs. It produces and secretes insulin 24/7 whether we eat or not. This is known as basal insulin, and is what stops us from dying over night and when fasting etc. I doubt it would suffer without carbs, and as most of us consume some carbs from vegetables, some fruit, some milk, tomatoes and so forth, it will never be out of work.

    What @NoCrbs4Me is explaining is known as Physiological Insulin Resistance. This is quite different from diabetic insulin resistance. It happens when we are very low carb. Our brains use glucose to function in normal circumstances. When glucose is in very short supply our really clever bodies reserve what glucose we do have for the brain. To do that, it tells all the other cells in the body to reject the glucose so the brain can have it. This can result in temporary increases in blood sugar levels - normally our base levels on fasting and before meals. It doesn't normally affect the actual rises from before to after eating. It is easily resolved by eating some extra carbs for a few days, after which it goes away. Of course, for truly fat adapted people on very low carb and high fat, the brain will use fat for functioning and doesn't need the glucose.
     
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  6. Kristin251

    Kristin251 LADA · Expert

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    Of course as we always say, your meter will tell you.

    Personally I think it's a bad idea. As diabetics we all have one thing in common. We don't tolerate carbs. Some people more than others but I always thought of it as spikes taxing an already unhealthy pancreas so why do it. I always wanted to preserve my pancreatic function as long as I could.
    I LOVE low carb and function best on it. Of course my bs is best on it as well. Carbs make me achy and tired so no love lost there

    Just my opinion.
     
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  7. Fleegle

    Fleegle Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that @NoCrbs4Me - I think to clarify that in no way was I talking pure sugar or starch is useful. I did mention nuts and veg but worth making that point again. No not at all, I was actually thinking that I have seen posts from people who have gone from 100 - 50 - 20 and are now trying near zero because their BG has crept up. The coincidence of the radio programme just made me think that instead of cutting carbs further, because eventually you get to zero - perhaps add a couple in.

    I think that is really really interesting that people on a LCHF dies, really low carb, should consider eating more carbs before a glucose test. Be interesting where this posts go.
     
  8. Fleegle

    Fleegle Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks - that is really useful and informative. So unlike being death, the pancreas is in constant use so no need to every so often wake it up. Useful.
     
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  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    The reason for this is due to what is known as the last meal effect. (NOT the same as Physiological Insulin Resistance as @NoCrbs4Me implied in his post.) On very low carb our pancreas becomes used to producing much less insulin post meal. If you then give your body a big carb hit (as you would on an OGTT) the pancreas is taken by surprise and just produces the small amount it is used to. Hence there will be a big spike. This could ensure you fail an OGTT. It is just the same if you are VLC and decide to splash out on a high carb meal as a treat. You will spike a lot higher than you would if you had been eating carbs for a few days beforehand. The pancreas is slow to catch up!
     
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  10. Odin004

    Odin004 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My personal view is that as low carb as possible is best for diabetics (type 1 and type 2) - however, there does seem to be a daily carb threshold below which the body starts to react against the low carb intake, for a variety of interconnected reasons; for some, this may be around 20g per day - for others, it could be 70g. I think trial and error is the only way to really establish your threshold, as there are too many variables from person to person to be able to reliably calculate it in advance - but my own view is that, ideally, one should go as low carb as possible, without hitting their threshold.
     
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  11. leslie10152

    leslie10152 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    This is a question that comes to me from time to time. How far do you iliminate carb before it becomes dtremental?
     
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  12. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think if it was just a "last meal" effect, then you would only need to eat one high carb meal before an OGTT, not several days of increased carbs.

    On one occasion during my last 4 years of very low carbing, I tried eating carby food while I had a freestyle libre sensor on. For the first few days, high spikes after every carby meal. After that, no matter how much carbs I ate, my BG never spiked very high. During that time my BG still didn't spike very high when I had a carby meal even if I did a day of very low carb prior to the carby meal. I did gain about 15 pounds during that time (2 weeks), though.
     
  13. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    There's no minimum requirement for carbohydrates for humans. As long as you're getting all the necessary nutrition in your diet, you'll be fine.
     
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  14. Kristin251

    Kristin251 LADA · Expert

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    There's also the protein component , especially when very low carb. I need to keep my closely watched or it will spike me just like carbs.
     
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  15. Snapsy

    Snapsy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Guzzler this is by far the nicest, most heart-warmingly lovely thing I have read all day. How absolutely gorgeous. What super grandchildren you have!
    xxx
     
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  16. Mbaker

    Mbaker Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I will never go back to "regular" carbs (potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, milk chocolate) per se, but I have maybe once a month had sweet potatoes baked chips (around 6), I re-introduced half a pink grapefruit yesterday with no ill effects on my fbg. I get my carbs from nuts, berries and vegetables - I know technically this is more than enough. You might find that you get a small increase on your HbA1c if you introduce more carbs, as you would likely use slow release ones which would keep your average higher for longer (and keep your insulin higher for longer to cover).

    Your numbers are consistently good, so I would suggest keep doing what you are doing.
     
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  17. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    @Odin004
    What are the physical ramifications of going too low carb? I'm guessing hypos and starvation.
     
  18. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    I think when you say the first few days of carby meals you had high spikes afterwards, but then after that you didn't proves the last meal effect. It took your pancreas those few days to catch up, and when it did, it produced enough insulin to keep the spikes down. Then after that it would have taken a few more days for it to realise it didn't need to produce so much - so you didn't spike until it did. During that time your body may well have been swimming in excess insulin on your low carb days, contributing to your weight gain.
     
  19. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    If your diabetes meds are adjusted to match the very low carb, or you are not on strong meds, you shouldn't hypo and you certainly won't starve if the rest of your diet is suitable. By suitable, I mean sufficient quantity and containing all the nutrients we actually need.
     
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  20. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand how that proves the "last meal effect". Maybe I don't understand what you mean by "last meal effect". If it is truly a "last meal effect", then you would only need one higher carb meal to overcome this effect, not day's of higher carb meals. I think I gained weight because I was eating a LOT of carbs. I think it took a few days of carbs to reverse physiological insulin resistance and nothing to do with the last meal effect.
     
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