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 »

Very low carb diet and BG levels

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by jddukes, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,826
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Just got round to reading that post, J. Really fascinating stuff. Feel free to post any more papers that you find interesting - I work in oil and gas risk and not bioinformatics so don't have access any more.

    Lisa, believe me, I've been LCing for about 10 months now and it's revelatory. My BGs have never been better, hardly ever hypo or high and I have extremely tight control. Looking at my log books, my control has dramatically improved as the months of LCing have gone by. I'm still learning.

    LCing is truly the only efficacious way of controlling Type 1. I had a look on PubMed to see how well DAFNE does and it's shocking. I couldn't find a single paper that says it hits the HbA1c target. Take a look at this paper, which was shown to me on the benefits of LCing and Type 1:

    http://www.dmsjournal.com/content/pdf/1 ... 6-4-23.pdf

    The results speak for themselves. Of the group that stuck to it, they got an HbA1c of 6.0+/-0.6 %. DAFNE doesn't come near that.
     
  2. Lisa_87

    Lisa_87 · Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Hi Sam,

    Always good to talk to a 'new radical'! :) And I can 100% believe your tighter control after 'converting'. During Uni, my hbA1c was the highest my diabetic team had ever seen apparently (high teens) my next hbA1c is set to hit the 6.5-7% range! Not to mention my low cholesterol level which according to 'everyone' should be sky high.

    So yeah, I guess it is just so bloody frustrating when it is clear and so obvious how effective (and necessary) a low carb approach is, and yet we are constantly met by 'more knowledgable' doctors that low carb/ high fat is bad...IT JUST DOESN'T ADD UP! How can doctors when presented with clear evidence, deny that this approach is good...I mean....ARGH.

    I work in cardiovascular research so I LOVE peforming experiments on myself and my blood sugar! Someone asked me the other day if I'd rather be an asthmatic or diabetic, at one time, I may have said diabetic, but since discovering low carb approach I would take being diabetic anyday! I would go as far as saying, I like having control over my metabolism and being able to see what the body is truely capable of!! Sadistic to some extent I know.....

    An interesting read, Ha DAFNE! I am meant to be going on a DAFNE/Pump refresher next weekend however my dietican has told me there would be no point as I'd just get annoyed and frustrated with the 'educators' over-simplified explanations of how we should approach exercise/ carbs/ life!!! And also probably their carb recommendations...Annoyingly, I was only told about the animas sports weekend held at Loughborough Uni last weekend, so it is fully booked but am going to go next year for sure!

    There are some quite interesting approaches to exercise (I don't know how active you are but this paper is a very good read).... for example driving your blood glucose down to about 4 from low intensity aerobic exercise and then finishing off with a bout of max high intensity (like sprinting) to induce a surge of counterregulatory hormones to bring your glucose back up (and then go eat some protein and veg.....to replenish glycogen)

    I could talk about this for ever, I must be boring EVERYONE I know I'm sure of it....I'm just sorry I never tried this way of living before!
    Lisa x
    ps. I tried to upload the article, it might not work though....
     
  3. Lisa_87

    Lisa_87 · Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
  4. VickiT11979

    VickiT11979 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Shame I won't get to meet you Lisa - I'm off to Loughborough next week for the Sports Weekend. I'd love to actually be able to meet up & talk to other type1s who have succeeded in the low carb approach.

    I found I still had quite wide variations in my BG when eating less carbs when I looked back at my results. I was still having mild hypos 3-4 times a week & still hitting highs of 12 every few days after food. My HbA1c came back as 7% after 3 months of it, only 0.1% better than the one before I started. So I've relaxed my approach & though I still avoid pasta, rice & most potato products I do eat up to 28g carbs of chips every 2-3 weeks & I eat 1-3 slices of bread a day (though go for those that are <14g carb/slice) & sweet potatoes. I'm now eating between 100-150g carbs a day, which I wouldn't call low carb.

    My body seems to do different things after eating the same meal on different days, even if activity levels are the same & illness is ruled out. Sometimes I seemed to need extended boluses to deal with protein, other days these would cause hypos.
    I read that trial with great interest Sam, just wish courses like they used there were available in the UK. I can't get any support or help at all from my hospital consultant or DSN, even though they don't oppose a low carb approach - they just have no experience of dealing with it.
     
  5. Lisa_87

    Lisa_87 · Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Hi Vicki- I know, it's so annoying that I was told to late to be able to secure a place. But never mind....you'll have to tell me how useful it was and how you found it!

    I guess the amount of carbs you're eating is still a dam sight lower than what the current recommendations are regardless....and everyone is different so if you find that you acheieve good glycemic control and are happier eating carbs at that level thats fine! At the end of the day it comes down to finding the most effective (and manageable) way to maintaining normal blood sugar levels! I used to think that I would pass out if I don't eat a banana or a huge plate of pasta after a long run or workout and yet I find it really doesn't ever come down to that....as long as you're sensible and not dropping your blood sugar ridicuously low and are monitoring lots!

    I think women will find things even more challenging at certain times due to increased progesterone causing major insulin resistance (pain in the arse!!) and I know I can have the exact same routine day to day and yet my insulin requirements will still fluctuate (though less so since going lower carb)

    I have found one of the most frustrating thingsabout adopting this approache is the lack of solid information and guidance for thpe 1s out there...piecing together threads from random diabetes forums is less than ideal....!
     
  6. sheil19

    sheil19 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Low carb diets can be very dangerous in my opinion!! Carbs are the body's main source of energy so I don't see why depriving your body of them is an option. I'm 23 and diagnosed type 1 just a year now. I'm fairly active and recently I was in Australia playing sport and was seeing a great diabetic team in sydney!! The best info I got was that exercise is a major part of diabetes treatment and will keep me living a long and healthy life. So I plan on doing this but I will continue to eat plenty of healthy carbs as my energy source. My advice would be to eat carbs turn everything to Wholegrain, ie Pasta, pizza bases, bread, rice etc!! Also being Irish we are huge eaters of potatoes so I just try to switch to sweet potato and pumpkin and thus this far has worked very well for me.


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  7. Lisa_87

    Lisa_87 · Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I agree that low carb diets can be dangerous fr a diabetic if you go about about it stupidly...and don't monitor your blood glucose enough. Yes, it would be very easy to get into issues surrounding hypos as you're insulin requirements wll be dropping significantly. However, as type 1 diabetics we are constantly told to be tweaking, and perfecting and monitoring and making adjustments so I don't really see where the issues arise. Avoiding very late exercise is obviously something that must be considered as your liver glycogen stores are low at the time of going to bed... but again if you have dose adjusted your insulin accordingly and know your routine well enough, it is easy to avoid problems!

    As long as you are providing your body with necessary fuels whether it be from carbs/ protein/ fat....it'll end up as glucose eventually....and (I'm not trying to be rude) but carbohydrates are the bodys main source of energy only if you make them your main source of energy. If you do not....the body will find a way to get the energy it needs from other sources (yes, less efficiently at first) but the human race has survived a long time not eat pizza and bread, it's not about to die out if your eating shifts slightly to eating more vegetables, fat and protein!!!
     
  8. jddukes

    jddukes Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Lisa - really nice to see another T1 who is also a biological scientist. Makes me feel my geekish approach to the whole subject is understood by others at least (hopefully...)! I find it useful to talk to other scientists about it but nothing quite like talking with someone of the same mindset AND has the experience and knowledge of what it is actually like from a daily basis to long term, to be a T1 diabetic. Its really nice to come on here and see so many people interested in the science behind it and lots of intelligent people with useful comments. We (the company I work for) mainly focus on production of novel cancer biologics but we did have an active T1 diabetes program which was quite a cool way to stop diabetes from progressing from pre-diabetes to fully. However some of the main issues with it was something I was often pointing out just due to my background of personally having diabetes rather than the science itself (which was good and quite cool). I don't personally think it would have been a good product to pursue right now, and cancer is easier for testing anyway (and more "urgent" in many ways).

    Sam - keep posting articles etc and I will the same, there needs to be more of it done as it invokes great discussions I feel!

    I think the big problem is that actually medical Dr's and even specialists are drummed in (even more so dieticians) the same thing that we are told from a young age. It is in our textbooks, accepted as fact. Eat a "balanced" diet. Well what is a balanced diet? Why is that 75% of your calories coming from carbs? Sheil19 has said exactly what most people believe due to what is taught - you need carbs as that is how your body gets energy. More importantly, it is how your brain functions. But this is just not true and the textbooks and government guidelines are sorely out of date and quite frankly, wrong. Yet it is still taught in schools, university, and medical training. As a nation we over-emphasise the needs for carbs. Let me be clear - I do not think healthy people should eat low carbs - but I certainly believe that a) a healthy diet would have more good fats and a lower emphasis on carbs (with few refined or simple sugars) and b) diabetics should all be recommended or taught the benefits of low carb diets as an alternative to carb counting. At the very least, we should be told from the start even as type 1's to reduce carbs levels and see how your body reacts and how your management of BG levels compares. There is mounting evidence in the literature of not only the safety but benefit and efficacy of adopting a low-carb lifestyle for T1's. Fat is not as evil as we thought, and mouse/rat models are not as relevant as we would have liked to think.

    Now I readily admit that everyone is different and reacts to everything differently. That is what normal distributions teach you - there is an "average" response but by definition, there will always be people on the tails of the distribution and those who fall at various points in between. Clearly one approach does not work for all, but there are trends and average reactions. I believe that most diabetics who would adopt a low carb lifestyle would see a reduction in the variation of their BG levels, fewer hypos/hypers and more stable BG levels (assuming insulin requirements were adjusted).

    As I am a scientist and hence a geek, I have to make graphs of things and do a lot of self-analysis. It is in fact, quite a terrible affliction I must say, but hopefully there are those who understand this need to over-analyse and the slightly autistic and OCD nature of such a personality.... So I have graphed the last ~100 days of BG readings where about 25 of those days has been on the very low carb diet. 2 things are clear from this data and I think the first is obvious so I do not need to expand on the fact my bloods are much more stable...but it is also worth noting taking this approach has led to increased self-monitoring. This is of course for various reasons, some of them psychological and some of it curiosity. Either way, it is always a good thing to monitor more.

    I should also say that personally, these results were acheived with no insulin administered apart from the first weeked where I was taking 4-6IU basal (glargine) to account for no exercise that day. I have done a similar diet before (less well monitored) and can say for sure if I was not exercising (specifically lifting heavy weights in the 6-12 rep range as well as some cardio) that I HAD to take insulin. So for me personally, it is heavily dependent on extensive exercise. I should also point out that the highest points on the graph (after commencement of diet) were readings taken directly after exercise (often I see a rise in BG after weight training, not uncommon). Nevertheless, I find this graph fascinating. :)

    [​IMG]

    J
     
  9. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,826
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Another great post, J (what is "J" for Btw?). I love a good graph, made a career out of them pretty much!

    Your results are very similar to the ones in the paper I quoted. I need to get myself a USB cable as I'd like to do some AUC modeling with my BG data. There is very little information out there on AUC vs HbA1c and meter data is perfect for this. A lot of people talk about BG averages being an indicator for HbA1c but thus us incorrect. It's AUC. Anyway, I'm digressing, but your graph reminded me of this.

    You should come along to another low carb thread on the Diabetes Discussion board. Someone with your background would provide some good input I feel.

    Lisa, I'm really pleased that you've managed to improve your control so dramatically. Quite astounding really! Low carb should be the status quo for all diabetics, with current dogma though, it is unlikely.
     
  10. jddukes

    jddukes Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Hi Sam,

    J is for Joe! And I am so much happier that another has a love of a good graph...! I feel less geekish.

    It is surprising how little info there is out there about things like we are discussing here. It shows the invaluable nature of a board like this, when we share information in a responsible manner how it can be incredible useful to one another.

    Is there a specific low carb thread you are referring to? I've been so busy with work lately that I have not had the time I would like to invest in things like reading lots of threads on here, but it is great to hear other people's experiences and learn from the "real world" data.

    J
     
  11. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,826
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I'm with you on the geekiness, don't worry! I work for a scientific consultancy company. In a previous contract I was modeling dosage for an oncology drug based on efficiency and adverse events. Currently I'm on a contract modeling jet fires for a global petrochemical company. I thought PK/adverse event data was hard, but believe me jet fires is difficult!

    The thread I'm talking about is near the top of the Diabetes Discussion board. Here's the link:

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=40478&p=378169#p378169

    It would be great to get a cellular biologist's opinion on the papers and comments posted. The original paper noted is a metastudy of the risks of low carbing. From experience I know that metastudies need to be taken with a pinch of salt because of the different methods and error analyses used. Please be objective!
     
  12. sheil19

    sheil19 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Great to get others insight into carbs, really get confused over the topic some time. I suppose its down to the individual really and how and what works for them. Love hearing others opinions. Myself could not live on a low carb diet or so I think anyway. Each of my breakfasts consists of 70g of carbs but that sets me up perfectly for the day ahead. My day does normally consist of either 18 holes of golf or the gym and then lots of cricket practice. So from a sporting point of view carbs work perfectly for me and my BG levels these days rarely read over 7!


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  13. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,826
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Trophy Points:
    178
    If you get the right numbers with carbs then great, stick at it! If low carbing gives you the right numbers then stick at it! Its all about what works for the individual.
     
  14. Lisa_87

    Lisa_87 · Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Joe- I love your graphs, mine would look similar I am sure! But with maybe the occasional hypo where I have hit the gym a tad to hard or bolused to much insulin (due to forgetting how much more insulin sensitive I am now...) And yes, I completely agree with you on the geekish front, however I must confess I am very like minded, as I'm sure are most Type 1 diabetics who work in science!! think actually you have to have elements of OCD with type of approach! I test alot more now, my fingers are only suffering ever so slightly more but it's worth it! I am about to be put on a Dexcom CGM trial next month and then start the artificial pancreas trial at Addenbrrokes hosp, Cambridge soon after....massively excited! And the ironic thing is that the reason I am being put on all these trials is due to my improved hbA1c which I have achieved through going against the advice of doctors....

    I think most of my life I have either been told by my diabetic team to either 'chill out' and stop obsessing because it is unhealthy behaviour OR to be MORE controlled and MORE obsessive as my control isn't good enough! Do you ever get the feeling, even if you are doing everything that you can, it will never be good enough...!? Well that's how I have always felt, until I stopped listening to everyone else and just did my own thing, being helped along the way by other type 1's like everyone on here....so thank you! Enough of that mushy talk. Anyway!
     
  15. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,826
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Lisa, I'm very envious of you being on the Artificial Pancreas trial! I've followed it with interest for some time. How did you hear about it, ? There's never any trials where I live Chester!
     
  16. lrw60

    lrw60 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hi Lisa,

    Good luck with the trial. I helped to build Addenbrooks, I think I was 14 or 15-ish and petrol was 3 or 4 shillings (15 to 20 p) per gallon. Say hello for me.
    Lee.
     
  17. Lisa_87

    Lisa_87 · Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Wow- that's quite something to say you were a part of making! It's massive now. I work there tucked away in a little research department, I get lost evertime I have to go down to the basement!

    Sam- my dietician said I was 'ready' due to my recently improved motivation (from low carbing and better control) and has put me in touch with the research team- who incidently, work in my buidling just 2 floors up!! So I guess I am just quite fortunate to know the right people? Plus (or I think) Addenbrookes is one of the leading research facilities working on the artificial pancreas- so again, right time, right place? It's a shame Chester hasn't got quite as many trials... I emailed as many people I knew who work for animas as regards to the CGM and finally one got back to me and said they'd loan me one before I went ahead and self funded (£1000 initially + £250 every 2-3 months)!!!!!!!! I think it'll be worth it though, or I hope so!!!
     
  18. jddukes

    jddukes Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    73
    The silver lining of so many of us having negative experiences with the health care system is that we can come on here and vent frustation but find solace in the fact that we are not alone when we go against Dr's advice, nor are we the only ones who feel we are never going to ever be doing good enough in the eyes of the professionals.

    I must personally admit that I have not been to see a specialist/diabetic clinic since 6 months before I moved house, which was 1 year ago now, so 18 months. Part of it is the fact that I live 55 miles from where I work, work is incredibly busy and I distain the fact that I will have to take half a day off for the specialist to say the same thing they always say and tell me nothing new. It will be either looking at my HbA1c and saying "you are controlling your diabetes well, have you got any questions" or "your HbA1c is a bit high you should try and manage your diabetes better but its probably just a slip-up as it is not terribly high and the one before was a bit lower." But the more I read the more I realised being over 7% (usually 8-9% I guess) wasn't good enough for my liking, especially when I became a father it hit me more I suppose, thinking of the long term, hence the drastic approach. I've known for a while that low carbing would be the best option for me its just difficult with my part-time business on the side and I love food!! :|

    Great news on the artificial pancreas Lisa - you will have to let us know how it goes, perhaps have a blog or a regular posting session reporting your findings...I'm sure it would warrant a few graphs and scientific figures with appropriate legends, etc... :wink:

    J
     
  19. jddukes

    jddukes Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the link, I had a look at the thread and the study and posted my comments, not sure if they are of any use (plus I am pretty tired so brain not fully engaged!), but it was interesting nonetheless.

    Cheers!
    J
     
  20. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,826
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi Joe,
    If that's you tired I'd love to read your response when not so! Very articulately put, much more so than my responses. Pleasure to read, great to get an expert opinion!

    Cheers,
    Sam
     
  • 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