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Your opinion on the ketogenic diet

Discussion in 'Ketogenic diet forum' started by april29, Jul 13, 2017.

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Is the ketogenic diet effective in managing Diabetes?

  1. Yes, it can reverse Diabetes

    16 vote(s)
    84.2%
  2. Yes, combined with medication

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
  3. No

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. april29

    april29 · Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm an A level student currently writing up a dissertation for an Extended Project Qualification which investigates the role of diet in management of Diabetes. It would be super useful to gather some primary research to include in my project so I was wondering if anyone could spare a moment of your time to offer your personal opinion/experience on a ketogenic diet in the treatment of Diabetes, if possible including:
    - How effective do you believe the ketogenic diet is in treating Diabetes?
    - What are the advantages/positive of the ketogenic diet?
    - What are the disadvantages/side effects of the ketogenic diet?
    - How easy/difficult is it to make a lifestyle change to follow the ketogenic diet?
    - What is your personal opinion on using medication or diet to treat Diabetes?
    Any other personal experience/opinion or relevant information on the ketogenic diet would be much appreciated!

    All responses will remain anonymous.

    Thanks so much for your time,
    April :)
     
    #1 april29, Jul 13, 2017 at 5:41 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2017
  2. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Hello @april29 , I'll give it a go, but can I make it clear that I am talking about type 2 diabetes.
    - How effective do you believe the ketogenic diet is in treating Diabetes?
    Extremely effective. It can reverse type 2, by which I mean that blood sugars will normalise and "complications" will regress or even go away. Side effects (eg thirst, tiredness) will stop.​
    - What are the advantages/positive of the ketogenic diet?
    It requires no drugs, will do you no harm, does not require prescriptions, supervision or medical appointments and can reverse other issues such raised blood pressure, excess weight.​
    - What are the disadvantages/side effects of the ketogenic diet?
    Requires home cooking and can be difficult if you have to stay away in hotels, for example.​
    - How easy/difficult is it to make a lifestyle change to follow the ketogenic diet?
    This depends on you. We were/are semi retired (so have time to cook), can afford to experiment with food, only have ourselves to consider and are both capable cooks, so, for us, it was easy. For working families on a tight budget, it could be difficult, especially if the will to succeed isn't there.​
    - What is your personal opinion on using medication or diet to treat Diabetes?
    No drug is without side effects and many drugs are not as effective as they are made out to be. The correct diet works and it won't cause other problems. For us, there is no contest, healthy, low carb (ketogenic) diet every time.
    I would also add that eating a low carb diet will reduce the burden on the NHS, both by improving health and by not incurring outgoings on drugs and treatments. In my view, diet should be THE treatment for T2 diabetes.​
    Sally
     
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  3. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello @april29 ,

    It is clear with Type2 (insulin resistance) that each person has a level of carbs their body will let them eat before their blood sugar gets out of control. Some people can eat more carbs then a ketongnic diet, but still be eating less then half the carbs then most people do.

    However there are people labeled Type2 as the doctors can't find a better label for them who don't have insulin resistance.

    For you dissertation have a look at the "Doctor in the House" tv programs and his blog+Facebook page, you could them compare what he does with what most GPs do, and look at way.

    Remember if you ask the same question at the other place (www.diabetes.org.uk) they will not agree with what we tell you.
     
  4. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I have been on a ketogenic lifestyle for four years this October.
    It has saved my life.
    I have a condition where my tolerance to certain foods is really bad! (All carbs and sugars.
    Before diagnosis in 2013, I was dying from symptoms of having high blood glucose levels, high insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia, followed by Hypoglycaemia.
    I had a fatty liver, kidney, and my organs were failing. My brain was anywhere but where it should be, I had chronic anxiety, memory loss and so on. I was really ill!

    As soon as my fasting hospital test had finished and my brain started to clear because of the insulin going naturally. And not having hyperinsulinaemia, since starting very low carb, my health has improved so much, I lost nearly six stone, my liver and kidney health is normal, all my life signs are normal. I'm fitter and healthier for the first time in forty years (ish).

    I have recommended a ketogenic lifestyle for so many people over the years.
    It worked for me, why shouldn't those with diabetes who have the same issues with blood glucose levels, be told how good it is for controlling blood glucose levels?
     
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  5. covknit

    covknit Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Best of luck with your research. I am type 2, diet controlled and lucky in that I found out at HBA1C 52. The 51 in my signature was 4 days earlier : August 2016. I am not 100% clear on your definition of a ketogenic diet reversing diabetes. If you mean do I believe the diet can reverse the clock back to pre diabetes days. No I do not believe that. Do I believe that it offers me the opportunity to live (random life expectancy figure probably > 80%) without medication for almost as long as if I did not have diabetes the answer is yes.
    How effective do you believe the ketogenic diet is in treating Diabetes?:- very effective. In fact I cannot think of another way of enjoying a diet containing a wide range of foodstuffs without running the risk of raising blood glucose levels.
    - What are the advantages/positive of the ketogenic diet?:- The diet is SPECIFIC in the foodstuffs targeted so it is easy to ascertain if an item is likely to raise my blood glucose levels. MEASURABLE by referring to the carbohydrate and sugar information on the packet, google search otr widdowson and MCCance. ATTAINABLE yes most people can access the foodstuffs specified by the diet and it is as ACCURATE as it can be withing the variabilities inherent by human nature and machine fallibility. REASONABLE alternatives are available for a wide range of dishes that are both RELEVANT and TIMELY to living with diabetes on a daily basis
    - What are the disadvantages/side effects of the ketogenic diet? The biggest difficulty I have found is fitting it into a social scene based on food, drink and the great British bake off. People are not inviting us out and I have had to stop going to knitting group as it is considered rude not to eat the offering of cake. Most people are unable to distinguish the difference between carbohydrate and calorie. I regularly get offered a gluten free option. I can do a great picnic but really struggle to find a non big chain restaurant I can risk.
    - How easy/difficult is it to make a lifestyle change to follow the ketogenic diet? Really, really easy. I just stopped eating carbs and 48 hours later I felt great.
    - What is your personal opinion on using medication or diet to treat Diabetes? Yes please. My GP will not consider it. HOWEVER it is only 10 months and I suspect the upheaval to my lifestyle has largely happened and will not be a major issue going forward. Next year I will probably be happy I am not on diabetes medication.
    Any other personal experience/opinion or relevant information on the ketogenic diet would be much appreciated!
    I do eat small amounts of lentils and beans (not baked beans). Most days I am below 20 carbs but the target I set myself is a maximum of 50. Apart from replacing meals in restaurants with trips to events or picnics and handling people who insist I have to eat cake made with "normal" flour and sugar the only major change to our annual routine is December. I am not 100% sure how we will handle it but last year we hosted a hogfather party on the 21st with roast pork and all the trimmings I can eat plus the roasties for everyone else. We did without any of the "seasonal" items like mince pies, cake, mulled wine etc. We will certainly do that again. Plus maybe host low key wine and eggy muffins on other dates.
     
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  6. diamondnostril

    diamondnostril Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @april29 . . .

    I am Type1 and answer your questions from that perspective.

    - How effective do you believe the ketogenic diet is in treating Diabetes?

    Ketogenic Diet is the ONLY diet I have found with which I can keep my blood-sugar levels under control.

    It's not for everybody, of course. No diet is. But it should be a standard tool in the toolbox, to be offered to anybody with Diabetes who feels that it would benefit them.

    - What are the advantages/positive of the ketogenic diet?

    For me:

    Lower blood-sugar levels

    Stabilised blood-sugar levels

    Much better sleep

    No hunger

    Much less Insulin injected. Cheaper for NHS and (I think) safer for me.

    More free time (I sleep less but better, and do not eat breakfast or lunch).

    As a T1, vastly changed (and much safer) experience of what happens when blood-sugar drops low.

    Better concentration.

    Psychologically happier. I now feel like I'm in control of my levels, and winning every day rather than losing. This has had a huge psychological impact for the better.

    Weight maintenance seems easy. I put in zero effort here, just let my body get on with it.

    The food is absolutely lovely :)

    No farting (girlfriend appreciates) ;)

    - What are the disadvantages/side effects of the ketogenic diet?

    For me:

    Social aspects of food can be somewhat tricky. Difficult to join others for a restaurant visit, and difficult to accept any invite to eat at somebody's house.

    Some Doctors are not familiar with the diet; some Doctors hate the diet. (Occasionally, somehow, both!). So can be difficult to have any productive discussions regarding diet with medical professionals.

    Keto diet reduces my levels down to numbers which DVLA are not happy with. When I am in UK, it's a real balancing act to stay both healthy (for me, that means in Ketosis) and within the law.

    (I never experienced the often-stated temporary negative effects, bad breath or Keto flu. Maybe just lucky).

    - How easy/difficult is it to make a lifestyle change to follow the ketogenic diet?

    I have found it pretty easy, but I realise that I have advantages with my circumstances. I do not need to cook for or eat with a family, I have no big pressures with my budget or time, and am not often staying away from home in hotels. I can imagine these and other factors maybe creating problems for others.

    - What is your personal opinion on using medication or diet to treat Diabetes?

    Insulin is required for life, so like all T1s I will always need to use medication. Our diet and lifestyle (whether obligations or choices) can have a big impact on how much medication we need and how effective it can be. On Keto diet I inject between 3 and 7 Units of Rapid Insulin daily. This is significantly less Insulin than I need with any other way of eating. I feel the benefits of this diet, as stated above.

    Best wishes with your studies :)
    Antony
     
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  7. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    How effective do you believe the ketogenic diet is in treating Diabetes?
    For me extremely effective.. I switched from Low Cab High Fat to ketogenic after about 9 months and reduced my blood sugars easily to an acceptable level (for me)
    - What are the advantages/positive of the ketogenic diet?
    Keeps my blood sugars regular. Fairly easy to avoid eating carbs. Great tasting food all home made.
    - What are the disadvantages/side effects of the ketogenic diet?
    Mainly people not understanding - so eating at other peoples difficult (although far from impossible) One friend did ask me if I just wanted a plateful of fat!. Restaurants can be difficult but a it of imagination usually can create a meal.
    - How easy/difficult is it to make a lifestyle change to follow the ketogenic diet?
    Once I had decided to treat without meds it became obvious it was the easiest way of eating to follow with the best results for me.
    - What is your personal opinion on using medication or diet to treat Diabetes?
    Tried it for 3 weeks.. tied to the toilet.. never again!
     
  8. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi April,

    I find Ketogenic eating the most important thing in controlling my health, with being Gluten Free a close second.
    My blood glucose is normal, if I combine those two things.
    And more importantly, I feel great eating that way.
    The only disadvantages I experience are limited food choices when eating socially, and having to cook all my own food fresh, at home.
    I think that medication is TOTALLY NECESSARY for many people with all types of diabetes, and they should not be shamed or criticised for needing necessary meds. However, many diabetics (of all types) are able to reduce medication by reducing carbs in their diet, and can slow down or even halt the progression of their diabetic complications by keeping their blood glucose as low and stable as possible. Some type 2 diabetics can come off medication completely.

    However, I did want to suggest that you carefully consider how you are going to use the word 'reverse' in your dissertation.

    If you do a search on this forum for threads discussion 'reversal' you will find that nearly everyone has a different interpretation of the word, when applied to Type 2 diabetes. Some people consider that Reversal means lowering your blood glucose to non-diabetic levels, some people consider it to mean that they are able to eat high carb foods without blood glucose rising to diabetic levels.

    I really don't want to derail this thread with that particular sack of worms (sometimes the discussion gets pretty intense :) ) but I would urge you to state clearly what you are considering Reversal to mean.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  9. CzukayFan

    CzukayFan Type 2 · Member

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    Hi April, I would be happy to help because I want the advantages of this diet to be better known and I'm pleased that you may help spread the word. I was diagnosed type 2 five years ago as a 50 year old man, weighing 120 lbs. with no history of diabetes in my family and a fairly healthy lifestyle. It didn't make sense so I started my journey to trying to reverse it, which I discovered is somewhere between impossible and highly unlikely. I don't believe Keto will "reverse" diabetes as your poll suggests but it can allow for diet controlled remission, which is my case. If I was to start eating carbs again I know my glucose levels would spike but as long as I keep to the diet they are at normal levels.
    Advantages of a keto diet is that it's not all that difficult to eat as much tasty food as you want. I eat between 2500-3000 calories a day including 30 grams or less of carbs. I certainly don't go hungry and as I've discovered more and more recipes (and fat bombs) I now know I'm certainly not sacrificing taste. My energy levels are great, I train with weights 5-6 days a week and have never felt healthier.
    Disadvantages are some of the foods I used to enjoy I can't have, like bread or beer among others. One of my hobbies used to be tasting various craft beers, now I'll have the occasional glass of wine, often many weeks apart but I'm sure that isn't doing me any harm either. Eating at restaurants isn't too difficult after all, just order the meal, ideally fish and ask them to hold the potatoes or rice or whatever would normally come with it and replace it with steamed veggies or salad. I've never had a restaurant refuse this request or ask for more money and it complies with my regimen. I've had no side effects whatsoever, no keto breath and only a mild case of "keto flu" at the beginning. Prior to going full keto I was already on a very low carb diet, I had already cut out all breads and starches but hadn't upped the fats at that point, I was also consuming much more protein than I am now.
    It is very time consuming to follow this diet as most weekend are spent shopping for ingredients and cooking meals for the upcoming week as I don't have time to do it after work and gym so I just heat up a pre-made dish and steam some veggies usually to go with it for a quick nutritious dinner. It's not an easy lifestyle but as time goes on it gets easier, you learn more every day and find efficiencies and it becomes a habit just like anything else you do repeatedly.
    I have never used medication to control my BS but I can't say that is the answer for everybody. Some people likely need it, obviously Type 1 will need insulin. I'm not an expert but I believe the vast majority of Type 2 patients could go completely off all medications if they adopted this lifestyle. On the other hand most people wouldn't have the discipline needed to stay in ketosis long term but even if they fell off the wagon occasionally they would still be living a low carb lifestyle, maybe not keto, and that would be a definite improvement nonetheless.
    Good luck with your dissertation.
     
  10. Kristin251

    Kristin251 LADA · Expert

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    I have been keto for about 25 years. 22 before official DX. I do believe I slowed the progression for many years as I know I controlled it through diet and exercise. I originally started Atkins induction of 20 or less carbs per day and have remained there. There were a few 'bouts' where I tried to be ' healthy' and added grains and fruit back in and I was miserable. Bloated, exhausted , achy, moody etc. Those bouts didn't last long.
    At the time of DX they wanted me to eat 20 c per meal and I chose sweet potato and black beans. I rollercoaster all day long and hypod far too much.

    Went back to my keto diet and everything is wonderful.

    Instead of typing everything written above again I'll just say I agree with all of it. It's wonderful healthy food and I certainly wouldn't eat anything I don't like. It does take some pre planning so I could loads of proteins in bulk and freeze in my size portions. The good thing about that is I have a wide variety every day. Then I just steam some veg or make a quick salad and season as my mood fits. All meals accompanied by a big wedge of avocado.

    I love my diet. I love all food so sometimes the temptation is strong but a very small taste is usually enough to remind me it doesn't taste as good as I remember.

    I take LOADS less insulin now and have very stable bs. That's the story I'm sticking to
     
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