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Need advice/opinions: exercise for an overweight type 2 diabetic man.

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  • Need advice/opinions: exercise for an overweight type 2 diabetic man.

    This isn't for me (well, I suppose it could be if I went back to engourging on grains), this is for my father, he's been a type-2 diabetic for nearly 10 years (if not longer, I'm not quite sure). I haven't had a very good relationship with him for the last 6-7 years, and have only recently re-connected, so I don't know too much about his daily lifestyle quite yet; but I've been thinking about it, and I want to help him out, really badly.

    I know I want to get him primal, but I don't know diabetes very well, how to "ease" into it or anything of the sort. I figure eating is simple: no grains, minimalize legumes, delicious animal parts, ghee sauteed leafy greens, and other awesome stuff.

    Fruits is another subject I'll need help with, but it's kind of at a backseat in my head since I just figure "berries and other low-glycemic index fruits can do the trick".

    Exercise is definitely the one I know I have trouble with, he's roughly 6'1'', and >330 lbs (don't know how much over). I figure at least do some light walking maybe an hour or so every day, but I don't know if that's enough, or too much, especially with the risk of injuring his foot/possibly internal infection (to my impression, leading to amputation).

    I know I don't have a lot to run with right now, and I'll get more soon, hopefully, if he's willing to do what it takes. I've been losing weight with Herbalife recently, but I believe strongly in the Primal Blueprint, and I want him to get better, and healthier, whichever route will take us there. I may not have been tight with him for the last few years, but I wanna help him reverse this.

  • #2
    Would he be willing to swim or do water exercises? If so he needs some good water shoes, but that is the easiest exercise on the joints. Walking is good but he would probably need to start with less than an hour. If he has a lot of swelling in his legs get him to a physical therapist or OT who specializes in lymphedema treatment.

    When someone lowers high blood glucose, there can be a period of adjustment. Not just low carb flu but vision changes and possibly low glucose, which can cause irrational behavior. Before he goes low carb you need to study up on the medication he is taking for diabetes (see Metformin doesn't cause low glucose, but almost all the other diabetes medications would need to be adjusted if he changes to a much lower diet, to avoid dangerous low glucose. Is he willing to test his blood glucose after meals and if he feels strange?

    If his triglycerides are high and HDL low he may be convinced he needs to avoid saturated fat because he knows (correctly) that heart disease is the most common complication of diabetes. I would try to get him on a higher fat diet using mostly olive oil, nuts, fish and maybe even MCT oil until a lower carb diet lowers his triglycerides. Then when he already can see he is going in the right direction he will be more open to the idea that he can eat saturated fat.
    age 56, type 2 diabetes, swimmer
    low carb since 2006 thanks to Jenny, primal since Jan. 2012