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Recommendations for a Type 2 Diabetic considering primal eating?

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  • Recommendations for a Type 2 Diabetic considering primal eating?

    Hello all,

    I hope someone can help me with my question.

    Background: My father is a Type 2 Diabetic and takes Insulin shots twice a day. He has been at this level of treatment for some years now, and his illness is basically under control. I've been trying to introduce the idea of primal nutrition to him as a way to manage his illness with less sacrifice (he's currently following his doctor's - aka the ADA's - advice regarding diet). He loves meat and buttery sauces, and I know he feels deprived. I think he's willing to forgo bread, pasta and dessert if I can convince him to overcome the fear of fat that has been instilled in him since his diagnosis about 20 years ago. Basically, I think that if I can convince him to adopt a more primal lifestyle (and he seems to be open to it), he will be able to enjoy the winter of his life a hell of a lot more than if he keeps going at it the way he has been.

    Now for the question: If my dad starts cutting out carbs and continues taking his Insulin shots as directed, is he going to experience low blood sugar? Since his doctor and dietician are CW advocates, I'm not that hopeful about them being able to help him here, and I'd like to hear from people who have experience with Insulin shots and transitioning to a low-carb diet. Low blood sugar episodes can be dangerous for a diabetic, and I know this is something my dad is afraid of experiencing. Will he need to start reducing his Insulin doses right away? Will it take a while for his blood sugar to go down, meaning he can discuss reducing his dose with his doctor once his lab results already reflect improvements? Basically, will it be sudden or gradual?

    Any thoughts, and especially personal experience, would be very appreciated!

  • #2
    My suggestion would be that you check out the website of Dr. Richard Bernstein of Diabetes Solution. Dr. Bernstein is himself a diabetic who provides excellent info for managing blood sugar via low carb diet (that is consistent with Primal). All of your questions may be answered there, as he provides a lot of information on his site, including excerpts from his books.

    As background, you might be interested to know that he was originally an engineer, and when he was first diagnosed with diabetes in his early 20s [Type 1, I believe], he followed the conventional diet as advised by his doctors. He soon realized that was not the way for a diabetic to eat, so he began experimenting with himself and devised a low carb eating plan that minimized his need for meds. He could not get the medical community to accept his ideas, so he went to medical school, eventually becoming a board-certified endocrinologist. However, his ideas were still not accepted--as they are not to this day.

    He is probably in his late 60s now and still has a practice here in NY (Westchester County).

    On his website and in his books, he not only provides advice on diet, but he explains how specific foods affect blood glucose and why. Your father may be convinced by the science he explains.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the tip! His story is definitely inspring, and I think he's similar in age to my father, which would definitely speak to him. I am still hoping someone on MDA can share some personal experience, too...

      Comment


      • #4
        I hope someone has some experience to share with you!

        I don't quite have what you need but maybe this can help. My husband is type 2 diabetic but just on metformin, not insulin. However, his blood sugar readings went down really quickly. I mean, within a day or so of cutting grains. It might have been within a meal for all I know, but he only took his blood once a day.

        Is your father testing his blood before giving himself insulin? Because if so, he should be able to adjust his doses if he needs to. If he's not testing, then he should start doing so.

        It definitely is something to be careful with. Taking insulin when you don't need it isn't good!

        Good luck to him.

        Comment


        • #5
          That's an excellent point! He does check his blood sugar readings at regular, frequent intervals, but I don't know whether he varies his insulin doses according to his readings. Even if he doesn't do that now, it would certainly be a good option if his readings go down significantly. I might also make him feel more in control of the situation, which would be a good thing. Thanks for the tip!

          Comment


          • #6
            My Dad is diabetic too but his is not so far advanced as to need insulin.

            However, for a little inspirational story. I finally talked him into going primal when he started getting shooting pains in his feet from the peripheral neuropathy. A little tingling or numbness you can ignore but pain gets your attention.

            With one week of Primal eating his pains are completely gone as is the swelling in his legs. He is now a believer. It's amazing what one week of clean eating can do.

            About the insulin, I would recommend notifying his doctor (not asking permission just keeping them in the loop) about any dietary changes.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am still hoping someone on MDA can share some personal experience

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by appelsauce View Post
                Hello all,

                I hope someone can help me with my question.

                Background: My father is a Type 2 Diabetic and takes Insulin shots twice a day. He has been at this level of treatment for some years now, and his illness is basically under control. I've been trying to introduce the idea of primal nutrition to him as a way to manage his illness with less sacrifice (he's currently following his doctor's - aka the ADA's - advice regarding diet). He loves meat and buttery sauces, and I know he feels deprived. I think he's willing to forgo bread, pasta and dessert if I can convince him to overcome the fear of fat that has been instilled in him since his diagnosis about 20 years ago. Basically, I think that if I can convince him to adopt a more primal lifestyle (and he seems to be open to it), he will be able to enjoy the winter of his life a hell of a lot more than if he keeps going at it the way he has been.

                Now for the question: If my dad starts cutting out carbs and continues taking his Insulin shots as directed, is he going to experience low blood sugar? Since his doctor and dietician are CW advocates, I'm not that hopeful about them being able to help him here, and I'd like to hear from people who have experience with Insulin shots and transitioning to a low-carb diet. Low blood sugar episodes can be dangerous for a diabetic, and I know this is something my dad is afraid of experiencing. Will he need to start reducing his Insulin doses right away? Will it take a while for his blood sugar to go down, meaning he can discuss reducing his dose with his doctor once his lab results already reflect improvements? Basically, will it be sudden or gradual?

                Any thoughts, and especially personal experience, would be very appreciated!
                Blood Sugar 101

                W.O.W. 10/02/11- NNT and Keaton’s Laws of Pharmacology
                How is this relevant to practitioners and instructors of BBS, or people who are improving their health with an ancestral diet? Well, if you or your clients have a disease state that is improving as a result of your diet and exercise, then the risk-to-benefit ratio of any medications are likely worsening. As your disease state improves, your NNT-B is increasing, but your NNT-H is staying the same. As soon as these numbers flip-flop, it may be time to go off that medication. If we use the NNT concept, the time to go off medication may be sooner than we expect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was diagnosed type II a little over a year ago with fasting blood sugar of 125 and A1C of 7.7. Put on 500mg Metformin and sent to a dietitian where I got the standard ADA diet recommendations. Although I brought up low-carb and was told it was ok, but not sustainable. I experimented and got my A1C down to 6.1 by eating low carb, then I found Mark's site and went primal. In 3 months I dropped my A1C to 5.4 and fasting blood sugar is in the 90s. Since that time my blood lipids have improved, last A1C was 5.2 and I am much more insulin sensitive. It used to be when I would cheat, my fasting blood sugar would be in the 120s the next morning but now it does not move off 90, should I have some ice cream or other high carb cheat. I am doing strength training 3 times per week and lean gains IF and believe that is the main reason for the increased insulin sensitivity.
                  SW on 10/1/11: 380lbs.
                  CW 12/13/12: 315lbs. (Was under 300#, added some muscle :-) )
                  GW: 10% B.F. 250lbs. - 275lbs. (6' 4" tall)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks @Paleobird for sharing your inspirational story!

                    I also think my dad should keep his doctors in the loop, I'm just worried about him opening himself up to a bunch of CW scaremongering, but I guess that just means I have to be extra persuasive!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm a type 2 diabetic and have been for seven years. I took insulin five times a day while I was pregnant with my son but only take metformin now. I also have five known generations of diabetics in my family, so I grew up with it long before I had it. What type of insulin is he taking? At twice a day I'm thinking probably long acting. For me Primal dropped my after meal sugars pretty much right away and kept dropping over a couple of weeks. I did have problems with my late afternoon sugars getting uncomfortably low, but not dangerously low. I personally get migraines if my sugars are lowish for extended periods of time. I did have to take my carbs down at a controlled rate rather than cold turkey dropping to goal level. If he takes short acting insulin with meals then he probably already knows his insulin to carb ratios and can calculate accordingly on the dosage. So far the upped fat levels seem to have had no effect on my cholesterol, my last reading being 181. I also had fewer problems with side issues of diabetes, like athletes foot and other fungal crud within a week and a half of starting. I had fewer problems with blood sugar ping pong and was much less hungry. Exercise does as much to lower blood sugar as diet, even just getting out and having an after dinner stroll. Being as he has done this for twenty years he already knows this. I never have been able to eat carbs for breakfast-dawn effect, so I eat an omelet with cheese and veggies or cottage cheese or plain yogurt and my coffee or tea. I eat a big salad with cheese and nuts or meat or sometimes fish for lunch or have a stir fry without noodles or rice. For dinner I eat pretty normal except I don't eat potatoes or noodles or rice. I will eat sweet potatoes, squash or some other root vegie in place of the starch. The same goes for stews and soups. One of my kids' favorites is hamburgers or chopped chicken with grilled onions and a dash of Montreal steak seasoning.

                      The speed of blood sugar drop will depend on how many carbs he has been eating and how many he drops down too. I do 75-100g, the ADA diet wants me at 150. In general postprandial sugars drop fairly fast(in the space of a week or so) and he will need to keep a good eye on it. Basal blood sugar drops more slowly and he will be seeing a drop in about a week to week and a half, but it is more gradual and it inches its way down.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am also a type II diabetic, been one for about 13 years. I was also taking insulin, long acting once a day. After coming here and reading the Primal Blueprint and the correlation of insulin and weight gain and how it all works, I took myself off insulin and gave myself one year to try and get my health together.

                        My experience was very different than what other people have experienced. My fasting blood sugars shot way up, 350+ and have gradually started coming down. This morning, my sugars were 180. I know what is going to kill me, complications from diabetes, eventually, but it will be on my terms and hopefully 30 to 40 years from now. My physical life sucked, I did not want to live that way anymore so I decided to give it one more fighting try, but you and not going to be able to do it shooting up insulin on a daily basis. I have been off the insulin and Primal now for 8 months. I have lost over 70 lbs and I have about 70 more to go. In the last 3 months, I have incorporated a lot more working out in my daily life and the sugars are starting to move again in the right direction.
                        I Kettlebell therefore I am.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by appelsauce View Post
                          Thanks @Paleobird for sharing your inspirational story!

                          I also think my dad should keep his doctors in the loop, I'm just worried about him opening himself up to a bunch of CW scaremongering, but I guess that just means I have to be extra persuasive!
                          Just remember, doctors work for you, not the other way around. Inform them so that they can better assist you but don't ask their permission. Your body, your decisions. I wish your Dad the best.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Motorhead View Post
                            I was diagnosed type II a little over a year ago with fasting blood sugar of 125 and A1C of 7.7. Put on 500mg Metformin and sent to a dietitian where I got the standard ADA diet recommendations. Although I brought up low-carb and was told it was ok, but not sustainable. I experimented and got my A1C down to 6.1 by eating low carb, then I found Mark's site and went primal. In 3 months I dropped my A1C to 5.4 and fasting blood sugar is in the 90s. Since that time my blood lipids have improved, last A1C was 5.2 and I am much more insulin sensitive. It used to be when I would cheat, my fasting blood sugar would be in the 120s the next morning but now it does not move off 90, should I have some ice cream or other high carb cheat. I am doing strength training 3 times per week and lean gains IF and believe that is the main reason for the increased insulin sensitivity.
                            Thanks, for this.
                            If you have a problem with what you read: 1. Get a dictionary 2. Don't read it 3. Grow up 4. After 3, go back to 1/ or 2. -- Dennis Blue. | "I don't care about your opinion, only your analysis"- Professor Calabrese. | "Life is more important than _______" - Drew | I eat animals that eat vegetables -- Matt Millen, former NFL Linebacker. | "This country is built on sugar & shit that comes in a box marinated in gluten - abc123

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                            • #15
                              I don't know what type I am, really. I'm not overweight, but a glucose reading in my urinalysis for MEPS called me diabetic, so I'll go with that. So far, I'm not on anything (no insurance, but I'm looking to change that tune, soon). So far, since going Primal, my energy levels were much better than I really imagined. I'm not in a constant search for energy, like coffee.

                              FWIW, I really went strictly primal: No grains, or starches. Just heaping amount of vegetables, with eggs; and occasional fruit (banana, apple, or berries).
                              If you have a problem with what you read: 1. Get a dictionary 2. Don't read it 3. Grow up 4. After 3, go back to 1/ or 2. -- Dennis Blue. | "I don't care about your opinion, only your analysis"- Professor Calabrese. | "Life is more important than _______" - Drew | I eat animals that eat vegetables -- Matt Millen, former NFL Linebacker. | "This country is built on sugar & shit that comes in a box marinated in gluten - abc123

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