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  • Primal and Diabetes

    Hello everyone!

    I just joined this forum, so this is only my 2nd post

    Here is my situation. I was diagnosed with diabetes at the end of May, 2010. While diabetes runs in my family and I was obviously insulin resistant (overweight) there is some evidence that mine was at least triggered by a very serious illness (foodborne) which had put me in the hospital 6 mons before and attacked my pancreas. In the end, it does not matter what triggered the disease (it is probably many factors) but that I have it. We can assume it is type 2, although there is some evidence suggesting it may be type 1.5, which I will only find out later with further testing.

    You may also note that, before diagnosis, I was eating 1500 calories a day and running a 5 K 3 to 5 times weekly, but still classified as Cat.2 obese, and unable to lose weight on the usual regimens
    I had nearly given up on ever being able to do so.

    My blood sugar at diagnosis was 432 mg/dl (pretty darned high!!)

    So after my diagnosis, I started researching. I was unconvinced that the diet the doctor gave me (heavy on whole grains, rice, etc) would help a body with an intolerance for sugars! After about a week I switched to a generalized low carb plan. I started to feel better immediately and have not looked back since.

    Cutting carbs helped me drop about 5 pounds in the first week, so I wanted this to continue! I had tried 'diets' (usually the high carb low fat kind, as we are told we should!) all of my life, but nothing had worked. I was impressed with low carb and pleased to finally get a positive result (as well as something that helped my blood sugar). Within a couple of weeks, my blood sugars were back to normal range. But I wasn't loosing enough weight. Then I started on Atkins, restricting my carb intake to 20 or less per day.

    So, six months later (I started Atkins in July), here is where I stand. I have lost 47 pounds, and my blood sugars are fab. My fasting blood sugars are between 77-90 or so, as are those 2 hours after meals. I have an A1c (3 month average of blood sugar) of 5% (on the LOWER side of 'normal! and down from 7.1 at diagnosis). I weigh about 15 pounds less than my lightest as an adult (that isn't saying much, trust me!) and wearing a size 12 womens, the smallest size I have ever fit into, a whole size smaller than my smallest as a teen! So yeah, there are some amazing benefits to a low carb life style, and I will NEVER go back to eating grains/sugars/starchy veg.

    So you may ask....if Atkins worked for you, why switch plans? Why would you think about Primal if you had so much success? First of all, I am not done losing weight. I want to get down to a NORMAL, healthy weight for my height! That means I still need to lose about 50 pounds. I want to believe that it can be done. I don't want to think that something in my genes, or my diabetes, or whatever, has me 'destined' to be overweight forever! I want to seize my chance for optimum health and achieve it! In the last couple of months, my weight loss has stalled to a crawl...and then it seems to have come to a halt altogether. I am stalled.

    I have thought about what it is I am eating that could be causing the stall...and maybe the dairy products are to blame. I don't know. But I am willing to look at other plans, like Primal Blueprint, and figure out if they could be a better fit for me and help me to get to my goals and get as healthy as possible.

    What do you think? Are any of you diabetics who have had success with this program? What about this program would give me an advantage over other LC diets?
    I don't expect a perfect body, but is there hope that I can achieve a healthy weight?

    I must admit that the idea of primal eating is very appealing. I am an Anthropologist and find the concept too interesting to ignore!

    Thank you for all of your help and comments. It is all much appreciated!

  • #2
    First of all, WELL DONE.

    I'm T1 and actually eat less than 50 carbs a day (usually much less). Atkins completely changed my life and the "real" Atkins isn't that different from primal, it's just since he died they sort of reformatted the diet and changed it so it includes loads of crap frankenfoods.

    Do not up your carb intake. I still stick to Atkins levels of carbs, but I only eat primal foods. it's very important for T1 T2 diabetics and those with insulin resistance to stay low carb.

    Fiona

    Comment


    • #3
      True, that the original Atkins (more like what I do...I don't eat the bars, mixes, pasta....you can't even buy that where I live!) is quite like Primal. This is why I have come to this site, so I can explore my options. I am especially excited to get the Primal Blueprint cookbook because I love getting inspiration. I have no intentions of upping my carb count (although I can have the occasional day with a few more grams and still be fine) but do you think, in your experience, that cutting dairy could be beneficial to me? I think dairy is one of my greatest 'failings' on Atkins, because I tend to eat more of it than I should while still keeping my carb count in line...this could be stalling me. But on the other hand, it makes my eating plan more sustainable. Hmmm...I am thinking that when I reach my goal weight, I will incorporate a wider range of foods, be more 'primal' than I am now, basically because I am still in that weight loss phase and only half way to goal.

      Anyhow, great to talk to another diabetic who eats this way! I really think it is best for us!

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think dairy will do you any harm, as long as you have no issues with it and you stick to moderate amounts. I have several cups of coffee a day with heavy cream in them. Might be worth cutting it out for a week or two then introducing it again, just to check it agrees with you.

        Comment


        • #5
          How tall are you, OP?
          True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
          The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

          Comment


          • #6
            I am 5'7''

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by stardustshadow View Post
              HAre any of you diabetics who have had success with this program?
              I started this on August 13, 2009 after being diagnosed with type II diabetes. I weighed 397 pounds and my A1c was 8.1.

              I have not gone off the program even once since. I'm down to 310, my last A1c was 5.4, and I no longer need medication to keep my blood sugar nice and steady and low. I rarely ever go over 120 after eating anymore, and my fasting sugars hang out between 98 and 110. (As a nice side effect, my migraines, IBS and arthritis also disappeared like they'd never been.) I'd call that "success."

              So yes, it can (and should) be done. All diabetics should eat this way.
              Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

              Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


              Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

              My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Griff View Post
                I started this on August 13, 2009 after being diagnosed with type II diabetes. I weighed 397 pounds and my A1c was 8.1.

                I have not gone off the program even once since. I'm down to 310, my last A1c was 5.4, and I no longer need medication to keep my blood sugar nice and steady and low. I rarely ever go over 120 after eating anymore, and my fasting sugars hang out between 98 and 110. (As a nice side effect, my migraines, IBS and arthritis also disappeared like they'd never been.) I'd call that "success."

                So yes, it can (and should) be done. All diabetics should eat this way.
                Congratulations on your success! You should be proud of your diabetes control, that is amazing and awesome! So glad that Primal has helped you to achieve this!
                My numbers are also really good (A1c 5%) but I want to lose more weight. You have lost a lot and that is inspiring! Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  congrats on your progress !!!!

                  before I went primal I was weighing 340lbs with type 2 . within 3 months I was completley off all the medications . and have lost over 100 lbs in the last year.
                  so yes , it works !!!!! I eat a fair amount of dairy and it doesnt effect me , but everyone is different . you will need to experiment with that.
                  IMO what puts primal over atkins is that you eat whole , natural foods .
                  "Misfortune
                  can force you into doing things you should be doing anyway. Lessons
                  come from adversity. Anything can happen to anyone... You can find a
                  new lease on life - more meaning than you thought possible in simple
                  things... Let go. Live in the moment. Go forward". Christopher Reeve

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Popping it to say I was diagnosed Oct 15th, 2010 with an hba1c of 9.1%. Fasting BG is now 85-105, postprandial 2hr is under 100.

                    I keep my carbs under 50g daily, protein under 100g. Super sloth like too, atm.
                    Last edited by jandge; 01-06-2011, 09:45 PM.

                    Do yourself a favor and become your own savior.
                    Congenital Hypothyroid
                    CW: 225lbs SW: 245lbs

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by StoneAgeQueen View Post
                      First of all, WELL DONE.

                      I'm T1 and actually eat less than 50 carbs a day (usually much less). Atkins completely changed my life and the "real" Atkins isn't that different from primal, it's just since he died they sort of reformatted the diet and changed it so it includes loads of crap frankenfoods.

                      Do not up your carb intake. I still stick to Atkins levels of carbs, but I only eat primal foods. it's very important for T1 T2 diabetics and those with insulin resistance to stay low carb.

                      Fiona
                      My girlfriend and I started doing Paleo/Primal about two weeks ago (still working out the differences and which makes the most sense to us). She is type 1 diabetic. I wonder if you or some of the other users could help out with a couple of questions.

                      1a. What was the adjustment period like for you? She runs 3-4 times a week and has complained that her energy level has been low and this is causing her to struggle to finish workouts. She has said that her energy level otherwise has been fine, but not during workouts.

                      1b. Her blood sugars tend to decline as she's working out. Before the diet change, she would have to make sure that at the start of the workout, she was high enough to make sure that she didn't get too low by the end of the workout. How do you handle this? Do your blood sugars still tend to go down as you work out, or are they fairly stable.

                      2a. She also struggles sometimes with low blood sugars at other times, especially at night. Thus, her first instinct when this happens is to eat something carby to get her levels back to normal. What should she do when this happens? Obviously, it is dangerous to have blood sugar levels drop too low, so what to do in these instances is of particular concern.

                      2b. As more time goes by, should her body get used to the new diet and stop getting low blood sugars?

                      Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by yankfade View Post
                        My girlfriend and I started doing Paleo/Primal about two weeks ago (still working out the differences and which makes the most sense to us). She is type 1 diabetic. I wonder if you or some of the other users could help out with a couple of questions.

                        1a. What was the adjustment period like for you? She runs 3-4 times a week and has complained that her energy level has been low and this is causing her to struggle to finish workouts. She has said that her energy level otherwise has been fine, but not during workouts.

                        1b. Her blood sugars tend to decline as she's working out. Before the diet change, she would have to make sure that at the start of the workout, she was high enough to make sure that she didn't get too low by the end of the workout. How do you handle this? Do your blood sugars still tend to go down as you work out, or are they fairly stable.

                        2a. She also struggles sometimes with low blood sugars at other times, especially at night. Thus, her first instinct when this happens is to eat something carby to get her levels back to normal. What should she do when this happens? Obviously, it is dangerous to have blood sugar levels drop too low, so what to do in these instances is of particular concern.

                        2b. As more time goes by, should her body get used to the new diet and stop getting low blood sugars?

                        Thanks.
                        tell her to get dr berstein's diabetes books. that should answer all her questions. i can't believe her doctor hasn't told her how to treat lows. she should be treating lows with glucose tabs or some sort of natural fast acting sugar. but, fiona will have better paleo options i am sure. she has great knowledge for us type 1's.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by softthings View Post
                          tell her to get dr berstein's diabetes books. that should answer all her questions. i can't believe her doctor hasn't told her how to treat lows. she should be treating lows with glucose tabs or some sort of natural fast acting sugar. but, fiona will have better paleo options i am sure. she has great knowledge for us type 1's.
                          I didn't mean that she doesn't know how to treat lows, I meant how should she treat them within the context of a lower carb Paleo or Primal diet.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by yankfade View Post
                            I didn't mean that she doesn't know how to treat lows, I meant how should she treat them within the context of a lower carb Paleo or Primal diet.
                            oh, sorry! my bad. i think fiona uses tomato juice.....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've been low carb for a very long time now, I don't recall there being a difficult adjustment period, I just immediately felt better. Your girlfriend will need to do a low carb version of PB- 100g of carbs a day is too much for us. So for the time being, no fruit, no starchy veg, no chocolate etc. she should aim to eat like she's doing the Atkins induction, but with primal foods. yes, it's a limited diet, but if she wants to be healthy and complication free, she needs to do this. her energy levels etc will sort themselves out in time. i would cut back on the exercise until she gets used to the diet. Maybe try walking instead of running.

                              When she's eating low carb she shouldn't really be getting that many lows, and when she does they shouldn't be severe ones. The only time I get terrible lows is when I eat high carb which causes me to crash some hours later. Even exercise shouldn't cause bad lows. Eating low carb should stop this once she gets adjusted to it.

                              Yes tomato juice is great, eating very carby foods will only cause the same roller coaster blood sugar cycle.

                              If i can help with anything else don't hesitate to ask.

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