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    mr Miler's Avatar
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    Talking type 1 diabetic going primal

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    Hi,
    I have been diabetic for 18 years, mostly poorly controlled, with short bouts of control. last week I stumbled upon MDA and was on my way to eating primal, and have started some of the other habits like exercise. I would love to hear from other type 1 diabetics, or otherwise informed members about the subject, especially, how to convince my doctor its ok, and what I may need to do different than a non diabetic. my blood sugar has dramatically improved, but its not perfect, and my depression seams to be better as well. good to be here.

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    Insane Grok is offline Senior Member
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    well the biggest factor to tell your doctor is, you won't be eating things that spike your blood sugar and make you take insulin as much. My MIL is type one as well, i've only been able to keep her primal for about 3 months, then she just stops caring, not really sure why but during those 3 months, she lost some extra fat, gain a little muscle (it was hard for her to walk sometimes, but not after eating lots of meat) and she lost alot of her swelling. she didn't have as many spikes and dips either with her blood sugar.

    i know there is a group of type 1 on here and they can chime in with more first hand exp. but welcome and enjoy your new life

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    mr Miler's Avatar
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    Thanks,
    hopefully I can let the numbers do the talking, if my blood chemistry is good, and I feel better what else can she expect. as far as the group, I couldn't find an active one, but I think i'll do alright.

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    Hi, mr Miler ...

    I'm also T1 diabetic (24 years now, ugh), and I've just joined this forum. I tried going low-carb for 3 months last year (40-50 grams/day), but it didn't work very well for me. I think I ate too much protein, which resulted in delayed, difficult-to-cover blood sugar rises; I also wasn't getting enough carbohydrate to cover the amount of exercise I do. AND I just didn't find the food choices very appealing (I was loosely following the Richard Bernstein guidelines, which don't allow fruit or carby vegetables, and which also endorse a lot of crappy Spam-type meat products). After 3 months, my A1c had gone up, I hadn't lost any weight (I wanted to lose about 10 lbs.), and my thyroid was mysteriously out of whack. I went back to carb eating, almost with a vengeance.

    My motivation for "going primal" is mainly related to the nastiness of grains and my conviction that low-fat / high carb eating just isn't good for humans. This time around, though, I'm going to continue eating fruit and carby veggies (in moderation, and especially as fuel for exercise), and I'm going to work on keeping my protein consumption in check. I'll also be on the lookout for hypo- or hyper-thyroid symptoms.

    As far as dealing with doctors goes, I've found both my GP and my endo to be fairly openminded when it comes to therapeutic "alternatives." If one of them were to question my ditching of grains, I might consider showing her one of Mark Sisson's rants against grain, which are very well-written, or perhaps one of the peer-reviewed clinical trials that he refers to. In my experience, traditional dieticians seem to be the toughest nuts to crack, but I've stopped dealing with them!

    Anyway, congrats on the successes you've had with blood sugar control. Watch out for protein effects (which, for me, didn't really kick in until after a couple of weeks of low-carb).

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    apple's Avatar
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    Also a type 1 here. I have had the difficulties with excess protein too. this site has been huuuugely helpful for me:

    Calculate Your Nutrient Balance on a Ketogenic Low Carb Diet

    Because I don't think we need 1g protein per pound of lean body mass. I think the general .8-1g per kg ideal body weight will get you a number of grams of protein that will have smaller effects on your blood sugar. I had crazy problems eating even just 90g of protein a day, and have better blood sugars when it's closer to 60 or so.

    Additionally, I have found that if you're on an insulin pump, you'll want to do a combo bolus a lot. Try the TAG method to calculate how much protein you want to cover. This typically means count your carbs as normal, bolus immediately for 100% of carbs. Then count your protein, and cover 50% of it with the extended portion of your bolus. You'll have to experiment to see how long you'll need the extended portion going. So say you have 30g of carbs, and 30g of protein; and you use 1 unit per 15g carb. You need 2 units for the carbs, and 1 unit for the protein (1/2 the gram count). Because that protein converts to glucose. This has helped me a LOT. I haven't perfected it yet, but I've stopped seeing frequent 300+ blood sugars.

    Read Dr. Bernstein, but judge for yourself if it's worth it for you to follow to the letter. It has a lot of good concepts to follow, but not so practical for the majority of normal people. I liked it because it helped me verbalize the concept that I hadn't put together yet: if you eat high amounts of carb, and thus take high amounts of insulin, you are putting yourself at greater risk for terrible spikes and life-threatening low blood sugars. 2 units of insulin lowers my blood sugar by 100 points, which is definitely enough to kill me. A bowl of rice may require 10-15 units; a pretty wide range for very little variance in amount of food. So if I miscalculate and give myself 2 units too many, I could literally die. Alternatively, if I give myself 10 units but needed 15, my blood sugar will likely be ~400-450. Super BAD! But if I eat a bowl of salad greens with chicken, I need about 1-1.5 units. That .5 unit variance is enough to lower my blood sugar by 25 more points, enough to make me feel shitty but not enough to kill me. Follow? This is a REALLY good argument to give your more stubborn doctors, especially if you have a very wide range of highs and lows.

    There are a few of us hanging around the forums. I really enjoy eating this way even though I have my own slip ups from time to time. Sometimes it's depressing to read every one else's stuff and listen to things like "What I love best is not having to count calories/carbs/fat and I just lose weight like crazy and I feel amazing and blah blah blah" and I'm like "Wouldn't that be a f*@$%ing luxury." But I just try to roll with it. I've only been diabetic for like 1.5 years, and it's hard getting used to the idea that this is permanent, and I don't get to just find a cure and get over it. But I think I have been a lot less depressed about it since finding primal, and it takes quite a bit of guesswork out of whatever the hell it is I think I'm doing.
    Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

    2012 Goals:
    Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
    More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
    LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
    Play more!

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    Thanks for that detailed info, Apple, and for the link ... that's helpful.

    You certainly know more about the big D after 1.5 years than I did at that stage. Good job! Are you familiar with the work going on in Dr. Faustman's lab at Massachusetts General?

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    apple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primalbetic View Post
    Thanks for that detailed info, Apple, and for the link ... that's helpful.

    You certainly know more about the big D after 1.5 years than I did at that stage. Good job! Are you familiar with the work going on in Dr. Faustman's lab at Massachusetts General?
    No, I haven't heard of it! Just read over some of it though. I love the idea of using stem cells to cure it, because I think that will be our only way to go with the knowledge we have right now. The part about using stem cells from the spleen is AWESOME. I had previously only read about cures that would work if you still had at least a few functioning beta cells. So that discovery is wonderful, if it can create a lasting cure!

    I have hope for a cure in my lifetime, but not within the next 30 years at least. At least we aren't living with what we had 100 years ago, you know? Life could be a lot harder
    Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

    2012 Goals:
    Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
    More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
    LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
    Play more!

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    mr Miler's Avatar
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    Is that DR. Bernstein? The one who became a doctor just so he could learn how to control his sugar perfectly. I bought his book and read it in a day, I only lasted about 2 days on his approach.

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    mr Miler's Avatar
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    I have heard of some research into using stem cells from either sperm or egg cells, and that was exciting me a bit. Its even more exciting that this research is being done so close to home. I am currently being treated at UMass. I am really wanting to volunteer for the human trials on something like that.

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    mr Miler's Avatar
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    my 7 day average is 128, sometimes low, but rarely high, on just 25 units of lantus per day. I am going to meet with my doctor on the 9th to discuss the pump.

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