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    appelsauce's Avatar
    appelsauce is offline Junior Member
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    Recommendations for a Type 2 Diabetic considering primal eating?

    Primal Fuel
    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. #2
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    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.

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    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...

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    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.

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    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!

  6. #6
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    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.

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

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    Quote 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.

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    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)

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    appelsauce's Avatar
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    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!

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