By Dean0868 Latest Reply 2012-09-26 12:15:40 -0500
Started 2012-06-25 19:49:48 -0500

I know some people may find this offensive and all I can say is that I'm sorry and that this post does not come from a place of malicious intent. Ok, here goes.

After coming across a few posts in regards to managing diabetes by severely restricting carb intake, I felt the need to talk with a couple of doctors, a diabetes education nurse, and a diabetes nutritionist. All four medical professionals were not comfortable with a person allowing themselves 50 grams or less of carbs in his or her diet in order to manage diabetes.

I haven't figured out how to add a link to my posts yet while using my smartphone. Otherwise I would cite resources for anyone to look at.

I Googled "too few carbs" and found a lot of sound, clinical information.

I am only suggesting that if you are consuming a minimal amount of carbs, take a look at some of this information. If there is any clinical information that proves that a person can live a sustained, healthy life while consuming 50 grams or less of carbs, I would like to see said information. I will be more than happy to admit that I am wrong if that be the case.

One last thing. It struck me while researching this that a person living this sort of extreme diet is in fact not managing their diabetes. Diabetes is managing you.

With concern and love,

117 replies

Degibu 2012-09-25 08:33:51 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with DMII in January of 2010 and have limited my carb intake to approximately 50 grams daily and have lost weight, feel wonderful and my glucose readings are in the area of 95 - 110, daily. The doctor I work for had a mother who was diabetic for over 50 years, who also limited carbs who lived an extremely healthy life until she passed at over 90 years of age. Carbs do NOTHING but turn into sugar in your blood. Any doctor who does NOT tell you that isn't worth the office visit. It's a fact, plain and simple. The Atkins Diet was originally developed for the specific treatment of diabetics. Think of it this way. Your body has to burn something, daily, for energy, like your automobile burns gasoline. If you eat carbs, then your body burns them, but not before the carbs turn into sugar in your system. If you limit, or do away with carbs, your body has to burn something else, like fat, which can ONLY do a body good. This may sound disgusting, but I heard it on Dr. Oz, years ago. If your poop floats, then your body is expelling the fat that you take in, since fat floats on water. Each of us manages our diabetes differently, but I for one would NEVER go back to eating a lot of carbs. If I even eat more than a 1/2 cup of pasta (even whole grain) I guarantee my readings will be high. Sorry, but I couldn't disagree MORE with your statement that we are letting our diabetes manage us, instead of managing our diabetes. This disease, along with others, ie hypertension, high cholesterol, call for limiting certain things in our diet. If we don't do that, and only rely on medication, as I've seen MANY patients do, then we'd all be in for a world of hurt later down the line.

terrilynnmerritts 2012-09-23 21:08:13 -0500 Report

I weighed over 340 pounds when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I used a low carb vegetarian diet to lose weight and keep my carbs low. I am far healthier than I ever was and there is nothing extreme about it. I eat quite luxuriously and do not count or worry about calories. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal now, my glucose numbers are great, and I do not need insulin. I do walking for exercise.

The Atkins Diabetes Revolution book can tell you medically why this works. The New Atkins for A New You with vegetarian and vegan options for weight loss and for lifetime maintenance show you how it is done. A lot of people mistakenly think that Atkins is just meat or just the first stage. Not so. It has 4 stages from Induction (the lowest carbs) to On-going Weight loss (more carbs) to Pre-Maintenance and then to Maintenance.

I have know about my diabetes for a decade. This works for me. If I have too many carbs, I get spikes and even one spike hurts your body. Carbs are what cause them. Each medical professional has his or her own favorite approaches and each will cite those beliefs. All I know is what actually works, not just for me but for others. Incidentally, Atkins only calls for less than 50 carbs in the weight loss parts of the diet- Induction and OWL (ongoing weight loss). For pre-maintenance or maintenance, you might have 70-90. All I can say is that the people going to the Atkins clinics find that it works for them and I, who have medical exams and full physicals each year, find that in 10 years of daily use, it works for me and I am managing my diabetes, not the other way around and am very healthy at age 53.

Nick1962 2012-09-24 08:05:43 -0500 Report

Congratulations on all your progress! While I wasn't quite at that weight (this time around), I did have a mess to lose and did following an "Atkins-like" diet. I am maintaining now at 70 or under carbs and everything (BG's, blood pressure, cholesterol, trigs, etc) is well managed.

nola6651 2012-09-23 13:27:45 -0500 Report

I have been a diabetic since 2008. After I went to a class about carbs and I realized what they meant to my blood sugar I cut my carbs down as low as I could get. I usually eat between 8 to 12 carbs per meal and snack, my A1C is usually around 5.7 to 5.8. I feel great and have no problem with this amount of carbs, and my Dr is happy with my control.

whitefawn1960 2012-09-23 12:20:40 -0500 Report

I have been diabetic since 2006. Until 6 months ago I would have thought it was crazy that I was not eating enough carbs. I'm chronically overweight so I've been loosely following the Atkins diet and minimizing my carb intake. I was not losing any weight, and in fact put on 10 pounds over the last 8 months. I finally broke down and went to see the dietitian in my endocrinologist's office and she told me I wasn't eating enough. I thought she was crazy!! She suggested I start a log book of EVERYTHING I ate (which I did) and she told me to eat 1200 calories a day, no exceptions and to exercise as much as I could. I've followed her advice for 1 week and I've lost almost 5 pounds!!! I guess I was making my body think I was starving it, but whatever it is, its working now!!

Scharizie 2012-09-23 10:34:39 -0500 Report

Having been to a diabetes education seminar, I was told that we could have 90 grams of carbs a day. That amounts to 7 servings of 15 grams each. I usually stay well below this and feel much better. I am on 3 oral meds and 1 injection of Lantus per day, and my last A1C was 5.9, which my doctor said was to low. Any thoughts?

fancyfree 2012-09-23 09:49:22 -0500 Report

What about those of us who are UNDER WEIGHT & trying to gain? All of this is very good info for those who are trying lose weight & keep their numbers under control. But is not much help when trying to keep numbers under control & gain weight. The nutritionist told me 40-50 carbs per meal, but I don't think she really ever looked at me.

lacat87 2012-09-25 14:35:08 -0500 Report

hi fancyfree and i too am trying to gain weight. i was told initially after my surgery to remove my pancreas and had the left over good islet cells transplanted in my liver to eat 60 grams of carbs per meal. i told them that was too much food for me at one meal. so the number was reduced to 45 gms per meal. that is much easier to follow but i do have trouble getting that many carbs at meals, especially for breakfast. don't like to wake up and eat! not ready for that at breakfast, but i do the best i can. i'm maintaing my weight but not really adding any more. i believe it's just as much of a struggle to gain and it is i'm sure as to loose weight. do you have any suggestions that you use to gain weight? my dietian told me to eat more protein. i have found that doing that gives me more energy!

fancyfree 2012-09-25 15:16:01 -0500 Report

Hi Lacat87, I found that I have to wait at least an hour, after I get up to eat breakfast. I have been eating steel-cut oatmeal with blueberries, (1 cup) with (oh no!), 1/2 & 1/2 & little glass of milk , to wash the metformin down. That gets me to 60 gms. But lunch & dinner are a little harder, & my snacks are mostly low/no carb snacks. I think I'm going to have to see a nutritionist about this. I know for a fact that it is just as hard for us to gain as it is for others to lose. Glad that you are maintaining your weight. Have you tried adding just a few more carbs to each meal? That is what I'm doing at lunch & dinner. Oh yes, I only weigh once a week, on the same day of each week.

lacat87 2012-09-25 15:30:48 -0500 Report

I''m also obsessed with checking my weight almost everyday! And I check it at end of day because in the morning I'm too depressed to see what it is.

fancyfree 2012-09-25 15:50:22 -0500 Report

I was told, by a doctor, that the worst thing you can do is weigh often. In fact that is true no matter if you are trying to gain or lose. I am thinking of only weighing every 2 weeks. You can't possibly see a difference that soon. I was a smoker, (4 pks a day), years ago & finally quit. My weight shot rite up to 175 & I felt awful! I didn't have the pain to slow down my eating. Does your doc give you any reason for the pain? I'd be looking for answers on that problem, & then a way to fix it.

lacat87 2012-09-26 12:15:11 -0500 Report

First congrats on quitting smoking! 4 packs a day would kill me!! Literally. My pain is called phantom pain. Even after over 21/2 years I still have it. My brain thinks I still have a pancreas and sends signals by nerves to that area that there is a problem. The same as if someone lost a leg, arm, hand, etc. They will have phantom pain. My surgeon told me of a experiment where a person who lost an arm held up a mirror as if to show the brain that the arm was still there and the patient's phantom pain went away! Amazing, right?! I don't know how I could get the same results with my phantom pain! Put a picture of a pancreas on my belly and put a mirror in front of me to trick my brain?! ha ha! I even asked if he or someone other doctor could cut the nerve to stop the pain and he said no. Bummer! Probably had a good laugh with staff with that one!! Desparate times calls for desparate questions.

lacat87 2012-09-25 15:27:57 -0500 Report

I also believe the reason I have trouble gaining weight is I have pain before/after meals that makes it harder to first want to eat and continue with eating. I've had this chronic pain since my surgery. In fact, I've had to slightly increase my pain meds. I've told my surgeon, who I still see every 3 months, and he is good with this decision. I've recently quite smoking and thinking it will help me gain weight, but the pain is winning with this! I have to make myself eat and have 3 meals a day. I do have snacks but there again will have pain after eating. Doesn't matter what I eat…will get pain :(

nikeone 2012-09-22 12:43:45 -0500 Report

Hi there Alisa,

I think you should read the Longevity Diet, there are decades of research backing the book about the benefits of calorie restriction (CR). Also watch this documentary based on the CR research:
CR is the future, not just for diabetes, but chronic illnesses like hypertension, heart disease, cancer etc

TrulyParrots 2012-09-22 12:16:17 -0500 Report

I am a type 2 diabetic who severely restricts my carbs. Not for my diabetes though. It's because I had gastric bypass and carbs should be restricted. I keep my carb load below 50 most days. Having had gastric bypass, I have been taken off of 12 different medications including 3 insulins. I only take metformin once a day. When I go over my 50 grams of carbs a day, I'm sluggish. 50 and under works for me!

jim healthy
jim healthy 2012-09-22 12:13:22 -0500 Report

There is no such thing and an "essential carbohydrate." Fats are essential. Protein is essential. But humans can get along without any carbs in the diet. The body will create the glucose it needs from fats, protein, and ketones. That said, I wouldn't choose a no-carb diet. But I'd rather feed by body complex carbs, such as veggies and fruits — rather that refined carbs which readily spike blood sugar and insulin. Bu that's me.

elizag1 2012-09-22 11:53:56 -0500 Report

I believe if your trying to lose weight carbs. should be no more than 45 per meal.
If you like to eat alot than it will be more than 45 per meal and, that is a personal choice. It is hard because food is so good isn't it!

lewiston262 2012-09-22 13:12:38 -0500 Report

After reading Dean0868 remarks I was under the impression that he was referring to 50gr carbs per day, not meal.
Am I the only one?

samarie 2012-09-22 13:42:34 -0500 Report

No. I thought it was 50 gr a day. I can't imagine 50 gr a meal.

samarie 2012-09-23 09:00:21 -0500 Report

I'm low carb for the diabeties and also to lose weight. When I quit smoking and had thyroid problems I gained weight, then came the "You are diabetic" It's a big circle!! :)

olefart2 2012-09-23 10:48:33 -0500 Report

I don't really go for the low carb diet because I'm lucky enough to have an insulin pump so I can really lead a somewhat "normal" life. It is wonderful to eat whatever you want program the pump and your done! Change infusion site once evey 2-3 days instead of 5-6 shots a day :)

samarie 2012-09-23 12:17:33 -0500 Report

Yeaaa oldfart, that is great !! I was doing diet and limited exercise and that was good.
But just a little rise in the level and now am taking glucophage, 500mg twice a day. Just started that so will see how that works.. thanks :)

lewiston262 2012-09-22 14:03:32 -0500 Report

Well . . . me either, but when you read some of the above statements you will see, per meal, after a large amount of carbs.

Nick1962 2012-09-22 14:14:03 -0500 Report

No, he did mean 50 grams per day. We had other discussions regarding extreme low carb diets like I had been on early on, which basically was like the stage one Atkins diet where you eat less than 35/day to try to get into Ketosis. So called normal carb itake per day is 100-150 grams, but after living on les than 50/day most days now for 5 years, I'd get sick on all those.

ozthewizard 2012-09-22 11:46:22 -0500 Report

My nutritionist told me that if you are trying to lose weight and are diabetic you should limit your carb intake to about 40-45grams of carbs each meal. If not dieting, carb intake can be up to 60grams each meal. Snacks during the day should be about 20-30grams each snack, up to three snacks a day.

spiritsmith 2012-09-22 16:01:11 -0500 Report

wow, I hope others realize their carb intake is an individual need…I would weigh 300 lbs if I ate over 200 carbs a day. I gain weight if I eat over 60 carbs a day so each person has to figure out what works for them. and my carbs have to be fruits and veggies or I gain. isn't health our concern???? cannot fathom ANYONE eating all those carbs unless you are exercising hours each day.

Young1s 2012-06-29 06:46:48 -0500 Report

I want to agree with you (in a way) and Gabby. When i first heard about people eating so few carbs, I too thought no way this is healthy. But consider the source of nutrients and yes it can be. More so than what we eat too.

If you are starving yourself to meet a minimum requirement, then no…not healty. But if it is balanced meals of good carbs, fats and proteins ( in the right doses for the individual) then why not?

I personally, cannot see myself eating so little carbs but that's me. I have, however, cut down my carb intake from about 150 (think that's right) to about 100-110, depending on the day and the meals. I don't feel like I'm lacking in any way. Nor do I feel starved for food.

It's all a matter of (like Gabby said) finding what works for you. Not suggesting you try it, but don't knock it. All we can do is what's best for our individual selves.

Type1Lou 2012-06-28 15:28:12 -0500 Report

Sorry Alisa…I understand your caution but I choose to follow a low-carb diet because it enables me to better manage my blood sugars and live a healthier life without developing those nasty complications of diabetes. Depriving myself of carbs is a price I am willing to pay. By your logic, you would claim that an alcoholic who no longer drinks alcohol is not managing his condition but is being managed by it. (?!?) Did your research include reading Dr Richard Bernstein's book "Diabetes Solution"? If not, I would suggest that you do so. A type 1 diabetic himself, Dr. Bernstein pioneered the low-carb approach to management of our diabetes. He and his patients are a living testament that it works. Of course, there are "experts" who will disagree…no one has all the answers. We must find what works for us through diligent research and experimentation.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-28 11:38:46 -0500 Report

Dean I think that depends on each individual. I am allowed sixty carbs per meal. I don't eat that many carbs for any meal. I am good with 40 carbs or less for each meal or snack. I base my carbs on my activity for the day and my numbers. If I am going out after a meal, I eat more carbs for that meal and take a snack with me. If I am not going to be very active then I stick to what I would normally eat because I won't be using a lot of energy.

I think some of the people who write these articles may not be diabetic. If so then they might change their opinions based on their numbers and what works or doesn't work for them. My doctor has no problem with how many carbs I eat as long as it keeps me healthy and that is what is important to many of us.

As biker said, diabetes is not one size fits all. What works for him and you might not work for me or anyone else. This is why I don't take to heart what is written in an article. I file it away for later use if I find the information useful to me.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-28 07:25:34 -0500 Report

This discussion has been great, like Set apart has just pointed out.. I think what it has brought out.Is what we all already knew. We are all different and we need to keep an open mind on what ever treatment we choose in dealing with our diabetes. There is no one size fits all for us.
I know what is working for me at this time.When the time comes that I am no longer comfortable with the results I will move on to plan B.
They say life is a learning experience, that is doubly true for all of us

Set apart
Set apart 2012-06-28 06:18:28 -0500 Report

This is what I love about DC MOST discussions can be a learning experience. I am on a very low carb diet up to 30 g per meal. My d educator/nutritionist agrees that if it works for me I am okay. I am comfortable with a slice of toast 10 g, boiled egg and 1/2 apple 15 g for breakfast. I like others here usually select whAt I am going to eat based on numbers. I will take fast acting insulin only if needed. If I want a bit more carbs will eat and take insulin as needed. I believe it's all about balance and choices, this is what works for me and I have had no difficulty in any areas. I do believe that carb choice should be healthy, fresh fruit, whole grains, etc. I don't eat any carbs such as white breads, sugar, pastries, etc which will raise my BG levels.

jigsaw 2012-06-28 07:54:28 -0500 Report

You my dear lady, have cut out alot of processed junk foods of which many if not most are harmful. Good choice!

Set apart
Set apart 2012-06-28 09:06:49 -0500 Report

It hasn't been too hard, I love fresh fruit and when I can have some as far as my carb intake I LOVE IT!

Nana_anna 2012-06-27 15:57:50 -0500 Report

All said here, is great to know. I found another source of information that might help some of us to understand carbs. I for one, am still studying on this issue. But, I wanted to add my in put. I have very limited movements, when it comes to exercising. So I can't do it all the time. If I get in three days of good sweating I have had a very good week! I am following the Mediterranean-style diet, as mentioned in this article. It has worked out so far so good for me. I have lost weight with little or no exercise. Here is the website:

arsmithsr 2012-06-27 13:39:13 -0500 Report

And the winner isSSSSS !!! Some of both. According to an article out today about research on diet the have found limiting carbs period IE Atkins is bad for the heart. Limiting fat is also bad and has limited effects in keeping wieght down. BUT if you limit simple carbs replace with complex carbs that is the right mix. I believe that the low fat is erroneouse in most cases and the low sodium is also proving wrong. I thikn that in a few years that they will all come to the conclution that hte demonizing of fat and salt was a serious error and encouraging the high simple carb diet was the problem all along. I believe that the comleax carbs and fewer of them than we are used to will be the right answer. Now I do not have cholesterol or high blood pressure issues either so that has alot to do with me answers here. My wife had high cholesterol but we started using Olive oil for every thing and the problems took care of themselves. One simple change she had a cholesterol over 400 now normal!

spiritsmith 2012-09-22 16:06:57 -0500 Report

well, any article is judged by the intelligence and research knowledge of the writer and in fact, far too much research shows that IE Atkins is far better for the heart. watch your cholesterol and triglicerides fall when you eat fewer carbs. nuff said.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-28 11:46:04 -0500 Report

arsmith I agree with you. I switched to sea and kosher salts. A co-worker with heat problems uses the same salt. She said her cardiologist said the body still needs salt with iodine. I asked my doctor and he agreed. He said using regular salt once a week should be enough.

I have to get use to olive oil because I get a tingling sensation around my lips when I eat it. I can use it in products for my hair with no problem. I have been trying to use it for cooking and I love the flavor it gives some foods.

arsmithsr 2012-06-28 15:37:24 -0500 Report

Canola is the next best thing it is good for cholesterol to without the flavor of Olive oil. It gets low nutrition scores in the stores because it is fat. Again I think that fats in many cases are wrongly demonized.

Caroltoo 2012-06-27 12:37:30 -0500 Report

I think there may be a missing piece to this discussion: that of timing.

I, as Nick, James, Stu, and others, do eat a low carb diet and have found it to be very successful. I maintain my good health without medications through the use of diet, exercise, and stress management. I am 67, so like Stu, may not have another 16 years, but I've lived with D for 10 years now and am much healthier than I was before I was diagnosed. I'm definitely not loosing my brain function, in fact just returned to work in a very challenging mental health position, which is a bit unusual for a person of my age.

Where I see the low carb function for us all, is in the first few years of D during which time we are striving to reduce/control/reverse our insulin resistence and reestablish some level of normalcy in our pancreatic function. After that is achieved, I have found I can eat more carbs and not upset the balance.

I don't know if I would be able to do this if I were to eat them on a daily basis, but I know I can eat more a couple days a week and see no effect. At this point, it feels like a choice to me: to eat more or less or stay the same. Personally, I'm opting for less as I am, like Nick, moving towards a more Paleo style of eating and exercising, but it will remain to be seen whether or not this works for me. If it doesn't, I will adjust yet again. I see health, not a diet, as my goal.

I suspect we tend to be too all or nothing in our thinking process and rush to judgement. Rather than see low carb or high carb as right or wrong, we should think more in the context of a continuum of treatment options that we adjust as we move along a pathway to increased health.

For me, the take-away from many of these discussions is to remain very aware of what my body needs and to adjust as I need to, so that I can remain healthy, while still sharing information that may offer others choices as they move down their individual path to good health.

Watercoloureeve 2012-06-27 10:00:20 -0500 Report

I was told by a CDE at the Joslin in Boston that eating below 130 carbs a day would affect the brain function. So I have always been careful to get approximately that many. I have also heard that keeping the body in a state of Ketosis is very hard on the liver and other organs. Any thoughts?? I am very interested in this discussion as food is a difficult (an understatement!) for me :>) respectfully, Watercoloureve

Type1Lou 2012-06-28 15:36:08 -0500 Report

I have been eating no more than 120 grams of carb per day and can still solve the Sunday New York Times Crossword puzzle…most of the daily puzzles I can do do in pen without erasure…so I don't think my lower carb diet has affected my brain function. My liver and kidney function is great, even after 36+ years as a Type 1.

spiritsmith 2012-09-22 16:08:44 -0500 Report

wow, 120 carbs would kill me…and 50 carbs daily gives me plenty of brain power…actually I am more alert and not lethargic like carbs make you feel.

Type1Lou 2012-09-23 11:51:18 -0500 Report

Actually, I would no doubt achieve a better A1c with a lower carb intake. My last one was 6.9 and I would prefer to get it into the lower 6's. Something to continue to work on…I think it's grand that you can limit yourself to 50 carbs per day since eliminating the carbs is not easy! Good for you!

Watercoloureeve 2012-06-28 16:29:05 -0500 Report

I am clearly getting the idea that I must do more research on this topic. Thank you for the feedback and the stories of your good health! :>)

Nick1962 2012-06-27 10:50:57 -0500 Report

I've certainly not experienced any brain loss. If anything I've improved. I get full blood panels every 6 months and there has been no evidence of ketosis, and liver function is exactly where it should be. I've been low carb for 4 years. Organ function is taxed when you have no good control, so if there is any truth to what you've been told, it certainly isn't evident in me, and there are some here that are even stricter than i am.

Watercoloureeve 2012-06-27 11:13:32 -0500 Report

That is really interesting and I am glad to hear of your good test results! I have much to learn as I tend to be a "reluctant" learner. Thanks for your response.

Nick1962 2012-06-27 12:16:16 -0500 Report

Well, I won't say it's not true (I'm hoping it's not), or that it won't happen. I just haven't seen any evidence.

Watercoloureeve 2012-06-27 15:52:43 -0500 Report

I will try to find out more about what I had heard and will let you know as soon as I do. I am of the school that "if it works…etc." I will post later…:>)

jayabee52 2012-06-26 23:18:14 -0500 Report

Alicia I'd like to see your "sound clinical information" and the sources thereof. What one person sees as sound information, may be not sound to someone else. So please provide your sources.

jigsaw 2012-06-26 19:56:22 -0500 Report

I was on a low carb diet of approximately 50 to 60 grams per day for 16 years. I took blood tests every 3 mos, and my results were superb in every area. Back in 2009/2010, I argued the pros right here on DC ! Many people, unlike members today, disagreed with the idea of various low carb diets like the Atkins Diet. So now it's the other way around. There was a time that like many on this site currently, I felt very strongly in favor of 50 to 60 grams of carbs per day.

Not any more ! After 16 years of 50 to 60 grams of carbs per day, I began to have some health problems with unclear causes. The opinions of my doctors varied, and didn't help. Funny thing, my dietician took a strong stance against my low carb diet and said her food plan would eliminate and reverse my recently developing health issues. I felt adamantly that she was incorrect. Against my own judgement, I followed her advice. Well, she was correct ! I have increased my carb intake substantially, reduced my insulin resistance, and in turn reduced my carb sensitivity. So Dean0868, I believe you have some valid points to be considered.

I know there is a strong predisposition here by quite a few to be in favor of a 50 to 60 grams of carbs per day. Most of these individuals have not lived with diabetes or a 50 to 60 gram carb diet for 15 or 20 years ! Also, none of us for the most part including myself, are really qualified to say they have discovered the correct answer. Logic, and what appears to make sense to the layman can be, and often is dangerous. I will concede that for many people that previously failed to successfully manage their diabetes, will be initially better off with a very low carb diet. The long term is questionable however.

I have found an endocrinologist that employs a team of diabetic specialists. They are definitely not perfect, and I don't agree with everything they say! I am convinced that in general, their advice is good, and it helps. They are the biggest influence for me with managing my diabetes. I also have a primary care physician that has diabetes himself.

So, I really don't know who is most accurate here and who isn't. For that matter, I don't think the majority of members here know either. My opinion is, it's probably best not to be to opinionated !!!

I'm obviously not about to win the popular vote, but that is only the tip of the iceberg, and more importantly my honest beliefs…

Nick1962 2012-06-27 10:11:22 -0500 Report

Your opinion is not to be opinionated jigsaw? Would that not automatically make you opinionated?
Is that like the old Rush lyric “if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice”?
Kidding aside, you do raise a very valid point which I’ve been thinking about. Here’s why;
The results of my last PCP visit were good. Even though my A1c was up a bit, many other things were down from 6 months ago. I should be pleased with this.
I haven’t made any changes in the last 6 months that should have warranted my cholesterol or Anion-Gap improving. I’ve pretty much stopped losing weight and consider myself to be “maintaining” at this point. This begs the question(s); is this an “anti-cumulative” thing where these just take time to reach an equilibrium and at some point level off? Or, because of my diet, will these continue to fall to a point where I am in fact slowly killing myself? I can’t go back to my old ways and still maintain a good BG, and gaining weight at this point would be just as detrimental to my health, so I have to watch that also. It is indeed an experiment, and like I replied to old biker below, my point in life will always change so the parameters of this experiment will too.

jigsaw 2012-06-27 15:19:39 -0500 Report

In my opinion, ooops! I slipped up. I think many of us are experimenting to different degrees. So for all of us that are astute to their situation, there will be changes including their experimentation. Obviously as I have mentioned, I have gone through numerous changes with meds, diet, and exercise over the years. It's an ever evolving and developing situation. That's why I think it best to remain fluid in ones thinking. It's is probably best to find a doctor or RD who's thinking you can include to an extent, in your decisions with managing your diabetes and diet when possible. I am referring to the people that take matters entirely into their own hands , but are not qualified to do so. It is very easy to misconstrue much of what is being said in many of these discussions.

Also, as a point of interest, there are some important differences to highlite! Some of the members here were very overweight and lost a great deal of weight. This in itself would play a very substantial role in their diabetic mgmt and perceptions about it. I was never more than a few pounds overweight, so losing weight was never a big part of the equation for me. There are some suspected differences chemically speaking between an overweight PWD and one who is not overweight also. I did submit an article on the subject a couple of months ago.

Anyway, this is all a matter of conjecture which is why it is even more important to utilize professional medical personnel with all aspects of ones diabetes.

Nick1962 2012-06-27 15:48:29 -0500 Report

There you go opinionating again.
I agree about this being a fluid process, age throws so many variables at you it’s sometimes hard to differentiate what’s D related and what is simply you getting old. This is also one of the reasons I’m careful about sharing my diet – it may be perfectly fine for a FOG (formerly obese guy) like me, but totally innapropriate for a 65 year old wheelchair bound female with COPD or an active teen – the nutrition just isn’t there for them. And yes, you are right that body chemistry is different, so that is just one more variable.
Having health care professionals that can offer quality advice is definitely a help, but there again because of their time and our money constraints, often it’s just very generic when given. That’s what’s nice about DC here – even without giving advice, we can at least give people things to ask their doctors about that they themselves may not have known to ask. Like the original post here – is it damaging to be on a low carb diet. I bet a lot of people here worked the Google thingy to find out, and got some education.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-27 12:57:19 -0500 Report

I was just wondering nick and I am in no means endorsing anything in this book..That's up to the reader to decide. If you have read Dr Bernsteins Diabetes Solution..The good Dr who is in his 70's and has been a T1 since age 11 talks about his 6 carbs for breakfast 12 for lunch and 12 for dinner plan..It is real interesting reading if nothing else..If you have the time, check it out. I'm sure you will enjoy his point of view's and what his patients have to say about the results. The diet is to extreme for my liking..But apparently him and his patients are thriving on 30 carbs a day

Nick1962 2012-06-27 13:49:41 -0500 Report

Yes, I’ve read a lot of his stuff which is why I feel fairly comfortable doing what I’m doing. When I first started logging my BG’s and foods, I used his GlucoGraf data sheets. Of all the stuff I’ve read, his info makes the most sense to me and is in plain English. I have a difficult time restricting myself to his levels as well. I have tried, but for some reason it just didn’t work well with my system and I had problems with regularity. It may be something that has to be slowly worked into, but if I cut below 50/day I have energy issues and exercise suffers. I know one other person here who does cut to his level and she is in no way suffering.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-27 14:16:09 -0500 Report

OK..Like you I have modified his plan to fit me..I have 2 lists based on his book..What I should never eat and what I can eat..My meals are centered around that list.

Nick1962 2012-06-27 14:51:28 -0500 Report

Thats primarily what i do also. I didn't try to restructure my old diet to fit. Basically it's protein and vegetable, they just change type each meal.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-27 07:33:02 -0500 Report

So are you now saying that now you think that you could of obtained those same superb results that you enjoyed for 16 years on your present diet..With out making any adjustments to your medication..Or maybe your health issues were brought on by a change in your body's metabolism..I'm just curious I'm on a low carb input..But at my age I don't think I have to worry about 16 yrs down the road :-)

jigsaw 2012-06-27 19:16:51 -0500 Report

Here are a couple of links concerning low carb diets: I'm waiting for the fireworks to go off, and it's not the Fourth of July ! I love fire works ! Check these out!

old biker
old biker 2012-06-28 07:04:06 -0500 Report

I don't Know I'll be the first to admit it..Those studies could be dead on..BUT at this point in my life I am a skeptic of all studies..The first thing I ask myself, where did the money come from to fund this study? Like I said studies are a numbers game and are subject to interpretation.
It always amazed me how two groups of so called experts can do the same tests get the same results and interpret them in two totally different ways.
It happens every day in medical malpractice suits and criminal trails..Every prescription drug that is approved by FDA comes with test results and studies showing how safe it is..Do I need to say more?

jigsaw 2012-06-28 07:17:16 -0500 Report

If experts can get these kind of mixed results, ( and I agree ) just think what laymen can do with interpretations! That my friend can be very scary !!!

Nick1962 2012-06-27 20:53:34 -0500 Report

I'll be the first to set one off! In the first article…

"Reddy et al., 2002[28] studied ten subjects consuming a low-carbohydrate high-protein (LCHP) diet over six weeks. The patients were found to have substantially increased calcium loss compared to their conventional diet among other negative health indicators. The authors conclude the following.
Consumption of an LCHP diet for 6 weeks delivers a marked acid load to the kidney, increases the risk for stone formation, decreases estimated calcium balance, and may increase the risk for bone loss."

Really? After 6 weeks of study? No diet is going to change your metabolic profile in just 6 weeks, and calcium has nothing to do with low carb. Low carb doesn't mean removing certain foods (like dairy) from your diet. It simply means that you retsrict your carbs to a certain level. This is a Wiki entry, and as such does not necessarily mean it is balanced or anything less than a collection of the negative reports/studies. If any of this is to be taken seriously as it is presented then i have only one suggestion. RUN! Because people like me, and the now 70 year old Dr. Bernstein as well as a few others on this site are all dead and either communicating with you from the grave or are zombies.

arsmithsr 2012-06-28 15:54:48 -0500 Report

Anyone can edit wikipedia it is NOT allowed to be used by schools or colleges as a source of information. It can be useful if they have cited sources and you back track and do the required reading. But that is true of all studies. 10 people over 6 weeks is not a real study. To small a sample. Those numbers are meaningless. I read a paper last year about how new groundbreaking studies all show a decrease in results with follow up studies. Basically they were saying you can take just about any drug trial or study the first study will say this is a miracle drug that will cure all ills and is the best thing since sliced bread!!! But all the studies done after start showing more and more negative results. This happens over and over again. Who pays for a drug study???? The Company that made the drug!!! What result do they want???? That the drug is great!! So they get what they pay for! There is Bias in every thing anyone says or rights,even here with us! We all have a bias a way we see the world and it shows in our attitudes you ultimately have to see you are an individual and so what works for you. The Dr can't and won't!

Nick1962 2012-06-28 16:22:40 -0500 Report

So true. I know there are vaild studies out there, jigsaw put one up. However, there again it involved like over 80,000 swedish women. Take into account that sweden doesn't have near the obesity issue the US has, or consumes a diet near as high in carbs as we do, the study was biased simply by sampling. Diabetics are easy to put on the back burner, we don't usually need immediate or ongoing intensive care, so we usually get left in a corner to play quietly by ourselves.

Nick1962 2012-06-28 08:17:48 -0500 Report

Here I will agree this has some merit and fact. I can personally attest that when you go on a low carb diet, or a paleo style diet, you do tend to increase protein, and it is usually in the form of higher fat meats and dairy. Protein requirements change with age and sex (women slightly lower except when lactating), so a LCHP diet does tend to push women beyond the recommended 17-21% intake of total from calories.

jigsaw 2012-06-28 07:08:50 -0500 Report

There are both pros and cons to be said for low carb diets! Some of the info is legit and some may not be accurate. The pros and cons could be argued till doomsday. As usual, there are also semantics involved such as when is a diet considered a low carb diet? I could play both sides of the fence, but that is not my intent. After all, I am on a low carb diet, but not as low carb as it use to be.

I posted these links for members to glean whatever info they wish, and reject what they choose to. It's simply a matter of food for thought, and an opportunity to examine both sides of the fence.

As you pointed out Nick1962, this is reason, stimulation, and motivation for those interested members to Google more in depth info on the subject. There is definitely some good sources of info in the links that I posted.

I'm not looking to have a p———g contest nor am I looking to influence anyone one way or another. I am trying to pose pros and cons and food for thought with various sources of info. This potentially makes for better informed decisions for all interested parties!

Nick1962 2012-06-28 08:06:47 -0500 Report

Agreed jigsaw, I’m not trying to have a contest here (least of all with you); I’m in it merely for the sake of debate.

What concerns me is some of the so called “expert” research is so over the top inaccurate, unscientific, or ill-conceived that it almost seems to be deliberately misleading. I read the abstract for the study I cited. Nowhere does it mention the age of the 10 subjects (just that they were “healthy”), what they were fed before and after, or activity levels. Just that urinary acid output increased and calcium balance decreased, then based their conclusion that it was due to carbohydrate restriction. This is like saying ice cream causes drowning. Yes, when ice cream sales go up, so do the incidents of drowning, but they are not directly linked. I’d submit that those acid and calcium changes were indeed due to a change in diet, but choosing different foods equally low in carbohydrates would change that as well, producing completely different results. The study was clearly conducted to fit the result.

I agree if the experts can’t even produce/interpret information consistently, how are we the laymen to? Well, I guess the only way we can (in light of lack of adequate information) is to try for ourselves like Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Ski Chilton have been doing. Like anything, there will always be naysayers who will go to their grave fighting causes right or wrong.

jigsaw 2012-06-28 08:28:39 -0500 Report

I'm with you on this one! I find these discussions and debates fascinating, stimulating and full of information. It's especially so with many of the thinking interesting members here on DC.

There are some experts that are more than likely correct. So I would think that it wouldn't hurt to research, choose and integrate their opinions and advice with our own experimentation and opinions for better or for worse. Hopefully for better!

Nick1962 2012-06-28 09:01:43 -0500 Report

Yes, it is good to get out and flex the brain muscles, thank you for that.
Making decisions on one's health is important, and you're right we do have to seek the right information to avoid potentially damaging results. And sometimes, the best ideas come from people that know the least about a topic because they are "unencumbered by the thought process".
Looks like we beat this one to death. Time to move on to a "happy thread". Any ideas?

jigsaw 2012-06-28 09:22:12 -0500 Report

Yeah, I'm taking my wife for a cruise down the intercoastal and maybe a little lunch!


jigsaw 2012-06-27 14:06:37 -0500 Report

The first 7 years from my diagnosis, I did not use meds. I succeeded in managing my diabetes with a low carb diet and exercise. Could I obtain the same results back then with the diet that I am on today ? Well, to be honest I can only speculate, since I can't go back in time and try it. I suspect that I would have done better back in time with my current diet.

Here is my logic very simply put. Years ago even though I was on a 50 to 60 gram low carb diet, I was not really aware of portion control. Today I eat much smaller portions then I use to, and I utilize portion contol emphatically ! Certainly my medication needs have changed as surely my metabolism has also. Interestingly, I was on a low carb diet of 50/60 grams throughout all my med changes. My ailments dissipated and completely disappeared with my current diet. Although I eat less quantity, I do eat a much greater variety of healthy foods that include more healthy carbs. There is little doubt in my mind that nutritionally speaking, I am a healthier person today. So as not to cause confusion, I still watch and restrict my carbs even though they have been increased or more specifically doubled. So, this is not to say that my metabolism was not playing a role, as most certainly it must have been. Prior to my current diet, I eventually became more carb sensitive which took years. For a while it seemed that I couldn't eat foods that previously had little if any effect on my bg.
With my current diet, carbs that I include are not a neg issue as long as I maintain appropriate quantities. I have actually reduced my meds recently too !

So were my health issues brought on by changes in my metabolism ? Very possibly ! Did my low carb diet complicate and make matters worse ? Very possibly ! Did the current diet that I am on as recommended by my nutritionist help ? Absolutely ! My ailments as already stated are gone. Obviously more carbs and better nutrition included in a healthier food plan has over come the cause of my ailments. More than likely, caused by a combination of the things mentioned.

Like Dean0868 has stated, I have also seen info from respectable sources, stating negatives about low carb diets, especially long term! I also posted articles to this effect. I will search for this info and post it when I locate it. Again, so as not to confuse the issue, I am not against low carb diets, but I do question a 50/60 gram carb diet. With one exception, I have never been told by any doctor that 50/60 grams per day is healthy. I have been told over and over that is not a good idea ! Could it be that 12 years or so of medical school and one becomes dumb. I think not. I just don't think that we layman know more and better than most docs. It's just a matter of finding the right doctor.

I'm not sure of your age, but I am 64 as of next month and heading toward my 19th year with diabetes. My health is still above average. I can still ride a Harley, haul in a large Tuna, make my wife smile, and do some other amazing things! I hope to continue for at least another 16 years and then some ! Maybe I'm dreaming, but if I am, that's ok with me.

jigsaw 2012-09-24 07:14:19 -0500 Report

This is true, and that's why it is best to see a nutritionist or a dietician to help with designing a food plan.

lewiston262 2012-09-22 13:19:12 -0500 Report

Jigsaw… your not dreaming!
I'm in my 60th year with T1 and very healthy.
There are folks with T1 for 75+ years. Seems to me that you will live as long as you would have had there never been a sugar issue. Of coarse this will only be true if you take proper care.

jigsaw 2012-09-22 14:16:02 -0500 Report

Thankyou lewiston 262! Your encouraging words are music to my ears. I enjoy positive statements backed by years of experience! I congratulate you for doing an excellent job of health mgmt.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-27 14:48:21 -0500 Report

And here I thought I was the only dreamer here..I have you beat by 2 years. I'm 66yrs old, I'll never run long distance again due to PAD in my legs brought on by 50 yrs of smoking..But I still ride with and set the pace for Bros half my age. Many Kudos on your life accomplishments and may all your dreams come true..Much health and good sailing on your journey through life

Nick1962 2012-06-27 09:23:12 -0500 Report

You bring up a good point that i should have addressed in my reply there O.B.
My dietary choices for me TODAY are done to fit my lifestyle TODAY. I'm 50, have a sedentary job, and live in an area where there is no stress from weather. 16 years ago I had a fairly physically demanding job, walked a mile to and from work (some days in below freezing temps) and 6 months out of the year had to shovel snow on a weekly basis. My nutritional needs were far different then, but considering I was living life at 260 lbs., I was still overdoing it.