Need ideas to bring down sugar without insulin

Corrie Jo
By Corrie Jo Latest Reply 2017-05-14 18:04:27 -0500
Started 2017-02-20 00:42:21 -0600

Today I ate what might be healthy for a regular person, but was a disaster for me: 1c fiber cereal w/1c milk for breakfast; wheat toast w/jam, yogurt, milk for lunch. Two 60 carb meals. I was sick all afternoon. My doctor doesn't have me on insulin. I try not to mess up, but when I do, my only option seems to be waiting it out. Anyone know of non insulin ways to help blood sugar for when this happens?

25 replies

Vhm 2017-03-29 19:44:42 -0500 Report

It always depends on the person, but since you are asking, I can only add that if I ate all of the carbs that you are eating I'd probably be in the ER.

Cereal, milk, toast, jam, yogurt, more milk. I can't believe that isn't more than 60 carbs, but even 60 at a minimum will push many diabetics over the edge.

Find substitute foods without all the carbs. Eggs or meats for breakfast. Salad or veggie type leftovers. Ditch the dairy. Try unsweetened almond milk instead.

There are plenty of lower carb recipes out there including ideas on this site.

Good luck.

Stuart1966 2017-03-14 15:49:18 -0500 Report

Probably likely, but do not ASSUME everything is caused by diabetes without good proof, a problem is specifically diabetes. Stomach problems can be just that, not connected to diabetes at all.

Now that said, lots and lots of water, decaffeinated tea, ridicilous quantities of fluids almost anything that has zero calories or carbs will likely improve how you feel. To stretch out a tsunami of carbs/calories, fatty foods and lots of protein will inhibit the breakdown, the digestion and extend it over a longer period of time. Might not feel great, but loading more protein, fat when you do eat will interfere usually.

Pepper2017 2017-02-26 11:11:09 -0600 Report

I like the S Health app on my smart phone. There are many others out there and of course, those Fit Bits. What I do on my phone is put in everything I eat and drink in a day and it tells me the exact number of carbs, calories, fat, all I need to know. It helps me so much. I started doing that often a good while back, and I must say, it surpised me! I was always reading labels, counting carbs and everything, but once I started doing that, sometimes it was a real eye opener. There are web sites where you can enter in all info. too but I find it easier and quicker to do it on my phone.

Pepper2017 2017-02-26 11:07:21 -0600 Report

Try to ditch the cereals then and do a scrambled egg with something else, like a non fat greek yogurt with berries or small amount of fruit with it, greek yogurt is higher in protein that the other yogurts, nuts and seeds, and nuts in moderation but they are a healthy fat, I like those things for breakfast, or a hard boiled egg with maybe a low fat string cheese, or two egg whites scrambled I like to sometimes do one whole egg and one egg white. and I like to cook omelets too with veggies in them. These should be better.

w8chd 2017-02-22 20:53:42 -0600 Report

If you can attend diabetes management classes. The diabetes educator in mine had lots of good info. You can also talk to other diabetics in the class and get some very good ideas from them and their experiences.

Swimminggrandma 2017-02-22 06:19:18 -0600 Report

Yes count carbs not calories, no cereal at breakfast, I normally have bacon and eggs, or fix myself a nice ham and cheese omelet , if I get tired of that I go with berries ( they are lower in carbs than other fruits) and mix with a 1/2 of cottage cheese. Snacks are nuts and seeds or cheese. Meals are fresh raw veggies with ranch dip, or salad and then a meat of choice. Not really all that hard one you get off the carbs ! Exercise also does wonders ! Do something you enjoy, I have a friend come over to my house 3 mornings a week and we workout for about an hour, on pretty days I take about an hour long walk and in the summer I swim every day since I have a pool. Blood sugar in the mornings about 130-140, after a workout or walk around 100

WASHED OUT 2017-02-21 10:52:20 -0600 Report

It takes a determined amount of insulin for your body to operate correctly, either by the insulin you body makes or insulin added by injection. Insulin unlocks your body's cells so glucose can be used to power your body, and every living cell has to have it. There are these two ways, one includes doing a strict diet, medications that squeeze more insulin out of your pancreas and maybe fasting to make your body use insulin more effectively. You can increase your insulin sensitivity by using up your stored body energy, forcing the body to mimic a starvation mode otherwise it relies on what you eat for energy and stores the excess. That is strictly for the type 2 people. The other is for type 1.5 and type 1 which do not have the capability of making body insulin so it has to be injected. With some type 2 people they actually make more insulin than is needed, but they have become insulin resistant where it takes more to force glucose into the cells. High blood glucose in the body and overproduction of insulin levels burn out or turn off some of the beta cells in the pancreas to where they no longer produce insulin. Those that are burned out will never work again, those that are just turned off can again be turned back on by maintaining a normal level of blood glucose over a period of time. If a type 2 person has burned out to many of those beta cells they to will require insulin injections. That is the mechanics of insulin in the body, we all are at different individual stages of the process, which makes us different in what works for that individual. But there is a general consensus in all diabetic people which is low carb diet along with very limited sugars and starches in daily meals. I agree with those below, you cannot follow the ADA recommendation of carbs without you condition getting worse. That measure sets people up to fail always requiring more medication as your condition gets worse. Remember GPS= grains, potatoes and sugars all need to be restricted in the correct diabetic diet.

Corrie Jo
Corrie Jo 2017-02-26 13:27:46 -0600 Report

Very educational. I appreciate it. Printing your comment out for further reference.

cmr55 2017-02-20 16:43:14 -0600 Report

I think your carbs are too high. I would start a daily food diary test to see what your BS is before a meal and two hours later. You have to see what works for you.
I eat protein and fruit for breakfast. For lunch and dinner I have three ounces of protein half a plate of vegetables or 2 cups of salad and a fruit. I exercise 30 minutes a day. I try to keep carbs only 90 or less a day. Note I was on insulin for 3 1/2 years and have now been off 37 months. I also do fasting two times a week. If I followed the ADA diet of 35-45 carbs and two 15 carb snacks I would still be on insulin.

Corrie Jo
Corrie Jo 2017-02-26 13:29:56 -0600 Report

I think it would be helpful if I got on a more regular eating schedule similar to yours. I have five kids and my hubby to cook for and I tend to switch things up a lot. It's actually been good for everybody in the family since I became diabetic because I have been much more strict in having healthy foods around and not junk foods. That said, I like how you have a predictable menu. Congrats on getting off insulin :0)!!! That is awesome :0)!!!

WASHED OUT 2017-02-26 15:27:07 -0600 Report

Well five children and your husband may not be fond of the diet that will make you more healthy. My four children are all grown and left home to be on their own, they like their high carb high sugars and starches meals. My wife has been very supportive and actually likes the changes we have made, she says she even feels better eating this way. I can't imagine still having my children at home and trying to get by with this diet change, it wouldn't have gone over well. I went from a 13+ hbA1C to a 5.4 hbA1C using LCHF diet, so there is much that can be said for gaining control of one's glucose levels just by changing diet. I did use intermittent fasting at first and was having some success getting off medications until my body changed. Was always having to change medications and chasing controlled glucose numbers. We figured out this was different and not the typical type 2 diabetes. I was diagnosed with Type 2 only to learn later that I actually was a type 1.5 LADA, you see my body was attacking my beta cells and no longer could make enough insulin. Test showed I was positive for the markers of the autoimmune diabetes and my body had a declining body produced insulin. I had to go back to injecting insulin to maintain control. My family history also showed genetic insulin dependent family members. Some of the research I have read suggest that 10 % of those diagnosed with Type 2 actually were type 1.5 . It can take from a few weeks to 6 years for the body to destroy all the insulin making beta cells in the body, this is the same as a type 1 only a slower adult version of diabetes. I am lucky to live in a time where glucose testing and insulins have greatly improved. My grandfather had to use the pee strips and older version of insulin. Those test strips were testing glucose levels many hours in the past before it is passed through the kidneys, not nearly as accurate as our test meters are today.

Corrie Jo
Corrie Jo 2017-02-20 14:50:44 -0600 Report

What I love about this site is that everybody is real. I've never had guidance on how to eat. I love that everybody tells the truth—"don't eat that". I'm working on it. I think I need to add up my carbs before I eat them—not after. I'd tend to mess up less that way :0). Thanks for all the good advice!!

MonsterToBe 2017-03-14 23:19:17 -0500 Report

Great piece of insight, and it echoes something I read somewhere that stuck in my mind. I'm another person who uses food logging to help manage carbs. I like MyFitnessPal because it has both a website and phone app, and being able to scan bar codes on my phone is easy enough that I can stick with logging. I can log a whole day's worth of food in advance and that makes the day go by easier for me because I don't have to figure out to eat right when I'm really busy.

Anyway, the thing I read that stuck in my mind was "Eat what you logged instead of logging what you ate." I think of it as my personal version of "Failing to plan is planning to fail." :o)

GabbyPA 2017-02-20 12:47:47 -0600 Report

Drinking water can help and so can a walk around the block or something like that if you are at work. Things like cucumber can bring levels down for some people.

haoleboy 2017-02-20 12:30:03 -0600 Report

if the question is how to reduce a single incident of high blood glucose then I'd say the best way is to avoid that which caused it. barring that, perhaps exercise might help.
are you testing before and after meals? it really is the only way to figure out what the issue really is. you say you were "sick all afternoon". what does that mean? looking at what you ate, besides being relatively high in carbs, it seems to have a lot of dairy in it. any chance that might be the culprit?
and now that you got me started … I'd argue that the meals were not healthy for a "regular" person … almost all the carbs were from processed foods (but that's just my take)

❤ eat as if your life depends on it

Corrie Jo
Corrie Jo 2017-02-20 14:53:13 -0600 Report

I think it was too many carbs combined with a virus that's been going around our house. Light headed, nauseous—all that. I tested my blood in the morning and at night. It was high at night. Still feel a little sick today, but just can't afford to be sick. Lots of work this week :0). Thanks for helping, it's so good to hear from people who practice what they preach.

MonsterToBe 2017-03-14 23:26:29 -0500 Report

It helps to keep in mind that when you're sick, your glucose levels will tend to go up anyway. That makes good food choices extra important, but also means don't freak out when you're sick and the numbers go up even when eating right!

suecsdy 2017-02-20 08:01:11 -0600 Report

Hi Corrie. Are you on any diabetes meds? There are so many besides insulin. My first suggestion would be not to eat that meal. It was carb heavy. I'm trying (not quite successfully) to keep my carbs at 90-100 a day. Cereal is off limits to me these days. I sure miss a big bowl of Wheat chex with a whole banana. Exercise helps when you've overdone it a little to much, even just walking. I always splurge a little on grocery day, but I know I will be doing lots of walking to balance it. Also, I've heard drinking a lot of water helps to flush your system. Good luck.

MonsterToBe 2017-03-14 23:33:55 -0500 Report

My carbs end up around there too, but my focus is on the carbs per meal rather than per day. My personal guideline is no more than 20 carbs per meal (not counting fiber), and no more than 10 sugars per meal. If most of the sugars are from sources like berries or snap peas or other veggies I'll let it go to 15 sugars in a meal. I don't necessarily have carbs at every meal, but I do have protein at every meal.

It might sound like a lot of work to approach it that way, but as I mentioned elsewhere in a comment in this conversation, I use my phone to log everything I eat so it's actually really easy for me.

Corrie Jo
Corrie Jo 2017-02-20 11:04:06 -0600 Report

I wasn't thinking. Learning as I go. Exercise… Hadn't thought to do it immediately. Thx for all of your good advice.

Type1Lou 2017-02-20 07:53:04 -0600 Report

IMO, you are eating way too many carbs. Cut back on the carbohydrate grams and you should see better BG results. I limit myself to around 110 total carb grams per day, but, I am a Type 1 and on an insulin pump. Many Type 2's here have been able to better manage their diabetes by severly reducing their carb intake and also, for many, intermittent fasting enables them to increase their body's insulin sensitivity. Hopefully, they'll chime in.

Next Discussion: Apple cider vinegar »