The Paradox of Diabetes Treatment

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Diabetes Treatment As there is currently no cure for the chronic, Diabetes mellitus – the emphasis must be on treatment and management to avoid complications. Please use this section to discuss how you carefully control and manage your Diabetes. Please let us know what is and isn’t working for you. Feel free to discuss all areas of treatment and management of Diabetes including diet, exercise, weight loss, insulin usage, oral drugs and more.


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The Paradox of Diabetes Treatment


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Old 12-27-2018, 23:36   #1
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Default The Paradox of Diabetes Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
I made these pasta salad meals that were recommended by a diabetes site but I think they spike my blood sugar too high.

Should I try bean or lentil salad intead? Or maybe I could try a brown rice, red bean and sausage dish?
The answer most people will have here is to not eat any of those.

Though beans and brown rice are better sources of carbohydrates than highly-refined pasta or white rice, they still have many grams of carbohydrates per "serving" -- especially since most Americans are not content eating what typically is considered to be one serving.

Since our diabetic bodies have trouble managing carbs properly, eating foods with lots of grams of carbohydrates is not a good choice. We are far better off eating foods low in carbs: leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, string beans, protein (meat, eggs, cheese, etc.) and fat (oils, animal fat, etc.).

You might want to take a look at this link, which describes the foods which are very low in carbs. (To keep it simple, ketogenic is like a strict version of a low-carb way to eat, but some of us find that "going keto" keeps us healthy and off diabetes medications [or using less of them]).

If you find you really miss eating a specific food, you could "eat to your meter" -- eat a defined amount of that food and see how it affects your blood glucose levels in one- and two-hour increments after you eat it. But, for right now, it's probably easiest to stick with foods that have very few grams of carbohydrates.

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Old 12-28-2018, 01:12   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itissteve View Post
The answer most people will have here is to not eat any of those.

Though beans and brown rice are better sources of carbohydrates than highly-refined pasta or white rice, they still have many grams of carbohydrates per "serving" -- especially since most Americans are not content eating what typically is considered to be one serving.

Since our diabetic bodies have trouble managing carbs properly, eating foods with lots of grams of carbohydrates is not a good choice. We are far better off eating foods low in carbs: leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, string beans, protein (meat, eggs, cheese, etc.) and fat (oils, animal fat, etc.).

You might want to take a look at this link, which describes the foods which are very low in carbs. (To keep it simple, ketogenic is like a strict version of a low-carb way to eat, but some of us find that "going keto" keeps us healthy and off diabetes medications [or using less of them]).

If you find you really miss eating a specific food, you could "eat to your meter" -- eat a defined amount of that food and see how it affects your blood glucose levels in one- and two-hour increments after you eat it. But, for right now, it's probably easiest to stick with foods that have very few grams of carbohydrates.
I'm not sure why those sites would post those recipes if they're not healthy for diabetics. Those recipes look good because they're easy to make, I can portion them out, and freeze or refridgerate them.

I've already cut out junk food and am trying to eat healthier meals (though they may be too high in carbs, they're not as bad as what I was eating). Interesting link but I feel overwhelmed at the idea of trying an extreme diet. I'm so used to not cooking and just sticking a frozen dinner in the microwave...Cooking from scratch looks too hard.

Also, I don't own a car and I can't carry too much at one time since I have to walk home. In January, sometimes there are cold snaps that last for days (-35C to -42C) and I try not to go out more than necessary. I eat a lot of brown rice in January.

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Old 12-28-2018, 02:23   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
I'm not sure why those sites would post those recipes if they're not healthy for diabetics.
[Posts in this thread were moved from the site's Diabetes forum's "What Is Your Current Blood Glucose Reading?" thread]

This thread (in brackets above) is intended for people to report their current BG readings, so I don't want this discussion to move things too far off-topic (we can move the discussion to its own thread if it's something you or others would like to discuss further; just write more or say so ).

I will just say that the medical world changes very slowly and that new ideas (even obvious ones) require a great deal of convincing (beyond hard evidence) before they're generally accepted. In addition, the North American medical system makes more money treating conditions like diabetes than it does minimizing or eradicating them.

It's not hard to get the impression that all the stakeholders involved maybe don't want to change diabetes treatment very much.

Again, this can be a discussion topic all on its own, so please let me know if you have more comments or questions.

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Last edited by itissteve; 12-28-2018 at 13:35. Reason: adding thread cross-references
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itissteve View Post
This thread is intended for people to report their current BG readings, so I don't want this discussion to move things too far off-topic (we can move the discussion to its own thread if it's something you or others would like to discuss further; just write more or say so ).

I will just say that the medical world changes very slowly and that new ideas (even obvious ones) require a great deal of convincing (beyond hard evidence) before they're generally accepted. In addition, the North American medical system makes more money treating conditions like diabetes than it does minimizing or eradicating them.

It's not hard to get the impression that all the stakeholders involved maybe don't want to change diabetes treatment very much.

Again, this can be a discussion topic all on its own, so please let me know if you have more comments or questions.
That's very nefarious.

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Old 12-28-2018, 14:01   #5
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I don't know about other cultures, but in the U.S., most people don't want to make any lifestyle changes, especially dietary ones. They would rather keep on eating high carbs and just take a pill. For example, there are two T2 diabetics in a group I belong to who will eat any sweet thing offered at the meeting. I have loaned them the book Blood Sugar 101 (which is from www.bloodsugar101.com). They said they read it. But I don't see them making any changes. They are both overweight, and the one is getting heavier. I no longer discuss diabetes and foods with them - it all falls on deaf ears. And that saddens me because they are likely going to develop some diabetes-related complications which could have been prevented.

From my own experience with doctors (several over the years) so far none have seemed to understand diabetes beyond the strict diagnosis cryteria. The better ones do give out meters and tell their patients to test, but there is little help after that and only to prescribe medications. Why is that? Probably because med students get very little nutrition education and probably only diagnostic training for diabetes. Then, they rely heavily on pharmaceutical reps for treatment options - not really understanding how important diet is to the reduction of blood sugars. The Am. Diabetes Association also has educational materials that doctors use - and they ALL recommend the higher-carb "diet" that really doesn't help much - which reinforces the notion that diabetes can only be treated by medication.

Those of us on this forum, and others who have learned about reducing carbohydrates for blood sugar control, are the lucky ones. But we are not the majority. The internet can be a great source of mis-information. But it can also be a lifesaver for those serious about controlling their diabetes. People come and go here on the forum, and it is heartwarming when we see some of them embrace the low-carb way of managing their diabetes and become successful in it. Many do this through a change in diet only. Others have reduced their need of meds and/or insulin).

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Old 12-28-2018, 14:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
That's very nefarious.
I am not typically a conspiracy theorist. But I -- and many other posters here -- have experienced issues that, well, make us wonder.

The bodies of people with Type 2 diabetes cannot match up insulin production/usage with glucose intake. In a way (a bit of a simplification), it's like an allergy to glucose; like, say, a peanut allergy, the body reacts to the food in a way that causes damage.

No one would suggest to a person with a peanut allergy that it was okay for them to fill up on peanuts because they had a couple of EpiPens in their hands. Yet the standard American diabetic diet includes way more carbohydrates than the body needs each day. And the body's inability to handle that amount of carbohydrates means that diabetes medications or insulin is needed to counteract the high amount. Those medications, in turn (as well as the high levels of blood glucose that go unmatched right away by appropriate insulin levels) have side effects; sometimes serious ones like vision problems (and blindness), nerve pain, cardiac problems, and persistent infections.

If carbohydrates are not a necessary daily nutrient (as protein and fat are), why eat so many? Some of it, undoubtedly, is habit. But if you had that peanut allergy you wouldn't keep eating peanuts, would you? Yet that is not the dietary advice any of us got in our "diabetes education".

There are other complications: Most doctors do not receive any more training in diabetes diagnosis and treatment than they do for any other chronic condition, and some of them do not keep up with new developments, studies, etc. A doctor friend of mine, learning I had T2 diabetes, urged me to keep my (three month) A1c around 8. While hypoglycemic lows are a danger to people with diabetics who are using insulin or medications that affect glucose production, a blood glucose level of 8.0 definitely causes organ damage. Recent studies indicate that the body experiences damage from blood glucose levels as low as 140 mg/dL (7.8 on the scale you're using; remember, that 8.0 is an average, which means blood glucose runs higher than that as often as it runs lower).

Diabetes care can require regular doctor visits, meters and strips (sometimes rather spendy), medication or insulin (the prices of which keep going up up up), and the complications (cardiac care, prosthetics, products like diabetic socks) all are sources of income for many organizations. And then there's the US's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's dogged insistence that carbohydrates be at the top of the food pyramid regardless of how little carbohydrates are needed and how prevalent the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes has become. Cause and effect?

It's enough to make one wonder if the reason people are not first started on a low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet is because the industry is making more money from drugs and the complications than they are from telling people to eat better...

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Last edited by itissteve; 12-28-2018 at 14:21.
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Old 12-28-2018, 15:20   #7
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@itissteve
Thanks for taking the time to explain all that. The peanut example is a great one. It's very enlightening (and pretty sick and twisted and should be illegal). I'll look into the keto stuff sooner than I planned...

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Last edited by PhoenixFire; 12-28-2018 at 15:29.
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Old 12-28-2018, 15:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeJay View Post
I don't know about other cultures, but in the U.S., most people don't want to make any lifestyle changes, especially dietary ones. They would rather keep on eating high carbs and just take a pill. For example, there are two T2 diabetics in a group I belong to who will eat any sweet thing offered at the meeting. I have loaned them the book Blood Sugar 101 (which is from www.bloodsugar101.com). They said they read it. But I don't see them making any changes. They are both overweight, and the one is getting heavier. I no longer discuss diabetes and foods with them - it all falls on deaf ears. And that saddens me because they are likely going to develop some diabetes-related complications which could have been prevented.

From my own experience with doctors (several over the years) so far none have seemed to understand diabetes beyond the strict diagnosis cryteria. The better ones do give out meters and tell their patients to test, but there is little help after that and only to prescribe medications. Why is that? Probably because med students get very little nutrition education and probably only diagnostic training for diabetes. Then, they rely heavily on pharmaceutical reps for treatment options - not really understanding how important diet is to the reduction of blood sugars. The Am. Diabetes Association also has educational materials that doctors use - and they ALL recommend the higher-carb "diet" that really doesn't help much - which reinforces the notion that diabetes can only be treated by medication.

Those of us on this forum, and others who have learned about reducing carbohydrates for blood sugar control, are the lucky ones. But we are not the majority. The internet can be a great source of mis-information. But it can also be a lifesaver for those serious about controlling their diabetes. People come and go here on the forum, and it is heartwarming when we see some of them embrace the low-carb way of managing their diabetes and become successful in it. Many do this through a change in diet only. Others have reduced their need of meds and/or insulin).
Thanks for the link. I've bookmarked it. I read a bit about sugar addiction. I think it's just too hard for some people to view junk food and carbs the way a former alcoholic must view alcohol. I struggle with this too. Is it ever hard to give it all up! I think I numb out on food to avoid uncomfortable emotions. Now that I've cut back some feelings I don't like are showing up and I have had this awful anxiety for days (and it makes this other mental health issue worse too).

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Old 12-28-2018, 18:20   #9
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I have found that most things that say "No Sugar Added", For Diabetics", etc. are not good for me. I found this out by setting a goal for my BG and my meter told me I was exceeding that goal. That's the best thing you can do, try and test. If I see those words on something, I know there is no need for me to even think about it.

It is my opinion that diabetes keeps me from utilizing excess glucose from carbs. The damage and complications from diabetes comes from the excess glucose and excess insulin circulating in my blood. I ensure I keep both levels low by eliminating the source of excess glucose.

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Old 12-28-2018, 18:50   #10
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I also found that the ADA recommends way more carbs than I can tolerate. It may work for a while for others that were eating more than their recommended amount. Again, I learned this from my meter. They recommend about 150-180 grams of carbs per day. I only eat about 30 grams per day.

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Think I've had this since 2003. Told I was Type 2 lean on 2/13/12.
a1c 8.8 (8/2011) 5.4 (10/2018)
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Supplemental vitamins and electrolytes
63 YY Love the LCHF diet. The cheese goes well with my whine

updated 10/26/18
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