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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband was diagnosed just a short time ago, not told whether 1 or 2, was in 400+ - 500+ range, put on 2 shots a day, didn't do much altho increasing units regularly. Then increased to 3 shots a day and upped units. Now it's down between 200+ and 150+ but ALL over the place. We have tried reducing fruits and grains and increasing turkey/chicken/fish proteins and TONS of veggies but can't seem to get a handle on what causes these numbers and how to control them. Any body with suggestions?
 

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you need to find out if he is a T1 or a T2 different and different ways of treating them.

what insulin is he on? Is it insulin?

for a T2 carbs raise BG ALL carbs raise BG
for a T1 food raises BG all food raises BG
 

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Welcome to DF. Many times it takes us quite awhile to get near normal bgs. So don't freak out if they don't happen overnight. Since he is on insulin it is important to work with your medical professionals to get bgs where they need to be. Usually with the long acting basal insulins like Lantus or Levimer you slowly increase the dose with your doctors permission until the fasting bg fall in line. For the Fast Acting Insulin at meals you need to be counting your carbs at each meal and try to figure what your insulin to carb ratio is. This may be different form everyone and takes trial and error. Generally the lower carb you eat the less insulin you may need. With type 2's, there is also something called Insulin Resistance which sometimes interferes with our own insulin or injected insulin. This is why most Type 2's take a drug called Metformin which makes us more sensitive to our own insulin or injected insulin. Also he needs to experiment with the balance of carbs, proteins and fat at each meal. Again, each one of us may need a different balance to get good bgs. For me I need a high level of fat, moderate level of protein and a very low level of carbs at each meal. I find the fat helps even out my bgs. So if I have a low fat meat like chicken, I always try to add extra butter, olive oil or coconut oil to compensate. I get better bgs with things like bacon, sausage and beef. As you see it requires lots of trial and error. Welcome to our great support group and feel free to ask lots of questions. We all started out dazed and confused and try to help each other.
 

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My husband was diagnosed just a short time ago, not told whether 1 or 2, was in 400+ - 500+ range, put on 2 shots a day, didn't do much altho increasing units regularly. Then increased to 3 shots a day and upped units. Now it's down between 200+ and 150+ but ALL over the place. We have tried reducing fruits and grains and increasing turkey/chicken/fish proteins and TONS of veggies but can't seem to get a handle on what causes these numbers and how to control them. Any body with suggestions?
Yes it will be a good idea to find out if he is type one or type 2. They can do it by checking for antibodies and also doing a C-Peptide test. With what you are describing it sounds like your husband is type one but that is just conjecture at this point. It sounds like your husband is just dosing for his bloodsugar and not covering carbs at this point. Two good books that I can recommend are Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner and Using Insulin by John Walsh. I do wish your husband the best and let him know that he is certainly welcome to join us. We would be glad to have him here. Of course you are welcome as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you!

I appreciate all your responses tremendously; I sometimes think I'm losing my mind trying to assimilate all this information and then trying to put it into practice.

We have always treated meals in a 'seat-of-ur-pants' kind of way without any formal mental measure of what or when we eat other than trying to eat a healthy, mostly veggie and grain, little protein, and cheese and yoghurt, foods. I'm totally out of my league to know how to address this new situation: do we have to have set meals, measure everything, cut out foods, if so I'm scared we won't be able to do it - we're just not geared that way - - please tell me what I'm supposed to do.
 

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It's a lot to take in if you try to take it all in with a single gulp - but as they say, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Yes, there are changes you need to make, otherwise how could anything change? Eliminating certain foods isn't as difficult as it sounds as there are work-arounds for many favorites (see the recipe section, and ask when particularly desperate!) and we add so many new foods we hadn't been eating before. For me, it was high-fat foods (bacon, butter, full-fat sour cream, yummy cheeses, sausage) that I had avoided for decades.

Please resist defeatist thoughts that you can't do it - you can. This forum is filled with people who do and did, and by nature of the beast most of us were carb addicts of at least some degree.

Take one non-carb bite at a time, and you'll be amazed what you can accomplish and =enjoy=!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's a lot to take in if you try to take it all in with a single gulp - but as they say, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Yes, there are changes you need to make, otherwise how could anything change? Eliminating certain foods isn't as difficult as it sounds as there are work-arounds for many favorites (see the recipe section, and ask when particularly desperate!) and we add so many new foods we hadn't been eating before. For me, it was high-fat foods (bacon, butter, full-fat sour cream, yummy cheeses, sausage) that I had avoided for decades.

Please resist defeatist thoughts that you can't do it - you can. This forum is filled with people who do and did, and by nature of the beast most of us were carb addicts of at least some degree.

Take one non-carb bite at a time, and you'll be amazed what you can accomplish and =enjoy=!
You're making me cry; I'm hanging on by a thread, and SO thankful for someone who understands and cares.
Laurie
 

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do we have to have set meals, measure everything, cut out foods, if so I'm scared we won't be able to do it - we're just not geared that way - - please tell me what I'm supposed to do.
My husband and I are both type 2. We don't have meals at set times, just when we get hungry, except for in the morning, eating something low carb like sausage and eggs or eggs with cheese melted on top helps bring down those morning highs. I'm not one who feels like eating (or cooking) until a couple of hours after I wake up, so one or two ounces of cheese first thing in the morning works for me.

I don't measure anything, we usually have unbreaded meat and buttered veggies for most meals. I emptied the fridge and cabinets of everything we can't eat and replaced it with what we can. Many of the recipes you normally use can be converted to low carb and still taste just as good if not better. There are many good recipes in the recipe section here. It does seem overwhelming at first, but it will get easier.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Hello Laurie - "seat-of-your-pants" is as good a way as any, as long as there aren't any carbs in the house to grab onto. Gizmo explained it well & this is a lot the way I eat too . . . whatever and whenever, just as long as it isn't carbs. There are great filling foods you can keep at hand - things like hard-cooked eggs or deviled eggs in the fridge, hot wings (no breading of course - just bake or fry the wings until the skin is crisp & then douse 'em with hot sauce of your choice; mix the hot sauce with melted butter to make it easier to apply). String cheese & slim jims are great, nuts of all kinds are terrific - especially almonds - just watch out for peanuts which are really a legume instead of a nut. Full fat cream cheese is one of the things that gets me through a LOT of munchies - stuff big ribs of celery with a bunch of cream cheese & I'm a happy camper. There are many cream cheese spreads that I use for variety . . . http://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes-recipes/5753-smoked-oyster-dip.html#post46023, http://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes-recipes/1807-smoked-salmon-spread.html#post7547, Olive Nut Spread, http://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes-recipes/7300-chunky-pecan-beef-dip.html#post63456, etc.

By testing before meals, and then testing at one & two-hour intervals after the first bite, you'll be able to find the foods he can tolerate and weed out the ones that send his blood sugar too high. After a few weeks of this intensive testing, you'll have developed a list of foods that don't raise his blood sugar, and those foods can be used to combine however he likes for his meals.

I'm so happy you found us . . . it's hard to assimilate all this when you're new to it, and especially when medical professionals often take the attitude that this way of eating is not even sustainable - little do they know! It's wonderfully sustainable! What other plan lets you eat unlimited BLTs as long as you ditch the bread & wrap the bacon & tomato in the lettuce leaf?! Add a big slice of avocado to it and you have a heavenly meal. :D

You can make it & we're here to help you along the way. Some of us were such dyed-in-the-wool carboholics, that if we could make it, everyone can. :cool:

Take care and visit often!
 

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You're making me cry; I'm hanging on by a thread, and SO thankful for someone who understands and cares.
Laurie
Laurie,

Welcome to the forum. Diabetes is no fun, but it can be managed. The only thing I can add to what the others have already said is a link to an excellent site which explains a lot about the issues we all have to address : it's Blood Sugar 101
It's well worth an hour or two of your time.
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Shanny, thank you; as a fellow Ozarkian I appreciate your input since my husband only has had local medical diabetic support suggesting no-low fat , especially no eggs, bacon, red meat, etc., etc., and told there's nothing he can't eat in moderation. We've tried this with little to no success and until we found this site didn't know there were people who were maintaining safe BG levels by eating a low carb-hi-protein-fats diet.
Thanks for your input,
Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
John, had u ever been on medication? I guess I'm surprised at anyone who is able to have diabetes and not take something. Especially, since my husband went from no diabetes a month ago, to 3 heavy shots of insulin a day; I just don't understand how this can happen to someone without some preamble of sorts, like trying a diet change, or pills - the whole immediacy of this thing is making me very insecure since we are so reliant on our 'professional' resources. I mean I know that numbers don't lie and intervention is required but to go from zero to a maximum in one fell swoop, for me, is a little unbelievable.
Laurie
 

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John, had u ever been on medication? I guess I'm surprised at anyone who is able to have diabetes and not take something. Especially, since my husband went from no diabetes a month ago, to 3 heavy shots of insulin a day; I just don't understand how this can happen to someone without some preamble of sorts, like trying a diet change, or pills - the whole immediacy of this thing is making me very insecure since we are so reliant on our 'professional' resources. I mean I know that numbers don't lie and intervention is required but to go from zero to a maximum in one fell swoop, for me, is a little unbelievable.
Laurie
Back in August 2010, I had to go into the local ER where they discovered my blood glucose running at 400 and my HbA1c at 8.2%. I was in the process of going into a diabetic keto-acidosis coma. I think therefore they started off thinking I was type 1 despite my age. I don't have a lot of hard data on the hospital figures - the discussions were of course in French, and I wasn't really at my best at the time. In addition, the numbers would have meant nothing to me.

However after a few days on an intravenous insulin pump, with lots of saline to re-hydrate me and antibiotics to treat my kidney infection, the doctor let me go home for the weekend with some insulin (Novamix) and antibiotics.

I got back on the Monday and after telling me off for eating insufficient starches over the weekend, the doctor decided I was type 2 and prescribed Levemir insulin to help with basal control and Prandin to cope with post meal spikes.

I was also warned that my high fat diet wasn't well balanced. She gave me some rules for dose management of the insulin and re-stated her concerns about my "unbalanced diet". The wife and I followed the guidance on the Levemir dose dutifully and totally ignored the dietary guidance. The main change we made in my diet was to reduce the carbohydrate content to around 70 grams per day (the opposite of the advice given). In calorie terms, it's currently around 2,200.

By early November, I was off the insulin.

The Prandin (read about it on Blood Sugar 101) is still in the unopened packs in the kitchen drawer.

Over the same period my weight dropped from 183 lbs to 161 lbs - and by the February down further to the current 152 lbs where I seem to be stable.

So the answer to your question is Yes - briefly but not now and I plan to keep it that way.

I think I'm lucky.

  • My diabetes seems to be quite "mild" and the crisis was caused by the kidney infection which was controlled by the antibiotics.
  • My wife is a great cook and very supportive of the changes in my diet.
  • I got a serious fright 15 months ago, and cheating on the diet does not appeal at all!
  • My local doctor has seen my numbers and has decided (I think) not to enquire too deeply into how they have been achieved.
Like you the change came as a complete shock - We retired to France only because we were both fit as fiddles - I last saw a doctor in about 1995 for travel shots!

But it happens. I'm just lucky that Judy did her homework the week I was in the French hospital and amongst other things found this forum.
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
John, what carbs do u eat, and if u can, can u give me an idea of what u eat and how much exercise u get; I'm desperately trying to figure out what to serve and what not to, from those who actually are having success since the medical 'professionals' here are giving us carb-filled advice which so far, hasn't worked.
I appreciate ur help.
Laurie
 

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John, what carbs do u eat, and if u can, can u give me an idea of what u eat and how much exercise u get; I'm desperately trying to figure out what to serve and what not to, from those who actually are having success since the medical 'professionals' here are giving us carb-filled advice which so far, hasn't worked.
I appreciate ur help.
Laurie
Ok,
The easy bit first - exercise.
We've got a dog and she has to be walked. The village church is about a mile away and we walk there and back two or three times each day (weather permitting). It's done at a brisk pace - 35 minutes there and back.
When the weather is particularly nice, the walk changes to a ramble in the woods - usually about 5 miles for us (10 for the dog:) running mad).
If the weather is really disgusting, it's a session on the treadmill, speed set to 3.8 mph, inclination 2.5% for 30 minutes.
Judy (the OH) wants me to start using a bit of weight training to improve my muscle tone - I'm ducking that for as long as she'll let me :)
Carbohydrates:
The wife concentrates on veggies - brassicas like cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, green beans, courgettes (zuchini to you). Root veggies - swede, carrots (in moderation).
Fruit in moderation - berry fruit, apple, pear, small oranges and we keep banana as an emergency glucose boost if I drop below 70 in the morning. As a result of our tests, one of my favourites - grapefruit - is now off the menu!
We stay away from starchy things like potatoes although I find that a few small ones - roasted in healthy saturated fat (like butter), with dinner don't cause me too much problem.
Bread, pasta and rice are OFF the menu. In particular we find that most shop supplied breads are laced with interesting additives and early on when we tried a shop sandwich (as an experiment) my figures were shocking.
As the others on the forum will be quick to point out - we are all different, some things which work for me, won't always work for you. Be guided by your own meter results. At the start of this, I was using 6 test strips each day and it took about six months before we decided to wind that down to 3. It was a full year before we settled for just a fasting test each morning.
 

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Yikes! No grapefruit, my husband is crazy for grapefruit and is SURE it will keep him from getting fat (he says it cuts the fats, or their effects and his doctor told him diabetes/insulin would make him gain weight). Other than that the only fruit we eat are berries of various varieties. This is so difficult since my husband is a gourmet cook of sorts and made the most amazing meals for us; artisan breads were central to our lives and I baked all the time. It's like we dropped into a black hole. On a trip to London we were astounded by the incredible pastries and every day devoured a piece of something; I can't imagine living in France and having all the temptations u're subjected to. At this point if we had the opportunity to though, I'd move to Europe to get away from the things we used to hold dear here which no longer exist. I suppose the same thing is true in some way wherever u go; the grass is always greener. We've lived all over the place: I'm from the East Coast, my husband from the West Coast, we lived there for 15 years, then in the HI islands for 16 years, then to Nevada for 10+ years, now the MidWest. BTW, I would like to PM some of the people on this site but was told it is not permitted because I'm not a senior member. How do I become elligible to PM? Also, I guess from the exercise u describe we better 'get crackin'; we started walking periodically but from those I've read about we get far less exercise than most who have everything under control.
Laurie
 

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Yikes! No grapefruit, my husband is crazy for grapefruit and is SURE it will keep him from getting fat (he says it cuts the fats, or their effects and his doctor told him diabetes/insulin would make him gain weight). Other than that the only fruit we eat are berries of various varieties. This is so difficult since my husband is a gourmet cook of sorts and made the most amazing meals for us; artisan breads were central to our lives and I baked all the time. It's like we dropped into a black hole. On a trip to London we were astounded by the incredible pastries and every day devoured a piece of something; I can't imagine living in France and having all the temptations u're subjected to. At this point if we had the opportunity to though, I'd move to Europe to get away from the things we used to hold dear here which no longer exist. I suppose the same thing is true in some way wherever u go; the grass is always greener. We've lived all over the place: I'm from the East Coast, my husband from the West Coast, we lived there for 15 years, then in the HI islands for 16 years, then to Nevada for 10+ years, now the MidWest. BTW, I would like to PM some of the people on this site but was told it is not permitted because I'm not a senior member. How do I become elligible to PM? Also, I guess from the exercise u describe we better 'get crackin'; we started walking periodically but from those I've read about we get far less exercise than most who have everything under control.
Laurie
The easy bit first - PM becomes available as soon as you become an "active member". Now the question is "how do I become an active member" - even easier - post at least 5 times!

We are quite lucky where we are in France.

The local baker now buys in his stuff and it's nothing special, so I can ignore him without feeling deprived. Two years ago we went on holiday to a little place in Normandy where the local boulangerie still did things the old fashioned way. Their Pain-aux-Raisins was to die for! If we lived there permanently I'd be in real trouble.

Managing this condition needs patience and discipline.

The first step is to cut back on the carbohydrate in the diet. The rules you should follow should look something like:

  • Despite personal preferences, exclude (or cut back on) anything that generates an excessive spike on test. Sometimes you will find that just changing the brand of a product will make a difference (good or bad).
  • Get into the habit of reading labels carefully. Look for interesting additives, especially those ending "...ose" - they tend to be sugars - no matter what the label says.
  • Beware of "new improved recipes" - The improvement is usually for the manufacturer's benefit not ours!
  • Avoid "low fat products" - that means "high carbohydrate" despite information on the label to the contrary.
  • Avoid "Specially for Diabetics" - see previous comment :)
  • Where possible buy free range eggs, meat and poultry. Hopefully these will contain less in the way of antibiotics and growth hormones. As a diabetic, your husband will probably have to have some medication from time to time. It's better than he knows what he's taking rather than relying on the farmer!
Exercise is something you can work up to.

It helps to burn off the sugar from the last meal but doesn't of itself do a lot for weight loss (if that's an issue). All our life both Judy and I were walkers. We spent quite a few of our vacations walking some of the long distance footpaths in the UK. We considered doing 15 miles a day as little more than a gentle stroll. To be fair, we did that a bit slower than our daily walks here!

The first few weeks after diagnosis are frightening - so much is happening, so little seems in your control but trust me (I'm NOT a doctor), step by step you'll get your head round the issues and things will settle down. They did for me and they will for you too!

Happy holidays, John
 

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This is so difficult since my husband is a gourmet cook of sorts and made the most amazing meals for us;
Laurie, look at this positively. Many of us were not gourmet cooks, but had to learn to adapt without the skills he has. He thinks grapefruit cuts fats and keeps him from gaining weight (yeah, I thought that years ago too - wonder how that crazy thing got started? another wacky concept like the 'fat makes us fat' bizness which also isn't true.)

I remember clearly when I stopped cooking the Julia Childs way because of all the fat she used - well, now fat's back on the table. Think of all the gourmet possibilities that opens up. I used to love leek soup, and made it with potato since I couldn't (wouldn't) use real cream. Heh - now I make it with heaps of butter and cream and it's so much better than it was before.

This can be a challenge, a positive one for a chef, opening new doors, eating new things. It really does help to focus on what you =can= have rather than what you can't.

I'm eating things I never did before, new recipes, new taste sensations. And the rainbow at the end of the transition is that you and your husband just might feel better than you have in years (I do), and he will be getting healthy. How cool is that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Back in August 2010, I had to go into the local ER where they discovered my blood glucose running at 400 and my HbA1c at 8.2%. I was in the process of going into a diabetic keto-acidosis coma. I think therefore they started off thinking I was type 1 despite my age. I don't have a lot of hard data on the hospital figures - the discussions were of course in French, and I wasn't really at my best at the time. In addition, the numbers would have meant nothing to me.

However after a few days on an intravenous insulin pump, with lots of saline to re-hydrate me and antibiotics to treat my kidney infection, the doctor let me go home for the weekend with some insulin (Novamix) and antibiotics.

I got back on the Monday and after telling me off for eating insufficient starches over the weekend, the doctor decided I was type 2 and prescribed Levemir insulin to help with basal control and Prandin to cope with post meal spikes.

I was also warned that my high fat diet wasn't well balanced. She gave me some rules for dose management of the insulin and re-stated her concerns about my "unbalanced diet". The wife and I followed the guidance on the Levemir dose dutifully and totally ignored the dietary guidance. The main change we made in my diet was to reduce the carbohydrate content to around 70 grams per day (the opposite of the advice given). In calorie terms, it's currently around 2,200.

By early November, I was off the insulin.

The Prandin (read about it on Blood Sugar 101) is still in the unopened packs in the kitchen drawer.

Over the same period my weight dropped from 183 lbs to 161 lbs - and by the February down further to the current 152 lbs where I seem to be stable.

So the answer to your question is Yes - briefly but not now and I plan to keep it that way.

I think I'm lucky.

  • My diabetes seems to be quite "mild" and the crisis was caused by the kidney infection which was controlled by the antibiotics.
  • My wife is a great cook and very supportive of the changes in my diet.
  • I got a serious fright 15 months ago, and cheating on the diet does not appeal at all!
  • My local doctor has seen my numbers and has decided (I think) not to enquire too deeply into how they have been achieved.
Like you the change came as a complete shock - We retired to France only because we were both fit as fiddles - I last saw a doctor in about 1995 for travel shots!

But it happens. I'm just lucky that Judy did her homework the week I was in the French hospital and amongst other things found this forum.
John
John, I'm curious about ur comment: "By early November, I was off the insulin."

How did u determine u were able to not take the medication and just continue with diet only; was this decision made by your doctor based on ur BG level, I mean what happened to cause u to not take medication but still follow the diet, was your diabetic condition diagnosed as just temporary due to the kidney infection and u don't want to take any chances so continue low-carb eating as a way of life?
Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Laurie, look at this positively. Many of us were not gourmet cooks, but had to learn to adapt without the skills he has. He thinks grapefruit cuts fats and keeps him from gaining weight (yeah, I thought that years ago too - wonder how that crazy thing got started? another wacky concept like the 'fat makes us fat' bizness which also isn't true.)

I remember clearly when I stopped cooking the Julia Childs way because of all the fat she used - well, now fat's back on the table. Think of all the gourmet possibilities that opens up. I used to love leek soup, and made it with potato since I couldn't (wouldn't) use real cream. Heh - now I make it with heaps of butter and cream and it's so much better than it was before.

This can be a challenge, a positive one for a chef, opening new doors, eating new things. It really does help to focus on what you =can= have rather than what you can't.

I'm eating things I never did before, new recipes, new taste sensations. And the rainbow at the end of the transition is that you and your husband just might feel better than you have in years (I do), and he will be getting healthy. How cool is that?
Yes, this is true. My husband is having an especially hard time with this emotionally, he has been a 'house-husband' for many years due to a seriously compromised immune system (he has Sarcoidosis) but was able to be creative when he had the energy, in the kitchen. Now another blow with the diabetes diagnosis, he's totally lost his footing again and to top it off he really doesn't like fatty foods. This is going to take a long time for him to assimilate and we really don't know whether his symptoms are related to BG levels or his other issues; it seems just when u get a handle on your situation, something else comes along to pull the rug out from under u and fill u full of insecurity again.
 
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