I have had three different Doctor's (Primary Care) and it is apparent to me that Doctor's are not really properly schooled to treat Diabetes. They prescribe treatment as learned in Medical School, which in my humble opinion is not the proper approach. When I was diagnosed I attended a hospital sponsored program on Diabetes Care. The of course played rt he weight card. They weighed me at 206, and were befuddled that I was at my perfect weigh. Then they told me I should consume 2,600 calories per day of which 33% should come from carbs. I didn't attend the final two meetings.Hope this is the right place to put this post. And sorry, this is a really LONG post! As the kids say: tl:dr (too long, don't read) but I hope you do.
Earlier today I posted a brief message in The Lounge, to say how much I appreciated this site and forum. I have visited a lot of diabetes sites in the past year and have found this one to be just about the friendliest, most tolerant, and definitely the most helpful of them all. I've been a member for over a year but have mostly lurked. Now it's time to come out of the shadows.
Diagnosed in 2003, when I suffered an acute glaucoma attack (lost vision in one eye) and incidentally had blood glucose reading of 485. Welcome to diabetes? Was immediately put on Actos 45 mg for the diabetes, and my doctor said because all diabetics develop heart problems, I was also put on lisinopriI hctz 20-12.5 mg, and Pravachol 20 mg, although my blood pressure and lipids were still pretty good.
I spent several years working hard to control numbers and lose weight following my physician's recommended high carb low fat diet. My A1c results always hovered around the 6.0 mark and my other test results were fairly decent, even when I lost motivation and fell back into poor eating habits. I thought things were okay, more or less, until I developed a neuropathy in my right thigh, which is downright excruciating. That was when I found this forum and became interested in low carb high fat as a possible alternative treatment.
My doctor scared me off LCHF (You're spilling ketones! You'll have a heart attack! You'll be on dialysis!). And of course my doctor knew more about this than I did, right? My A1c, which had dropped to 5.8 on LCHF, rose to 6.2. I felt worse and worse. I passed out at work due to very low blood pressure. My doc didn't want to revise any of my medications despite my repeated requests to do so. I felt I no longer needed the bp meds, probably didn't need the statin and I sure as shooting wanted to get off the high dose of Actos because of the side effects (heart failure, bladder cancer, etc.).
Last month I took control of my situation. I stopped all three medications and certainly hope this was not a bad decision on my part. I still have them and can start again if I see my numbers reverse themselves, but so far my blood glucose is leveling out quite nicely, my blood pressure is staying low and I have no idea about the lipids but will find out when I have my next labs in June.
The bonus is that I feel so much better than I did just a month ago. Muscle weakness, lethargy, swollen feet and ankles, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, joint pain – it's all lessened to a remarkable extent. I have energy again! I can walk around the block without feeling like I'm going to die. Seriously, I had no clue how genuinely bad I had felt until I stopped the meds.
Here are my numbers after five weeks on LCHF diet only, no medications:
30 day glucose average: 101
14 day glucose average: 102
7 day glucose average: 106 (Yesterday was my son's birthday and we ate out, a few more carbs than usual)
30 day blood pressure average: 111/71
3 day blood pressure average: 99/74
I think I'm a believer in the low carb high fat lifestyle!
The first Doctor preached a low fat diet. That forces you to either starve or take in loads of carbs, the exact item contributes to diabetes in the first place.
The second Doctor knew less about diabetes then I did.
My current Doctor treats Diabetes by the textbook, although he is very supportive. When I told him I wanted to go on a LCHF diet, he checked my blood numbers and told me to go for it. When my blood glucose numbers fell so dramatically, he immediately cut my glyberide dosage in half. My blood results two months after starting the diet were phenomenal. The Doctor said to me. I would never say this to any of my other diabetes patients, I'm not going to offer you any advice except to continue exactly what you are doing.
Bottom line, if your Doctor is not supportive, switch Doctor's. There are Doctor's out there who recognize prescription drugs may be necessary, but they have their own problems, and would welcome the opportunity to reduce your drug intake. That was Doctor Atkin's approach. He took new patients off of all their drugs. He beleived, and in now supported by other researchers that the bad carbs cause diabetes, high BP, elevated lipid panel numbers, heart disease etc. If his patients, after following the diet still needed help to achieve numbers, he would prescribe medications as appropriate. His approach was to remove the cause before treating symptoms.