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Hello,
My name is Keith. I'm a 57 year old living in the midwest. Was diagnosed with diabetes approx 10 years ago. Unfortunately, I've been pretty irresponsible with maintaining a low blood sugar level since then. As recent as last year, I could go 6 months... and simply cut pasta, breads, and sweets out of my diet, and exercise, and I'd easily get my blood sugar within levels to keep my doctor happy. I'd followed that up with 6 months of eating irresponsibly and not working out. It would seem this cycle has started catching up to me as I'm now struggling to get my blood sugar levels down there. I've "cleaned my diet up" similar to how I have in the past, and my blood sugar levels have lowered... Just not lowered as much as they have in the past. As a result my doctor is taking about altering the drugs he's been giving me, which I'd like to avoid if possible. So now i'm here to pay the piper to try and figure out how to maintain my blood sugar levels, and what foods I can and can not eat. So any advice or assistence anyone can offer will be appreciated.
 

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Hi Keith,

Welcome aboard!

I’m more or less in the same boat as you are. I did diddly to manage my blood sugar for a couple years till the consequences caught up with me. After that, I cut carbs pretty heavily, and was still running between 180-200 fasting. Needless to say that was an unwelcome surprise.

Ive started to get things moving in the right direction, mostly thanks to a very low carb (20-30g net/day) diet, getting plenty of exercise, and drinking a ton of water. Now I just need to resist the urge for a late night snack....
 

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Hello Keith, welcome to the forum, but sorry you had to find us.

First thing, if you don't have a meter or you aren't testing regularly, get one and start testing. Not just randomly, but once before a meal, once an hour after, and again at 2 hours after. It may take lots of testing initially until you find out what foods really spike your BG. After a bit, and you have eliminated the foods that cause the problems, testing can get a lot more lax.

Secondly, start reading the nutritional labels on food packages, for unpackaged, unlabeled things, look at a nutrition info you can get from an app or search engine online. You are wanting to reduce the number of grams of carbohydrates in the foods you are eating, they are the main source of what results in blood glucose. Pasta, breads, and sweets are big contributors, but there are several more. Grains, legumes, potatoes and fruits to mention some more. When counting the carbs in what you are eating, pay attention to the labels as to what they show for a serving size. If a label says there are 6 grams of carbs per serving and it says there are 4 servings, thats 24 grams if you eat the whole thing. Its a little game some play to make it look like their product is lower in carbs. It may even help to keep a diary at first to keep track of food you ate, carb count and the pre and post meal BG levels. It would really help if just trying to reduce portion sizes of something you don't think you can give up. If the portion size winds up being too small, then give it up.

Dietdoctor.com is one of several good sites to learn about what foods to eat and why. Search LCHF (low carb high fat) for others. When greatly reducing carbs, those calories need to be replaced. That leaves 2 things, protein and fat. Most people are already getting enough protein, so that leaves fats. Dietdoctor and other LCHF sites will tell you which ones are best and what to avoid.

Don't know what BG numbers make your doctor happy, but probably going by ADA (American Diabetes Association) guidelines. Their numbers are too high, according to studies that show damage from high blood glucose can happen over 140 mg/dL.

My guess is the difference between now and back when your BG came down with a diet change, you have probably become more insulin resistant over time. Eventually that could lead up to your pancreas not producing enough insulin.

What meds are you on now? Our goal here has been to try and maintain safe BG levels with diet, exercise, and with a minimum of meds. If diet alone doesn't do it, increase your physical activity, and if that doesn't do it, by all means take some meds. The end goal is not to let high BG do its damage. Here is a place to learn about the meds you are taking and what may be offered up new by your doctor. Bloodsugar101 also is a good source for reading about diabetes and best ways to manage it.

Ask any questions you may have here on the forum. There will be someone here who has "been there, done that" experience to share.

Edited to correct BG level where damage occurs.
 
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Hello, Keith! I'd like to add my word of welcome. mbuster did a great job providing information, so I'll just say that I hope you stick around and take advantage of the support you can find here and help others in their journey. Looking forward to seeing more posts from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the welcome guys... I appreciate it... sorry for the late reply

To answer some of mbuster questions. Yes, I have a meter (One Touch Ultra 2). I historically haven't been the best with checking my blood sugar levels. When I've worked to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, I'd only check it in the morning. Here lately, I've been checking in the morning, and then before, and after I workout (Which I can see a 15 point drop). Which I've been doing 5 times a week for the last couple of months. In the past, when I've worked out and ate right, I could get my blood sugar levels down to the 110-115 range without to much difficulty. Here lately I've been struggling to get it under the 120-125 range.

I have been reading nutritional labels on food packages, and am aware of the serving size trick. For the most part, I've "cleaned up" my diet a lot. When I eat clean I get next to nothing in the way of processed foods. My diet consists mostly of proteins (beef, eggs, and canned tuna), fresh vegetables, and then I'll eat fruit and nuts for snacks. Part of my problem is during those times when I'm out of the house longer than excepted, and I start to get hungry. If to much time passes, my discipline drops to zero, and I'll swing through a fast food place to get something to eat. This can lead to a week of me eating like crap before I can muster the mental discipline to start eating properly again.

My doctor isn't so much worried about my daily blood sugar levels as he is my A1C. I just had my blood work done and my A1C came back at 8. Which I think is evidence of how poorly I was eating a month or two ago, than it is evidence of how I'm currently eating. So I want to get another blood test in a couple months to see where I am with it, before I make changes to my med's to control it. Which I'm currently on 5MG of Glyburide once in the morning

I've tried reading different websites about acceptable foods to eat as a diabetic. When it comes to some foods, these sites are all over the place about if they can and can't be ate. For example, I've seen widely conflicting statements about foods like fruits, and something like grapes. One site will say the GL levels of grapes are fine for a diabetic, while another site will call them "sugar bombs", and recommend avoiding them.

I guess one of my primary goals from joining this group is to learn from the group is what foods I can snack on that aren't going to throw my blood sugar levels into a tail spin.

But once again, thanks for the welcome!
 

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Hi, Keith. thanks for the update.

One of the things you'll find out in tightly managing your blood glucose is that every diabetic's experience is different. Foods, activity levels, stress, illness -- all of those can alter BG readings.

As you have found, advice about food is all over the map. For years, the standard of care for Type 2 diabetics recommended that they eat pretty much the way non-diabetics eat and to use medication or insulin to address their excess blood glucose. Continuing research indicates that most people do not need so many carbohydrates each day to meet their nutritional needs. Continuing time indicates that the long-term effects of letting BG spike and then clamping it down with medication or insulin is quite damaging to the body.

So there has been more interest in eating lower levels of carbohydrates, especially heavily-processed carbs like noodles, sweet drinks, and sugary snacks and desserts, particularly for diabetics and people with "metabolic disorder". After all, if the body has trouble managing carb loads and insulin, why keep packing in the carbs? Lately even the American Diabetes Association has modified their standard of care to include lower-carb eating plans as a viable way of managing high BG levels.

So what you can eat depends on your approach. If you're using a low-carb/high-fat eating plan, then foods like ice cream and grapes and brown rice and peas have to fit into the 20-25 grams of carbs you can eat each day. Tough to do. For some diabetics, cultural or religious reasons or other circumstances may make it difficult for them to eat LCHF or keto. Some people may be performing activities that rely on the body rapidly changing carbs into glucose as body fuel.

Some food articles you may have read also don't differentiate well between diabetics just eating and diabetics who may have to treat hypoglycemic episodes (which can be deadly). When BG goes dangerously low, something really sweet like orange juice or grapes are recommended to bring up BG levels quickly. But if your BG is not crashing or at risk for crashing, you might want to avoid foods so high in quickly-digestible sugars.

So ... clear as mud, eh? ;)
 
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