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Kathryn10

Having a hard time achieving consistent blood sugars on LC diet

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Kathryn10

Hi all,

 

I converted to a LC diet about three weeks ago. I have definitely noticed an improvement with my blood sugars and no longer have crazy spikes or drops which is fantastic! I have had to adjust my basal rates (I'm on a pump) a couple of times. The last time I adjusted these was well over a week ago. I have not seen a lot of consistency with my bg readings, though. I know stress affects my blood sugar, and the past couple of days I've had a sore throat and have been on a temp basal rate of 120% to accommodate that. Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone had any pointers on achieving more stable blood sugars or if I am missing anything with the new diet. Maybe I just need to give it more time? I think since I've started reading things on these boards, Dr. Bernstein's books, other websites, I am getting really scared about complications and all of the bad things that can happen due to lack of tight control of bgs and I want my numbers perfect RIGHT NOW!! I am eating pretty much the same things every day at close to the same times, and I am following Dr. Bernstein's diet plan in terms of the number of carbs. I do eat snacks, though. In the morning I'll usually have a piece of cheese rolled up with a few pieces of salami, and in the afternoon I'll have some sugar-free jello-o with cream. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Staying LC is not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be! Please let me know if any addt'l info is needed. Thank you!

 

Kathryn

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Joisey

You may need to give it more time. Also there are many other factors at play here (infection, stress, lack of sleep, etc.) And then there's the accuracy and repeatability of the meter and strips. If the variability you're worried about is 25 pts or less, I wouldn't worry at all (worry increases BG).

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dccc

Kathyrn, I know that when I'm not feeling quite up to par my bg's also get a little out of whack. Happened to me this week also. Pulled a muscle in my right hip and was in some extreme pain for 2 days and my bg's went up around 20-40 points. But now that I'm not in so much pain my numbers are back to pretty much normal. Pain, illness, stress, ect. can affect your numbers.

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jwags

My bgs took about 6 months to a year to totally become consistent on a LC diet. Even with perfect control, I still get occiassional liver dumps which spike me when I am not eating. Also when I am coming down with a cold, sore throat or even an allergy attack it seems my immunes system spikes my bgs to deal with it. Thank you immune system.

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NickP

Hey Kathryn,

 

What are your BG numbers? It would help us to know your range.

 

While I follow Dr Bernstein closely, I do not agree with his philosphy that your BG's should be consistently at 84. This just does not work in most people.

 

Do you take Metformin? Even T1's can have issues with Insulin Resistance, and Met can really help.

 

I follow a LCHF diet, and have gone months without medication. However, by taking a small dose of metformin, my BG does not spike as much because the Met helps with the IR and Liver dumps.

 

If you are fighting a cold, your BG's will go up.

 

There are many issues which impact your BG's, and it can take a while to resolve all of them.

 

Good Luck! You are on the right path!

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Kathryn10

Thanks for the input everyone! I suppose I should be more concerned about it after I finish fighting off this cold. I am frustrated today because my blood sugars have been in the 200's since I've been sick. With a basal increase at 120% they are in the mid 100's. It's like they won't budge. Before that, during the second week or so of my low carbing, my blood sugars were in the low 100's and 90's. It was great! I just wish I could go back to that. I also ran an 8k on Sunday and was pretty sore afterward for a few days, during which time my bgs seemed to be higher. Wonder if the stress on my body from the running did it? I trained for the race, but not as well as I should have. I guess I should just wait it out and try not to be stressed.

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xMenace

My control is nowhere near perfect either, but I do feel much better, and my A1C is sub-6. A T1's experience is a little different. I now have to primarily bolus for food quantity closely followed by protein. Carbs is a distant third. My basals are about 70% of my high carb levels.

 

I haven't tried extended boluses much, but I think it might help some. I think my best strategy has ben to eat consistent meals and note my dosages. 2 boiled eggs with butter needs 4 units. My morning coffee one. Dinner is very tough because I don't eat much throughout the day, and I experience large liver dumps which don't always want to be consistent. *sigh*

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Kathryn10

I'll have to look up Metformin. I know a little about it, but didn't pay a ton of attention to it when reading Dr. Bernstein's books because it pertained more to type 2s.

 

xMenace, how do you bolus for protein? I have always been taught to count carbs (and do nothing for protein, but to do dual wave boluses if I eat a meal high in fat) and I'm doing a lot of my experimenting and getting information on sites like this.

 

My a1c has been 6.9 for the past year or so. I know it's not great but my endo thinks it is and I really want it under 6. I already think my numbers are better; I want to perfect them though :) .... and avoid complications, of course.

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Grammy

I have been trying to low carb for about a month now and have been taking meticulous records and am still adjusting rates. I believe my body is in shock from the drop of Bg's across the board. My stress level is wayyyyy down so less fight or flight hormones has got to be a factor as well. I run two different basals. One for weekday and one for weekend so adjusting two is a alot of work. I am hoping to have enough data to eventually test whether the menstural cycle is a factor (sorry boys) as there are times when I just need more insulin for no reason I see.

 

Hey, your eating different, your making insulin adjustments, you have a cold, you did a big run. That's a lot of things to factor in. I am also impatient! but it takes time.

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Kathryn10

Good points, Grammy. I need to work on reducing my stress too! The weekday/weekend basal rates is a good idea. For some reason my blood sugars run very low when I have my period. I've read that most women have higher blood sugars during that time of the month. I am on birth control so maybe the hormones from that are causing the opposite effect with me? I don't know, but I do NOT like dealing with that time of the month!

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Subby
Hi all,

 

I converted to a LC diet about three weeks ago. I have definitely noticed an improvement with my blood sugars and no longer have crazy spikes or drops which is fantastic! I have had to adjust my basal rates (I'm on a pump) a couple of times. The last time I adjusted these was well over a week ago. I have not seen a lot of consistency with my bg readings, though. I know stress affects my blood sugar, and the past couple of days I've had a sore throat and have been on a temp basal rate of 120% to accommodate that. Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone had any pointers on achieving more stable blood sugars or if I am missing anything with the new diet. Maybe I just need to give it more time? I think since I've started reading things on these boards, Dr. Bernstein's books, other websites, I am getting really scared about complications and all of the bad things that can happen due to lack of tight control of bgs and I want my numbers perfect RIGHT NOW!! I am eating pretty much the same things every day at close to the same times, and I am following Dr. Bernstein's diet plan in terms of the number of carbs. I do eat snacks, though. In the morning I'll usually have a piece of cheese rolled up with a few pieces of salami, and in the afternoon I'll have some sugar-free jello-o with cream. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Staying LC is not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be! Please let me know if any addt'l info is needed. Thank you!

 

Kathryn

 

I think it would help if you indicated what your blood sugars are doing. It's very hard to determine what is going on and what your expectations are. Bernstein exaggerates the benefits of diet for the t1 (in that there is a lot of work to be done elsewhere too, work that he has insufficient expertise to help everyone with) and he exaggerates the practical control that any person can get with his diet approach. I think you might have been a bit emotionally swindled by his book, easily done, there are many unsubstantiated grand claims within the covers (or half substantiated, such as "all my patients..." while he lets go of patients his techniques do not work for). He is also quite happy to err on the side of the impression of any errant BG causing terrible damage. I hope you don't take him too seriously, if we all did we'd be dead of stress.

 

If you can let us know the actual dimensions, eg, what blood sugars you used to get, what you get now, what you aim for, we might have some different perspectives for you. Either way though as you look for improvement, I'd suggest getting Pumping Insulin to learn how to use modern insulin therapy. Bernstein won't even touch pumps with a pole, so you need to spread out and get some real help with that.

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Kathryn10

Subby,

 

Thanks for the info. I was for sure emotionally swindled by the book and Dr. Bernstein's assertions that blood sugars of even 120 cause terrible complications terrified me!! It's causing me to try to get my blood sugars figured out asap. Perhaps I'm being a little too obsessive. What I'm seeing in my readings, despite a consistent diet (I am a creature of habit), is that for two days in a row or so, my bgs will be in the 90's-low 100's, which is fine with me. However, the next couple of days my bgs will be in the high 100's-low 200's. I don't know if it's that I need to just give it some more time, or if there is something that I'm not taking into consideration. I will definitely check out that book. Thanks!

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Seagal

Snubby, are you talking about Richard K. Bernstein of Diabetes Solution? In one of my copies of the book (page 302-302 he discusses using the pump, granted, my book is the revised edition of 2003, but he says:

 

"In our experience, insulin pumps do not provide better blood sugar control than multiple injections. Contrary to a common misconception, they do not measure what your blood sugar is and correct it automatically".

 

He discusses the pros and cons. You may not be a fan of Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, but negating his contributions is a bit harsh, as his valuable experience as a type 1 diabetic and a doctor have helped many, many people.

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sarah76
I'll have to look up Metformin. I know a little about it, but didn't pay a ton of attention to it when reading Dr. Bernstein's books because it pertained more to type 2s.

I'll have to do this too. Some T2 people I know have good A1c with Metformin.

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Subby
Snubby, are you talking about Richard K. Bernstein of Diabetes Solution? In one of my copies of the book (page 302-302 he discusses using the pump, granted, my book is the revised edition of 2003, but he says:

 

"In our experience, insulin pumps do not provide better blood sugar control than multiple injections. Contrary to a common misconception, they do not measure what your blood sugar is and correct it automatically".

 

He discusses the pros and cons. You may not be a fan of Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, but negating his contributions is a bit harsh, as his valuable experience as a type 1 diabetic and a doctor have helped many, many people.

 

I suggest you might allow for different view points on Bernstein. Bernstein gets treated as a god too often around here. My comments were quite specific and I did not "negate his contributions", though if you wish to extrapolate from my comments the option is there and per example you might be right, or wrong, about conclusions drawn. And in the same breath, I don't see why I should sit there listing all the good points of Bernstein just to keep his fans happy whenever I mention him.

 

As you point out, he simply dismisses pumping with a paragraph or two with an extremely sketchy and at times outdated "discussion" of pros and cons. To those that do not know further and have a knee jerk reaction against contradiction of Bernstein - good example here - they too will simply dismiss it as well. Many of us know better than that from experience with the pump/mdi. My goodness, the cheek to disagree with the big one!

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Subby
Subby,

 

Thanks for the info. I was for sure emotionally swindled by the book and Dr. Bernstein's assertions that blood sugars of even 120 cause terrible complications terrified me!! It's causing me to try to get my blood sugars figured out asap. Perhaps I'm being a little too obsessive. What I'm seeing in my readings, despite a consistent diet (I am a creature of habit), is that for two days in a row or so, my bgs will be in the 90's-low 100's, which is fine with me. However, the next couple of days my bgs will be in the high 100's-low 200's. I don't know if it's that I need to just give it some more time, or if there is something that I'm not taking into consideration. I will definitely check out that book. Thanks!

 

First, I don't know if they'll pipe in (it's a kind of underground current, the church of Bernstein is strong) but many people who take from Bernstein, when pushed will admit to take his absolute claims with a pinch of salt. I'm one of them! Others will take it as gospel, particularly those who do see similar results to the ones he claims. And surprise it's usually T2s with their metabolism largely intact allowing for close to non-diabetic automatic metabolism with low carbing. That's not to say some T1s might not get great results. It's to say that it's highly debatable whether all or even most T1s will find that without doing a whole lot of other stuff too. Very useful book in some ways. Somewhat confusing and unrealistic one - in some ways, and for some people - and I don't mean those that "can't hack low carb". (puts raincoat back on).

 

Here, you sound reasonably sensible with some concern at those blood sugars, certainly it would be good to see those higher days improve. I think if you are happy with the diet, and if there is a bit of sickness around, keep working on your insulin delivery and give it some time. Have you basal tested? This would be a great thing to do next, courtesy of that book Pumping Insulin.

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Seagal
I suggest you might allow for different view points on Bernstein. Bernstein gets treated as a god too often around here.

 

 

Oh good grief! You found me out:D You are right Subby - I am a Dr. B fan. On the other hand, my mind is not closed to all the different ways one can control their diabetes. I've been on the forum for a while and have admired many of your cogent comments, as was said in another post, that is what makes us like a family......we don't always agree with one another.

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Subby
I suggest you might allow for different view points on Bernstein. Bernstein gets treated as a god too often around here.

 

 

Oh good grief! You found me out:D You are right Subby - I am a Dr. B fan. On the other hand, my mind is not closed to all the different ways one can control their diabetes. I've been on the forum for a while and have admired many of your cogent comments, as was said in another post, that is what makes us like a family......we don't always agree with one another.

 

Good to hear your mind is not closed to alternatives, in this context presumably things like pumping. You're definitely a step ahead of your hero there.

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Seagal

Well, I must say that the only "hero" in my life is my darling husband of 55 years! They say we are set in our ways at my age, but I think just the opposite, I've lived long enough to appreciate all the vagaries of life.

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nordgirl
Subby,

 

Thanks for the info. I was for sure emotionally swindled by the book and Dr. Bernstein's assertions that blood sugars of even 120 cause terrible complications terrified me!! It's causing me to try to get my blood sugars figured out asap. Perhaps I'm being a little too obsessive. What I'm seeing in my readings, despite a consistent diet (I am a creature of habit), is that for two days in a row or so, my bgs will be in the 90's-low 100's, which is fine with me. However, the next couple of days my bgs will be in the high 100's-low 200's. I don't know if it's that I need to just give it some more time, or if there is something that I'm not taking into consideration. I will definitely check out that book. Thanks!

 

That's ridiculous! I'm not even a diabetic and after a big sugary bowl of porridge this morning I spiked at 144 (I was testing for my diabetic husband for comparison, by the way he had a tofu scramble and was at 140 and he was so pleased to beat my number - if he would have had the porridge he would have been 200+). Even non diabetics go over 120 regularly.

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Kathryn10

Yes, Dr. Bernstein is very strict!

 

I am seeing some better readings now. I've been keeping a log with me since I started low carbing and it's helping me to notice some trends; however, sometimes I get strange readings out of nowhere. None of them has been in the 300's which is great because (even though I don't like to admit it) when I was eating a high-carb low-fat diet, I would see my bg spike to that level from time to time. Now it seems my bgs are more manageable. I was at a temp basal rate of 150% that kept my bgs in the 90's and I found that I had to lower it to 125% overnight and this afternoon, so we'll see how that pans out. Hopefully my cold is going away and I can go back to my regular basal rate soon. I bought the Pumping Insulin book and am looking forward to reading that ... after I finish reading Hunger Games :)

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Grammy

Be patient...I have been meticulous about my recording and seeing some interesting patterns that seem to all be related to the type of food being eaten. We'll be old pros at it eventually.

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Grammy
I now have to primarily bolus for food quantity closely followed by protein. Carbs is a distant third. My basals are about 70% of my high carb levels.

2 boiled eggs with butter needs 4 units. My morning coffee one. large liver dumps which don't always want to be consistent. *sigh*

 

Please explain the need to bolus for food quantity versus just carb. Is this related to a liver dump - is that a natural response to a low bg?

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Kathryn10

Yes I'd like more info on that as well. I am aware of the "Chinese restaurant effect" but do not really stuff myself when I eat to avoid that.

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