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Draperygoddess

Still tired

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Draperygoddess

I have been on a low-carb diet for nearly a month now.  I'm averaging 15% of my calories from carbs, 15% from protein, and 70% from fat.  I've been completely grain-free, no root vegetables, no sugar. I've lost 7-8 pounds and am at the low end of normal weight--I'm having trouble eating enough to stay where I am, the food is so filling.  I expected that by now I would be seeing an improvement in my BG, and that I would have more energy.  But I'm seeing no appreciable change in my numbers, still hovering between pre-diabetic and diabetic, and I'm exhausted.  Should I not be seeing some improvement by now?

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miketurco

When someone starts off with an A1c of 12 or whatever, it's like they're a big glass full of water that's waiting to spill over. So when they tip the cup (low-carb, etc.) the water comes-a-spillin out. You, on the other hand, didn't start off in such a bad place. You've caught things before they got so far out of control. It's going to take a while. I don't mean this in a preachy way, but, you have to change your lifestyle and the way you eat. Permanently. It's going to take time.

 

Fifteen percent of... 1500 calories(??) comes out to 56g of carbohydrates/day. That may be more than you can tolerate. You might try dropping that down by about half and see where that takes you.

 

As to not being able to eat enough to maintain your weight.... sorry. You're definitely talking to the wrong guy. :)

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moneymeister

I have been on a low-carb diet for nearly a month now.  I'm averaging 15% of my calories from carbs, 15% from protein, and 70% from fat.  I've been completely grain-free, no root vegetables, no sugar. I've lost 7-8 pounds and am at the low end of normal weight--I'm having trouble eating enough to stay where I am, the food is so filling.  I expected that by now I would be seeing an improvement in my BG, and that I would have more energy.  But I'm seeing no appreciable change in my numbers, still hovering between pre-diabetic and diabetic, and I'm exhausted.  Should I not be seeing some improvement by now?

Hi Draperygoddess,

 

I have questions! I see a 5.7 A1c on no meds. What was your A1c when you started? How long ago was that?

 

One drawback of LCHF is that high fat increases insulin resistance. You may not need much insulin, but the insulin you need works harder. Also, have you seen a drop in your fasting numbers? An A1c will take 2-3 months to change significantly.

 

I'm worried about you feeling that tired. You may want to drop in to the doctor and check to make sure you don't have something else going on (undiagnosed UTI or something), which could explain the numbers not budging. Just thoughts...maybe someone else will offer a different perspective.

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NoraWI

You may NOT be a T2 at all, but LADA, a slow progressing adult T1. Ask your health provider to do a GAD65 antibody test. If it is positive to any degree, then you are T1 and should be on insulin. Ten to 20% of adult diabetics are really LADA and have been misdiagnosed as T2. Oral medications won't help them. Only insulin will.

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Draperygoddess

I'm trying for 1400 calories a day, but if I even get to 1300 I'm happy.  If I cut my carbs back even more, am I going to be able to get out of bed in the morning?  As far as the numbers go, I have a meter and have been checking throughout the day.  My FBG has not been under 100 since I started checking it four weeks ago, and usually it is over 110.  Saturday it was 135 for no discernible reason. I don't see the doctor till the 19th, but I don't have any symptoms of a UTI--I'm just so tired it's all I can do to get through a full day of work. 

 

I really appreciate everyone's advice.  I don't mean to sound whiny, and I know that most people struggle with the weight issue (my dad is one of them), so it doesn't sound like a bad thing to lose 8 pounds in 3 weeks. I have considered the possibility of LADA--I don't have any of the usual markers for T2.  I just don't know what else I can cut out to make this work.

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dowling gram

I have to ask how often you eat. To maintain my weight I have to eat often with smaller meals. I do keep my carbs to around 50 or 60 a day but it's spread out over the whole day. My biggest meal is breakfast because I'm an early riser. Then I have a snack mid morning, a light lunch and a snack in the afternoon. Dinner is again a light meal and a snack before bed.  You never mentioned fiber. You may have to increase your fiber intake to balance out the carbs. I eat 1/4 cup of flax meal--usually in a 1 minute muffin in a mug with a few blueberries and I eat nuts and seeds every day. Both up my fiber and calories without increasing carbs. Usually they are eaten as snacks.

 

With diabetes you have to experiment to find out what works for you. Some people eat only a couple of meals a day but I couldn't do that. It wouldn't work for me

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jwags

I aim for 1600-2000 calories most days to maintain my weight somewhere between 112-115 most days. I have been doing LC for over 8 years. Even with the max of Metformin, 2550 mg I still struggle with bgs. I am rarely under 100. managing our bgs is not a magic science, it takes lots of trial and error. I would suggest adding a few high calorie snacks like cheese or nuts during the day to get a little energy.

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kooka

Many people do not struggle with a "weight issue" at all as diabetes is no respecter of persons and is often genetic. Your father has  it and you have it. I have it and my daughter has it. She is 40 pounds overweight but because she can keep her A1C's around 5.3 her doctor said he would rather she be somewhat overweight than have uncontrolled diabetes. My sister who is thin has it and her two skinny sons have it  one of their overweight daughters has it. My 6'4,  94 year old skinny brother has it also. I, myself am 10 pounds overweight and when I got it I was not overweight.

 

I eat 10-20 carbs a day and 50 % protein and the rest fats including coconut oil. You should have passed the LC blahs at three weeks and your energy levels should be really high right now. At least that was the way for most of us original Atkins folks way back when it was a "fad" diet. Maybe you need another week or two. If things get worse I would not wait for the doctors apt. You need to call and see if you can get in. It could be you need D3 or Vit.B or any number of things. Good luck to you.

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gotsomeold

I hover just above 'underweight' and find I have to eat more protein than online calculators say I should.  Or I run completely out of energy, feel terrible, and lose weight. 

 

Yes, if you drop your carbs lower you may go through an adjustment period but you will be able to get up in the morning.  I encourage you to reallocate a percentage of what you are currently eating as carbs over to protein.

 

Also, how often do you test your BG?  When I started I found before each meal, then 1- and 2- hours after eating taught me a lot about how my body works and what I can and cannot eat.

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Draperygoddess

I am eating 3 meals plus snacks that really equal another meal--my calories are pretty evenly divided four ways.  I checked before and after meals in the beginning, sometimes at 1 and 2 hours, to get a feel for what I could handle.  I have learned that I cannot do any grains at all, or root vegetables--they send my BG soaring. So I eat a few berries, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, lettuce and spinach, celery...lots of cheese, Fage yogurt...nuts...chicken and occasionally beef or pork (about once a week)...cream in my coffee. No more than 10-15 carbs per meal, breakfast is usually much lower than that. 

 

I had read that too much protein is hard on your kidneys--the only thing that was out of whack other than my A1C was my creatinine levels, so I have hesitated to do anything that might impact my kidneys. How much is safe? I also have a sensitive stomach due to residual damage from gluten intolerance, so I have to be careful with fiber. I can do a handful of nuts, but I haven't tried flax seed because I'm not sure how I would handle it.  This is another reason I'm trying to avoid medication--my digestive system requires a balancing act or I won't be able to leave the house.

 

Oh, forgot to mention I am taking a D3 supplement and also iodine for my thyroid. I reduced the iodine because I was losing so much weight--that seems to have helped. I haven't found a multivitamin I can tolerate. 

 

Doctor options are limited right now--we don't have health insurance through employers and the state plan doesn't cover any doctors near us (including my GP).  I have an osteopathic doctor who has treated me for my food allergies and thyroid issues, and he doesn't take insurance at all, so I have an appointment to see him.  I don't want to go to a regular doctor and have it on my record that I'm diabetic--we hope to be able to get on the group plan when my husband gets promoted and I don't want anything to mess that up. I figure I'm going to need that good insurance later. :)

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kooka

Protein has never bothered me but it might some. I've never had a kidney issue on the roughly 15 yrs. or so doing Atkins, then a modified LC and now this which I see as basically Induction phase  Atkins some may go into phase 3 depending on how many carbs they allow themselves. I am doing Induction mainly. For breakfast I had an egg omelet with motz. cheese fried in canola oil and coffee with heavy cream. 1 Tbs. of coconut oil added with the cream in coffee #2. For lunch I eat a small tossed salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing and various protein toppings re: turkey, boiled egg, ham, salami etc. whatever I have in the fridge. For dinner I may have a chicken breast without the skin, hate the skin yuck, and cauliflower, broccoli or kale or some kind of greens and a TBS. of coconut oil. Snacks are almonds and pork rinds and sometimes fat bombs :D . I guess I eat lots more protein than fat as I am reading this. I also drink water and herbal tea throughout the day and I never eat large portions at any meal. Not everything works for everybody but the WOE works for me.

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jwags

I am eating 3 meals plus snacks that really equal another meal--my calories are pretty evenly divided four ways.  I checked before and after meals in the beginning, sometimes at 1 and 2 hours, to get a feel for what I could handle.  I have learned that I cannot do any grains at all, or root vegetables--they send my BG soaring. So I eat a few berries, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, lettuce and spinach, celery...lots of cheese, Fage yogurt...nuts...chicken and occasionally beef or pork (about once a week)...cream in my coffee. No more than 10-15 carbs per meal, breakfast is usually much lower than that. 

 

I had read that too much protein is hard on your kidneys--the only thing that was out of whack other than my A1C was my creatinine levels, so I have hesitated to do anything that might impact my kidneys. How much is safe? I also have a sensitive stomach due to residual damage from gluten intolerance, so I have to be careful with fiber. I can do a handful of nuts, but I haven't tried flax seed because I'm not sure how I would handle it.  This is another reason I'm trying to avoid medication--my digestive system requires a balancing act or I won't be able to leave the house.

 

Oh, forgot to mention I am taking a D3 supplement and also iodine for my thyroid. I reduced the iodine because I was losing so much weight--that seems to have helped. I haven't found a multivitamin I can tolerate. 

 

Doctor options are limited right now--we don't have health insurance through employers and the state plan doesn't cover any doctors near us (including my GP).  I have an osteopathic doctor who has treated me for my food allergies and thyroid issues, and he doesn't take insurance at all, so I have an appointment to see him.  I don't want to go to a regular doctor and have it on my record that I'm diabetic--we hope to be able to get on the group plan when my husband gets promoted and I don't want anything to mess that up. I figure I'm going to need that good insurance later. :)

Why are you afraid of having Diabetes on your record? It is part of your medical history and may be important in case of an emergency. With all of your other issues it sounds like you need to be on medication and/or insulin. It is very hard to do a LC diet without eating tons of fiber. I aim for 10-15 grams of fiber per meal on a LC a diet.

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Draperygoddess

On the medical record:  if things go the way we hope, my husband will be eligible for his employer's health insurance plan at the first of the year.  I'm afraid that if I am diagnosed, I will be uprated for health insurance, and we won't be able to afford it.  Then I won't have decent insurance later on when I need it most.  None of the doctors or urgent care clinics within 30 miles of me accept the state insurance, so we either have to drive to Nashville to see a doctor, go to an indigent care clinic in the next town, or go to the emergency room.  We discovered this last week when my husband had a kidney stone and had to go to 6 different offices to get the care he needed.  Plus, our "assigned provider" changes every few months.  I want a doctor I can stay with who will know my medical history. If it turns out I don't have any choice, I will go to the assigned doctor for meds, but I'd rather not do that until January if I can avoid it.

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kayell

"Under the Affordable Care Act, people with pre-existing health conditions cannot be denied health insurance as of 2014, when the law takes full effect." http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/health-reform-insurance-for-pre-existing-conditions

 

You said you were taking iodine for thyroid issues. Have those been diagnosed? You should be under a doctors care for thyroid problems. Be aware that some thyroid issues can be made worse by iodine, and that thyroid problems can be a cause of fatigue.

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jwags

If itis a new ACA plan through the exchange they cannot discriminate against you. Usually group insurance has always accepted everyone even before ACA, everyone pays the same rate. Now his employer's rates may be increased when they look at the overall medical history of the entire company and how much they have used insurance. So if there are many older workers who have had heart problems that would be figured into his rate. Then everyone in then cmpany pays a higher rate. We have had group insurance thru employers and private individual insurance. Group insurance can be just as bad as individual insurance with very high deductibles as much as $12,000 a family sometimes. It just depends what his employer negotiates, but your diabetes won't up your rate specifically.

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Draperygoddess

"Under the Affordable Care Act, people with pre-existing health conditions cannot be denied health insurance as of 2014, when the law takes full effect." http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/health-reform-insurance-for-pre-existing-conditions

 

You said you were taking iodine for thyroid issues. Have those been diagnosed? You should be under a doctors care for thyroid problems. Be aware that some thyroid issues can be made worse by iodine, and that thyroid problems can be a cause of fatigue.

They can't deny you insurance, but they sure can uprate you to the point that you can't afford it!  Right now, my husband can get company insurance, but the company will only pay half of the individual rate, which means our part for the family plan would be more than a week of his salary.  If he gets promoted, they will pay the full premium for him, and we will only have to pay the difference in that and the family plan.  I don't know if they would uprate me--might be the same for everyone under the group plan.  It's a moot point now, since I have had to go to the doctor because I was so incredibly sick.  Got down to 106 pounds and was living on diet ginger ale.

 

As far as the thyroid problems, three years ago my doctor found a cyst on my enlarged thyroid and ordered an ultrasound.  I was put on a low dose of iodine, which did help.  However, when I started the LCHF diet I started experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms and had to stop taking the iodine.  I saw my doctor again this week and he has ordered another ultrasound because my thyroid is noticeably more enlarged than before. I also suspect this is messing with my menstrual cycle, which is usually very regular and now has stopped altogether (no, I'm not pregnant!). He does think it is the cause of my fatigue, but there is a lot more going on (accelerated heart rate, swelling in feet and ankles, muscle weakness) and so far the supplements don't seem to be having much effect (although I'm taking only a partial dose of the magnesium and vitamin c, since it upsets my stomach, and am trying to gradually work up to the full dose). Swelling seems to be better since I stopped nuts, but my ankles are still a bit puffy.  Had some cream in my coffee this morning and now my allergies are in full swing. Ugh!  Live and learn.

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jwags

Usually the way the company insurance works is everyone pays the same rate regsrdless of health conditions. They have to cover a certain percentage of their emplyee but not their family. Before I went on Medicare I was paying almost $900 a month and still had a huge deductible before they paid for anything.

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