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Draperygoddess

How did you feel before insulin?

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Draperygoddess

I guess I'm lucky because I didn't even know my BG was high until I got the results of a life insurance physical and my A1C was 5.7. I started testing and found my FBG was definitely in the pre diabetic range.  Did a oral glucose test, was at 190 at 1hr, 143 at 2h. So i changed to a LCHF diet.  That was over a month ago.  I am 5'2", wasn't overweight to begin with but have gone from 118 to 110.  Averaging about 40g carbs a day, no grains, no root vegetables, no fruit except a handful of berries at lunch.  My FBG has not improved, and the past 4 days has been 126-130.  I feel terrible:  every muscle in my body aches, I have to sit down after climbing a flight of stairs, I'm nauseated half the time, my heart starts pounding if I exert myself at all. I have felt like this for weeks, hoping it would get better. But it hasn't.

 

So here's my question:  how did you feel before insulin, when you were trying to control your BG with diet and exercise (and possibly medication)?  I know that it takes awhile to adjust to a low-carb diet, but this is ridiculous. I see my doctor on the 18th, and if eating like this is not controlling my BG, I will need other options.  I just don't want to find myself fighting the same battle on Metformin.

 

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macksvicky

Personally I felt fine. Starting insulin made no difference to the way I felt, it made a huge difference to what my meter was saying though. I just wish I had started it many years sooner.

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Orlando

I guess I'm lucky because I didn't even know my BG was high until I got the results of a life insurance physical and my A1C was 5.7. I started testing and found my FBG was definitely in the pre diabetic range.  Did a oral glucose test, was at 190 at 1hr, 143 at 2h. So i changed to a LCHF diet.  That was over a month ago.  I am 5'2", wasn't overweight to begin with but have gone from 118 to 110.  Averaging about 40g carbs a day, no grains, no root vegetables, no fruit except a handful of berries at lunch.  My FBG has not improved, and the past 4 days has been 126-130.  I feel terrible:  every muscle in my body aches, I have to sit down after climbing a flight of stairs, I'm nauseated half the time, my heart starts pounding if I exert myself at all. I have felt like this for weeks, hoping it would get better. But it hasn't.

 

So here's my question:  how did you feel before insulin, when you were trying to control your BG with diet and exercise (and possibly medication)?  I know that it takes awhile to adjust to a low-carb diet, but this is ridiculous. I see my doctor on the 18th, and if eating like this is not controlling my BG, I will need other options.  I just don't want to find myself fighting the same battle on Metformin.

 

 

Like you I am pre diabetic, diagnosed almost three years ago. Have you considered doing a trial on less carbohydrates, for example 30 grams/day and if that doesnt work try 20 grams per day. I know that I cannot tolerate 40 grams carbs/ day, I need to go down to around 20 gram/day to get the results that I need. Its not easy in the beginning, but after a while its pretty simple as long as you eat enough proteins and plenty of fats/oils.

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Draperygoddess

Like you I am pre diabetic, diagnosed almost three years ago. Have you considered doing a trial on less carbohydrates, for example 30 grams/day and if that doesnt work try 20 grams per day. I know that I cannot tolerate 40 grams carbs/ day, I need to go down to around 20 gram/day to get the results that I need. Its not easy in the beginning, but after a while its pretty simple as long as you eat enough proteins and plenty of fats/oils.

 

I am concerned about cutting carbs even more--most days I'm between 30-40.  If I feel this awful on that, I'm afraid I won't be able to get out of bed on 20! How long did it take you to adjust to your diet?

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jwags

How long have you been doing LC? It took me several months to get my body to adjust. My bgs started out a lot higher than yours. My fasting was 242 and HbA1 c was almost 11. The LC diet did lower my bgs but only to the mid 100's. I asked my doctor for metformin. I had to raise it to the max over 18 months before I started to see Fastings below 100. Many times higher bgs have more to do with our livers converting too much glychogen into glucose.

 

I think you may be suffering from the LC flu. They advise you to drink salty chicken or beef broth to keep your electrolytes up.

 

You know you may need insulin when diet, exercise and the normal Type 2 meds no longer work. There really isn't a feeling besides having bgs above 140 most of the time.

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Orlando

I am concerned about cutting carbs even more--most days I'm between 30-40.  If I feel this awful on that, I'm afraid I won't be able to get out of bed on 20! How long did it take you to adjust to your diet?

 

The answer is "a couple of years" to be honest. I dont think anybody gets to the good results all that quickly as there is or was for me quite a bit of trial and error. But the reward is there in the end.  

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funkynassau

I have never felt sick or off or weird at amy point even before I was diagnosed with type 2.  I often wished I had felt off so that I would know something was wrong.  I always just felt fine!  I started insulin in May of last yr and hoped to feel something different but nope!  I still felt fine but my bg level came down nicely.  I too wish I'd started insulin way before I did.

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Draperygoddess

How long have you been doing LC? It took me several months to get my body to adjust. My bgs started out a lot higher than yours. My fasting was 242 and HbA1 c was almost 11. The LC diet did lower my bgs but only to the mid 100's. I asked my doctor for metformin. I had to raise it to the max over 18 months before I started to see Fastings below 100. Many times higher bgs have more to do with our livers converting too much glychogen into glucose.

 

I think you may be suffering from the LC flu. They advise you to drink salty chicken or beef broth to keep your electrolytes up.

 

You know you may need insulin when diet, exercise and the normal Type 2 meds no longer work. There really isn't a feeling besides having bgs above 140 most of the time.

 

I have been drinking chicken broth for the past week.  It doesn't seem to be helping.  Is it normal to develop trembling? I have been doing LCHF for about 5 weeks. I haven't seen any improvement at all.  I'm concerned because my FBG has been solidly in the diabetic range for the past several days.  I've gone from 105-118 to 126-130, and I'm not sick (aside from feeling completely washed out, as I have for the past several weeks). Am I overreacting?

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Kit

To be blunt?  Possible.  :)

 

As for numbers, it took me 6 months to get my numbers down to a normal range and that was with metformin.  Just going low carb is not going to immediately drop your numbers to where you want them to be.  Sometimes it just takes time.  Jwags mentioned the liver, and it can be a pain in the rear end in the equation.  I swear at mine now and then when I get up 25 points higher than I went to bed.  :)

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Aggie

Something here doesn't sound right.  I know that I felt 'off' (sort of lightheaded) for the first week or two on low carb, but that was it.   I don't think you should be feeling this bad and for so long.  I would get tested for type 1 if I was you.

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Aggie

Thinking more about this....How have your numbers been after meals and during the day?  Have those been lower on low carb?

 

The adjustment to low carb really shouldn't take long (the feeling crappy part); after a week or two I felt great and had more energy.  The RESULTS could take somewhat longer, I suppose, although since you didn't start out that high, I wouldn't think they would take that long either.  But at this point it looks like you are more concerned about how you feel.  And I agree that it seems odd.  Also, I don't think your fasting should be going up.  Even if it takes a while for it to drop, I can't see any reason it would rise 5 weeks after going low carb.

 

If you aren't type 1 (GET TESTED) I wonder if there is some other illness, unrelated to blood sugar, going on.

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Draperygoddess

When I read about the side effects of LCHF, the "lack of energy" seems to be directed at athletes who note a dip in performance.  The fog, lightheadedness, etc. is supposed to subside after a few weeks.  Good grief, I have to lie down after taking a shower!  my weight is dropping, but I'm eating as much as I can. And I didn't think I would have this big a problem with low carb, since I am gluten intolerant and already didn't eat bread or pasta. I changed to Fage yogurt, half and half instead of creamer, no more GF crackers at lunch, no more rice or starchy vegetables.  I didn't have to give up sugary cereal or fast food or chips--didn't eat those anyway.  So I realize that for those who have full--blown diabetes and numbers much higher than mine, this seems like I"m blowing it out of proportion, but seeing such high FBG numbers and never getting below 100 (before dinner yesterday I was 117), I'm worried. The only symptom of illness would be a little postnasal drip due to seasonal allergies, but it's not even bad enough to take medicine for. Should I keep doing what I'm doing, or do I need to change something?  

 

I see the doctor week after next.  Writing down everything I eat and tracking my BG so I can show him the notebook. Wondering if this is just standard pre-diabetes or if I'm headed toward LADA. I intend to ask for a test to rule it out.

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jwags

I find on LC I have to eat every 3 hours or so. I eat smallish snacks like hummus, cheese, deli meat or nuts. As others have said your number don't automatically go down. your body gets used to higher bgs and that is what it thinks is normal, I never had symptoms before diabetes. As I lowered my bgs even tom160, I felt crappy. So it may not be the diet but your body rebelling against lower numbers. Even after 8+ years of LC and 2550 mg of metformin and 1-2 hours of exercise a day my fastings are rarely under 100. As diabetics our endocrine systems are broken and sometimes they never revert to totally normal. Not everyone does well on LC/HF. For example I can't eat as much fat as some people because it literally makes me sick. Can you tell us what some of your meals are? maybe tweaking them a little will make you feel better. Are you on any other meds?

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jwags

The only way to know if it is LADA is to take the GAD antibody test. Alot of diabetics need meds to see lower bgs and they are type 2's. It is not a failure to go on meds if you need them. I felt the way you describe when I was on statins.

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OldTech

When I read about the side effects of LCHF, the "lack of energy" seems to be directed at athletes who note a dip in performance.  The fog, lightheadedness, etc. is supposed to subside after a few weeks.  Good grief, I have to lie down after taking a shower!  my weight is dropping, but I'm eating as much as I can. And I didn't think I would have this big a problem with low carb, since I am gluten intolerant and already didn't eat bread or pasta. I changed to Fage yogurt, half and half instead of creamer, no more GF crackers at lunch, no more rice or starchy vegetables.  I didn't have to give up sugary cereal or fast food or chips--didn't eat those anyway.  So I realize that for those who have full--blown diabetes and numbers much higher than mine, this seems like I"m blowing it out of proportion, but seeing such high FBG numbers and never getting below 100 (before dinner yesterday I was 117), I'm worried. The only symptom of illness would be a little postnasal drip due to seasonal allergies, but it's not even bad enough to take medicine for. Should I keep doing what I'm doing, or do I need to change something?  

 

I see the doctor week after next.  Writing down everything I eat and tracking my BG so I can show him the notebook. Wondering if this is just standard pre-diabetes or if I'm headed toward LADA. I intend to ask for a test to rule it out.

 

How much fat are you eating - butter, bacon, cheese, cream? If you do get adapted to low carb, you need the fat for energy (unless you need to lose weight). Both the yogurt and half-and-half have too many carbs and not enough fat for me.

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Ela

Honestly I felt awful for at least a few months after starting LC diet.  My numbers though went down pretty fast, but then I had them real high (200-300) in the beginning AND started on Metformin.

 

Why are you thinking of insulin if you didn't even try Met?  And all in all your BG #s are not alarming.  

 

I was having bad few days - my FBG was really up as usually it's below 100 but one day it's 116 and next it's 120!  What in the world?  Eating normally and doing everything as usual.   And then I'm coming down with sore throat and cold!  And now as I'm recovering with the cold, my FBG slow goes down too - 116, 120, 112, 110, 106 and 102 today.   Still not up to my standards, but at least I know the reason now, but first two days had no idea - felt absolutely fine.

 

I also heard that some things like some UTIs could be asymptomatic but affect BG anyway.  There are other things too that could affect BG.  Maybe even allergies.   

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Kit

While Type1s can loose weight swiftly, isn't that usually because the numbers are much much higher?

 

Do post some samples of your meals.  We might be able to give a few pointers to help out.

 

I also feel really awful if I don't eat enough whole protein in my diet.  My muscles ache, I totally lack energy, having to make an extra trip up a set of stairs would make me want to cry.

 

Emotional stress can also do a lot to your numbers.  Last monday I discovered my front yard was a swamp on my way out the door to work from a broken water pipe.  I was 95 when I had taken my reading about 30 minutes earlier.  About 30 minutes later I was shaking pretty badly.  Took my reading and I was 136.  I hadn't even eaten breakfast yet but it hadn't been long enough for me to get nabbed with a liver dump from not eating.  It was all from stress.

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jwags

One thing you are going to discover about diabetes is our bgs do bounce around for no reasons. Sometimes it is stress, sometimes illness and sometimes for no reason. Doctors think we can lose weight and we reverse our disease, I haven't found that to be true at all.

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Draperygoddess

Okay, I'm eating basically the same thing every day, with some variations for dinner, so here's the typical:

 

Breakfast:  1/2 cup Fage yogurt with sugar-free Torani syrup, coffee with half and half and splenda (I can't handle the HWC in my coffee, so I found a brand of half and half that was only 1 carb.)

 

Lunch:  2 slices cheddar or swiss, 1/3 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup pistachios or pecans, water

 

Snacks:  more coffee, nuts.

 

Dinner:  Chicken breast cooked in olive oil, sautéed squash and zucchini with butter, maybe some bell pepper or tomatoes.  Or I might do a salad with spinach, chicken, tomatoes, celery, a little low-carb dressing.  I have red meat about once a week, with broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc. sautéed with butter.  I don't eat corn or any root vegetables.  

 

I am shooting for 1300 calories a day, 15% carbs, 15% protein, 70% fat.  Recently I have tried upping the protein to 20%.  I am allergic to eggs and I have to be careful with fiber due to some digestive issues.  Generally I am hitting these goals. 

 

I am not opposed to medication if it's necessary, but I am leery of Metformin because it doesn't take much to get my digestive system out of whack.  I can't even take over-the-counter vitamins, even with meals.  I understand that changing my diet might not show a big impact right away, but I need to be able to work and it's becoming difficult.  I'm open to suggestions!  Do you think more protein would help?

 

I do know that stress can make a difference--a couple of weeks ago my husband collapsed (turned out he had a kidney stone, but I didn't know that at the time), and my FBG was well into the 130's before breakfast. Maybe the allergies are enough to mess it up.

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Ela

Couple of things:

 

I can't eat 1/4 cup of blueberries, in fact even a few are getting my BG up.  Strawberries and blackberries are better, but I still can't eat more than a few at one sitting. 

Coffee doesn't seem to affect my BG, but some members found that theirs go up.  It could be that caffeine wakes your other hormones and they might tell your liver that it's time to dump some glycogen. 

I eat tomatoes in big quantities without a problem, but not every diabetic can do it.

 

Also, maybe 1300 calories is not enough for you.  Your diet does look like a "diet" to lose weight and then start eating "normally".  Your lunch seems especially light.  And for many people the middle of the day is the best time to process carbs as their insulin resistance is not as bad.

 

It's true that Metformin is problematic for some people but it's also true that it's not for others.  I never ever had any gastro issues with Met.  I might take it with or without food and it's never a problem and in fact I don't take it with food - first thing in the morning as I wake up and last thing before going to bed.  But if you start it - I'd say to "sandwich" it as Kooka recommended probably the best.

 

And don't worry too much, your numbers are not terrible at all, but worrying might get your BG up.

Good luck!

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notme

Draperygoddess. How long have you been pre diabetic? My concern is that you are experiencing ketoacidocis with the symptoms in your first post. How certain is your doctor of the diagnosis? I was initially diagnosed (for only two days) with type 2 and given Metformin and a referral to a nutritionist. Of course this was back in the 80's. Within two days I was hospitalized with ketoacidocis and they discovered I was type 1. Is there a chance your pancreas is just shutting down and you have been experiencing a honeymoon period?

 

Are you having difficulty catching your breath? I would increase your blood glucose testing and if you see any numbers above the 200 range, I would immediately call your doctor.

 

Really, the Internet is a good place for information but, you definitely need to know why your numbers are increasing.

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Kit

I agree with Ela.  1300 calories is a diet to loose weight, not maintain weight.

 

Your dinner looks good to me.

 

Breakfast.  Ah, I tried the yogurt thing.  Even just eating a container of Fage yogurt by itself would raise me 30 to 40 points.  Since I don't like yogurt anyway, it didn't break my heart to drop it and try other things.  :)

 

You could certainly add some calories and protein at lunch.  It might help you feel better overall.

 

I'd be careful on the berries.  While I personally can tolerate them, too often can be problematic.  I reserve them for special occasions and make them a treat.  :)

 

It doesn't hurt to give Metformin a try.  I had about a week where I used the bathroom a couple more times a day then normal, but it was very very mild.  Then it went away.  It doesn't seem to matter if I take it with food or not.  If you can't tolerate it, you can't.  But you'll never know unless you try and the benefits do make the attempt worthwhile.

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jwags

Okay, I'm eating basically the same thing every day, with some variations for dinner, so here's the typical:

 

Breakfast:  1/2 cup Fage yogurt with sugar-free Torani syrup, coffee with half and half and splenda (I can't handle the HWC in my coffee, so I found a brand of half and half that was only 1 carb.)

 

Lunch:  2 slices cheddar or swiss, 1/3 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup pistachios or pecans, water

 

Snacks:  more coffee, nuts.

 

Dinner:  Chicken breast cooked in olive oil, sautéed squash and zucchini with butter, maybe some bell pepper or tomatoes.  Or I might do a salad with spinach, chicken, tomatoes, celery, a little low-carb dressing.  I have red meat about once a week, with broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc. sautéed with butter.  I don't eat corn or any root vegetables.  

 

I am shooting for 1300 calories a day, 15% carbs, 15% protein, 70% fat.  Recently I have tried upping the protein to 20%.  I am allergic to eggs and I have to be careful with fiber due to some digestive issues.  Generally I am hitting these goals. 

 

I am not opposed to medication if it's necessary, but I am leery of Metformin because it doesn't take much to get my digestive system out of whack.  I can't even take over-the-counter vitamins, even with meals.  I understand that changing my diet might not show a big impact right away, but I need to be able to work and it's becoming difficult.  I'm open to suggestions!  Do you think more protein would help?

 

I do know that stress can make a difference--a couple of weeks ago my husband collapsed (turned out he had a kidney stone, but I didn't know that at the time), and my FBG was well into the 130's before breakfast. Maybe the allergies are enough to mess it up.

Why only 1300 calories. I think you are not eating enough. I usually hit 1700-2000 calories most days. You might want to make some LC crackers or muffins to add to your meals. I rarely eat plain berries but I add them to my gluten free muffins. I also make cookies to eat as snacks in between meals. Check out our recipe forum. There are tons of LC recipe sites online and facebook. Even if you are LADA your numbers are fine right now, so don't be overly concerned. DKA normally happens when you have no insulin production to push your glucose into your cells. People with DKA will have very high bgs without insulin 400+.

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Draperygoddess

Thanks for all the input on diet!  Honestly, I am having to work to get UP to 1300 calories a day--the extra protein and fat is so filling, I have to force myself to eat sometimes. 

 

Muffins--I got the ingredients to make some.  I've had some trouble finding things to eat for breakfast since eggs and sausage are out for me.  I've wondered if the yogurt was a problem, but haven't noticed any big spikes after eating it. 

 

notme--I do have trouble catching my breath after climbing stairs or similar exertion, but not when I'm just sitting or walking around. I haven't been testing as often after meals, but I will test more often.  I haven't seen the doctor yet.  I started using my meter again when I got my physical results and my A1C was 5.7.  I've been testing regularly for 5 weeks and have only been under 100 twice (99 and 94, both pre-prandial). So I haven't officially been diagnosed with anything. 

 

If the doctor says Metformin, I will try it, but I have gastro reactions to drugs than aren't even supposed to cause problems. I even get nauseated when I take the meds prescribed for diarrhea!  It scares me because when I have a bad reaction, it takes a long time to get back to normal. 

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jwags

Tell your doctors about all your symptoms, including shorteness of breath. It could be something that is not Diabetes related. I would try to increase your fat a little. Some do better on full fat yogurt if you can find it. I will take my FAGE 0% yogurt and add sour cream , peanut butter or heavy whipping cream to it to increase the fat. I am also so done with eggs. I often eat hummus for breakfast, or one of my LC muffins. I also make my own crackers and will eat crackers and guacamole for breakfast. Look for things high in fat. Dark chocolate is another good way to get healthy fat.

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