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inglucerant

Two Year Progress Report

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inglucerant

I haven't posted here in over a year, but I'm doing so now in hopes of encouraging some of you who are wondering if things can improve without medication. Bottom line: they can, but it takes work!

 

This is a rather long post. But if you've just been diagnosed, you may  be like me back then -- scared, confused, and wondering if you were headed toward a lifetime on meds.

 

3 years ago, my A1C was 6.7. About 2 1/2 years ago, I developed neuropathy in both feet, not so severe that I couldn't feel anything, but enough to make the area from my toes to my arch somewhat numb. This scared the shoot out of me, and a little over 2 years ago, I decided it was time to take control of my health.

 

Then, I was a 67 year old male, weighing in at 250 (down from a high of 268), just under 6 feet. My fasting BG was around 115. My lipid profile wasn't so hot, either: LDL of 178, triglycerides of 80, HDL of 45. My triglycerides were as good as they were then because even then I bicycled around 125 miles a week.

 

I decided to eliminate ALL processed carbs from my diet, absolutely and totally. I haven't had a piece of bread or pasta in over 2 years now. No cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc. I looked into keto, but I felt I didn't need to be that extreme. In the beginning I tested myself around 8 times a day, just to get a feel for what I could tolerate and what I couldn't. My primary goal was to keep my BG under 130 at all times, since all the research I've read indicates that BG's over 130 are what contribute to nerve damage. On the 2nd day of my lifestyle change, I decided to see what would happen if I ate a bagel. One hour later, my BG was up to 190. That did it for me.

 

Did I have urges? Absolutely! In the beginning it was tough to go to a party and see things like lumpia, cakes, ice cream, etc. and realize that I couldn't even taste them -- not because a taste alone would raise my BG that much, but because of its effect on my resolve. Today, though, the urges are almost non existent. In fact, I would say that my taste buds have change a bit. I'm much more delighted by the umami / acid sides of food than the sugar side.

 

I didn't worry much about weight, since my primary goal was to keep my BG < 130. However, I've now dropped down to 215. I'm not fanatical about carbs. I just get the vast majority of them from vegetables, along with a bowl of strawberries + blueberries almost every day. I'd estimate that my daily intake is around 50-60 carbs -- not keto, but way, way lower than the ADA recommends. I'm a meat eater, but I try to limit my consumption of red meat to a couple of times a week. I eat a fair amount of cheese and butter (absolutely no non-fat varieties!) and have nuts almost every day.

 

I've found that on long bicycle rides (> 50 miles), I have to have some extra carbs, so for breakfast before the ride, I have a fruit bowl. Otherwise, I tend to bonk around the 45 mile mark. I don't believe keto is a solution for me here, because my heart rate on my rides routinely gets up to 168 on the hills, rapidly depleting the glycogen in my muscles. Keto might work if I kept my heart rate <130, but that's just not the way I like to ride.

 

I just got back my latest lab results:

A1C:  5.1, which translates to an average BG of 100

Triglycerides:  54 (desirable is <150)

HDL: 75 (average is around 45 for males)

Total cholesterol: 225 (slightly high, but my mother died at age 97 with a total cholesterol reading of 350)

Triglyceride/HDL ratio: 3.0 (½ avg. risk=3.4; Avg. risk=5.0; 2x avg. risk=7.1; 3x avg. risk=23.4)

 

Yes, I still could stand to lose another 15 pounds, but at 69 now, I'm not too worried about that. I'm still bicycling 125 miles a week, doing lots of gardening, and trying to get on a decent schedule of strength training.

 

Do I consider myself cured? No. I am pretty sure I'm still insulin resistant. My neuropathy hasn't improved, but it hasn't deteriorated either. My kids are amazed at my "discipline", but I tell them, all I need to do is wiggle my toes, feel the numbness, and the craving for processed carbs passes.

 

So if I could condense this into a bullet point list for newly diagnosed prediabetics (keeping in mind I'm a sample size of 1), it would be this:

  • Test your BG a LOT in the beginning so you learn what causes spikes
  • Exercise 5 hours a week if possible, getting your heart rate in zone 5 at least 10 times a week.
  • Cut out ALL processed carbs
  • Eat LOTS of vegetables
  • Don't go on a diet; make your only goal keeping your BG < 130 at all times

 

Finally, I'm obviously not a doctor, but my actual doctor, who is more in the low fat camp than LCHF, isn't arguing with my results. His advice has been, "Keep doing what you're doing!"

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Seagal

Yep, it  is possible for some and congratulations to you for being so proactive!  

 

Your story is encouraging, and a testament to the possibilities for many.

 

PS....our Mike (Meyerly) rides his bike a lot too, in fact your story reminds me of his!

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Kit

Sounds like you've made some great improvements.  Congratulations on the work.

 

I know what you mean about not taking a bite because it messes with your resolve.  Its been a successful method for me as well.

 

As for not being keto, if what you are doing is working for you, getting your numbers where you want to be, then I see nothing wrong with it at all.

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meyery2k

Inglucerant - Thank you for sharing your story!  I love to cycle.  I started again in earnest last November.  I have a several metric century rides and a standard century ride under my belt.  

 

I know what you mean about eating and long rides.  I am not sure how good or bad this is but, on a long ride, I find I can relax my diet a little and I make a point to have a special meal on the road.  There is a fresh Fish and Chips place and after riding all the miles it is not only satisfying but it does not seem to affect my BG as it would had I not ridden.

 

Yes, the exercise helps.  When I was first diagnosed, I weighed 313 pounds and walking up 3 flights of stairs left me winded.  My pulse sitting in the doctor's office was 120.  BP was go to the ER and the only reason the doctor let me go home was because I was in no obvious distress. I started walking because it was all I could do for a period of time.  I slowly adopted LCHF and learned portion control (well sort of, that will always be a challenge for me I think).  In time I became fit.  I can now walk, run, swim, cycle, whatever I want to do.  I do things now (I am nearly 51) that I could not do at 40.  I have this wonderful body that mostly does what I want it to.  Diabetes, sadly, was the catalyst to change but boy what a change.

 

I now weigh around 200.  Went from a size 44 waist to a 36 and can do some mean cycling when I want to lol...  Once I put all the pieces together it was almost like hitting a reset button.  My weight came off in pretty short order and all my numbers went to good.  My resting heart rate is now 40-43.  I think that is my heart saying thank you for a break lol...

 

I second and even third your insights as they have also proven to work for me.  I seem to be mainly insulin resistant.  I can manage my BG for now with just diet and exercise.  Based on my testing, I make insulin, but it takes a while to work if I eat something with lots of carbs.

 

Great post as it gives hope to us that are new to this and shows it can be done.

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meyery2k

I have to run past lumpia.  When my daughter made it last, she made extra filling just for me and it worked pretty good mixed in with some cauliflower.

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inglucerant
2 hours ago, meyery2k said:

I have to run past lumpia.  When my daughter made it last, she made extra filling just for me and it worked pretty good mixed in with some cauliflower.

My wife -- the Filipino in the family -- has 4 brothers, and they all have families. You can imagine what family gatherings are like! I loved Filipino food from the day I met her, 44 years ago, even dinuguan, which my wife won't eat. And of course, every family gathering has enough food for 10 times as many people as are there. I actually miss pancit and babinka more than lumpia.

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meyery2k

Dinuguan, mmmm...

 

I just finished a half century metric and you mention dinuguan.  Most unkind lol...

 

I always had to eat it with rice but, you know, it might work with cauliflower.

 

When my daughter was 5 my wife (filipina) told her we were eating chocolate meat.  All was well until she discovered what that really was :)

 

To this day she will not touch dinuguan.  She has eaten beetles (yes beetles), ants, bugs in lollipops, and grubs but no dinuguan for her.

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meyery2k

inglucerant - So today after coffee, I was thinking about how good Filipino tripe stew would be.  I hope you are happy lol...

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Seagal

Well I had to look it up (dinuguan) and I guess it wouldn't be first choice on my list.  But thanks for the interesting topic:)

 

 

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