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Luc

How far is 5.7 from 6 ?

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Luc

51 yo, 5'9'', 178 lb  (1.80m, 81 kg)

 

Hello, I am new here and I want to say thank you to all people that share their experience on this forum. I think it really helps to know that we are not alone.

One week ago I got the results of my full blood test where glucose reaches 111, all other data were in a good normal range, only BUN and EGFR were in a low normal range. Yesterday morning I went back to the lab to test for A1c and blood glucose. a1C was at 6% and BG was at 116.  I understand that 6% is not so high, but is still calling for diabetes and correction on life style.

6 years ago I did change my lifestyle as my full blood test was also dramatic, liver and cholesterol levels were out of range, blood pressure was usually in 160 – 100. I cut out red meat, white meat only twice a week, pasta and pizza only once a month, no sweets, no salt, lot of fish and fruit and veggies, reducing alcohol consumption to almost zero, quitting smoking, longer hours of sleep, getting fit. Since then I constantly went along with this lifestyle, eating fairly healthy and exercising about 5 hours a week. Finally 2 years ago the results of my full blood test were all in a normal level. Digestion was not a pain anymore and I was happy and felt better. At least till one week ago.

I understand that carbs are not my friend and I admire and respect people that have the strength to cut out or to reduce drastically the amount of carbs from their diet for healthy reason. What scares me is that I don’t think I will ever be able to find the self-power to lower my daily intake of carbs. My previous lifestyle change was not difficult, but cutting carbs seems a mission impossible to me. I usually consume something like 100 carbs a day and when in the past, I tried to lower it below 100, I just could not function. I understand the consequences but I also know my limits. Still, I bought a glucose meter to keep a track of my levels during the day and get the best out of it and I intend to do the a1C every couple of months. My goal is to get below 5.7%, but I am not sure on how much left I can give.        

Did anybody feel in the same situation of not being ready?

 

Moderators if you think this post is not appropriate, please feel free to delete it.

Edited by Luc

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Dowling

You are not in bad shape and for the most part your diet is not too bad. I have a suggestion. Look for the most carby thing or fruit  in your diet and then look for a replacement. It might be that you eat apples or oranges and could switch to berries. Berries are much lower in fructose than apples or oranges. You could switch some of the pasta for spaghetti squash. You can make pizza crust with riced cauliflower or try making it with no crust like I do sometimes and you can have this often. I precook all my veggies and anything that releases water and place them in a container. I have my meat-- sausage, ham or bacon precooked and pepperoni sliced or chopped and my spices ready,  basil  and Italian seasoning. I grate my mozzarella--you'll need quite a bit of this. Then I'm ready to make my pizza. Place the mozzarella in a nonstick pan to cover the bottom well-- no grease and place over medium heat. When melted enough to form a solid sheet put all your toppings on and sprinkle with the seasonings. use a heavy hand with the basil. sprinkle on some parmesan cheese. It's done when it begins to change color around the edges. Plate and eat. you can't hold this in your hand and have to use a knife and fork but it does taste like pizza

Edited by Dowling

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Hammer

Luc, welcome to the forums, and you will find a great group of people here.  First, I also want my A1c to be under 6.0  I've gotten it down to 5.2 at one time, but it slowly rose.  My last A1c was a 5.9, which, while not bad, was still higher than I wanted it to be.  The thing is, there is no significant difference in mortality rates between people who have an A1c of 6.0, to those people who have an A1c of 5.0.

 

When it  comes to carb intake, we are all different, so we need to find the carb intake amount that works for us.  If you need 100 carbs a day, then fine....100 carbs a day isn't that extremely high, but of course, it would be better if you could lower that.  You didn't mention this, but are you taking any diabetes meds?  The reason that I'm asking is because, as a type 2 diabetic, I can't take oral diabetes meds because they all upset my stomach, so instead, I use insulin.  Now insulin isn't for everyone, and taking too much can be dangerous, but by using insulin, you could eat 100 carbs a day, take the appropriate amount of insulin, and still keep your A1c under 6.0.

 

Here is the problem with using insulin...yes, you can eat lots of carbs, then take the appropriate amount of insulin to cover those carbs, but how can you be certain, as to how many carbs are actually in that higher carb food?  You can't, so you have to estimate the total number of carbs and take what you feel is the appropriate amount of insulin.  The more carbs you eat, the more of a chance that you will incorrectly estimate the number of carbs in the food, and you could take too much insulin.  For example, it seems that a large pizza has about 35 carbs per slice.  Okay, so if you ate 4 slices of it, and estimated that to contain 140 carbs, then you would take the appropriate number of units of insulin to cover those 140 carbs.  What if the slices were not even, which they usually aren't, plus, you don't know how much tomato sauce or other ingredients are on each slice.  If you took the appropriate amount of insulin for 140 carbs, but it turns out that there was actually only 120 carbs, you would have taken too much insulin.  Now if you ate something that had 25 carbs in it, while it might contain more or less carbs than 25, the amount would be that much of a difference....maybe 1 or 2 carbs, so if you took the appropriate amount of insulin for 25 carbs, but there was only 24 carbs in the food, the amount of insulin that you took would be insignificant.  The fewer number of carbs you eat, the less chance you'd have of taking too much insulin, so it's safer to eat fewer carbs, thereby taking less insulin.

 

Anyway, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them, as this is what this forum is for.

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meyery2k

I used to love starches.  Potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, pizza crust.  I loved fast food.  It does take willpower and discipline at first.  Willpower won't keep you going forever though.  Eventually I found that I preferred different foods as I adopted and tried new things.  The pizza example is perfect.  A pizza crust is not interesting until it has toppings.  The toppings make the pizza.  A baked potato, to me was not complete until it had butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and tabasco.  Those seasoning work great with mushrooms, zucchini, and other non-root vegetables.  

 

At first it seemed like cutting carbs was a don't do this, don't eat that thing.  The reality is that I found better food to replace the starches and sugars I thought I couldn't live without.

 

One great tip.  Don't try to substitute one food for another expecting the same results.  I tried mashed cauliflower to substitute for mashed cauliflower.  It doesn't substitute.  You get mashed cauliflower.  I was complaining about that when my friend pointed out that I like cauliflower, which is true.  She then further asked me why don't I just let the cauliflower be cauliflower?  Season it to taste.  Put cheese or whatever you like on it.  Let go of potatoes.  That was an ah-ha moment for me.

 

Exercise can help a great deal.  I started with a Fitbit and strove for 10,000 steps a day with a couple rest days a week.  That provided a good deal of help and I got back into good physical shape.  

 

You can find your own path through this.  There is sure no one size fits all but we will help you find the way that works best for you.  It looks like you are on a great start.  Be patient.  It takes a little time to get everything dialed in but we are proof it can be done.  It is not as hard as you fear.  You are taking this on at a time when you can have an easier time getting control of this.  Many of us had fasting BG of 300+ and A1c of 10+ when we found out we had diabetes.

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Luc

Thank you Dowling, Hammer, meyery2k for your suggestions. The point is that this glucose issue is a new challenge for me and I am not sure what to expect. I am not taking any meds and I am not ready. At the moment I am in a foreign country and I don’t feel to see doctors here, if not for an emergency. When I’ll be back to Italy, I will definitely go to see my doctor.

I am not sure if I understand the difference between an A1c of 6 and 5. Or what my goals regarding BG and A1c should be and how long could take to get there? I am not sure of how my diabetes-related complications will evolve in the future (kidneys, blood pressure, eyes, hearing, feet, nerves, heart). Is “remission” more than a myth?    

The reason I was aiming to get my A1c to 5.7% is because I was of the impression that the signs and symptoms of diabetes would then reduce to a normal level. During the last 8 days I reduced significantly my diet, eating only chicken, salmon, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, cucumbers, eggs and drinking only water and unsweetened almond milk. I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast, but I will remove it starting tomorrow. Besides my 5 hours weekly of exercise, I walk for about 40 minutes every day. The exercise gives me dopamine and that is good, but with this low amount of carbs I cannot function and I am not ready. I think I can do without starches, but still, I would need to get carbs from at least fruits. The point is that I have always had a little concern about new things that relate to me and I always want to know more about. I just hope that my questions are not too invasive.   

From tomorrow I will start to test my blood at least 4 times a day, 1 in fasting, 1 before lunch, then 2 hours after lunch, and before bed. The reason of this being the willingness of understanding how my blood glucose is affected 24h.    

I appreciate your support and willingness to help me.    

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Dowling
2 hours ago, Luc said:

I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast, but I will remove it starting tomorrow. 

Want a better than oatmeal and stick with you for a long time low carb breakfast. In medium small bowl melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. With a small whisk or fork beat in 1 large egg. Add 3 tablespoons of flax meal and 3 tablespoons of almond flour and 2 tablespoons of any granulated sweetener and mix until no dry ingredients show. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup of berries. if it looks a little dry add a teaspoon of cream. Microwave for 2 minutes. Break up and pour over it a cream water mix or unsweetened almond milk and enjoy.

 

2 hours ago, Luc said:

I would need to get carbs from at least fruits.

 Most fruit is high in fructose--another word for sugar. Berries have the least fructose. Try nuts and seeds instead of fruit. Here's the nutrition facts for  a medium apple

  • Calories: 52 Water: 86%, Protein: 0.3 grams, Carbs: 13.8 grams, Sugar: 10.4 grams, Fiber: 2.4 grams, Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Subtract the fiber from the carbs--the sugar is included in the carb total and you have11.4 carbs of mostly sugar
  • Here's the nutrition for Pecans other nuts may be a little different
  • See the source image
  • Subtract the fiber from the carbs and you have 5 net carbs 4 of which are sugar
  •  
  •  
Edited by Dowling

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meyery2k

A diet with no carbs would be boring and largely unsustainable over the long haul.  We have found complex carbs such as non-root vegetables and nuts really help us.  They taste good and they work well with other foods.

 

I rode my bike today so my diet would horrify a nutritionist but here goes...

 

Breakfast

Tuna salad made with mayonnaise.  Seasoned with lemon, pepper, salt, and cayenne.  Threw in a handful of mixed nuts for crunch.  Topped with grated parmesan.

Hummus - Couple good tablespoons

3 slices Gouda cheese

Atkins shake

Black coffee

 

I rode all morning on this.  Around 1PM I had a pack of almond butter I carry for on the road for energy.  Drank water and Nuun electrolyte.

 

For lunch, I stopped at a grill and had a bacon mushroom swiss cheeseburger.  Didn't eat the bun.  Small diet soda for the caffeine and the taste.

 

More water going home.  Those meals kept me going for 9 hours of active riding.  I rode 90 miles and climbed 10,000 feet for the day.

 

Got home and had chicken breast with curry seasoning.  Topped with mayonnaise.  Lettuce and tomato salad with a handful of mixed nuts and ranch dressing.  More gouda cheese.  Unsweetened almond milk (8oz) with 2 TB of heavy whipping cream, SF syrup to taste.

 

As I settle down for bed I will probably have a SF Coke Energy drink to help with recovery.  The caffeine helps prevent leg twitches while I fall asleep I think and there are some electrolytes and vitamins.

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Luc

I want again to thank you all for your help, support and positive attitude. What you do is very important. I usually have a “can do attitude” myself, but this new challenge is freaking me out and that is not well because that actually worse my BP and BG.

I will take inspiration from you all, as the majority has started this process from a much difficult point then where I am now. I will keep checking BG several times a day and follow a diet with low carbs till I can manage it, knowing that I have no choice. Then I’ll take it from there.

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Dowling
1 hour ago, Luc said:

I want again to thank you all for your help, support and positive attitude. What you do is very important. I usually have a “can do attitude” myself, but this new challenge is freaking me out and that is not well because that actually worse my BP and BG.

I will take inspiration from you all, as the majority has started this process from a much difficult point then where I am now. I will keep checking BG several times a day and follow a diet with low carbs till I can manage it, knowing that I have no choice. Then I’ll take it from there.

 

No need to freak out. Don't try to do everything at once and get all in a sweat. Start with small changes. Once you see the results you'll be encouraged to do more. Our posts were meant to be encouraging and show you it's not impossible. It took us all a while to reach our way of living and your diet has to be sustainable over the long haul or it won't work.

 

Take care and don't forget we are only a post away if you need help, encouragement or just want to boast or gripe

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meyery2k
5 hours ago, Luc said:

Thanks, is nice to know that we are not alone in this challenge

You are not alone.  It takes some time and it is not as difficult as it looks.  I know.  I was depressed about pizza lol...

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tovli
On 1/16/2021 at 11:48 PM, meyery2k said:

rode 90 miles and climbed 10,000 feet for the day

@Luc, sorry for the OT thought:  

@meyery2k WOW!  I did that once maybe twice in my much younger life, and consider it a "once in a lifetime achievement".  WOW! Congratulations. 

 

@Luc, I hear ya.  ("Early Pre-Diabetes" myself, trying to figure out what I can really do.  Tried "keto", but nearly passed out a few times.)

 

After a few months of checking your blood and logging what you eat (I use the CarbManager app on iOS), you will find out what works for you.  Example:  One of my breakfasts has been "4 extra large strawberries, 1/3c Purely Pecan grain-free granola, 1/2c Almond milk, 2 hard boiled eggs, 3 Brown & Serve sausages, black coffee."  (I have to force myself all this because I was loosing too much weight on 120g carbs/day.)

 

Recently, I could not buy the cereal anywhere, and this morning I decided to break into my "I'm not throwing this box of Cheerios away yet" that was in the back of the pantry.  I checked the carbs for the same amount of Cheerios as the pecan granola, and was surprised to see that the carbs is identical. 

 

I have slightly elevated BG in the mornings, so I have to be careful with breakfast carbs.  My meals goal is under 140 at 1 hour.  With the Cheerios, instead of pecan granola, the BG came in at 122.  When I started my diet modification, I never would have believed I could be satisfied with 1/3c of Cheerios, but after seven months of rethinking, it sort of worked.  (Doesn't have the desired fat calories of the pecans.)  

 

For reference, I tried substituting a single packet of instant oatmeal for the strawberries and pecan granola once - Yow! 146 - can't do that and it didn't satisfy like the berries and pecan granola breakfast anyway.

 

Congrats on paying attention to your health, and you will find a way to do this.  I'm sure.

Edited by tovli
forgot the almond milk

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