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Some pre-diabetes-related questions, if anyone can help -- FUNNY UPDATE in 1st POST


ILiveInFlipFlops
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UPDATE: So, funny story! Before breakfast this morning, I remembered that I wanted to a BG reading, so I got the kit out and ready. In the meantime, DD14 walked in, and I asked if she wanted to take a reading too, since she hadn't eaten yet. She said sure. She stuck her finger and we watched the readout: 144. I just about fell over, and she said, "Oh no, that's bad, isn't it?" I had a moment of parent horror, thinking of all the terrible habits I've passed on to the kids, how we need to exercise more, etc. Then I was like, "Wait just a minute. That's ridiculous!" It finally occurred to me check the expiration date on the test strips I've been using. They expired in 2010!!! I'm using a kit my mom gave me, and it never even crossed my mind to check the expiration!

 

So I did her reading on a new set of strips, and it was 95 :lol: Not quite as low as I'd like to see it, but waaaay better than 144. Then I tested mine on both the old and new strips. On the old strips, it read as 177. On the new strips, 102! Apparently the 155 from the other day was a faulty reading and things aren't quite as frightening as I thought. Ultimately, the next steps are the same, because my A1C is what it is, but wow, can you believe the difference in the readings? 

 

Live and learn, I guess!

 

----------------

 

My morning blood sugar readings (taken sporadically) have been high over the last year, in the 105-115 range. However, this morning I woke up and happened to think of taking it before I ate breakfast, and it was 155  :svengo: So, yeah, no more putting off addressing it, apparently  :blushing:  The last couple of FBG readings at the doctor have been 102-105, and the doctor never even mentioned them to me. I recently started seeing an endo for thyroid treatment, though, and I asked her to run an A1C, which was 6.2 (pre-diabetes range).

 

Here's what I'm wondering: 

 

1) My endo jumped immediately to Metformin, but I asked for 6 months to try to manage it myself first. (Yeah, great job so far!) Is it possible to reverse pre-diabetes on your own, or is it a "the damage is done, no going back now" kind of thing? Has anyone managed to keep themselves off Metformin once they've gotten to the point I've reached? 

 

2) Can anyone recommend some reading on this? Are there good beginner-level-understanding resources (books, sites, etc.) where I can jump in and get a good grasp on what I'm dealing with? I know the basics about diabetes, but when I've looked up individual questions, I've found that there's SO much nuance--it's a little overwhelming and I'm having a hard time connecting all the dots to make a complete picture. 

 

TIA!

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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A close relative of mine was pre-diabetic, went on metformin, did weight watchers and lost about 70lbs, learned to eat better, and went off metformin.  He's been off it for 3 years now and is maintaining his blood sugars with no issues.  

 

I've read many stories of people stopping medication after adopting lower or low carb eating habits.  (This is also how my relative did it, though he didn't go super low- I think he aims for 100-150g net carbs a day).  Before insulin was readily available, this was the only solution for diabetics, and it worked as long as the diet was followed.  

 

I can't speak for every case obviously, but many cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes can be managed through diet.  Just don't use the Diabetes Association's diet guidelines, which many people complain are absolutely not helpful and not addressing the metabolic needs of a person whose body is not processing sugars correctly.

 

I'd start by googling "managing diabetes through diet" and see how it goes from there.  The earlier you catch it, the easier you can reverse it, so it's great that you are motivated and proactive to fix this!

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I was on metformin earlier in my life, mostly for getting/staying pregnant stuff (pcos).  Now I manage only via eating LCHF though I haven't checked my glucose levels in a long time - I probably should do that; I am 48 and not overweight (my dad was a thin type 2 diabetic).  I feel like there was a recent thread on this but I can't remember which poster...  Anyway, I do much better when I stay low, say less than 70 g carbs, but I live in the House of Carbs, so I do my share of falling off the wagon.  When I do that, zinc seems to help.

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Yes it is possible.  It's even possible to reverse diabetes (type 2) after you have had it awhile.  My mother did with low carb.  She just wasn't on board with that idea for quite some time.

 

And I mean a true low carb diet.  Not the 150 grams or so a lot of dietitians recommend.  You can be sure you'll never go off the meds with those amounts.

 

Weight loss helps, but it's not necessarily the entire picture with everyone.  For one thing, my sister who is diabetic, is no overweight at all and was not when she was diagnosed.  She follows the advice of the dietician and now not only does she not control her blood sugars with medication she has to take insulin injections several times a day.

 

 

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My morning blood sugar readings (taken sporadically) have been high over the last year, in the 105-115 range. However, this morning I woke up and happened to think of taking it before I ate breakfast, and it was 155  :svengo: So, yeah, no more putting off addressing it, apparently  :blushing:  The last couple of FBG readings at the doctor have been 102-105, and the doctor never even mentioned them to me. I recently started seeing an endo for thyroid treatment, though, and I asked her to run an A1C, which was 6.2 (pre-diabetes range).

 

Here's what I'm wondering: 

 

1) My endo jumped immediately to Metformin, but I asked for 6 months to try to manage it myself first. (Yeah, great job so far!) Is it possible to reverse pre-diabetes on your own, or is it a "the damage is done, no going back now" kind of thing? Has anyone managed to keep themselves off Metformin once they've gotten to the point I've reached? 

 

2) Can anyone recommend some reading on this? Are there good beginner-level-understanding resources (books, sites, etc.) where I can jump in and get a good grasp on what I'm dealing with? I know the basics about diabetes, but when I've looked up individual questions, I've found that there's SO much nuance--it's a little overwhelming and I'm having a hard time connecting all the dots to make a complete picture. 

 

TIA!

 

My FBG has been in that 105-110 range for about 20 years....ever since first round of gestational diabetes.  My latest A1C was 5.7, so it is creeping up.  I understand what you are asking.

 

1. Is is possible to reverse?  Depends. 

Are you over weight?  I am about 10-15lbs over what I'd like to be.  Since menopause, it has been really, really, really, terribly, terribly hard to move that weight.  The doc isn't too concerned about those "few" pounds, but still, I need to move the scale in the right direction, not the wrong direction.  I know people who have lost a great deal of weight, 30+ lbs and their A1C came within limits. 

 

How old are you?  Pre or Post Menopause?  Family History of diabetes?

 

What is your diet like?  Clean?  Low GI?  Excellent quality protein with meals?

 

Do you exercise?

 

Do you do weight training?  Muscle mass is more a concern for me, post menopause than those pesty 10 lbs.  Muscle is vital to support my body, protect my spine, and it is more efficient than fat. 

 

2. Resources?  American Diabetes Association has a wealth of information on their website.  Their online shop carries several books.  Also, they have meal planning books and guides to help you plan and prepare healthy eating and portions. 

 

I'd also suggest working with  a dietitian or nutritionist who understands diabetes and pre-diabetes.  The needs of a pre-diabetic and a type 2 diabetic are different than those dependent upon insulin.  I have found a nutritionist to be vital to my overal health and wellness.

 

Other considerations.....

 

How is your blood pressure?  You mentioned thyroid.  Is that condition well managed?  Are you hypo or hyper?  Do you have a provider who can look at the "big picture" as far as hormonal status, thyroid, cardiac function, adrenals, etc?  Will your provider consider OTC options to help stabilize blood sugar?  Does your provider want you to use a prescription to "jump start" and get everything under control but then transition off?  Are you on any other prescription medications or herbal supplements?  Have you had an eye exam? 

 

I guess what I'm saying is that diabetes is not something to mess around with.  It can do a lot of damage and shorten expected life span quality of life.  But, there are tools to manage and prevent.  You really do need to educate, educate, educate and develop a plan with your provider(s).

 

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Frankly, I think for most people it is NOT this complicated.  If you don't eat a lot of carbs, how is it you are going to have out of whack blood sugars?  It's the out of whack blood sugars that are problematic. 

 

What IS complicated and difficult is trying to eat a low carb diet in a high carb diet world.  No doubt in my mind this is in part why dieticians don't tell people to drop lower.  They probably figure people will already struggle with the changes. 

 

 

My FBG has been in that 105-110 range for about 20 years....ever since first round of gestational diabetes.  My latest A1C was 5.7, so it is creeping up.  I understand what you are asking.

 

1. Is is possible to reverse?  Depends. 

Are you over weight?  I am about 10-15lbs over what I'd like to be.  Since menopause, it has been really, really, really, terribly, terribly hard to move that weight.  The doc isn't too concerned about those "few" pounds, but still, I need to move the scale in the right direction, not the wrong direction.  I know people who have lost a great deal of weight, 30+ lbs and their A1C came within limits. 

 

How old are you?  Pre or Post Menopause?  Family History of diabetes?

 

What is your diet like?  Clean?  Low GI?  Excellent quality protein with meals?

 

Do you exercise?

 

Do you do weight training?  Muscle mass is more a concern for me, post menopause than those pesty 10 lbs.  Muscle is vital to support my body, protect my spine, and it is more efficient than fat. 

 

2. Resources?  American Diabetes Association has a wealth of information on their website.  Their online shop carries several books.  Also, they have meal planning books and guides to help you plan and prepare healthy eating and portions. 

 

I'd also suggest working with  a dietitian or nutritionist who understands diabetes and pre-diabetes.  The needs of a pre-diabetic and a type 2 diabetic are different than those dependent upon insulin.  I have found a nutritionist to be vital to my overal health and wellness.

 

Other considerations.....

 

How is your blood pressure?  You mentioned thyroid.  Is that condition well managed?  Are you hypo or hyper?  Do you have a provider who can look at the "big picture" as far as hormonal status, thyroid, cardiac function, adrenals, etc?  Will your provider consider OTC options to help stabilize blood sugar?  Does your provider want you to use a prescription to "jump start" and get everything under control but then transition off?  Are you on any other prescription medications or herbal supplements?  Have you had an eye exam? 

 

I guess what I'm saying is that diabetes is not something to mess around with.  It can do a lot of damage and shorten expected life span quality of life.  But, there are tools to manage and prevent.  You really do need to educate, educate, educate and develop a plan with your provider(s).
 

 

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Google Dr. Jason Fung and read and watch his videos. He comes from the perspective that high blood glucose levels are a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself, which is insulin resistance. He has a program that intensely manages diet, emphasizing natural fats, low carb and fasting-- all intended to resensitize the body to insulin.

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Google Dr. Jason Fung and read and watch his videos. He comes from the perspective that high blood glucose levels are a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself, which is insulin resistance. He has a program that intensely manages diet, emphasizing natural fats, low carb and fasting-- all intended to resensitize the body to insulin.

 

It's intriguing that he thinks one can resensitize to insulin, but what is the point of going through all that if you resort to your old eating ways after awhile?  Wouldn't you just end up back where you started eventually?  I find that all quite complicated if that is the case.  Forcing myself to starve with the hopes of what in the end?

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I was recently (well, last fall) diagnosed pre-diabetic with an A1C of 5.9.   But, I have never had a FBG over 106.  

 

My doc told me to lose weight and watch my carb intake.   After 4 months, my FBG was 83; the A1C had not changed, and I had lost a whopping 5 pounds.  But the doctor was pleased. 

 

She told me to keep working on the weight loss, carbs, and try again in another 4 months.    No mention of medication. She says it absolutely can be reversed.  Some people do stay in pre-diabetic range for years without becoming diabetic.

 

When do you test, other than in the morning?  Inspired by people here (I have started at least one thread on the topic) I have done a lot of experimenting with my blood testing and have learned a lot about what makes my blood sugar spike, and when it does.   I've tested every 15 minutes after eating certain foods, to see when the peak is.  It's  helped me determine what I really can and can't manage.   I know if we ever eat Pho again, I need to eat the broth, meat, and veggies, and leave the rice noodles in the bowl.  I know that a couple of pieces of pesto pizza AND chocolate birthday cake is too much, but a slice pizza with a lot of veggies and a side salad are fine.   Oh, and that the spike from pizza will come much later than the spike from plain rice, because of the fat. 

 

Jason Fung is good, and someone here recommended the Blood Sugar 101 site.   Oh, I have been steered away from the American Diabetes Association as some say they are too liberal with daily carb recommendations. 

 

There is a lot of nuance and it can be confusing.  

 

I've also read some stuff about high FBG that are related to something called the "Dawn Phenomenon" but honestly didn't exactly understand it because everything I found about it assumed the reader was already on insulin.  So maybe it's not even a thing for pre-diabetes.  Just tossing it out here though in case someone more knowledgeable has something to say.

 

 

 

 

Edited by marbel
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It's intriguing that he thinks one can resensitize to insulin, but what is the point of going through all that if you resort to your old eating ways after awhile? Wouldn't you just end up back where you started eventually? I find that all quite complicated if that is the case. Forcing myself to starve with the hopes of what in the end?

I think the changes have to be permanent in order to be effective long term. If by starve, you are talking about the fasting part, I think most people adapt very well and don't consider it a hardship after the initial adjustment. I don't really find his approach complicated. How does it seem that way to you?

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I think the changes have to be permanent in order to be effective long term. If by starve, you are talking about the fasting part, I think most people adapt very well and don't consider it a hardship after the initial adjustment. I don't really find his approach complicated. How does it seem that way to you?

 

Because I don't like the idea of planned starvation.  That part is complicated and frankly probably unnecessary.  I already go through periodic periods of not eating much or anything naturally while on low carb.  To me it makes more sense to listen to your body, assuming it's not out of whack.  That adjustment to "not out of whack" happened naturally for me with low carb.

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Because I don't like the idea of planned starvation. That part is complicated and frankly probably unnecessary. I already go through periodic periods of not eating much or anything naturally while on low carb. To me it makes more sense to listen to your body, assuming it's not out of whack. That adjustment to "not out of whack" happened naturally for me with low carb.

It is very interesting how different ideas seem to different people. To me, intermittent fasting, i.e. restricting daily eating to a 8 hour window, for example (this window varies) is about as simple an approach as there can be. You still eat to satiety, so this to me is way easier than a restricted calorie diet, or a very low carb diet.

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It is very interesting how different ideas seem to different people. To me, intermittent fasting, i.e. restricting daily eating to a 8 hour window, for example (this window varies) is about as simple an approach as there can be. You still eat to satiety, so this to me is way easier than a restricted calorie diet, or a very low carb diet.

 

Maybe that works if there are no other factors.  Like ya know...someone has a life and can't always control exactly when they eat.  Or they have to eat in order to take a medication.

 

I just want to eat. 

 

I eat low carb, but I don't consider it so low carb that my options are extremely small.  My options are actually pretty wide.  Low carb does not have to mean no carb. 

 

But different strokes for different folks! 

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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I had diabetes with both kids, and tested as  pre-diabetic with both fasting blood sugar and the A1c when my youngest was a year old.

 

And for 16 years, I managed to hold it off, but my A1c is creeping up. I've lost 30 points with 20 to go, and I have a recheck in May. If it's not down then, I probably will have to go on medication.

 

So yes, you can hold it off with diet and exercise, but that will get tougher as you age.

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1) My endo jumped immediately to Metformin, but I asked for 6 months to try to manage it myself first. (Yeah, great job so far!) Is it possible to reverse pre-diabetes on your own, or is it a "the damage is done, no going back now" kind of thing? Has anyone managed to keep themselves off Metformin once they've gotten to the point I've reached?

 

2-3 years ago my A1C was 6.1 and my doctor told me to get off all white foods. Those are my favorite so I refused to do it, but I did lower my carb intake to no more than 150 grams daily. At the 6 month mark, my A1C dropped down to about 5.5. Now it's 5.1.

 

FWIW, my mom managed her diabetes with diet only for about a year than went on Metformin for a while. Then came off it for a while. Then went back on a low dose. I don't know what her A1C is but her doctor checks it every 3 months. He's not increased her medication as far as I know so she must be doing okay.

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I need to do something too...after 20+ years of hypoglycemia issues, my fasting blood sugar levels are in the low pre-diabetes range. I have no extra weight to lose. Lower carb would be really, really hard because my nursing baby has a bunch of food intolerances, and I have crazy high caloric needs...like 3000 calories a day. It's hard to get that many calories without many carbs.

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I need to do something too...after 20+ years of hypoglycemia issues, my fasting blood sugar levels are in the low pre-diabetes range. I have no extra weight to lose. Lower carb would be really, really hard because my nursing baby has a bunch of food intolerances, and I have crazy high caloric needs...like 3000 calories a day. It's hard to get that many calories without many carbs.

 

Uhhh really?  Fat?  Fat has a ton of calories.  Put some more butter on your broccoli. 

 

I believe you that you prefer low carb foods.  But to say they are higher in calories?  Not unless your idea of low carb is bowls of lettuce, that's just not the case.

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It's intriguing that he thinks one can resensitize to insulin, but what is the point of going through all that if you resort to your old eating ways after awhile?  Wouldn't you just end up back where you started eventually?  I find that all quite complicated if that is the case.  Forcing myself to starve with the hopes of what in the end?

 

The interesting thing about this approach is that YOU CAN still eat junk sometimes.  When you've been overindulging because of life celebrations and events, you just fast for a few days afterwards to undo the damage.  It's much more sustainable long term than any other approach I've found.  And by fasting he doesn't mean you have to absolutely fast.  There are variations of it, including soups and fats and bone broth and whatever so long as it doesn't exceed 500-600 calories per day.   So if your friends are going out to Starbucks you just order a tall coffee with cream and when someone mentions pastry you simply say you ate way too much last night to even think about food yet.  There's several books and youtube videos and an extensive blog that explain all this, but basically:

 

1) Follow any diet that works for you, just eat less often.  All foods make you release insulin so it doesn't matter if low fat vegan or low carb works best, use the diet you can stick to without snacking.  Most people find it is easier to eat less often by eating less carbs, but not everyone can do that due to their individual circumstances.

2) Skip breakfast if you're not inclined to eat breakfast.

3) Try to make your largest meal of the day lunch, and definitely try to have your carbs at lunch if you're going to eat them.

4) Try to completely avoid processed carbs, added sugar, and especially corn syrup.

5) When you do overindulge, that's okay, just fast the next day.  Whenever your blood sugars are out of whack, use intermittent fasting (whatever sort works for you) until you're back on track.

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I eat at least a stick of butter a day.

 

If you exclude nuts and seeds, which the baby has problems with, and protein, which I do eat a lot of but one can only eat so much meat and eggs...then what's left that's low carb is vegetables. And it's a lot easier to get a bunch of calories from beans or potatoes than it is from most vegetables.

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The interesting thing about this approach is that YOU CAN still eat junk sometimes.  When you've been overindulging because of life celebrations and events, you just fast for a few days afterwards to undo the damage.  It's much more sustainable long term than any other approach I've found.  And by fasting he doesn't mean you have to absolutely fast.  There are variations of it, including soups and fats and bone broth and whatever so long as it doesn't exceed 500-600 calories per day. 

I overindulge sometimes.  I also enjoy life's celebrations and events. 

 

It still works without fasting. 

 

If there are any difficulties it is to not get derailed.  It's so easy to say I'm tired of not getting to eat whatever I want.  It seems like everyone else around me is doing that...why can't I?  Or they eat bread and don't have diabetes.  That sort of thing....

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If the low carb, high fat method doesn't work for you (or if you don't like it), try Dr. Fuhrman's The End of Diabetes (book). It worked for me -- my blood glucose numbers were normal, as in non-diabetic, by the end of the first month.

 

I had started from a diagnosis of full-blown diabetes, with a FBG of almost 400. It's a year and a half later, and I'm still in great shape as long as I stay on the plan (which has become a way of life).

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Thank you, this thread has been so helpful, and you all make me feel like there's hope. 

 

I'll definitely look up all the resources you've all suggested. I actually just borrowed The End of Diabetes on audio from our library. Dr. Fuhrman is definitely a name I trust. I also borrowed Prediabetes for Dummies just to be sure I hit all the important aspects. I'll look into the Jason Fung materials as well, although I really can't do any kind of fasting (had my gallbladder out a few years ago, so going too long without food gives me digestive issues). But at this point, I'll try any recommendation just to gain the knowledge!

 

I definitely have a lot of weight to lose, definitely need to exercise more. Our lifestyle is very sedentary: Between working from home, homeschooling, and generally being introverted and indoorsy, I don't move nearly as much as I should. I eat all the things I need to eat--unfortunately, I also eat a lot more than that, and lots of things I shouldn't eat. I'm not kidding myself; it's definitely a problem.

 

The thyroid issue is hypo, but only mildly. I'm just starting treatment, and we're inching up my does of levothyroxine slowly until the numbers get in line, so it's all kind of new at the moment. It's hard to say on BP, because I'm usually anxious at doctor's appointments, so it's always high. But at my endo visits, I'm totally relaxed and comfortable, and those measurements have been 80/115 or so. I think my endo is a big-picture kind of thinker--I like her a lot. I'm due back for rechecks on all my bloodwork in June, so I'll talk to her more about options then.

 

Never even thought about eye exam! I've noticed my vision is a little odd, but I think that's the prescription in my glasses from last year. My eye doc added a major correction for astigmatism, but I think she overcorrected and will discuss that with her when I go in again (soon, because oldest DD really needs to go in too). 

 

Thank you again!

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I had started from a diagnosis of full-blown diabetes, with a FBG of almost 400. It's a year and a half later, and I'm still in great shape as long as I stay on the plan (which has become a way of life).

 

 

:scared:  :scared:  :scared:  That's breathtakingly scary! Did you have actual physical signs that everything was so out of whack at that point?

 

I saw that 155 this morning and actually gasped out loud. It's been high before, but I've never seen a number like that. One of the articles I came across talked about the numbers being high not from what you ate the day before but from an interplay of four hormones...and then I started to get confused and lost track of what I was reading. That's when I thought I'd better start from scratch. 

 

I'm amazed that you've managed to make such a comeback. Again, it gives me hope that I can fix this for real. 

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:scared:  :scared:  :scared:  That's breathtakingly scary! Did you have actual physical signs that everything was so out of whack at that point?

 

I saw that 155 this morning and actually gasped out loud. It's been high before, but I've never seen a number like that. One of the articles I came across talked about the numbers being high not from what you ate the day before but from an interplay of four hormones...and then I started to get confused and lost track of what I was reading. That's when I thought I'd better start from scratch. 

 

I'm amazed that you've managed to make such a comeback. Again, it gives me hope that I can fix this for real. 

 

Well, I have lupus and some other autoimmune stuff, so I tend to blame everything on that...it was sudden chest pain that finally sent me to the ER, where I got tested and diagnosed! Fun times. My heart was totally fine, thank God.

 

I'll tell you one thing I've learned -- Dr. Fuhrman was exactly right about the sedentary lifestyle being the main problem. You can follow his diet perfectly, and still have high numbers if you don't move, move, move. It doesn't have to be crazy. Just walking is enough.

 

I've found that breaking up exercise throughout the day has a better effect than one very long exercise session; from the start I walked for 15 minutes, four times per day. Now I walk for half an hour, 3-4 times per day.

 

The other "tricks" are to never eat between meals, no snacking at all, and get plenty of rest - no matter what that takes. Also, teach some of the people in the family solve more of their own problems, and the family's problems, because stress (esp. the kind that interferes with sleep) derails the plan. If you don't walk them off sometimes, and tell them that you care and will help, but for NOW, you are going to sleep, or taking a walk, or whatever you need, you'll need to learn how to do that.

 

These are HUGE lifestyle changes for the homeschool mom who never stops yet never manages to take care of herself. My family had to adjust to my meals being different, and my dogmatic persistence on getting my walks and my sleep. But they get to keep me now, so it's fine.

 

It feels GOOD to have licked this problem and relearned how to take care of myself. I hope you will do it, too! (One way or another.)

Edited by Tibbie Dunbar
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Well, I have lupus and some other autoimmune stuff, so I tend to blame everything on that...it was sudden chest pain that finally sent me to the ER, where I got tested and diagnosed! Fun times. My heart was totally fine, thank God.

 

I'll tell you one thing I've learned -- Dr. Fuhrman was exactly right about the sedentary lifestyle being the main problem. You can follow his diet perfectly, and still have high numbers if you don't move, move, move. It doesn't have to be crazy. Just walking is enough.

 

I've found that breaking up exercise throughout the day has a better effect than one very long exercise session; from the start I walked for 15 minutes, four times per day. Now I walk for half an hour, 3-4 times per day.

 

The other "tricks" are to never eat between meals, no snacking at all, and get plenty of rest - no matter what that takes. Also, teach some of the people in the family solve more of their own problems, and the family's problems, because stress (esp. the kind that interferes with sleep) derails the plan. If you don't walk them off sometimes, and tell them that you care and will help, but for NOW, you are going to sleep, or taking a walk, or whatever you need, you'll need to learn how to do that.

 

These are HUGE lifestyle changes for the homeschool mom who never stops yet never manages to take care of herself. My family had to adjust to my meals being different, and my dogmatic persistence on getting my walks and my sleep. But they get to keep me now, so it's fine.

 

It feels GOOD to have licked this problem and relearned how to take care of myself. I hope you will do it, too! (One way or another.)

 

 

You're singing my song, sister. I was just wondering as I was driving home tonight how much the sleep issue plays into it, because I sleep horribly. No, I don't sleep horribly. I sleep really well. I just don't allow myself to GO to sleep. I literally collapse from exhaustion every night on the couch with all the lights on and my computer on my lap, and then I get up at 6:30 every morning when DH gets up. It's like a sickness. I used to say I had too much to do, I'd sleep when I'm dead. I guess the joke's on me  :glare:

 

Thanks Tibbie. You're always full of wisdom and truth. I think I might actually, intentionally, go sleep in my own bed right this minute!

 

ETA: Well, crud. Sleep Well to Avoid Insulin Resistance, Study Suggests DH is going to do the "I Told You So" dance when I tell him about this. 

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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This book was very helpful to my husband:  https://www.amazon.com/Reversing-Diabetes-Julian-Whitaker/dp/0446556114

 

He was told that he had pre-pre-diabetes, and since both of his parents have fullblown diabetes, he took that very seriously.

 

This was also helpful, although it might be a little dated:  https://www.amazon.com/First-Year-Diabetes-Essential-Diagnosed/dp/B002UXRZZS/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486962909&sr=1-3&keywords=diabetes+the+first+year

 

We also used a book of glycemic indices to figure out a reasonable diet for him.  Low or no glycemic index was best, moderate next, high pretty much eliminated.  So, for instance, he ate oatmeal for breakfast (moderate), salad with low fat protein for lunch (low), ditto for most dinners, avoided all rice, soda, and almost all bread.  Also he switched to taking a short walk after most meals, and doing some aerobic exercise.  With just these changes but no calorie restrictions he lost a bunch of weight and dropped his A1C quite a bit.  His doctor had offhanded told him that he would have diabetes in 10 years or less, but it's been 17 and he doesn't, even though he has relaxed the eating and exercise rules a bit.  It can be done!

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I can't add much to what others have said, but I'll agree that yes, MOST people can do this with diet and exercise.  There are many diet options - all of which deviate from the "typical" American diet of high carbs and sugar.

 

For me, sticking with (mostly) meats, veggies, and fruits (whole fruits - some say they can't do it with fruits, but it works fine for me) coupled with exercise not only helped with weight, it brought my numbers down from being nagged about going on meds to no longer out of whack.

 

I'll admit I have a soda vice - esp when we travel.  With all we've been doing out of ordinary from Oct on, my latest numbers were back up into the "flagged watch out" region.  I need to shift back to finding alternatives if we're going to be on the road so much, but it proved to me that diet definitely makes a difference.

 

Note though - I emphasized most above.  I have a friend where diet and exercise doesn't work (as she eats better and exercises more than I do).  She's younger than me, so it's not age either.  Sometimes that's just the way real life breaks.

 

That said, definitely give dietary changes a good try.  I prefer my new eating lifestyle (lots of veggies, fruits, and some meat - few starches, even the veggie kind - rarely any typical desserts).  The bonus is it's helped hubby's heart numbers too (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc) as he eats what I cook (or plan - even if he cooks).

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If the low carb, high fat method doesn't work for you (or if you don't like it), try Dr. Fuhrman's The End of Diabetes (book). It worked for me -- my blood glucose numbers were normal, as in non-diabetic, by the end of the first month.

 

I had started from a diagnosis of full-blown diabetes, with a FBG of almost 400. It's a year and a half later, and I'm still in great shape as long as I stay on the plan (which has become a way of life).

 

Not all that different than many low carb diets in general.  Pretty much how I eat except I do eat meat.  I think what really works about low carb is people just cut out a lot of the processed carb stuff, especially stuff laden with sugar and very low quality carbs (which makes up the bulk of a lot of people's diets).  They will often increase the veg because minus carbs, what else is there?  There is meat yes, but there is only so much meat most people can eat or want to eat.  (Some don't cut out junk.  Technically you could do low carb by eating a bunch of weird low carb junk, but I have my doubts as to that really working out so well in the long run.)

 

I am in some low carb on-line groups and admittedly I think the way some people approach it is rather weird.  They'll drink sticks of butter, eat only meat or eggs for days, etc.  They are usually looking for a quick fix.  They can lose weight on it, but who in heck wants to live on that sort of diet long term?  So unfortunately I think it is this sort of thing that makes people think low carb is some sort of weird diet that involves just living on blobs of fat and meat. 

 

AND I think people believe it's just about weight loss.  It is absolutely NOT.  You could lose weight eating a high carb diet.  That's not going to control diabetes.  And some people with diabetes aren't even overweight.  The focus should be mostly on healthy eating IMO and not just a specific number on the scale.  To me the evidence for that is that many people will see results in their numbers fairly quickly even though they are still overweight. 

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PS  The glycemic indices are not always completely intuitive.

For instance, eating whole grains is not nearly as much of an advantage over white as I would have expected.  The grind matters quite a bit, too, which makes sense--cracked wheat bread is better than whole wheat which is a little better than white.  

 

Something to know--white flour has a higher GI than white sugar!

 

Also, starchy veggies are very high in GI--things like winter squashes, pumpkins, cooked carrots (but not raw ones).  Also, fruit varies quite a bit more than I would have thought.  Strawberries are moderate while other summer fruits tend to be high.  

 

GI doesn't measure just the amount of carbs, but rather the rate at which they enter the bloodstream.  This is especially important in prediabetes and early type II because controlling how high the peak blood glucose goes has a lot to do with reducing damage to your circulatory system.  If the carbs don't all enter your blood as one big jolt, it's much better for you.  Also, taking a short walk or just moving around some after eating helps reduce insulin resistance a lot, so that's almost as important as what food you choose.

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GI doesn't measure just the amount of carbs, but rather the rate at which they enter the bloodstream.  This is especially important in prediabetes and early type II because controlling how high the peak blood glucose goes has a lot to do with reducing damage to your circulatory system.  If the carbs don't all enter your blood as one big jolt, it's much better for you.  Also, taking a short walk or just moving around some after eating helps reduce insulin resistance a lot, so that's almost as important as what food you choose.

 

 

Thank you, this is extremely helpful and explains a lot. Because of the GI issues I was left with after my gallbladder removal, I often go long stretches without eating if we're going to be somewhere where I'm not sure about the bathroom situation. However, I also have panic attacks if my blood sugar gets too low, so over the last year or so I've been keeping a lot of high-sugar foods on hand to keep my blood sugar from getting too low without putting too much food into my stomach (which triggers the gastric distress...ahem). I guess I basically spent two years crashing and spiking my blood sugar on a near daily basis. Great!

 

This stupid stomach problem is the source of so many of my current health issues, and nothing I've tried has helped it (except eating hardly any food at meals). And eating low-carb/Paleo-style exacerbates it! I'm really going to have to play around to see what I can eat and not eat to meet all the various health parameters. Oh, I also have chronic kidney stones thanks to my lovely genetic line on my father's side. Too much protein = more kidney stones. Too many veggies = stomach trouble. Too many carbs = blood sugar issues. 

 

I'm very frustrated and considering not eating at all anymore. I guess that would surely solve all my problems!  :banghead:  :001_rolleyes:

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Ahhhh...now I know why you are avoiding fat.  That makes sense.

 

I have a lot of GI issues myself.  Not gallbladder, but oh yeah.  I haven't even figured out what exactly triggers my issues because there is no rhyme or reason to it.  But definitely too many high fiber vegetables can be problematic for me.

 

I also go periods without eating because eating sometimes just makes me feel like crud when the GI stuff is acting up.

 

It's a royal pain...no doubt.

 

Hence why I'd like a dinner pill.  LOL

 

 

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:( with fuhrman the only fat in your diet is a small amount of avocado, nuts, and seeds (you can make liquid forms of these if you can't digest nuts well), it's low grain and low meat, so my lupus affected kidneys are happy. But it's not very low fat. Also, you can't get away from the truckloads of veg on his plan. A pound of salad greens, a pound of cooked greens, a cup of beans, and a cup of mushrooms per day.

 

I think I would want to start with a combo of meds and doable lifestyle changes (cut snacking and high GI foods, for starters, deal with stress and sleep, walk), but I wouldn't want to start an extreme diet fix if you know it's gonna really hurt. Regain some health and then push harder on doing it med-free. Marathon, not sprint, so you don't get discouraged and don't suffer. It's OK to use meds to bring your numbers down; I used insulin for a month while I studied and advanced with lifestyle stuff.

 

Just my two cents! Could be wrong! :)

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Ahhhh...now I know why you are avoiding fat.  That makes sense.

 

I have a lot of GI issues myself.  Not gallbladder, but oh yeah.  I haven't even figured out what exactly triggers my issues because there is no rhyme or reason to it.  But definitely too many high fiber vegetables can be problematic for me.

 

I also go periods without eating because eating sometimes just makes me feel like crud when the GI stuff is acting up.

 

It's a royal pain...no doubt.

 

Hence why I'd like a dinner pill.  LOL

 

 

Oh, I'm not actually avoiding fat at all. It makes no real difference for my stomach issues. I'm not avoiding anything at the moment because nothing really seems to help, so my main coping mechanism has just been to go long stretches without eating until get home or to somewhere with a reliable bathroom where I can be in one place for awhile.

 

We used to be a lot more low-carb, actually, but then I discovered that eating grain-based things actually helps my GI issue (I think it's an absorbency issue, sort of). And then all that went out the window, and I started gaining weight again and feeling like crud but was actually managing to have some control over my days AND enjoy eating a bit too. So I'm sort of stuck at this intersection of all my food problems :( It stinks. 

 

Oh, and I forgot to say that YES, I'd love a dinner pill!

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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Dh was diagnosed over 10 years ago and has not used metformin at all. He reduced his simple carb intake and increased his exercise. He really credits the exercise for keeping his blood sugars in check. It doesn't mean he goes crazy eating junk but he can eat it sometimes without completely messing up his numbers. He also has hypothyroid and the doc recently lowered his synthroid--first time in well over a decade. Dh credits exercise for that too.

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Oh, I'm not actually avoiding fat at all. It makes no real difference for my stomach issues. I'm not avoiding anything at the moment because nothing really seems to help, so my main coping mechanism has just been to go long stretches without eating until get home or to somewhere with a reliable bathroom where I can be in one place for awhile.

 

We used to be a lot more low-carb, actually, but then I discovered that eating grain-based things actually helps my GI issue (I think it's an absorbency issue, sort of). And then all that went out the window, and I started gaining weight again and feeling like crud but was actually managing to have some control over my days AND enjoy eating a bit too. So I'm sort of stuck at this intersection of all my food problems :( It stinks. 

 

Huh...yeah I don't know what my issues are from.  They've tested everything.  I've tried various configurations of food and I might first think...oh so far so good..then boom it hits me again.  So I just stick to what I'm doing (veggies and all) and deal.  If I can't control it anyway then...

 

I'm starting to wonder if I have something like IBS.  It's one of those, "We don't know what is wrong so it must be this." kind of things, but it does match. 

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:( with fuhrman the only fat in your diet is a small amount of avocado, nuts, and seeds (you can make liquid forms of these if you can't digest nuts well), it's low grain and low meat, so my lupus affected kidneys are happy. But it's not very low fat. Also, you can't get away from the truckloads of veg on his plan. A pound of salad greens, a pound of cooked greens, a cup of beans, and a cup of mushrooms per day.

 

I think I would want to start with a combo of meds and doable lifestyle changes (cut snacking and high GI foods, for starters, deal with stress and sleep, walk), but I wouldn't want to start an extreme diet fix if you know it's gonna really hurt. Regain some health and then push harder on doing it med-free. Marathon, not sprint, so you don't get discouraged and don't suffer. It's OK to use meds to bring your numbers down; I used insulin for a month while I studied and advanced with lifestyle stuff.

 

Just my two cents! Could be wrong! :)

 

 

Outside of veggies, I don't think I have too much trouble digesting anything. It's more that something reaches my stomach and my body (sans gallbladder for regulation) thinks, "Here comes the food! OK, let's GO!" I can drink water first thing in the morning and have it happen. 

 

Maybe to start with, I'll just focus on eating (much) less and exercising more, and AVOIDING the blood sugar spikes (and any sugar at all, really), and see where that gets me. I can eat some well-cooked vegetables (boo :() and I can eat other things (I love salads, but wow, they do not like me) if I'm going to be home most of the day--which I often am these days, between this issue and general introversion. I'll have to figure out a new coping mechanism for the days when I'm out of the house. And then after my June visit, I'll see how far I've come and go from there. 

 

Thanks again. It's helping me a LOT to talk all this through. 

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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