Experiment with ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting?
This is a day in my life using a very low carb diet (ketogenic) and intermittent fasting (only eating in the late afternoon or evening). Now, don't flame me, I would readily agree that many diabetics should not try either ketogenic diets or intermittent fasting, but I think some lessons can be learned from my experience. Maybe they will be of use to someone.
I've been on a very low carb to no carb diet for several days. Yesterday, I did my walk/run at midday, with a beginning blood sugar reading of 63, Returning home after a three mile walk, half mile run at fast pace, my reading had actually increased to 73, so my body was not able to handle all of the liver's glucose release. A little out of the normal, I ate some lunch (no carb natch), and I recorded a 56 right after eating, 30 minutes later, a 66. My one hour pp reading was 70, and 2 hours pp was 74. Not bad all in all, in fact too good, I'm a 30plus year diabetic, so let's add some carbohydrate to the mix. At 9:20pm, I eat a 1/3 cup of oatmeal with 2/3 cup of water, microwave for 4 minutes at 50% power. At 10:30pm, I'm at 97, maybe 97 sounds low, but that's a 37 point rise on about 15 net grams of carbohydrates, glucose tolerance is usually impaired by a ketogenic diet.
Fasting blood sugar this morning was 80, pretty normal. But after my normal run/walk, it was 96, clearly the modest oatmeal intake is still adversely affecting my blood sugar levels. I go to the pool (sorry, I live in Florida, and yes, we still swim in January) and return to a 55. At midnight, I recorded a 68.
Am I diabetic? Yes, a few weeks ago, I indulged in an orgy of carbohydrate eating, and recorded a BG level of 230. Have I been hypoglycemic? I don't think so. I noticed a few months ago, that when I followed both a very low carb diet with intermittent fasting, I recordeed unusually low blood sugar readings, with no accompanying symptoms of hypoglycemia. So I did some research. Firstly, I found that newborn infants have very low blood sugars. In fact, breastfed infants are even lower. The reason usually given is that these infants have other power sources than glucose, namely ketones. Gee, I thought ketones were supposed to be bad. Right now, my heart, brain, and other organs are mainly powered by ketones, is that good or bad?
Is this unusal? Well, I knew that ketogenic diets have been used for over a century to treat epileptic children. Were their blood sugar levels also low, Ah, yes, they were, averaging 72 for the group with the best reductions in seizure levels, ranging down to the lower 60s.
Lessons learned: 1) carbs are not needed to be physically active- heck I don't curtail physicality even when fasting, and 2) hypoglycemia is not easisly quantified. Some people may experience hypoglycemic symptoms at 150, others of us may be perfectly fine with a blood sugar reading of 56.
Okay, flame away, but I'm a 63 year old diabetic, with type 2 diabetes for 30 years, who is doing all that I can to preserve health without the aid of any pharmaceutical drugs. I do take alpha lipoic acid and benfotiamine, which I credit with allowing me to reverse neuropathy, in conjunction with normalization of blood sugars
Although what you're trying seems extreme to me (in the sense that I don't want to try it myself until I have to), I'm not going to say that there's anything wrong with your trying it, especially if it's getting you the results you're looking for. (However, I don't think going up to 97 after eating oatmeal, regardless of the circumstances, is a problem -- you don't want to get too obsessive about this!)
My feeling about theories of diet (diabetic or otherwise) is that they usually amount to plausible-sounding guesswork. What matters is results. If the results are good, we shouldn't reject the diet just because we don't like the theory.
If your results include being able to keep your blood sugar significantly below 100 after having diabetes for 30 years, I will be the last to argue that you're going about this all wrong. That's an unusually good track record, to say the least.
The ketone question is an interesting one. We're certainly trained to think that ketones are a bad sign. But are ketones harmful in and of themselves? Or are they merely a warning sign (in people who are not avoiding carbs) that they are unable able to process the carbs they are taking in? Perhaps ketones are not a problem if you come by them honestly, so to speak, by not consuming the carbs in the first place.
On the other hand, maybe ketogenesis is a problem, and someone else on this forum can explain why it is.
Anyway, I've learned not to argue with success!
Excellent report, Nomorecards.
Please keep on telling us about everything you know which you think will help us type 2 diabetics to understand our disease better and to believe in our ability to properly control it without the use of pharma drugs. Being a type 2 for more than 30 years, you are one of a kind for not only having reversed your diabetes complications but most importantly for being successful in enjoying a long and healthy life that no other t2d that I know of has ever done.
Bonny C Damocles
Even though I'm a redhead, I won't flame you!!!
I too can't imagine anyone being concerned about a blood sugar of 90 after eating oatmeal!
Of course, everyone has different symptoms on what is normal for them.
Congratulations, on turning your neuropathy around! I have neuropathy and it is horrible. Even though the diagnosis of T2 was only given to me in September the cause of my neuropathy was a extremely low B12 count of only 67.
I couldn't fast like you do because of all the medications I'm on that require me to eat when taking them.
The only time I had ketosis was when I was on Atkins years ago and the low blood sugar readings that I had at that time made me not able to function.
I did lose weight however. As you can tell, I'm on that venture again with a 150-180 carb per day diet, and 1,500 calories.
You are a blessed man to be able to exercise.
I've been sweating with my chair exercise tape.
I'm on the right side of the dirt today so I feel blessed too.
Thanks, for sharing your success story and caring about other people
Sounds like your doing very well. Many diabetics I have talked to dont have problems in the 50's. I dont see any problem even though I am sure others will. Your still alive and kicking and it seems your doing pretty dog gone well. It may not be for everyone but it sure works for you.
I tried going low like you suggested and it did not work for me. I had health issues that required medical attention, and I GAINED weight with the extra protein. It is NOT for everyone. It works for you, and for that, I am very happy. You have found the diet that makes your numbers work, and your health improve. Someone else may find that this regime may be their answer. Others may, like I did, that it was not.
Mine has done so on a different regime. One that would not work for you. Just goes to show, as mentioned above, that one size does not work for all. One must sometimes do detective work to find the way their own body will respond. I am sure that those who are looking for an extremely low carb approach appreciate your testimonial.
Good evening all, thanks very much for your comments.
I may be out of ketosis tonight as I had a number of almonds, and a pound of fresh, locally grown strawberries. My blood sugar peaked at 75 after the strawberries nad quickly went down to 60. It's the second time I've eaten an entire pound package of fresh strawberries, and didn't unduly spike either time. I didn't previously think strawberries would be so blood sugar friendly, usually, I eat smaller amounts of blueberries or blackberries. I have not had much success with other fruits such as apples or grapefruit and oranges. On the other hand, since I'm back at 60, maybe the nuts and berries didn't knock me out of ketosis after all.
I admit to being somewhat obsessive in my seeking tight control. Is diabetes 'incurable'? I'm not going to worry about that answer. If I spend the rest of my life with blood sugars under 100, it might be a moot point.
I'd be interested if someo of you find certain suspicious foods such as fruits, to be easy on your blood sugar levels, and just how much do your blood sugars rise after eating them.
For my part, I generally find that I can eat salad greens, modest portions of walnuts, almonds, pecans, and most non starchy vegetables, without a big impact on my blood sugar level, as well as the usual animal foods found on low carb diets.