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Gene214
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 1/9/2008 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Although I am new to this forum, I do make occasional posts on another forum on this site... the Prostate Cancer forum.
 
Two or three years ago my doctor diagnosed me "borderline diabetic" after a fasting blood sugar test reading of 139.  No other test was taken.  As a matter of fact, until I read Jeannie's post below, I did not even know there was another test.  He prescribed Metformin and I have taken it consistently since the diagnostic.
 
One year ago my doctor was very please after my A1c turned out in the high normal range (I don't remember what it was, but seems like it was something like 6.5). He said I was doing very well and I had been watching my intake carefully.  However for the last six months or so, I have not been watching it.  My fasting morning finger prick normally ran about 103.  Over the holidays, I binged.  No other word for it.
 
Two days ago I checked my morning glucose level at int was 129 in one finger, and 136 in another (go figure?).  In other words, it was high, was it not? Yesterday it was 127.  Today it was 120.
 
Would anyone venture a guess about my condition?  I will have a physical in early February.  How should I talk to the new doctor about this?  What should I ask him?
 
Gene 
Age: 63
07/05 - Biopsy: Suspicious looking cells. 
12/27/06 - Biopsy
1/24/07 - Dignosed cancer: Gleasn Grade: 3+3=6
02-14-07 Radical Open Nerve-sparing surgery
Pathology Stage of cancer: T2c
4-18-07: First Post-Op psa = 0.011
05/31/07: Cystoscope reveals "Stricture"
06/12/07: Procedure to remove stone & dilate uretha at stricture: Successful procedure.
8/16/07: Start bleeding again in urine.  Get to see a new urologist same day.
8/20/07: Go back to dr. for cystoscope.  "No sign of stricture"!  Wonderful news! Still leaking.
8/31/07: Back to new urologist for regular check up & received 2nd post-op Psa.  It was 0.05
8/31/07:  First Bio Feedback session.
9/19/07: Finished 4 Bio Feedback sessions.  No imporovement with leaking. 
9/26/07 - Started injections 
10/27-07 - Began using clamp at uro's encouragement.
1/6/08 - Still incontinent & impotent... and still "down."   
 
 
 


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 1/9/2008 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gene, welcome over to this side of the Forum.  Your numbers are not critical but they're too high for normal.  Many of the members here in the Diabetes forum have found that limiting or cutting out carbohydrates will keep blood sugar lower or within normal ranges.  This depends on the person because we all have different levels of how we metabolize carbs as a type 2.  I don't take any meds for diabetes but I've been able to keep my blood sugar pretty normal because I've cut out anything made with flour or sugar; no potatoes or pasta or rice.  The only white food I eat is cauliflower and some macadamia nuts (a few at a time).  The more carbs you eat, the higher your blood sugar will be.  I also exercise at a gym.  If you need to lose weight, a low carb diet will make that happen very easily.  (You can look back over some past posts about this and eating topics here.)  If you do cut down on your carbs, be sure to test your blood sugar since you take meds.  You don't want to go too low.  Your doctor may think that 6.5 is a good A1c result but IMHO it's too high.  And this is another thing we all run into: how individual doctors treat diabetics and what parameters they follow for "normal" blood sugar levels.  Fasting numbers should be under 100.  I'm not a doctor by any means but I've been living with this for a year and have read up a lot on it.  I would refer to you either of Dr. Richard Bernstein's books for more information.  His Diabetes Solution is very complete and explains everything you needed to know about the disease.  In short, breakfast food for me is eggs or Egg Beaters, turkey bacon, a couple of mushrooms or green pepper slices; lunch is cold cuts on cheese puffs (we have a thread dedicated to that) or tuna/chicken salad with mayo; dinner is meat, vegetables and or small salad stuff.  I hope this helps.  Check back.  I'm sure you'll get more responses soon. 

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


metres
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 1/9/2008 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
A1C targets are moving. The traditional line has been that non-diabetics have A1C's no higher than 6%, and that diabetics should be no higher than 7%. Some standards now say that diabetics should be no higher than 6.5%. My area says 7%, but 6% "if it can be achieved without hypos". Some researchers suggest that the targets should be even lower. I certainly agree with Lanie that 6.5% is not a "good" A1C.
 
Lanie's right, reducing carbs and exercising are the first steps to take; however I don't agree with her suggestion pointing you to Dr Bernstein as your first reference. According to many, his low carb approach works well, but it is an extreme approach and very difficult to follow for most people. I'd say that it must be very difficult for anyone to follow, but there may be people out there to whom a 12 grams of carbs meal isn't a problem.
 
His own website says that his approach was "developed almost completely outside the mainstream of diabetology." Maybe its because few people have the will power to follow his recommentdations to the letter. A treatment that isn't followed isn't effective. There are many of us who have achieved good control of our diabetes without going the extreme low carb route. You might be better served by starting off with a more conventional and easier approach. If you want to, and are able to, you can work towards Dr Bernstein's ideals, but I think trying to start there is not going to work for many people.

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/9/2008 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
And on the other hand I'm going to state that the no grain, no tuber approach is much easier than anything I've ever done. It's a bit strange at first to eat a hamburger wrapped in several spinach leaves or collard green leaves but it so takes the guess work out of eating! Just don't eat anything made from grains or tubers and leave out the milk, too. Somebody here dubbed it the "nothing white but cauliflower" food plan and that is what stuck in my mind.

Substituting spaghetti squash for pasta with your meatballs & sauce is no real hardship. Enjoying lots of vegetables in the summer that have been dipped in olive oil, sprinkled with garlic and then grilled over the charcoal... mmmmm! It's not difficult, just have to keep going back to the store for more veggies and fruits. Can't fill up on pasta, chips, cookies, bread, cereal or any other grain based foods. Gotta keep filling up on veggies. Yum! I make my lunch with 'wraps' of romaine and turkey with mayo and mustard. Eat my scrambled egg with a slice of cheese. Fix two veggies each night for dinner. Slide the best part of the pizza off the crust and eat it over a lettuce salad (Pizza salad!) Substitute thinly sliced cabbage for noodles in soup... I could go on and on.

All I know is that I've been fighting my weight and diabetes for over 30 years and now it's suddenly not a problem any more. My doctor is ecstatic and my numbers are awesome. This could work for you.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 1/9/2008 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Metres, I have no idea how many carbs I eat in one day because I don't count them.  When Bernstein's book was recommended, I bought it and read it and found it very valuable.  However!  I also decided I'm not about to count carbs.  It's too tedious.  How I've worked out my eating plan is to cut out the obvious carbs like the "white" foods except cauliflower.  I'm not on meds so what I eat is what will make my blood sugar go up with no limits if I choose wrong foods.  So, what I've found that works for me is the meal plan as I described here (and in numerous other threads as well) which is based on what Bernstein suggests.  Vegetables have carbs of course but not near what you find in breads, pastas, rice or potatoes, so of course I do eat some carbs but I could never be as severe as what Bernstein suggests.  The reason I recommended his book is that it has a wealth of information about diabetes in general, the different kinds of medications prescribed, exercise tips, as well as diet.  I know I could not follow his approach of only so many grams of carbs per meal, but the entire practice of cutting down on carbs will drop everyone's blood sugar regardless.  Someone who now eats cereal and milk for breakfast or toast and jam will have high blood sugar readings post prandial and will have to take meds to cover them.  Having an Egg Beater omelet with some green peppers and mushrooms and a couple of slices of turkey bacon will not create a blood sugar spike.  I have a choice:  I can eat toast and jam for breakfast but I'll be on meds because my blood sugar will run too high, or, I can follow Bernstein's suggestions and stay medication-free, which is what I've been doing for a year now.  I don't conside this extreme.  I eat more food now than I did before actually and in the meantime I've also lost weight because I cut out the carbs. 



Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds

Post Edited (LanieG) : 1/9/2008 8:09:36 PM (GMT-7)


metres
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 1/10/2008 12:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Lanie, I'm glad you and Jeannie have found techniques that work for you, and I'm in awe of your abilities to make it work, but I don't think that it's appropriate for a forum moderator to point a new forum participant towards Dr Bernstein's work without pointing out that his approach is controversial, not generally accepted, and difficult to follow. I follow a standard regime that is approved by my family physician, my endocrinologist, my diabetes nurse, my dietitian, and the Canadian Diabetic Association. I don't have to tell you that it is nowhere near what Dr Bernstein would recommend, but my results are great.

ceebee
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 401
   Posted 1/10/2008 2:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi:)

For some of us, eating carbs is just not a good thing. I had a blood sugar of 878 and A1c of 15.2 when I was diagnosed the end of October. I am on Metformin 1000 twice a day and 28 units of Lantus solorstar at night. I have found if I eat just 1/2 apple, I will get a bs of over 200. The same for a slice of whole wheat bread. By eating very low carb, I can stay between 80 and 120. This saves me from taking 4 extra shots of novolog a day. I read and folow Dr. Bernstein's book on eating very closely and all I can say is it works for me. Lanie is right to try to stay off meds as long as possible. Having your own body manage your bs is the best way to go as long as possible. I am also on prednisone and being weened off slowly and this will help my bs tremendously. Without Lanie's help pointing me to Dr. Bernstein's book, I wouldn't be doing this good. Plus, I am not so afraid to eat now. I have lost 60 pounds(another 4 since last Friday), so need to get more calories in my diet though. I feel like I am eating a lot but not enough calories yet. I don't want to EVER go through what I did last October so food does scare me! Without coming here and learning of the low carb diet, I would be on the ADA diet and really in trouble. My doctor, endo, and diabetes center okay this diet. They said they are changing to recommend it now and hiring a nutritionist who works with the low carb die. Each of needs to find what works for us and need to hear of all the choices. Lanie doesn't promote Dr. Bernstein but tells what works for her. Thank you Lanie, you have made my life easier:)

tutorgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 1/10/2008 6:35 AM (GMT -7)   
After discovering this forum last August and reading all the posts about the effectiveness and very low carb diets, I decided to try that approach. My numbers weren't outrageous, but they were higher than what the doc wanted. She tried me on byetta which for me didn't work out. So after reading the info here and purchasing Bernstein's book, I gave it a try. My numbers are better (should get new A1c numbers in a day or 2) and I am down about 50 lbs. I replaced my family practice doc with and endo, and she said the ADA diet has way too many carbs in it. She told me to keep doing whatever it was I was doing because it seemed to be working. My husband cringed when I told him how we were going to be eating, but after purchasing some new cookbooks (and there are many great low carb cookbooks) he, too has embraced this way of eating. Although with him we had to incorporate a few more carbs as he was losing too much weight. I have found this the easiest way to eat ever! Sure, I miss some things. But I also like not having to give myself injections. And I'm hoping to keep it that way as long as possible. For me, I would rather change eating habits than take more meds. And I thank the lord that I found this forum to support me in that.
===================
>Karen<
~Forum Moderator/Diabetes~


gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 1/10/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
FWIW: I just read that the ADA has actually endorsed using a low carb diet for weight loss for type 2's. I couldn't bookmark the site because I am still in Buffalo and using a borrowed computer- but I'll find it when I get back if somebody is interested.
 
 
metres,
I sometimes think that we, in this forum, are a bit evangelistic when it comes to "Dr.B." and I have wondered if we scare off newly diagnosed seekers. I have tried to temper the message on occasion by suggesting alternative approaches such as the Insulin-Resistance Diet, reading Gretchen Becker's book -  Diabetes: the First Year which is  packed with good advice and personal anecdotes, and so forth. I think I am a good example- I eat moderate carb, maintain an A1c of 5.0 and I don't think medicine is satan. As my weight continues to drop, my insulin resistance decreases and my medication levels drop.
 
I think I might have been scared off by 'the no-white foods' diet as a newly diagnosed diabetic because so many of my favorite foods are white.  At the time I joined here, Jeannie was still eating grains and shared a lot of recipes and tips which helped me a lot to develop my new eating style. fergusc was the promoter of low carb eating and the two of them had spirited exchanges that made me really think about what I ate, and why.
 
Over time, as I adjusted  I was able to find low carb pastas, breads and wraps that taste good so that I can eat a wrap or a sandwich with my colleagues at a conference lunch. Eating cheese slices wrapped in lettuce leaves is not an option at company functions, especially when multimillion dollar accounts are eating with you or when you are seated at a table with the President and CEO and your manager has already requested a vegetarian dish for you. I learned what works best for my body by systematically testing my response to food combinations, but I don't think I'd be so well-adjusted if it hadn't been for the expression of differing opinions.
 
So, thanks for keeping the debate going!
sandy
 
 
 
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett


fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 1/10/2008 10:52 AM (GMT -7)   
It's truly wonderful that so many people are finding success with the low-carb thing. I mean it, it gives me a real thrill to know that others are improving their health, losing weight in style and even coming off their medications. Brilliant.
I know I've been banging the drum for quite a while now and at first there was much resistance to the idea of turning the ADA/CDA/DUK advice on it's head. The simple fact is, that it works.
There is not a single recognised measurement of human health that is not improved by eating less carbohydrate and more fat. But metres, don't hold your breath waiting for the 'Big 3' to admit their advice has been wrong all these years. However, it most certainly has been wrong and the consequences for countless people have been dreadful.
So they don't need any apologists. They need people like the wonderful ones here to stand up to them and show them how it's done!

All the best,

fergusc

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/10/2008 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Metres,
I don't follow any book or plan except to eat what my forebearers probably ate. Early homosapiens couldn't have manufactured pasta, bread, beer, crackers, cereals, doritos, or any of the other things found in the modern diet. Harvesting of grain or tuber crops could only happen once a year so much of the early human's food plan must have been made up of mostly meat, fish, vegetables and fruits. Any grains saved up would have required almost as much energy to grind as they produced in calories. This equal trade off would create balance in the diet, IMHO.

For some odd reason my body works much better when I do not consume foods that are manufactured (read :starch based) with the exceptions of sliced meats, cheeses and oils. Most of my food plan consists of food in it's most basic state. This way I can easily avoid the starchy part of the food. And amazing as it sounds I consume lots of olive oil, peanuts, avocados and some fatty meats like bacon and I'm still losing weight. I also can make a snack of a can of green beans, drained, smothered in olive oil and garlic. Or I'll have a whole banana with two tablespoons of peanut butter. Two hours later my blood sugar is usually 74 or 80. I don't know why this is... I just know that this works better than anything I've ever done. And (BIG BONUS HERE!) I'm almost never hungry. It's like the carbs keep your appetite going and without them I can forget to eat!

I just received my Diabetes Forcast magazine and there is a wealth of information in it about new and old meds, meters, exercise and a bunch of other stuff but nowhere is there a mention of cutting back on carbs. Seems to me that if too many carbs make our sugar go up then less of them will help it go down. And amazing as it sounds...last week I forgot to take my bedtime meds one night and still wound up with a morning reading of 128. Must be my body is forgetting to be diabetic as it loses weight... Don't know, don't care... just love to feel better for the first time in about 30 years!
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/10/2008 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Metres,
I'm not picking on you, honest! But what meds are you on for your diabetes? And have you ever tried a low carb approach to lowering your blood sugar? I'm not talking Adkins or Zone here... just avoiding starchy carbs...

I used to think that the low carb peeps on here were fanatics and then I was forced into doing it myself out of financial necessity. (Couldn't afford my Avandia or Lantus, no insurance and we live in Michigan - that about says it all!) I wasn't even thinking low carb, just thinking of how to get my sugars under control so I would need less meds.

Honest to Pete! I think that most doctors put people on medications that go along with what they normally eat instead of telling them to quit killing themselves with the foods they dont' need! I don't need starches to live... PERIOD! I need fruits and veggies, meat and fish, water and of course I would die without my coffee but I can do so much better this way... Hope you give this a try. You might become one of us "fanatics", LOL!
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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