The Paleo diet broke my bg control – or did it?

It’s been a little while now but I thought it’s about time I put this on the interwebs. The Paleo diet broke my diabetes control – at least I thought did. And here’s how I fixed it.

For about 3 weeks up till a week a go I just couldn’t control my sugars. Before that, I was doing so well eating the Paleo way, getting great control, feeling full of energy and was really amazed at the results I was achieving – but then something went wrong. It was as if I suddenly became insulin resistant. Post meal readings were completely out of whack, and my correction boluses weren’t working at all, and what puzzled me was that it happened so suddenly.

So obviously I asked Google, which led me to post somewhere (I couldn’t find it at the time of writing this) that basically told me my body had indeed become insulin resistant, and was doing so naturally (not due to T2 dietary reasons) to save any available glucose for my brain. So because I was eating low carb (good veggies), glucose became less readily available than before, and so my body was saving any available glucose for certain cells (like brain & red blood cells) that still require glucose to function properly.

This seemed plausible, that my body was essentially ignoring my insulin doses to save available glucose for my brain. The frustrating thing was I was hovering around 10mmol/180mg all day, and just couldn’t get it down. So I decided to try the “solution” offered in the post – add a ”shock” to your system. Option 1 was to fast, which I did for a 20 hour stint but saw no improvement. This was also recommended by a buddy online, which had experienced a similar phenomena.

The next shock option was to take in excess carbs. The weekend I tried this I happened to be at a wedding, so decided to tuck into the wedding cake. This was my first time eating refined carbs and glucose since January (on my Austrian trip) and through all the dancing and activity I still managed to keep my sugars level! I ate like 4 pieces, but here’s the crazy thing – it worked!

I guess the best explanation for me would be that eating the indulgent wedding cake must have triggered a biological “reset” button, enabled my body to kick into the right gear again. I also noticed a definite improvement when I started hitting the gym again, so this would also have played a role. But in the end I’m really (REALLY) happy to say that I’m back up and running with good control and feeling great on the Paleo diet.

If you’ve had a similar experience please drop me a comment below and let me know how you noticed it, and what you did to get back on track – if you did. I realize what could easily happen going through such an experience, is thinking the Paleo diet just isn’t working. I want to encourage you to read the literature and understand why the Paleo/low carb diet really is key to optimally managing diabetes and your health.

This week I’m off to Phuket for a business/vacation trip and looking forward to pulling some Paleo Macgyver skills while I’m there. I’ll also be posting some pics!

^Mark

Sam Talbot, Top Chef – Diabetes Health

Sam Talbot, Top Chef – Diabetes Health.

What a cool interview with Sam Talbot, a Top Chef participant and world renowned chef currently running his own restaurant. In the article he says as a diabetic he’s never restricted himself to certain foods, and always found a way to make healthier (read: blood sugar friendly) versions of the food he enjoyed growing up and around the world today.

I think that’s really cool, and agree totally – you’ll always be able to find alternatives as long as you are prepared to do some research and work to look for them. I love the last thought Sam leaves readers with too – he says:

My grandfather always used to tell me that if you learned something that day, then you’ve had a good day.

I love that and agree 100%. Learn everyday. And I guess with diabetes – there’s no shortage of that! ;)

Rolling with the punches

boxing gloves. Photo by SMN via Creative Commons

My blood sugars have been acting really weird. My diet hasn’t changed – I’m still eating Paleo so getting in minimal carbs, so nothing to give juice to my sugars. Still exercising, though over the last week less… Taking the sameinsulin, nothings changed – but somehow, someway, I just can’t get my blood sugars down. 

My sugars are hovering between 10 mmol/180 mg and 12/216 and even though I bolus a full correction, 1.5/2 hours later it’s stil there. It happened out of the blue last week, and I’ve been struggling to lower it everyday since. It’s like I’ve somehow become insulin resistant, because a full correction bolus doesn’t work AT ALL in lowering my bg level. Very weird.

One thing I though it might be is that there’s a flu going around – maybe I’m getting sick? Waking up with a headache may be a sign of this, but I don’t have any hectic flu symptoms, other than feeling really tired – also strange. Normally I have tons of energy. 

So yah, it’s been really weird these last few days. I’ve still been meaning to post my CGMS readings, though the sensor was really erratic and lost signal nearly everyday I was wearing it. So I’m keen to do another soon, with hopefully better communication. 

Back to my high sugars – to me, this is the biggest frustration about diabetes – doing everything right and controlling factors that affect blood sugar levels – but not being able to actually control those levels. There’s just too much that goes into determining what the machine reads from my finger prick – hormones, stress, emotions, sunburn, yadda yadda – but still no control. 

Jesse Mecham has a great step in the budgeting process (YNAB) called “Roll with the punches“. I think this is a great mindset to adopt in managing diabetes, because even though you can take control of things that affect blood sugar levels (food, insulin, exercise) – you’re still never really going to be able to control your blood sugars. And this you have to accept, and make peace with. Like I have to, now with my consistently high sugars. 

Anyhoo, here’s holding thumbs to getting my sugars sorted soon.

M.

A Close Look at Four Trendy Diets on Diabetesmine.com

There’s a great post over at DiabetesMine by blogger AllisonB where she covers “four trendy diets” and how they impact people with diabetes. Allison contacted me last week for the article, to find out more on my experience on the Paleo diet and if/how I’m managing my diabetes with it. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity to give my 2 cents, and am really glad she gave me a mention!

Check out the post at http://www.diabetesmine.com/2012/03/a-close-look-at-four-trendy-diets.html – it’s definitely worth a read. And leave your comments to let her know your experience!

#12hour #cgms #Paleo #diabetes

P141

So here it is – my first 12 hour graph on the Paleo diet. My limits are set here at 4.0 mmol / 72 mg & 7 / 126. During the last 12 hours:
- 1.5 u bolus
- 15 g carbs
- 11 u basal

Granted, it was over the eve so I don’t have much insulin at play, but today should be quite interesting. I have a workout in the morning, and a wedding with lots of eating and dancing later on!

Exciting times! #cgms #paleo

I’ve used a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System before when I was pumping but recently discovered the transmitter had died. This was disappointing, because since eating Paleo I’ve been getting awesome control of my blood sugar levels, and was really keen to get an overview of how my control is looking.

Thankfully I was able to get another transmitter and sensors, which arrived today. I’m now hooked up and wearing a ghost pump again – all it’s doing is capturing data. I’m really interested to see how my control is going to “visualize”, so if you’re interested be sure to stay tuned for updates on my readings.

Graph pics coming soon!