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Tue, Oct-22-02, 10:50
I am a newbie to this forum and a newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetic. I'm trying to follow the Atkins plan to lose the weight my doctor says I have to lose. Yesterday, my blood glucose reading was 70 two hours after lunch, so I ate a few nuts. I tested again 30 minutes later, and my sugar had dropped to 62. I ate some crackers to try to get me over the drop. What is the best thing to eat for this type of situation that doesn't just wreck this woe?

Tue, Oct-22-02, 11:10
I was diagnosed Type II a little over a month ago. I'm not an expert, but I figured I'd give you my take on things. ;)

I was in my second week of induction (still on induction) and my doc started me on glucophage (metformin). My sugar crashed constantly. I was hovering around 50-60 if I was lucky and I felt awful. He quickly took me off the glucophage and my sugar came up a little, around 75. I talked with him some more and found that I was not eating enough. I increased my intake and my levels have steadily been around 90-100 daily.

Did your doc recommend you start LCing? Does he know? If you are on meds, they may be working in addition to LCing, causing the dips in your reading. What level of Atkins are you on? If you're in induction, I know that nuts are a no-no and crackers are a big no-no. Try increasing your veggie intake. I upped my spinach and romaine lettuce and it helped drastically.

Again, I'm not an expert, just trying to help! ;)

Nikki :daizy:

Lisa N
Tue, Oct-22-02, 11:19
Hi Mfuson and welcome to the forum!

I have to agree with Tiggerdy. If you are taking medications to lower your blood sugar, you should contact your doctor to see about having the dosage lowered or even if you can stop taking the medication completely. You could also try raising your carb levels to 25 or 30 grams a day until your body adjusts. Your body may also be in the process of adapting to such a low level of carbs. If you continue to have problems with going hypo, though, definitely see your doctor.
Low carbing generally doesn't cause problems with hypoglycemia. Assuming you are eating enough, it usually stabilizes your blood sugars quite well.
Are you spreading your carb allowance through the day and not eating them all at one time?

Tue, Oct-22-02, 11:21
Thanks for the reply.

I had begun Atkins prior to my diagnosis by the doctor as I was pretty sure I had gone into diabetes. I told him I was following Atkins and he said, "Good". I've been doing this woe for about a month now and this is the first time I know of that my glucose has dipped this low.

I am taking 1000 mg metformin twice a day as well as 1 mg of Amaryl once a day. After my appointment on the 30th, I will be starting 80 mg. of Pravachol.

My doctor did tell me that if my BG dropped below 70 that I needed to eat something that would quickly bring it back up. He suggested hard candy, but I really hate to eat something sweet after I finally lost my craving for sweets.

Tue, Oct-22-02, 11:44
Good job on staying away from the sweets. I had to carry hard candies with me while on metformin b/c it was a quick fix to crashing. I didn't like eating them (6 carbs each!), so I asked the doc about eliminating the metformin completely. He agreed since I was only on 500 mg/day. I had to call in with daily am/pm levels so that he could determine whether or not I needed to return to the metformin or something else. Again, since LCing w/out metformin, I've been around 90-100.

Talk to your doc at your next appt. He may just be willing to lower your dosage or help you to adjust your eating plan. I see my doc every 6 wks. right now so that he can closely monitor my progress w/LCing and my blood sugar.

Good luck!
Nikki :daizy:

Tue, Oct-22-02, 11:45
You've been doing this WOE for a month now- maybe your blood sugar levels have naturally leveled out and the medicine is causing the dips. Just a thought!

Nikki :daizy:

Tue, Oct-22-02, 15:00
What a terrific doctor that had you call him twice a day to make sure you were doing ok - and seeing you every six weeks too! Not to mention he's supportive of your LCing!

Wish everyone had a doctor like yours ! :angel:

Great advice Nikkie and Lisa, as always :agree:



Wed, Oct-23-02, 06:57
I think the best part of this woe is the support that I receive from my doc, family & friends. I was scared about being diagnosed Type II Diabetic and wasn't sure if this wol was for me, but my doc reassured me that it would all come together. Boy was he right! What's really great is that he followed Atkins for a while to see what it's all about before he'd even recommend it to patients and so that he'd also have insight into questions that people following it might have. I'm sure there's more like him out there...

Best wishes to you all! :bhug:

Nikki :daizy:

Wed, Oct-23-02, 11:08
I'm sure that, due to your new WOE, your insulin resistance has decreased, thus you require less medication--as others have suggested. If your doctor is familiar enough with low-carb to be an advocate ( :thup: for him! :clap: ), then I am sure he will be not surprised by this great result.
Congratulations! It sounds like you are on the road to getting off of medication altogether!

Wed, Oct-23-02, 11:10
Btw, for when you do (hopefully less and less often) get low BG readings, a glass of milk works well--raises BG but not too much and doesn't give sweet cravings. It also never hurts to get the extra calcium!

Wed, Oct-23-02, 11:44
I appreciate all the info.

I go back to the doctor a week from today and may ask him to take me off the Amaryl. I learned from someone else who takes this drug that it is notorious for sudden BG dips.

Everyone else I know with Type 2 takes only 500 mg of metformin twice a day. I can't help wonder why I'm having to take such a big dose. Hopefully, he can cut it back also.

Thu, Oct-24-02, 03:53
Why are you taking Pravachol? What are your cholesteral readings? Maybe you can nix that additional medication if your numbers are coming down. My cholesteral readings came down very slowly, then I got a 33 point drop in 4 months, so I was able to stave off my doc who kept insisting I take a cholesteral lowering drug. Have you read the side effects of those things??!!

Thu, Oct-24-02, 08:52
When my doctor first diagnosed me on Otober 2, he said every diabetic should be taking a statin drug, but that he wanted to wait about a month for me to start Pravachol. He said he wanted my BG levels to stabilize a little before starting a new drug.

My bloodwork was done on 10-4 and were as follows:

Cholesterol 226
Triglycerides 94
HDL 45
LDL 174
LDL/HDL Ratio 3.87

Fasting BG 151

I'm assuming he's putting me on Pravachol to try to lower the LDL. I think my triglycerides are ok and my HDL too low. My next appointment is the 30th so I can find out for sure then.

Thu, Oct-24-02, 09:18
My last readings had my total cholesterol at 186, my triglycerides were over 400, and my fasting BG was 200. My doc did prescribe metformin (as I mentioned before), but he didn't want to put me on any additional medicines. He wanted to give the LC WOE some time to work on my cholesterol/triglycerides before we tried to medicate anything. As for your readings, a cholesterol reading of 226 isn't far above normal, so this WOE should help to bring that down naturally.

I was only on the metformin briefly before this WOE stabilized my BG. We're doing blood work every 6-12 weeks to monitor my progress in both cholesterol/BG readings. I guess it all comes down to the doc's preferences and routine. I used to go to an M.D. (allopathic physician), but my current doc is an D.O (osteopathic physician) and it has made a world of a difference for me. (For anyone who isn't sure what a D.O. is or wants more info, you can read more here: http://www.aoa-net.org/Consumers/omed.htm. This isn't an ad and I am in no way discrediting anyone's choice of physician, just providing info and another perspective.)

Again, these are just my thoughts and observations and should in no way override your doc's instructions. Heck, if anything, you'll be armed with lots of info from this wonderful board for your next appointment!

Enjoy your day!
Nikki :daizy:

Lisa N
Thu, Oct-24-02, 15:39

Diabetic or not, I'd do some serious research on statin drugs before I agreed to take them if I were you. You might also want to ask your doctor about less toxic more natural methods of lowering your LDL and total cholesterol like Niacin, garlic oil, Fish Oil, Flax oil or Red Yeast Rice and see if he's willing to let you try those before going on the Pravochol. Instead of trying to find ways to raise your blood sugar for the next week until you can see your doc, why not call him and ask if you can drop one of those meds or at least lower the dosage? It seems silly to eat more carbs to counteract the effects of a drug that it seems your body no longer needs and is telling you that by your hypoglycemic episodes. I don't think it's that you're not eating enough carbs, it's more likely that you are taking more medication than you currently need.

Fri, Oct-25-02, 20:57
I am not familiar with Type II oral medications but I know a lot about taking insulin. A person on insulin goes through training and learns to make his/her own adjustments in medication based on how his/her blood glucose readings are going. The blood glucose readings and the insulin dosages are recorded in a log and the doc reviews the log monthly or at least quarterly during the check ups and HbA1C test. If a person on insulin waited for a check up or phone call to make insulin adjustments, that person could end up instantly dead from hypoglycemia or in a coma with delayed death due to hyperglycemia. It is standard operating procedure for Type 1 Diabetics to take control of all of their health matters since the doc cannot always be there. I think this would be a good way to do things with Type 2 oral medications as well. The goal is to balance your meds, your food, and your exercise so that you get good blood glucose numbers. If you only control your food and your exercise but wait for your doc to make any and all dosage adjustments on your meds, you are going to have a hard time balancing the whole equation. You might consider asking your doc about this idea.

Sat, Oct-26-02, 16:04
Cyprinodon makes an *excellent* point.

Mon, Oct-28-02, 02:29
Gee, what kind of readings did you start with!? 2000 mg/day of metformin plus the Amaryl and statin drugs...that's a LOT! If your BG is crashing, I'd nix the Amaryl, and the statin drugs too. Is this what your doc *started* you with? That's a lot of things to take. Your cholesteral readings sound pretty good to me. Mine started out a LOT higher and my risk ratio was very high. Your risk ratio is below normal and while your LDL is a little high, it'll come down. Mine dropped 33 points. The Amaryl will give you problems with losing weight as it actually *increases* the amount of insulin in your bloodstream. From what all I've been through with medications and fighting with my doctor about it, I'd say go with metformin only first. The maximum 'recommended' dosage is 2500mg. (The maximum 'safe' dosage is 4000 mg, but your doctor won't tell you that). I'd also ask your doc to put you on Glucophage XR, which is metformin in a time-release version. It works much better and doesn't give the intestinal problems the 'plain' glucophage/metformin does. Are you also on a blood pressure medication? If so, what? The best blood pressure meds for diabetics are ACE inhibitors as they help protect the kidneys and some will even provide a little extra help in lowering insulin resisitance. If you are on a thiazide diuretic, I'd ask the doc to take you off that since thiazides actually *raise* blood sugar--quite a bit, too. They can turn a 'borderline' diabetic into a full-blown one. Frankly, it sounds as though your doctor has got you a bit over-medicated. To me, the whole goal is to try to control this with diet and excercise. I was on two meds for diabetes when I was first diagnosed, and in 18 months I've been able to stop one of them, and I'm thinking I'll soon be able to start lowering the amount of Glucophage I'm on.

Mon, Oct-28-02, 09:53
Originally posted by kjturner
Frankly, it sounds as though your doctor has got you a bit over-medicated. To me, the whole goal is to try to control this with diet and excercise.

I couldn't agree more. I do think that Type 2s can eat and exercise to the extent that no drugs are required, and Type 1s can do the same with only small doses of insulin required.

Mon, Oct-28-02, 10:46
The lady I work is a type 2 diabetic and when I told her I had sweet urine and about my unquenchable thirst and frequent trips to the bathroom every night., she tested my BG and it was 320. It was the same the following morning and I made a doctor's appointment, which was one week later.

I began Atkins immediately and in a week's time, I had gotten my fasting BG to 162.

He started me on 1/2 a 1000 mg. metformin once a day and 1/2 of a 2 mg Amaryl once a day, then moved me to 1/2 a 1000 mg metformin twice a day, still with 1/2 of the 2 mg. Amaryl after about a week. After another week I was instructed to begin taking the whole 1000 mg metformin twice a day, still with 1/2 the Amaryl once a day.

I thought it seemed that I was taking a lot of Metformin (the lady I work with takes only 500 mg. twice a day) and the Amaryl made her BG dip way too low so she was taken off of it. I like the idea of one pill a day as I took nothing before and I don't always remember to take the meds when I should.

I'm wondering if my doctor is just trying to get my BG down quickly and then maybe start adjusting the dosage to find what amount will keep things under control. He wrote the prescription for only 1 month with no refills (which my pharmacist questioned) so I'm king of hoping this meant he didn't expect me to be on such a high dose for a long time.

Has anyone else's doctor done this?

I didn't think my cholesterol was too bad. I know the LDL could be lower and the HDL higher, but my triglycerides are good, so I'm not sure why I'm getting the Pravachol except that my doctor did say that every diabetic should be taking a statin. My blood pressure was a little high, but it's coming down nicely and I don't require medication for it.

Thank you all for great info. My next appointment is Wednesday and I think I can see (thanks to your help) that I have a lot of questions for my doctor.

Mon, Oct-28-02, 11:02
I'm wondering if my doctor is just trying to get my BG down quickly and then maybe start adjusting the dosage to find what amount will keep things under control.

I can understand this, but only from the reverse. My lengthy experiences with docs and medication is that they start you low and then gradually raise your med levels if necessary. He may not be too famailiar w/the potential (almost guarantee) that Atkins will lower your BG naturally. My metformin was only written for a 1-month scrip and my doc told me exactly why. He knew I was on Atkins and knew that my levels would lower with that, so he did not want to give any refills before more blood work could be done. (Like I mentioned before, the metformin only lasted a few days anyway.)

...my doctor did say that every diabetic should be taking a statin.

Just from my experiences, I would have to beg to differ on this one. Statins are a nasty thing and I would shudder at the thought of being on one again. I did Lipitor for one 3-month round- everything dropped and my lipid panels/liver function tests returned normal, but when I started my second 3-month round, my body had an adverse reaction. I built up an intolerance to Lipitor and it made me vomit, break-out in rashes and have not-so-nice bowel movements.

In short (and long), I agree with kjturner, I think your doc has you overmedicated- even more so since you're following the LC WOL. It almost seems as if he's treating the problems individually and not looking at you as a whole package. IMHO, if he was, he'd consider LCing as a benefit and would take that into consideration when formulating what types of medication and how much of each medication you really need.

Best of luck at your appointment! I have a follow-up appt. tomorrow, so we'll see how it's all going together!

Nikki :daizy:

Wed, Nov-20-02, 13:00
Hi Nickki,

I did not know that glucophage could lower blood sugar, I always thought that it helped your cells to utilize the insulin or glucose better. I will certainly be on the lookout for that when I start the Adkins diet. At present, I am taking 2000mg. of glucophage every day. Thanks for the information.

God bless,

Wed, Nov-20-02, 14:32
Hi Elaine25! :wave:

You may be exactly right in the technical explanation as to how glucophage/metformin works. I think I was so overwhelmed with everything that my doctor explained it to me as simply as he could (in one day I found out about the diabetes type II, PCOS and skyrocketed triglycerides). The glucophage does work to manage the synergy between insulin and glucose usage, which, in turn I believe, can work to lower your overall levels of blood sugar.

If you are currently on 2000mg of glucophage before starting this woe, you may want to tell your doc that you're planning on starting this woe so that he/she has a heads up (if they don't alreday know). Since my doc recommended it to me, he knew right away why I was getting such low readings for my daily blood sugar testings. I had only started glucophage and was on only 500mg/day, but after only 3 days on this woe and 2 days on glucophage, he had me stop it. My glucose levels have normalized with this woe alone and I no longer have the need for the glucophage. I can only hope and wish for the same success for you. Be sure not to lower your meds on your own (hence giving your doc a heads up), but I'm sure you know that. ;)

Best of luck in your journey into this wol and feel free to ask any questions! This forum is great and a plethora of information!

Take care-
Nikki :daizy:

Thu, Nov-21-02, 16:33
I'm a diabetic, also, and am taking 1000 mg Glucophage XR daily to control the bs. I have been diabetic for about four years, though, and I agree that 2000 mg is a LOT for a new diabetic.

About the statin drugs, the reason my doctor gave me for them, specifically for diabetics, was that they help prevent damage to internal organs from blood pressure and diabetic stresses. I'm still hoping to end my reliance on all drugs, someday, but it won't happen soon. :(

Fri, Nov-22-02, 02:50
Statins are *really* scary. My doc was after me to take them, but I insisted on not going that route. Glad I was too. Yeah, it did take about a year, but I'm now nearly normal on my readings and he's quit badgering me about taking statins. He doesn't know I'm LC'ing, but I think he suspects.
Perhaps you'd might suggest to your doc you are uncomfortable taking the statins in light of what you've read about them and let him know you'll be gradually weaning yourself off them. If he's a good doc he'll not give you any real hassle about it, but have a 'lets' see how it looks now without the drugs' kind of attitude.

Fri, Nov-22-02, 14:40
My doc prescribed a statin drug also (Pravachol) and insists that EVERY diabetic should be taking a statin drug.

I know Baycol was pulled from the market due to some deaths, but what makes statins so dangerous? I see really mixed reviews.

Fri, Nov-22-02, 14:49
Another doc, another opinion. My doc is exactly the opposite- the less drugs, the better. After doing some reading on my own, I found that I don't need them, even as a diabetic. To each his own, I guess. As for your question regarding statins and their being dangerous, there's tons of info in favor of and against them. Personally I had a very severe reaction to Lipitor when I started my second 3-month round of them. All my panels came back normal and it had lowered my chol. levels, but my body built up an intolerance to it and I became severly ill.

Here's something else I found to be interesting.

"Cholesterol-Drug Use Soars, Raising Questions About the Side Effects, The Wall Street Journal, Health Journal, February 1, 2002.

The Wall Street Journal reports that doctors and patients have noted several side effects of the most widely prescribed drugs in the U.S. - statins (some brand names are Lipitor, Zocor, and Provachol). Common complaints of patients taking statins include memory loss, personality changes, irritability, and aching muscle pain.

According to the article, cholesterol is the most common organic molecule in the brain. Some researchers theorize that blocking cholesterol production, as statins do, interferes with the brain’s performance and causes muddied thinking and memory loss. The article quotes Dr. Peter Lansjoen, a Tyler, Texas cardiologist as follows: “ You take these fragile elderly people, lower their cholesterol in half and deplete them of this essential nutrient and it makes sense they’re going to have trouble. I think we’re going to see some real trouble if we’re not careful.”

The article notes that the National Institutes of Health is in the midst of an independent study that will subject statin drugs and their side effects to scientific scrutiny. The results of this study will tell us whether the current anecdotal evidence is valid."

It'll be interesting to see what NIH has to say regarding them after their studies are done.

Nikki :daizy:

Fri, Nov-22-02, 15:05
Here's another good article.


In case the link doesn't work, here's the article from WPLG (In Florida):

Statins: Miracle Cure Or Dangerous Drug?
Posted: 1:05 p.m. EST March 5, 2002

MIAMI -- A class of cholesterol lowering drugs called 'statins are among the most popular prescription drugs in existence today – but they may have dangers that are being overlooked.
One recent study suggests statins could reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by one third, but some health experts say that statin drugs come with risks of their own.

About a year ago this time, Jay McCoy realized that something was wrong with his health. He says, "I felt real sluggish and tired and I was thirsty all the time."

Jay was diagnosed with diabetes, but blood tests showed something else. "My cholesterol was sky high," he said, "and my triclycerides were out of sight."

To bring those levels down Jay's doctor put him on a statin drug. This popular prescription made more than $16.7 billion for pharmaceutical companies last year.

Dr. Ronald Goldberg of the U.M. Diabetes Research Institute: "I think this is the drug of the century or the decade and has been a wonderful discovery and I think it's made a big difference to public health."

A recently published British study concluded that just about anyone, of any age, at risk for heart disease, could benefit from statin drugs.

The study called statins 'the new aspirin'. "When you look at the long term side effects of aspirin and statin drugs, actually statins look better," said Dr. Goldberg.

Jay foster a nutritional biochemist says, "Yes they're effective – no, they're not safe." He says that while statin drugs work to block the body's production of cholesterol, they also block the production of Co-enzyme Q-10, and that "makes them very dangerous because Co-enzyme Q-10 is vital for all the muscles including the heart muscle, and when you have a Co Q-10 deficiency you can wind up with congestive heart failure."

While supplementing with Co-Q-10 can lessen that risk, statin drugs still carry the possibility of liver damage.

After suffering side effects from statin drugs, jay McCoy switched to a supervised regimen of supplements along with a high protein, low carbohydrate diet and was amazed by the change in his health. "It's been over a year -- I've lost 80 pounds and my cholesterol is down."

Many medical experts contend that without proper supervision, even supplements can be risky, but they agree that diet and exercise, not drugs, should be the first line of defense in treating high cholesterol.

Nikki :daizy:

Fri, Nov-22-02, 19:16
Well, just today, I bought my first bottle of Coenzyme Q-10 and began supplementing with it. My doctor, openminded as he is, will have a hissy fit if I go in Monday and tell him I've decided to stop the Zocor. However, the specific problem that runs in my family IS congestive heart failure (as a complication of Diabetes, probably). So, Co Q-10 may have to become a permanent part of life. And, unlike meds, there's no co-pay. :rolleyes:

Fri, Nov-22-02, 21:50
I have inherited the lovely trait of high cholesterol. My grandfather died of a massive heart attack in the early '70s when he was still fairly young-- pretty much blockage due to high cholesterol, but I guess it wasn't heavily studied yet. My dad was a walking time-bomb, literally, until the docs noticed & meds got it under control. I am lucky enough to be able to control mine with this WOL alone. The true test will come at the beginning of March- that's when my doc has me scheduled to repeat my panels. He wanted to give me about 6 mos. on this WOL before he made any decisions regarding putting me on any statins.

CoQ10 is a good thing to take whether you're on statins or not. Just think of it as building up your vitamin arsenal that defeats the evils lurking in your body. ;) Each time I gag down my vitamins in the morning, I think of all the good they're doing no matter how icky they may taste!

Good luck talking w/your doc about the Zocor!

Enjoy your weekend!
Nikki :daizy:

Sat, Nov-23-02, 19:11
Although I'm new, I'm going to jump in here as I'm probably the grandma of the group. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago and refused medication asking my doc to let me try low carb for three months. She told me it would not work as I had a genetic propensity for diabetes, but I did it anyway. She was stunned when my A1c came back at 4.9 (down from 9+). I manage a medical records department so I'm pretty aggressive about my own healthcare. It sounds like your doc might work with you this way also. I have high cholesterol and triglycerides and my doc is most interested to see how the Salmon oil will work form me, since she saw that the low-carb is keeping the blood sugars in normal range. - Marda