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Mon, Dec-09-02, 08:06
I'm unemployed and uninsured at the moment and I just moved to a new state after my type 2 diagnosis. Before I moved I suspected I had diabetes and went to Urgent Care where my sugars/ketones were tested. From there I was promptly sent off to the emergency room (ketoacidosis). Anyway, I was able to see a doctor afterward twice on her lunch hour for free and I was brought up to speed a little on diabetes. She gave me some samples of Amaryl which I took (I don't plan to go back on Amaryl, though) and I was temporarily put on fast acting insulin when my sugars got above 150 (8.3) . I was using the insulin a lot in the beginning, but I've really tightened my control since then and I haven't been going over 150. However, so far on Atkins my BGs average 124 (6.8) after a meal and 144 (8) when I wake up. I've been working out religiously during this period, too. I've just started reading Bernstein and I have the impression that he would probably consider this too high and would prescribe Metformin. So my question is, do these levels probably require meds? Also, does anyone have advice on finding a good endocrinologist or GP? I really wish I could interview a physician before I actually went in to see them, but that's almost impossible. Now that I have a real disease it's become apparent to me that finding a good doctor is a serious task. Thanks for any advice.


Mon, Dec-09-02, 09:14
Ok, things are stricter now. Doctors have picked up on the heart disease link and diabetes control is a more serious business than it used to be. However, when I was diagnosed with diabetes, the guidelines I was given were:

below 140 after 8 hr. fast (sleeping, for example)
below 180 after 1.5 hrs from last meal

It looks like your sugars are not terrible, though your am readings are a bit high. If your am readings are high, you may have a problem digesting food at night and might consider avoiding food for at least two hours prior to bedtime.

IF you go into a low-carb lifestyle and STAY THERE, you may never need meds for diabetes. It depends on how well you can control your sugars with diet alone. It depends on losing weight if you're over what you should be. Try to exercise and keep healthy. Test as often as you're able, especially at first, to try to determine what foods raise your sugars more than others. Try to eat your carbs spread out over an entire day, not all at once. (If I eat more than 5 in one meal, it raises my bs too high.)

I wish I had found low-carbing years ago. I might never have developed the disease. However, after 4+ years as a diabetic, there's even hope for me that low-carbing may correct my health. It should certainly help you.

Lisa N
Mon, Dec-09-02, 15:44
Hi TomX!

Those two hour readings actually look pretty good. The higher morning reading could be due to several things, including delayed gastric emptying like Freydis mentioned. It could also be something called the Dawn Phenomenon, which Dr. Bernstein discusses in his book.
You don't mention how long you've been following a low carb WOE or give samples of your daily menus, but if you've only just started and aren't taking any medications, it could take a few more weeks for your blood sugars to come down to normal readings consistently and it's possible that you may still need medication to help with that for a while.
How about starting a journal and letting some of the veteran low carbers take a peek? Perhaps they can make some suggestions to help you reach your goal of better blood sugar control more quickly? It's a bit hard to make suggestions without knowing more about what you eat on a daily basis.
Regarding finding a good doctor. If you're new in town, it helps to ask people who live there who they might recommend. You can also call their office and ask the receptionist or nurse some questions about how the doctor feels about low carb, etc.. That might at least increase the liklihood that you'll get a doc who is agreeable with what you're currently doing. HTH

Mon, Dec-09-02, 16:55
Hi Lisa,

Well, I'm going to pass on the food journal for now because I'm a little embarrassed. My meals are pretty repetitive and I haven't been going out of my way to really spice them up or add things. I'm also just getting accustomed to cooking regularly. :daze: I'm kind of like a low carb marine. My past 10 day semi-induction (some cheating) phase has been like this:

Sausage and 4 eggs with cheese and lots of water

Salt craving (it hits me at some point):
Cheat by ODing on peanuts (5 ounces, probably 15 carbs)

Sugar craving (another one that hits me everyday) :
Cheat by having Atkins breakfast bars (2 carbs each, but I have four of them. :) Yeech.)

Two chicken breasts and 2 cups of broccoli and lots of water

Steak and 2 cups of broccoli (sometimes green beans for variety)

That about sums up my eating so far. I switch the meats around a little, I had Bratwurst one day. I put butter on the broccoli. Yesterday I finally got rid of the peanuts. I can't handle them. So I'm trying to switch to cheese if I really get the salt craving bad. Today I stopped the low carb bars. I'm trying to see if I do strict induction if I actually will lose the salt and sugar cravings. Nevertheless, since I've been eating like this my BGs have come into fairly normal range. I've also been working out. The supplements I take are garlic, mult-vitamin, CoQ10, L-carnitine, magnesium/potassium, aspirin, chromium, milk thistle. I know I have food allergies with a lot of raw vegetables (I usually don't have problems with cooked veggies) so I've backed off the salad a little. Today, however, I bought some Romaine lettuce and I'm going to see if it makes my mouth itch when I eat it. Well, you asked. By the way, I do have some Salmon I'm going to cook up, too. So there you have it. It's a little boring, but I'll probably mess with it as I progress.

Mon, Dec-09-02, 17:31
Hi Freydis,

I'm going to take your advice on not eating two hours before bedtime. I have a problem with eating late. I was told by a diabetes educator that you can mitigate the dawn effect by eating something fatty before you go to bed, she suggested peanut butter. I keep forgetting to try this. Anyway, thanks for the advice.


Tue, Dec-10-02, 05:13
Instead of peanut butter, try a pat of butter sprinkled w/cinnamon...no carbs.

Wed, Dec-11-02, 13:27
Wow! That might be part of why bacon works for me! I gave up LONG ago on my diabetes "educator." I've gotten the most help from a friend who's diabetic and other Atkins/low-carb dieters - oh, and trying things on my own. When I was on Induction strictly, bacon was my FRIEND. :)