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January 13

Sunday, January 13, 2019

I'm still kind of new to this whole world. So I've been reading a lot. I'm beginning to really look askance at the ADA and their recommendations about diet. My doctor's, too, actually. I'm convinced that if I had followed her advice closely from the beginning, I'd still be trying to get my A1c under 7. In fact, on diagnosis, she ordered a repeat A1c for 7 weeks later and said that she hoped I might have gotten it down to the low 8s by then (started at 10.1 in mid-August). I completely ignored her 35-40 carbs per meal, 15 per snack - 3 of each each day. As it was summer, I ate a lot of garden vegetables, eggs, chicken salad and my daily carb count was mostly between 50 - 80. She was amazed that the 7-week redo was 6.9. More illuminating for me (about how medicine approaches this whole thing) is that she told me to stop testing (unless maybe I went out and had some fancy meal). She actually used the words 'You're there!' So, the whole goal is 'under 7'. But that corresponds to an average reading of 150!! That's accepting a perpetually high blood glucose that is progressively causing all kinds of damage. That was October 7th. I was scheduled for another A1c , for the beginning of January. My latest A1c, drawn on January 3rd, is 5.7. The doctor is thrilled, talked of non-diabetic. I'm thrilled, too, given that less than 6 months ago, it was 10.1. But 5.7 = 117. I'm still determined to get it lower.

I've definitely found that as the seasons changed, I've had more trouble staying as low on carbs. Now, it's more like between 75 and 125 and occasional days that go up to 140. Winter means chowder, and squash, and roasted things. (Still haven't touched pasta since August, or any good, fresh crusty bread. emoticon )

I've been reading Dr. Bernstein's book, The Diabetic Solution. He, too, dismisses the conventional guidelines for carb intake. I haven't finished it, but his goal is maintaining normal blood sugar (at 83) and seems to have the goods for how it's done. Anyway, I think my own takeaway from this experience so far is that you have to be your own best guide and knowledge is everything. You can't just be a compliant patient following directions. There's work to be done and it's research and experimentation. There are some things I can eat without impacting sugar that I find amazing and other things that ought to be benign but send it soaring. Everybody's different and so everybody has to find their own way. But passive obedience to generic, one-size-fits-most guidelines is not the path for me.
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    496 days ago
  • MICHELE142
    Congrats on you A1C, You are doing great in handling your Diabetes and not your Diabetes handling you.
    Keep up the great work.
    498 days ago
    I heard some of the same advice from my doctor, that with diabetes an A1C under 7 is the goal, but try to get close to 6 if you can. When it kept creeping up, he was ready to add a second medication. I didn't want to do that (and eventually have to take insulin), so that's when I started learning more about carbs and testing my blood glucose frequently, and how various meals impact my numbers. I'm so glad I did!

    You may be interested to read my blog, "My Low Carb/Question Authority Plan," where I put links to two videos that sort of explain how places like the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association got their guidelines and why the are so resistant to changing them. It's surprising when you really look into their history!

    You are doing great, bringing down your A1C so quickly! I think you are on the right path, trying to limit carbs as much as you can, with a goal of reducing the A1C even more. I'm doing that as well. My A1C started at 6.9, and I brought it down to 6.1 doing low carb (50 to 100 carbs a day). I started keto (under 20 total carbs a day) on January 1, and with that change I can see my blood sugars improving dramatically. I get my next A1C in February.

    I've been having fun experimenting with recipes to find substitutions for things I miss, such as baking with almond flour to make Parmesan crackers or pizza dough, and using spaghetti squash instead of pasta, etc. I really think low carb/keto is doable long term if we keep the food interesting and delicious! Good luck to you!
    498 days ago
    You are correct and your doctor is incorrect. Not all doctors are diabetic savvy. Read all you can and use your journals and test scores to gauge what portions you can and can not eat to maintain you test scores.

    I wish you great luck it is so important to control this disease. I did not know it and had cancer that was possibly connected to the diabetes and my obesity.

    499 days ago
    You are your own captain in your journey to health. And you have discovered how little truth is out there if you follow the ADA guidelines. Work what works for you, everyone is different. And you have made a great improvement in your A1C but don't stop there. Keep working your program.
    499 days ago
    Thank you for your post
    499 days ago
    Great blog and good for you! Most PCPs really don’t know a lot about nutrition (in my experience), and we are all different. I love that you are researching and working what helps you! Thanks for the encouragement!
    499 days ago
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