After posting my plea for help on here, I have had loads of responses. Thanks everyone. One of which was to try the Bernstein solution.  So I have the book from the library and am reading through it.

I have to say it does make sense, because one of the major problems I have is taking boluses of any size.  I just imagine the insulin going in to me as a big puddle, and then suddenly all working at once before the food absorbs.  So I under bolus or extend with the pump.  And I do eat a lot of carbs.

So it makes sense to eat fewer carbs so I don't have to take too much of a bolus to cover it.

BUT, I don't know if I can be as strict as Bernstein suggests in the book.  The only carbs coming from vegetables?? No fruit, milk, bread, potatoes etc.  It is very drastic and I wonder if it is safe.  Yes he has used it for 40 years and is still alive and kicking which tells you something, but if you don't eat carbs where does your energy come from?  Also, does it make you ketotic if you are burning fat instead of carbs?


Anyway in the meantime I am testing basals to get those right.  Mornings seem to be ok but lunchtime onwards is not right.  I have reduced some of them for tomorrow.  As I have been high a long time I felt hypo symptoms at 6.0 (108) earlier on and despite eating 30g carbs it took an hour for my sugars to rise to 8.8 (154).  I'm wondering if my gastro is about to play up, ulgh!!!

Views: 20

Comment by The Diabetic Welfare Queen on February 10, 2011 at 8:52am
Well, not everyone is as strict as Bernstein. We just lower carbs to what is doable for us, in lowering errors, and numbers... You can join the Bernstein group in our site... and gets lots of advice from people there... Lots of recipes, too... etc.
Comment by Dee on February 10, 2011 at 9:25am
Thanks I'll check that out.
Comment by Pauly on February 10, 2011 at 1:22pm
I found yes if you go cold turkey with no carbs you will have Atkins Breath and be burning Ketones while you burn fat. In addition it takes time to work down to a blood sugar of 83 feeling normal. I believe in the book he shoots for his patients first to achieve a blood sugar of 100 and then continue to work it down from there.

Most people follow a version of his and are not quite as restrictive. I just stay away from problem foods where I know I will get into trouble.
Comment by Sysy Morales on February 10, 2011 at 4:17pm
I find that adding a small bit of beans or lentils or ezekial bread to my meals of veggies and organic meat/chicken/fish/fowl, gives me just the right amount of carbs to feel good all day. You don't need the calcium in milk if you eat veggies high in calcium like spinach (which is also high in potassium) and you don't need the protein in milk if you eat meat or chicken or fish.

Like others say, you can eat a not so strict version of the bernstein diet. Any small changes are probably more likely to stick rather than trying to restrict everything you're used to eating all at once.

Anyway, good luck, sounds like you're doing pretty well :)
Comment by Trev on February 10, 2011 at 9:44pm
I also find this diet to be a little hard to adhere too, so I tend to gravitate to the paleo or caveman type diet. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago Titled Diabetic Caveman I also hear The Primal Blue Print is a good lower carb diet but easier to adhere to. Good luck. I do like the smaller inputs = more predictable outcomes. Makes sense. Cheers from
Comment by Brian (bsc) on February 11, 2011 at 6:22am
I think it is perfectly ok to adapt Dr. B's diet. The "law of small numbers" is what matters. If you can reduce your carbs, your blood sugar swings will be much less. And this will let you drop your blood sugars lower (much lower) and still be safe from hypos. You may continue to fear hypos and you still may need to work on that, but gaining confidence in your own ability to control your blood sugar and feel safe will also go a long way.

ps. You feelings of hypo at 108 mg/dl are natural, your body has adjusted to higher blood sugars. The hypo feelings should diminish in a few days.

pps. You need to also recognize your personal accomplishment of getting your blood sugars down, that is good progress.
Comment by Jax on February 11, 2011 at 6:44am
It sounds like you are taking action! Yay! I too read Dr. B before I knew anything about DM or found this website. I thought he was on crack. But now that I am almost a half a year in, I won't completely adhere to his suggestions, but I do see the benefits of limiting my carbs by 50g from my past norm. I still need 70-150g but it depends on my exercise levels. I am also trying to find better carbs that won't make me spike as much. Yesterday I walked so much at work and exercised that I ate 70g of carbs without bolusing. Good luck!
Comment by Kathy on February 11, 2011 at 4:12pm
I have had db for 37 years and been on dialysis for 4 months. As a dialysis patient I am required to eat at least 10 ounces of animal protein per day. My doctor says that as long as I do this, I will keep up my strength and vitality.
Once the protein requirement is met for each meal, there is little room for carbs.
Without even trying (only testing about twice per day, but still taking mdi's) my A1C came back the lowest ever - 6.3.
Comment by acidrock23 on February 11, 2011 at 6:06pm
I am not exactly a low-carber but I have cut them back *considerably* from what I used to eat maybe 5-6 years ago and am always sort of refining things a bit, trying to push it a bit? I also have a ton of respect for Dr. Bernstein however I am not 100% in agreement that you need to be quite so rigorous to maintain very good control? I have noticed that when I don't eat a lot of carbs I don't go up or down nearly as much. I get nice, flat lines with my CGM a lot the time and just sort of keep an eye on it. I have had my fair share of hypos too, and certainly understand being averse to them although as long as I have carbs around, which is about 99% of the time, I am not all that fazed by them either? I hope that you can work out what the situation is. Another thing about AM/ Lunch differential might be to set different basal rates? W/ the CGM, I've noticed that a very small adjustment, .05U/ hr will make my BG go all nutso, either high or low, so I don't make big adjustments. If, OTOH, I get a period which runs high for a few days in a row, with no other changes, I will push the insulin up a shade and see what happens for a couple of days. Small changes in basal can make a big difference in stability for me so maybe that would be worth a try? Good luck with whatever you come up with!
Comment by Riva Greenberg on February 14, 2011 at 4:44am
I read Bernsteins' book a decade ago and it made me change how I eat entirely. I used to say I eat a low carb diet because of that book, but truth is it's just a low refined carb diet. For breakfast I eat steel cut oatmeal along with no fat yogurt and peanut butter for protein. For lunch I eat veggies and a little feta cheese or turkey or chicken. For dinner it's usually fish or chicken, low carb veggies and beans. That's not truly a low carb diet because veggies and beans have carbs and oatmeal sure does, but the low refined carbs means my sugars no longer swing like someone on a trapeze! I have so much more control. I thank this way of eating for giving me peace of mind.

I don't follow Bernstein in how strict he is. I eat a small amount of fruit, bread when I'm out at restaurants, sweet potatoes, the occasional fried calamari. You need to do what's right for you and wiping everything you love out of your diet, you're not going to stick for long. Find your middle ground and as you get used to it you'll be able to eat more complex carbs and less refined carbs and less carbs overall.

You might have some gastroparesis, anyone who's had diabetes for a while might, you will feel like you're low if you've been high a long time, and if it's taking a long time to recover for a low it might depend what you're using to recover. You want fast acting carbs: glucose tablets, juice, real soda, skim milk. Anything with fat in it will delay your rise.


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