Saturday, April 2, 2016

Acting as if you have type 2 diabetes my favorite quotes from Barbara Berkeley, MD From Refuse to Regain, (part 1 in a series)

Act as if you have type 2 diabetes...

*Note, I'll be featuring my favorite obesity and diabetes resources over a series of posts periodically* Bravo to Dr. Berkeley for blogging, writing, and practicing obesity medicine in a way that promotes good outcomes. Three Cheers!!! 

** Edited to Add I refer to reversal via lower carbohydrate foods and lifestyle (sleep & stress management). I was able to reverse my personal risks without medications, so far. **

Karen's 2 cents
 I'm not a "bad person" for carrying type 2 diabetes genetic risks. I do however, have to face my genetic and medical risk factors so that I don't develop type 2 diabetes. What I choose to eat and how I live my life can keep my risk lower.

I have high risk, but I don't need to live the life of type 2 diabetes disease, symptoms, and diseases.

The articles that I'm linking to from Refuse to Regain- Barbara Berkeley, MD help me know that I'm not alone and that other US experts advice their patients to "act as if".  

My reality : I cannot escape my hard coded genetics. 
I certainly can employ great tools as a formerly morbid obese adult and obese child. I can control my food template. What I put in my body.
 (What works for me)
Daily weighing 5 yrs

1. Weight control in the normal or near normal weight range (hint daily weighing for the WIN)
2. Choosing and cooking foods  so that my blood glucose is normal- Paleo-ish, LCHF, and sometimes low level Ketosis. (see my regular foods here: I'm not starving or eating "diet" foods  Karen's Paleo Life- Instagram
3. Using other Primal methods- like better  sleep and stress control via meditation
4. Periodically monitoring fasting and post meal glucose levels via home testing.
5. Trending HA1c and fasting glucose over 5+ years using  employee based wellness screens.
6. Review my 23nMe genetic report for known diabetes risk factors.

Here are some great articles from Dr. Berkeley that have, in my opinion, sound advice;

My favorite quotes from the article:

a1  Because all elevated blood sugars indicate a problem with the insulin system
a2 When your blood sugar exceeds 100 fasting, there IS a problem, an active one.
a3 There is no reason why a healthy person should wake up with an elevated blood sugar
a4. Should we be waiting until a blood sugar of 126 before alerting people to the fact that they have a serious problem brewing?
a.5 A huge number of overweight people have elevated fasting blood sugar.  If you are one of them, it is my suggestion that you act as if you had been given the diagnosis of diabetes.  
a.6 A huge number of overweight people have elevated fasting blood sugar.  If you are one of them, it is my suggestion that you act as if you had been given the diagnosis of diabetes.  (Karen's note- best advise I could ever implement for my weight management)

My Favorite quotes from the article

b1 Perhaps we should stop thinking about weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglycerides as problems that affect someone else.

b2 Nevertheless, I am part of the human race and, for most of my life, I ate the modern diet. That means that I fall somewhere in the Unibetes continuum. Lower blood sugar and elevated good cholesterol are good things for me too. 

My Favorite Quotes from the article

c1 Let's get real.  First and foremost, we medical types should stop using the term pre-diabetes.
Just as you can't be a little bit pregnant, you can't be a little bit diabetic.  You either have a problem with your insulin system or you don't.

c2. It's my guess that we are becoming diabetic so rapidly because of a perfect storm.  That storm would likely include two conditions : a change in our susceptibility to the disease and an environment that promoted development of the disease.  

c3. If we assume that we are susceptible to insulin dysfunction and that this susceptibility is COMMON then it becomes the height of foolishness to eat a diet that is dominated by foods that require the body to make insulin.  Just for the new readers to this blog, those foods include:  sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, other syrups, molasses, grain (including whole grain), things made from flour (including pasta, breads, and baked goods), cereals both hot and cold, popped grains like popcorn and popped rice, crackers, chips, tacos, tortillas, and potatoes.    (Karen's note- this is my favorite of favorite quotes)

During my "height of foolishness" I did things that did not work

1. Moderating Sugars, Grains, cereals, bars, low fat sugar free products, and high processed foods
2. Eating high glycemic fruits my ancestors would NOT have had access too, because fruits were "free" at WW.
3. Thinking I could be a happy pre-diabetic and use medications to control my blood glucose.
4. Not monitoring my fasting and 2 hr post glucose reading at home, more often.
5. Staying off the scale and growing massive visceral fat via the moderating ALL THE FOODS. 
6. Thinking calories in calories out would result in great health. 

Okay, who over the last 5 years has changed what they eat and why due to type 2 diabetes risks? Share in the comments.

Example of better fasting blood glucose post obesity using a Paleo-ish food template


  1. I have changed how I eat because of diabetes risks. I had a period if time where my sugars were elevated a bit, and it finally made me realize I have to be careful. I dropped all grains (though I do indulge occasionally), and I am really limiting my refined sugar and fruit intake. I had some recent health problems that led a dermatologist to ask for my sugar levels so this stuff is important! I am keeping a check on what I eat. I already take medicine for other health conditions--and those medicines are unavoidable--that if I can avoid ever having to take diabetes medication because I can control my glucose levels by my diet, then that is what I intend to do--and I am already taking steps to get there.

    1. Ali, I'm glad you took action on the elevated sugars. It's very do able by diet and life style at the start. It becomes much more tricky as time goes on, so catching it sooner rather than later is great.

      I love it that your Dermo asked you for your sugar levels!!! I was able to show my home monitoring to my doc last month so she could rule that out quick (she knows I'm a lab person in real life-LOL). I think knowing your food/glucose interaction is awesome. I know I can eat blueberries when I want, and I know I can start binge eating again and have high glucose if I go back to bananas.

      My body lets me know....

  2. Unfortunately "acting as if you have diabetes" in today's medical world does not mean eating and living so you are not diabetic. Instead it means meds. Taking meds, shooting up meds. And still eating the same nonsense for the most part.

    So I think you need to add to your phrase to convey what you mean.

    1. Vickie- excellent points. I will add a qualifier to THIS post and post a few more for a follow up. I've got experience seeing type 2's in the clinical setting, but I write the blog as a lay person. The clinical practices are not best practices-IMO, YET due to needing better normal ranges, better carbohydrate advice , etc.

      It's a tough place to be. At the intersection of knowing and seeing crap tons of great work via MD's and RD's who do get it and having had the experience of working with patients in the clinical setting AND having reversed it myself.

      There are more and more carb restricted MD's and RD's with CDE's (certified diabetes educators) that get it, and are teaching people to reverse using food and lifestyle.

      I have hope, but too many guidelines need to change at the upper levels- it's a perfect storm, indeed. I'll update a few sentences in my post. I interact with a huge number of type 2's that have reversed their diabetes with Ketosis, Low Carb High Fat, Paleo, Primal or some real food combo. I forget that's not everyones daily MO.

  3. I know you mentioned this in a previous post ... if only people would invest in a home glucose testing meter ... realise that they may be pre-diabetic (or indeed diabetic) ... and take appropriate action.

    Of course appropriate action, in my experience living with a Type 2 diabetic, is to follow a LCHF food template. I can only talk from experience but know of so many who have done this and their test results show the way!

    It is so important to share experiences so people can read and take information on board and do further research.

    Take care

    All the best Jan

    1. Yes!!!! Home glucose testing for the masses- IMO- I agree, Jan. Obesity, diabetes- diseases, but also symptoms. Remove the root and place the disease into remission.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog. The before and after photos of those who have put the disease into remission via diet and/or diet and reduced medication..... That's all the proof I needed. They have normal human bodies after eating foods for.... normal humans (100+ years ago). Good stuff.

  4. I know people with diabetes who eat as their doctor advised, and that includes plenty of car by foods I wouldn't eat, so yes ... act as if you have diabetes AND your doctor knows a thing or two about what things should and shouldn't be considered food.

    1. Anna, indeed. There's a whole medical care system set up (driven by the current guidelines and moderation of the SAD) that will make you a frequent medical flyer of the insurance system. I'm currently paying for it via my own high premiums. I do get and insurance discount, but we will all pay for the high grains recommendations.

      Yes, must act as if you have diabetes, then get your own data. :) I'm so glad that you are blogging about your n=1.

  5. For the first time my A1C showed 5.7. The dietician at my doctor's office gave me a plan, but I am concerned about things on it. She said I can have oatmeal twice a week (steel cut) and bread with fiber above 3 grams per, and also popcorn occasionally. Based on all of your experience, would you say I should NOT have any of these things? She also said to put 1 tsp of coconut oil into things once a day, but I have read good and negative things about that. Any advice you can give will be much appreciated.

    1. Paula, I applaud you for taking action to see what foods really bring your HA1c. So many people just keep on keeping on with the SAD diet and the high carbohydrate recommendations that some docs dole out due to the dietary recommendations.

      I cannot make medical recommendations. I can say if I myself, personally ate oatmeal, bread and popcorn I would have weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and colon BLOW with either constipation or the runs (sorry for the TMI). When I eat grain free, I stay stable with my glucose (HA1c 5.2-5.4) and poop like a champ. Just saying.... Meat, veggies, and natural fats for the win for my GI system.

      Good luck on your n=1. Your body will tell you. Your food template will choose you.

    2. Thanks for taking the time to reply! Yes, it didn't sound right to me either.