Since my diagnosis, I have been on a low carbohydrate diet. It made sense to me when I first found out because my body cannot process carbohydrates so I needed to cut the problem from my diet. Makes sense right? I thought so! So, against all the doctors and diabetes dietitians advice little old sam decided that she knew best and would stick to her low carbohydrate diet.
My last diabetes dietitian appointment left me fuming, and I got in quite the heated argument with her. She basically told me that a low carb diet is not able to be maintained and would cause me more health complications than diabetes would :O :O I got home and was in a very ‘shove it and shove her’ mind frame and decided that I would try a wee experiment and do what the doctors and nurses have been telling me to do.
For the past 8 weeks, I have given my diabetes a very relaxed attitude. I didn’t go all out and eat bread for every meal or binge on lollies, but I did eat moderate carbs such as muesli for breakfast, normal crackers with marmite and cheese etc. I also have not tested my blood sugars as often as I was previously, and was not worried (well tried to not worry) if my blood sugars were over the 8.0mmol mark.
WOW! It’s such a difference and not in a good way. I haven’t been to my doctor for my latest hba1c sugar reading, but my app gives me an estimate for know.
My blood sugar levels
On a low carb diet, my blood sugar level was sitting around 4-7mmol at the most. I would wake up around 5.0 and not move much of that mark unless I was treating myself to a raw cheesecake or something I wasn’t used to eating. I would very rarely go into hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) unless I was feeling super naughty and sneaking some chocolate. My control was perfect, never going low and never going high.
My blood over the last 8 weeks have been all over the show, every time I check my blood sugar level it’s a surprise as to what the number will be. They could start in the morning at 5.5 and end up at 15 during the afternoon and then I will be back down to 6.0 before dinner and back up around 8.0 before bedtime. I have used more short term insulin (Nova Rapid) then I have ever needed when on low carb and my long term insulin (Lantus) has risen from 16units to around 22units every night. The last eight weeks have left me with no control over my levels and having to constantly be affected by highs and lows.
8am Hagrid and I are out and about hitting the streets for our morning run, then home for breakfast and study until lunch time. My sleeping patterns have been normal since leaving hospo work, I am normally asleep by 11 at the latest, and after 7.5 hours sleep, I am awake.
These days you are lucky to see me out of bed before 9am, I wake at around 8.30 and spend the next 30minutes to an hour on Facebook and Instagram not motivated to move let alone get out of bed and do anything. My sleep is very broken and I struggle to sleep before midnight, staying up late most nights watching ‘Gilmore Girls’.
Lifestyle and everything else
My skin since going off a low-carb diet is TERRIBLE. I used to have raised bumps on my forehead (I don’t know what else to call them it’s not acne?) all through high school and uni. I also used to get pimples every now and then around my face and a very pigmented, red face. My skin was amazing looking while on a low carb diet, no pimples just clear nice one colour skin. I barely felt the need to wear makeup before when going out.
My hair on a low carb diet grew like there is no tomorrow, it was healthy, shiny, and long. Since going off it has gotten brittle and brakes. It is like a big frizz ball on my head.
I am a MEGA BITCH to everyone. I have no patience for anyone and my mood is out of control. I’m either super happy and keen to talk to everyone, or depressed and wanting to stay in my room and avoid everyone. One wrong word to me and I might go psycho. I may have been a bit of a bitch on a low carb diet, but at least 90% of the time I was happy and my ‘normal’ self.
I have hardly any energy or motivation, I could happily spend all morning in bed. My focus is everywhere and I have no attention span.
I will admit, it was nice to be able to not worry about food for once in my life. To just eat whatever I wanted and whatever I was craving. It was nice to be out for dinner and not harras the waiter as to what is in everything on the menu, or out at a cafe and not worry.
Overall it was really nice to pretend for a while I didn’t have diabetes (or well not worry too much about it) but the negatives outweigh the positives. Having no control and not managing diabetes can result in foot ulcers, the loss of limbs, atherosclerosis, blind, and kidney failure to name a few. Eating a low carb diet will prevent these serious conditions from occurring as well as clear skin, energy, motivation, nice long hair. Do I really need to question this? Healthy on the inside and outside!
This week I am back on track on a low carb diet. I’m having carbohydrate cravings, but these will go by next week and worth it, in the long run, to be back to my healthy self.