What can you tell me about KETO?

CoryCory New Scotland
Over the last year my pre-diabetes has (seemingly at an alarming rate) turned into "unofficial" diabetes (I see my doctor on Xmas eve, waiting for that to make it official).

I had my blood drawn and tested around Nov 7th, and when I called my doctor for results my resting blood glucose was 13.9.  My doctor had said he wanted it 7.3 or lower.  Failed that one big time.  (Unfortunatley my doctor is not only a 2 hour drive away, he had a family emergency and had to go to BC for a few weeks, which is 5700kms away)

I finally started using my meter last Friday, and even knowing I had recently ate supper and a big amount of snack food, I tested it.  It was CRAZY HIGH.

This led me to looking online for information, and ended up finding a FB Group called "Reversing Diabetes Type 2 Support Group".


They're pretty hardcore on "Practicing a Keto diet" No carb (>20g) and no sugar, and getting off meds.

I've been able to get my levels down, but not quite down enough, by cutting back some.  And this Keto diet kind of scares me, and I hear it can be pretty dangerous.  Is anyone familiar with it?
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Comments

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited December 2019
    Not Keto-related, but I would recommend reading The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet by Michael Mosley. Very much science/evidence-based, I know a couple of people who swore by it a couple of years ago. It’s an easy read. He’s a medical journalist for the BBC. 
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    Thanks @Dee, I appreciate that.

    This group says things like:

    This is the type of post I keep seeing in my diabetes group: Your doctor is woefully mis-informed and still living in the 1970's. Following that advice will only do three things: [1] Ensure that you are a repeat patient for your GP/ENDO, and Big Pharma. [2] You will be a diabetic the rest of your life and you will be on increasing meds the rest of your life. [2] You WILL die of either heart disease or kidney failure. Or you can chose to simply STOP EATING THE THINGS THAT WILL KILL YOU - SUGAR & CARBS. PSA: The body has ZERO need for dietary carbohydrates; zip, zero, nada. Keeping carbs under 20g/day will put you into ketosis, which is how diabetes is best treated, I would urge you to read through the literature provided to new users. This is a KETO group, and we reject mainstream ADA dietary guidelines, the S.A.D., and it's associated "sciences", and branches/disciplines thereof.


    They think they know more than the medical community at large.  They give me a very "culty" feeling and kind of scare me.  But maybe they're right, maybe their only kinda-sort wrong, or maybe they way off their kilter.

    I think I should probably leave that group, they have no problem telling people they are killing themselves with levels that my doctor and pharmacist has said was OK.

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Keto is most definitely culty. It’s true that anyone with diabetes should probably eat low-ish carb, and I’m sure keto works for some people, but in diabetics it can trigger ketoacidosis, which is potentially fatal. If you do decide to go that path, you absolutely need to be medically supervised.

    There are studies starting to come out now linking keto diets with heart arrhythmia and heart disease. I’m not saying in some people the benefits don’t outweigh the risks, but you should tread carefully. The studies are kind of speculative at the moment because there haven’t been any long term ones done yet (to my knowledge), but to me that’s all the more reason not to take as gospel the word of a bunch of Facebook fruitbats. 
  • I've been Keto for over two years and lost 50 lbs in the first 6 months.  I was not pre-diabetic, but my dad and most of my uncles have type 2.  My main issue is binge eating which lead to weight gain.  It has been significantly easier for me to lose / maintain weight compared to eating carbs.  No side effects other than the initial adapting phase which can leave you a bit tired the first few weeks.

    Ketoacidosis is a concern with type 1 diabetics and less common for type 2.  Here's a few podcasts related to keto and diabetes.  Keto Connect, Keto Savage

    I would stay off the facebook groups.  They do tend to be culty and rigid in their views on keto.  The r/keto reddit community is pretty good and there are a handful of youtube channels that have some good info.  There are tons of stories on r/keto about type 2's dropping their A1c below their pre-diabetic numbers.  Give it a try for three months and evaluate your progress.
    Pangs
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    Had to look up ketoacidosis - as I must have misunderstood, but I thought these group members were seeking it.
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited December 2019
    I've done keto off and on since 6 years ago... so before it became a cult. I do think it has concepts that are great for reliably controlling blood sugar. As a forever-diet for those who don't need it for health issues, though, it hasn't been sustainable for me. I'm going back to a low carb diet with less than 100g of carbs a day at the beginning of the year. Even something like non-keto low-carb might be good for you.

    If you want a keto group, I can recommend a smaller Discord that I found to be extremely helpful and chill. 
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    JaimieT said:
    I'm going back to a low carb diet with less than 100g of carbs a day at the beginning of the year. Even something like non-keto low-carb might be good for you.
    I down to around 45-60g of carbs a day for the last week.  Sugars are much lower, but still a bit high.
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    JaimieT said:

    If you want a keto group, I can recommend a smaller Discord that I found to be extremely helpful and chill. 
    Thanks, but I think that group of scared me off of keto.

    Mostly I'll wait to see what my doctor says, and when I get home from the holidays.
    JaimieTFlukes
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    TBH, the cults have scared me off of keto too.
    Cory
  • Some Type 2 diabetics can control with a careful diet regimen, some Type 2 can be “cured” with significant weight loss if you’re overweight. Some Type 2 diabetics can’t.

    I’d encourage you to find a diet that works for you on a sustainable basis as this is more likely than not to be a chronic problem that could be made worse by jumping on and off of unsustainable diets. You do not need to go full Keto. If you want to and you’re not Type 1, then it’s probably okay though talk it over with your doctor and be confident that you can live with the diet long term,

    Avoid people who think that their solution is the perfect one regardless of the details of your individual circumstances or what your doctor and science says. They’re brainwashed.
    CoryPangs
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Yes, this was a problem I had that I think you don't hear from people who have been doing keto for 1-2 years. 

    It's a THING to get your body into ketosis. 

    This makes you more likely to binge whenever you're out of ketosis. Because, why not enjoy it while you can?

    This makes you delay getting back into ketosis.

    Do you lose weight quickly when in ketosis? 100%.

    However, this on/off relationship gets really, really, really, really old when this is your Way of Eating (WOE) for 5+ years.

    As someone who has a tendency towards food disorder, it was not healthy for me. Yes, you can eat anything you want, but it's still just keto foods and if you weren't raised eating just keto foods you're going to naturally have cravings for things that were comforting to you in your childhood.

    With ketosis, there's not an easy way to relieve that pressure.

    I learned many things from keto I will use going forward, though.
    FlukesDee
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited December 2019
    That kind of ketosis/binge-break/ketosis/binge-break cycle is bad for diabetics. It’s easier to control a diabetic with a consistently bad diet than one who cycles like this between good and bad unpredictably. End up either over-treating while you’re being good, or under-treating it while you’re bad, or both,

    Find a reasonably-good diet that doesn’t drive you off of it periodically.
    Dee
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    LordBy said:
    Some Type 2 diabetics can control with a careful diet regimen, some Type 2 can be “cured” with significant weight loss if you’re overweight. Some Type 2 diabetics can’t.

    I’d encourage you to find a diet that works for you on a sustainable basis as this is more likely than not to be a chronic problem that could be made worse by jumping on and off of unsustainable diets. You do not need to go full Keto. If you want to and you’re not Type 1, then it’s probably okay though talk it over with your doctor and be confident that you can live with the diet long term,

    Avoid people who think that their solution is the perfect one regardless of the details of your individual circumstances or what your doctor and science says. They’re brainwashed.
    I weighted myself yesterday morning, 156.6 lbs.  I'm type 2, haven't been officially diagnosed yet.  So it's all really new to me, but I knew it was becoming a problem.  That's why I asked my doctor for a test.
  • I pulled up a conversion chart and that 13.9 mmol/L is 250mg/dL which are the units we use here in the US.

    You won’t be able to cure through weight loss.

    Just try to stay on top of it and don’t get discouraged if you need to take some medication in addition to watching your diet a bit. Don’t get hung-up on the “official” diagnosis either, folks who have impaired fasting glucose, or insulin resistance, or who are pre-diabetic, or who are diabetic are all just folks with a sugar metabolism issue. You can lead a long and otherwise healthy life if you pay attention to it.
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    LordBy said:
    I pulled up a conversion chart and that 13.9 mmol/L is 250mg/dL which are the units we use here in the US.

    You won’t be able to cure through weight loss.

    Just try to stay on top of it and don’t get discouraged if you need to take some medication in addition to watching your diet a bit. Don’t get hung-up on the “official” diagnosis either, folks who have impaired fasting glucose, or insulin resistance, or who are pre-diabetic, or who are diabetic are all just folks with a sugar metabolism issue. You can lead a long and otherwise healthy life if you pay attention to it.
    Are you perhaps diabetic?

    I looked up the conversion last night (it's multiple/divide by 18).

    I was pre-diabetic about 5-6 years ago, when I tested (I think) 6.9mmol/L.  I started metformin then, 500mg a day.  Although my doctor wasn't going to put me on it at first.

    About 6 months ago I doubled to 500mg twice a day.

    A week ago after I tested at 28mmol/L (about a half hour after a meal and big snack) my pharmacist suggested another 500mg, as doubling again might cause stomach issues.  So I'm waiting to see how my doctor adjusts my medication.

    One of my challenges is that I love bread/rolls (commonly for breakfast) and love potatoes even more.

    I only say I haven't been officially been diagnosed yet, is because I haven't been able to see my doctor since I got the test results.  I've had to do the research and make the changes myself (one reason I haven't done anything too drastic).  Fortunately (for me) my stepfather has been Type 1 for 54 years, and he's extremely knowledgeable about diabetes.
  • I’m not diabetic, but I do insurance underwriting and it’s a common malady so I run into it quite a bit. Also my sister was diagnosed type 2 a couple of years ago and my grandmother had type 1.

    Your doc may try some additional/different meds if you’re maxed-out on the Metformin,
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    LordBy said:
    I’m not diabetic, but I do insurance underwriting and it’s a common malady so I run into it quite a bit. Also my sister was diagnosed type 2 a couple of years ago and my grandmother had type 1.

    Your doc may try some additional/different meds if you’re maxed-out on the Metformin,
    I don't think I'm maxed out, but he may want to try something else.

    I plan to get back into weight lifting soon, too.
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Low-ish carb, as Mediterranean as your local vegetable availability can offer - that’s the consensus for the healthiest diet these days. 
    CapeGabeCory
  • edited December 2019
    The fact that refined sugar was allowed to run rampant in the US for for almost 100 years is criminal. I just found out that the 2% gross milk I was fed growing up because it was "better for you without all that fat" was loaded with sugar to make up for that it tasted like ass.

    JaimieTDeeCory
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @CapeGabe I drink low fat milk (not much, usually a bit in coffee and the occasional Milo) and I’ve been trying on and off for ages to switch to full fat. But I’ve been having it for decades so now every time I try full fat it feels like I’m drinking butter. 
    Cory
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Dee said:
    @CapeGabe I drink low fat milk (not much, usually a bit in coffee and the occasional Milo) and I’ve been trying on and off for ages to switch to full fat. But I’ve been having it for decades so now every time I try full fat it feels like I’m drinking butter. 

    It's 2% vs 4%... but I guess that is a 100% increase. 
  • I drink very little milk now. When I buy some it is usually to cook. I buy whole.

    I just was thinking how bad that was for all through childhood getting extra stealth sugar to go with the ton as a kid I was trying to stuff down my throat. 
    Cory
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    I don’t know if Australian milk is different but there’s not a lot of difference in sugar between full fat and reduced fat here - FF 9g in 200 ml vs RF 9.6g in the one I buy. I have been trying to switch more because of the heavier processing of RF milk. 
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    I switched to skim milk over 20 years ago, as a teenager on my doctors' recommendation.
  • The carb content of different varieties of milk appear to be the same now, in the US anyway. 
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    The carb content of different varieties of milk appear to be the same now, in the US anyway. 
    It's one gram different here.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited December 2019
    Dee said:
    Low-ish carb, as Mediterranean as your local vegetable availability can offer - that’s the consensus for the healthiest diet these days. 
    The best shape I've ever been in, and the best feeling came from a really well rounded, healthy diet mixed with regular excercise. Still ate plenty of rice and potatoes, and even some noodles and bread here and there. The big difference was that it was all clean, nothing processed, and vegetables were the top priority. Nothing about the diet at a whole would necessarily be considered low card, but it was less than what most people eat. This is the reason Mediterranean works so well. It pretty much encompasses all of that. Sure, there are still plenty of ways to overindulge, but that's only if you overdo the parts that are just supposed to accompany most meals. Nothing funnier than people saying they eat mostly Mediterranean, when really that just means that every night after work they sit on their ass, eat olives, pita bread and hummus, and drink a bottle of red wine. Maybe once in a while they'll buy a tub of pre-made tabouli salad.
    Dee
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @Freddy Yeah, there’s a lot to be said for whole food eating. I know I feel a lot better when I make the effort to do it. I kind of get why a lot of people don’t though - influencers, books, and snooty jerks on the internet make it seem like it’s some piss easy thing, but it pre-supposes that a) you can afford it, as processed food is often cheaper, b) you can access it, c) you have enough skills in cooking/preparing, and d) you have the time to cook/prepare from scratch. 

    I’m lucky in that I have a farmers market and a huge food market near me, pretty good cooking skills and a hell of a lot of free time. The downside is that I’m lazy as hell. :-/ 
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Hi @Cory, I was reading a short article yesterday about studies of plant-based eating to improve Diabetes 2 (separate from veganism, PB is whole food with no processed food or junk food). So I have another book reco for you - How Not To Die by Dr Michael Greger (not to be confused with his latest book How Not To DieT). It’s got a wealth of evidence-based information about diabetes as well as various other medical issues. 
    Cory
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I noticed a significant loss in weight and increase in energy for the year I did keto. But like Jamie said, it’s awfully hard to get back in the swing of things once you fall off. To me it’s almost impossible to get back on the horse. It’s so limiting and you eventually get so tired of what you can have, that i now (being off for a few months) almost rarely am hungry for the meats and cheeses and eggs that I was eating while doing it. Sometimes they literally make me feel nauseated. 
    JaimieT
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