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Occasional Visitor
rlridgeway
Total Posts: 2
Registered on: ‎09-02-2013
Helpful Response

The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??

[ Edited ]

I am a 55 year old male, 5'10 and 230 lbs. I recently had a AC1 of 6.6. My doctor diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and put me on 500mg of Metformin twice a day. In the last past week I have had a fasting blood sugar reading mostly in the 100-110 range and an after eating in the 100-120 range (one spike was 176).

 

If I lose say, 40 lbs and get on an active exercise regime, what are my chances of eliminating the need for the Metformin? Have there been any studies which show the actual percentage of diabetics not on medicine and control the diabetes with diet and exercise? I realize the weight loss and exercise will be good for me anyway but is it realistic to believe I can eliminate the medicine?

 

That being said, I really like to eat. What if say once or twice a week after I have lost weight, I splurged  and ate a zillion grams of carbs in a day? Will I ruin all the hard work?

 

Just wondering what to expect?

Valued Contributor
marty1955
Total Posts: 8,217
Registered on: ‎05-12-2013

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??


rlridgeway wrote:

I am a 55 year old male, 5'10 and 230 lbs. I recently had a AC1 of 6.6. My doctor diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and put me on 500mg of Metformin twice a day. In the last past week I have had a fasting blood sugar reading mostly in the 100-110 range and an after eating in the 100-120 range (one spike was 176).

 

If I lose say, 40 lbs and get on an active exercise regime, what are my chances of eliminating the need for the Metformin? Have there been any studies which show the actual percentage of diabetics not on medicine and control the diabetes with diet and exercise? I realize the weight loss and exercise will be good for me anyway but is it realistic to believe I can eliminate the medicine?

 

That being said, I really like to eat. What if say once or twice a week after I have lost weight, I splurged  and ate a zillion grams of carbs in a day? Will I ruin all the hard work?

 

Just wondering what to expect?


Hi and welcome to the forums!  If you are testing 2 hours after a meal, you may not be getting the actual blood glucose spike.  My spike usually occurs about 1 hour after I take the first bite; then at 2 hours is getting back down to a level at or close to my pre-meal bg level.  Many of us on here are do the same.The metformin does not kick-in to its full potential for 2 weeks or more and it varies from person to person.

There are several members here who only do exercise and diet for controlling their diabetes.  It is certainly possible to do that, but each person is different.  I take one 500 mg metformin and actually started off with an A1c of 7.2.  It has taken me eight months to lose down to within 3 pounds of my goal weight and my A1c is now 5.8.  I only eat 80 or less carbs per day and many others on here eat much less than that.  I personally have problems doing exercise since I have to walk with a cane or walker.  My routine is chair exercising and walking as much as possible. 

 

LOL on the carb binge once a week, I would not advise that; but it is ok to splurge every now and then.  I sort of look at it this way, overdoing causes my levels to get out of wack for days; it is easier to stay steady. 

 

Marty

"The road to success is always under construction."
- Lily Tomlin

01/2013 - diagnosed with T2 and hypothyroidism
A1c - 7.2
04/16/2013 - A1c 6.1
07/24/2013 - A1c 5.8 (bayernow)
09/21/2013 - A1c 5.6 (bayernow)
10/10/2013 - A1c 5.7
04/30/2014 - A1c 5.5
500 mg Metformin/1 per day
Low Carb
Beginning weight - 183
08/27/2013 - 143
10/03/2013 - 141
12/05/2013 - 138
Blood Pressure 12/05/2013 - 118/60
Blood Pressure 02/2014 - 106/54 (too low, medication cut to maintenance dose)
Blood Pressure 04/29/2014 - 110/65
T2 paternal grandmother, father, two sisters, my current and my ex husband

Advisor
ElectroFuzz
Total Posts: 93
Registered on: ‎05-28-2013

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??

I was diagnosed in March this year.

My numbers were higher then yours.

My doc came into the room with the Metformin.

I refused the meds and went on a low carb diet.

My numbers are below 110 at all times since then. (took me 3 days to lower from 240 down below 110)

I eat less then 10 carbs a meal. (basically the only carbs I eat are those in vegetables)

I also lost about 25 Lbs.
Life is good.

 

If you eat a zillion carbs you will spike.

Then it will go down again.

But it's still damage to your system.

Think of it like this,  you have X amount of spikes before trouble starts.

How many of those X you want to use up today?

Maybe it's wise to save some for down the road when your will really need it (diabetes is a progressive disease)

 

For me it's easier to completely eliminate certain foods then try to control portions.

 

:smileyhappy:

 

 

Super Advisor
powerwalker2
Total Posts: 5,420
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??


rlridgeway wrote:

I am a 55 year old male, 5'10 and 230 lbs. I recently had a AC1 of 6.6. My doctor diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and put me on 500mg of Metformin twice a day. In the last past week I have had a fasting blood sugar reading mostly in the 100-110 range and an after eating in the 100-120 range (one spike was 176).

 

If I lose say, 40 lbs and get on an active exercise regime, what are my chances of eliminating the need for the Metformin? Have there been any studies which show the actual percentage of diabetics not on medicine and control the diabetes with diet and exercise? I realize the weight loss and exercise will be good for me anyway but is it realistic to believe I can eliminate the medicine?

 

That being said, I really like to eat. What if say once or twice a week after I have lost weight, I splurged  and ate a zillion grams of carbs in a day? Will I ruin all the hard work?

 

Just wondering what to expect?


RL, it sounds like you're *already* controlling your diabetes with diet and exercise. (Since you're on only approx. half the max dosage of met, and getting great numbers, and I haven't experienced any big impact with the met -- just supplementarily to the diet and exercise.  It has had only a half point improvement in my A1c, whereas the diet and exercise cut my A1c in half -- from around 12 at diagnosis, down to 6 (where it remained thereabouts for many years.)  Diet and exercise controlled my diabetes from 350 BG at diagnosis at age 55 to normal range, allowing me to drop my initial diabetes meds within 6 wks, and normalized my weight in 6 months, allowing me to drop 40 pounds.)  It was the diet and exercise that normalized my BG levels -- not the weight loss (because I have still had to diet and exercise every day since then.  I controlled with diet and exercise and no meds for 11 years.  You will have to discover for yourself how much "splurging" will ruin your hard work, and to what extent  A little splurging every now and then is an altogether different thing from a lot of splurging more often.  You will see the results and have to decide if it's worth it.

Nancy ~ T2 since '98 ~ 16 yrs ~ D&E 11yrs ~ treadmill, elliptical, bike 15-20 minutes 3x/day (including evening), dumbbells/resistance training, small portions heart-healthy high-fiber/low-fat fuel/carb-counting, 500mg Glucophage XR x4, 2.5mg Glucotrol XL x6, 6000IU Vit. D/day ~ RHR 53 ~ A1cs mainly between 5.9-6.9 av. 6.5
Frequent Advisor
t1wayne
Total Posts: 955
Registered on: ‎10-30-2011

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??

rl - hello, and welcome to the boards.  Let's start with the basics of T2:  the underlying cause is insensitivity to insulin at the cellular level, which impedes your body's ability to properly metabolise and utilise the fuel (sugar) from your food which only happens if insulin is present and working.  Yes, all food you eat is ultimately broken down to sugar for use at the cellular level.  So... insulin insensitivity results in a need for more insulin than what your body produces.  The various drugs given to T2's do several things... in the case of your metformin, it improves your body's sensitity to insulin in the first place, and it inhibits the release of sugar stored in the liver.  So... while diet and exercise will improve your bg control, it may not completely eliminate your need for the metformin.  That depends on how insensitive you already are to the insulin your body produces.  No raw statistical percentages would matter anyway... each of us is an individual with specific needs and complications.  You'll have to work at it to see if you can reduce your med needs through diet and exercise.  If you can, that's great... but there's no shame or misfortune if that doesn't work all the way.  And if it does.. remember... you're still T2, and will need to maintain the weight loss and activity level, and even if you do, in time, you may need to go back to meds as your body becomes more insensitive to the insulin it produces.  As far as "splurging" ... as already noted, occaisional "treats", or small splurges, are fine... but remember you'll have to pay for that with extra effort afterward to undo the damage done.  Your metabolic processes are consistent and constant, so it's best to do the same with your meals & exercise regimen.  If you stress your metabolism from time to time, it will have an impact - so best to keep the stresses small.

 

In any event, Good Luck & hang in there...  it is manageable.

 

w.

Wayne T1 May 1966
MDI; 46u Lantus Basal
Frequent Responder
SugarFrosted
Total Posts: 812
Registered on: ‎11-07-2011

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??


ElectroFuzz wrote:

I was diagnosed in March this year.

My numbers were higher then yours.

My doc came into the room with the Metformin.

I refused the meds and went on a low carb diet.

My numbers are below 110 at all times since then. (took me 3 days to lower from 240 down below 110)

I eat less then 10 carbs a meal. (basically the only carbs I eat are those in vegetables)

I also lost about 25 Lbs.
Life is good.

 

If you eat a zillion carbs you will spike.

Then it will go down again.

But it's still damage to your system.

Think of it like this,  you have X amount of spikes before trouble starts.

How many of those X you want to use up today?

Maybe it's wise to save some for down the road when your will really need it (diabetes is a progressive disease)

 

For me it's easier to completely eliminate certain foods then try to control portions.

 

:smileyhappy:

 

 


Same here. In my case, I refused Amaryl when I was diagnosed in June 2009.

 

 

I lost 105 lbs the first 18 months, with careful testing 1 hr and 2 hrs after meals,  restricted carb intake, and regular (1 hr/day) exercise. Diet and exercise alone, with consistent, vigilent behavior. Lab results are normal since 6 months post diagnosis.

 

I don't like any reading higher that 120 max, but normally it's 110 or lower.  High spikes, especially sustained spikes,  are what damage the eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves, brain, circulation and extremities.

*********************************
You're among friends here! :smileyhappy:
*********************************
SugarFrosted aka AnnaM, retired ER/Oncology-Chemotherapy nurse
Little Rock, Arkansas
Diagnosed Type 2, Jun'09 at age 57
Jun'09 A1c: 7.2 F 154 wt 265 lbs
Dec'09 A1c: 5.5 F 80
Jun'10 A1c: 5.4 F 82
Dec'10 A1c: 5.2 F 71 wt 160 lbs
Jun'11 A1c: 5.3 F 76
Mar'12 A1c: 5.5 F 80
Dec'12 A1c: 5.1 F 70
Jan'14 A1c: 5.3 F 77
Aug'14 A1c: 5.4 F 78
Reduced-Carb Mealplan & 1 hr Daily Exercise! NO Meds!
105 lb total weightloss
Self-employed baker/cake designer since 1988...life doesn't get much harder for a diabetic, imo. My Online Cake Gallery: http://www.sugarfrosted.com/
Occasional Visitor
rlridgeway
Total Posts: 2
Registered on: ‎09-02-2013

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate all the effort and information.

What would be considered a high and/or sustained carb spike?

Frequent Advisor
t1wayne
Total Posts: 955
Registered on: ‎10-30-2011

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??

rl - you're welcome for the info.

 

As for a "high BG spike" (it can be caused by things other than just carbs), let's start with normal for a non-diabetic:  90 to 120 mg/dl.  Docs adjust individual patients' target #'s based on their circumstances, and yours should tell you what he thinks yours should be... based on your #'s at dx, including fasting BG, HbA1c, and BMI, and your overall fitness.  Assuming you're in general good health and relatively fit... any # over 130 is high, but a "bad" spike would be 160 and up.  If you're hitting 200's, you need to call your doc.  But give yourself some time to get some history, and talk to him about it then.

 

A sustained spike would be any spike that lasts more than 24 hrs (4 hrs for a T1).  But again, you're doc will give you personal targets and actions.

 

Prolonged elevated BG causes damage to the fine capillaries (small blood vessels), the finest of which are found in the eyes and kidneys... hence the long history of vision and kidney problems in diabetics (of both ilks).  Thus, keeping your BG in normal range as much as possible is key to preventing, or at least minimising and delaying, those complications.

 

Best wishes,

 

w.

Wayne T1 May 1966
MDI; 46u Lantus Basal
Frequent Responder
SugarFrosted
Total Posts: 812
Registered on: ‎11-07-2011

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??


rlridgeway wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate all the effort and information.

What would be considered a high and/or sustained carb spike?


Some foods are very high in carbs and also high in fat, which cause what we call "the Pizza Effect" because pizza and other foods like it (while perhaps allowing you to have a moderate rise at one and two hours) will send your numbers high at maybe 3 or 4 hours and keep them high for several more hours.  The high carb/high fat combo is what does it.  For me, anything above 140 is extremely high, others will say 180...which has been the ADA standard for a long time...but is higher than I will allow ever.  Any high that lasts more than an hour or two is sustained, imo. I am very strict about my numbers, because of all the physical damage that can occur from those highs.

*********************************
You're among friends here! :smileyhappy:
*********************************
SugarFrosted aka AnnaM, retired ER/Oncology-Chemotherapy nurse
Little Rock, Arkansas
Diagnosed Type 2, Jun'09 at age 57
Jun'09 A1c: 7.2 F 154 wt 265 lbs
Dec'09 A1c: 5.5 F 80
Jun'10 A1c: 5.4 F 82
Dec'10 A1c: 5.2 F 71 wt 160 lbs
Jun'11 A1c: 5.3 F 76
Mar'12 A1c: 5.5 F 80
Dec'12 A1c: 5.1 F 70
Jan'14 A1c: 5.3 F 77
Aug'14 A1c: 5.4 F 78
Reduced-Carb Mealplan & 1 hr Daily Exercise! NO Meds!
105 lb total weightloss
Self-employed baker/cake designer since 1988...life doesn't get much harder for a diabetic, imo. My Online Cake Gallery: http://www.sugarfrosted.com/
alan_s
Total Posts: 14,604
Topics: 203
High Fives: 1,437
Solutions: 163
Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Re: The ability to control diabetes with diet and exercise??


rlridgeway wrote:

I am a 55 year old male, 5'10 and 230 lbs. I recently had a AC1 of 6.6. My doctor diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and put me on 500mg of Metformin twice a day. In the last past week I have had a fasting blood sugar reading mostly in the 100-110 range and an after eating in the 100-120 range (one spike was 176).

 

If I lose say, 40 lbs and get on an active exercise regime, what are my chances of eliminating the need for the Metformin? Have there been any studies which show the actual percentage of diabetics not on medicine and control the diabetes with diet and exercise? I realize the weight loss and exercise will be good for me anyway but is it realistic to believe I can eliminate the medicine?

 

That being said, I really like to eat. What if say once or twice a week after I have lost weight, I splurged  and ate a zillion grams of carbs in a day? Will I ruin all the hard work?

 

Just wondering what to expect?


 

G'day

 

I really like to eat too. The alternative is called starvation :smileyhappy: But I know what you meant. Browse through our "What I ate Today" topic and I think you'll see that those of us using diet as our primary blood glucose management tool aren't really gustatorily deprived.

 

A zillion grams of carbs is unwise, but will not destroy all your hard work. Just some of it. Try to reserve that for your birthday once a year, rather than once a week. But first, take control. Once you gain control you can do further testing to discover when you can relax it a bit and under what circumsdtances.

 

Begin here: Getting Started

Cheers, Alan, Type 2, d&e metformin 2000mg, Australia.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter.
There is nothing I could eat I like more than my eyes.
Type 2 Diabetes - A Personal Journey (latest: It Must Be OK - It's Sugar-Free! Wrong!)
Born Under a Wandering Star (Latest: Budapest, Hungary)