I began reading this book in March 1999 when, in desperation with Type 1 Diabetes and unstable blood glucose levels of 3 < 20mmol/l most days, I resorted to various books on Diabetes, with a view to regaining some stability. With my health out of control, and being unable to remedy the situation myself, I found this text, and it changed my outlook on Diabetes and diet, forever.

With levels fluctuating wildly on a daily basis, and infections setting in, I felt ill and out of sorts. I was riding the roller-coaster of disaster which could lead to serious diabetic complications such as amputation or blindness. A sample of these fluctuations can be seen in both my following logbook charts -

see log book scan week9-1999

see log book scan week14-1999

'Diabetes Solution, A Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars'by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, M.D. F.A.C.E.

While reading this book, it became obvious to me that my diet was not right with its 60% carbohydrate at each meal, which had been recommended to me by a dietician.

 

I proceeded to choose foods from Dr Bernstein's list and these have now become my permanent grocery list. Dr Bernstein, himself a Type 1 diabetic for 60 years, gives his theory of consuming only 30 grams of carbohydrate throughout each day and injecting minuscule amounts of insulin to eliminate hypoglycaemic events. He continually demonstrates how carbohydrate intake needs to be carefully calculated for the diabetic, and if not done correctly, can be the main culprit for the disruption of an insulin-dependant diabetics strict dietary regime.

Dr Bernstein also speaks of obese non-diabetics and how they are treading a dangerous path to Type 2 Diabetes if they do not adhere to lowering their carbohydrate intake.

I was intrigued by his information on carbohydrate counting, and the example of how 8 grams of carbohydrate requires only one unit of fast-acting insulin, not several. I decided to undertake my own study, and at each meal, I wrote down the foods I was preparing, measured the weight of each carbohydrate so I had the right amount, and next to these I wrote how much I thought my usual insulin dose should be. Two hours after each meal, for several weeks, I tested my blood glucose level (BGL) and made note of any discrepancies, which were readings above 17.5, or below 2.5.

Slowly I noticed a distinct pattern of overdosing with the fast-acting Humolog, as many hypo's were occurring with 2 units at each meal. I still could not believe Dr Bernstein's theory that I would only need 1 unit of Humolog. I found it incredulous and almost too scary to try for fear of previously experienced high blood glucose levels (BGL's) of 25.0 and over. These always made me feel nauseous. It took many days, and many trials to find his theory to be true.

I was learning about food values, the effect on the digestive system, duration and effect of the different types of carbohydrates, as they were all so varied. I referenced the amount of carbohydrate in each food from my book, 'Nutritional Values of Australian Foods' by Ruth English and Janine Lewis which gives carbohydrate figures by the100 gram weight, and I simply deduced 8 grams of carbohydrate for each food. Before long, after these trials, I admitted that I had been unknowingly overdosing myself on fast-acting Humolog for years by having 3 units at each meal, as recommended by a Diabetic Clinic. I also took part in an insulin stabilisation scheme to overcome both high and low levels, ( reference Medical Outcomes, Insulin Stabilisation Scheme Food Diary ).

Foods that I chose from Dr Bernstein's book to lower blood glucose levels.

Ham, lean beef, fish, turkey, chicken, eggs

Greens beans, zucchini, silver beet, broccoli, cabbage

 

Unsalted cashews, Brazil nuts, Soy powder & protein shakes

Poached or grilled fish, light rye wholemeal bread (occasionally)

 

Natural unsweetened yoghurt, Parmesan cheese, stir-fry sauce, Italian sauce

Unsalted crackers, cream cheese & celery, avocado, cherries, green pears, green apples

Beef stock and mushrooms

I thoroughly recommend Dr. Bernstein's book to you, and the following sites -

 

http://www.diabetes-book.com/

http://www.diabetes-solution.net/

For more information on Hypoglycaemia go to these sites -

http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_control_tips/hypoglycaemia_prevention

http:www.diabetesnet.com diabetes_control_tips/hypoglycaemia_unawareness

http://www.diabetes-book.com

 

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