Meet Kim Carter. Kim has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 24 years. She has tried many different tactics to manage her blood sugar and her weight over the years. She has found following a ketogenic diet to be the best way to successfully manage her diabetes and her waistline.
I spoke to Kim about the ketogenic diet, the transitioning to and the results of following this way of eating.
At what point did you start a ketogenic diet? What was the catalyst?
I started in May to help lose weight, and as an alternative to pain medication, I was taking for fibromyalgia.
Did you find it hard to adapt to your new lifestyle?
The first few days were hard. I went through the keto flu. I had heard it would happen but living it was rough.
How soon did you start seeing the effects of your new eating habits?
I lost ten pounds in the first week and stopped the fibro meds within three weeks. Blood sugars were excellent the first week after I adjusted a few things.
What were some of the positive changes you noticed in your overall health? What about your blood sugars?
I’m off all opioid pain medication, A1c of 5.3% on MDI [multiple daily injections], more energy, lost 55 pounds.
What were some negative changes you noticed in your overall health? What about your blood sugars?
Hair loss. I had to incorporate collagen into my diet to make up for this. In the first few days, I had some low blood sugars, but then I was able to adapt. Now I rarely have a high and rarely have a low — straight line on my CGM most days.
Do you find this way of eating easy to manage and sustainable?
I travel for work, so this is a godsend. I only have to worry about one meal a day while on the road. It’s a little socially awkward to go out for brunch or lunch and not eat, but when I explain the results I’ve had, people understand. It’s also more economical when grocery shopping.
Typically, in the course of your day, how many low and high blood sugars do you have?
What does your morning look like? What is your fasting blood usually around? What does breakfast look like?
I drink a cup of coffee in the morning. My blood sugar is pretty much 85-100 mg/dL all of the time.
Do you find managing your blood sugar takes a lot of your time and energy throughout the day? Do you have to interrupt your daily routine to take care of highs and lows?
I use the Libre, and it’s an easy way to look at my blood sugar quickly in the middle of the day. I honestly worry less about my blood sugar with this way of eating than I did before.
Do you exercise? Does managing your blood sugars ever interfere with your workout? Do you eat anything pre-workout, and if so, what?
I walk and ride my bike. I walk without eating beforehand but will eat something before a bike ride. I exercise about four times a week.
How do you sleep well at night? Do you set alarms or wake up on your own to check your blood sugar?
I sleep more soundly with this way of eating. My fear of going low in my sleep has diminished.
What is your current A1c? What was it before adapting to this lifestyle?
It’s 5.3%. It’s been 5.2-5.4% for the past few years. I take way less insulin now and have been on MDI, and it’s wonderful.
What would be your advice to someone considering this way of eating?
Research. Start slow and do it. So beneficial.
Thank you, Kim, for sharing your experience with us! We appreciate the feedback and hope it helps those who may be considering following a ketogenic diet!
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Read more about A1c, exercise, freestyle, insulin, Intensive management, keto diet, libre, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), low-carb diet, weight loss.