Type-1 diabetic (NO insulin) – vegan keto diet

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I was diagnosed as a type 1.5 diabetic in August of 2006, when I was in my 30’s. I’ve been a type-1 diabetic for over 14 years now. Back then, the lab work showed I had a C-peptide of 1, which gauges beta-cell insulin production, which means my body was producing some of the hormone insulin, but very little. A C-peptide of 1 is considered a medium level (1). My C-peptide levels have swung up and down over the years, from 1 to 2.9 (high), then up to 4.4, then down to .8 (low) on 2009, then back up to 2.5 (medium-high) this year (1). My beta-cell levels may have fluctuated due to the pills that I was originally put on that made my pancreas pump out more insulin, and burn it out, and due to the changes in my dietary habits.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my A1c, which averages blood sugar over three months, was really high at 10.2%, that’s an average blood sugar of over 240 over 90 days. A non-diabetic, should have an A1c under 6%. My fasting blood sugar was 222 at the time of the test. A non-diabetic should have blood sugars between 70-120.

uncontrolled glucose due to diet and too much medication

I also had slightly high total cholesterol of 201 (the optimal level of total cholesterol is under 200) because of all the oil, meat, candy and processed food I ate (detailed list is further down in this post). My doctor wanted to put me, a thin woman in her 30’s on a statin, when I was only one point off the charts! My LDL was elevated too, at 132. LDL should be under 100. I changed my diet and dropped my total cholesterol to 149 (201 vs 149) with a LDL of 87 (132 vs 87 LDL). You can definitely change your health if you change your diet and incorporate exercise and resistance training.

I followed my doctor’s advice, by counting carbs, taking insulin, and testing my blood sugar levels daily. I hired a fitness trainer and started lifted weights. Weightlifting lowered my blood sugars and made me feel empowered. I loved lifting weights so much that I became a certified fitness trainer in 2019.

My current A1c, tested on January of 2021, was 5.5%, with an estimated mean glucose of 120 mg/dl, which is excellent for a diabetic.

Are injectable insulins dangerous and toxic, or safe?

I’ve been on injectable insulins for about 13 years, but I’ve taken myself off all insulin because my body can no longer tolerate it. All medicines have side effects that harm us. The injectable insulins on the market today all contain phenols which cause nerve damage (see Humalog short-acting insulin ingredient list below). Diabetics are prone to nerve damage due to fluctuating blood sugars, so I find it appalling and mind-boggling that an ingredient that causes nerve damage is added to insulin.

ingredient list of fast-acting insulin: Humalog

My nerve damage became so severe in December of 2020, that I could no longer work, sleep, and had trouble functioning due to swelling and severe, burning pain in my fingers and toes. I was losing my hair, my lips became severely chapped, the skin under my lower lip turned into a painful rash, sunlight caused painful flare-ups in my feet and hands, I could no longer tolerate salt or spicy foods, and showers became a source of additional pain.

swollen fingers due to insulin injections with phenols

A few weeks after stopping insulin, most of those problems went away, but permanent damage may have already been done. Today, my fingers are a little swollen, some swelling has gone down in my toes so I can now bend them and go for walks again. I stopped losing my hair, but the hair that fell out doesn’t appear to be growing back. My lips aren’t chapped, but I still get a rash under my lip every so often which I control with cortisone cream. I can lay in the sun, eat salt and spicy food. I can take longer, warm showers, but my toes start to lose circulation and turn shades of gray when I’m in the shower. When I don’t have adequate blood flow to my feet and toes, they turn almost black. It feels like I have cotton stuffed inside my skin (it’s a really odd, awful feeling that’s hard to explain), and really dangerous since insufficient blood flow can cause gangrene and lead to amputations.

inadequate blood flow in feet and toes due to diabetic neuropathy

I haven’t taken any insulin in over 10 weeks, 75 days to be exact, but it hasn’t been easy because I have to eat very few carbs and exercise excessively to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

In the video below, I show what my blood sugar numbers are first thing in the morning, what foods I eat on my vegan keto diet, which supplements I take (iron: https://www.megafood.com/vitamins-supplements/mineral-supplements/blood-builder-W1008.html ) what exercises I do, how long I exercise, how I track my carbs, protein and calories; and what my blood sugar readings are in between meals. I credit my low-carb vegan plant-based diet with healthy fats from nuts, seeds and avocado; plus daily exercise for keeping my blood sugar in a healthy range since I’ve been off insulin.

What I didn’t discuss in the video was how I’ve changed my diet since I was first diagnosed with Type 1.5 diabetes, back in 2006. I have always eaten a dairy-free diet because I was born with a rare dairy allergy. I don’t have a lactose intolerance. I have a true milk allergy, where my body reacts with an anaphylactic response to milk protein. If I eat any amount of milk, butter, cheese, or anything derived from cow’s milk, my tongue and throat swells, my cheeks flush, my body produces phlegm, and, sometimes I end up vomiting profusely and passing out.

Which foods cause insulin resistances (diabetes)?

Before I was diagnosed with diabetes and started learning about nutrition, I thought I was eating heathy, because I wasn’t eating butter, cheese, milk, pizza, Mexican food or Italian food. Now that I look back at what I ate, my diet wasn’t healthy at all. I ate toasted bagels with margarine and pepperoni, Top Ramen noodles with Jimmy Dean sausage, bacon and eggs on Sundays, fried shrimp and chicken, BBQ pork ribs slathered in sweet and spicy Jamaican sauce served with a double helping of French fries, homemade brownies with flour, sugar, and Crisco; and snacked on salted, processed foods like tortilla chips, Ritz crackers and pretzels.

I used to eat fatty BBQ pork ribs which contributed to my diabetes diagnoses

Low-fat dairy-free candy

My after-dinner snacks consisted of a handful of low-fat, dairy fee candy: Twizzlers, Red Tamales, Skittles, Gummy Bears, Swedish Fish, Candy Corn, Jelly Bellies, Orange Slices, Brach’s Mellowcreme Pumpkins, Marshmallow Peeps, Lemon Heads, Sour Watermelon Patch Kids, Candy Canes, Banana-flavored Laffy Taffy, Mike and Ike Original Fruits.

High-fat dairy free candy

My high-fat dairy-free candies that I love are: Boston Baked Beans Candy Coated Peanuts and Jordan Almonds.

Candy doesn’t cause diabetes, but it causes blood sugar spikes. I don’t eat candy anymore, it’s not worth it

I no longer eat any of those items even though I like the way they taste. The reason why I was only five pounds overweight at that time of my diabetes diagnosis, even after eating all this high-fat, unhealthy food, was because I exercised consistently and ate under 2000 calories a day

I no longer eat beef or teriyaki sauce since they promote insulin resistance

After I was diagnosed with diabetes, I stopped eating bread and beef, and limited candy, fruit, pasta and rice. Currently, I don’t eat gluten or wheat, or any type of pasta. I’ve cut out all animal products, which means no beef, chicken, fish, pork, or eggs, since they contain saturated fat and contribute to insulin resistance. I also don’t consume oils because they are processed, contain unnecessary calories, produce inflammation, and may contain chemical residues due to how they are extracted.

I no longer eat protein bars because they cause my blood sugar to spike and my weight to go up

the healthiest low-carb foods options for type-1 diabetics to eat to reduce blood sugar spikes

I eat lots of low carbohydrate vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. I eat a small amount of fruit, beans and potatoes. The majority of my calories comes from healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds. I get the most amount of protein in my diet from pea protein powder, and soy, like tofu and TVP (dehydrated soy protein).

a dish I love to eat on my low-carb vegan diet (Shirataki noodles are low in carbs)

Eating such a restrictive low-carb, high-fat diet, and having to exercise all day long isn’t sustainable. How am I going to exercise upwards of three hours a day for the rest of my life? I would never be able to eat out or travel. How could I exercise at the intensity needed to keep my blood sugars stable when I’m sick? I probably couldn’t and shouldn’t.

injectable insulin alternative for diabetics

My options are limited, but it appears I do have another option: taking an inhalable insulin called Afressa. My insurance company denied the prescription, twice, probably because it’s double the price of injectable insulin. I got the Department of Managed Care involved from the health and human services agency. After reviewing my file, the Department of Managed Care overrode the insurance’s denial. My insurance company was forced to authorize the new medication, which was out of stock at the pharmacy (it was probably never in-stock since very few people take Afressa). I’ve only taken Afressa for one day and it’s really scary to be taking medication and eating carbs again. I’ll create a second post to let you know what I think of this inhalable insulin in the near future.

Can type-1 diabetics manage blood sugar without insulin?

It’s true that some diabetics, whether they are Type-1, Type-1.5, Type-2, or Type-3 (in pregnant women), can manage diabetes with diet and exercise without medication, but not everyone can.

Which foods cause blood sugar spikes?

We are all different. Some diabetics have blood sugar spikes after eating a banana, like me, whereas other diabetics only see a slight rise in blood sugar after eating a banana. What works for one person may not work for another so it’s important to listen to others, what they say may be true for them, but it may not be a good option for you.

I’m open to trying new therapies, diets (as long as it’s vegan), and techniques because I want to get better, and hope to, one day, say I’m no longer a diabetic and tell you how I did it, to help other people reverse this horrible disease.

Play the YouTube video below to see what my blood sugar numbers are first thing in the morning, what foods I eat on my vegan keto diet, which supplements I take, which superfood powders I use, why I take certain supplements, what exercises I do, how long I exercise, how I track my carbs, protein and calories; and what my blood sugar readings are, in between meals without insulin:

 

P.S. This is my 872nd blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

Sources:

(1)    “ C-Peptide – The Most Important Blood Test for Diabetes” Mastering Diabetes.

Khambatta, Cyrus PhD, and Barbaro, Robby MPH. Published August 5, 2019. Retrieved 4/13/2021  https://www.masteringdiabetes.org/c-peptide-diabetes-test/

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