Thoughtful Thursday – Pre-Diabetes Action Plan – Ki

The Dreaded Diagnosis


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Prediabetes Diagnosis

The bad news came as expected.  As I mentioned in a few of my Sunday Stats posts, my lab tests for November showed that my glucose was at Pre-Diabetes level.  Now, this wasn't a big shocker for me...it was actually quite expected.  There's some history here.

For one, diabetes runs in my family.  It's one of those things that the super long medical questionnaires ask when you visit a new doctor.  You report the history and just kind of brush it off.  But then in 2004, I became pregnant with my precious son and guess what...I had gestational diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

I had never heard of gestational diabetes before.  Apparently, it's possible to only be diabetic during pregnancy.  I was that!  It was so not fun.  I was also anemic.  It was a high risk pregnancy and they ended up inducing labor a month before my son was due because the gestational diabetes was getting out of control despite the medications and diet management.  Gestational diabetes increased my risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.  Go figure.

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Guess what else!  The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reported a new study last year that found that the risk of developing diabetes is four times greater and that diabetes is diagnosed four years earlier in women with PCOS compared to those without.  I was diagnosed with PCOS at 20 years old when my doctor told me 27 different times that year that I was pregnant...and I wasn't.

A triple whammy.  And since I went ahead and got fat anyway...I didn't stop it from happening.  I knew diabetes was going to be in my future from pretty early on.  In fact, my family and I suspected that I was showing symptoms of diabetes onset for many years prior to the blood test.  But I tested negative each of those times.

 

My Research


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Which Information is Right?

So, what does Ki do when new things change the game? Research. When I created this website, I made a promise to myself and you to back up what I write with scientific research. The reason for this is because there are so many different "authority figures", "experts", "gurus", etc. in the health and fitness industry that say so many different and contradictory things that you don't know who to believe anymore.  By finding the research, I feel like I'm following a more scientifically proven approach in my journey and I feel more confident relaying the information to you guys.  I would not feed good with myself if I gave you incorrect information.

That said, I have to say this as my disclaimer, none of the Forget Skinny crew works in the medical industry.  None of us are qualified to give medical advice.  We absolutely always recommend that you talk to your personal doctor before changing your diet or starting any new exercise plan.  You may absolutely reference our material or the studies we share.  But do not follow our advice without first discussing it with your medical staff.  Please.  We don't want you to end up hurt or sick.  This is very important.

 

Books Read

The first thing I did was start reading books about diabetes.  I went to Amazon and searched for Diabetes.  I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited which lets me "borrow" several books for free instead of purchasing them all.  Who has that much shelf space, right?  So, I borrowed and read the following books first:

In reading those books, there were three main diets discussed: the Paleo diet, the Keto diet, and the Dash diet.  In my research, I also found that there's a Type 2 Diabetes diet.  Soon, I will be writing posts to compare and contrast each of these.  But for now, I'm going to stick to talking about my research.

Those books taught me a lot about diabetes and why those diets are used to combat the disease.  I will be writing many more posts to try and summarize and share what I've learned, but for right now I need to stay on point because that's hard enough by itself.

The bottom line from the books is that I had narrowed the diets down to a handful that were recommended for fighting diabetes.  My next course of action was to actually look at the studies.

Scientific Research

One must remember that books are written by regular, ordinary people and can't always be considered fact. Just because I write it doesn't make it true. Therefore, I always try to find studies to provide scientific or at least statistical data to back up whatever claims I'm researching.  And, like any research project, there's a ton of conflicting information to try and sort through.  So let me see if I can sort it out briefly.

There are SO many studies coming out about low carb diets that if I included even a handful of them in this article, you'd never finish reading this article.  So I am going to start reviewing each of the studies, summarizing, and interpreting them in separate posts and I will come back to this post and link to them so that you can review them as you desire.

Studies

Claim: Low carbohydrate diets are unsafe and should be avoided.

  • My Evaluation of the Claim (link to post coming soon)

Claim: Low carb diets could lead to shorter lifespan.

  • My Evaluation of the Claim (link to post coming soon)

Claim: Keto can cause diabetes.

  • My Evaluation of the Claim (link to post coming soon)

Claim: Keto can reverse type 2 diabetes.

  • My Evaluation of the Claim (link to post coming soon)

Claim: Low carb, ketogenic diet is safe for long term use.

  • My Evaluation of the Claim (link to post coming soon)
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Scientific Research

Here's my bottom line based on the studies I've reviewed so far.  The Ketogenic diet seems to be the most effective diet for reversing or stopping Type 2 Diabetes.  The long term implications of the keto diet in humans is unknown at this time but it's looking promising so far, despite what many are saying.

The trick is to stick to the true Ketogenic Diet and not the unhealthy variations that call for high protein intake and unhealthy fats.  In future posts, I will share the very strict rules of the Keto diet and the common misconceptions to try and clarify why some of these studies are contradicting others.

 

My Action Plan


There have been many studies that have shown that the Ketogenic Diet is effective for children with Epilepsy.  My son has Epilepsy and is not being treated with drugs because using drugs long term causes problems with other organs and my son's seizures are not clinical seizures that are disruptive to daily functioning.  The Ketogenic Diet has been used since the 1920s for treatment of epilepsy.

A study has also found that a low carb, ketogenic diet has led to significant improvement in weight, percent free testosterone, LH/FSH (hormones) ratio, and fasting insulin in women with obesity and PCOS.  In fact, two women became pregnant during this study despite previous infertility problems.

Keto Pyramid

With those studies, in addition to the books and previously mentioned studies, I went to my doctor and asked if I should try the Ketogenic Diet.  The doctor confirmed that it may be the best approach for me.  Therefore, over the next few weeks, I will be transitioning to a Ketogenic Diet.

It will take me a few weeks to develop new meal plans and replace all of the carb heavy pastas and stuff in my pantry.  I will share meal plans and such as I get them developed and tried.  Perhaps there will also be some videos for new dishes, we'll see!

 

Conclusion

The Low Carb Difference

While I've been paying real close attention to portion control and staying around 1,700 calories per day, I have gained more weight than I've lost.  I was able to lose 20 pounds before breaking my ankle in 2016 by exercising a great deal and by portion control.  However, I've gained 50 pounds since the break and am struggling to lose more than 5 pounds.

I am not able to do high impact exercises due to various injuries and arthritis.  So, based on our medical needs and my progress, I think the Ketogenic Diet is the best bet for now.  My plan is to stay on the diet until I've reversed the Pre-Diabetes and gotten down to my desired weight.  When I reach my desired weight, I will very gradually start adding carbs back into my diet, but only in small amounts.  I do intend to maintain a healthy diet and I think, with my personal medical issues, keeping the carbs somewhat low is probably the best option.  I just won't be as strict once I reach my desired weight and have solid healthy habits in place.

So that's my plan and my reasons.  I would love to hear what you think about it.  Have you tried the Keto diet?  Other low carb diets?  What were your results?

Remember, forget skinny...train to be a fit badass!

~Ki

 

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