Friday, January 27, 2012

Carb Limits

Since being exposed to so many other Diabetics via the #DOC, I've been surprised by how carb-limited many people are.

To begin with, I'm slim and slightly underweight. Could stand to gain 10 or 15 pounds. Gaining 5 takes constant work and the first time I waver it melts away. So I don't need to limit for weight reasons.

I have a self-imposed per-meal limit of 70g of carbs. I'm pretty good at sticking to it. Sometimes I misestimate. Sometimes I intentionally blow past it. But generally, 70 is my limit and 50-60g is common. That makes my per-day carb limit about 210g. In reality, I come in closer to 170g. So that's just north of half the FDA guidelines.

The only reason for that self-imposed limit is how much harder it becomes to manage blood sugar on larger meals. 70 is hard. 90 is... harder.

But when talk turns to food, I notice people limiting themselves to 70g... a day. Less than half of my common day and fully a third of my upper limit. Some people eat 20-30 a meal. And I ask, how? I can eat a huge steak dinner, but without a couple servings with bread, I'm simply not full.

From my understanding, there isn't a maximum safe dose of insulin. So given controlled numbers, there's no downside to taking the insulin to cover the carbs. And if I need that many carbs to satisfy hunger, then I may as well dose for them.

Largely, then, I wonder two and a half things:

  1. Is my understanding about insulin wrong? Do I need to use less? Presently I use about 45U on a good day, up to mid-50s when battling highs.
  2. How do you stay satisfied with so few carbs? Do you adapt? Did you never want them?
  3. And last, how do you deal with lows, especially when so carb-limited? If it takes 20g to produce a rebound, and you only get 30g for a meal, then you're looking at salad. Right?

Generally what I'm doing is working. But seeing so many people, with so similar a regiment, that is so different than mine, leads to second-guessing my plan.