Monday, July 14, 2014

Diabetic Warrior Part 2

Type 1′s Resistant Starch Diabetes Experiment 7

This is a story of a Type 1 diabetic’s personal experiment with resistant starch…She has and continues to follow a high fat, low carb paleo style meal plan. Type 1′s typically produce a small amount of insulin, her pancreas produces none… zilch, nada.
If you didn’t read my first post on Resistant Starch, check it out here, “My Personal Resistant Starch Experiment“.


We have been friends since the fall of 2009. She is one of the most courageous and determined people I know… and I know quite a few.
She has successfully combated the demons that all diabetics face who attempt to go ‘low carb paleo’ … friends, family, doctors who all try to convince her to quit and return to the failed “conventional” carb up and shoot up diabetes treatments.
She also has successfully weathered the storms of Type 1 Diabetes since the tender age of 18 months. Type 1 Diabetes is a totally different ‘animal’ from Type 2 Diabetes, I have it easy… she never will.
She went through ‘hell’ when she became pregnant for the 3rd time. This was her first pregnancy since ‘low carb paleo’ and she decided to do the unheard of… after two C-sections on the ADA style meal plan, she decided to have a VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 cesareans) while following a Low Carb Paleo meal plan. She accomplished all this, going against the wishes of her doctors, diabetes educators, friends and family. You can read her story here, “Primal Pregnancy and Diabetes“.
The above is just some of the reasons I said she was courageous and determined… not many have successfully weathered THAT storm.

Resistant Starch (RS) Experiment

She’s been very successful in improving her overall health, losing 55 lbs prior to her 3rd pregnancy. She quickly lost most of her weight post pregnancy but has been dealing with hormonal issues that have caused weight fluctuations as well as recent fluctuations in her carbohydrate to insulin ratio, making it more difficult for her to manage her blood sugar levels.
When I mentioned my own Resistant Starch (RS) experiment and the proposed benefits of improved insulin resistance and improved glucose processing… she was ‘all in’.
Her experiment began December 8th, she takes (1) TBS of potato starch, (4) times a day. She’s using the recommended brand of Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch.

Early Results – Data

She has had fantastic control in the past … rivaling my own and I typically stay in normal ranges. As noted above she has been battling hormonal issues that have caused her insulin to carbohydrate ratio to be inconsistent and her basal insulin needs are fluctuating.
If you can’t nail down a ratio, you don’t know how many units of insulin to take per gram of carbohydrate consumed. She’s been riding a roller coaster ride with her blood sugars and therefore her emotions as well.
Below is a screen shot of her continuous glucose meter (CGM), this is a 24 hour period.
The green horizontal zone is the desired target range. 65-120 mg/dl. Outside that range and she is alerted with a warning.
As you can see, her blood sugar stayed elevated for long periods of the time and when she was able to bring it into normal ranges, it creeped back up again.
Picture the scenario below … everyday for weeks. The entire time she’s attempting to find the magic dose to bring it down, but at the same time not go too low. If her blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), she can face more immediate concerns than a somewhat elevated blood sugar can cause… including coma and even death.
An Ugly Example 12/5/13
An Ugly Example 12/5/13

One other example (below) of the problems she’s been having recently before we get to the ‘early results’. :)
In this example you can see that she was able to stay in the ‘Target Range’ for longer periods of times… however, what a Roller Coaster ride it was. At one point her blood sugar started going down then headed back up.
If you are serious about maintaining normal blood sugars, (and you should be) this really can be very stressful. Stress can wreak havoc on other body systems and can cause hormonal problems longer term. The chronically high blood sugar can cause problems as well.
These two graphs illustrate the issues she’s been facing the last several months.
These two graphs help explain why she jumped at the chance to experiment with resistant starch (RS).
11-30 Blood Sugar Roller Coaster
11-30 Blood Sugar Roller Coaster

Now for the ‘good news’. She started her own experiment on December 8th. After a week she commented on the improved insulin to carbohydrate ratios.
She said, “I just ate 30g of vegetables, ordinarily that would have sent me to 200 mg/dl”. In case you don’t know what that means let me explain. She has an insulin pump that provides her with predetermined rates of basal insulin.
When she eats foods that raise her blood sugar, she must ‘bolus’ or take insulin in addition to her basal insulin. The hope is that the amount she takes will match what she’s eaten and she’ll stay level. That’s why a steady ‘ratio’ or at least a more steady ratio of insulin to carbohydrates is so important.
The point being, even after only a week, her insulin sensitivity or her glucose processing has indeed improved because she was able to take HALF her normal bolus insulin for the 30 grams of vegetables with only a minimal blood sugar spike to 110 mg/dl.
… this is HUGE!
Now for the ‘good’ graph, this was taken yesterday 12/19/13.
Notice the DIFFERENCE!?!
She stayed in the normal range MUCH LONGER!!!
Yes there were ebbs and flows but almost all was in the ‘target zone’!!!
Yes, she did have a couple of lows that are worrisome…. but this is due to the INCREASED Insulin sensitivity or Glucose Processing. She can (and will) adapt to this by adjusting her basal insulin rates!
12-19 bg 2


It is still very early in her personal experiment but she has ALREADY seen dramatic improvements in her ability to control her blood sugar!
She has improved her Glucose Processing and she’s taking less insulin and experiencing less of the roller coaster rides that she once was. Reducing the time spent in organ damaging, elevated blood sugar ranges.
This is confirmation of what I have seen personally (blog post coming) as well as what Richard Nikoley HAS BEEN reporting for months!
This can possibly help 300 million diabetics worldwide (about 30 million in the US). There are countless millions more who have elevated blood sugars due to insulin resistance.
If you do not have normal blood sugars… I hope that you have seen enough to at least give this a try. You can buy Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch online at or at select retailers. Check out Bob’s Red Mill website for locations.
I must once again thank Richard Nikoley of “Free The Animal” for bringing Resistant Starch to my attention. Here is his primer on Resistant Starch.
Here is my first post on Resistant Starch, “My Experiment”.


My own personal experiment is continuing. I will be testing my overnight fasting blood sugar levels as well as comparing blood sugar responses to highER carb foods to see if my Insulin Resistance has improved.
The experiment is just beginning and I’ll be continuing to report on her progress.
Karen Gale is doing her own experiment with Resistant Starch as well and I’ll soon be reporting on her progress.


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