There is a gross tendency to look at very short timeframes when looking to make decisions about how to manage our diabetes, which I've spoken about in several posts and articles already, but this is a topic that certainly deserves its own article.
This is something that we don't really talk about much or even look at, and it's certainly much easier to manage diabetes in a very short timeframe, and the shorter the better. This applies to all treatment methodology by the way, from medications to supplements to exercise to diet. In fact we tend to really focus on the short term with diet, and that's one of the things I really want to talk about here.
What happens is that once in a while people step back and then say look what's happened, things looked so promising at one point but things ended up going to hell in the end, and that's what happens a lot of the time with diabetic treatment, although some strategies are surely worse than others.
This is actually why it's so important to have an overall understanding of the disease and let that guide us as well as short term results, for example understanding the pathogenesis of diabetes well enough to know that certain strategies are bound to fail in practice because they fail in theory, and when we see them failing in practice as well, we should not be surprised.
It's the lifestyle stuff I want to talk about mostly in this article though, we already know that medication in almost all cases leads us to a worsening over time of our diabetes, that's very well documented although the medical profession doesn't really care about this, they ignore it, and they want us to ignore it as well.
However, we can make the same mistake with our own treatment, especially when it comes to making lifestyle changes.
I consider using natural medicines, supplements in other words, to be part of lifestyle changes as well, even though technically this is medicine, but it's medicine that we initiate ourselves, so we're really talking about patient initiated therapy here.
The biggest mistake I see people make with supplements is not conforming to the protocols that are used, which includes both the proper dosage and the proper amount of time. So we may have studies saying a certain dosage over a certain amount of time, several months generally, will produce the changes we desire on average, but we often take less and especially take it for too short of a period of time.
So people say well I took a whole bottle of that and it didn't do a thing for me, where several bottles may have been needed at a minimum to produce the results. So we are using too short of a timeframe here in other words.
I've also noticed certain things worsening my symptoms, i.e. blood sugar, for a time and sometimes this can go on for several weeks before you see a positive change. Some of the things that have worked out the best for me over time, like berberine, raised my blood sugar significantly in the first week or two. There are reasons behind this but once again you don't want to be too quick to judge.
This also may be the case with some people and exercise, although this does seem to be more stable than other lifestyle changes. We can exercise and see our blood sugar either not improved or even go up, and maybe go up a lot, but that doesn't necessarily mean that this will continue. Perhaps it will, but we don't want to be so quick to judge this either.
Dietary management is the biggest thing though I feel when it comes to people being quick to judge. You hear that we should eat to our meter, but this doesn't necessarily mean that we should eat to our meter in the very short term, we should indeed eat to our blood sugar in the longer term though, but what's the longer term here?
Well it's more than just what the meter says that day that's for sure. A certain diet or food may put you up more initially but in the end may be beneficial, the amount of time that it may take for this to fully manifest may vary, but if we are so impatient that we are quick to damn a food or strategy merely because we are seeing higher blood sugar short term with it isn't all that wise actually.
Still though you see this preached a lot in the diabetic forums, and I don't want to suggest that this isn't valuable information, testing after meals and such, but it's not the whole story either. This is especially the case when you need to upregulate your insulin production which may be excessively downregulated by carb restriction, and as you adjust, well your blood sugar is going to be going up.
So I feel some people who may be struggling on low carb high fat may have painted themselves into a corner with this, they aren't satisfied with how they are doing, but they are unwilling to try something else because they may see some deterioration of control in the short term anyway, and the short term is enough to scare them away.
Maybe this approach won't work though but you'll never know if you aren't willing to try, and most of us would be well served by doing more experimentation with our diet, and not just be so obsessed about our day to day readings. This isn't that easy for some people and even I have struggled with accepting the results of some of the dietary experiments I've run on myself, where I ran into some readings that were more than a little disturbing, but the goal here wasn't to improve things immediately, it was to see where this goes, and even when these experiments totally flopped I usually did learn something.
The big thing here is how we may be affected by carbs and fat, and the effect from too many carbs is much more acute, we see this immediately, while the effect of too much fat takes much longer to manifest, and therefore improvements take much longer to manifest as well.
So this alone should have us thinking that we do need to be a lot more patient with our dietary changes than we generally are, and there are studies that showed that it can take up to a year for the effects of fat reduction to fully manifest, where they pitted low carb high fat against high carb low fat with diabetics, and in the end the high carb low fat won, but it did take a long time for that to happen.
It's too much to ask that we wait a whole year to measure the effects of dietary changes, and if we did that we may be dead before we figure things out enough, but a couple hours or the next day or even the next week may be too short of a timeframe to be meaningful enough.