Oct 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm #1281206
I have been diagnosed as having diabetes. I have a question to those that suffer the same condition, what do you eat on the trail. I am none to pleased about this as I LOVE food. What do you do for food????
Edit: I should add that I have been diagnosed with level two diabetes. My doctor thinks that with improved diet, better exercise and dropping some weight, that I should pull out of this. Though this whole change is a life long change.
Thanks for the replies!Oct 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm #1795813
I'm type 2 and I look forward to my outings because I pretty much can eat anything and as much as I want. Hiking and paddling burns through the calories and keeps my blood sugar levels at normal levels with a little help from Metformin. Through trial and error I have learned how many grams of carbs I can consume at certain times of the day and how physical activity affects my blood sugar levels. In general, my levels want to rise throughout the day. Physical activity has a larger impact early in the day vs. later. Thus, I hit the gym in the mornings and gradually taper my carb consumption throughout the day.
In the real world, I am restrict myself to 45 grams of carbs per meal and may consume two snacks of no more than 30 grams each. On the trail or water, I increase my carbs to 90 grams for breakfast, 60 grams for lunch and 45 grams for dinner. My mid-morning and afternoon snacks are 40 grams each. If it is going to be a cold night and I had dinner early, I may have a pseudo bedtime snack of around 30 grams.
Bottom line, everyone reacts differently. You will need to monitor your levels several times throughout the day to learn how you react and what your trends are. I pretty much have it dialed in and tend to monitor myself closely for the first few days to see if I am still responding as expected. If so, I stop testing myself with every meal and fall back to once a day before and after a meal. I do rotate between breakfast, lunch and dinner. When it gets so cold that I have to wear cap and gloves I have found that my glucometer will not turn on unless I keep it on me.
Obviously, my protein consumption does increase and I hit the fat hard to make up for the calorie deficit.
I am still working on my web site but you may find it helpful:
Do not let your diabetes hold you back. It can safely be managed on the trail.Oct 28, 2011 at 7:08 am #1795903
Hi Ken… My name is Laurie and I'm a diabetic too. Those first trips were an adventure and I found I had to pretty much double the carb that I was eating at home. It difficult when I was on insulin. I also, on the advice of my endocrinologist, cut down my basal insulin. However, I found it even more challenging when I was on glucophage or other oral medications because I didn't have the control of insulin. Now I'm medication free (diet/exercise) and I love being in the wilds because that's when I get to have a few treats (I tend to go a little low on trips).
Phyiscal activity can make you react in different ways and each person has variances. If your blood glucose reading is really high before you are going to hike be cautious. Sometimes this activity can cause a spike followed by a significant dip later on. Even when we are day-hiking I check my levels between 6 and 10 times a day and I really listen to the cues my body gives me.
A grazing mentality when it comes to food is best. I use a wide variety of foods and things like legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa and the like. Also look at the glycemic index of the foods you eat as that can be useful. As you know, not all carbs are the same.
For the most part, I make a dehydrate the bulk of my foods. This gives me the utmost control and I'm a foodie so having food that tastes good is important to me. I steer clear of much of the pre-packaged fare because of the sodium, etc.
A great book is "Think Like a Pancreas". While written mainly for insulin dependent diabetics, I found its section on exercise and such extremely helpful.Oct 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm #1796173
Thank you both for your helpOct 29, 2011 at 8:06 am #1796333
You're welcome… I'm just paying forward the help given to me by two backpacking diabetics who made me realize that I could still do the things I love – I just had to think ahead a little and be prepared. Hang in there!Nov 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm #1799148
For those that have type two diabetes what do you eat eat on the trail, as well as aside from drinking water, what electrolytes do you drink and?Nov 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm #1799161
I eat pretty much the way I did before diagnosis. The only difference is that I add in extra snacks with high GI so that I can raise BG quickly if necessary. (hello jelly beans!). I also choose foods that will slow the rise a bit – things that are high in protein like quinoa, beans, lentils, and the like.
I also drink plain water or water with Crystal Light. I do carry EmergenC ElectroMix in the first aid supplies but have never needed it.Nov 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm #1799169
Thanks Laurie Ann, I wanted to clarify that. I was thinking along those lines but wanted to be sure. Last summer I hike in the Sierras and was at 9-11,000 feet and was not hungry all that much. Some of it due to altitude, but I am wondering if it was not from eating properly and keeping myself hydrated. I would really tank out around 3pm or so. I wonder if I was suffering from the ill affects of diabetes at that point. This was last Sept.Nov 16, 2011 at 9:31 pm #1802626
I normally just drink water. I have historically (pre-diabetes) had good experiences using Vitalyte Gookinaid Hydralyte. It has less sugar and more electrolytes than Gatoraid. It is not a light weight item but it does an excellent job in getting you rehydrated and preventing cramps. The flavors are good and light on the taste buds.Dec 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm #1809412
My toes have the tingles going on. My dietitian told me to take a supplement that I purchased well over a month ago. I have taken it and it has not done anything. My doctor told me to take vitamin D and that should help. Does anyone have experience with this? Laurie Ann, you emailed me about this and I cannot find your email on my phone…errrDec 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm #1809413
Reginald, you mentioned that you eat whatever you like on the trail. Do you bring your kit with you to test your glucose levels???Dec 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm #1809430
@chadnscLocale: Duluth, Minnesota
Like you I am a diabetic!
Unlike you I'm a type one, juvinle diabetic and have been so for over 23 years. I am on the insulin pump so keep in mind my diet may be different than yours.
For me I've found that a diet high in complex carbs and protein yet lower in fat is the way to go for me.
A typical trail diet for me would consist of:
450g carb (60%)
145g protein (15%)
90g fat (25%)
I eat a good deal of beans, energy bars, dehydrated chicken, peanut butter (no saturated fat), and extra virgin olive oil.
I also like to bring the lower sugar gaitoraid drink mixes, some energy gells to treat low blood sugar, and of course crystal light drink mix (yummy!)
I test my blood sugar around 7 to 10 times a day when backpacking to make sure my blood sugars are in control. I also reduce my insulin basil rates when hiking (yeah insulin pump!)Dec 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm #1809543
I bring a kit but use it less often than a insulin dependent diabetic would. As a canoeist, there have been times when I have not been able to check as often as I would prefer due to weather or water conditions. Sometimes it would be too foolish to put the paddle down in a solo canoe. Initially, I test two or three meals (before and after) daily and then fall back to my usually routine of rotating between meals once a day if I am consistently responding as expected.
I use a different kit on the trail or water than what I use at home due to weight and replacement cost if I trash it.
I prefer using the Accu-Chek Multiclix lancing device because the lancet drums make it lighter in the long haul. There is no disposal of used lancets because they remain inside the drum with no risk of accidental puncture.
Accu-Check Multiclix device = 0.6 oz
Multiclix lancet (contains 6) = 0.05 oz
Most of the lancet devices I have weighed are about 0.5 oz. The weight savings arises strictly from the lancets. Your typical single lancet weighs 0.05 oz and that does not include the weight of your waste storage container.
I use the TRUE2go glucose monitor. It snaps onto the lid of the container of test strips. It is about the size of a film container.
It weighs 0.6 oz.
Test strips are under a dollar each. 50 strips weigh 0.2 oz.
I also bring a spare battery that weighs 0.1 oz.
For 48 tests, my total kit weighs 1.5 oz.
You can usually purchase the glucometer for around $10 when on sale or with a rebate coupon. Test strips run under a dollar each. Insurance may pay for all or most of it. The only negatives I have ran into are problems with using it on cold mornings. If it is going to get cold at night it is best to sleep with it or warm it up in your pocket come morning. If you record your numbers, keep in mind that it does not have a memory. I have compared test results with my Bayer Ascensia glucometer and they have been in agreement.Dec 7, 2011 at 2:14 am #1809608
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Ken, your toes tingling are probably the early warning signs of neuropathy. Neuropathy happens when your blood sugar is not under good control. Try to get your blood sugars down and keep them from spiking when you eat. Avoid foods like sugar and white bread that spike your blood sugar, and if you must eat carbs, then make sure they are low glycemic index foods like whole oats and brown rice (wheat tends to have a lot of problems). Add fat from fish and olive oil to get you the calories you need and control inflammation. Stay away from salad oils. The key to keeping neuropathy at bay is to control your blood sugars.Dec 7, 2011 at 8:42 am #1809668
Thanks Miguel. I have switched over to whole wheat bread, pasta, brown rice a a month and a half ago. As for salad dressing I have switched to extra virgin olive oil and vinaigrette for my salads. Thanks for the advice!Dec 7, 2011 at 8:44 am #1809669
Reginald thanks for the detail response on your kit. Makes perfect sense to me and I will start figuring out what to doDec 7, 2011 at 9:42 am #1809688
Yes… Vitamin D helps greatly. I also take two minerals. One is chromium that helps with glucose metabolism and the other magnesium which is helpful if you are prone to leg cramps and the tingles. Also, chromium and magnesium help with keeping your electrolytes balanced… something that can be a bit difficult for diabetics. That said, women generally are more deficient in chromium than men are.
Hope that helps.
PS I'm currently training as a runner for my first 5k race (the Ford Race to End Diabetes) so I am learning more and more about supplementation as the training progresses. A great resource is the Diabetic Athlete's Handbook.Dec 7, 2011 at 9:45 am #1809693
Thanks Laurie Ann. Appreciate the help. I bought some vitamin D yesterday and it will be a part of my morning routine from this day forward! Good luck on your 5 K!!!Dec 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm #1809844
There are many benefits to D. Because I live north and always wear sunscreen… I take it year round. I've heard that there is some benefit for those with seasonal affective disorder.Dec 13, 2011 at 5:05 pm #1811806
Well I have dropped 20 pounds through diet in nearly 2 months. I am just about to be able to start cycling and getting in better shape. I am very, very excited to backpack this summer and feel better while doing it. Thanks for the suggestions.Dec 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm #1812167
Great news Ken!!
I had a bit of a blow yesterday. Despite all of my very tight control I have macular edema in both eyes which is being caused by retinopathy. I am scheduled for surgery on January 25. I post this as a reminder of why it is so important to keep an eye on this disease and get frequent retina exams.Dec 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm #1812174
my eyes get blurry but has improved greatly since my change in diet…sorry to hear of the difficulties Laurie Anne…a life without sight is a tough one.
People really should consider the risks when it comes to diet, exercise and such. I am a living example of things not to do and I am now paying the price. With a terrible diet, too much drinking, and not enough exercise this is what can happen to you. Losing limbs, eyesight or having your life cut short by the increased chance of a fatal heart attack or stroke is nothing to play with. Laurie Anne and the others on here have been very helpful in helping me acquire the knowledge to deal with this. This is no walk in the park folks. Just imagine looking at EVERY label of food that you buy and reading it to see if you can eat it…everything becomes more serious because this is your life you are dealing with.Dec 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm #1812256
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
Congrats on the 20 lb weight loss!
Your health is the most important thing, of course, but I couldn't help thinking what a great thing it is for you to lose 20 lbs out of your "skin-out weight" for UL backpacking, which should lead to easier hiking, which should lead to better health, which might let you carry even less as your body weight drops, which should . . . and on and on.Dec 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm #1812264
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
I'm sorry to hear about the problems with your eyes, Laurie. It's one of the giant fears of diabetes that diabetics have to live with everyday, but that is rarely apparent to anyone who doesn't have the disease. Good luck with the surgery, and I hope everything turns out well.
Ken, good job on the diet change and your getting serious about what is happening to you. One thing I like to tell myself to see something positive in the disease is, "Diabetes is the strictest, most bad-Ass coach you could ever have asked for. Absolutely NO leniency! You'll either get in great shape and be as healthy as can be, or you'll die trying!"
Last night I had to go in for an MRI to check if I have necrosis (rotting of the bones due to high, diabetic blood sugars) or not. I've had to wait three weeks for the MRI and I can tell you it's been one of the most harrowing three weeks I've ever been through. I was a total nervous wreck yesterday and haven't slept in days. I'll find out tomorrow whether it's necrosis or not. Fingers crossed that it's not. If it is, I'm in for an extremely bumpy ride. I might lose a leg or an arm, might have to give up my beloved hiking, or could possibly die. Not something I wanted to hear after all the hard work I've put into this. Just glad my family and friends are with me.
Wish me luck!Dec 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm #1812271
Steven exactly! I am looking forward to this a lot!
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