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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Gary Scheiner author of Think Like A Pancreas can't hold a safe HbA1c !

Over at the forum, a certain group of low carb antis, have besmirched the Dr. Bernstein low carb method of blood glucose control for years. On many occasions, these people have advised diabetics to read Gary Scheiner's book 'Think Like A Pancreas' Clearly Gary Scheiner is a hero to the low carb antis. Let's get one thing straight from the start, I am sorry Gary's HbA1c is in the danger zone, and sincerely hope he can get back to better blood glucose numbers quickly. A short extract from an article by Gary posted here.

"Maybe the same can be said for blood sugar control. I think my practice does a pretty good job helping people to meet their diabetes management goals. But quite frankly, my control stinks. My A1c has crept up to nearly 8%, and despite using a pump and CGM religiously, I still experience more than my fair share of lows."


"Dietary Discipline – Like many people with type-1 diabetes, I have an appetite that just won’t quit. Perhaps it’s genetic, or maybe the lack of the amylin hormone really does make a difference. Regardless, I’ve always struggled to avoid munching between my usual meals and snacks, and I tend to overeat – especially when faced with hypoglycemia. I’ve taken to using liraglutide (Victoza) on a daily basis to help curb the hunger, but I still often find a way to eat myself into trouble."

A quick Google around for what Gary's diet may comprise of came up with this.

"Great discussion today in the live interview with Gary Scheiner. I asked a question about low carb diets and T1. Gary's response surprised me, because he basically said that low carb diets are inappropriate for T1. They're more suited to T2, he said. I went back and listened again to his reasoning (13:40-19:50 mins is that portion of the discussion). His theory is that dietary protein, which low carbers rely on, is "meant for" muscle development, bone, etc. But in a low carb diet, protein is instead being used for energy, brain, nervous system, etc - i.e. the things that carbs are supposed to take care of. So Gary recommends at least 100 carbs per day, which he says simplifies your blood sugar control."

Link to information here. 

So, Gary is not a low carber, despite being an expert on blood glucose control, an insulin pump, CGM, and Victoza, he cannot get to safe BG numbers. Now, who am I going to take diabetes advice from, Bernstein who has held HbA1c in the mid fours for years, or a man that with every advantage that modern science can provide, but can't get close to a safe BG number.

The DCUK low carb anti mods love the openness of Gary's words, as can be seen here. The reason I suspect, is because they cannot get good control themselves. That being the case, could it be the reason they have posted misinformation for years, because it makes them feel better, if they can get everyone down to their level of failure? Could it be as Gary has admitted to, they have no discipline regarding food intake and dietary control. One thing is for sure, getting honest answers from the antis is impossible, as they have proved on numerous occasions.

A quote from Noblehead, the new forum mod and staunch low carb anti, who has just gone onto an insulin pump.

"Try and get a copy of the book Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner, it's a must read for anyone living with type 1 diabetes." Posted here.

The $64,000 question must be, is Gary following his own advice? Maybe Gary should be getting hold of a copy of Dr. Bernstein's 'Diabetes Solution' I have.



Anonymous said...


I still think that Gary Scheiner has a lot to offer the world of diabetes even if he doesn't subscribe to the low carb way of eating.

I have a copy of Think Like a Pancreas and refer to it for all sorts of management techniques, just not for dietary strategies.

Last year I asked him what his views were on low carbing and you can see his reply here if you scroll down to the comments section:

Although, one does have to ask the question, what are the negative impacts of lowering my A1c without increasing episodes of disabling hypoglycaemia? None that I can see! Sadly, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him think . . . erm, I mean drink!;-) Julie

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi and thank you for your comment, I checked out the link.

"Julie March 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply
I’ve read your book, ‘Think Like A Pancreas’ and follow your blog and I have a lot of respect for your knowledge and the work that you do.
I’ve had type 1 diabetes for early 30 years and struggled for any sort of control during that time. Last year, I discovered Dr Bernstein and started following a low carb/high fat ketogenic way of eating. In 6 months, I’ve seen my insulin requirements dropped by 60%, my A1c has come down from 11.6 to 7.7 (and hopefully lower by the next blood test) and the range of swing between my highs and lows are much less.
What are your thoughts on this way of eating and is it something that you’ve ever considered for yourself? I’d be very interested to hear your reply.
Kind regards,

Gary Scheiner April 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply
Hey Julie –
Although I’m not a fan of the Dr. Bernstein approach (it is quite extreme and difficult to follow long-term), one can’t argue with the results you’ve seen. As long as it is not having a negative impact on your health and quality of life, it seems to be working for you."

Why am I not surprised by Gary's reply to you. "it seems to be working for you" It is working for you big time. He can't do it so he believes others can't. But millions are low carbing and it works, check out most diabetes forums.

I agree Gary has much to offer but clearly from his comments he cannot control his food intake. Controlling food and the type of food is critical for good BG control as you know.

Once again thank you for your comment and the very best of luck and health to you and yours.

Thank you for placing us on your sidebar, I will place your blog on our side bar.

Kind regards

Eddie Mitchell

Lynda said...

I find this argument gets used a lot "it is quite extreme and difficult to follow long-term" - diabetes is extreme. Having limbs cut off is extreme. Going blind is extreme. Losing the use of your kidneys is extreme. Eating a healthy diet is not extreme but you know this already :)

Lisa said...

The "too extreme, too hard to maintain" excuse is pathetic, in my opinion. I do it every day for my type 1 son. His Hba1c is 4.8. His blood glucose levels are stable all day and night. Having normal blood sugars removes so much of the stress from this disease. I thank the likes of Dr Bernstein every day.

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks to all for your comments.

As many readers will know I have been low carbing for over six years, and I'm not a diabetic nor do I have weight issues. It just doesn't make any sense to me to eat the large amounts of sugar / starch that so many do, it does not do our bodies any favours.

I still can't understand why so many make a thing about it being difficult ...... eating healthy whole fresh foods that do not overly raise anyone's blood sugar can be as easy as ABC.

I'll start the list off:-
Advocados, Butter, Cauliflowers

Here's to a LCHF 2015

All the best Jan