Diabetes and the Cambridge Diet


Yo-yo dieter here for the gazillionth time
Hi guys, I wonder if anyone can answer my question? My ketosis sticks have been quite dark since I started (once they were even burgundy). I had been drinking 3.5 litres of water which I have upped to 4 litres and the stick was just the right colour today. However, my CDC says the reason it might have gone so dark is that I may be diabetic/borderline diabetic (don't understand the difference though). I haven't been losing weight very dramatically and I only lost 2lbs on ss this week and I never cheat. This news is potentially completely devastating - I'm only 26 and I was only one and a half stone overweight to start with but I know that diabetes type 2 runs in my family and my mum has it. Please can anyone offer any advice or tell me their experiences of the CD with diabetes or explain any other reasons why ketone sticks may go so dark? Sorry for the long post but it's just come as a bit of a shock.
Erm - I honestly don't know if a dark colour can be an indication of diabetes, hun - I haven't heard of that before but my ketostix were always very dark too and nobody ever said that to me. Some people's stix never register a colour either, even though they're SSing so we're all different, I think.

It sounds as if you are very worried, so I would pop into your GPs surgery to ask for some tests if I were you.

One of the questions that newbie CDCs should ask for the Medical Record Form is if you've ever had any problems with low blood sugar and if so, then you need your GPs signature in order to embark on the diet.

People with Diabetes Type 1 cannot do CD. Those with Diabetes Type 2, can, but have to have close medical monitoring and adjustment/stoppage of their medication.

I'm sure one of the more experienced CDCs will be able to shed more light on this, hun. Please don't worry - I'm sure you'll be ok!
Last edited:
Thanks Isobel - it's good to know I'm not the only one with dark ketone sticks. I've heard plenty of people worry that their sticks aren't going pink at all but not so many who say theirs go dark and what the implications are. I will probably go to the doctors though just so I know one way or the other :)
If your ketones were there as a result of diabetes developing, you would feel ill and rapidly get very much worse (within days or a couple of weeks anyway). Diabetic ketones are rare in type 2, nearly always happen in uncontrolled (ie pre-diagnosis) or poorly controlled (after diagnosis) type 1 and happen because there is no (or v little) insulin being produced by your pancreas.

I think you should see your Dr to be sure, as although it's unlikely if you've been VLCDing for a while (as you would have got very ill by now), diabetic ketones are not to be messed with, and in theory anyone can develop Type 1 at any time, so best get it checked.

Hope this helps.
Thanks skinny, you have made me feel much better. All this ketones/diabetes thing is confusing an already confused person!! I feel so guilty as I write this cos she's so lovely but I can't help feeling my CDC may have got me so upset unnecessarily. She has been going on about these dark ketone sticks (even though it was normal yesterday) and the other week said that my metabolism was probably stopping because they were so dark and as if that wasn't bad enough, now she mentions diabetes. Having said that, I think I may get my blood sugar tested as I often feel quite shaky but my CDC is talking about me coming off ss because of the sticks and I really don't want to.
You're wecome Jubbly! I have 2 children with Type 1, so know a bit about it, though I am not a medical person. Ketones are a big worry for my girls, and when I first did CD it really freaked me out to see my ketostick all purple, but I got used to it and as InLoko says, now feel glad when it is!

As I understand it , it is the absence (or serious lack) of insulin that makes ketones so dangerous for diabetics, but obviously if your pancreas is producing insulin, then ketones are not dangerous, but simply show you are burning fat instead of glucose (carbs) -called by the medical prof 'starvation ketones' as opposed to diabetic ketones.

Sorry if that's a bit technical or too much info, but I always think knowledge is empowering!!

Are you still going to get checked out by the GP? I would hate you to just go by what I say, just in case!
I'll probably get my mum to test my blood sugar levels next weekend when I see her and if they are really low or high then I will make an appointment at the doctors. But if my blood sugar levels are a bit low, does that mean I definitely have diabetes:confused:?? I wouldn't have been worried about the sticks at all if it wasn't for my CDC. In fact, I would have been pleased that I was so much in ketosis (it meant AAM wouldn't throw me out) until she mentioned diabetes and that was a bit close to home. At the end of the day she can't make me come off ss if there's nothing wrong with me can she?
If you have diabetes (either type one or type 2) you will almost certainly have higher blood sugars. This is because a struggling or failing pancreas cannot produce the insulin needed to move the glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells. If your reading is around 4, even as low as 3.5 it will almost certainly be because you are on SS, not because you have diabetes. So long as you are feeling ok, this is almost certainly not a problem. My reading hovers around 3.9-4.2 when I am on SS. Any lower and you should probably mention it to your Dr.

A one-off test on your Mum's monitior will give you an indication, but what you really need to be sure is a fasting blood glucose test (where they take bllod from your vein, not just a fingertip). This will give you the answer that you need and only your GP can do this for you.

This will also put your CDC's mind at rest! So if I was you, I'd go to the GP and put your mind and hers at rest.
Hope this helps!
By the way,

In a non diabetic, my daughter's consultant told me that glucose levels are pretty tightly controlled, usually between 4 and 8, although a big meal, carb heavy may occasionally push it slightly higher, but within 2 or 3 hours it should come right down again. That's why a single, one-off reading can't give you the definitive answer you need.
Having low blood sugar is not really a sign as the post above says, having been diagnosed with gestational diabetes 4 years ago I do know a little bit on the subject although I am not a gp or medical in anyway., Diabetics cannot control the level of blood sugars and they then continue to rise, this causes extreme tiredness, extreme thirst and in my case, hyperactivity, then extreme tiredness, this is because my body tried to overcompensate for the high sugars by trying to make me burn it off.

Low blood sugars happen in diabetics normally because of insulin, as diabetics take a synthetic version then our bodies dont know sometimes to regulate it.

Low blood sugars rarely happen in type 2 diabetics, and almost never if they arent on tablets, and is not a sign of developing diabeties.

Please do not panic,and see your GP for reassurence, if your blood sugar levels are low at your mums then it shouldnt be a sign of diabetes, when I was diagnosed I had levels of around 15.
Well I went to the chemist for a free test today and when they tested my blood they said it was 4.8 and as I haven't got any of the symptoms of diabetes, I almost certainly don't have it and did not need any further tests. The chemist also said the ketone sticks showed purple purely because of the diet and suggested maybe just drinking a bit more. I am on 4 litres a day though so I have bought some ketostix and am going to test myself a few times at different times of the day to see if it consistently comes out dark (which it hasn't at my CDC's so I don't know why she's causing such a fuss). Don't know whether to be grateful for CDC's caution or angry that this has upset me so much when there was no problem in the first place?
Did the ketostix show dark after testing first thing in the morning? If so, that's pretty normal as your wee is more concentrated at that time.

I'm a type 2 diabetic and being on a VLCD has practically 'cured' me ... well, not cured (I'll never be cured) but controlled to such an extent that I no longer need meds.

It's a good idea to do a few tests at different times of the day to see how the concentration of ketones changes to reassure yourself but after that, I wouldn't get TOO hung up over testing for ketosis: Unless you do something major to knock yourself out ... once you're 'in' you're IN. :)
Hi Jubbly,
Well, 4.8 sounds pretty normal to me! I didn't want to be the one to tell you NOT to go to the GP, but glad the chemist was able to reassure you.:)

As for your CDC, maybe don't be too hard on her, most people really don't understand about diabetes, and especially not the big difference between the two types. And why should they really, I certainly didn't until I had to, with my children. Still wish I was in a state of blissful ignorance really!

That was all very informative so thanks to all of you who have posted about Diabetes, as i was diagnosed Type 2 a few days ago. I had started Cambridge sole source a few weeks before but had been feeling unwell for some time before. However a fasting blood test confirmed the diagnosis so i have just started the medication. started at 12.7 and down to 5.1 after just 2 days.
So i intend to start cambridge s/s again. My doctor is happy for me to do so but with everything being said that day i forgot to ask him how soon i could go back on the cambridge and what to expect ( diabetes wise)

I thought i would be a diabetic at some point as it runs in the family but also being this overweight hasnt helped.
However i feel really positive and good for the first time in ages and determined to lose the weight, any advice out there about how soon i could start again - with the diabetes in mind ?

If your ketostix reading comes out to be dark pink, it can simply be an idication that you're in a heavier state of ketosis, and the usual solution can be to drink more water. I know you're already drinking lots, but maybe drink a little more. I've always had in my head that too dark a reading is an indication of not enough water - but like the others - I'm not Dr.Lainey (although I do like the sound of that!! :giggle:).
I DO know that if you did have Diabetes Type 1 or 2, that you'd probably be experiencing some of the common symptoms which would indicate a potential diagnosis.
I don't think your CDC meant to cause unnecesary worry. She was probably just trying to cover all explanations, but should have maybe asked if you'd noticed any other changes in your health/wellbeing before suggesting diabetes.
I produced a lot of ketones in pregnancy due to severe morning sickness and gstional diabetes. i am borderline diabetic (high blood reading just within limits on last blood test) but my sticks stay light pink when in ketosis.

i have to have another fasting blood test done soon, which I am dreading, hopefully its now more under control, as was advised to lose weight and get healthy and then they will retest. I will have it done when I am 3stone down.