Diet and Diabetes: A Rant.

This is a rant post.

I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2, some 10 years ago. I have always struggled with weight. Now, I am obese. Morbidly so. And what was the advice given by the educators? Was it to cut carbs and eat vegies and meat? Nope. They STILL want you to eat “healthy grains” (no such thing. ALL grains will a) raise BGL and b) add weight). That food triangle that the health department thinks is king shit… isnt.

Do you know, I was advised to eat NINE serves of carbs a day. NINE!!! That was about 4x my normal. “We dont want you having hypos” they said. “You MUST have them” they said. And I thought they knew best so I did it. And gained 20Kg, and they said to me “You must be cheating on your diet”. I wasnt. I was doing exactly as I was told and it was WRONG. I have managed only to maintain that weight, and have not lost any at all since those days. I wish I had not listened. I wish I had told them all to go take a flying leap. I’d still be overweight, always have been. But I would not be the size I am now.

I’m sick, and I’m tired, and I’m getting all kinds of other medical complications…

So here’s the lesson: If you get diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes DO NOT pay attention to the crap they tell you about carbs. You MUST go low carb. Carbs are what raise blood sugars and put on weight. Increase your fat intake. Avocadoes and eggs are good, OK? So is lamb and pork with the fat still on. I now cook with butter or coconut oil and stay well away from canola etc. I’m a carb addict so i have trouble staying off them… but I’m back to the levels I was at pre-diagnosis, at least. Next step is to remove complex carbs entirely (that is, no sugars, no bread, no rice, no pasta, no potatoes, no diet sodas). I’m well on the way, I have no pasta or rice in the house but I still have the odd small potato and sadly cave in to hot chips every so often. I need to stop both. There’s enough carbs in other vegies (peas, carrots, tomatoes) to make up for it. And I had better learn to make oopsie bread (google it)

I often make recipes as made available at Diet Doctor Which are all very healthy and tasty as heck… but I still get cravings for carbs. Gotta deal with it. Alas my liver and gall bladder hate fat so the LCHF doesnt work so well for me. Pain is not my friend. I just need to work out whats doable and I am still battling with that.

End rant. For now.

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Christmas 2012

I spent Christmas Day alone (partly by choice) and I didn’t mind, didn’t become maudlin or moody, and pretty much enjoyed my day. Its all good. I’ll catch up with cousins and friends in the coming week, I hope.

More on Diet.

And then, I’ll leave it alone.

I havent been able to sustain a no-carb diet.  I still seem to want bread, and occasional weetbix.  Nonetheless, a significant reduction has had its effect.  Range is now between 3 and 7.  Occasional spikes to 9 if I am particularly “bad” but overall average is now under 6.  I’m hoping thats where next month’s A1c will be.

I do NOT accept that insulin is the inevitable result, and I do believe that its possible to reverse Type 2.  I don’t think my beta cells are dead yet.

Type 2 Diabetes: Some thoughts on Diet.

I’ve had 6 years of being a Type 2, and am heading down a path of what seems to be an inevitable deterioration, so that in a short time, I am expected to be on insulin. I don’t want it, and its probable that I won’t comply with it, so I have sought out alternatives to that. When I saw my endocrinologist last month, she wanted to put me on insulin right away… but as far as I was concerned, that was NOT the solution. Its easier to do it, but it isn’t the solution I wanted. I argued with her that a third medication would be a more appropriate choice, given that I had already begun to get some decent control over my BGLs. She prescribed Actos, reluctantly, and does not expect that I will be successful. Already, I have slowly begun to reduce my BGLs to the point where my HbA1c *should* come in under 6.5% on the next test (the last one was over 8%) and my fasting should be between 4 and 5 mmol/l (thats 72-108 mg/dl for you northerners :)) Currently, it tends to range between 5 and 9 (90-162).

A number of different events have occurred lately, which make me think that it *is* possible to get control and reduce BGLs without the extreme measures that doctors want to use. One of these was beginning to read online about the Low Carb High Fat diet. It goes against all current guidelines, especially when looking at fat… but it makes sense to me. Begin reading at the following link: Dietdoctor.com. It got me thinking, but I had not yet acted on it.

The second thing which occurred was that I had to have a colonoscopy… that was yesterday… and the preparation (not very pleasant) took 2 days, including one of clear fluids only and then some fasting. My BGL had already begun to decrease so on the morning of the fluid day, it was only 4.3 (I’ve been getting quite a few under 5, lately, thanks to the Actos, I believe). I was allowed a small breakfast, so 2 weetbix was consumed early, and after breakfast my BGL shot up to 5.8… For the rest of the day, it was under 5 and continuing to drop. Rather than risk a hypo, I had some apple juice, which pushed it back up. I did not have my usual evening meds, thinking it would make little sense to take meds when I had just had some juice to stop me going lower. Woke the next morning to a 5.3 which bumped to 6.4 after the last of the prep (picolax) and it stayed up then, between 6 and 7 all day. Notable at this point in time is that its over 24 hours since I had any medication for my diabetes, but I did take the evening meds after it was over. Today, I woke to a 5.6 which was pushed to 10.2 after weetbix and allbran.

and that was the third thing which occurred that made me stop and think. Allbran? Its supposed to be good for you. Realisation: its not. Nor is the weetbix. And that then sent me back to the dietdoctor.com to do some more reading. And the more I read, the more convinced I became. I was chatting with a friend in IM, who is losing tons of weight at the moment which is partially due to a low carb diet… and after that, and returning to diet doctor, I have decided to dispense with ALL carbs at the moment, even the so called “complex carbs” and give the LCHF diet a good chance. Hell, its what I was brought up on (though there was some carb, there was not the level of processed crap or breaded stuff we have now).

My cupboards are going to be quite bare after today. I’ve already thrown out the packs of wrap bread I had, the bread thats in the freezer is going (I’ll see if the neighbours might want a loaf) and the breakfast cereals are gone. I have some jars of pasta which I will store for the moment, they are airtight, so should be OK…

What am I going to be living on? Fresh food, meat, fish, vegies grown above the ground (root veg are too starchy generally) and BUTTER (not margarine) for FRYING the meat, the chicken, and the eggs and bacon which I will enjoy, and also for making scrambled eggs (butter eggs as an old acquaintance used to call them). Fish will be an occasional thing, I’ve never been that keen on it, but maybe some smoked haddock or something… There will be no fruit (SUGAR!!) except as an occasional treat.

It might be a mad notion, but I want to get off most of my meds. I am currently on 3 meds for diabetes, 2 for blood pressure, 1 for cholesterol, and one for thyroid (that wont change, its not about obesity, that was down to autoimmune processes)… I also have a CPAP machine for sleep apnoea. I’m fairly sure nothing will change there, I had it (the apnoea, not the machine) before I got so obese, but you never know… I’d love to be able to sleep properly without it.

For a really GOOD overview of the theory behind the LCHF diet, you must watch Dr Andreas Eenfeldt on the following youtube video. Its long, but its very very good. Its somewhat academic, but not beyond anyone’s capacity to understand, IF they are ready to consider alternatives to today’s obesity-enabling western diet.

Go watch it. Now.

This Old Guitar

This old guitar was one I bought in 1975. I’ve had several since then, and sold all of them. I can’t seem to let this one go. Its aural tones are just as golden as the colour of the timber that makes it.

Smokers: Pay attention!

I am not sure why I have titled the post as I have, except perhaps to hope that my message might reach those who need to hear it.

I couldn’t be told. Even as my Dad lay on his deathbed, and said to me “Sue… don’t do as I did, do as I say… stop smoking now or you’ll end up like me…” He was dead a week later. That was in 1989 and I didn’t pay attention. We all know nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and its harder to kick than heroin… so its easier to just keep on smoking and promise oneself that next week, next month, next year, when the cost goes to $x per pack… almost any excuse to not stop right away.

Here we are at 2010. I had my 60th birthday this year (I still think I’m 35) and I am in my third year of becoming very ill. I first had a bout of bronchopneumonia in 1998 but stayed relatively healthy until 2008. I’d get occasional sniffles, or a bout of bronchitis which would get me on antibiotics for a couple of weeks but not enough to be off work for more than a day or two. In 2008 I got the usual bout of bronchitis, but it didn’t stop there. It got worse, and I think I ended up having three courses of antibiotics before finding one that worked, In the meantime, damage to my lungs was increasing. I was off work for a month, and when I went back, it was to two weeks of half days before I could sustain a full day at work. The same thing happened last year, except I was off work for 5 weeks. This year, I thought I had it beaten, but it grabbed me again and I am about to go into my second week of being off work. I don’t know how long it will go this time, I’m out of sick leave and am having to use annual leave in order to still get paid (I’ve had to do that every year I’ve been this sick) and the antibiotics, normally effective, have stopped working… my lungs had begun to clear but they are infected again this morning.

My doctor told me last year that I now have permanent damage, and that every time I get sick, more damage occurs. She’s calling it COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)… and thats what killed my Dad in the end. I won’t live as long as he did (he was 78) but I’m going to try to make the most of the few years I do have left.

There’s another issue apart from lung tissue destruction which smoking is responsible for. The blood vessels in your lower legs stop working efficiently… so you get peripheral vascular shutdown as well. Added to the fact that I have diabetes, the PVD is probabgly going to see my lower legs amputated sometime before I die. I hope to die before it happens but you know, I suspect that I’m going to be one of those that hangs on well beyond whats reasonable,

So, when you think about stopping your ciggie addiction, for the sake of yourself and your families and friends, just do it. The health improvement will be noticeable. Its too late for me, but its not too late for you, I hope.

Just as an FYI I was a nonsmoker for 7 of the last 8 years, only breaking for 6 months 3 years ago. I think it was already too late when I stopped the first time. And every time I think “gee I’d like a cig right now” I take a deep breath and the pain that causes means I lose that thought quick as a wink.

I know I’m going to die a very unpleasant death… I sure as hell don’t want it to come any sooner than it has to.

Its that time of the year again

Usually, at this time of year, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of energy being grouchy, negative and generally a pain in the butt. I may have been all that anyway, but this year I haven’t felt too inclined to shout “bah humbug” at the slightest provocation, and that is due almost wholly to the reintroduction of family to my life.

A potted history of my negativity: Once my parents had passed away, I was left with a partner and the kids, which made Christmas tolerable. Once they left, about 5 years after my parents died, it seemed to me as if there was nowhere I could be which would be acceptable: I was unhappy, and I was lost, without any anchors. In the first year I ran away to the US and stayed there for 6 months, and for the following 8 or 9, I shut myself away and ignored the whole thing. Then I began lunching with a friend who was equally negative about Christmas, but in the meantime my cousin had found me again (I had become lost to the family over those years) and invited me to Christmas lunch with her, her brother, my uncle and the rest of them… extricating myself from the lunches with my negative friend proved difficult, but she then introduced a third to the outings and suddenly it became possible that I might be able to go to a family lunch instead.

And I did. And suddenly there I am again, with people who have known me all my life, feeling as if perhaps there is a place for me, after all…