Are carbs to blame?

I have been using the wrong benchmark to judge my daily sugar levels. To my mind, as long as it was below 140, I was safe. Turns out, I should be aiming for a level of at least 100.

What I noticed:

  • If I don’t eat rice for dinner, my morning numbers tend to be low at 108-110
  • One weekend, I let myself sip 3 gulps of Coke. It did not contribute to a high number the next morning at only 115.
  • Eating at a mall restaurant, made my evening numbers rise to around 200. Shocking. Your imagined sense of control on the situation flies out the window.

Last night, I spent some time listening to Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s TEDx Talk on “Reversing Type 2 Diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines” where she asserts that a low-carb-high-fat diet was the best chance to reverse T2 Diabetes. More of her work can be found here. She is an expert in obesity medicine and internal medicine and claims to have helped her patients to technically reverse their diabetes diagnosis (this goes for patients who have been on insulin for 20 years).

I checked out the recipes that she recommends including this one for chocolate chip cookies and though it seems doable, some ingredients like almond floor and xanthum seem too expensive for normal people like me.

Perhaps, I could do it little by little by avoiding breads and cake as much as possible. Preferring to only eat meat and veggies over carbs like rice and pasta (huhu). It hurts coz I love pasta dishes and noodles so much.

 

 

 

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The numbers have improved!

D-Day at the Doctor didn’t turn out to be too bad!

First, the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) numbers, where the normal reference would be between 0.27 – 4.2 uIU/mL, improved significantly:

02 April 2016          6.6

04 August 2017       4.13

20 October 2017     2.3 amazing!

Goal is to maintain it between 1-2 levels.

And to think that Levothyroxine meds is hard to take because it has to be on an empty stomach. It is the easiest to skip/forget!

Now, for the weightier numbers:

ALT from 70.70 to 54.60 (still classified as High but greatly improved; normal is 33)

AST from 39.10 to 34.60 (again, still considered High, with a normal of 32)

Cholesterol from 5.62 to 4.29 (normal is 5.20)

Uric Acid is now at 289 from 585 (normal is between 202 – 416.5)

HBA1C from a high of 9 to just 5.6 (normal is between 4 – 5.6)

To add, I tipped the scales at 204 lbs in my August visit and only weighed in at 190 lbs this October. Who knew I could have joined The Biggest Loser contest in our office and would have had a fighting chance.

Goal is to remove the Uric Acid medicines but still maintain the normal range. Goal is to scale down on Metformin to 2x per day to only once per day dosages.

Morning medicines are Liverprime, Trajenta Duo, Losartan and Urinorm.

Evening medicines are Liverprime, Glumet and Avator.

By December 12, should my tests still show that I am able to maintain the good numbers (reach goals and beat them), then I could actually do away with Glumet and Urinorm and potentially make Liverprime a once a day supplement.

To manage the meds, I place them all in a container so that I just keep replenishing the groupings on a weekly basis. Avator and Losartan look the same!

D-Day at the Doctor

Tomorrow is D-Day at the doctor’s office. There’ll be many things I will find out by tomorrow:

  1. Did my numbers improve given the treatment plan?
  2. Will I be able to discontinue some of my medicines?
  3. What fresh prescription will I get?
  4. Are there any further tests I have to take?
  5. Is the diet-supplement regimen I am thinking of purchasing–with a hefty price tag–worth it? I’ll consult the doctor first before purchasing.

I could hop on over to the hospital to have a check right now, but I guess I can hold my breath until tomorrow 3PM.

Setting aside some time

Was supposed to get some blood tests ran today but hit a snag when the lab technician told me that I was 1 hour overfast. I drank my last glass of water since midnight and was there at the window by 10:30 AM which supposedly puts me well within the 10-12 hour fasting required for blood tests.

I wanted to break down and cry knowing all the things I had to set aside just to make it to the hospital that morning. It meant that I had to ensure work-related things were still moving even when I would be offline for a bit.

Anyway, of course, no matter how frustrating it is there is nothing I can do about that and I just have to return as instructed.


In my life right now there’s work and more work. Hustle and side hustle in an effort to ensure the bills are paid.

I know that I should also set aside time for relationships, health & exercise and other fun stuff but the thing with working in the digital space is that there’s seems to be no “offline”.


Some small wins…

Sometimes, I choose not to charge my phone overnight to ensure I do not keep on checking what notifications I have received.

I was able to find time to read Crazy Rich Asians and am now 1/3 finished with Rich People Problems – hooray for me! Been a while since I picked up a non-fiction book.

Have always been reading books related to my trade.

Oh, and I found some time to type into my laptop a non-work-related note–this post! 🙂

Food and DT2

Upon learning my blood tests show that I indeed have developed Type 2 Diabetes, I cried out of helplessness because I felt like I have made mistakes all these years that led to this.

Admittedly, if I review most of my diet, it has consisted of canned food, some processed meats (luncheon meats, canned tuna) and noodles (I absolutely love Lucky Me Pancit Canton), but this has been my diet since I was a kid. When money was tight, I’d lean on some rice and noodles to fill my belly–I found it comforting.

While I do love eating fruits and veggies, they are quite a challenge to come by in large prescribed amounts on a day-to-day basis. Salty food such as fries (Potato Corner and Mcdo fries) and chips are yummy and are considered a treat after a tiring day. I do enjoy the chocolate in my Milo and I almost always order coffee with choco.

Thankfully, the doctor advised a simple meal adjustment plan. Choosing brown rice over breads. Limiting it to 3 cups per day (1 cup per meal). Choosing chicken over other red meat. Limiting red meat to only 2x a week. Choosing to eat more vegetables and fruits. Choosing to drink water than juice. Avoiding alcohol. Distancing myself from smokers. She didn’t say anything about cutting out coffee, but I assume less sugar and less cream in the mix would be better.

“You are what you eat.”

Thankfully, our office provides lunch and snacks. Most of the time, the food is healthy consisting of veggies, seafood and red/brown rice. On days when there are no rice choices, I choose to skip the white rice completely.

I was told to only pick eating lean meat and stay away from fat. Good thing, I never enjoyed eating fat anyway.

There’s a food sensitivity test I could actually take to check which types of food are considered a “poison” to the body. It is priced at around Php 15,000.00 and seems like quite a hefty investment. Seriously considering getting that as a Christmas gift for myself

Speaking of Christmas, the good doctor warned me about Christmas in the Philippines and how we’d most likely have to attend multiple Christmas gatherings/parties. She told me to closely watch what I eat especially at those times of buffet folly.

How my food choices from hereon will fare compared to the past, still remains to be seen. For now, I have to chug down 6 different types of medications and fight to ignore the tingling in my fingers, brain fog and tiredness.

Hiding like a cat

I remember our eldest cat Beki, hiding inside cabinets when he wasn’t feeling good. Turns out, if we didn’t bring him to the vet that day, he would have died because his kidney was in bad shape.

Similarly, another cat of ours, Betchay, the youngest one, hid herself in between our stove and the wall when she wasn’t feeling okay. She would pass away a good 3 weeks later after battling a mysterious illness.

In a way, that’s how I am feeling at the moment. I feel like hiding like a cat. I do not want to see my mom and sis in person. I don’t want to attend family gatherings. Just until I know I am not yet better.

Should they give me reminders or reprimands, I know I must/can take it. Because they say it with the best intentions.

Nevertheless, I don’t like them seeing me weak.

Toes and Fingers

I recall some conversations in my early life between my mom, our pediatrician and I about an itch or a tingling sensation I felt in my fingers and in my toes.

As a kid, my wild imagination had me thinking that there were worms living under my nails squirming inside leading to the itch. However, our pediatrician Dra. Oliveros said, that it’s usually the early signs of diabetes.

If I remember correctly, I was less than 10 years old at that time. From then, I still continued to feel the itching on my fingers and toes but have learned to ignore it.

I would acknowledge the sensation for a few seconds and then go about my life. The feeling would sometimes grow in intensity that I would have to put pressure on my toes while sleeping, as in push my toes against the bed.

Writing this, I now recall one episode a couple of months ago when I felt so bothered by the itch I visualized chopping my toes off just to relieve the insatiable itch.

I did a Google Search of “tingling in tips of fingers” and “diabetes” and this is what came up:

High blood sugar can cause diabetic neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Another symptom is a burning, sharp, or aching pain (diabetic nerve pain). (from www.healthline.com)

Further reading also attributes this symptom to systemic disorders such as hypothyroidism, which I have as well.

I believe that explains it. I have to be careful about my nerve health given that I have two conditions that seem to be the root cause of this discomfort.

Tingling, I can take. But the thought that one day, if I do not keep my diabetes under countrol, there may come a time when parts of me would have to be amputated (scary even to type it) gives me extreme sadness & fear.

Close to Christmas in 2016 I remember feeling a stiffness in my right ring finger. It lasted for 2 months and at night, when there is less activity, that’s when the stiffness manifests. I wouldn’t be able to close my whole hand into a fist, because the ring finger would stick out. For some nights I have had to tie it with a handkerchief to keep it in place.

It wasn’t until I took Neurobion (suggested by my mom) for at least a week that I noticed an improvement. Two weeks of taking it completely made the stiffness go away. If any one is reading this, for your info, Neurobion contains Vitamin B12 that combats nerve damage.