Saturday, January 10, 2009

Militant Low-Carb (and Diabetes) Update

Warning: There's some Diabetic/Health-Related Whining Info here, so if that's not your thing - Move along!

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Well........ So far, So good!

I think I'm mostly past the "Carbo Detox" stage and I no longer feel like a Snail on Quaaludes.

In fact, dare-I-say-it? I think I actually have a little more energy now!

I've even been taking the stairs at work - rather than the elevator! (Although it's not like I work on the 50th floor or anything - but still!).

The Biggest, Most-Dramatic Improvements have been:

  • No more Bolus [Novolog] Insulin (and, in fact, I'm reducing the Basal in small increments)
  • Blood Sugar has improved DRAMATICALLY.
Fasting BG, most mornings, has been under 100!!! Let me repeat that: UNDER One-Hundred!!!

(Just a few weeks ago - I was thrilled when FBG was under 140 - seriously! 140 was my threshold! Now I get p*ssed when it's over 110! And that's just in the last week or so!)

I can't find where I was tracking my BG#'s a year ago (I'm sure I was - I just can't find it!), but I was able to go back to Feb 1, 2008 and see that, on that day, my FBG was 211. Two-Hundred-Eleven!!! And it would consistently go UP from there!

I won't recount the veritable cornucopia of pharmaceuticals I've gone through in the past year - what with my doctors "practicing" medicine on me - other than to note that when we FINALLY started insulin, things got even worse! March's FBG Average was a whopping 211! The High was 264! Eeeeek!

I was a Freaking Zombie back then. Seriously! I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning!

So, I'm sure any Diabetic Readers will agree: For me to have finally achieved FBG's in 80-90's is Abso-Freaking-Lutely Fan-F**king-Tastic!

Also, since starting "Militant LC" my BG swings have decreased significantly!

Just for grins, I went back thru my spreadsheets for part-of-December and all-of January to see what the High/Low Ranges were, by day (Yes, I'm a Geek! Remember, I'm a "Systems Analyst" so I do have a little bit of "Anal" in me!). December High-Low swings were pretty dramatic - sometimes as much as 160 points in a day! From a low of 66 to a high of 226 - (Although that *was* on Christmas Day! But that wasn't too far out-of-the-ballpark for me). Actually, the "average daily swings" seemed to hover around 80-100 points a day back in December.

Since starting Low-Carb, the swings have mostly been under 40 (although I've had a couple of "indiscretions" and my numbers reflect that)

I've also had one Hypo since going back to LC. So I'm in the process of dialing back the Basal in "Baby Steps." My Basal is Humulin R U500 which is 5x the strength of regular insulin. In fact, it's supposed to require special (tuberculin) syringes. But those are hard to come by, so my Endo has "converted" the Rx so it can be used with normal syringes. In any event, I take the U500 3x/day. And I'm in the process of reducing the dose by 1 unit (equivalent to 5 units) for each dose. Presently I'm at 22u 3x/day (equivalent to 330u/day). I'm hoping I can eventually cut back to 15u 3x/day. Still much higher than the "average diabetic" - but I'm not your average diabetic, unfortunately!

(Bear in mind that - when I was at my worst - I was taking 25u of the U500 PLUS 60-100u/day+ of Novolog. Yes kids, that's equivalent to almost 500u of insulin PER DAY [and only maintaining "marginally" good Blood Sugars at the time @ appx 140]. My short-term goal of 15u of U500 3x/day would put me at the equivalent of 225u/day. And that's about as low as I think I can go - at least until I start to lose some SIGNIFICANT weight!)

Nevertheless, this is a HUGE improvement. My numbers are better and I feel better!!!

Sounds like a "Win-Win" to me! I just need to stick to it!

* * * * *
Much as I'd like to report a "Win-Win-Win," unfortunately, the weight loss doesn't seem to be happening - yet. Of course, since I'm still weaning myself off of carbs - I've allowed myself a bit more "freedom" in the quantity of food I'm eating - as long as it's "Legal" and Low-Carb. I think once Ketosis fully kicks-in, I should reach a point where I don't have much hunger and the intake will decrease naturally (Although I should note: I'm not "stuffing my face" non-stop! But some of my food choices are pretty damned heavy in fat and calories. Like fried hamburger, eggs, bacon, cheese, etc. Very "filling" but not very kind to the waistline, unfortunately!).

And I haven't been *quite* as Militant as I'd hoped. Maintaining CHO intake under 20g is pretty damned challenging. I've actually stayed more in the 20-30g range (with a couple of blips into the 50-60g range - and yes, I "feel it" when that happens - I feel hungover the next day!)

Plus, I think that ultimately the quantity of insulin I'm taking is going to prevent any dramatic weight loss (at least the Humulin R seems to be less-likely to pack-on the pounds - as compared to the Analogs). I'm *hoping* that, as the Basal decreases, and I stick to LC a bit longer, maybe the weight loss will follow.

Jenny did make a good point on her site about how Metformin may prevent the "dramatic" inital weight loss that most Atkins Dieters experience - so I'm clinging to that little factoid and doing my damndest not to get discouraged. Unfortunately, I can't find exactly *where* she posted it - but it's somewhere on her Blood Sugar 101 Site!

(She's published a book that is a definite Must-Read - even if you're not diabetic. If you're "predisposed" toward Diabetes [as I was - "Thanks, Mom!"] you MUST buy it - or at least read through her site! I *really* wish I had!!!)

At least I haven't GAINED any weight. Not even through the Holidays (and, in my mind, not GAINING weight thru the Holidays is *almost* like Losing weight!)! I'm actually still at my "Pre-Cruise" weight (Cruise was in October - and yes I *did* gain weight that week!) (And promptly lost it once I got home!).

I'm still about 100# heavier than I should be (actually, probably more than that), so I've got a looooooooong haul ahead of me...

FWIW: *Most* of that 100# took up residence AFTER the Diabetes Diagnosis (12/27/07). All those f**kin' drugs were really messing with me - BADLY (The sulfonyureas were simply AWFUL - and the initial experimentation with various analog insulins were equally bad! If not WORSE!) (Analogs=Bad for Weight Loss. That's been MY experience, anyway - YMMV).

And, to top it off, when you're THIS heavy AND you feel like a Snail on 'Ludes... Well, the very idea of "Exercise" pretty-much goes out the window. Merely getting out of bed in the morning was more "exercise" than I could bear, sometimes!

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So, that said, I am THRILLED to have my BG#'s "Under Control" (I can legitimately say that now!) (Did I mention that my last A1C in November was 6.2??? Okay, I'm not in the "5% Club" YET - but it's still pretty damned good when you consider that my Starting A1C, last year, was over 11!!!) and I'm DOUBLY-THRILLED that I have some energy.

No, I'm not signing up for the Boston Marathon or anything, but I'm doing the next-best-thing: I'm going to go out to my garden and start tackling my Winter-Maintenance Chores this weekend. I intend to prune and spray the fruit trees and start chopping back much of the now-dead Cannas...

That may not *sound* like much - but it's a start!

Okay, signing off for now.......

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