Sugar Free: Diabolical Diabetes Part Three
My story so far: my doctor told me start getting serious about lowering my blood sugar. I took her advice and read the book she recommended, the book my wife preferred and a third book that combined the two.
I finished the cookies, Cheetos and bread in the house (I didn’t want to be wasteful – teehee) and started in on the regime.
The first thing I did was quit eating anything with enriched flour and high-fructose corn syrup. At first I ate nothing that had ingredients ending in “-ose”. This meant sugar. I learned that some “-oses” are okay, though. Cheeses have cellulose that helps them from becoming runny over time. The body does not absorb this and is safe to eat – plus the cheeses give you the protein and fat required in these diabetic diets.
For many months I sprinkled flaxseed on my salads and soups to help me sleep (don’t ask, that is an entirely other subject). So I found a recipe to make bread using flaxseed meal. My first try at baking bread was awful – I didn’t use enough baking powder and DID use too much liquids. My second try made for some very tasty bread! Ugly bread, true – it was so dark it was almost purple; but tasty! That helped my bread cravings and helped avoid enriched flour – which even the “good for you” wheat bread has! I will probably have to go to a real health-food store to find un-enriched bread.
I made my own mayonnaise. I prefer Miracle Whip but it is LOADED with sugar. I had to go buy a food processor. I had never used one before! I found a “recipe” for mayo online and tried it out. I did a pretty good job! I combined it with the remaining Miracle Whip (remember – waste not!) and never looked back…
By now my wife was helping me review labels and nutritional information. We learned most mayonnaise doesn’t have a lot of sugar in it anyway and there are lots of brands available with low sugar-content regardless. They also cost a lot cheaper than the individual ingredients of home-made mayo. Well, that’s okay, I used my homemade mayo/Miracle Whip combo tuna and ham salad – the food processor is wonderful to chop up the ham and other lunch meats into salads. Bologna salad mixed with some chicken and turkey is actually pretty good, if you include olives, onions and other flavors! All the added protein helped balance the sugars in the salad dressing.
And I nibble through the day instead of three meals. I eat light in the morning (usually one of the glucose-free drinks suggested by The Diabetes Break-Through) and about 10:30 eat a “breakfast bar” also suggested by the book. Then a small lunch at 1:30 – usually tuna and mayonnaise mixed together and a small snack at 5:00 and then another at 7:30 or 8:00. This has changed to a larger meal at 5:30 that I must finish by 6:00 to keep my evening blood sugar low.
With the change in diet came a change in medication, or at least a change in how I take my meds. My doctor advised me to take my metformin just before I eat dinner for best effect. She also prescribed Landus – which requires evening shots. I don’t like the shots but I do them.
And now I also walk. At first I did one time around the block. Then two. Then five. Coincidentally I found five times around the block was about one mile! So I was doing a mile a day.
My tennis shoes were falling apart (cheap Wal-Mart things) so I bought a nicer pair at a real shoe store and then one mile in the morning and one mile in the evening. I’ve added a city block so now my regular route is 1.7 miles per walk. I manage two walking sessions about every other day – and on weekends three jaunts – but always manage at least one walk even on busy days.
At night I put weights on my ankles and wrists. I sweat up a storm and I can feel my heart pound during that last mile (not in a bad way), so I know I am frothing up my metabolism.
I’ve changed my route lately to take me closer to downtown. The sidewalks are better, there is more traffic (I walk past the police station and some businesses) and that makes me more self-conscious about walking; but there are less dogs snarling at me.
Sometimes my belly raises havok at the bigger meal before 6:00 followed by a brisk walk. I can feel the food sitting and roiling in my tummy. Ick. I know it’s not doing me any good.
Has it worked? When I started measuring my blood sugar and eating, cooking and walking like I was supposed to do in early May my blood sugar was 210-225 morning and evening. After three weeks my morning blood sugar was below 100. Evening measurements were still high – around 140. But walking in the evening and no eating after 6:00 has lowered it to below the normal-120. A few days ago my “at bed” reading was 89!
Imagine my surprise when I broke down and bought two double cheeseburgers from Hardees for lunch, but by the time I took my blood sugar that night it was normal. I think it all goes back to balance. The cheeseburgers had plenty of enriched flour, fat and sugar; but also protein. And I ate well the rest of the day and walked.
I still had a devil of a time getting my blood sugar down in the evening. Then I stopped eating after six. Insulin-Resistance says 8:00pm, but that wasn’t working. 6:00 did the trick. And if I can resist snacking late at night my mornings are lower too. It was hard those first few days. I felt so awful and hungry by 11:00 I had only three grapes or a spoonful of peanut butter. That shot my morning blood sugar into the 120s. That’s happened three times now.
I fear I may be suffering from the Somogyi Effect – here’s what Wikipedia says:
“Chronic Somogyi rebound is a contested explanation of phenomena of elevated blood sugars in the morning. Also called the Somogyi effect and posthypoglycemic hyperglycemia, it is a rebounding high blood sugar that is a response to low blood sugar. When managing the blood glucose level with insulin injections, this effect is counter-intuitive to insulin users who experience high blood sugar in the morning as a result of an overabundance of insulin at night.
“This theoretical phenomenon was named after Dr. Michael Somogyi, a Hungarian-born professor of biochemistry at the Washington University and Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, who prepared the first insulin treatment given to a child with diabetes in the USA in October 1922. Somogyi showed that excessive insulin makes diabetes unstable and first published his findings in 1938.
“Compare with the dawn phenomenon, which is a morning rise in blood sugar in response to waning insulin and a growth hormone surge (that further antagonizes insulin).”
That’s pretty close, I fear. My wife suggests keeping a jar of peanuts next to the bed. When I feel woozie (I could barely stand during a midnight pee due to my head spinning), I’ll munch on a few peanuts. I found some roasted edamame at the Dierburgs in O’Fallon, Illinois. It is nothing but protein and doesn’t affect my blood sugar in the mornings when I eat them even at midnight. A small box of raisins helps too.
I have lost about ten pounds so far, but I’m not really feeling any better. In fact, when my blood sugar is low I feel pretty crappy.
Hopefully I will feel better in the long term. If I continue on my course and my blood sugar stays down, and I continue to lose weight; things will look up.
So, how are YOU?
Oh, and so you know:
Diabetes: The verb diabeinein meant “to stride, walk, or stand with legs asunder”;
Diabolic: the Greek diabolos (devil; diavolos; διάβολος) from the verb diaballo (to insinuate things (against someone), put someone in a bad light, slander, calumniate; from dia- “across, through” +ballo “to throw”.
So the two words are not really related, only sharing the root Dia. I thought there would be a stronger connection. Feels like it sometimes…
Original Material Copyright 2014 Michael Curry