Diabetic

Discussion in 'Health and Wellness' started by North Carolina Tentmaker, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I mentioned this in some other threads but wanted a dedicated discussion here in health and wellness.

    I found out December 5th that I have diabetes. The last few weeks have been a real journey. I don’t want to whine about my problems, seriously, it’s just diabetes it’s not cancer. I am going to adjust my lifestyle some, but I will do what I need to be healthy. I would like to discuss this with others here on BB who might be diabetic or have loved ones who are.

    What tipped me off was that I was losing weight with no change in activity or eating habits. I am overweight and have checked my weight every day for years. I do try to live and eat healthy, I have for years. When you see you have lost 5 lbs you are happy. I was thinking, hey, all the food I passed up and the exercise are finally working. Then I lost 10 lbs and I was really happy. I may have actually increased my work outs and stuff because I thought I was seeing results. Then I had lost 20 lbs and I started wondering, “Why is this happening?” Then what really alarmed me was I made it through thanksgiving without gaining any weight.

    So after all that I decided I better see my doctor and get my sugar. It was over 350. What really frustrates me is that my sugar was over 350, but I felt good, really good. Other than the weight loss I had no idea. Now I am on several prescriptions and feel terrible, but my sugar is better. Also, now my doctor wants me to lose weight, no big surprise. But before I started taking these drugs the weight was dropping off without trying; now I am cutting out all these sugar and carbs but the weight is staying level.

    I have some adjusting still.

    So, are you diabetic? How did you find out? What was the hardest change for you? I could use some support and help with this.
     
  2. Jon-Marc

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    I was diagnosed 5 years ago when I was 60 with diabetes 2, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure and was put on meds for all three. I loved sugar, salt, and high fat foods and had to become a label reader before buying any food. I've had to learn to eat low-fat, low-salt, and low-sugar or sugar-free foods. I especially miss the sugar the most. I use Walmart brand of artificial sweetener; it's just as good and a lot cheaper than Splenda. I do occasionally buy a candy bar or soda with sugar for a treat, but I have to be careful. One time I bought a large soda at McDonald's and one of the small individual cakes, and all that sugar gave me a head rush. It never used to affect me like that. Oh, for the old days when I could whatever I wanted!
     
  3. glfredrick

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    The two different types of diabetes seem to work in opposite fashion. In one, the body does not make insulin, so there is no means to regulate the sugars (carbohydrates) we eat. In the other, the insulin is made, but the receptors that kick off the process do not work correctly, so often the body is saturated with insulin which triggers binge eating, especially carbs, which are needed to deal with the excess insulin in the body, but the eating triggers more, which becomes a vicious cycle.

    I've found that a good many people have warning signs way before they end up finally diagnosed with diabetes, myself included. We either start to figure out our diet before we have to or we have to... Those are the two choices... :laugh:

    For those who have the total lack of insulin issue, the only help is medical in nature. The adult onset diabetes, which stems from the overload can be fixed (often) with diet alone. For what it is worth, the Atkins diet is basically a diabetic diet that one might use before one actually gets diabetes.
     
  4. webdog

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    My mother has type 2 and has managed it relatively well for about 15 years. She will be 59 in July. She does have some neuropathy and heart issues, though. I recently read good results for diabetics who supplemented with creatine (what bodybuilders use to gain). It couldn't hurt to try it. The thing with any new health issue is to find your "new normal". Once this is achieved it becomes second nature in maintaining it.
     
  5. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I am sure I am type 2, They have me on metformin, and that has lowered my sugar from 350 to under 200. If I were not making insulin at all then that would not happen right?

    I am making some diet changes and so far it is really not that big of a deal. I never drank sugar sodas, been using splenda for my “sweet” tea for years. Some of the Christmas treats I will have to pass on.

    So far I have had three foods that spiked my sugar since I have been checking it. The first was red grapes. This surprised me. I have been told to add more fruit to my diet and bananas, pears, apples, and oranges have all done fine, but the grapes made me spike.

    The second time I ate a piece of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. OK, I was expecting that spike after eating that, but I wanted to see what it would do, shot back over 350, even with the drugs.

    The third time I ate some corn pudding. It is a side we make with cornbread and creamed corn in it. I had heard corn was bad and was kind of expecting that spike also. That night I was still ok, but by the next morning it was back over 300.

    I have been warned against corn and potatoes. The sad thing is the vegetarian “healthy” meals that I have been fixing for years are now on the “bad” list and the high fat stuff I had been trying to limit is “good.” Confusing to say the least.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    You will need to learn the way food affects the body and which type of food each is. There are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

    Fats are sort of self-explanatory, they are fat, cream, butter (made from cream), and vegetable and nut oils. The body NEEDS fat in order to live, which seems to go against our modern interpretation that stipulates that eating fat makes one fat, and additionally that eating fat means that fat will clog your arteries and be directly deposited into your cells. This is a deficient view of how our bodies break down the food we intake into elements, then carry those elements into the cells where they are re-processed. Our BODY makes its own fat (which is in fact a type of acid) it does not simply stick eaten fat into our cells. Fat is "fuel" to the body.

    Proteins are typically what we call "meat" although there are also proteins carried by certain vegetables and beans in varying levels as well as one component of dairy products. Proteins are the building blocks of body tissue. Protein is "food" to the body. Our body also produces proteins.

    Carbohydrates are the sugars. They are, for the most part, anything "white" including grains and sugars. The body treats all carbohydrates the same with one caveat, some carbohydrates are "complex," in other words, they are encased or enclosed in some form of fiber shell that makes them more difficult to digest so the process is slowed until the fiber is processed in the body, which can help when sugar intake is a problem. Pasta, cereal, potatoes, corn, and certain elements of dairy products (lactose) are all carbohydrates (sugars). Our body will also produce its own sugars (from conversion of fats). Sugar is "energy" to the body and is directly used by cells once broken down into simple sugar solutions. Most fruits are a combination of carbohydrate and fiber. Some have complex carbohydrates, so are a bit better because they take longer to digest.

    Fiber is the insoluble husk or woody portion of plant (or even some parts of animal) that we eat that the body does not digest, but rather that passes through, aids digestion, and helps with disposal of body wastes.

    Minerals and vitamins are side agents that the body needs in small quantities in order to promote healthy cell structure. We get most of what we need from a balanced diet, but in some cases it can be helpful to properly supplement the intake from food.

    We NEED all of the above food ingredients on a daily basis. People with diabetes of one form or another (Type 1 or 2) will need to seriously regulate carbohydrate intake as they are the sugars that will spike. Once one understands that virtually everything "white" equals sugar then it becomes easier to regulate that aspect of the diet. Corn = sugar. Bread = sugar. Pasta = sugar. Cereal = sugar. Potato = sugar. Cake = sugar. Rice = sugar. Fruit= sugar, we don't think that way. We think that "sweet" = sugar. It does, but sweet can also equal "fat" especially when that sweet is sugar combined with fat as in frosting, ice cream, certain breads, etc.

    You have experienced spikes in sugar because you equate sugar with sugar instead of all the things that are actually sugar to your body.

    The only way to REALLY know what you are placing into your body is to learn to read labels and to look up virtually every piece of food that you place into your body. I also highly recommend that you investigate the Atkins diet, not because I am a big fan of Atkins, but because (as I said above) the Atkins diet is primarily, first, a diabetic diet. That's why it works. It will teach you much about the types of food, what they do to the body, and how you should handle all of that.
     
  7. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Well I have heard that several times now but it just does not match what I am seeing. The spikes I saw did not happen when I just ate more carbs. Yeasterday I pigged out at the pizza buffet at Steve B's. I hate 12 or more slices of pizza. I ate more than I normally would have on purpose because I wanted to see what happened to my sugar. It did not go up, it stayed fine. BUT, a couple weeks ago I ate 12 red grapes. On a day that I did not overeat, did not eat excess carbs, my total calories for the day was under 1700, yet my sugar was over 300. The body, my body anyway, did not treat the sugar in the grapes the same as it did all that processed flour in the pizza crust. It handled the bread fine, but could not process the fruit.

    I know a lot of this is trial an error and I have to figure it out, but if someone tells you all sugars or carbs are the same it aint true.
     
  8. glfredrick

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    Well, actually, they are the same, and I explained that above.

    But, the grapes are filled with almost pure glucose (simple sugar) which your body directly assimilates while the pizza crust is made from flour and is a bit more complex but still sugar. It takes a while to process so the immediate hit from that form of sugar is not as much. That is all part of the "glycemic index" which you will have to learn both by books and trial and error.

    Try that much pizza again and it might send you into a diabetic coma! It all depends on the type of flour used, the amount of flour in relationship to the fat used to bind it together, the number of protien toppings used, and the fiber which may have offset some of the sugars.

    Here is a very short article that should help:

     
  9. menageriekeeper

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    Drop these foods first (after the sweets!):

    rice
    corn
    bread
    pasta
    carrots

    Then see where you are.

    Now add BEANS twice a week. Too many beans, to many carbs, but just the right amount of beans and you won't believe the effect on your sugar levels! Generally drops my husbands levels by 20-40 points depending on how I serve them.

    Practically speaking, these are the steps that help us the most with my insulin dependent husband. And yes, we eat a LOT of salads and lean meats. *I* thought I would starve to death before we got used to this diet (I'm only cooking one meal, so everyone better be able to eat it!).

    You may find you can eat a certain amount of whole wheat bread (White wheat is an acceptable choice for us here, you may be different) per WEEK. However we found that more than 2 or 3 servings of ANY of the above list in any one 5-7 day period really played havoc with his sugar levels.
     
  10. glfredrick

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    That, and our bodies do not react immediately to most sugar inputs, especially when they are complex in nature. It can take a day or so, or longer to show a spike. Especially with adult onset diabetes where the insulin receptors are overloaded from years of sugar (carbohydrate) abuse. The up and down spikes are difficult to manage -- something that I know even though I am not diabetic.
     
  11. Benjamin

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    My turn. :)

    I know you’re not whining about this but are sincerely concerned. You’re right this is not cancer, but it is very serious and the diabetic’s immune system is compromised and this makes you more susceptible to many other pathologies.

    Now, you’re saying you’re, “going to adjust my lifestyle some”, okay that’s a start, BUT, if you want to be serious about this I am going to use this opportunity for some pep-talk if you don’t mind; BUD, you need a much bigger start and this comes with the realization that you need to adjust your lifestyle A WHOLE LOT, more than you probably even imagine, more than you have ever done in your whole LIFE! Starting Now!



    Yes, your body is no longer able to utilize glucose and so becomes starved, when your liver becomes depleted because of this it first turns to using stores from muscle and then from fat. Certainly not the way you want to lose weight.

    You can say that again. As a matter of fact if you want make the adjustments that will really help you you better be saying that again, and again, and again, and again…and mean it, like I said, with the realization that to make the major lifestyle changes that will transform a life time of poor habits that got you here in the first place is “more than you probably even imagine, more than you have ever done in your whole LIFE!”

    Oh, yes it is a big deal! Come on man, you are experimenting with eat velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and eating 12 or more slices of pizza?!? You can’t be in denial of the reasons that got you here in the first place, you need to LOSE WEIGHT through major changes with better eating and exercise routines first and foremost and start making some progress in losing that weight; that kind of experimenting isn’t cutting it. Sure you need to focus on types of food and how they effect you, but what has caught up to is the overindulgence of feeding your body more than it needs, storing fat and that fat is the root of your problems. You need to get after the roots and start losing weight now, without excuses and that means you better be doing what it takes to be dropping at least a couple pounds a week without fail.



    I know you can do it. One thing I suggest is to start writing everything down that you eat, and I mean everything, and take a look at what it consists of and how many calories you are ingesting, then start making the necessary adjustments to reduce the intake. Second, you need to develop a regular routine of exercise, to be performed at specific times of the day and week, consisting of both aerobic and strength training that is progressive and stick to it.
     
    #11 Benjamin, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2011
  12. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Thanks Benjamin, I do understand what you are saying.

    Yes, I am writing down everything I am eating, even the overload of pizza. I have an appointment with my new dietician on Thursday and will have to turn my food logs into her. I am sure she will be unhappy with my binge days, but I won't lie about it.

    I also have a regular exercise routine that includes aerobics on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and weight training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I have been fairly regular although I probably miss one day a week or so. It needs to be more rigerous and I need to not miss.

    Now despite what you might think I have averaged under 1900 calories per day over the last 4 weeks. And no, that was not a major change from my previous diet. I have an active lifestyle, exercise regularly, and have for the last decade and more. Yes, I am also overweight.

    I am frustrated with my new diabetes and humilitated that my own actions have at least contributed. I am also frustrated because I felt so good before I knew I was sick. I could still do everything I wanted, could still cover 12 miles on a mountain bike or 10 miles on a trail without feeling worn out. I felt great. Now with these medications my sugar is dropping, but I feel absolutely horrible. Why did I feel so much better when my sugar was 350? Shouldn't I feel better now. If anything my workouts have decreased because of the lack of energy I have now.

    Appreciate your comments mk. Cutting all of that. No real surprises on the spikes I had so far. I had heard the corn would be bad. But for the record, a 6 ounce serving of our corn pudding, which is basically cornbread cooked with creamed corn, spiked me to over 300 on a 1700 calorie day, but a 3000+ calorie day with the pizza did not. It certainly is not all the same. The red velvet cake with the icing spiked, but Christmas day I had apple cake without icing and pecan pie (low sugar variety) and the sugar stayed good.

    Benjamin, I hear you and thank you, I know you are trying to help me. But as far as more change than ever before I think I got to hold up. I will give you some more history:

    As a freshman and sophomore I played division I college football. my playing weight was 240 and I was in excellent shape. After college I served in the army and they wanted me lighter. I got down to 200 but was absolutely miserable. At 200 I was running 5+ miles a day, was in constant pain, and was always hungry. I was eventually able to get up to 220 while still in the service. They did not like me weighing that much, but I was well under their body fat standards.

    When I got out of the military I hung up my running shoes and will not do that again. I will hike, mountain bike, walk, and do other aerobic exercises, but running is out, too much pain in my feet and legs. It hurt bad then and it would hurt worse now. In the year I got out my weight went from 220 to 270 and while overweight at 270 I felt so much better than I was at 220. Could still go all day without being tired. Could still play sports and compete with my friends. All in all I was pretty happy at 270. That was 19 years ago and since then my weight has stayed between 265 and 275. I was 275 in October, I am 255 now.

    I know I have to loose more weight. I know I have to reduce the total amount I eat. I also know that my diet was not unhealthy before. I don't eat many sweets, don't drink soda or sweet tea, have not had anything but skim milk in 10 years or more. My biggest problem is going to be portion sizes and carbohydrates. I do 90% of the cooking in our home so everyone else will have to adjust as well. We started a couple years ago doing two days a week vegaterian. That is going to be a problem as all my good vegi dishes are high carbs, potato soup, corn cassarole, vegeterian enchillatas, red beans and rice, cornbread, baked potatoes, homeade breads, pasta dishes, these are all going to be problems as I cut out the corn, potatoes, and rice.

    Oh well, I rambled too long, thanks to anyone patient enough to read all this. I will keep you guys posted. All your comments and prayers are appreciated.
     
  13. glfredrick

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    Wait until your dietician gets ahold (or is that aholt') of you... :laugh:

    You'll be back here trying to educate the rest of us about stuff we've already told you about. :thumbs:
     
  14. Benjamin

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    People love to eat food, it releases endorphins (endogenous "morphine") from the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus and these things act as opiates that give one a feeling of well-being. IOW’s it acts like a drug and you bet you feel better when you are high on eating something good. Endorphins function as neurotransmitters that prevent nerves from releasing pain as well as controls stress.

    That’s what makes it so hard quit eating. People are addicted to that high and anyone knows that when you quit getting high you feel really lousy. You have been under this influence for a long time and not only does that make it harder to kick but you may feel lousy for a long time after quitting, you’ll feel pain, stress, anger etc. and this is going to affect you’re your “get up and go”. So now it’s even tougher, it takes more will-power at a time when you need to make major changes and you are crashing and have no drive.

    Another way to release endorphins is through exercise and that’s why I suggest a rigorous and progressive aerobic routine. Running is likely not to be the best option because it can be high impact, something like an elliptical exerciser might be better for you. Or maybe a good hiking trail, but you need be diligent to keep track of your Target Heart Rate and keep it continuous while steadily increasing the duration over the weeks.

    I'll tell you this, that as bad as it seems to make these changes it is much desired over the the progressive effects of diabetes and it is something that will eventually get better with hard work. You'll begin to notice how much better you feel after finishing a workout.
     
    #14 Benjamin, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2011
  15. kyredneck

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    When all else fails, go here:

    http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/

    It's an excellent site with an excellent, very active, diabetic forum (scroll down). You should get all the support you would ever need here. I've benefited from it myself already.
     
  16. SaggyWoman

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    I am diabetic, and found out I was prediabetic back in the early 90's. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1997, and for years was able to control it with orals. About a year ago, I decided that I did not want the risk of one of the medications I was taking, and ever since, I have been out of whack. I have attemped several insulins, and am taking grand dosage of concentrated insulin. I need to lose weight.
     
  17. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    What was the risk you were worried about?
     
  18. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    My meeting with the nutritionist went well. I keep going round and round with this in my head.

    First they say, "You can control this with diet and exercise."

    Then they say, "But you are going to have to make major changes in your lifestyle."

    Then they look at my food and workout logs and they say, "You are doing all the right things."

    But then I have to ask, "If I was doing all the right things then I am not making a major change and therefore why would I expect to be able to control anything?"

    She took my log of everything I ate for 4 weeks and was only able to offer minor changes. Yea, she frowned on the pizza. She said I can not save up on other meals and then binge, I have to even my food out and eat 5 or 6 times a day. That is going to be a problem as I was typically eating only once or twice a day, but then eating a lot.

    I forgot to ask her about sushi which is one of my favorites. We went out tonight and I went ahead and ate it anyway. I had nine pieces. When I got home and looked them up I found out they had only 18 grams of carbs, 4.5 grams of sugar and only 330 calories (total for all, not per piece). Not Bad! I was afraid the white rice was going to be bad. I will check my sugar at bedtime and see if it changed.

    Oh, and the nutritionist explained the grapes. Like we thought, they are a simple sugar so they are absorbed quickly. She said if I had eaten more protien or complex carbs with them I would not have spiked. So she said the grapes are fine, but eat some cheese, crackers, or beef jerky with them and I should be ok.
     
  19. glfredrick

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    So, you discovered that much of what we said above is the truth...

    By the way, protein is not a sugar, and so will not spike your blood sugar count. Sushi, depending on the amount of carbohydrates (which are sugars) contained in the wrap, can be a pretty good meal for a diabetic. One can generally eat as much green vegatables and "meat" of any sort (fish, beef, chicken, etc.) as you like within your caloric intake guidelines without an insulin penalty. If you are going to have rice, make it brown rice, which still has the outside layer intact. It is a complex carb that does not spike the glycemic index as much as the processed white rice.
     
  20. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I have started buying and using brown rice at home but I was worried about the sushi because while there is some protein the biggest ingredient is the white rice, but it did fine. Like she said, if there was a carb hit from the rice I balanced it with the fish. I have eaten other stir fry dishes at home and out and done fine, but I did not eat any rice with them.

    You do have to watch for sauces though. Many have a lot of sugar in them. Soy is high in sodium, but has no sugar. Teriyaki is low in sodium but high in sugar.
     

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