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SteakSauceCharlie 05-11-2016 13:08

I'm in it to win
Hello - I am long overdue for joining this forum. I appreciate that a community like this exists. It's been over six years since diagnosed with Type 2, and I am still struggling with control of blood glucose. I blame myself first, for not preventing the onset as well as for the struggles since diagnosed. Lately, I have made changes to my behavior that have been moderately successful. In early April, A1C was 8.7. I don't want to see a number like that ever again! There was a brief period a few years ago, when I tested at 7.0. I did not sustain the behaviors then that were, no doubt, contributing factors to achieving that level of (for me) improved control. I am aiming to head back toward that 7.0 number, and even better. I am looking forward to learning, sharing, and I hope, being a help to others in addition to helping myself. I am all serious in this, my first post, but I expect that I will lighten-up, over time.

VeeJay 05-11-2016 13:20

Welcome to the forum.

You're in good company here. We not only have diabetes in common, but we are a bunch who are VERY serious about gaining control over our diabetes - and we are determined to get and maintain low and stable blood glucose (BG) levels.

Can you tell us what your BG management is right now? Are you testing your BG after your meals with a meter? What changes have you made in your diet to help you with your diabetes?

This site is a good place to start to learn more about diabetes Blood Sugar 101 You'll want to look at the section "How To Lower Your Blood Sugar"

Do visit often, and read the threads here (especially other members' intro threads) and ask any questions you have. We will help in any way we can.

fangirl 05-11-2016 13:23

Hi, Charlie, and welcome to the forum. Gotta say I love your attitude - that's why we're all here! In it to win it is a super motto.

This is a great group who share your determination to get this disease under control and continue to enjoy life to the fullest. It is definitely possible, as long as you're willing to do the work. There is much good advice to be found here, along with great recipes and yes, some silliness. :devil:

Please don't blame yourself for "not preventing the onset"! You didn't give yourself diabetes, but you can learn techniques to control it well.

Controlling what food we eat is our best weapon. There is a lot of info on here about low carb, high fat eating, which is the best way to lower blood sugar levels for many of us. Do read through the forum, especially the intro posts, to find our success stories and how we achieved them.

In the meantime, tell us more about yourself. What medications are you on, what kind of eating plan you follow, how often you test. These will help others guide you toward better control.

Again, welcome.

div2live 05-11-2016 17:01

Charlie, welcome....I joined this website last April. My story is very much like yours diagnosed 9 years ago, and was able to 'control' my A1c until late in 2014 when I got up to 7.9! I will keep this short! I studied everything on this website and did much of my own research. After learning about eating a low carb high fat lifestyle, I decided "I can do that"! So on 5/01/2015 I jumped in 100%! By 7/1/15 my A1c was down to 5.8 (We call that the 5% club)! I had dropped my daily injections of Lantus Insulin from 126u to 25u! I was not focused on weight loss but when I started in May I weighed 320lbs. In July I weighted in at 270lbs! My waste went from 52" to 47"! My blood pressure was at 120/78! My Cholesterol was right on target and my overall health was much improved....and a almost a year still is fine!

Note that I did not diet or limited how much I ate in anyway and although I did get more active because I felt like it, I have not done any exercises or work out regularly, this all came from following the LCHF model...I had fried eggs, bacon, steaks, salads, hamburgers and hotdogs (hold the buns please), red wines and my daily Scotch and Soda for good health only SMILE. I smoked meats and ribs (sugar free homemade sauce), sugar free cheesecake, cookies, etc. etc. I also traveled and ate out a lot since we are retired!

And I still got those amazing results.....learn and you too can take control of your diabetes....we all have!

macksvicky 05-11-2016 17:05

Welcome to the forum. Please do the reading, there is so much information on this forum and the link VeeJay provided. Ask all the questions you want, more than likely at some point someone has already been there and done that.

counsiler 05-13-2016 15:30

Welcome to the forum Charlie

SteakSauceCharlie 05-16-2016 00:19

More Intro
Wow, thanks everyone for your rapid and kind, helpful responses! Thanks too for sharing your success stories. Those encourage me greatly! I will tell more about myself now: I am in my early 60s, 6 feet 2 inches, about 235 pounds (down 5 to 10 from a month ago). I was diagnosed with Type 2 in August 2009. I already mentioned my most recent A1C – 8.7. I selected my forum name because of the A1C parameter: from “A-1,” the steak sauce, and “Charlie” for the letter C. I do like being called Charlie.

I was sick with some kind of bug on April 18. My glucose readings for that day were just “HI,” which on my meter, means over 500. I had seen my endocrinologist (hereafter, “endoc”) on April 6. He had told me to begin using a new medication – Victoza – in 30 days. So I took home a Victoza pen and kept it in my refrigerator. Then I researched. I quickly became suspicious that Victoza would not be right for me. After what I read about Victoza, I did not feel safe using it. So, on Tuesday, April 19, I began to eat differently, aiming to lower my A1C to avoid ever starting with Victoza. I think my endoc was giving me a last chance, to go without Victoza. At least, it seemed he was ready to concede that I needed stronger meds, unless I changed my behavior.

What did I change? My biggest change was to stop snacking. For years, I had lived by the “grazing” model or scheme of nutrition. That is, I generally avoided huge quantities at classical mealtimes, and ate small to moderate quantities at numerous times throughout the day. For me, grazing did not work. I used that scheme as an excuse or crutch to eat junk food. My between-meal grazes were actually sugar-eating binges.

Overall, I basically just kept on eating as if I never had diabetes. I continued to eat like I did before I was diagnosed. Which is to say, I ate massive quantities of carbohydrates, a large proportion of which were junky sweets. I ate all hours of the day and night. I was not measuring my blood glucose regularly, because I had become cynical and defeatist. I reasoned (if you can call it that): I don’t have that much longer to live anyway, so I may as well enjoy what I eat. Seriously! That was my way of excusing and deluding myself.

What else have I changed? I started writing down everything I eat. I count carbohydrate units (hereafter “carbs”), which I had learned years before, but never practiced. I started measuring my glucose before and after each meal – three meals each day. I measure at other times, too, which I will talk about more, shortly. My carb consumption varies between 2 and 5 units per meal – more in the morning, less at night, typically. I have not been perfect, but I have behaved much better, and, I am documenting my behavior.

Results since April 19 have been very encouraging. My endoc OKd reduction of dose of one of my meds, after I reported many daily deep lows in my fasting glucose. I have tracked my glucose readings carefully enough to justify reducing doses of one of my other meds, too. I will return the Victoza pen to the endoc’s office, unused, next week. Next time I see my endoc to discuss A1C will be in July.

Four are prescribed. Three, I take for diabetes; the first two below, I inject:
1. Lantus – 30 units at bedtime (1 time each day) – was 40 units, until May 3
2. Humalog – variable units, before each meal, based on pre-meal glucose reading and expected carb consumption; so, 3 times each day – since around April 23, my typical doses have ranged between 8 and 14 units, down from typical 20 units
3. Metformin – 1000mg pills, 1 pill twice each day, at breakfast and at dinner
My fourth prescription: Allopurinol (1 pill/day, 300mg), due to kidney stones since 2011.

I take other daily non-prescription pills: a multivitamin (currently Centrum Silver); an iron pill; and one 81mg, orange-flavored chewable children’s aspirin. If I can get my exercise plans and routine underway, I will probably start taking glucosamine and chondroitin.

On the road to reducing my pre-meal Humalog, I have had numerous instances of deep glucose lows between meals – 30s and even some 20s. I do not always feel those lows, which is scary enough, but when I do feel them, I measure my glucose.

My semi-emergency response to lows is to eat 1 carb unit, then wait 30 to 60 minutes to measure glucose again. If my glucose is not above 70, then I eat another carb unit, wait, and measure – repeating until 70 or higher, unless meal time coincides. I do not count my eating between meals to counter my glucose lows as snacks; they are as I call them here: semi-emergency responses.

I hope I have not lost any readers here! I should mention one other fact about myself. I will be finding out soon just how common another of my conditions is, among posters here. My early hunch is that I am a tiny minority. I hope I am not a minority of one…

As a result of surgeries for cancer between 9 and 6 years ago, I have an ileostomy. It is permanent; my colon has been removed. Just in case, for anyone who does not know what I mean: I wear a bag that sticks to my belly that I must change every few days. My poop empties into that bag; I open and drain it several times a day when I use the toilet. So one could say the surgeons tore me a new one. I have been examined as recently as last week (a biopsy), and no more cancer is evident.

I must stop now, because I have some chores. Thanks again to everyone who replied to my initial post. I will be back in the forums again soon! (Probably Tuesday night.) :smile2:

moon 05-16-2016 00:53

Most importantly - congratulations on the changes you've made! And great news that cancer is in the rear-view mirror. Getting in touch with what you're eating, writing everything down, stopping the snacking that didn't work for you - those are huge.


Originally Posted by SteakSauceCharlie (Post 1125002)
My carb consumption varies between 2 and 5 units per meal – more in the morning, less at night, typically. I have not been perfect, but I have behaved much better, and, I am documenting my behavior.

By unit you mean 15 carbs? If so, 5 units is a large carb load for one meal, requiring a lot of Humalog to manage, and sets you up nicely for the lows you've been experiencing. Bernstein talks about this in his Law of Small Numbers.

If you're averaging lets say 3.5 carb units/day, then you're eating ~160 carbs/day. While that's far fewer than you were eating before, if you could gradually reduce that, you'd need less insulin and experience fewer lows with tighter control.

I'm fortunate that my body responded well enough to slashing carbs that in time it enabled me to manage my bg without meds (though I use insulin 2-3x/wk due to steroids). I went from a 14.7 A1c to the 5's. It'd be interesting to see how your body would respond if you took the next step by reducing carbs further.

Well done on what you've accomplished, and kudos for your stand on Victoza.

SteakSauceCharlie 05-16-2016 01:12

Thank you, moon! Yes, to what you asked: By a carb unit, I mean 15 grams per unit. (the standard single slice of commercial bread - that was what the nutritionist cited for a baseline, years ago, shortly after I was diagnosed with Type 2 - that info launched me into a season of learning about carb content of foods, food labels, nutrition websites etc.)

I was reading a short while ago - can't recall which member said it (might have been VeeJay) - that 50 grams per day maximum carbs is what most diabetics need to limit themselves to. By my math, that would mean 1 carb unit per meal, roughly, and no more. I will need to keep reading Blood Sugar 101 and other sources, including recipes, to move my consumption in that direction.

Thanks again for your kind help and encouragement!

SteakSauceCharlie 05-16-2016 01:18

Congratulations to you, too, moon, on your improvement of A1C from 14.7! :vs_clap:

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