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I first experienced gestational diabetes 11 years ago, while I was pregnant with my third child. About a year later I was told I was pre-diabetic, and then I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2005.
The first year after I was diagnosed, I dropped around 30 pounds and was able to control my diabetes with diet and exercise for the next couple years. I was first prescribed metformin, and then glyburide a short while later. I kept the weight off and my diabetes was more or less under control until February of 2010 when my A1C hit 9.6.

I was told I was peri-menipausal (big surprise I was 50), sent back to the dietician, and told to control my diet better. I did try with disappointing results. My period became irregular and I started having monstrous hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats. In August of 2010 my A1C was 10.2 and I was put on insulin for the first time.

My doctor is about ten years younger than I am, and she was somewhat dismissive of any significant connection between menopause and the worsening of my diabetes. I admit that when the menopausal symptoms were worse, it was much more difficult to make myself eat and exercise like I knew I should.

I after I started insulin I could control my blood sugar better, but it shocked me that my weight steadily increased. My next A1C was 8.2, not good but certainly better. Most of the time I kept my blood sugars below 130—they are always high in the morning—170 at best. The better controlled my blood sugar was, the more regular my periods were. But, when the hot flashes and *****iness started in my blood sugar level soared. This was the first time I experience number in excess of 300.

About a year ago I experienced an irregular heartbeat after taking Sudafed, which I was told to never take again. After that I had a rapid heartbeat at every medical exam. My periods seemed to stop in March of 2011. In May of 2011 an irregular heartbeat was detected at an exam and I was diagnosed with Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVCs). I have had stress tests, worn heart monitors, and tried to stick to the medical advice I was given, but I have felt wrung out, depressed, with no energy and my weight crept up until I had gained 22 pounds.

I have also been having digestive issues and problems with diarrhea bad enough to miss several days of work.

I am not willing to give up. My doctors have pretty much told me to accept that diabetes is a progressive disease, and that I just had to work harder to control the factors that I could. My cardiologist told me my heart is strong, but the diabetes and my excessive weight are putting it under stress and it would not remain strong if I didn’t do better. I reached the point that if one more person told me to try harder it was ready to really hurt them—yes I am sure part of this is menopausal *****iness.

Early last summer someone recommended I read the Reversing Diabetes book and I bought it. I didn’t read it until about seven weeks ago. I found this forum because earlier today I was looking up information about the book online. I decided to give it a go and spent the next three weeks finding appropriate food choices and recipes that I can live with. I already eat many meals that qualified as vegetarian, but dairy was a huge part of my life. I start the diet in earnest four weeks ago yesterday. The only time I deviated from it was by accident, mostly when some food had ingredients I wasn’t expecting. I am definitely not trying to start another thread on the Barnard book, just looking for help in making practical sense out of what I have been experiencing.

In the past four weeks I have lost 14.6 pounds, my glucose levels are mostly down in my target range of below 130, I have several below 90 (which hasn’t happened for a long time), I have more energy, I have had no problems with diarrhea, and my heart is beating slower and regularly. I went to the doctor for a sinus infection yesterday, and my pulse was regular and the slowest reading they have recorded in the last three years.

I am eat a lot more food than I have in a long time, but without meat and dairy it is lower calorie food. I am not eating a lot of bread and pasta, but more beans and whole grains than I have eaten since I was diagnosed with diabetes. I don’t crave meat or dairy very much at all. I do want fish and seafood back in my diet, and in the last week I have relaxed in this area. I do seem to crave eggs.

I hadn’t had a period in seven months and my menopausal symptoms had significantly reduces until ten days ago—darn. My doctor says it isn’t connected, but I feel sure that the weight loss and better control of my blood sugar is responsible. I think that eliminating dairy is responsible for the diarrhea disappearing.

What I am doing is working for me right now and I feel better. I think it is much more complicated than just going vegan, which really hasn’t been nearly as hard as I expected.

When I registered with the forum today, I didn’t think I wanted to have to say anything about myself, but I guess really did have a lot to say. Thanks.
 

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I think it's a terrific introductory post, Nirik! You've been through a lot with the medical community & nobody ever told you the truth about what to eat. Instead they parrot the old baloney "you must be cheating", "try harder", "here - have another pill". It's incredible how little care we get from our docs for our diabetes.

You've found a workable solution & I hope you continue to improve. If you hit a snag, there are plenty of other tricks to stay ahead of high blood sugar. Make yourself at home here - thank you for joining us! :)
 

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Welcome to DF. I was dx'd with type 2 right after I went through menopause. I'm sure I was D for quite awile. My doctor told me there was no connection with menopause but I am convinced it played a role. I know a lot of women who were either dx'd right after a pregnancey or during menopause. If you think about it insulin is a hormone. When your other hormones are messed up they do affect your insulin production. My worst numbers tend to be in between meals or when I am fasting for long periods. Definitely affected by stress hormone production. I even spike when I exercise. I was a vegan before I was dx'd with diabetes and eating a low fat, non dairy diet didn't help me but it seems to be working for you, that is great. I find a lower carb, high fat diet works for me for the time being but who knows about tomorrow. I refuse to believe that I can't control this monster.
 

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Hi, nirik. You've been through some rough times, but it's great that things are looking up. Here on the forum we have some vegetarians, and there are probably some vegans, too. Many of us, including me, are on a low carb/high fat diet, similar to Atkins, only with some tweaks, so I am keeping my bg under good control and as a bonus, I have lost weight without trying. We all have to find the diet that is right for us, as each of us is different.

I do want fish and seafood back in my diet, and in the last week I have relaxed in this area. I do seem to crave eggs.
If you want to eat fish, I say go ahead and eat fish. I don't think the 'vegetarian cops' will be along to arrest you if you do. :D Same with eggs. I use to be afraid of eggs because of all the claims they raise cholesterol, will give you a heart attack, whatever. But since I have been eating low carb, I eat eggs every day and use them like crazy when I cook, and my cholesterol has gone down, and I'm not alone. It is the same with many on the forum. If that surprises you, you might want to go to Blood Sugar 101 and do some reading. There are a lot of surprises there.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You've been through a lot with the medical community & nobody ever told you the truth about what to eat. Instead they parrot the old baloney "you must be cheating", "try harder", "here - have another pill". It's incredible how little care we get from our docs for our diabetes.
Thank you very much.

Sometimes it is the same old baloney. I get so frustrated that I do cheat and have even decided to try to ignore that I am diabetic and just eat what I want (that sure doesn't work for more than a few hours), but most of the time I am working hard at it.

I just need to be able to talk over why certain things do or don't work and get some validation in the process. I don't get that from my docs--I just get another referral to the diabetic educator or dietican. I won't even go to them any more because they just tell peddle the same old line they gave me when I was first diagnosed. And it is very frustrating to listen to this "baloney" from someone who is decades younger than I am and not diabetic, especially when I know what they are saying isn't working for me anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is no way that menopause is not having an effect on me, whether my doctor will admit it is a possibility or not. Stress dramatically spikes my numbers too. Then my doctor tells me I have to controll my "stress". . . duh. . .don't they realize they are a contributing factor? ... and the crazy hormones magnify the stress.

I have had good luck with the lower carb, high fat diet in the past. When I was put on insulin and my A1C was 10.2, my combined cholesterol was 168 and my triglycerides were over 1000. They have come down since then, but I think that eliminating most animal fats from my diet is probably a good thing for me right now.

Your comment "... works for me for the time being but who knows about tomorrow" somes up how I feel right now. I also "refuse to believe I can't control this monstor."

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Gizmo. As I just responded to jwags I have done the low carb/high fat diet in the past with success. And I couldn't care less about the 'vegetarian cop.' But, right now concentrating on foods with no animal products is working for me better than anything else has for a while and I hope it will address my high triglycerides. I am going in for bloodwork tommorrow morning. If they are show the improvement that I expect I will start adding eggs and fish back into my diet--I just miss them too much. I thought meat and cheese were going to be what I missed, but that just hasn't been an issue for me.

I have already spent a few hours reading through the forum and plan to do much more.

Thanks for the welcome!
 

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my menopausal symptoms had significantly reduces until ten days ago—darn. My doctor says it isn’t connected, but I feel sure that the weight loss and better control of my blood sugar is responsible.
I think it is! I've been doing extremely well for many months in a row now (a first for me!) and I am not suffering from hot flashes as much. Last one I had was in September! :D

Oh! By the way... Hello and welcome!
 
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