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My name is Carlos. As it suggests, I am of Hispanic descent, and - not surprisingly -- a Type 2 diabetic. I am 56 years old and 6'1" tall (1.86m).

My diabetes was discovered about 6 years ago. At the time, my daily routine was a large glass of orange juice in the morning, 6 to 8 cans of regular coke throughout the day, and a large pizza at night with another 2 or 3 cans of coke. I'm a software developer, working from home; so I sat all day.

This went on for about a year. With my diet (or lack of it) and sedentary lifestyle, I had gained around 40 lbs and was weighing 235 lbs.

I found myself taking a leak more and more often, and my vision was deteriorating. I was wearing reading glasses, had my 21-inch monitor at 640 x 480 resolution, and I still couldn't see very well. Driving was becoming dangerous, as I couldn't tell anymore if a traffic light was red or green. I was going blind.

So, I finally went to see a doctor. She was shocked to see my blood glucose level -- it was 35 mmol/l (630 mg/dl) -- and sent me to the hospital right away. At the hospital they wasted no time. They seemed to have a real urgency to bring my blood glucose level down, and they kept pumping things on me until it got to about 14 mmol/l (252 mg/dl).

What followed is probably common to all newly-diagnosed diabetics. The endocrinologist, diabetes education, dietician, ophthalmologist, learning about food and reading labels, expensive strips, finger pricks, lifestyle changes, hypoglycemia, and depression.

After about two months, the vision returned to normal. The depression subsided once I learned more about diabetes and realized that one can lead a fairly normal life and keep the condition under control.

At first, I was on 2,000 mg Metformin/day and 20 mg of Glyburide (a.k.a. Diabeta). Getting used to -- measured -- 3 meals a day, with snacks in between, was rather difficult for me. But I learned quickly after a few bouts with hypoglycemia. So, I played this balancing game for about 5 years -- not letting your sugar get too high, and keeping it from going too low.

Unlike the sort that are asymptomatic, going blind and peeing every 10 minutes taught me that this condition was something to be taken seriously. So, perhaps being close to dying from electrolyte imbalance and dehydration was a blessing in disguise. My regular checkup results couldn't have been much better. My last A1C was 5.6%.

Over time, I lost about 30 lbs. I found it hard not to become hypoglycemic, so I lowered the dose of Glyburide, eventually getting off it altogether. I stayed on 2,000 mg of Metformin/day, and that seemed to keep things under control. But the best part of it was that it didn't cause my sugar glucose to go too low. So, now I wasn't slave to the 3 meals/3 snacks per day. For better or for worse, this enabled me to go back into my bad eating habits.

Last summer, I started working out. I worked out about an hour/day, each day. My weight went all the way down to 175 lbs. I guess getting off the Glyburide and staying on Metformin helped. Once the summer was over, I stopped exercising regularly. My weight has remained below 180 lbs though.

My doctor told me I could lower my Metformin dose to 1,000 mg/day, so I did, and my blood glucose level stayed under control. A few days ago, I ran out of Metformin. I figured I'd try and see how I did without it. A couple of days ago, I had a couple of chicken wraps and a coffee for lunch. Later that day, I sensed my blood sugar was low; so I checked it. It was 3.9 mmol/l (70 mg/dl). Huh? I had eaten and taken no meds! So, I went and had dinner at my mother's. Had a burger sandwich, grapes, and a big slice of cake. Checked my sugar a couple of hours later and it was 5.6 (101). Used a different glucometer to check before going to bed, and it was 4.8 (86). This morning I went for breakfast. Had an egg and cheese sandwich and a coffee. Checked and hour later, it was 5.7 (102). All this without meds! Went for lunch, again to my mom's, today. Had barley soup, a big serving of Chinese noodles with fried rice and sweet and sour chicken, a plate of grapes, and more of that cake. An hour later, my sugar was 7.8 (140). I was amazed.

My life is very disorganized. I sleep and eat whenever. I rarely have 3 meals a day. Sometimes two, often one. I do have coffee (extra large, one cream, one milk, two sweeteners) 3 or 4 times/day. I have no food or snacks in the house. I drink water during the day (no diet sodas, or otherwise, at all). I don't exercise enough. So, the only thing I to which can attribute my improvement is to weight loss, and keeping it down for an extended period of time. I wouldn't advocate my lifestyle to anyone, but it's been working for me. When I was working out daily though, I was having mostly 3 meals/day, at least 2. I also slept more regular hours.

I'm not going to kid myself into thinking I'm cured. I know that if I eat a lot of carbs and sweets, it will shoot my sugar up way beyond what the norm would be for a normal person. But, perhaps I'm at a stage where I can do without the meds, and just watch what I eat, how much I eat, and try to incorporate exercise back into my routine.

I'd like to know if others have experienced something similar (i.e., going from very high blood glucose level to a relatively normal one) and manage without meds. I'm a bit perplexed by my recent blood glucose readings, considering that I'm off the meds. The prospect of not having to take meds is very encouraging though. I much rather watch my carb intake and exercise than face a lifetime of meds intake. I know those meds will eventually take their toll on the body.

Anyway, sorry for the long diatribe. I don't know if there's a moral to this story. It's just meant to share my own experience.

Peace and good health to all.
 

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Well, it seems the weight loss worked wonders for you. BUT, diabetes is a progressive disease and in the years to come you may need to go back on some meds. If you can, try to start exercising again, even if it's a 30 minute walk everyday. I'm glad you have it under control. You are much more disciplined than I am. :D
 

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Welcome to our community! You have done a great job getting in shape and you have ggod control of your diabetes. I am glad you realize that you must watch your carb intake carefully and exercise on a regular basis. I think it is also important to eat 3 meals per day and maintain a regular and consistent schedule whenever possible.

I have been diabetic for 63 years and I am very healthy. i eat 130g carbs per day and I exercise for one hour each day. I hope you will also have a long, healthy life with your diabetes. Welcome aboard!

Richard
 

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An interesting story ..... I think the secret to your success was the EXERCISE . Try to keep it up ......now if i could only do the same !!
 

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Fascinating story Carlos. Glad you are doing well withyour scores.

As I'm pretty new to diabetes, I know that exercise works wonders. Set a reminder for your self perhaps to pop up on your computer while you're working...
 

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Hello Carlos & all,

Well that was a great story that really made me think twice about my disease & how "EXERCISE" helps you, i mean that is the things folks.

Keep it up.

Cheers!!!
 

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Anyway, sorry for the long diatribe. I don't know if there's a moral to this story. It's just meant to share my own experience.

Peace and good health to all.
Hello & welcome to DF Carlos, Gee that's a good story about you and I have the same problem as I tend to be with the PC too for too long. :( So I am overweight and I have to prize off the PC to do some exercise. I have a type 1 so I have to look at injecting insulin and balance that with whatever food that I eat and I have to look at exercise. Since my stroke I have been taking things easy and heal but that is getting a bit much, Also my right eye is blind however the left is quite good as I am thankful for that!
I can only congratulate you over the BG at the normal range and I would look at exercise even if it just a walk to fetch some milk for the coffee. I am studying to do the A+ as that's a computer mechanic. At the moment I am on my easter break and return to the school on the 20Th of April so I have time to look at this site and enjoy peoples company over the net.

OK that it from me. Welcome to DF. :D:p:)
 
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