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5863 Views 32 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  foxl
Hello, diabetesforum. Diabetes runs in my family tree on my mother's side in a major way. It is my opinion that I became pre-diabetic and then diabetic much earlier than I otherwise would have because I recklessly mismanaged my health when I was young, especially during my twenties. I had issues, and not getting a grip on them played a major role in why I didn't take proper care of myself.

What things might I have avoided to stay non-diabetic longer? I would say the obvious ones are: 1) cigarette-smoking/ tobacco chewing (the latter lamentable behavior mostly took place when I was a teenager); 2) high-fructose corn-syrup soda-pop (I think that one is a major player in the exploding diabetes epidemic); 3) eating junk-food. I trust that these assertions aren't terribly controversial.

What made me realize that I had a problem I later learned was diabetes was being tired all the time and being increasingly prone to carbohydrate cravings if I didn't carefully manage my consumption of sugary and starchy carbohydrates. Eating bread also made me terribly sleepy. The most noticable change was when pre-diabetic insulin resistance caused me to gain a very large amount of weight on my lower-middle front torso area. It took me a long time to realize that all these things indicated that something was seriously wrong. I am now inclined to think I was in a pretty well-maintained state of denial. I also had issues with a disorder known as candidiasis, in which the candida albicans yeast organisms in the colon over-proliferate and cause problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and rashes, among others. It is my understanding that diabetes and candidiasis often go hand-in-hand.

My denial crumbled when I started thinking about my situation with carbohydrate cravings (I attributed the tiredness to the candida problems I had begun treating a while before then with an effective probiotic) and did some poking around on the Internet. I often wonder how many early diabetics have been snapped out of their denial by the Internet and how easy this wonderful tool makes it to investigate any topic about which one may be slightly curious.

I have good health insurance from work, so I went to the doctor to get checked out and sure enough, I hade Type 2 Diabetes. I was put on Metformin and a blood pressure medication (finding one that was good for me was a struggle, but I'll save that story for later if I do tell it at all) and changed my eating habits dramatically. I think the biggest favor I did myself was eliminating white-sugar- and white-flour-based processed and junk foods from my diet. I also ultimately decided to eliminate wheat entirely because of its blood-sugar-raising gluten. My breakfast consists of turkey breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs with a medium-small serving of oatmeal mixed with coconut oil. It's at breakfast when eating too many starchy or sugary carbohydrates can put me on a carb-craving roller-coaster for the rest of the day, so I regard that meal in particular as the crucial one. Everything you eat, not to mention how much, when you are managing this condition is certainly important, though.

I don't think all carbohydrates are bad because that in my view is black-and-white thinking, which the realities of life generally don't support. I favor relatively lower-glycemic-index carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. I tend to think that carbohydrates that are allowed on the candida-diet tend to be better for diabetics as these tend to be relatively lower-glycemic-index carbs.

It probably doesn't even need to be said that getting a certain amount of exercise, such as a 45-60 minute vigorous walk every day, is of crucial importance to managing diabetes. My numbers have been showing considerable improvement, and to demonstrate this, I will post the results of my first blood-test in August 2009 and my most recent one in November 2010.

Blood Glucose Fasting: 159 -- 112

A1C: 7.8 -- 6.0

Cholesterol Panel: 246 -- 201

LDL Cholesterol: 167 -- 126

HDL Cholesterol: 45 -- 55

Triglycerides: 172 -- 110

I also lost 25 pounds, going from 260 pounds to 235 pounds. (I am a 43-year-old caucasian male who is about 5'6" with a large frame.) I believe it was the Metformin that made most of this weight-loss possible, as well as playing a major role in my improved numbers. (I take a gram of Metformin a day, in two half-gram doses.) Triglycerides is the hardest number for me to manage. My clinic dietician thinks I eat too much food, but I do a lot of physical work for a living, so I need the fuel. Besides, I'm a pretty lonely guy, so I'm not very big on compounding my issues by adding hunger to the mix. I have been eating progressively less food since May/ June 2009, when I first began to realize I needed to make changes. I still have changes I need to make because I have always been a slow changer. But these changes are probably the most important and necessary I have ever made.
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I think diabetes is the only disease when we are made to feel we are to blame for doing it to ourselves. First let me tell you , it is no your fault. There are millions of people who eat poorly out there and they never get diabetes. I realy feel that pre diabetics and diabetics have something different in our endocrine systems that don't process carbs very well. So even when we eat normal amounts of carbs, we develop insulin resistance and get high bgs. Most people don't take action until they are dx'd, though. Similar to you I have found I can't tolerate most carbs except some sprouted bread once in awhile. I also use the Coconut oil as my fat and find it helps. As diabetics we have to manage our diets different than the non diabetic. This is very hard to understand. I was trying to explain this to my adult daughter yesterday. Even though some foods like fruit are healthy we can't process it without spiking, so I have to avoid it. She kept telling me I needed to eat more fruit and cereal because it is healthy. She feels she is not at risk because she thinks she eats healthy even though she eats high carb diet. Much of this is genetic, I fear and we have the genes that put us at risk for this disease. Glad you found us.
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I was never a sugar eater and never drank regular soda. I was a carb addict though and loved my whole grain breads, brown rice, brown pasta, quinoa and whole grain cereals. I ate the things our government tells us to with the Food Pyramid. There was no history of diabetes in my family. I did not eat HFCS and made most of my things from scratch. Both my husband and I now have diabetes. So with us it was definitely the whole grain bread and cereals. We both exercise 6-7 days a week, 1-3 hours a time. I really do feel insulin resistance is caused by a whacked out endocrine signalling system. I now know I just can't eat certain carbs safely. It is my body that did this to me, not me. I now am doing very well on low carb, organic diet and will continue this for life.
I was around 148 pounds in a size 8 when I was dx'd. I was a little overweight for my height 5' 3.5" but not what I consider overweight. I played tennis 4-6 hours a week and worked out in the gym the other 3 days at least 2-3 hours. When I told people I was diabetic they thought I was making it up. I was the picture of health and my diabetes was picked up when I went to get new eye glasses. When they dilated my eyes they saw tiny specks in the back of my eye and sent me for more detailed eye tests. When the Opthamologist injected me with dye and took pictures of my retina and saw many microscopic leaks he immediately knew that was what happens in diabetics. He said damage appears in your eyes many years before other places. Sure enough when my blood tests came back fasing was 240.
I will go you one further and add, maybe your diabetes caused your carb consumption!

It certainly caused mine, near the end! I craved sugar and never had done that, before.

I do wish someone would do some research on that ... but it'd require stricter diagnostic criteria than we currently have.
I like your explanation, I do think it is a chicken and egg question, which came first. If you are genetically prone to insulin resistance, even eating normal amounts of carbs will put on weight. I was always a skinny kid and teenager but after I had kids, especially in the 30's it seemed something started to change, even though I was eating the same things. At first I just figured it was growing older, now I think it was insulin resistance rearing it's terrible head. If I had changed my diet 30 years ago I may have avoided diabetes, who knows. We automatically blame obesity on overeating in theis county. There may be an underlying condition like insulin resistance that causes you to store fat instead of burning it.
I do think it is hard enough to deal with diabetes without the blame and guilt that comes with it. It makes my blood boil sometimes when I hear people in the government say we have to alter the way people eat because they all will become diabetics and cost the healthcare system tons of money. Personally I pay tons more into insurance than I ever receive in services each year. What they don't tell you is that even if you are dx'd diabetic you can manage the disease so you don't have complications and cost the government money. The other thing that they like to tell you is that if you lose the weight, Voila the diabetes will magically disappear. Well, guess what, not true. At 113 pounds I am better controlled but that is because I limit my carbs at meals. If I eat things like fruit, ww bread, wg. cereal, I would spike well above 200+. I have enough to deal with taking care of this disease 24/7 without being blamed for doing this to myself.
If you are gluten intolerant it will cause inflammation to your intestines which may raise bgs. I don't have the problem with gluten but processed wheat or rice causes a huge spike in bgs. I use alternatives for flour like flaxseed, coconut flour, almond flour and whey powder to bake my baked goods. I'll have to try to add some wheat gluten to get them to rise better. I can usually tolerate up to 15 grams of carbs at one time.
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