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Thursday, October 31, 2013

What Does My Body Want From Me? - Part 1

Knowledge is power, powerful knowledge is a blessing

I did not test this morning as I am running in twenty different directions. Hold on a minute - I will test now while stressed out.

BS - 153 OUCH - I ate 2 hours ago.  I had an Asian wrap and some unsalted french fries.  I know that is bad but I was hungry.

BP - 134/83 (home machine) - Ouch - up from normal reading and it equates to a 110/70 at the VA.  - HR - 63 it also is up.

So what is going on with my body.  I have not done that much to change today from my normal days.

Let me walk through the past couple of days and paint a picture for you, then I will explain why this is all important.

Past three days

Starting Monday I was preparing for the Sr. Olympics Golf tournament so I golfed on Monday and Tuesday and then had to work in the afternoon to make up for golfing.  So I did not do any exercise.  I nearly stayed with my food routine except on Monday I ate late at a restaurant.  On Tuesday I had a box lunch at the golf tournament.

Wednesday I got up early to take off for work and spent an entire day working hard to make up for Monday and Tuesday and then ate again in a restaurant but had a light salad.  

I did not do much testing except in the morning and Monday was 102 and Wednesday was 113 - what caused the spike last night and into the morning.

Today the routine continues but today I got up late and had an early morning meeting.  So I hurried out of the house and did not test or take my green drink.  For breakfast I had a small bowl of Greek yogurt with fresh raspberries and some almond nuts.  Really bland food and not all that bad.

So what is going on.  Before giving you what I think is the answer, let me explain how I think I know the answer.  Understand everything I am going to say - bits and pieces will come from other posts in this blog so you might have to look back but I will keep it to a minimum if I do.

Building Knowledge

You have heard me mention the community within the American Diabetes Association and how we all exchange information.  There are a few themes that come through loud and clear from the experts - not me but them.

Food impacts my body different than yours

We all know that we are diabetics which means there is something a little off in our natural body processes.  We are either making too much insulin, not enough, or our blood cells are not taking in what they need - so they scream for more and the pancreas provides.  Thus the cycle of a diabetic.  This happens in a constant real-time state - meaning it is a perpetual motion event and does not have a starting and stopping point - it is continual.

Therefore, we not only have to understand our bodies but how does diet, exercise, supplements, and medicines impact our body.  Why can I do the same thing each day and get different readings?

This is precociously what needs to happen - you need to know your body at all times and know how to regiment it.  After all, we know that training our body to process properly is the key.  Routine is better than random; meaning eating, sleeping, working, exercising, and all other daily actives when done nearly the same each day will help our bodies and blood sugars be consistent.

How do I know - testing and routine

Testing is our weapon of choice.  How often do you have to test?

I go to the VA and they asked me to test on Tuesday mornings for a fasting reading and on Thursday afternoon after eating.  Much to their credit, they were trying to give me routine.  I followed their guidelines for years but eventually realized, after doing my research, that I needed to test more often during my journey and life style change.  I needed to know how my body would react to food, sleeping, exercise, and even stress since all of these contribute to my blood sugar levels.

I will not go into details on things you can find on the web:

How to Test: WebMD - http://diabetes.webmd.com/how-test-blood-glucose?page=1  This article is a general article on the concept of testing and what it means.

Step-by_Step instructions - http://www.livestrong.com/article/221926-testing-blood-sugar-level-at-home/

When to check - http://www.ehow.com/way_5297172_time-check-blood-sugar.html

Basically you need to know what your fasting level is - that is best taken in the morning after you wake up.  You need to know what it is before you eat and after you eat.  Journal what you ate and what it did to your blood sugars.

Taking it one to two hours after you eat -  and this time can depend on what you have eaten.  The glycemic index of food can make a difference.  I will discuss this in more detail in the next post.  But in a sense, the higher the glycemic index the faster it turns to sugar and the sooner you should test.  So sometimes it is best one hour after and sometimes it is best two hours after.

Know what you test before you go to bed.  Know how you are testing after exercise - what is happening to your body as it burns some of the fat and sugar out of the system.

I hope this quick review makes sense.

What is going on with me?

So now I have some knowledge I can apply to what is happening and I can start to gain some knowledge - powerful knowledge to control my sugar levels.

  1. I have not been eating a very consistent meal plan these past few days and my body knows it.  Stepping out one day or one meal is not bad, but four days - I am asking for trouble.
    1. I need to make sure I move back to a more consistent meal plan to can some control
  2. Each day in the gym I burn about 600 calories and get my blood circulating.  I have not done any of that for three days.
    1. Get back to the gym tonight
  3. Stress is a big play.  I have stress associated with taking on an additional contract, stress with my current contract, and stress with the golf tournament.  Again, a little stress once in a while my body can handle, but not a steady diet of it.
    1. Look to close down or manage something differently
    2. Do not set too many expectations that cause stressed deliveries at work
    3. Hand some of it off to others
    4. No matter what, stress down a little
  4. My sleep pattern has been all wrong and it usually is.  However, given all of the above, I am a walking time bomb for now as for my blood sugar levels.
    1. Get some rest this weekend
You see, I now have the power knowledge to manage my blood sugar levels.  I did that so I am control of my disease - not the medical industry.  I did that so I could adjust daily not ever six months when I went to the doctor.  I did that - because I want to be a CONTROL FREAK when it comes to my diabetes.

May God grant you the wisdom to test and get to know your body.  Learn to listen to what it is saying.  Give it a chance to scream in your ear - HELP!  God help us gain power knowledge so we can have power over our ailments - end the end this is what you ask us to do with your temple.

Bob,



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Still Hate Exercise

But my body does not!

BS - 113 this morning.  Since I have missed exercise for two days while on my golfing spree - and my sugars were up this morning - I would discuss exercise and diabetes and how I am doing

My love for exercise

If you did not catch my first post on this, please read, but I do hate exercise and I still hate it.  I have been at it for two months now and I can say the lifestyle change has been great and my body now desires the workout.  But for me - I still hate going to the gym to work out.

I have always walked the dog for 2 miles - say one and sometimes two times a day.  Many times I cannot walk the dog and my wife walks the dog - like a kid I picked up the dog and now she has to take care of him.  She is so sweet!

This exercise probably helps but not that much.

We diabetics need to do more.

My routine now is 1 hour on the tread mill where I start with a pace of 3.0 for 5 minutes to warm up.  Then I increase the speed to 3.5 and every 5 minutes I raise the incline 1 degree.  There are times I will raise the speed to 4.0

This is followed by 45 minutes of lifting weights - various forms of lifting.  I will focus on legs one day and arms the next day.  However, each day they both get some work out.

How does exercise help control blood sugars?

  • Improves your body's use of insulin
  • Burns excess body fat, helping to decrease and control weight (decreased body fat results in improved insulin sensitivity)
  • Improves muscle strength
  • Increases bone density and strength
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps to protect against heart and blood vessel disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and increasing 'good' HDL cholesterol
  • Improves blood circulation and reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Increases energy level and enhancing work capacity
  • Reduces stress, promoting relaxation, and releasing tension and anxiety

Too much stress?

Intense exercise can have the opposite effect and actually temporarily increase your blood glucose levels right after you stop exercising. This is especially true for many people with diabetes. The body recognizes intense exercise as a stress and releases stress hormones that tell your body to increase available blood sugar to fuel your muscles.  If you have diabetes you may need to check your sugar after exercise to see if this happens to you. 

I do not take my kit as I do not do extreme exercise but I might be getting there.

Are there times we should be careful?

In some cases, you should hold off on exercising if your blood sugar is very high and your body is producing ketones. Ask your doctor about if and when you should hold off on exercise.

How does exercise help control blood sugars?

Normally, insulin is released from the pancreas when the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood increases, such as after eating. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscles to take in excess glucose. This results in a lowering of the blood sugar level.

When exercising, the body needs extra energy or fuel (in the form of glucose) for the exercising muscles. For short bursts of exercise, such as a quick sprint to catch the bus, the muscles and the liver can release stores of glucose for fuel. With continued moderate exercising, however, your muscles take up glucose at up to 20 times the normal rate. This helps lowers blood sugar levels. At the same time insulin levels may drop in anyone not taking insulin so the risks of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is minimized.

My request of you!

Please do your body justice and start doing something today.  I cannot explain how great I feel these days and the energy level is up there.  I cannot say it is all exercise; but on the days I do not go my body knows it.  My lovely wife has been asking me for years to go exercise versus sitting around on the couch or working at my desk.

As always, she has been 100% correct.  So I am pleading with you, Get Up, Get Going, and Get To Doing Something!  This will be your new motivator and we will all use this to make changes.  Your body needs it and your loved ones will enjoy the new you.  You being the closest loved one you have.   But most of all, your blood sugars will enjoy not being so high.

If you stay with something for 21 days it becomes a habit and it will become a lifestyle change.

For a guy who hates to exercise - my body now asks for it and it keeps me motivated, 

Set a goal - take 15 minutes out of the day and promise yourself you will do something today requiring some exercise.  If you do nothing - take a 15 minute walk after a meal.  If you walk a little, add 15 minutes or increase your walking speed.  If you are walking a lot, them time to do something else.  

But please - add some exercise - do not be like me and let it go for so long - make it part of your daily life style. I promise - you will appreciate the move you just made.

God grant us all the ability to Get Up, Get Going, and Get To Doing Something!  May he give us the internal strength to motivate ourselves and to take care of these precious temples he gave to us.  We are only in them for a short period of time; so lets treat them as well as we can.

Bob,


Monday, October 28, 2013

Diabetes - Sources Of Information

These are the sources I used to find out how to deal with diabetes


BS - 102 this morning.  Not bad but still a little higher than I would like
Did not take my blood pressure today as I was in a hurry.

I thought I would take time to list the great sources of information I used to help me in my journey and still use.  I am now moving into researching minerals which is one of the last steps to take.

Online Sources

WEB MD http://www.webmd.com/, yes, there can be a lot of advertisement but then again, they are putting out a  lot of information - someone has to pay for it.

Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/, they have less advertisement and I have always trusted them as I lived in Minnesota and you get to know just how good they are when treating a patient.

Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org/, yes, I am a big fan of Wikipedia and I do know that just about anyone can put something in there.  However, to get definitions and some basic understanding it is a significant source of information.

Books I use

Diabetes without Drugs, The 5 Step Program to Control Blood Sugar Naturally, Suzy Cohen, RPh; http://www.dearpharmacist.com/.  Suzy worked as a retail pharmacist and a consultant to nursing homes.  It is there she developed the passion to look at life without medications.  This book was my number one read and follow as it made sense to me - diabetes management without medicines.

Beat  Diabetes Naturally, Michael Murray, ND; and Michael Lyon, MD.  Michael Murray is one of the world's foremost authorities on natural medicines.  Michael Lyon is one of America's experts on diabetes management.  The book contains a lot of information.

The Diabetes Solution Kit was a kt I received when I ordered the two books above.  I purchased the books from Barton Publishing and Joe Barton is a believer in natural remedies.

Dr. Neal Barnard's Program For Reversing Diabetes, Neal D. Barnard, MD.  Neal has completed several studies on diabetes management through the vegan diet.  His studies have linked lower blood sugar levels to the elimination of diary and meat products.  Both of these products block our cells from processing insulin correctly.  This was my first book and what I tried first but I now realize I was not serious.

The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Michael Murray, ND.  My son worked for ECHO and they sold the book in their book store.  There was one page on diabetes and it said take cinnamon.  The website for ECHO book is http://www.echobooks.org/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=1851. Just a huge place for information on all sorts of information on nature's food store.  A must visit and please give kindly.

The Healing Foods, Patricia Hausman and Judith Benn Hurley.  There is a lot of good information in this book.

The Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program, Dr. Richard F Heller and Dr. Racheal F. Heller.  The book has some great information and a lot of recipes to back up what they say.

New sources

Since I have started the journey I have joined the American Diabetes Association and have a found great information there. http://community.diabetes.org/ 

One of the nice things about the organization is the community message boards.  This is a great place to get information from other diabetics or support members.  The following link is for T2 diabetics and where I am active - http://community.diabetes.org/t5/Adults-Living-with-Type-2/bd-p/Adults-Living-with-Type-2.

In the community there are two people who know a lot and have also created blogs and I thoink they are worth noting:

Alan Shanley -  http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com/ 

LizzyLou - http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com/ 

May God grant your the courage to look into these sources of information and may he also grant you the wisdom to follow the ideas that make sense for your body and your journey.

Bob,



Sunday, October 27, 2013

God's Amazing Body and Science - Part 1

Do I think both can exist - they do 

Once again I think we have added a reader from Taiwan - welcome.  Just so everyone knows how this all works is I get statistics on how many people have come to the blog for the day and open a page.  If you read 3 posts while there you count as one reader for the day.  It will show me what countries have found the blog and it is cool as it then starts to color in the world map for each country who has read a post and it gets darker with the number of readers.  That is all I know about any of you.

If you register to receive this via email, I cannot see who signs up..  My family has and we do not receive any junk mail so that might be the easiest way to stay on top of the blog.  Those numbers do not count as part of the daily read.

It is Sunday and this is when I pay homage to God on his day.

BS  - 107 - I had a wild afternoon yesterday but still in good shape

BP - 119/ 76 (home machine) - HR 52

God's creation story and science

Many of us God fearing people have read Genesis.  God created the heaven and earth.  Now it does not go into any definition how God created the heaven and earth.  Science has a few thoughts of its own and probably the best known is the Big Bang theory.

According to Wikipedia "The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that describes the early development of the Universe.[1] According to the theory, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.798 ± 0.037 billion years ago,[2][3][4][5][6][7] which is thus considered the age of the universe.[8][9][10][11] At this time, the Universe was in an extremely hot and dense state and began expanding rapidly. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons. Though simple atomic nuclei formed within the first three minutes after the Big Bang, thousands of years passed before the first electrically neutral atoms formed. The majority of atoms that were produced by the Big Bang are hydrogen, along with helium and traces of lithium. Giant clouds of these primordial elements later coalesced through gravity to form stars and galaxies, and the heavier elements were synthesized either within stars or during supernovae

To me this does not say that God did not do this.  Who is to say he did not; nor can we prove it.  So as a young man studying science and Christianity - I have always believed both can be true.

God's creation of man and evolution

Furthermore God said, "Lets make man in our own image.  Now science and Darwin try to tell me I either evolved from an earlier primate "ape" or life began as a single cell split and started to form different forms of life.

This is when I have a very difficult time linking the two together.  If either happened, then I have a million questions I would like to ask those people.  I f it did occur this way, how did our bodies get so sophisticated on their own.  We know the eyes and nervous system can be effected by diabetes so I will focus a little on the eyes in this post.  
Eyes
The Anatomy of the Eye says it best.  Follow the link to this amazing article.  The eye is very sophisticated and just the design of it makes it hard for me to believe it evolved to this sophistication.  And if it did, why has it not evolved to something even better over the past millions of years.

Lens - just one part

The lens is where about 20 of the eye's 60 diopters obtain diopteric power. The remainder of the eye's diopteric power is contained in the cornea. Furthermore it is the lens that enables us to change the focus according to different distances, e.g. when we change focus from a TV screen across the living room to a newspaper in our hand. The lens is attached to a mass of threads called zonula threads.

Lens

Read the article - it is amazing about this thing we call an eye.  Once you read it, you will also understand why it is important to have them checked and even do a retinal scan to see if there is any damage or check the blood vessel damage - mine is good at the moment.

Science as a marvel

Now lets give science their due as they are extremely valuable to us and each week I will add something of a marvel from science.  Today I think the marvel is what they are doing with the artificial Pancreas.

Click on the above link and it will show you that for Type 1 diabetics, there is finally an accepted breakthrough on an artificial pancreas that can help Type 1 diabetics control insulin production.

According to the article; "The first human trials of the latest design of an artificial pancreas for people with type 1 diabetes found the device worked without causing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Ideally, this type of automated device would finally free people with type 1 diabetes from the insulin injections that many require each day, while relieving them of the constant need to check blood sugar levels and monitor the food they eat accordingly."


I think this is when God loves science and science should love God.  God's great machine, the human body is not all perfect.  But he did give us smart humans and a scientific community who can develop such wonderful equipment.

I think they both exist and I am glad.

May God continue to send us marvelous people to help us with our afflictions.

Bob, 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Neuropathy or Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)? - Part 3

Thank God I may have dodged the neuropathy bullet!


I am still completely blown away by who this blog is reaching.  I am starting to receive comments and want to remind everyone you can also email me at bob.dant@gmail.com with questions or topics you might want to hear about.

I also want to take this moment to welcome some new international friends.  We have picked up two readers from China, 2 from Taiwan, 1 from Thailand, and 1 from Ukraine.  I do want to welcome my internal friends who might be afflicted with this terrible disease or know someone who is.  Thank you again for taking the time to read this blog as it is simply my desire that one person learn from this and have the opportunity to change their life style.

BS - 113 fasting this morning - Not really good but since I have not sleep for 3 days and have missed my exercise routine - I am okay with it.

BP - 119/71 (home machine) - HR 53  All very good signs as far as I am concerned.

Some friends do!

I may have dodged the bullet for now - but I am still a diabetic and I still have tingly feet.  I have something, but for now it does not appear to be neuropathy.  Diabetes is not the only cause of lose of nerve or pain in the nerves.

I have a couple of friends who have pain in their left legs and cannot feel the foot test provided by most doctors.  To hear them talk about their problems just horrifies me.  I also have an acquaintance that has lost the feeling in his feet and can hardly walk and can no longer drive a car.

I was driving to the YMCA for my work out this morning and was thinking about this blog and what I could say about a topic I know very little about.  My car is is a stick shift and Icwas thankful that I could still drive and shift at the same time.  So I just took a moment then and now to thank God for waking me up before I do get worse.

If you have neuropathy, I feel for you and sympathize.  The research I did when trying to find out what was wrong with me was insightful and a little scary - if you ask me.

What is it?

Throughout this blog - I have provided links to some good information.  The following is another link to a discussion about neuropathy: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147963.php  

I will again let the article say it best:
"Neuropathy is not a single disease - instead, it is a complication found in a number of different underlying medical conditions. It can also be seen without the cause being diagnosed, when doctors called it "idiopathic."
The term neuropathy is short for peripheral neuropathy, meaning nerve damage in the peripheral nervous system. Only nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord are involved, so peripheral neuropathy does not include nerve damage in the central nervous system.
This Medical News Today information page will give you the essential details about neuropathy - describe what it is and what causes it, who gets the problem and the symptoms they have, how it is diagnosed, and offer an overview of treatment options for people with neuropathy."

What causes it?

You are reading this blog if you have or know of someone who has diabetes.  We know that diabetes is the number one reason for neuropathy.  However, did you know that the following diseases can also bring on neuropathy?

WOW, if your are diabetic and also have any of these diseases - you need to get them all under control.

Are there things to help - besides medicines?

Again, I am not sure but there are some products out there that might help.  PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS AS MEDICAL ADVICE - TALK IT OVER WITH YOUR DOCTOR.  THESE ARE THINGS THAT I READ ABOUT AND ALMOST TRIED.

There appears to be research that leads to capsaicin (chili pepper) that when used in creams will help relieve the pain.  These creams can be purchased anywhere and take a few weeks of using to help reduce the pain.  In addition, this little gem appears to help arthritis in the fingers, elbows, and knees.  I am going to try it for my knees - I have been told by the VA I have arthritis in my knees and they do hurt.

Everyone agrees to back off smoking and alcohol.  Notice excessive drinking may also cause neuropathy.

Exercise - especially walking, was another common topic in the research I did.  The walking helps build some muscle mass around the nerves.  Many where also in favor of yoga.

There is an over the counter topical treatment called Neuragen.  

Finally, I want to bring back Suzy Cohen, RPh book - "Diabetes without Drugs."  This is a must in my mind and just full of other information.

God please help those with neuropathy to help themselves.  Help them understand there are many things out there to help them and not to give up.  

Bob,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Neuropathy or Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)? - Part 2

Restless Leg Syndrome - Is this what I have?

Once again I apologize, I did not get a post out for a couple of days.  I have been up for 2 days and nights trying to get a computer issue solved.  Hopefully it is all good now.  Not good for sugar levels or stress management.

BS - 102 fasting this morning
BP - 110/77 (home machine) - HR 55

I have always been amazed at how people are finding this blog.  Tonight, I did a search on a topic and this blog come up in the number 4 spot on the search.  Knowing how search engines work, that means with everyone coming in from different sources, this blog gets a high rating.  Again, I am thankful as maybe one person can get something out of this blog.

My symptoms

In this post I want to describe what I was going through and how research lead me to the decisions I made to make a change.  As I said in Part 1 - it is hard to describe what you are feeling when the feeling is extremely different and hard to explain.

The first symptom I have always had is very "hot" feet.  I mean I can be in the middle of winter and feet still feel warm.  I can be in the office and it cool and my feet felt hot.  I would buy thin shoes and my feet were still hot - or felt that way.

It was / is so bad I can be sitting at a musical concert in summer time with t-shirt, shirts, and sandals with it being a cool night and the bottom of me feet feel hot.  I am sitting here with a jacket on because I am chilled but my feet are heating up and I want to take off my shoes.

This normal happens at night - in my mind.  Looking back, it is when my feet are at rest and so it was in my mind.  The mind and the feet begin to have a conversation and the feet or the brain decide the feet feel warm / hot.  But it mainly happens at night.

The second symptom was / is a tingly feeling in my feet when I try to sleep.  The tingly feeling is like thousands of little pointed objects - tickling my feet or a small needle prick sensation.  It can be so bad it wakes me up at night and I have to do something.

Totally frustrated - could not sleep

I could not sleep and that just wears you out.  The no sleep and the stress are known problems with managing sugar levels. 

I would start off by hanging me feet out from under the sheets to cool them off or help with the tingling.

That sometimes worked but not always and then I would spin my foot in a circular motion and that would help - but not always.

I would then start to rub the bottom of my feet and put some pressure on the center and that would help - sometimes.

Many times, in the end - I would have to get up and walk around.

As I said, being on the neuropathy medicine really helped that but started to hurt my feet.  Then I started the research.

Research material


You can read the full article but this is the start of it:

"Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them. Symptoms occur primarily at night when a person is relaxing or at rest and can increase in severity during the night. Moving the legs relieves the discomfort. Often called paresthesias (abnormal sensations) or dysesthesias (unpleasant abnormal sensations), the sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.
The most distinctive or unusual aspect of the condition is that lying down and trying to relax activates the symptoms. Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Left untreated, the condition causes exhaustion and daytime fatigue. Many people with RLS report that their job, personal relations, and activities of daily living are strongly affected as a result of their sleep deprivation. They are often unable to concentrate, have impaired memory, or fail to accomplish daily tasks. It also can make traveling difficult and can cause depression.
As many as 10 percent of the U.S. population may have RLS. Several studies have shown that moderate to severe RLS affects approximately 2-3 percent of adults (more than 5 million individuals). An additional 5 percent appears to be affected by a milder form. Childhood RLS is estimated to affect almost 1 million school-age children, with one-third having moderate to severe symptoms. Some people with RLS will not seek medical attention, believing that they will not be taken seriously, that their symptoms are too mild, or that their condition is not treatable. Some physicians wrongly attribute the symptoms to nervousness, insomnia, stress, arthritis, muscle cramps, or aging."
I also found personal comments and notes of people doing the same thing I was doing.

Actions taken

Again, the article says it best:

"RLS can be treated, with care directed toward relieving symptoms. Moving the affected limb(s) may provide temporary relief. Sometimes RLS symptoms can be controlled by finding and treating an associated medical condition, such as peripheral neuropathy or diabetes.
Certain lifestyle changes and activities that may reduce symptoms in persons with mild to moderate symptoms include decreased use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco; supplements to correct deficiencies in iron, folate, and magnesium; changing or maintaining a regular sleep pattern; a program of moderate exercise; and massaging the legs, taking a hot bath, or using a heating pad or ice pack. A trial of iron supplements is recommended only for individuals with low iron levels. Although many people find some relief with such measures, rarely do these efforts completely eliminate symptoms."
I was in the process of starting my journey to control my diabetes so that was  the first step.
I quit smoking two years ago so that was good.
I now drink one cup of coffee a day as it is still supposed to have some positive effects on us diabetics and sugar level management.
I was already deep into the green drink and getting good iron and folate.  That left magnesium.  I started to take 400mg of magnesium per day mainly for this but I also found out magnesium is also good for high blood pressure - and I had that as well so I saw a double win for me.
The exercise I did at the time involved walking the dog and playing some golf.  I started the exercise program a few weeks later.

So how am I do?

Well, good news is I am off the neuropathy medicine.  My doctor agrees it most likely is RLS manifested in my feet.  I still have some symptoms but not as bad.  I am not kept awake by it now so I think the sleep helps keep my sugar levels down and it just is an all around win for me.

PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS INFORMATION AND IGNORE THESE SYMPTOMS.  NEUROPATHY IS NOT A GAME AND SHOULD BE CAREFULLY WATCHED.  FOR ME, IT WAS THE SCARE OF A LIFE TIME.  PEOPLE START LOSING BODILY FUNCTIONS.  PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH THIS INFORMATION

May God grant you the ability to define and describe your symptoms to your doctor.  May he bless you with relief and may he help you along your journey as he does me.

Bob,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Neuropathy or Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)? - Part 1

Wrongly diagnosed?  I do not blame Doc!

BS 98 - Fasting sugar level this morning
BP 110/80 (home machine) - HR 62
BS at 11:00 PM - 107 after working out
BP 115/70 (at YMCA) HR - 81 after workout.

Symptoms

It was during my March 2013 6-month visit when I finally complained to the doctor about the tingling in my feet at night, it would wake me up, and I was starting to have troubles walking around the house without shoes as it felt like to soles of my feet were sore and hurting.  I also complained my feet were always hot and I had to take my shoes off or get very light net shoes to wear.

He gave me the feather and pin test and was puzzled as I felt everything and it appeared my feet were normal.  Being a good doctor, he did not want to take any chances so he prescribed a neuropathy medicine - 300 mg of Gabapentin twice daily.

Within 3 months my feet felt like leather, I could not even walk with shoes on as it hurt the bottom of my feet and I felt like I was walking on rock slate.

I could not take it any more as each day it got worse.  So going against my belief system, I went to the internet to research tingly feet.  I found a lot of material but I will stay with what I found at Mayo Clinic - they are pretty reputable.

Neuropathy

From Mayo Clinic, "Peripheral neuropathy, a result of nerve damage, often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet, but it may also occur in other areas of your body.
People generally describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove."

Restless Leg Syndrome

From Mayo Clinic, "Commonly described sensations - People typically describe restless legs syndrome symptoms as abnormal, unpleasant sensations in their calves, thighs or feet. Sometimes the sensations may be in the arms, often expressed as:
  • Crawling, Creeping, Pulling, Throbbing, Itching, Pain, Tugging, Gnawing, Burning
Sometimes the sensations seem to defy description. Affected people usually don't describe the condition as a muscle cramp or numbness. They do, however, consistently describe the desire to move or handle their legs."

Mechanics and Doctors - checking vitals

WOW - no wonder they call it practicing medicine - how would a Doctor know from my description which is the root cause of my feeling.  Doctors are like mechanics and our bodies are like automobiles.  I can go into my mechanic and he can hook up to the computer and it will tell him if my car is sick or he can check the fluid levels to see if I am low on any fluids.

Our bodies are like that.  We can go to the doctor and he can take our A1C and get a three month average of our sugar levels - our computer can tell him if something is wrong.

The doctor can take blood, urine samples, and all kinds of other samples to see if our fluids can tell the doctor if something is wrong.  This is like checking our fluids.

Mechanics and Doctors - listening to me

Lets say with my mechanic I can no longer can rely on my car to tell the mechanic what is wrong - I have to do that.  Just recently I had to do that.  My car was making noises in the front end.  So I went in and tried to point to the location, I tried to describe the noise, and I tried to make the exact sound.  Can you imagine an old man standing in front of his mechanic pointing to the dash and squealing like a stuck pig!  My mechanic is a great guy from Jamaica - he must go home some nights and wish he never made the journey to Nashville.  Or he goes home and says - WOW I just got that comedy show for free and better yet - I get to charge him for his stupidity.

So is it any different went I went to the doctor and tried to explain my feet situation.  Holy cow, I am a diabetic - what else would he think.  Just look at the similarities between the two.  Naturally he had to go that route.  He also has to be careful I do not come back and sue him for malpractice.  That can be a post all by itself.

So what have I learned?  Do a little research to discover what is going on with your body.  My wife, the non geek in the relationship - jumps on the internet and starts searching when she does not understand.  I am not one of those men who will not stop and ask for directions - ladies you know what I am saying - but I do not jump on the internet other than for work research.

I have never said I am the smart one in this relationship!  

My point is simple.  Go  ahead and get on the internet and do some research.  learn, study, get to know your body.  Then when you go to the doctor (mechanic) you can help him/her help you.  This makes a lot of sense.  What does not make sense - "Any of us playing Doctor!' This is not like playing house or hospital when we were kids - no one got hurt.  You being your own doctor - do not do it!  If you do not like what the doctor is saying - get a second opinion.

In part 2 and 3 of this series I will discuss what I found with each of these problems and what I did to course correct.

May God grant you and your doctor the ability to listen and learn what is going on with your body and mind.  May he grant us the knowledge to help our doctors help us.

Bob,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fear - Friend or Foe

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself!" was FDR's famous statement in his inaugural speech.

Again, I want to thank everyone for the continued support and for the reaching out with comments.

FBS - 110 this morning (up)
BS - 9:00 PM 109
BP - 11/77 (home machine) - HR - 62

I selected this this topic as I think fear plays a major role in our minds as diabetics - or it did mind.  The past two days it appears my BS level is going up slightly.  Still much better than it was in the past and I have lost another 5 pounds.  But my mind races with fear.  A fear I might not be doing the right thing.  Is this journey real or just a bump in the road and it will all come crashing down on me soon.  It is not easy making taking bold steps to move along the path of change.

Then kicks in the anxiety of going back to the old days and the stress level goes up.  It is nothing more than a vicious circle and as someone pointed out today - "I have a special relationship with my family and God and it must feel good" - and it does feel good.  So as my fear kicked in to action today - I have spent the day thinking what FDR said and how fear does play a major role in our lives and mindset.

So instead of burying it in the closet or trying to hide it - lets bring it out in the open, think about it, talk about it, and overcome - that is my new life style.  See the problem, understand the problem, and remove the problem.

WIKI has a great lead into the discussion of fear:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear
"Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response) but in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) a freeze or paralysis response is possible. Some psychologists such as John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that there is only a small set of basic or innate emotions and that fear is one of them. This hypothesized set includes such emotions as joy, sadness, fright, dread, horror, panic, anxiety, acute stress reaction and anger. Fear should be distinguished from the emotion anxiety, which typically occurs without any certain or immediate external threat."

Fear of success


We can have fear of death, fear of ridicule, and even fear of success.  Fear of success is an interesting study and much has been written about this fear.  It all fundamentally comes down to a fear that we cannot reach our potential and therefore we do not want to try.  Others say we are afraid of success because if we reach it we will not know how to handle it.

For me, I do not feel I was afraid to reach success or change my life.  Mine was more of fear of failure.  Which is a much easier concept to understand.

Fear of change

There is a first hand experience in my household.  My lovely wife had to remind me this weekend, it was not long ago her and I had one of those relationship moments when two people in love disagree on something.  Oh yeah, the clinical term might be ARGUMENT.  Those happen when a loved one is trying to intervene and the other is having no part of it.  Obviously, I am usually the "I am Bob, I am having no part of it."

Anyway, back to the discussion (there a more politically correct statement) occurred when she would ask me on the weekend if I checked my sugar level.  I would proudly announce the VA says I only have to test on Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon.  I am just following what my doctor asked me to do.  Obviously she was asking because I was not right or it appeared I was low or high - and trust me your partner knows.  Or at least my wife could tell when I was having up and down days.

So I think in reality, as we talked about that this weekend, I think a couple of things were always going through my mid, fear of change and fear of failure.  I was afraid to move away from what my doctor was telling me to do - I think all diabetics are afraid to do something a little different than what our doctor says.  Then there was the fear of failure.  I think I had tried everything and it kept going the wrong direction.  So to make any changes meant a deeper fall so I was just afraid to move.

Over coming fear by fear

Then came the bad visit, neuropathy medicine, high A1C, higher bad cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and weight being a problem.  I was just getting wiped by this infernal disease and it was having the better of my life.

Then comes an intervening daughter sent by God at the right time in my life.  I tried to get some long-term care insurance and found out since I was on neuropathy medicine it was not going to happen.  I could get it for my wife but not for me.

My daughter laid down the law and put a fear in me that said I could not play golf with her (or bring my friend) anymore.  I needed to change and she was no longer going to support my bad habits with any rewards.

My whole world was being shaken up.  I was afraid of losing body parts, good times with my daughter, and what on earth will happen to my wife when I am old and she cannot take care of me.  Man, it was just more than one person can handle.

That is when the fear I was feeling overcome the fear of change and I knew I only had one choice - MAKE A CHANGE!  Do not worry what is at the end, just make the change.  I began to study and read everything and took baby steps.  In all of that, I also learned to monitor what was going on, testing 5-8 times a day and making sure I was not moving the needle the wrong way.  I would check my BP daily - something I never used to do, and I would actually read labels and was trying to make changes.

So fear of a bad ending took precedents over fear of change.  I think many diabetics are afraid to change.  We trust our doctors and I think they know one thing, what medicines to give us to help control the disease.  I think they give lip service to diet and exercise but just lip service. 

I have had some really good doctors and know they did a lot for me - just which they would have helped me in other areas as well.

Lesson learned, give something a try in your life to make a change.  Commit to it for 21 days and make it a habit.  Check it out with your doctor but make small changes.  Baby steps is the only way to move from where you are now to where you want to get to.  If you are comfortable where you are; then by all means, stay there.  If not; MOVE!

May God grant you the courage to take those baby steps to help you move from where you are to where you want to be.  May he grant you the courage to overcome the fear holding you back.

Bob,




Sunday, October 20, 2013

Did God Give Me Diabetes

I doubt it; but if he did, then I am thankful

BS - 102 this morning
BP - 11/60 (home machine) - HR - 58
BS at 3:13 - 153 - snacks on gold course - have to stop that.

As usual I want to thank those for reading the blog.  It appears we have about 25 loyal followers that are reading daily.  As I mentioned last week, this is Sunday and will keep this day sacred and talk about how God supports my journey.

I am not one of those that wonder how bad things can happen to good people.  Nor am I one to blame God when it happens.  So how then do I feel about God and his interaction with my life.  I think that can best be explained with the following analogy:

I am driving my car to work and someone pulls out in front of me.  I hit the brakes, swerve to the side, and miss the accident.  I then quickly thank God for missing the accident.

The next week, I am in the same predicament, and this time I am not so lucky - do I then say to God, "Why did you let that happen dude?"  No, I am most likely going to thank him that no one got hurt.

So how do I think this all plays out - well I am no priest but I have my opinions.  I think we can look at the science side of things as well.  We know that Einstein was the best known Genius of all time.  It is also stated he only used 10% of his brain.

So I think in the first accident situation, I was alert and avoided the accident.  By thanking God, I am doing just that, thanking him for keeping me alert that day and avoiding the accident.  I am not thinking he is sitting up there and manipulating my day like that.  If he was, then I would ask him why I have diabetes.  Just like in the second case, it was me asleep at the wheel and did not avoid the accident.  And I am grateful no one was hurt.  Our minds are a wonderful invention and the most rapid computer made.  What goes on in the other 90% of our brain - God?

Why am I thankful

In a small way, I think this is one of my crosses to bear.  As strange as it might seem, having diabetes and then being asked to change by my family has been a blessing.  It has brought me closer to my wife as she once again knows I really care about her and truly do want to spend a lot of more years with her.

My daughter and I have a much better relationship as she was able to get this off her chest and say want she wanted without me getting upset.  And the changes I made was through encouragement of my family.

My son, who has always been worried, can now freely talk about it and the entire family feels like the ugly monster is out in the open and Dad cares and is trying.

I have been able to meet a lot of people who have this disease and provide a ray of hope that we can control our body chemistry though means other than drugs. I have met a lot of good people through the American Diabetes Association that I would not have met otherwise.  Then there is the blog and knowing there are people out there that do not know me but but willing to hear my story.

It is all simply awesome, amazing, and such a treat - that if God did give me diabetes, then I am thankful as it has helped change things in my life and I hope other peoples lives.

God provides hope to the hopeless

I think another blessing from all of this is he provides me hope when things feel like they are hopeless.  I am able to go to him and gain comfort for my feelings, my mood, and my overall mental health.  If I did not have diabetes, I might forget how much I need him to stay strong and that would lessen my relationship and appreciation for him being there to provide hope.

Much like when I needed to quit smoking.  I tried many ways; but, the one way that worked was through him.  I was able to lay it at his feet and when I felt weak, he was there in our relationship to pull me through.

I am not sure how you were when you were younger, but many of us had imaginary friends, or stuffed animals, or security blankets that helped us cope.  If you promise not to laugh, I always thought Roy Rogers was my friend and I could always count on him to be there when I needed him.

I am real confident Roy was never then when I was a kid, but when things appeared to be going against me, he would somehow get me out of the situation.  Was it him; or just me using his mental presence to help me cope.  I knew it back then and know it today - he just provided hope.

God to me is the same way.  I know he is here and ready to help.  When I need the support he is there to give me strength.  Right now, as you can see from my BS this afternoon, I am feeling pretty good about myself.  So I take some chances with my diet - bad move Charlie Brown.  The football is yanked out from my feet and I have fallen flat on my back - but then it is nothing more than a reminder - I am still a diabetic.

So God gives me strength, hope, and wisdom to carry on.

God provides guidance

No matter how I am doing and were I am at in this journey, he helps me stay the course.  He told me I would falter along the way; even sin.  But he being a loving father, does something that my Dad did not do often, he forgives me.  So through this, I am able to forgive myself when I have eaten wrong, as today, and know it is okay.  He will be there for me now, tonight and tomorrow.  He will be there to guide me back on the right path of managing this disease.

He provides a long term out to life that is better than the alternative.  I know that by walking a "Wise Man's" path, I can gain eternal life with him.  I do not think that I am going to die and then nothing more than my body and bones turn to dust and it is over.

I get to move into the light and live a different eternity - one that none of us can explain or comprehend.

All of this provides gratitude for what I have, hope for better things to come; and guidance to walk a good man's path.  Not a bad combination if you ask me.

 This is why I said in the beginning, get a higher power and add them to your support team.  They add a third dimension to this entire battle we rage hourly.

May God grant you all hope, courage, wisdom, and gratitude to deal with your affliction.  May he give you the strength to move always forward in your physical and emotional well being.   And may he put wonderful family members in your life like he has mine.

Bob,

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stress - How I Manage

Breakneck speed world we live in causes high sugar levels

I want to take this moment to welcome our new followers from India.  Welcome to my blog and hope you can find some good information in the blog.  As always - add comments or email me - happy to get to know everyone.  

Also for my loyal readers, sorry I took yesterday off, it was a very event filled day with presentations, looking for new contracts, and getting work done on the contract I am on.

FBS - 110 this morning (stressful day yesterday along with late night snacking - bad combination)
BP - 121/65 (home machine - I have to get a new one) - HR 62

My life with stress

I live in a high powered world - technology.  I have also been a senior player in companies as the CEO and COO which comes with a lot of stress.  My wife has always said you are stressed and need to calm down.  But I am convinced of one thing - God did not gives us men ears to listen to our wives.  Must have been one of his big humorous moments. It takes a doctor's study to convince me stress has something to do with my diabetes.

Back to the wife for a moment.  I would argue and say my job does not cause me stress.  You see, I used to think being stressed out was the same as having stress.  Not the same and the following study does a much better job of explaining how stress impacts diabetes.


Stress and Diabetes

From the article "When you're stressed, your blood sugar levels rise. Stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol kick in since one of their major functions is to raise blood sugar to help boost energy when it's needed most. Think of the fight-or-flight response. You can't fight danger when your blood sugar is low, so it rises to help meet the challenge. Both physical and emotional stress can prompt an increase in these hormones, resulting in an increase in blood sugars."

The article goes on to say "When blood sugar levels aren't controlled well through diet and/or medication, you're at higher risk for many health complications, including blindness, kidney problems, and nerve damage leading to foot numbness, which can lead to serious injury and hard-to-heal infections. Prolonged elevated blood sugar is also a predecessor to cardiovascular disease, which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes."

Intervening wife

As my wife has always done, she brings things into my life as subtle changes and under a direction I can accept.  Being stubborn is one of my strong traits - notice I did not say string suit.  For instance, I did (maybe still do) suffer from road stress - not road rage but at times I could really tell the driver off in the other car; while my windows were up.

So to help, we were driving in her car and it had Christian music on.  We started talking about it and she mentioned how it helped keep her calm when she was driving.  Next thing you know, I have all my radio channels turned to Christian music and I listen to nothing else but Christian music.  It helps me going to work and it calms me down when returning from work.

Oh yeah, the road anger; still there, but when it flairs up - I quickly let it go.

In our church group, we mentioned last year listening to Christian music.  One of the members this week says she has kept it up and it works wonders for her drive.

Removing life's boombox

I have also taken a step - not by accident - by removing the TV from my home office.  I am and can be very frustrated by our political system; regardless of the party.  My blood is already going just talking about it.  I used to listen to political talk shows all of the time.

When not doing that, I like high-action movies so I was spending time trying to focus on work and have that in the back ground.  Needless to say my life was 24x7 constant on.  

By accident means the cable company raised my rates to a point I could not justify the payment I had to make to watch the shows.  So, I took the TV out of my home office.  It is so quiet in there now and I focus on work.  Oh yeah, I now listen to Christian music over the internet.  My blood gets stirred from a different direction.

Turning out for a few minutes a day

At the office, I will take periods where I will go to my car and just sit in silence and try not to think of anything and just let my mind and body be still and quiet.  Christians have something we call Centering Prayer and that is like a deep meditation with God.  I go on that journey sometimes while at work.  It does wonders for the mind.

I do not want you to mix the concept of being still for a moment and taking a nap.  A nap is good, and probably does remove the stress, but it is not giving you techniques to turn out loud volume stress.

So if you are "NOT STRESSED OUT", that does not mean you do not have stress.  Having stress and being a diabetic is not good.  As the article points out, even an injury causes our bodies to have stress.

I hope you can use some of the techniques in the article to reduce some of your stress.

May God grant each of us the opportunity to "Be Still And Know That He Is God" as he desires us to know.  May he give us ways to find stillness in this world that screams in our ears, mind, and hearts loudly 24x7.  May he grant us the peace we need to heal our bodies.

Bob,  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When Good People Say Bad Things

Unloading my feelings today - sorry but I have to say something

I continue to be blown away by the response to this blog and the support I am receiving.  When I started, I thought, OMG, this is going to take time and really be a drag.  Little did I know that God was just adding to my support team with people who have amazing stories themselves.  I find it encouraging, as I want to continue to be successful in my journey and days like yesterday when I struggle - you guys lift me up!!!  Just amazing and all of these years I could have had friends to help.

BS - 102 fasting - not bad as they were high last night at 133 before going to bed - was bad all day and I knew it
BP - 90/60 (home machine - I think I need a better one) - HR 52

Good things said

My wife and I belong to a bible study group - actually two of them.  In one group, my wife just mentioned to one of our friends about what I had accomplished.  Well, it was announced to the group and many of them wanted the link to my blog as they have issues or know people and just wanted to learn what I have done along with my support team.

Last night, we were in another bible study group (different group) and I had just mentioned in casual conversation the week before to the leader how I had reversed my diabetes trend and was off medicines.  It was actually my answer to why I was not taking a home made peach pie that someone brought.  Yeah I turned down a peach pie - that and ice cream are my death from above for me.  Anyway, back to the story.  Last night he took it upon himself to announce to the group what I had done and asked me to share.

It is hard for me to share in public as I do not like attention.  I do not celebrate my birthday - just how I am.  But it turned out okay, as there are people in the group who suffered diabetes and also individuals that have loved ones who have diabetes and they are concerned for them.  So maybe all of this is just God knowing I need to be better at the face-to-face discussion of what he and my support team have helped me accomplish.

So it was one of those rare times in life that my #1 support person got a chance to share her feelings, her frustrations in trying to help me, and how she realizes I just needed to hit rock bottom with this thing and then seek help and assistance.

On the way home, we shared the experience how she was talking to a small group and I was with another group.  She then explained how many times people would say something to her that really hurt and she would have to bury it because she was afraid of hurting me.

 Bad things said

As she related to what she heard over the years, I was saddened to think she had to suffer so when I was the one being the jerk and not taking care of myself.  Her pleading, prodding, sending emails, delivering little articles, and cooking right - was not really working.  I WAS JUST DEFT AND DUMB IS ALL I CAN SAY!

Some things that she would have to endure that are just mean - no matter the intent.  

"Well, you know you better get involved, you do know what is the first thing to go!"

From my doctor, "Kathleen, it is your responsibility to manage what he eats!"  This just made it her responsibility from the beginning.

"Do you know what it is going to be like to push him around in a wheel chair later in life.  Tell him to straighten out!"

I am positive all of these people meant to help.  But can you all imagine the tremendous burden the world was laying at my wife's feet?  WOW, she is really a saint - but I have always known that.  Sticking with me for 40 years!

"Lack of Knowledge" things said


I could be one of the biggest offenders of this section.  I say I have reversed my diabetes.  Many ADA community members take this statement seriously and can be "set back" - for lack of better terms - by it.  I did not mean anything by the saying but it does lead people to thing I mean I have cured my diabetes.

I was not aware this is how some people would take my statement.  I am a diabetic.  I will always be a diabetic.  I will always stick my finger to check my sugar level.  I will always have to watch what I eat.  The only thing, I reversed the course I was on and now I can control my sugar levels as I did when first diagnosed; diet and exercise.  So I have turned back the hand of times in my mind.

I have also had people disagree that I have done this and I am just out there to sell something.  Again, not sure why they would feel that way, but it is not knowing my journey and my intention that causes them to say and feel the way they do.

So what is the moral of all this ranting?  If we truly want to help each other, love each other, and be friends; then we need to be a little sensitive to what we are saying.  Here are a couple of little rules we should live by in my mind:

  1. Any success story; regardless of how big or small, is that, a success story and deserves a pat on the back or a high-five.
  2. This disease belongs to the individual and is their responsibility to manage.  Support teams can only support and do their best - but in the end; we diabetics must take full responsibility for our results.  So when speaking to a support team member, ask them how they are doing and how they feel.  Do not criticize them or make them guilty.
  3. Simple golden rule - Love one another as I have loved you.  Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.  If what you are about to say would hurt you - then it is not from the heart and needs to stay where it is at - in the mind.
Thanks to all of your for supporting and for letting me rant.

To my lovely wife, sorry you had to hear those things and hold them inside.  I am glad God took us to this new study group or we might never have had the chance for you to share your trials through all of this.

May God put wonderful people in your life as he has mine.  May he grant you the courage to change the things you can, strength to accept those things you cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Bob,


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Do I Dislike Oral Medications - Part 2

Alternatives to medicines - yes that would be my preference

Before going on, now is the time to welcome our new guests from around the world.  We have added one from France and it appears another individual form Russia.  I must say, I am still blown away by the support and private emails and comments I am receiving.  I truly want to thank each of you for giving this blog the opportunity to reach one person and possible make a difference in their life or give encouragement regarding their disease management.

BS - last night 97 (ran out this morning and did not test)
BP 107/66 (home machine) - HR 62
All of this taken when I returned from the gym.

As a continuation of last night, I want to state a few truths I believe in:

  1. Diabetes cannot be cured - reversing to me means I simply changed my life style and have gotten the animal under control (even if for just a short time period)
  2. Each of us must learn our own bodies and what works and does not work - I call it "practicing" medicine.  I heard a lot of people on the ADA message board discuss the value of a BG meter.  If you do not have one - get one and use it.  This is practicing medicine in my mid.  You are in control of your disease management.
  3. Medicines, supplements, diet, food, or exercise are all proven forms of managing diabetes - a mixture of all might be required

Spirulina studies

University o f Maryland Medical Center research.


Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. It contains nutrients, including B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid).
Spirulina -- like any blue-green algae -- can be contaminated with toxic substances called microcystins. It can also absorb heavy metals from the water where it is grown. For these reasons, it is important to buy spirulina from a trusted brand.
Test tube and animal studies suggest spirulina may boost the immune system, help protect against allergic reactions, and have antiviral and anticancer properties. However, there is no proof that spirulina has these, or any, benefits in people. More research is needed.


Source: Spirulina | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/spirulina#ixzz2hvR5bEmi
University of Maryland Medical Center

Spirulina and How It Cleans the Blood

Spirulina is rich in chlorophyll, and this makes it an incredibly effective blood cleansing agent. In fact, this micro-algae contains more than ten times the amount of chlorophyll per volume than what's found in traditional garden-variety vegetables. The chlorophyll in spirulina helps build red blood cells in the body, while also offering the body a more easily absorbable form of magnesium. This combination of chlorophyll and magnesium helps to remove toxins from the bloodstream while oxygenating the blood.

This is a long term supplement or super food for me.  There are enough indications that this supplement along with my green drink will help my body process foods more efficiently.  There are also studies linking spirulina to controlling blood sugars.

Chromium

I have already put this forward in another blog that this was something import that worked for me.  From PubMed.Gov, this abstract summarizes the findings of 15 studies:

Abstract

Chromium (Cr) picolinate (CrPic) is a widely used nutritional supplement for optimal insulin function. A relationship among Cr status, diabetes, and associated pathologies has been established. Virtually all trials using CrPic supplementation for subjects with diabetes have demonstrated beneficial effects. Thirteen of 15 clinical studies (including 11 randomized, controlled studies) involving a total of 1,690 subjects (1,505 in CrPic group) reported significant improvement in at least one outcome of glycemic control. All 15 studies showed salutary effects in at least one parameter of diabetes management, including dyslipidemia. Positive outcomes from CrPic supplementation included reduced blood glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and reduced requirements for hypoglycemic medication. The greater bioavailability of CrPic compared with other forms of Cr (e.g., niacin-bound Cr or CrCl(3)) may explain its comparatively superior efficacy in glycemic and lipidemic control. The pooled data from studies using CrPic supplementation for type 2 diabetes mellitus subjects show substantial reductions in hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, which equate to a reduced risk for disease complications. Collectively, the data support the safety and therapeutic value of CrPic for the management of cholesterolemia and hyperglycemia in subjects with diabetes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17109600 

I could discuss AKEA essentials, magnesium, and a host of other natural products that MIGHT BE alternatives to medicine.  When I say alternative, I do not mean to get rid of the medicine - but maybe take less of it.

I think it hard for anyone who takes medicines not to wonder about the side effects.  When given a prescription, you receive a lot of information regarding the side effects.  Trust me when I say that they place these warnings out there - BECAUSE IT HAS HAPPENED!  Not that it will happen to me, but it has happened.

SO FOR ME - IF I CAN CONTROL MY DIABETES WITH A LITTLE SOMETHING OTHER THAN MEDICINES - I AM ALL UP AND ALL IN.

This does not mean that I think medicines are bad.  Again, I think if there is something from God's medicine cabinet, i will chose it over man's medicines as God's medicines my be appreciated more by my body.

May God bless you in your decisions along the way.  May he give you the strength and courage to move into the journey that works best for you.  And may he lead you on a successful journey.

Bob,


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Do I Dislike Oral Medications - Part 1

Medications in my opinion are our best friend and potential enemy

Before going on, we appear to have picked up 2 people from Russia, 1 from Serbia, and 1 from South Korea.  For all you new readers, I hope you enjoy the blog and do get something out of it.  Please share with your friends if you find it worthy of your approval.  Again, please make comments out here you want or you can email me at bob.dant@gmail.com

I also want to apologize as I took yesterday off, it was my 4 month anniversary of my journey when I started my turn around to managing this beast.

BS - 107 fasting this morning.
BP - 110/65 (my home machine) - HR 55

I had many directions I could go today with this blog but want to reward the individual who left a comment wondering why I appeared to be against oral medications.  She is a person who has a lot of good information and I met through the ADA community message board.  The link to the community message board is http://community.diabetes.org/ and I think you will have to be registered ADA member to get a log in.  Please go to the community if you want far more information than I am going to provide in this blog. I have used it and will use some of the information I gain in this blog.

Back to my feelings on medications.  I broke this in to two parts as this could be a lengthy post.  First to explain why my mindset is simply "Better to utilize God's medicine cabinet versus man's" and the second part will provide some research that allowed me to look at more natural remedies versus the oral medications.

As far as scaring me to death - just mention a needle and I am gone.  So when insulin was being discussed - my motivation for change went sky high.

Growing up with a Mom who was against medications

My mother passed away when I was 17 years old.  So my memory of her has limitations but this is not one of the areas.  I was in eighth grade when I was thrown from a horse and landed on my head.  I was out of it for a few hours and hurting for about a week.  Time healed everything - or we thought - until I was in my freshman year of  high school and started to develop migraine headaches - say once every 3 months.  They were so bad I was delirious;  maybe I could use the same argument for why I am delirious now - wonder if I could get my wife to buy into the theory.

Anyway - by the time I was a junior in high school, I was having migraines weekly, missing school, and taking more medications to treat the "symptoms" not the root cause of the problem.  My mother took me to a Chiropractor - talk about a gutsy move in the 70s - and he gave me an Xray to show that my vertebrate had been dislocated and was pressing up against my skull.  Once he got things back in place, I have not had a migraine headache since.  All the time the medical profession was surprised I could be healed.

That was my first experience with getting over an a ailment without using medications and it created the basis for my opinions as they were formed when I was a young man.

Brother who was drugged to make it through Vietnam

My second experience, and one that followed closely behind the first, involved my brother and what the Army did to him during Vietnam.  Jim was a very nervous kind of kid growing up.  I did not know that for sure as he was 7 years older than me.  I heard it from my dad and from Jim.  He enlisted in the Army, like so many of us Iowans do as we think it our duty to server; regardless of the war or circumstances.

To make it through boot camp, they had to put him on medicines to help him stay calm through the training.  He was never to go to combat as his nerves could not handle it.  The title says it all, he was sent to Vietnam and to make it through that crazy war he was placed on heavy duty tranquilizers and other medicines.  When he returned from Vietnam he was a mess with drugs and drinking.

He stayed in the Army and after 10 years of loyal service, they decided he was an addict and let him out.  Maybe the first prescribed addict I met in my life.  I was just heading into the military myself at the time and was very disappointed in the military for the way it treated my brother.  But since I had enlisted, I had no choice but to do my best.

You can rest assured, that when the Marines mentioned any drugs - my answer was no.  I was in boot camp and developed bronchitis and the drill Instructor had to fight me to take medicines.  They worked.  At that time, I was thinking of a career in the Corps.

Medicines that saved my life

Now we can go to the flip side and talk about how medicines saved my life in the time when I needed them most - when my diabetes was at its worse.  There is no question I would have not made it this far without medicines.  So I do owe my life to medicines and thankful they were there.

But in the very end, I am still a believer that God can be the best pharmacist in the world and if there is something natural I can do - then I will do it.  Does that mean my way is right for everyone - NO!  I am willing to say it is working for me and if there is someone who might feel the same, then I hope what I have found that works for me might works for them.

I will carry this conversation on in the next post to discuss some research that helped me move forward without fear.

God bless each of us who suffer with this disease and only by sharing and caring, will we have the support group necessary to make our life easier to manage.

Bob,