The War on Diabetes

Ok, it’s more of personal battle than a war.

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I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes over 10 years ago. I think like many people I ignored this diagnosis and assumed that I didn’t have to make any life changes since I was getting such great drugs for it. I was wrong. My family doctor, after an A1C test of over 10 dumped me. He said, “it’s not me, it’s you” and sent me off to an endocrinologist.

Getting dumped by my doc was a wake-up call to me. I started reading everything I could on the topic of Diabetes. I spent hours on Quora reading about diabetes and related topics. I saw a lot of silly, self-serving, agenda-drive advice but I also found some advice that “sounded” right to me and, when I researched further, found there was science behind those ideas. The people that were off medications and controlling their diabetes were restricting themselves to a severely low-carb diet.

I also discovered Dr. Bernstein! The good doctor is a character and I suggest that anyone with Diabetes read everything online about him. I ordered his book, and while it was helpful, it wasn’t really necessary; Dr. B shares everything in the book and more on his website but the guy has done a great service to the Diabetic community, throw him a bone and buy his book.

The other habit that helped and that I originally thought was stupid and a waste of time was consistently measuring my Blood Sugar. I was of the opinion that measuring did nothing for me but, coupled with taking notes on my feelings and behaviors leading up to each measurement, I got an idea of what foods and emotions and exercises affected my sugar levels and how. So measure. Just do it. If you’re only going to measure once a day for whatever reason (sometimes you can’t get prescribed enough test strips) I would measure my fasting blood sugar. There are some articles that say it’s the best predictor of your 3 month A1C value and, I think, that would keep you informed best as to how you’re doing…if you can only test once…but I’m not a doctor…talk to your doctor.

I have also heard a LOT of misinformation about low-carb diets. We were sold a bill of goods on diet in the 70’s and it’s produced a generation of obesity and health problems. The food pyramid is a nightmare, ignore it. Fat is not bad for you, over eating is. Your body generates any carbs you need…too many in my case.

I have lost over 40 pounds in the last year and i wouldn’t credit that weight-loss entirely to the low-carb diet; I just ate less. I know it’s obvious and depressing but the only way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories than you expend, or at least fewer than you have been taking in. For me, aside from being essential for managing my diabetes low-carb is simply a strategy to allow me to eat less. It makes me feel more satisfied and, after a week or so, removes cravings for bad carbs. I also practice intermittent fasting. Again, I have read so much on this as a miracle cure but, for me, it just limits the time I permit myself to eat and as a result I eat less. After a few days the morning hunger goes away. Now I find myself surprised when 5 O’clock comes around and it’s time to eat.

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