Blog #8: Intermittent fasting as Diabetes management — voodoo medicine or magic bullet?
It’s a little like, no it’s actually a lot like a cross between Fantasyland and Sex And The City. So when I recently discovered that both Halle Berry and Salma Hayek are Diabetics like me, it gave me a weird sense of connection.
When I launched this site six weeks ago, the last thing that I wanted to become was a preachy, do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do blogger.
I’m a Type 2 Diabetic (diagnosed in August 2008) and still brand new to blogging about my disease. An extremely interesting and promising  article was published some time ago in the Orlando Sentinel that examined the apparent connection between bariatric surgery and Diabetes. Word-smithing is my craft, which is to say that words and language are the tools of my trade much the same as a dentist uses a drill, a surgeon his scalpel and an accountant his calculator.
For sure, it was a very happy time in my life — a time when the stars, both personally and professionally, seemed to be karmically aligning for me in a most satisfying way. In order to do this the diabetic patient must be constantly vigilant and keep a close watch on their glucose levels.
When it comes to charting or keeping a log of blood sugar readings the newest and best meters, such as the new precision glucose meter, have a built in memory that does away with the old practice of needing to carry a notebook everywhere just to keep track and trend glucose readings. If you are diligent in keeping a chart or log of your blood sugar levels you will begin to see patterns and trends so that you may even be able to anticipate changes before they happen. Not only should a good glucose meter be reliable and easy to use, but it should also be fast and require a minimum of blood. Please enter your demand such as Raw material type,Capacity, Feeding material size, Final product size.
So who hasn’t engaged in this seemingly harmless game of mental fantasy and arousal with their husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend at one time or another?
But in the interest of full disclosure, I feel compelled to admit that I’ve been negligent in doing my daily finger pricks. I don’t advertise or promote anything on my blog and I don’t recommend anything or tell anyone what to do. When I launched this, my first ever blog a mere 29 days ago, it was my sincere hope that writing about my feelings and experiences with Diabetes might comfort, help, perhaps even inspire, others.
This love of language was passed on, at first almost involuntarily as if by osmosis, by my now departed mother.
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When it comes to properly managing blood glucose levels a reliable glucose meter is a must have. In these cases only the most reliable and easy to use meters, like the precision glucose meter, will do the job as it needs to be done.
In this way you will be constantly prepared to manage any changes in sugar levels through medication management or dietary changes.
Nobody likes the idea of sticking themselves three four or five times a day to draw blood to check their sugar. The precision glucose meter is among the best available and is a vast improvement over the glucose meters of the past. Close supervision is necessary when the equipment is used by, on, or near children, handicapped persons or invalids. It goes like this: Your significant other asks you what famous person you would most like to hook up with for a one-time, guilt-free, consequence-free sexcapade. For I rather foolishly convinced myself that as long as my A1C results were good, taking my daily readings wasn’t a necessity.
I examined the packaging and prices, compared and contrasted the meters and read all of the fine print and bold claims.
I just share my own thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding my personal journey and the challenges of managing the disease.
Bariatric surgery (there are several different kinds) was developed to help the morbidly obese shed large amounts of excess weight.
That’s because I’m still very much a neophyte when it comes to blogging, having started this, my very first blog, a mere 15 days ago. At the time, despite Diabetes growing to epidemic proportions, I knew little about the disease. Still, on that fateful day, August 6, 2008, when the news of my diagnosis was delivered, words escaped me. The key to fending off the worst diabetes complications is my maintaining a blood glucose level that is as close to normal as possible. With the newer blood glucose meters, like the precision glucose meter, only a very small amount of blood is needed. Oh yeah, and the hook-up comes with an iron-clad guarantee that no one would ever find out or get hurt.


After all, as one of the fastest growing chronic diseases in the history of mankind, the list of those afflicted with Diabetes is long and distinguished. To be sure, there are a myriad of miracle programs, potions and so-called cures being peddled and pitched in cyberspace. By way of background, I’m 54-years-old and was born in Long Island, New York, but have now called Central Florida my home for about 35 years.
For the first few days after birthing it on January 3rd, I kept anxiously checking my blog multiple times, disappointed with each self-visit that no one had taken the time to post a comment. For anyone who’s been through this, you know what comes next: A second diagnostic test to confirm the results of the first one.
It was on the way to my last stop when I realized how late it had gotten and how hungry I had become. But when it comes to Diabetes, I’m instantly leery of anyone who dares to use the c-word: Cure.
I’m married, have two daughters and was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes about 6? years ago, at the age of 48.
What I didn’t know is that via electronic wizardry, several comments had magically flowed into my blogosphere and were in a pending status, waiting for me to read and then decide whether they were suitable for posting.
In retrospect and in the clarity of hindsight, I realize and freely acknowledge how completely absurd and nonsensical this sounds.
For me, that came 10 days later……Then, the seemingly interminable 5-day wait to see my primary care physician and find out the results. The most effective way to do that is by understanding how different foods affect your blood sugar numbers. After the train wreck that was my first marriage inevitably ended in divorce, I gained custody of my two beautiful daughters when they were 4 and 6 and have raised them ever since. And some actually involve the removal of part of the small intestine as a way to reduce caloric absorption. However, the list of life-altering and potentially deadly complications is long and frightening — hypertension, heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, limb amputation. You satisfy all of my needs, I don’t engage in sexual fantasies that involve other people and I would never do anything to disrespect you or jeopardize our marriage……Having said that, if I were still single, it would be an entirely different matter. But chalking up the disease to nothing more than weight control is to miss the bigger picture. With almost no conscious thought involved, I found myself in the nearest drive-thru spot ordering up a cheeseburger. Despite a great deal of emotional turmoil in their early lives, my daughters are now happy, healthy, well-adjusted, successful young women, one a Florida State University graduate working in public relations and engaged to be married this November and the other a junior at FSU studying mechanical engineering. At some point, though, it was discovered that the surgery was having a rather remarkable and startling effect on Diabetics: Their blood sugar returned to normal, non-Diabetic levels. Because I didn’t immediately know or completely understand the implications of the disease, the full impact of the diagnosis didn’t hit me right away. When it came, my reaction was oddly subdued, largely resulting from the fact that I still had no idea what any of this meant and how profoundly it would affect my life. If my circumstances were different and I didn’t have this amazingly wonderful wife to keep me happy, it’s no secret that Halle Berry and Salma Hayek would be at the top of my fantasy list.
From actors and athletes to world leaders, comedians and musicians, Diabetes doesn’t spare the rich, powerful, well-connected or the beautiful.
But then I decided that in order to be completely open and trusted in the blogosphere, I needed to get back on the daily finger prick horse — not only for better Diabetes management, but also so that I could blog about my experiences, results and discoveries in an open and honest way that might actually help others. But even if your blood sugar levels have returned to normal, you’re still a Diabetic in my book.
We’re talking about the phenomenon occurring essentially as soon as the patient leaves the operating table. Within the first few days of my blog launch, the spammy comments ran the gamut, from porn, ear plugs and cheap Rolex watches for sale to false claims of so-called Diabetes cures and sales pitches guaranteeing to boost my cyberspace presence — for a price, of course. The list of famous people with Diabetes runs the gamut, from an Academy award-winning novelist (Mario Puzzo of the Godfather fame), one of the most talented, yet villainous figures in professional baseball history (Ty Cobb) and a Supreme Court Justice (Sonia Sotomayor) to a grammy-award winning musician (B.B. Now in the months and first few years after getting diagnosed, I had the disease well under control with diet, exercise and medication. While there are some theories out there, why this phenomenon is occurring isn’t exactly known. Then one of the first real comments came in, from a real person actually reacting to something I had written.
Because along with the 21 million diagnosed Diabetics, there are an estimated 8.1 million others in this country who also are walking around with the disease.
That was the day that my doctor informed me that a routine test had detected elevated blood sugars in my body. King), one of the greatest actors of this generation (Tom Hanks), several former Soviet leaders and half of the singer-songwriter foursome, CSN&Y (David Crosby and Neil Young).
And not just any glucose meter, mind you, but a whiz-bang, high-tech, simple-to-use, codeless meter with all the bells and whistles available.


And that’s what it’s all about, because the better your Diabetes management, the better your chances of avoiding some of the awful, life-threatening complications of the disease down the road. I figured getting the best glucose meter that money could buy would motivate me and make me want to take my daily readings again.
However, somewhere along the way, I unfortunately became far less disciplined in my Diabetes management and went into a bit of a complacent back-slide.
But the accidental discovery of a possible link between the surgery and Diabetes sure is intriguing! He recently turned 60 and confided that he had been neglectful in the past few years about going to the doctor to get his annual physical exam.
My doctor was somewhat cool and casual about the reading as he scheduled a follow-up test that would confirm the results of the first one.
Now this is roughly the equivalent of convincing yourself that buying a mega-bucks home exercise machine will make you more committed and more likely to use it because of all the money that you spent. With that in mind, while recently hanging out in an on-line Diabetes forum, someone acquainted me with Dr. I realize now that it’s time to get back on the horse and get back on track…..before it’s too late!
Partly because of the non-alarmist manner in which my doctor explained all of this to me after the first test results, it didn’t occur to me at the time to worry and panic and stress. The good news is that everyone on this list found a way to manage the disease and make great contributions to society, athletics and the arts. Jason Fung and his advocacy for intermittent fasting as an approach to Diabetes management. It was around the time that I took a good, hard look in the mirror that I decided blogging about my experiences would be a good outlet for me as well as something that might be helpful to others touched by Diabetes. Now I must confess my naivete, having initially been totally unaware of the time and effort it took to launch a blog.
And that means the disease was caught early on, with plenty of time to get it under control through medicine, diet, weight management and exercise. I also figured that through my blog, the sharing and engagement and feedback of others might be just the sort of encouragement I needed.
They have no idea of the potentially acute and irreversible damage that’s being done to their organs. Test #2 was aptly referred to as the confirmation test, because that’s exactly what it did: Confirmed the worst. She told me that after retiring from a stressful job, she was gradually able to get her Diabetes under control through exercise and diet modification and along the way had shed 40 pounds of excess weight. Fung say: In his view, the customary way of treating Diabetes with drugs such as Metformin helps control blood sugars. But it does nothing to address the underlying cause of the Diabetes, which in Type 2s is their body’s insulin resistance. Then she left me with this: “You know Gary, those girls of yours will be giving you grandchildren before you know it. The treatment actually makes things worse over time, exacerbating the body’s insulin resistance and resulting in the need for more and more medicine. And while the increased dosages help control blood sugar, the Diabetes is actually getting worse.
Fung’s way of thinking, this is a classic case of treating the symptom instead of the disease. To illustrate, he uses the analogy of taking aspirin to treat a fever caused by an infection in the body. So the question remains: Is Diabetes a hopelessly progressive disease, or can the body’s insulin resistance be reversed?
Fung, is that the insulin resistance can be reversed through a program of intermittent fasting (every other day, not eating from dinner one night to dinner the next night). The intermittent fasting forces the body to burn stored fuel rather than relying on recently ingested fuel, thereby reducing weight and blood sugars. Fung, not having food to process every other day improves the body’s insulin resistance and actually reverses the cause, and course, of the disease.
And he claims to have numerous patients who have used the technique successfully and managed to get off their medication while maintaining normal, non-Diabetic glucose levels.
I’m still doing additional reading and research on Diabetes management and intermittent fasting before making up my mind. If I decide to give it a try, you’ll be reading about my experience and results in future blog postings.



Diabetes level 6.0
Normal range of blood glucose random 2014
Healthy glucose levels during pregnancy graph


Comments

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