Last month I told you how I had managed to go from needing 170 units of insulin a day to no insulin at all in less than a month. (I am still taking my oral meds but hope to eliminate those eventually too.) My plan is to report on my progress once a month, as I continue to tweak my strategy. My blood sugar numbers are still great. Fasting numbers range from the low 90s to a high of about 105 usually. At no time has my blood sugar tested higher than 112, even after a meal. This is a minor miracle considering that before it often soared to 200 after a big meal and 300 after Chinese food!
I have a made a few adjustments to my daily routine. Instead of having my greens/veggie drink with supper, I now add it to my lunchtime protein drink, thus getting all the nastiness out of the way at one time. In fact, my lunch now consists of the following:
-About 12 ounces of ice water
-1 scoop of unsweetened protein powder
-1 scoop of greens/veggie powder
-1 Tablespoon of liquid organic coconut oil
-1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed
-1 handful of frozen berries (probably about half a cup)
I whiz them all together in the blender and then drink that for lunch. I know the coconut oil and flaxseed add to the calories, but they are important for other reasons. One interesting thing I’ve found is that this drink is so filling I don’t get hungry in the afternoon at all and therefore am not tempted to eat more than I should when I have my early supper.
I have also been experimenting with some supplements. I don’t have definitive results at this point, but here are some things I’ve been trying:
-Apple cider vinegar in capsule form (although the liquid form does seem to be more effective)
-a pancreas support supplement
-a powerful probiotic
Still on my list: Coriander essential oil. Essential oils are expensive, but I’m hoping to get that soon. (Note: I do take some other supplements to deal with my other health issues, but this list is just for my diabetes.) If you have taken a supplement that is not on this list and that really helped control your blood sugar, please tell me what it was!
One thing I am working on is figuring out how to fit regular exercise into my daily routine. Thanks to arthritis and injuries, my two favorite exercises are not a good choice for me right now (swimming and walking) so I will probably have to go to the university gym and use an exercise bike. I have been walking short distances, but longer distances are difficult due to my foot problems.
I will say here that I don’t expect exercise to help lower my blood sugar or help me lose weight. I know it is effective for other people, but it has never worked for me, not even when I was swimming a mile a day or walking three miles a day. There are plenty of other benefits of exercise that make it well worth my while, though, so I am trying to make it a priority.
Speaking of weight loss, I did lose more weight last month. Not a lot—not as much as one would expect given the drastic reduction in food intake—but at least I didn’t gain, which is likely to happen before long no matter how low my calorie intake is. I have to keep reminding myself that this journey is all about controlling my blood sugar.
One thing I’m doing is trying to keep having one or two “fast” days per week. Sometimes I fast for the whole day, and sometimes I might eat just breakfast or just supper and skip the other two meals. I do this for two reasons. First, it does give me good numbers on my blood sugar the following day. Secondly, it obviously reduces my overall calories for the week, which in turn helps keep my blood sugar in control also, and of course it also gives my pancreas a little vacation.
Fasting is pretty easy for me now. My overall food intake is so low that going completely without does not trigger extreme hunger until the third day, and I don’t normally fast that long. Since I no longer eat anything I really enjoy, I never have to worry that I’ll be missing one of my favorite meals. Food’s prominence in my life has all but disappeared. I don’t look forward to meals as a general rule. I try to focus on other things. Sticking to my “zero tolerance” rule concerning all my favorite carbs has been very hard at times, but I know it is the right policy for me because I know only too well what cheating always leads to in my case. Also, to me it would be a huge failure if I were to eat something that would send my blood sugar high enough to make me feel I had to resort to insulin. Right now my syringes are gathering dust and the vial of insulin that I had at the beginning of February is still sitting in the fridge unused and I will probably just toss it.
So, this month I will continue to work on exercise and supplements and I will also experiment with variations on my routine to see if anything helps to counter the “dawn phenomenon.” For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the dawn phenomenon is when your blood sugar rises overnight, despite the fact that you haven’t eaten anything. Your liver spews out glucose in the wee hours of the morning, apparently to ensure that your blood sugar doesn’t get too low. It’s very frustrating for me. My bedtime readings are almost always in the 80s or even the upper 70s, but by morning the numbers have risen by as much as 20 points. I’d love to figure out how to eliminate that problem.