Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Pre-Diabetes is not Destiny ... Part 2

I have a frankly terrible family history of diabetes.  The Matriarch's side of the family is riddled with it, and recently the Patriarch was diagnosed as diabetic as well.  All the cases in my family involve Type II diabetes, not always weight related (but often weight related).

A couple of years ago I was worried about my eyes and paranoid that I might have been experiencing optical changes associated with uncontrolled Type II diabetes, and I purchased a portable blood sugar test kit.  In fact, I was experiencing what is known as "old glasses prescription", and as soon as my vision went back to normal I put the test away in my desk.

Coward that I am, it took me almost a year to actually crack open the kit and test my fasting blood sugar.  I knew that if the numbers were in the diabetic range, I would have to adopt some pretty severe lifestyle changes over and above all the things I was already doing.  If the numbers came back in the pre-diabetic range, that was not good either, because it would be a huge red flag telling me that my lifestyle change was no longer optional.

Of course, anyone who has read this blog knows that the test came back in the pre-diabetic range. 

As you can see, that first month I did not have any normal readings, and my highest reading at 6.8 mmol/L was only a cream-filled donut away from the 7.0 mmol/L that is the threshold of diabetes.  As it was, the average fasting blood sugar of 6.3 mmol/L was much higher than I was personally comfortable with. Cue the pouting and petulant whining on my part before I decided to suck it up and look at what I could do to reduce my fasting blood sugar numbers.

It turns out that everything I was doing - - watching calories, reducing alcohol consumption, being carb-aware, exercising and losing weight - - are all things that help reduce blood sugar.  I was already doing all the right things, I just needed to keep doing them over and over again, repeated forever.

And my hard work paid off.  Sure, there were hiccups along the way, but since last July as I have lost 81.4 pounds, I have also lost 0.9 points of blood sugar.

In fact, this month I had normal average fasting blood sugar. (!!!)  Cue the sounds of angels singing.  Yes, I still had elevated results during the month, but my highest reading this month was 5.9, a far cry from 6.8 from when I started.  More than 63% of my readings were normal, in fact, and I even had a couple of readings in the 4s. 

This is such a major, huge, massive big deal.  For one thing, it shows me that pre-diabetes is a red flag, but it does not mean that I will inevitably get Type II diabetes.  Yes, my family history is a nightmare, but I know about it and know what to watch for.  I started taking control over my diabetic destiny last January when I began working out, and I'm not going to stop any time soon.

Another thing that is a big deal is the fact that on average, my fasting sugars were normal this month, without the need for medication or draconian lifestyle changes.  By exercising regularly and being aware of what I am consuming, I have improved my lifestyle to the point where my blood sugar is naturally declining. 

I still believe that being pre-diabetic is a little bit like being an alcoholic - - you are never not an alcoholic, you are just an alcoholic who has not had a drink in a while.  In my case, no matter what my sugars are, I will always be a pre-diabetic by dint of my family history - - but I will be a pre-diabetic with normal blood sugar, so help me god. 

I will keep sticking to my plan and hopefully next month will be even better.  My objective now is to try and string along 3 consecutive months of average fasting blood sugar.  Part 1 is done - - I've got one month in the bag.  Let's hope next month is as good. 

No comments:

Post a Comment