Sunday, May 29, 2016

Type 2 Diabetes, a Dietary Disease #330: My FBGs have been transformed, Part 2

In #329 here, I related two major changes in self-management of my 30-year Type 2 Diabetes that marked the beginning of a transition – a transformation really, in my blood sugar control. Like many Type 2s who treat their disease as a “dietary disease” (as I do), worsening blood sugar control is hard to attribute. There is always the question: is it a “compliance” issue with the Low Carb Way of Eating (WOE) or, as is the conventional wisdom, is it a “natural progression” of worsening Insulin Resistance (IR), especially if carb restriction is not the main means of BS control.  Whichever the case, the Type 2 needs to be both vigilant for changes in control and flexible. I was prepared to change my regimen, first by improved compliance, and if necessary, as a last resort, my medications. After all, my health is at stake, and control of blood sugar levels, starting with a low fasting blood sugar, is critical.
So, In January I started Andreas Eenfeldt’s 5-part program that I described in #329, and at my April appointment, my doctor agreed to increase my prescription for Metformin to 1500mg/day. I chose that level because I had read somewhere, sometime in the past (then quickly buried the memory) that 1500mg/day is where Metformin really begins to work. (So, “Why,” I’m asking myself now, “have neither I nor any of the doctors I have seen for the past 10 years ever suggested that I increase my dose from 500mg?” For myself, I have already answered that question in #329: it was pride from having given up virtually all my oral antidiabetic meds, and not wanting again to be “drug dependent.” I cannot answer, however, for the doctors. Perhaps it is because they thought that I wanted to manage my type 2 diabetes. Or perhaps they just don’t know much about type 2 meds.
Or perhaps – and this is what I suspect is the most likely reason – all the doctors I have seen have considered my type 2 diabetes already “well controlled.” After all, my A1c’s were always below the level of concern of the American Diabetes Association guidelines for clinical care. And as for my current doctor, I love him, but except for my insisting on it, he would not even have me testing my blood sugars once a day, much less twice. He’s only interested now in my A1c and wouldn’t even order a fasting glucose if I didn’t ask for it. And when I first went to see him (after he “inherited” me from my previous doctor who had died), he suggested I only come to see him once a year. I was, in his mind, “well controlled” and thus “healthy” and just needed an annual checkup!
3) The 3rd “tweak” in my routine (for #1 and #2 see #329) was to add 6 grams of MCT oil (in gel form) to my daily supplements, as a prophylactic and therapeutic treatment for insulin resistance (IR) in regions of the brain. The brain uses about 20% of the glucose the body makes. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), like type 2 diabetes, develops over many years, before its symptoms become apparent. The brain simply can’t get the glucose it needs due to the Insulin Resistance. Alzheimer’s has thus been described as Type 3 Diabetes. MCT oil, which is 100% Medium Chain Triglycerides extracted from coconut oil and palm kernel oil, go directly to the liver which converts them to ketone bodies. Ketones are an alternate fuel for the brain, and the brain loves them. I wrote about AD and Supplemental Ketones in The Nutrition Debate #322 here and in #323, #324 and #325.
So, what’s all the hullabaloo about? What’s the breakthrough? The answer: My fasting blood sugars have been TRANSFORMED. They are now ALL below 100mg/dl. WELL below 100. Two weekly AVERAGES in a row of 79mg/dl, range 68 to 92. This transformation began in mid-March, with increasingly regular FBGs in the 90s. By mid-April it was in full swing: Now virtually all my FBGs are in the 70s and 80s, with only an occasional outlier.
And I’ve not been “perfect.” I have even had a little French bread, with butter, at one restaurant meal. And 3 thin French bread slices slathered with rillette at another, both with no discernible effect on my fasting blood sugar the next morning! Previously, any transgression as “egregious” as this would definitely have shown up 12 hours later in my FBG (and for a few days after!) THIS IS VERY LIBERATING.

In addition, the impact of starting the day with a FBG in the “normal” range will surely have a lowering effect on my next A1c. And the lower blood sugars mean a lower circulating insulin level, which means more breakdown and burning of body fat, as long as I don’t overeat fat. After all, for most people, losing weight is as powerful, or more powerful, a motivator as blood sugar control. But when you’re not hungry (because your body is chugging along on its own fat), you really don’t have a good excuse to overeat…not that I ever needed one!

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