Friday, 31 August 2012

Starting Point

Traffic lights, SarajevoI'm starting this experiment from a pretty good place. I was diagnosed with T2DM in January of this year, around seven months ago. I'd fainted at work and "for insurance purposes" (it's never because they care, is it?) I was taken to the hospital for a check-up. During the quick check I had a finger-prick blood glucose check. The result was 12.1mmol/l, which is about 218 for the Americans amongst you. Not good, especially as I hadn't eaten in about five hours. An eyebrow was raised when the nurse asked me if I had diabetes... "Not that I know of."

The following day I popped to see my GP who organised a fasting blood glucose test. This came back as 8.1mmol/l (146mg/dL). He suggested a glucose tolerance test, which confirmed that I had type 2 diabetes. At the time it didn't mean a great deal to me as I didn't know anyone else with diabetes. Well, I did, but I didn't know and they didn't know that they had it.

Since that time I've been controlling my blood glucose levels pretty well with a low carbohydrate, vegetarian diet. I eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables, nuts, eggs, cheese, oils and the like. I don't eat much in the way of sugar, though I have the odd treat. I eat no potatoes or other starchy vegetables, rice or pasta, and very little bread. Perhaps one slice of wholemeal bread every couple of weeks.

This has given be good results. My last HBA1C was 4.8%, which is within the normal range. My fasting blood glucose is between 5.0 and 5.8mmol/l (90 - 104mg/dL), which isn't too bad. My two hour post-prandial readings are almost always below 6.0mmol/l (108mg/dL) and one hour values are usually below 7.0mmol/l (136mg/dL). There are other diabetics I talk with who get better numbers so I still can improve. At the moment I take no medications, controlling through diet and daily exercise only.

One thing I need to keep an eye on during the experiment is my weight. I currently weigh 11stones (154 pounds) which is about right for my 5' 8" height; by body fat percentage is 20.1% and BMI is 23.4. I don't want to lose too much weight. I'm also going to be watching my blood glucose of course. If my weight goes below 10 stone (140 pounds), my blood glucose becomes too low, especially if I have hypos, or if I become unable to exercise, the experiment will end prematurely.

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