Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year * New You -Daniel Fast

Starting January 5, 2014 at sundown my family and I will begin our fast, Restoring our Health * Reviving our Body * Renewing our Spirit.  Following Daniel's example from the Book of Daniel hoping to draw closer to God, enriching our bodies with goodness.

Will you embark on that same journey with us?  As a Certified Health Coach, I would like to share with you daily encouragement and guidance to empowering your health, body, & spirit.  If anyone is interested in creating newness in themselves join my 
You can also like my Facebook page 
  Here you will get information on diabetes, health tips, exercise and diet.  Check it out.

With 1 week away, start preparing:
  • Ask yourself what you would like to accomplish during this fast, what questions do you seek?  What goals would you like to reach?   
  • Begin reading the Book of Daniel from your Bible or
  • Eat up all your junk food, meat, eggs and dairy
  • Drink up all your milk, soda, tea, coffee, beer, wine & liquor
Because you don't want to be tempted during your fast.

Is that the Good Kind or the Bad Kind?

I hear often from people when I tell them I have diabetes, "is that the good kind or the bad kind?"  Really?  Is there one better than the other?  I don't think so.  Type 1 your pancreas no longer works so you have to be on insulin and Type 2 your body has become insulin resistant.  Both have long term effects: heart attack, stroke, neuropathy, blindness, and dementia to name a few.  It all depends on how well you take care of yourself and manage your sugars as to whether these other health issues come into play sooner or later.

So there really isn't a "Good kind or Bad kind"; they are BOTH BAD in my opinion.  


Let me rewind for you, here is my story.....

One day out of the blue I was feeling as if I just couldn't get enough water, like I was completely dehydrated.  I was drinking a  bottle of water every hour; then I became really hungry and just couldn't seem to fill myself up.  I thought it was quite strange but I just figured my hormones were running rampant.  I blew it off thinking it will go away.  How many times do we do that?  Often, we hope it will just work itself out.  After about a week of going through this process my vision went blurry.  Now I know something is really wrong!  My friends were telling me, "you know, you are almost 40, everyone's eye sights starts to go".  I knew that wasn't the case, I know my body.  

I remember my friend having the same symptom of constantly being thirsty and it turned out she was diabetic.  So I began to investigate, good old Google.  I looked up the symptoms for diabetes and sure enough I had ALL the classic symptoms.  I made an appointment with an Internalist, it was scheduled for a Tuesday.  But I ended up going to a walk-in clinic the Friday before because of what had transpired that morning....

My client had an 8:30am appointment and when she arrived she had informed me she was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  I told her I think I have diabetes and have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday.  She offered to check my sugars with her glucose meter and I said sure.  I had my usual on the go breakfast- Coffee w/sugar and milk and 2 toaster strudels with icing on top (boy do I miss those days).  The glucose meter read HIGH.  My client didn't know what that meant because she always got a number.  So I wrote down the company number from the meter so I could call them later to find out what that meant.  On my way to pick up my daughter from school I decided to make that phone call. They told me my sugars were OVER 600 mg/dL and I said, "WHAT"?  The representative informed me that a normal level is 70-99 and I said, "WHAT"?  I couldn't believe it, they were way off the charts.  I was starting to really worry now but didn't want my daughter know, so I picked her up and took her to dance without letting her know anything.  After dropping her off at dance I spoke with a friend who is a nurse and told her the whole story.  She freaked on me, she told me I needed to go get help right away; that if I wait till Tuesday I could end up in a diabetic coma.  Now I am freaked out!  I battled with myself about going that night but I did.  When I walked into the clinic to tell them that I thought I had diabetes, they looked at me as if I had no idea what I was talking about.  I shared with them the whole story of what happened in the morning but I could still see doubt in their eyes.  After doing a pee test and blood test, they said, "You are diabetic".  It had been about 5 hours since I had eaten lunch and my sugars were still almost to the 400's.  I told the staff at the clinic that I had a doctors appointment scheduled for Tuesday.  In the mean time they put me on a couple of time release pills to try and help bring my sugars down.

Over the weekend I spoke to friends who were Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic; I spoke with a couple of nurses as well trying to gather as much information as I needed to overcome this disease.  I saw the internalist on Tuesday, he gave me some new meds and a little more information about the disease and I was on my way.  I had no insurance at the time and I started to really worry because I knew this disease was going to be lifelong and expensive.  I got on my husbands insurance during the enrollment period but was put on probation for 1 year because the diabetes part of it was considered pre-existing.  

Friends kept telling me over and over, I couldn't possibly have diabetes, I was the healthiest person they knew.  I was active and for the most part ate healthy compared to todays standards (breakfast was my junkiest time).  I checked with all my family members as far back as great aunts and uncles and nobody had the disease.  I was diagnosed with Type 2- over 50, overweight,  and there is a family history.  I was 39, 120 lbs at 5' 5" with no family history.  So how could this be?

I got my sugars pretty well under control by diet, exercise and a small dosage of medications (pills).  But friends still insisted I couldn't be diabetic.  I asked the internalist what he thought and he said the medicine seems to be working so I don't really see a need to go to an endocrinologist.  But I wasn't convinced I was diabetic.  In January of 2011 I saw an endocrinologist and he did further blood work indicating I was Type 1 not not Type 2 diabetic.  My body was in the "honeymoon" phase and eventually my pancreas will quit and I will need to go on insulin.  
I took myself off all medicines around March of 2011 and said I was going to heal myself.  I managed to keep my sugars under control with a strict diet and exercise daily.  I tried all kinds of diets to see which one was best for me.  The raw food diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains (meat, dairy and eggs are not included) seems to have been the best diet for me and my body.  This diet is hard to maintain if you don't have some of the equipment for making some of the foods and it is costly to buy organic healthy foods.  Needless to say, I didn't stay on that diet.  

Come March of 2012 my pancreas finally quit and I was put on  insulin.  The endocrinologist and diabetes educator were surprised at how long I managed without insulin or any other meds for that matter.

Friday, June 7, 2013

"The Dawn Phenomenon"

     Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at any age is life changing.  As a infant, parents are having to do even more work in taking care of their precious little life, a young child is confused and doesn't understand why they have to be stuck several times a day with a needle, whether it is for checking blood sugar levels or giving insulin.  Being diagnosed as a teenager, well life is just over, they no longer feel normal and definitely feel as if they don't fit in.  As a young adult, life is hard enough learning how to be on your own and now you have to learn a new way of living.  Going into full adulthood, well many of us are stuck in our ways and don't want to change.

     I was diagnosed at age 39 and I loved my carbs.  It definitely has been a life changing experience for me. One of the things I struggle with most is morning highs, not morning lows.  It didn't make sense to me that I could go to bed with a pretty good blood glucose number and wake up so high.  I started researching all the possibilities and discovered it could be this thing called the "Dawn Phenomenon".  I then learned about the continuous glucose monitor and asked my endocrinologist if I could get one so I could see what my sugars were doing during the middle of the night.

  • Usually occurs between the hours of 2:00am/3:00am-5:00am/6:00am, some say as late as 8:00am
  • Natural body hormones- Growth Hormone, Cortisol, Catecholamines, are released during the early morning times to try and help restore/bring back the body to a more normal state (homeostasis).
  • Insulin resistances occurs during this time of hormone output, therefore sugar levels go up.

     This makes sense, so what do you do about it?  First of all, I wanted to know what those hormones do for the body.  Many of us know that cortisol is a stress hormone and so are catecholamines.  Too much stress on our minds puts a lot of stress on our bodies causing an influx of stress hormones within our system. When these hormones are released in the body it also triggers the liver to release glucose, hence your sugars go up.

     At first I was just doing insulin shots and then did some research on the pump (I like to do a lot of research when it comes to this disease).  I read by many that the pump helps with morning highs, so I decided to go on the pump.  It seemed to work real well in the beginning but as time goes on I am being challenged again with highs.  There are a few reasons why this still occurs and I will share those with you in my next blogs and it is not eating too many carbs before bedtime, although, that is definitely a cause for some people.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hormonally Challenged

     They say at age 40 for a woman everything starts to go down hill, your hormones change, your skin tone changes, and your metabolism changes.  At age 38 I began sliding down that slippery slope.  The first thing I noticed was I began to eat more, especially when I got stressed.  Growing up I never ate when I was stressed, I actually lost weight from being stressed.  My skin tone had already started to change after having my daughter, so that wasn't as noticeable.  Then at the age of 39 I was diagnosed with diabetes.  This was such a shock to me!  It really rocked my world!  How could this be?  I was active and ate pretty well.  It turns out that my own immune system was attacking my pancreas as if it was a foreign object.  This process started because of the chronic stress I placed on myself over the years along with fighting off the "Swine Flu".
     So what does this all mean for me?  As I see it, no more cookies, cakes, ice cream, chocolate, pasta,  and bread.  I am a carboholic; I love carbs!  I can't have what?  Your mind works against you when you are told you "Can't" have something.  When you are told you can't have it, you "Want" it even more.  You begin to "Crave" it all the time.  For a 1.5 years I was extremely good about not eating all those carbs.  I started to exercise just about every day.  I tried so hard to heal myself because I thought this was just a fluke.  I said I was going to fix me!
     March of 2012 my pancreas said I am done; it finally stop working for me all together and I had to go on insulin.  Another blow to my pride.  Hey, but now I "Can" eat carbs again because I have insulin to help those nasty sugars be put to use.  Just as I thought, I started sliding down hill with my eating habits.  I ate extremely well while trying to avoid those bad carbs and not being on insulin.  But now I am eating just okay because I know I have help.