Saturday, January 30, 2016

Health Concerns

Nothing bad has happened, but my blood work a few months ago confirmed that I am definitely pre-diabetic. It got a little worse since my just barely pre-diabetic test value before I got pregnant with Amelie.

I'm pretty glum about it because I don't know how to fix it. I already eat pretty healthy. I actually cut out refined sugar back in July, but I lost some ground with that over the holidays. I'm still not eating candy or anything intensely sugary like that but still, it's not where I want it to be. Oh, and I'm already taking Metformin which is a diabetes drug that helps with PCOS. I wonder if I would be full on diabetic without it?

The past few days have been better. I managed to skip my daily dose of dark chocolate most mornings. I don't think a few squares of dark chocolate are all that bad but I wondered if they were a gateway drug of course.

Thanks to Shannon's advice, I've started testing my blood sugar in the mornings when I wake up. It's supposed to be below 100. I've had a few 104s this week and one 107. I think it's from eating dried fruit. I  think that when I skip that, I'm below 100. Of course, if over 100 is prediabetic and all it takes is a few prunes to push me to prediabetic, does that mean that skipping the prunes to stay below 100 mean that I'm no longer prediabetic?

I think I have to do a glucose challenge test -- eat a ton of sugar and see how my blood sugar reacts. Even if I only do it once, if my blood sugar freaks out, I think that's diagnostic.

Regardless, I don't know how to make this better. I eat pretty darn well. Many weeks, I do five workouts -- intense workouts, though admittedly only twenty-five minutes plus stretching and PT exercises -- a week. I don't smoke. I don't eat a lot of sweets. I don't eat many carbs during the day, in large part because if I eat them, I feel awful afterwards. I am learning that this isn't normal. That lots of folks can eat an apple and not fall asleep afterwards, or eat a bagel and not get an uncomfortable headache afterwards.

I'm scared. I'm scared of getting all the health complications that go along with diabetes, things like cancer and heart disease, and not being around for my girls.

Nothing I do seems to lead to sustainable weight loss. It's not obvious to me that my weight is the issue. (My BMI is in the just slightly overweight range.) It's the PCOS. But losing weight might help. I'm worried about the fact that although my weight on the scale is stable, I have a growing amount of belly fat.

I'm reading a book right now called Wheat Belly. About how wheat has a higher glycemic index that table sugar. And that it acts like an opiate on the brain.

I'm pretty sure I tried going gluten free before without noticeable benefit, but planning to try to go gluten free again, along with mostly sugar free. I did see some small benefits from that -- my hair and skin seemed better.

I'm desperate to find a way to get healthier for my girls. Being an adult sucks sometimes.


  1. Sorry to hear this Abby. You really do lead a very healthy lifestyle, as much as can be expected as a single mom to young kids. I can't offer any suggestions but just commiserate. I'm so paranoid about what my test results will show that we had a free blood workup offer at work and I skipped it and I haven't had a follow-up mammogram since Boise. Yes, I plan to get back on board in Portland. I just have enough on my plate with the kids' continuing health issues, it's too much sometimes. Hang in there. This is not an emergency, you have some time to figure out a good path forward. Hugs.

  2. Try Paleo! My mom went from pre diabetic, high blood pressure and obese on the BMI scale to a "normal" BMI (she lost 90lbs), normal blood pressure (BP medication free now) and NO pre- diabetic symptoms. It took about year but it made her feel so. much. better. Her doctor couldn't believe it. She's 65 and running around like a teenager, I have trouble keeping up with her sometimes! My dad started paleo about six months after she did and he lost 10lbs (he wasn't considered overweight to begin with) his BP was never bad but its a little lower now. The real changes for him are his cholesterol levels, digestion (he no longer lives on tums) and overall energy levels. They both swear by this diet. I'm looking into going on it myself but it's just seems like so much planning and work. I'm a grab-and-go kind of eater. Sigh.

  3. I am sorry you have to deal with this. :( I liked what Claire said about it not being an emergency and you having some time. It does sound like you're generally healthy so it's a bit confusing. Curious what the doc recommends? Paleo is interesting and the results Catie mentioned are amazing... my mom was a dietician so the balanced approach has been pretty ingrained in my thinking. Maybe shifting to twice as much veggies, a little less fruit, and only "good" or slow carbs except for treats? Sending care and good thoughts for whatever you decide.

  4. You have been working at it really hard!! And it is so deflating when you have been working hard not to see the results you want. (As you know my reading freaked me out because I thought I was already doing well when I got it.)

    No advice from me but I TOTALLY understand the feeling. I think you are doing great and know you will figure out what works for your body!!

  5. That just makes no sense! It seems like you take great care of yourself. I can't even believe you'd be considered overweight. I had a pre-diabetic roommate once, but she was 100 lbs overweight and ate half a bag of mini bagels with cream cheese for dinner.

  6. Man, Abby! You have been my (cyber) role model for how to prioritize being active and eating healthy for years. I'm sorry you are having to struggle with this. I agree with Claire that this is not an emergency; you have some time to figure out a path forward. Good luck.