19 August 2015

16. Update on Wednesday, 19 August 2015.

This is my 10th anniversary since being diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 in January 2005 - whoopee!

As promised to Raquel, here's my Diabetes Type 2 Results for 30th June 2015. Please ask your aunty to begin reading my blog from my first Post '1. Introduction' at the bottom.

    Urine:-                 Normal
    Weight:-                93.89Kg or 14st. 11lbs.
   (Height:-                6'5.5" or 1.97m)
    Liver:-                 Normal
    Thyroid:-               Normal
    Kidneys:-               Normal
    Cholesterol:-           4.5
    Triglycerides:-         1.89  (or 4.8)
    Good HDL:-              0.091 (or 4.9)
    Blood Sugar/Glucose:-   8
    Hb1AC:-                 6.8   (or 51)
    Eyes:-                  Normal
    Feet:-                  Normal
    Blood Count:-           Normal
    Urine:-                 Normal
    Blood Pressure:-        120/80
Now only have an Annual check-up as Results are so good!

Still not on any kind of diabetes or cholesterol medication!


19 July 2013

15. Update on Thursday, 19 July 2013.

My first 12-monthly Diabetes Type 2 Results taken on Tuesday, 2 July 2013, are even better than a year ago .....
    Urine:-                 Normal
    Weight:-                92.53Kg or 14st. 8lbs.
   (Height:-                6'5.5" or 1.97m)
    Liver:-                 Normal
    Thyroid:-               Normal
    Kidneys:-               Normal
    Cholesterol:-           4.4
    Triglycerides:-         2.7
    Blood Sugar:-           7
    Hb1AC:-                 6.1
    Eyes:-                  Normal
    Feet:-                  Normal
    Blood Count:-           Normal
Still not on any kind of diabetes or cholesterol medication!


22 July 2012

14. Update on Tuesday, 26 June 2012.

My last 6-monthly Diabetes Type 2 Results on Tuesday, 26 June 2012, continue to be as good as they have ever been .....
    Urine:-                 Normal
    Blood Pressure:-        140/80
    Weight:-                91Kg or 14st. 4lbs.
   (Height:-                6'5.5" or 1.97m)
    Liver:-                 Normal
    Thyroid:-               Normal
    Kidneys:-               Normal
    Cholesterol:-           4.6
    Triglycerides:-         3.2 (a little too high)
    Blood Sugar:-           7
    Hb1AC:-                 5.9
    Eyes:-                  Normal
    Feet:-                  Normal
    Blood Count:-           Normal
Still not on any kind of diabetes or cholesterol medication!

As I'm continuing to maintain results as good as any non-diabetic, my next appointment will not be for another 12 months - 11 June 2013 - rather than in 6 months time.

It's also probably because the NHS is being stretched more than ever by a substantial increase in the number of people diagnosed with Diabetes but with less and less staff and funds to deal with them.

22 July 2012.

My wife and I have just returned from a 7-day Norwegian Fjord Cruise with Saga. It was absolutely fabulous and we met many lovely people onboard - three in particular.

A really outstanding way to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.


29 January 2012

13. Update on Sunday, 29 January 2012.

My last 6-monthly Diabetes Type 2 Results on Wednesday, 11 January 2012, continue to be as good as they have ever been .....

Urine:- Normal
Blood Pressure:- 138/60
Weight:- 91Kg or 14st. 4lbs.
(Height:- 6'5" or 1.96m)
Liver:- Normal
Thyroid:- Normal
Kidneys:- Normal
Cholesterol:- 5.1 (a little high)
Triglycerides:- 1.9
Blood Sugar:- Average 7
Hb1AC:- 5.9

Still not on any kind of diabetes or cholesterol medication!

29 November 2010

12. Update on Monday, 29 November 2010.

Still here!

My last two 6-monthly Diabetes Type 2 Blood Results continue to be as good as they have ever been .....

I am as busy as ever and my Diabetes is not allowed to have that much of an impact on my life.


24 June 2009

11. Update on Wednesday, 24 June 2009.

Continued from my 10. Update on Monday, 14 April 2008 post below ....

I have just had my routine 6 monthly check-up and, as usual, my diabetes is completely under control. In fact, I have better readings than a non-diabetic person.

(I've had two other 6 monthly check-ups since April 2008 and their results have all been the same as today's.)

Sorry this is such a short blog but I'm very involved in other Internet projects and spare time is incredibly hard to come by.


14 April 2008

10. Update on Monday, 14 April 2008.

Continued from my 9. Update on Friday, 3 Nov. 2006 post below ....

It's now 18 months since I last posted to this blog. This is because life is so busy and NOT because of any health problems. In fact, all of my diabetic/ blood/ weight/ heart/ etc. readings are stable and constant (as in Post 9 below).

I'm due for my next 6-monthly check-up in May 2008. I'm very optimistic they will be as good as my previous readings were.

(I thought I should mention a third book I've been reading since early-2005 and which compliments the other 2 books rather nicely. In fact, Dr Bernstein mentions it in his book on page 104. It's called 'Protein Power' and was written by two doctors, Michael and Mary Eades. For further information, go to their website here.)


03 November 2006

9. Update on Friday, 3 Nov. 2006.

Continued from my 8. Protein, Fat and Carbohydrate post below ....

This update is to put everything I have said in my first 8 posts into context ....

By walking for 35-55 minutes every day, eating a protein- and fat-rich diet (NOT partially hydrogenated fat) with five mixed vegetables daily (including the occasional fruits like half a banana or 6 grapes), I have reached and been at my ideal weight of 14 stones [US 196 lbs.] for the last 19 months - this is quite a bit lower than the weight of 15 stones [US 210 lbs.] advised by my diabetic nurse. Even so, it was no effort to reach my 14 stones and it's been no problem keeping to it. My 'paunch' has virtually disappeared as well.

My cholesterol readings have been between 3.4 mmol/L [US 132 mg/dl] and 4.2 mmol/L [US 163 mg/dl] throughout the period, easily within 'recommended' or Governmental limits.

Whenever I take a blood glucose reading, the results are rarely above 7.5 mmol/L [US 135 mg/dl] one and a half hours after any food. On the rare occasions when they are higher than that, it's usually quite easy to isolate what caused it - I then note down that food for future reference. That way I've got to know what food to avoid or to eat with caution. (I had to learn about how the Glycaemic Index works and that it's closely connected to Glycaemic Loading. The GI on its own does NOT give a completely satisfactory answer.)

My three 6-monthly blood glucose HbA1C results have settled at 5.8% - again, well within the limits. In fact, they're actually UNDER the limits.

My doctor and diabetic nurse both say my results from these three 6-monthly readings are excellent and for me to continue the good work. (I'm due for my next 6-monthly check-up in late-December 2006).

These figures basically mean I've managed to get my Type 2 Diabetes under a pretty good level of control in about 6 months from first being diagnosed - and I'm managing to maintain that control 23 months later so it's NOT been a 'flash in the pan'.


I fully intend to continue adding posts to this blog - as mentioned in 'My Forthcoming Diabetes Posts' - but finding the necessary time is my biggest problem.

My wife and I have 3 children and 9 grandchildren and we're quite involved with many aspects of their lives. In addition, although now a fully-retired computer consultant, I am still extremely busy programming the extra features I'm going to add to my blogging. So far, I've managed to add a Table Of Contents to this blog, but I have lots of other things I wish to add to make reading my blog more enjoyable than just learning about my diabetes experiences.


25 January 2006

8. Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates.

Continued from my 7. Learning about Diabetes post .......

The most surprising thing I discovered was that I didn't have a clue what protein or carbohydrates really were. I also thought I knew what fat was but I soon discovered that my knowledge of it was as faulty as most other peoples.

I had to read the explanations about them (in my two books) several times over so that I could see how they worked, what their relationships were with each other and how they could affect my body and quality of life into the future.

Much of the public literature from both the American and British governments seems to be quite different from what the research and facts suggest is the reality of the situation.

By the beginning of February 2005, the following information had lodged itself in my mind and I was starting to get a feel for the whole diabetes subject.    Much of it, unfortunately, contradicted what I had been told by my NHS Diabetes support people or what was in the popular press.
Contains Essential Amino Acids.
  • Protein is made up of some 20 different amino acids.
  • Our body then uses these amino acids to produce or maintain our muscles, nerves, vital organs, hormones, enzymes and neurochemicals, all crucial components of our bodies.
FAT. (see # below)
Contains Essential Fatty Acids.
  • Dietary fat provides the energy to keep the body functioning.
  • Dietary fat alone does NOT make you fat!
  • Without essential fatty acids, our bodies would cease to function!
  • Much of our brain consists of fatty acids.
  • Any excess fat is burned off naturally - it does NOT automatically turn into fat.
Contains nothing essential.
  • You could survive without ANY carbohydrates in your food ever.
  • If you eat too many carbohydrates along with dietary fat then this combination can make you fat!
  • Carbohydrates are the culprit here - not the fat.
  • Carbohydrate can make excessive glucose/sugar.
  • If your insulin is not working correctly, this excess can be turned into fat!
Contains lots of really necessary things for our general wellbeing.   In addition, new ones are being discovered all the time.
I haven't been able to decide where salt fits into the general scheme of things so have been quite careful in how I use it.
Having digested all of this information from the two books, I felt I had a much better understanding of my Diabetes Type 2 and how I should begin to control it rather than letting it control me.

# These two articles 1 and 2, from the 'Second-Opinions' website, are really interesting as they give totally opposite 'fat' viewpoints to that of the so-called norm - they are also far more credible!


7. Learning about Diabetes.....

Continued from my 6. Books on Diabetes post .......

When I was first diagnosed with my condition, I had the 'normal' views about diabetes. I knew the difference between the two types - type 1 had to be controlled by insulin injections while type 2 could be managed by diet.

I soon realized I was entering into a world of which I had little or no knowledge or understanding. In fact, I was amazed at my ignorance - I also realised how little others really understood about diabetes. They 'knew' a lot of facts - their interpretation of those facts, however, were in some cases quite unhealthy. This was rather dangerous if they happened to be advising diabetics!

As I started to read Dr. Bernstein's book, I soon became aware that my understanding of what I was learning could well mean my life could depend on it.

Gradually, I began to build an image in my mind. As I progressed further and further into the subject, the image became sharper and more accurate. I had to go over some terms - especially those I'd never come across before - several times. Sometimes I had to resort to other sources of information - usually the Internet - to get a complete understanding of the terms/words/ideas/etc used and to confirm what Dr. Bernstein had written.

The main things I'd had to learn and fully understand were the relationships between protein, carbohydrates, 'good' and 'bad' fats, waistline dimensions, weight, exercise and, most important of them all, diet.

At the end of this learning period, I had an image in my mind that was factually accurate - and would, hopefully, also be very robust for the changes I was about to go through. It was, if you like, a mental model of my diabetes that I would be able to rely on as a base for my new life.

It's certainly had to prove itself in the months since January 2005 - so far, it seems to be doing rather well.


6. Books on Diabetes.

Continued from my 5. Glucose Monitors post .......

On the 22 January 2005, I decided I didn't know nearly enough about Type 2 Diabetes so, of course, went and had a 'Google'. I can't remember the exact search keywords I used but the results produced one book that really caught my eye (several times). It was a book by a Type 1 Diabetic, Dr. Bernstein, aged 68 when he wrote it, who had had his diabetes since the age of 12. I carried out a few 'safety' Internet checks on his background and book and was reassured that it might be a good place to start.

Incidently, by this time, I'd seen so much information about diabetes, both on the Internet and from the local professionals, that I was quite confused and, therefore, had decided I needed to get some basic overview of the whole subject. This book turned out to be exactly what I needed.

This Google search result took me to Amazon, of course, and there I found they were offering a special reduced deal of Dr. Bernstein's book and an Atkins book specifically for Diabetes Type 2 sufferers. As I'd heard so much about the usual Atkins Diet, I must admit to being rather intrigued by this offering - so I went ahead and ordered them both.


Amazon did it's usual amazing delivery and I had them in my hand the following day.

I then settled down to read Dr. Bernstein's book first. It was a real eye-opener! I vowed to myself I would read it as thoroughly as I could. By the finish, I was really 'in the know' about my condition - in fact, I became a bit of a 'Dr. Bernstein' bore.

I then read the Atkins Diabetes Type 2 book and that confirmed what I'd learnt from Dr. Bernstein. Both books made considerable and detailed references to all the latest research and, as Dr. Bernstein's book was published in 2003 and the Atkins book in 2004, they were far more up-to-date than some of the professional people I'd been seeing about my affliction.


05 September 2005

5. Glucose Monitors.

Continued from my 4. Diet and Exercise post ........

The problem I now faced was monitoring my blood sugar/glucose levels at all times - especially immediately after I'd eaten. Without such information I would be unable to control them with any kind of accuracy - so I decided I would have to discuss the problem with my doctor.

He told me I would need a blood glucose monitor but that I would have to purchase one from a local pharmacy as the NHS did not supply them. After a short 'phone conversation with my usual Tesco* pharmacist, he told me it would cost £10 and was an Accu-Chek Compact Monitor which they had confirmed were in stock. He then gave me a prescription for the test strips and lancets to use with it. He said I would be able to train myself to use the monitor from the instructions that came with it.

It was apparently quite a simple process so, with some trepidation, I assembled the monitor to 'have a go'. It turned out to be quite painless and the readings came within seconds. As I've used this equipment now for many weeks, I have found that clean fingers are essential so I always wash my hands with soap and water before doing a test. (I've had no trouble doing it this way so have never had to try the 'alternative site' method.)

I have, however, had to purchase a second glucose meter, as back-up, as my first one's batteries ran out and, although the free batteries are supplied by Accu-Chek post-free (for life), I had to wait several days for them to be delivered.

I was soon getting a much better idea of what was going on in my blood and the varying results obtained when different foods were eaten. By recording the meter's number in my food diary, I was much more in control than when I only had the Diastix strips to go on. (By the way, I now use these strips to test food I'm about to eat for their glucose levels - they work very effectively.)

*   I wanted to link to the Tesco's Accuchek Glucose Monitor here but, being in their Pharmacy department, it doesn't appear to be listed anywhere on their website.    (Instead, I could only find their Atkins-based eDiets - this relates more to my last post about Diet and Exercise than it does to this one. I haven't tried the diets myself but hope they may be of some interest !)


4. Diet and Exercise.

Continued from my 3. Confirmation post ..........

The diabetic nurse now had the task of setting up the necessary course of actions for me to take. She will then monitor my results in the months to come.

My weight in January was 16 stone [US 224 lbs.] - this meant I was overweight but not obese for my height of 6'5". I did, however, have a larger stomach (paunch) than was good for me. The diabetic nurse advised I should try to get down to 15 stone [US 210 lbs.] as soon as possible. This would be achieved by a carefully controlled diet and daily exercise.

She gave me a folder filled with a number of diabetes publications. It also contained a chart for keeping track of how much exercise I did (I would receive points for each different type of exercise undertaken). She then told me to buy a notepad to keep a record of everything I ate.

I returned home and read all of the diabetes publications. By the time I'd finished them, I was more than a little confused. The publications contradicted themselves in several places - they also contradicted other things that my diabetic nurse had told me. I was not at all happy with this situation and decided I must take matters into my own hands.

By this time and with the help of my notepad, I had discovered which foods raised the sugar levels in my urine. My morning breakfast of Bran-Flakes and semi-skimmed milk was the worst so I stopped having it. Immediately, the sugar level in my urine dropped down to 0.0 mmol/L after 2 hours.

I then managed to isolate several other foods and, by the end of January, had got my urine levels down to 0.0 mmol/L every day.


3. Confirmation.

Continued from my 2. Diagnosis post ...............

I continued to use the Diastix Strips 2 hours after every meal without fail - and I managed to record the correct figures this time. I was, however, puzzled by them as they seemed to be so much higher than specified on the strip's direction sheet.

28 mmol/L [US 504 mg/dL] was the usual reading after my Bran-Flake and semi-skimmed milk breakfast. On another occasion, it went as high as 55 mmol/L [US 990 mg/dL] but I can't remember what food I'd eaten to have had such an effect.

What made these figures so hard to understand was that they really should have been 5.5 mmol/L [US 99 mg/dL] or lower. The fact that sugar was still in my urine 2 HOURS AFTER A MEAL was the danger signal - but I didn't know exactly what that meant at the time.

Before I saw the diabetic nurse the second time, I'd had more blood taken at the surgery. This was done 2 hours after my normal 'Bran-Flake' breakfast so that she could see how much glucose I had in my blood on that occasion.

When I met her again, she said my blood glucose level was 11.2 mmol/L [US 202 mg/dL]. This confirmed that I was indeed a type 2 diabetic.


2. Diagnosis.

Continued from my 1. Introduction post ...............

The results were returned after Christmas and I visited my doctor on 5 January 2005. My blood pressure was down to 140/80 (good for my age) and my cholesterol was only 3.7 mmol/L [US 144 mg/dL] (good for any age) - both very pleasing results indeed.

My blood glucose level, however, was 16.9 mmol/L [US 304 mg/dL]. As my blood had been taken over 3 hours after a meal, this was far too high. This meant, of course, that I was a type 2 diabetic.

Although this revelation was a big shock, I was quite pleased to have learnt about it when I did. At the time I was diagnosed, I did NOT have any of the normal symptoms of being diabetic so would not have found out about it until it had done much more damage to my body. It could even have finished me off without my being any the wiser.

My doctor then prescribed some Diastix Strips for me so that I could measure the sugar in my urine 2 hours after every meal. I was to do this daily until I could see his diabetic nurse in a week's time with the results.

From his diagnosis, it appeared that I might be able to control my type 2 diabetes with just diet and exercise and would not need any kind of medication.

I saw the diabetic nurse a week later and she explained more fully what type 2 diabetes was and how it would effect me - and, of course, my family.

(Unfortunately, the Diastix results were of no use to her as I had been recording the wrong ones. Not my fault really as no-one told me which numbers were required.)


1. Introduction.

I was diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic in January of this year (2005). I am a semi-retired 64-year old male living in Cornwall, England. I am 6'5" tall and weighed 16 stones [US 224 lbs.] when diagnosed. I've also had a heart irregularity for some 12 years and mild asthma for many more years than that. These conditions can both be triggered by air pollution, alcohol, overworking or overtiredness - to list but a few causes.

The reason I went to my doctor in the first place was because my heart irregularity seemed to be getting more frequent. He subsequently arranged for me to have an ECG and a heart scan then to see a cardiologist to analyse the results.

To cut a long story short, it turns out that my heart condition needs an ACE inhibitor medication (smallest possible dose) and a dispersable aspirin every day. These were to bring down my blood pressure which was a little higher than it should be have been - 166/89. No other action was prescribed.

As I wanted to know my cholesterol levels, however, I requested a blood test. My doctor agreed and arranged to have several other blood tests done at the same time - some 8 blood samples were taken in early December 2004.