The Skinny on Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s immune system attacks its own pancreas affecting its ability to produce insulin; this usually happens at a young age.  In this case scenario, insulin has to come into your body from outside a good example of which is an insulin pump.  FYI not all autoimmune disorders happen at a young age.

Type 2 diabetes is a different ball game.  Contrary to the popular belief, increased sugar consumption doesn’t cause type 2 diabetes.

Just because type 2 diabetes is linked to high levels of blood sugar, it may seem logical to assume that eating too much sugar is the cause of diabetes.  However, it’s not that simple.  High-sugar diet can increase the risk of developing diabetes but doesn’t directly cause it.  There is no proven link between the two.   By analogy, driving on the road can increase your risk for an accident but a mere fact of driving doesn’t cause it.

What happens with type 2 is that people develop insulin resistance.  Here’s how it works.  When you consume sugar, it attaches to hemoglobin that delivers it to your body cells to be used for energy.  Think about insulin as a key to open the door (of a cell) to let glucose in.  In case of insulin resistance the door won’t open and glucose can’t get in.  As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of being absorbed by the cells.

It is believed that excess weight and physical inactivity largely contribute to the insulin resistance.  Genetics play a role, as well.

How type 2 diabetes is diagnosed:  A1C test   A1C test kit

A1C is a widely used test to diagnose type 2 diabetes. It is also called HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test.  Hemoglobin is a substance found in the red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout your body.  When blood sugar level is elevated, sugar combines with hemoglobin making it “glycated” in which case scenario A1C test shows an elevated number.  This test is being used to show how well your diabetes is being controlled.  Since red blood cells live up to 3 months, this test should be at this interval.   This very test was used to diagnose my type 2 diabetes.

For people without diabetes, the normal range for the A1C test is between 4% and 5.6%.  A1C levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes.  The goal for people with diabetes is a A1C level less than 7%.  The higher the A1C number is, the higher the risks of developing diabetes-related complications.


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1.  DISCLAIMER

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Posted in A1C, About diabetes, blood sugar, diabetes, diet, Health, insulin resistance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

This Is America To Me!

This is what America should be!

The Tony Burgess Blog

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All of this is what will make America awesome again.

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It’s 114, yay!

Today my morning fasting BG was 114. Down from 121.

Yay! Doing a happy dance.

7 July 19. Fasting BG 114

Posted in BG., diabetes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Relapse

Confession time, I have relapsed. Of course I’m talking about my diabetes. Remember when I bragged about snapping out of it? Well, well. Not so fast.

By the way, you know how easy it is to admit your own mistake, more so here on WordPress? This is my lame excuse for putting posting on hold. I am beating myself up; not that it helps any.

No I didn’t snap out of it. My diabetes merely went into hibernation but it was still there regardless. Like hiding in the bushes and waiting for a good moment to lunge at me. Meanwhile, thinking I was in the clear, I consumed a few cans of the new flavor of Mountain Dew, lemon lime ice. It listed only 25g of carbs. Since one carb is 15g, the 25g would comprise roughly a carb and a half. So I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. It didn’t really taste like a good old Mountain Dew but still good. I enjoyed it, albeit for a short while.

Checking my morning fasting BG, and it’s 125.

Uh oh.

I quit Mountain Dew on the spot. Started watching my carbs like a hawk, drinking a lot of water, having snacks every once in a while and measuring them by a cup, which I think is pretty safe. One cup at a time. About a week later, the morning fasting number is 121. A tad better but still not out of the woods.

7 July 18. Meter

I don’t know what possessed me to drink this stuff. Upon close examination, it does list high fructose corn syrup that should have made all my bells ringing. But alas, it didn’t.

Here’s the picture of a culprit (not counting myself).

7 July 18. Can front & back

So now I’m behaving and giving away all the Mountain Dew cans to my neighbors and the garage staff. I keep them in the fridge and the weather is hot here in the Midwest, so when I offer someone a cold one, everyone’s happy. I assume that none of them have diabetes. I am happy too.

It’ll take a long time to get my BG back to normal. Am not seeing the doctor and definitely am not looking forward to start taking diabetes medications. I am doing the right thing now and my fasting BG is getting better. At one point the postprandial was 112. So I’m getting there. Slowly but surely. Still am not taking any meds but I should have known better than that.

So now no one can tell me about diabetes cure. Think you’re cured? Drink some regular Mountain Dew and then check your morning fasting number. I bet you and I will be on the same boat then.

Thanks for the ear.

UPDATE: in the following morning, my fasting BG is 114. Being proactive and resisting temptations really works. Here’s to hoping it’ll go down some more.

Posted in diabetes, diabetes management, Mountain Dew, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Too many apps around?

This actually isn’t a question. The story is, at some point in time I signed up to receive questions from Home Depot online community. Said questions are going to the peer-to-peer Q & A. I usually google my answers while wondering why everyone else can’t do the same. Everyone nowadays is conditioned to getting instant answers as well as using numerous apps to about the same effect.

Here comes the question. Someone wants to know if a certain floor lamp is compatible with a smart bulb so it could be Alexa controlled. I was tempted to say, get off your ass and turn the darn lamp on or off by hand! But of course this wouldn’t fly or in other words, there is no way that Home Depot will allow this to be published so I figured I might as well bite my tongue. After a bit of googling I answered that the smart bulb has to be equivalent to 150W standard bulb.

6 June 28. HD
If if you think that this app can’t be hacked, don’t bet on it. CBS News reports that between 75 and 80 percent of Android or Apple apps are hacked. Of course there are ways to prevent this but why having certain apps when you can pretty much do without and avoid the resulting headache. I bet the smart bulb app can be hacked, too.

By the way, ditto for the baby monitors; I just read an article about this on Techwalla website.  Someone has purchased FREDI Wireless Camera baby monitor enabled with WiFi on Amazon. The video feed could be accessed from a smartphone app and then you could watch your baby sleeping from the comfort of your living room. So far so good.

The next thing the baby parents knew, the camera was hacked, the cops were called and of course nothing could be done. Amazon tells them to contact the manufacturer, the number is out of service and the buyer is out of luck. Couldn’t even leave a product review. The only option they’re left with, is to toss said monitor and call it a day. Had they opted to check on their baby in person, nothing of the above would have happened. I used to do this back in the 1980s and I can assure you, no one dared to hack me.

There are too many apps around, that’s what I am thinking. And I don’t even own a smartphone. That might explain my feelings. YMMV

 

Posted in Apps, modern technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What happened when I went off my meds

Remember the day when the meds prices skyrocketed? I called Walgreens for a refill and was shocked to hear the price of a tube of psoriasis ointment, as far as I remember it was well over $100.

At the time I thought that Walgreens has lost all its marbles but quickly learned that this was a new trend. According to CBS Chicago, it now costs whopping $300.

All I could think of at the moment was how huge a hole this would blow in my budget. Mind you, I am happily retired on Social Security and my fixed income is recognized as low even by Uncle Sam. I decided there was no way I pay this kind of prices. And decided to stop taking all the meds at once and see what happens.

At the time I was taking a handful of meds yet none for diabetes.   I had to see my PCP doc every three months and have blood drawn. The doc wouldn’t prescribe a refill unless I come to see him. In other words, it was lots of unnecessary hassle  now topped with the high prices, let alone copays.

So I quit taking all the meds at once. And didn’t notice much of a difference. I am now having good days and bad days, but I had them back in the day when I was faithfully taking all my meds just as well. Since I didn’t need a refill, I didn’t make the next doctor appointment until about a year later. That was when I found out that my A1C had taken a dip from 6.20 to 6.0. Scroll up to 2018, and it’s 5.9.

6 June 26. My A1C Hx

Wow

According to my doc, I have officially snapped out of diabetes and upgraded to a pre-diabetes, and now have to be careful not to have diabetes. These are his exact words. Neuropathy however isn’t going away being a permanent nerve damage after all. Will have to live with it.

I however can’t take a full credit for this. Aside from dropping the meds, I didn’t do half of what is traditionally advised for the diabetes management. I was physically active alright but didn’t exercise per se. I did watch my carbs but my comfort food was and still is Ramen Noodles, 3 minutes in microwave. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that noodles are bad for diabetics. But the fact remains, my A1C went down and hopefully will continue this way. Maybe Ramen Noodles deserve some credit after all. 😉

In my humble opinion, dietary changes for sake of diabetes management are highly overrated. You can watch your carbs and do everything right but stop for a moment and take a close look at your current meds.  Most likely that at least some of them are a culprit; in other words, your medications might cause you to have high blood sugar or diabetes which is basically the same thing.

In my case, I don’t know which one caused diabetes but I don’t care to know.  For now, I am in the clear.

Am doing a happy dance.

Posted in complications, diabetes management, Short story, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A bully cop and color-blind society

It’s unbelievable what some folks are getting away with.  I am talking about a cop who has abused his power. Google his name, John Kovach Jr, it’s all over the net.

This is how it started. Daddy didn’t approve of his daughter’s boyfriend and even threatened to use his authority to make her life difficult. Apparently the daughter didn’t heed so daddy decided to take the law in his own hands, and on April 16 set his plan in action. Daddy-cop tracked his daughter’s computer to a friend’s house, drove his police cruiser to the location and lied in wait.

As soon as he spotted the boyfriend’s car, daddy flipped on his flashing lights and made a traffic stop. Which by the way he didn’t report to the station, a violation at least theoretically. The police dash cam in the cruiser captured the entire scene.

Daddy proceeded to threaten the boyfriend with false arrest and going to jail. When the young man asked why, daddy told him he’ll make up the charges. Daddy then kidnapped the boyfriend and put him in the back of the cruiser. So far his daughter was nowhere to be found but a woman whose kids were riding in the boyfriend’s car, approached. Daddy threatened her with searching her home to look for his daughter without a warrant or a probable cause.

She in turn told him that he was abusing authority and bullying.  Daddy cop kept to his old script of getting her in jail if she as much as called 911. She called anyway, and daddy didn’t follow up on his threat.

Finally daddy found his daughter who was hiding inside the boyfriend’s car.  Quite predictably, he dragged her outside and pushed inside his cruiser despite her protests.  If this isn’t kidnapping, then what is?

Meanwhile the station dispatched daddy since he was listed as available. Daddy cop however was too busy fixing his family life while on the clock, and did not respond. Later on this was mentioned only briefly and likely this wasn’t a violation. Hmmm.  An equivalent of a false 911 call or too many 911 calls for which you can even get arrested.  Unless of course, you’re a cop.

Surprisingly enough, daddy’s actions were investigated. He was put on an administrative leave and a couple of weeks later even fired. But the story doesn’t end here. Enter police union who appealed the case on daddy’s behalf. Speaking of double standards, if anyone other than a cop impersonated an officer or kidnapped an 18-year old girl, he’d be in jail as soon as the police were involved, yet this guy is walking free with FOP trying to get him reinstated so he can abuse more people.

Fired, that’s all? No kidnapping charges for him, just termination? How about violating civil rights, wrongful imprisonment, making a false arrest? Act of terrorism? He shouldn’t be a cop anywhere, if you ask me, but likely will get hired in a small town where no one will check on him. Apparently as an old adage goes, cops are above the law aka our taxes at work. Yeah what else is new.  Too bad no code of ethics for the cops exist.

I have to say a few words about color-blindness. This isn’t mentioned anywhere but I  happened to notice. This is a bi-racial dating; the boyfriend is black while the girlfriend is white. Both of them appear just as happy together; what is wrong with daddy?

I bet this isn’t the first boyfriend she’s dating, and can’t help but wonder would daddy’s reaction be the same had this boyfriend been white. This is the question of the day.

6 June 25. Twitter

Posted in above the law, Abuse of power, Bully cop, Racial discrimination, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What motivates me to write

First off, I only blog when I am in the mood to write. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen on a daily basis but I found a way around it. What I do is to write 2-3 posts and schedule them to go live in every other day. If I write say, 3 posts, I am covered for almost one  full week. Then I have some time to stop and think, maybe do a revision or two, and plan the next batch. I know I didn’t invent a bicycle here, but somehow this does wonders to my motivation to write. What can I say, this works for me. Kudos to WordPress for having this feature.

After having read a few horror stories how folks get in trouble for posting images from the net, I decided to concoct my own this time around. I opened a new blog window from the dashboard, filled in the title, took a screenshot and shrank it a bit. Now I am in the clear.

6 June 24. To Blog or Not To Blog

Posted in blogging, motivation, Short story, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment