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.



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

Oh so sweet

We are conditioned or programmed if you will, to think that sweet means good. Looking at some kid and saying, she is such a sweetie is considered normal and even nice. If anything is extremely good, it’s “sweet”. Let alone a sweetheart, and you’re so sweet. So sweet is good, right?

Basically yes unless you happened to have diabetes. Then you know that the opposite is true at least for you. Still most everyone else thinks that eating sweets caused your diabetes and that it’s your own damn fault. Like for example, the infamous tweet of CrossFit’s CEO Greg Glassman that I blogged about another day.

Because most likely, you merely were not diagnosed with diabetes yet. The modern medicine has no means to diagnose diabetes early. All the finger sticks in the world and all the AIC tests are not good enough. Chances are, diabetes is lurking but not caught yet. In light of this, eating sweets will cause your diabetes getting caught. All of a sudden diabetes myths come out partially correct albeit for the wrong reasons. For all I know, maybe I was born with diabetes that didn’t get caught until a few years ago.

Ever had something right happening for the wrong reasons? I had and not only with diabetes. But that’s the food for thought for another blog.

So sweet.

P.S.  My fasting number went up because I messed up and had grits for breakfast. Grits are easy to cook, don’t come out lumpy like cream of wheat does and taste great, but they are high in carbs. So now I am trying to un-mess all this. It’ll take a while.

Posted in A1C, BG., diabetes, diabetes clusters, diabetes management, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Diabetic neuropathy and cold weather

Not a great combo and you hear this from the horse’s mouth.

Remember when I was blogging about my neuropathy gone bad after eating some rice?

I was thinking, how come it happened so fast after only one time eating that? As far as it getting worse and then better, I think it’s pretty normal. Been there, done that.

Whatcha know, turned out it was actually cold weather. We are having subzero temperatures here in the Midwest, and living in an old vintage building with as much as one strip of electric baseboard heating doesn’t help much. I was freezing all over including of course my feet. The neuropathy at its worst.

Hot shower helped tremendously as well as wearing diabetic socks. It’s like born again. The pain was poof gone and the numbness went down. Go figure.

Back to the carbs. I’ve done some research and found out that eggplant is a low carb food. I just happened to have one so cooked it in my trusty crockpot topped with sliced onions, sprinkled with Worcestershire sauce and salt & red pepper flakes. Set on low for overnight and in the morning it was all ready. The eggplant shrank to about one third of its original size and absorbed all the liquid it could. Doesn’t look pretty but hey, it’s low in carbs. Here it is, my eggplant casserole in a slow cooker:

Feb 16. IMG_4391 & 4398

I might even become a part-time vegetarian.  Anyway, here’s to hoping that this winter will pass soon.

Posted in Crock Pot, diabetes, diabetes management, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Carbs rant

Just found out the hard way that I was overdoing with carbs. I did not check my morning fasting sugar in a while because it’s a chore. But I did feel my neuropathy getting worse so figured it must be carbs. The soles of my feet felt numb and hurt at the same time. Of course this is next to impossible to explain to someone who is not blessed with diabetes.

No it was not any of the simple carbs, and I haven’t touched ice cream in ages. It was brown rice that I finally figured out how to cook in a crock pot. You have to make sure that you mix it with water that is double in volume of rice. I added some stock that I happened to have on hand, and olive oil. Everything was eyeballed, and I kept a close look at the rice so it doesn’t get overdone. No I didn’t just stand over the crock pot, but each time I happened to be in the kitchen that is just one step away from everywhere else in my tiny studio, I would peek at the rice and am on my merry way.

It’s ready when the liquid is absorbed or just about.  The rice in the photo below is brown, it really is but I couldn’t capture the color.  Take my word for it.


So far so good, however rice is high in carbs. One cup of rice contains about 45 g or 3 carbs. I think I should limit myself to half a cup or less. Half a cup of rice at a time. Yep here I am.

After doing this for only a week, I noticed that my feet feel much better. I am doing the right thing after all. Am going to try riced vegetables. Cauliflower and broccoli florets are on my shopping list.






Posted in diabetes, diabetes diet, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

The Fall of America or the End of Trumperica — A lot from Lydia

No, I’m not watching Trump’s defense team project and dissimulate. I have crossword puzzles to work on, and paper airplanes to fly, a fidget spinner that must be spun today, a book to read, and I’m sketching a picture of my sofa. I’m busy. I also wanted to share my thoughts on Trump’s intimidation techniques. […]

via The Fall of America or the End of Trumperica — A lot from Lydia

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When your meter quits

My Accu-Chek Nano did just that. In the morning I pulled it out from its pouch only to discover that it’s, well, dead. The screen was dark and pressing buttons did absolutely nothing.


My first impulse was to toss it and get a new one. Perhaps I had it too long. But then I started thinking, wait a minute. This thing is powered by batteries; the questions is, how to get to them. A quick YouTube video pointed me in the right direction.

First you flip your meter face down. Then find a notch at the bottom and gently pull on it.  Keep pulling until a tray comes out as illustrated below.  Then flip the tray to discover two 3-volt 2032 lithium batteries.

IMG_4247 thru 4263

This is exactly what I need to make my meter working.  The batteries will have two letters in front of 2032 that you can safely disregard.  These letters have to do with what company manufactured said batteries but other than that, they are all the same, either CR or DL or anything else.  My old batteries had letters DL that indicated Duracell.  Since I had a fallout with Duracell due to the non-working charger, I decided to go with Sony. Snatched a good deal at Walmart with free delivery.

Will update when I receive the batteries and have my meter up and running.



Posted in diabetes, diabetes management, Diabetic meter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life isn’t always going as planned

I have taken a break from blogging lately. Not because there was nothing to write about, but because something was happening that I didn’t know how to deal with.

I have a brother in Chicagoland; he is a widower and has lived in his condo for the last decade and a half. He and his late wife worked and paid the condo off. So he owned it free and clear, or so he thought, up until the recent events. About a month ago his son was killed in a motorcycle accident and all the hell broke loose.

And if this wasn’t enough, my brother found out that he doesn’t own his condo anymore. His son’s family does. Five years ago his son had the father sign some paperwork under the pretense that it was done for the father’s good, while actually transferring the condo ownership to self. The son wasn’t supposed to do this in his capacity of being his father’s poa (power of attorney).

The way it looks now, most likely the widow is going to evict her father-in-law from the condo. It’ll bound to happen, sooner or later. And yes, my brother’s rights were violated (breach of fiduciary duty) but good luck with proving this in the courts. In other words, one should be able to pay $$$ in attorney fees to prove they were wronged. There are some pro bono places but only theoretically; I contacted them online but alas, they are not in a big hurry to reply.

Sadly my brother will be forced to go to a nursing home as he can’t afford a lawyer, and neither can I. He isn’t ready to go there and is perfectly capable of living alone with help, but alas, he has no options.

End of story.

I wish I could help my brother. I promised our mom that I will help him if needed as we are about 18 years apart. Knowing that I can’t help is about eating me up alive. My diabetes and the neuropathy is still here regardless.

Posted in auto accident, diabetes, family, fiduciary duty, life, poa | Tagged , , , ,

Thursday’s Bumper Sticker

The best license plate if you ask me. Transformed into the bumper sticker. We all need a bit of a laugh

Michael Seidel, writer

It’s a license plate that the state doesn’t like, but I nominate it for a bumper sticker.

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Low Carb Cooking

Pretty sure I didn’t invent much but I thought up the ingredients for having low carbs. I watch my carbs like a hawk and this soup followed the suit. Here goes .

Low Carb Barley Vegetable Soup in a Crockpot

First off, crockpot is a studio dwellers’ friend. Not having full size appliances calls for it out loud. This morning I was in a cooking mood and concocted this. Turned out not bad.

Please note, this was made in a small crockpot. I measured and it’s all of about 4-1/2 quarts capacity. Feel free to adjust to your size crockpot. I used squash (yellow & zucchini) in place of potatoes so this is a low carb soup. Some of the ingredients were measured, while the others were eyeballed. All the veggies were chopped or cut in small pieces. The pearl barley was “sprinkled” lightly because I didn’t want too much of it. At first I thought to roll the Italian sausage in meatballs but ended up just breaking it down in pieces. The end result is just about the same (I think)

Oh new and exciting changes. Here’s to hoping my featured image will show up. Right now it is hidden in the sidebar. Being an old school, I expected it to be right here and now. OMG it is in place of the logo. Am removing and posting in the comments. Hmm.

UPDATE: I finally figured it out but can’t fathom why I had to jump through the hoops. And whatever happened to the HTML tab. Now have to figure out how to remove the darn picture from the wrong place (where my logo used to be). Thanks for being patient with me, my dear readers

Back to the recipe.

⦁ 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage, broken down in pieces.
⦁ 2 cups yellow & zucchini squash, combined
⦁ 1 cup grated carrots.
⦁ green bell peppers. Red bell peppers are fine too; I just didn’t have them on hand
⦁ yellow onions
⦁ celery
⦁ pearl barley lightly sprinkled on top
⦁ water to cover to about 1-1/2 inches from the top

Set this on low early in the morning, ready by the dinner time. Yum. Set it and forget it is my favorite cooking style. Standing over the pot and stirring is not one of my favorite pastimes.

Leftover of veggies were cut up, placed in the Ziploc bags and off to the freezer for the future use. Will see how this goes.

Posted in carbs, diabetes, diabetes management | Tagged , , , , , , ,

111 is my lucky number today


This was my morning fasting BG number today.

I don’t usually check my morning fasting BG every day. Heck not even every week. But lately when I do check it, it’s always good, no matter what.

And how reliable is it? Just as reliable as your meter. If you check your BG with another meter, chances are the numbers will be different. Some folks actually do this, not sure why. Some will check their BG after meals, about half an hour after, to see as they claim, how different foods affect them. I am not one of them. I only check my morning blood sugar level, and even then, only when a mood strikes or if I try a different food. Not that postprandial number matters unless of course it was doctor ordered. In my opinion, morning fasting BG is more than enough. What actually matters is the average levels detected by A1C test. Even that one is as reliable as the equipmentthat the lab is using. If you change doctors or if the lab is using a different meter, guess what. This will reflect on your numbers and not always in a good way.

Then again, the food including how much, how often, and the sequence. And if this wasn’t enough, the season of the year, your physical activity, whether or not you happened to be sick otherwise, pain, hormonal changes and more. Things happen when you sleep such as Dawn phenomenon or a Somogyi effect that I blogged about a few years ago

Good carbs, bad carbs, sugar-free – oh this is my favorite. A while ago I discovered sugar-free pancake syrup and was proud of myself for doing so. However my pride was short lived as the BG numbers went up. Turned out it does contain sugar albeit a different variety but it managed to raise my BG number. Off to the trash it went and I developed a habit of ALWAYS reading the ingredients labels.

Diabetes in control website claims that 2 tablespoons of vinegar before a meal will reduce the postprandial BG numbers. Have no way to test this as I don’t check postprandial BG. I don’t even check morning fasting each and every morning. This morning I was in the mood so went ahead and did it. Wow, 111. I braced myself for a higher number because my neuropathy was acting up lately and this can affect blood sugar levels, too. But no. Today is my lucky day. Cheers

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Diabetic neuropathy, again!

Lately my feet were acting up.  Killing me.  I thought it was neuropathy and maybe arthritis too. Either way it was bad. Hot shower helped but only briefly, and then the pain was right back. Both numbness and pain at the same time that is difficult to explain to someone who never experienced this.

I considered the possibilities. Haven’t seen my doctor in ages and haven’t taken any meds in about the same time span. Maybe the time has come to reverse aka see the doc and ask for some meds. Argh. Hated even thinking about it.

And then it dawned on me. Diabetic socks of course!  And here they are.

July 31. D socks

I am getting these babies free each month through my insurance plan, Aetna. Yep, Aetna gives you a monthly allowance, $15 for me, and then I can pick some freebies online within the allowance. I usually pick the socks and a couple more of this and that. Hey they are free. Listed as Diabetic Socks in the list of freebies yet the package says Comfort Socks. Anyway, all purpose socks that worked magic for me. I’ve accumulated tons of them that were quietly sitting in a drawer up until now.

Whatcha know, it worked. Yay! In addition to wearing these socks, I upped the heat a bit for a while.  The temps dropped to about upper 60s so I figured why not.  Both are free because of what Aetna is doing, and because the heat is included in the monthly condo fee. Long live freebies!

I feel like a million dollars now that the pain is gone. Doing a happy dance.

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