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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Label everything?

Do we really need to label everything?  Here’s what Tyra Banks has to say:

Mar 20 - 21. Label

I don’t like the label ‘plus-size’ — I call it ‘fiercely real.’ On ‘Top Model,’ we call it fiercely real. I don’t want to use the term ‘plus-size,’ because, to me, what the hell is that? It just doesn’t have a positive connotation to it. I tend to not use it.

The Daily Prompt: Label

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Did you know this about bubbles?

I didn’t know this but am up for the celebration

City Skipper Gal

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Did you know that today has been deemed as National Bubble Bath Day? I didn’t even know there was such a day, but I’ll take it.

So, quit reading this blog and go relax in a nice warm bubble bath on this very chilly day!

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How often to check blood sugar?

Checking blood sugar is an important part of diabetes management.  But how often to do so is a good question.  In this context, I am talking about type 2 diabetes. Ever since I was first diagnosed, I was instructed to check it once a day, first thing in the morning. As of now, I am not on insulin or any diabetic meds and am hoping this would last forever. Am not a big fan of any meds.

3. Mar 14. How often to check BG post

Image source: Pixabay

The answer depends on who you ask. There are several message boards where posters will tell you to do this after each meal; the time frame varies anywhere between half an hour to a couple hours.  ADA in its wisdom, recommends to check BG  before meals or 2 hours after.  Diabetes Management site states that the count of time should start at the beginning of a meal.  Oh well.

Anyway, I am not doing this (checking BG after meals). No thanks, not me. I am not going to do this every so often. Methinks it makes no sense, considering that sugar intake isn’t the only cause of elevated BG. Lots of other factors play in as well, such as lack of sleep, being sick or in pain, activity level, an occasional bad strip, change in weather or just because.   Moreover, I am not going to double- or triple- check my BG level with different meters;  I don’t even own different meters.  I think this is an overkill and totally unnecessary.

It makes me wonder who invented the concept of checking postprandial (after meals) BG; big pharma is my best guess. Of course it would be more than happy to sell you more & more strips and pens. If big pharma had to rely on me, they’d go belly up.

Back in the day when I worked in a hospital, we only checked BG before meals, even in the Intensive Care Unit. The only instance when we did check a postprandial BG was if a patient was running low (below 70), we would give them a cup of orange juice and re-check BG about half an hour later.

I am usually checking my fasting BG in the morning, once a day, and even then, not every day. What matters is A1C showing the average BG for the last three months. My last A1C was 6.0, an improvement from 6.2 three months prior.

I want to add that some folks don’t check their BG at all because they don’t like needles or fingersticks.  So they rely on how their neuropathy feels.  Although I don’t feel this way, I can’t blame them.

My $0.02.  Your mileage may vary;  this is my mileage

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Weekly Wisdom 9 March

So true and beautiful picture

MiddleMe

Screen Shot 2016-11-13 at 2.32.27 PM.png

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Nuances of diabetes

I went to see my doctor a few days ago, and today the results of the last blood work came by email. My A1C is 6.0, woohoo! When I was first diagnosed a couple of years ago, it was 6.5, and although 6.0 might seem as just another nuance, it means a lot to me. It’s going down, slowly but surely, yay!!. I am now officially in the pre-diabetes stage.

1 LAST A1C RESULT

In the future, my A1C might get even lower than that, however I don’t think I’ll ever snap out of it completely. I am currently not on any diabetes medication and hope it’ll last this way forever. I am not a big fan of taking meds.

In between these numbers, I was physically active but didn’t exercise per se. Basically did what I had to do around the household but exercising was always on my to-do list, and still is. Other than that, I watched my diet and took it easy with carbs although didn’t avoid them altogether.

Anyway, it worked. Woohoo! Doing a happy dance

The Daily Prompt: nuance

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The Daily Prompt: Desire

It all started when I ordered refills of a few meds at Walgreens as usual, but the surprise awaited when the time came to make the payment. After the fact I give Walgreens credit for notifying me about a significant price increase but upon hearing the news, I was royally pissed. Nearly $500 for 3 tubes of clobetasol ointment that I use to battle my psoriasis! No way!

Psoriasis and I have been together for the longest time during which I tried this and that but ended up with the above ointment as this seems to be the only one that works for me.

The other refill, for the same length of time for Gabapentin (neuropathy med), brought up an unheard of price of $1,400.

mar-4-both-together-gaba-and-clob

My first thought was, Walgreens must be out of their mind. This must be a mistake. This isn’t happening!! I immediately went online and deleted my credit card info from the Express Pay. Done with that, I sighed with relief and sent an email expressing my deep disappointment.

By doing so, I inadvertently invited more trouble. The way it works with Walgreens, each reply is treated as my automatic approval of the refill price. However since the credit card info was gone, nothing happened except an exchange of a few more emails or so I thought. The “exchange” turned out a one way street, and my desire to communicate fell on deaf ears.

After having done some internet research, I came to the conclusion that it’s not Walgreens the one being out of their mind but rather Big Pharma.  An Arizona doctor reports on his website that a price of over $200 for a tube of said ointment is not unusual nowadays.

The good doctor has a theory that might as well be true. He states two reasons for the price increase. First, Big Pharma bought out small companies, thus efficiently eliminating competition, and then again, under Affordable Care Act, Medicare cannot negotiate lower prices for the meds. This gives Big Pharma free rein to increase prices as they see fit. And increase they did.

I guess I will have to do without Gaba and the pain pills. As far as ointment goes, I stocked up a bit on it so will manage for a while. If per chance our president finds a way to return the meds prices to where they were before, I might even start respecting him. Yea right, a fat chance.

Thanks for the ear.


The Daily Prompt: Desire

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The Daily Prompt: Center. Motherhood.

2-feb-27-tdp-prompt-center-quote

The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness.
When you become a mother, you are no longer
the center of your own universe. You relinquish
that position to your children.
~ Jessica Lange

Found on PictureQuotes

The Daily Prompt: Center

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