Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Diabetes and Caloric Restriction

I have been dealing with the disease of diabetes since I was 52 years of age - for the last twenty years.  Vigorous daily exercise and reasonable eating from 1998 to 2016, kept my A1C around 7.2.  

Most diabetes patients die from cardio-vascular disease.  So, as the odds predicted, I had a pacemaker inserted in 6/17 and a LAD heart stent placed in 10/17.  Of course, being 72 years of age does not help with the progress of any disease.  Also, the problems and anxieties of serious heart disease resulted in a reduction of exercise.  

In the last year, while suffering from heart disease, my blood sugars were rising.  I tried three different medicines in 2017: Trulicity, Januvia, or Glipizide combined with Metaformin.    

I see my internal medicine doctor next Friday.  I am considering asking for a referral to an endocrinologist, and a change in medications.   

I have been attending, since November, the cardio rehabilitation classes three days each week, for 1.5 hours per class, at the Peace Health Hospital complex in Vancouver, WA.  The class consists of one hour of aerobics, and a half hour of weight lifting, core work, or stretching.  They offer a 1 hour lecture each Wednesday on heart health care.  Fortunately, my health insurance covers this cardio rehabilitation program - how lucky I am.  

Unquestionably, moderate exercise helps with reducing blood sugar.  Typically, after a breakfast (600 calories) and a one hour wait, my blood sugar will be at around 220.  After I finish the 1.5 hours of exercise, my blood sugar is 150.  Ideally, it would be around 110.  Exercise does help, it has few side effects like medicines, is inexpensive (e.g., my nearby LA Fitness Gym membership costs $31.00 per month).  I enjoy walking and weightlifting, and I practice Taijiquan

The most important factor in controlling diabetes is carefully choosing what you eat, and more important, what you do not eat.  Reducing caloric intake has the beneficial effect of reducing blood sugar.  Also, any overeating of high glycemic index (carbohydrate) foods increases your blood sugar.  In the past, sometimes I am inconsistent and negligent about my diet.  

My goal for January and February is too eat under 100 grams of carbohydrates per day, and around 1,500 calories per day.  My body-weight goal is 225 pounds.  For a, currently,  6'7" and 246 pound man, this is a significant caloric reduction.  

If I eat under 1,300 calories a day, my morning fasting blood sugar goes down to 135.  However, it is very hard for me to control my lust for food and eat under 1,300 calories per day.  Also, my energy level drops and fatigue sets in earlier the less I eat.  However, overall, I must strive to bring my blood sugar to proper maintenance levels.  Always Compromises!!

"The Longevity Diet: The Only Proven Way to Slow the Aging Process and Maintain Peak Vitality Through Caloric Restriction." By Brian M. Delaney, and Lisa Walford, 2010.  

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition Based Cure.  By Caldwell B. Esselstyn, M.D., 2008.  

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