April 11, 2011

Just Diagnosed and In a Panic? Part 3

As a newly diagnosed person with diabetes, this is the lesson that most find a way to ignore, avoid, or outright forget. Carbohydrates are the biggest concern in the management of diabetes. Some like to insist it is sugar, but the truth is sugar is a carbohydrate. A simple carbohydrate and comes in many forms. It is sugar that is added to more foods than ever before. It was in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is now renamed corn sugar. It is added to more and more of our highly processed foods to get people to eat them. In the U.S., this is one of the causes of our obesity epidemic.

In addition to the simple carbohydrates, there are complex carbohydrates like whole grains, and starchy vegetables. Carbohydrates are a source of energy, but not the only source.

Because of the uniqueness of each individual, I do not like to recommend the amount of carbohydrates each should eat. A few are able to handle a fair number of simple carbs, but most cannot. Many people have trouble with some complex carbohydrates. This is why I strongly urge each individual to use their meter to find out how their body reacts. That is also why each person with Type 2 has to become their own science laboratory to determine what works for them.

Some people are able to eat many carbohydrates while others need to limit their carbs. When it comes to ranges, here again there are varying ranges depending on who you read. Most of the time the ranges are for the entire day and you will need to divide them into your meals depending on how your react at different times of the day. Some have large morning meals while many skip the first meal of the day and have the largest meal in the evening. You meter can assist you in making this evaluation.

I will not recommend low carb, medium carb, or high carb regimens as each person must decide for themselves according to what their meter tells them. I will say that the guidance from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is out of line for me. The American Associations of Diabetes Educators and the American Dietetic Association have the same mantra, meaning they follow the ADA.

The other source of energy is fat. Yes, I do not follow the low fat mantra of many health groups as new studies are showing this to be not quite the truth everyone likes to believe. In fact many of the things we hold on to are slowly being proven wrong and the studies from decades ago were to satisfy an agenda of the authors of the studies.

David Mendosa has no agenda and reports on both sides of many issues. His blogs on Health Central about fat and about diet are very enlightening. Dr. William Davis has his blog and here he likes to report on the whole grains mantra everyone is familiar with. His blogs about wheat and fat are well thought out. Here are four of his blogs, blog 1, blog 2, blog 3, and blog 4.

Why do I agree with them? Because even before I had diabetes, I would crave foods high in fat. After having a serving or two of these foods, sausages or beef with fat, my carvings disappeared for several weeks or longer. By not eating wheat or other whole grains for several days or weeks, I often feel much better. When I over eat wheat or other whole grains, I know it and often find myself fighting minor depression.

Finally, every person with Type 2 diabetes must experiment and find what works for them. Be cautious about the mantras of our diabetes professionals until you know they are okay for you and that your meter has told you that they are okay. Moderation and exercise will help you manage diabetes.

For reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog, click on the links.

April 10, 2011

Just Diagnosed and In a Panic? Part 2

People may get tired of my stating this as some form of this is used in every blog I write about herbs, supplements, vitamins, minerals, and natural remedies. Until people realize how important this is, and how deadly ignoring this can be, I will continue to write this. I am a patient and not in the medical profession.

Because of some of the problems, and the fact that many people will not read labels, or follow their doctor's instructions, I feel compelled to say this for all non-medical subjects.

The following information is for your reading and is not a cure. I am not endorsing any herb, supplement, or natural remedy. At best, many have short-term benefits only until your body gets what it is missing, with a few exceptions.

WARNING! This is important!!! If you are taking supplements or anything not prescribed by a doctor, please make sure that the doctor is informed. Some supplements and natural remedies, when taken with oral medications and/or insulin can cause hypoglycemia, have toxic effects, or even cause death.

It is important that everyone maintain a list of every herb, vitamin, mineral, supplement, and home remedy you are taking and give a copy to your doctor (and do indicate anything new since the last visit). I am aware that many people do not feel this is important, but the consequences for persons with diabetes can have severe medical implications. If you have other medical problems plus diabetes, this may even be more critical.

One statement I get from the naturalists or homeopath followers is what I take is natural and found in nature - the doctor does not need to know. Wrong! Even natural herbal remedies can cause problems when used with prescribed medications. In the USA, not all are manufactured under the Food and Drug Administration's specifications, and some may not be quality checked. They can often have ingredients not mentioned on the label, and some even have chemicals added that when combined with prescriptions can cause severe reactions.

Vitamins: Vitamins can be very beneficial and sometimes are not emphasized enough. Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and several others are critical if you are on some oral medications. Talk to your doctor about them. Metformin is an example as it can deplete the B12 and additional may be needed. If you have been on Metformin for a long time, your doctor should be testing you for B12 levels. Another issue is some lifestyles can be short of B12 and Omega-3's. See my blog here. I encourage people to find the lifestyle that is comfortable for them. The big caution here is understanding the nutritional needs to avoid problems.

Minerals: This should be divided into two groups, supplemental and trace minerals. WARNING, taking minerals should always be done under a doctors supervision to avoid problems with prescription medications and toxicity. Many people take too large a dosage of trace minerals for too long a period and this can lead to toxic side effects.

Some people avoid all the problems because they are consuming the right fruits and vegetables in quantities that have the vitamins and minerals in sufficient quantities. Talk to your doctor about doing the necessary tests. Most will not need to be done on a regular basis and most U.S. medical insurance companies will cover the tests on a yearly or longer basis. They will cover testing more often if problems are found.

Make sure the doctor covers the test results and gives you a copy for your records.

Part 2 of 3.  To read Part 1 and Part 3 of this blog, click on the links.