TYPE 2 DIABETES TIPS FOR SUCCESS

TL TYPE 2 DIABETES

If you are not getting enough quality sleep at night, you may be at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. When your body is sleeping, so is your pancreas. When you sleep, insulin levels drop and your metabolism (ability to burn and keep fat off) functions normally. If you stay awake at night, when you should be resting, and you eat late at night, your pancreas will never “shut off” and you’ll have a hard time managing your weight. Get a good 6-8 hours of quality sleep at night.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.  – Irish Proverb

I wish I had known about the connection between melatonin levels and diabetes sooner!  I’ve been a night owl for years.  There’s just something about the quiet of night…  my brain seems to awaken and my writer’s imagination takes flight – anyone relate???  I think more clearly and do my best work between 10pm and 3am.  For the sake of my health, that will have to stop.  Now.

To be honest, anything I have to do to improve my health – I will gladly do.  Is this blog or any other writing worth losing my health over?  Um…  nope.

 Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.  – Benjamin Franklin

I guess ol’ Ben was on to something…

If you are a night owl and have diabetes type 2, I invite you to change your sleeping habits.  When research told us to limit carbs, we did.  When it told us to exercise more, we did.  When it told us to take extra vitamin B-12 along with our Metformin, we did.  Now there’s another rule that is for our own good, so we can live as well as we can – get to bed by 10pm and get a good night’s sleep.  Be kind to your pancreas.  Let it rest so it will work better when you’re awake.DEAR PANCREAS

In my defense, I didn’t eat when I stayed up late, but sometimes I did have a cup of tea to sip slowly as I wrote.  But as I said, as long as you are awake, your pancreas thinks it’s on duty regardless and it’s not at rest.

I appreciate being as well-informed as possible because information is POWER.  I like being armed with as much information as possible in this battle, don’t you?  My night owl writing ends tonight.  I’m going to be in bed by 10pm.

Can I imagine myself as a morning person?  Hmm…  not today – but give it time…  I’ll get there!  🙂

 

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NATIONAL NEUROPATHY AWARENESS WEEK

TL 5-12 NATIONAL NEUROPATHY AWARENESS WEEK

GOD LOVES ME WHEN I HURT

Neuropathy is the term used to describe a problem with the nerves, usually the ‘peripheral nerves’ as opposed to the ‘central nervous system’ (the brain and spinal cord).

The causes of peripheral neuropathy are:

  • Alcoholism. Poor dietary choices made by alcoholics can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
  • Autoimmune diseases. These include Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and necrotizing vasculitis.
  • Diabetes. More than half of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy.
  • Exposure to poisons. Toxic substances include heavy metals or chemicals.
  • Medications. Certain medications, especially those used to treat cancer (chemotherapy), may cause peripheral neuropathy.
  • Infections. These include certain viral or bacterial infections, including Lyme disease, shingles (varicella-zoster), Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, leprosy, diphtheria and HIV.
  • Inherited disorders. Disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are hereditary types of neuropathy.
  • Trauma or pressure on the nerve. Traumas, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports injuries, can sever or damage peripheral nerves. Nerve pressure can result from having a cast or using crutches or repeating a motion many times, such as typing.
  • Tumors. Growths, cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign), can develop on the nerves themselves or they can put pressure on surrounding nerves.
  • Vitamin deficiencies. B vitamins, including B-1, B-6 and B-12, vitamin E and niacin are crucial to nerve health.
  • Bone marrow disorders. These include abnormal protein in the blood (monoclonal gammopathies), a form of bone cancer (osteosclerotic myeloma), lymphoma and amyloidosis.
  • Other diseases. These include kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders and an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism).

On my journey with type 2 diabetes, I’ve developed diabetic neuropathy.  Most people know it by the term diabetic nerve pain from the advertisements on television.  It’s a shooting, burning pain that constantly reminds me of this disease.  It’s also one of the main reasons I need and want to keep this beast of a disease under control.  The closer in check I keep my sugars, the less pain I feel.  Over the years I have determined that being out of control is just not worth the price I pay.I TRUST YOU, PAPA GOD

In my research I’ve also learned that the popular drug metformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes, when taken over time can cause a vitamin B-12 deficiency.  As we see, a deficiency in B vitamins is a cause of peripheral neuropathy.  When I began to take a vitamin B-12 in addition to my regular multi-vitamin, my pain lessened dramatically.

Between hypothyroidism, arthritis and diabetes it’s a challenge to manage my neuropathy, but I’m determined to stay as active as possible.  On bad days I walk with a cane, but on good days I walk just as fast as my little legs will take me!  I’m thankful to God for the good days!  🙂

 

UNDIAGNOSED CHILDREN’S AWARENESS DAY

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cropped-GEE_0012Wear pink or blue today to support this special day in the U.K.

Of course, when I think of a disease that goes undiagnosed, my mind immediately goes to type one diabetes.  It goes undiagnosed, or more commonly, it is misdiagnosed.  Reegan comes to mind.

Reegan Karice Oxendine was a toddler when she died in September 2013 from undiagnosed type one diabetes.  She was sick from the age of 14 months, so her parents took her to the doctor many times.  She was misdiagnosed with acid reflux disease and put on a prescription to treat it.  It didn’t work and her condition worsened.  She was finally taken to the emergency room where they checked her blood glucose.  The test came back with a reading of over 1,000 mg/dL- !  She was air-lifted to the Children’s Hospital at UNC in Chapel Hill.  Come to find out, her blood sugar levels had been at near fatal levels for at least 3 months – she died 2 months later.

It’s sad that this is still going on today. If more Dr.’s made a simple blood test part of the routine check up, maybe they would be able to catch it sooner, and could prevent them ending up in the hospital.  – John Manganiello

The truth is, as Americans we like to think our medical community is on top of these things, but I’ve read account after account where young children succumb to type one diabetes.  They don’t get diagnosed and begin treatment in time.  Why does this happen?

There should be a law in place that says doctors MUST perform a simple blood test as part of the routine check up!  It’s not pleasant to think of a blood draw, but it’s surely better than the alternative, isn’t it?

Today’s post is a reminder that there are children who go undiagnosed with not only type one diabetes, but many diseases that lead to horrific consequences down the line.  It’s such a shame that there are not laws in place – not state by state, but from coast to coast here in America, that protect our children!

It’s my hope and prayer that these children will not be INVISIBLE and forgotten anymore.  A case like Reegan’s should never happen!  It’s unfathomable that she went undiagnosed for such a long time.  Rest in Peace, sweet baby.

How many children have to fall through the proverbial cracks before we get smarter about the diagnosis process?  Seriously – if laws need to be passed, let the passing begin because, it IS our future we’re talkin’ about here.  If we really value life like we say we do…  let’s FIX this!  Jus’ sayin’…  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

TYPE 2 DIABETES TIPS FOR SUCCESS

TL TYPE 2 DIABETES

GOD DOES RESEARCH WITH ME

Have you ever had a NERVE CONDUCTION TEST (NCT)???  There’s a reason they keep a box of tissues in that office…  those things HURT!!!  Basically, the test didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know – oh, and I’ll never have another one – ever.

I did my research.  My neuropathy from type 2 diabetes was so severe that I was barely able to walk – and then with a cane to lean on.  I already have sciatica, but add the neuropathy to that, and it’s a recipe for major pain and difficulty walking.

Did you know that a side effect of Metformin, the most popular medication for type 2 diabetes, when taken for the long-term, is vitamin B12 deficiency???  Yep – and here’s the interesting part.  Vitamin B12 is what keeps your nerves healthy and happy!  So, maybe it’s not diabetes that is really causing neuropathy, but the medication we take for it.  Seriously?

I gotta tell ya…  I’m very excited because reversing the pain and numbness in my leg was as simple as taking a vitamin B12 pill every day!  I’ve been on Metformin since I was diagnosed in 1994, but did not realize that those 4 pills a day were depleting my B12.  Since I added a B12 pill, the pain and numbness has gotten so much better and I can walk without a cane.

Because of the sciatica I still have shooting pain down my leg, but with exercises I’m able to manage it.

I hope the information I share helps you.  Hey – give vitamin B12 a try.  It’s sure better than nerve damage and inability to walk without a cane.

My next appointment is April 13th to have my A1c checked.  I’ve really been watching my diet closely, drinking water and exercising.  I’m also taking my medicine, of course.  The goal is to ultimately get my weight where it needs to be so I can inch my way off of all diabetes medication.  I’m workin’ on it.  Doin’ the best I can!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (24)

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Some folks go on diets to get a summer-ready body for the beach.  Others want to lose weight to get into a dress for a special occasion.  My reasons for dieting?  I either have to lose weight or spend hundreds of dollars every month on insulin.

I was sitting in my recliner watching TV and saw Marie Osmond talking about Nutrisystem.  No, I’m not going to do that – although that’s where my train of thought started.  I said to myself, half jokingly – “Well, I suppose I could pay those hundreds of dollars to Nutrisystem instead of the pharmacy – and eventually not have to take insulin anymore – when I get to my goal weight.”

The seed was planted in my brain – and something just snapped inside.  From that moment, I felt a determination to get healthy like I’ve never felt before.  I don’t want to have to take those shots anymore – I really don’t.

When I was in high school – in the late 1970’s – I kept my weight in check with the Weight Watcher’s points.  Nobody wants to be the big girl in high school, and thanks to this program, I was able to stay at 125-130 pounds.  I counted and wrote down every morsel of food I put in my mouth.  I never ate more than 20 points a day.

I was much more active back then, obviously.  Today I ride my recumbent bike for 30 minutes every day.  According to the chart online, it will take 35 weeks to get to my goal weight of 125 pounds.  I’m ready and very excited to embark on this adventure.  I’m ready to get more healthy and be a controlled type 2 diabetic, but controlled with diet & exercise instead of pills and shots.

What’s your favorite Weight Watchers recipe?  Please leave it in the comments section.  I’m very interested in collecting them but I’m too cheap to buy a cookbook.  Here’s one we made last night for supper – and it was pretty good!

Weight Watchers Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 10 ounces lean boneless beef loin, cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups small whole white mushrooms, woody ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon reduced-calorie tub margarine
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, to garnish

Directions

In large pot of boiling water, cook noodles 5-6 minutes, until tender; drain, discarding liquid. Set aside; keep warm.

In medium nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 3 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove beef from skillet. Wipe skillet clean; set beef aside.

Spray same skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat. Add onions; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 7 minutes, until golden brown. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, 6 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove vegetables from skillet. Wipe skillet clean; set vegetables aside.

In same skillet, melt margarine; sprinkle with flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling. Continuing to stir, gradually add broth, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 4 minutes, until mixture is thickened. Stir in sour cream.

Return cooked beef, onions and mushrooms to skillet; stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is heated through.

Divide warm noodles evenly among 4 plates; top each portion of noodles with one-fourth of the beef mixture. Serve garnished with parsley.

I’d appreciate your good vibes and prayers as I begin week #2 of this journey!  If you’d like to talk more about healthy eating (and sometimes eat some virtual chocolate) – come on over and join my group on facebook – A Second Helping of Wellness… with a dash of humor & a pinch of faith.

See ya there!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

God gave His very BEST to us and for us…  this truly is the season of giving…  how many ways can we give this year?  Does it take a large budget to give?  No – not a large budget – just a creative mind and an intent of heart that bends toward giving.

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We just enjoyed a lovely celebration of Advent at church and are feeling the true meaning of Christmas – and the Spirit that comes with it.  I have an idea…  since today is Monday and a bit of an anti-climax of sorts, to put it mildly…  why not take snacks to work without being asked???

One of the perks of being part of the workforce is the Monday morning you walk in and there are homemade goodies setting on the conference room table for anyone to indulge in.  Oh yeah – it’s like a big score to begin the week!

COOKIES AND CAROLS

You don’t have to spend hours making these goodies either – and you don’t have to hire a professional baker or pay a high price at the bakery.  There are tons of quick and easy recipes that turn out great every time and will be sure to please your co-workers.  Whether you sing Christmas Carols as you serve them…  well, that’s up to you!  😉

Here’s one of my favorites:

ALMOND-CHOCOLATE-CHERRY COOKIES

Makes 24 cookies

11 g. carbohydrates per cookies / 81 calories / 6 g. sugar

INGREDIENTS:

6 Tbs. butter, softened

3/4 c. Splenda

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted & cooled slightly

1 1/3 c. flour

1/2 c. dried cherries

1/3 c. sliced almonds

1 recipe Chocolate-Almond Glaze

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  In a medium bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, about 2 minutes or until smooth.  Add Splenda, beating until creamy.  Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined.  Stir in melted chocolate.  Stir in flour.  Fold in dried cherries and almonds.  Cover and chill dough for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.  Shape dough into one inch balls.  Place balls about one inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until centers are set.  Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely.
  3. Drizzle Chocolate-Almond Glaze over cooled cookies.  Let stand until glaze is set.  To store, layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container.  Cover.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

CHOCOLATE-ALMOND GLAZE

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 1/2 tsp. butter

1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 Tbs. fat-free milk

Dash almond extract

DIRECTIONS:

In small saucepan, combine chocolate and butter.  Heat and stir over low heat until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  Stir in powdered sugar, milk and almond extract until smooth.

As cookies go, these are the most healthy and tasty ones I’ve had.  I can actually eat a couple of these without causing my blood glucose to raise too high.  So, while everyone else is bringing in goodies that you know you need to stay away from – you can bake these up and know that everyone will enjoy them – and not wreck their health.  Wink!  😉

WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY

TL 11-14 WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY (2)

https://youtu.be/LGCjKPmegdU

No matter what type of diabetes we have, none of us want to be part of this “club”.  This is a frightening disease because it’s so unpredictable.  What will it attack next?  According to a recent study published online in JAMA, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994 and have so far managed alright.  My hemoglobin A1c is not at goal yet, but I’m working on it.  Diabetics can only manage symptoms now.  There is no cure for diabetes type 1, and if people like me with type 2 can lose weight, it’s possible to maintain a healthy blood sugar – but a type 2 diabetic will always be a type 2 diabetic regardless.

I asked the folks in my group, A Second Helping of Wellness… with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, if they had anything in particular to add to my post today.  Here’s the one response I received:

I think every day should be Diabetes Awareness Day. It is a work in progress for many of us. You have it on your mind all the time, and if you ignore it, it can cause so many complications.  – John Manganiello

Some of us express our thoughts and feelings through the designs we make.  I guess I’m in that category.  Here are a few I’ve come up with that say what I need to say:

AS WE MANAGE

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It hurts to be judged – especially when it is something as intensely personal as your body and your weight where your health is concerned.  I had a chiropractor ask me in a very flip and off-hand manner, “Why don’t you just lose the weight and get rid of the diabetes?”  I never went back to him.  I wonder why???

Judging doesn’t help!  People think they can shame a type 2 into compliance and obedience.  It works the opposite way for me.  I’ll speak for myself – but if someone belittles me all the time – nags me about my eating habits and crushes my spirit – I’m going to eat more.  No, I can’t explain it – but it’s true.  I suppose I just think “Well, I can’t do anything right, so why try?” 

Now…  encourage me and I’ll go the distance and I will reach a goal.  It doesn’t have to be much of a compliment – just a little one will set me in motion heading in a positive direction!  It’s how I’m wired – how God made me!  If I do good and I’m told it’s good – I’ll keep it up! 

I’m thankful for the support I get online and on facebook in the diabetic community.  They seem to understand and that really helps when I feel like I’m the only one struggling.  🙂