Monday, October 05, 2015


It's been five years and two months since the first time I ever checked my blood sugar. The level was 316. I promptly scheduled an appointment with a doctor, got my diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes, and began trying, without that much success, to control the blood glucose level.

Over that five years, my blood sugar has, at most times, run in excess of 200, no matter what I did. But what I did was approach it the wrong way. I switched to diet soda -- which, as it turns out, affects blood glucose pretty much the same as soda with sugar. I promised myself to "cut back." I took medication (Metformin -- I'm still taking it). I tried taking cinnamon. And so on and so forth.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to change things in a different way.

Instead of promising myself to "cut back" on non-water beverages, I set a maximum daily ration of four. That might be two cups of coffee and two sodas, or some other combination. I've been doing that for a couple of weeks and plan to cut it down to three this week.

I also committed, instead of "trying to cut back" on carbs and "trying to eat more" green vegetables, to make one meal a day be a salad. One day I have it for lunch, the next day for dinner, back and forth. It's a Caesar salad -- romaine with not much dressing, very few croutons (when the bag I have is gone I'll be doing away with those completely) and most of the time some chicken and a sprinkling of parmesan. I like it. I think I can eat it daily and get used to that before getting tired of it. I'm generally avoiding bread (for the most part) and pasta (entirely so far, but I think I may cut myself a break once a month or something; we'll see).

I started taking yet another supplement: Gymnema Sylvestre. Its effects don't seem to be incredibly well documented, but I've seen a number of testimonials. Allegedly it acts in three ways: It reduces the perceived sweetness in food (I can attest to that, and it seems to be helping me resist sugar craving); it acts in the intestine to reduce uptake of fuel to make glucose with; and it boosts the creation of cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

I can't attest to that last. What I can attest to is that 48 hours after I started taking the stuff, my blood sugar tested below 200 for the first time in a long time.

And, as of two days ago, I'm back on the bike (which is a key part of my congressional campaign).

As of yesterday afternoon, my blood sugar was at 119. That's right below the "diabetic" level of 120. It's the first time I've tested below "diabetic" since August of 2010.

So I'm going to keep up with all this stuff.

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