Friday, April 8, 2011

Progress – Mar 28 – Apr 6, 2011

I came back from India and started my diet from Monday, Mar 28. I knew I needed to get this going.

I started off with a semi vegan diet. I cut off all sugar; I use very little oil in my cooking, and the only non-vegan item I am consuming at present is 2% milk for my coffee. I don’t eat once I am full, and eat at regular intervals. I would like to make clear that at no point have I starved myself and have eaten well all the time. It has been a conscious effort to be aware of what I am eating.

I tweaked a few things once I determined which items spiked up my sugar levels. This is given the current situation I am in where my body is very sensitive to certain kinds of food, some of which is fine at times when the sugar is under control.

I avoided the following -

* Baked soy chips and potato chips

* Rye bread which normally causes no issues (only rye and

pumpernickel bread work well)

* Rice, even though normally I only eat basmati rice (which is

not a very starchy rice)

* Potatoes, carrots, beets

* Grapes, water melon, pineapple

It really helps when you avoid the above initially, when you are getting bad sugar readings.

Instead, I ate – chick peas, kidney beans, moong and all kinds of pulses; fruits such as clementine, apple, pear, plum; old fashioned oatmeal; lots of vegetables; cooked cracked wheat instead of rice; chapatis made of whole wheat flour; and pasta cooked al dente. I added one Glucerna per day to the list, during the time between 4 pm and dinner, which I usually eat at 7.30 – 8 pm. Glucerna keeps, you sugar levels in check and is fantastic.

I have included my sugar readings below, one taken in the AM (fasting) and the other taken prior to dinner (which is 2 hours after a snack at work) around 7 pm. It will show you the resulting impact this change in the food I am eating has had on my sugar readings.

Fasting Sugar Trend - Mar 8 to Apr 6, 2011

Prior to Dinner Sugar Trend - Mar 8 to Apr 6, 2011

So now you can see the effect of just changing what you eat and being aware of what you eat. I know it works, some time it takes a little longer but this time has started working on me pretty early.

Average Sugar Readings

Time Period

Weight (lbs)

Fasting Sugar

Prior to Dinner Sugar

03/08/11 – 03/27/11




03/28/11 – 04/06/11




I will be writing separately about the diet that I am following, which is unlike several diets I have followed in the past, which in terms of results has helped me the most over time.

Until then


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time to Take Action

Why is it so difficult at times for the human mind to take control? Why is it that at times one needs a jolt and only then one springs into action? Well, anyway, that’s been the case with me for a good part of my life, when it comes to my health.

I did one good thing for my health when I was in India this time. I got a comprehensive health check up done at a hospital close by. The results weren’t pretty. In focus were my diabetes and cholesterol results. A good hearing from the doctor followed, who was almost suggesting that I may want to start administering insulin if things don’t improve with some changed prescriptions. I refuse to believe that.

My weight was 324 lbs. My diabetes readings were as follows: Fasting sugar 206, and after breakfast sugar at 252 (2 hours after breakfast); HPLC or 3 month average was 10.

My cholesterol readings were as follows: Total 235, HDL 47, LDL 157, Triglycerides 179… get the gist.

During this time period and around 2 weeks prior to my India trip I was getting sugar readings regularly in the 350 range and was greater than 250 most of the times. Fasting was always over 220. I started keeping tab of my sugar readings since the first week of March.

I know why I started this site, and what my goals are. I want to be diabetes free and medicine free mainly through diet and exercise. These results indicate that I have basically been BS’ing myself. And that would render this site a joke, a mockery of myself. Which I am not about to let happen and not why I am here. What I haven’t done is execute and take the proper steps to ensure that I follow the right path to reach my goal.

From the time I have come back from India at the end of March, I have started following a diet which is a semi vegan diet in that the only diary product I have is milk with my coffee, very little consumption of oil, and no sugar whatsoever. I am off to a good start.

Although I am happy that I have started going in the right direction, it need not have come to this level. I was 276 lbs after recovering from my surgery, and even though these pounds were lost due to the emergency surgery for my diverticulitis, I should have pounced on the opportunity and taken it down from there. Instead, it came back to 324 lbs,

I am going to do my level best to keep updating my progress here with details as to how I am achieving it, what helped me and what didn’t so that it benefits me like a progress report, and anyone else out there who may be struggling to cope as I have been. Until next time.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Status Update: Oh Boy!

No progress and I take the blame for most of it.

I thought I would wait a couple of weeks to see the trend in my sugar levels before summarizing it on here.

The going hasn’t been really good so far, as my fasting sugar levels have been in the range of 170 to 220 with an average of 190. Weight is at 323lb right now.

The reason is due to no physical activity, and not being mindful of what I am consuming. Although I managed to stay away from meat for the most part (something that I am planning to quit), the food I consumed over the last few weeks had a lot of dairy products (spelt FAT!). I go through most of the week in a fine manner, but it breaks down towards the weekend.

I better get my act going or I am going to be in big trouble, what with the holiday season approaching. So it is time to eat healthy!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Alternate Options for Avandia

I read this useful article that came out in the 3rd week of September 2010, after the decision by the FDA to restrict the availability of Avandia in the US and the European Medicines Agency taking the drug off the European markets.

The article lists out several other options to Avandia, along with the pros and cons of each of the alternatives. I like the fact that the information has been laid out in a manner easy to understand.

Usually we just take what medications the doctor prescribes us. Most of us don't inquire more about the drug we are prescribed or try and find out more information about the drug.

I was prescribed Actos way back in 2004. The doctor back then said I should take that along with my Glimeperide and I did.

When I read the following about Actos in the article, "This medication works by decreasing the amount of insulin needed to move glucose from the blood into the cells by increasing the body's sensitivity to the substance", I am a bit confused. Why so? Actos decreases the amount of insulin needed to move glucose to the cells, and Glimeperide increases the production of insulin in the pancreas. These look like opposite functions for each drug. I need to go check this out with my current doctor if taking both medicines serves the purpose it is supposed to.

Here is a link to the article, and I think it would definitely help us learn more about the drugs we may be taking

Monday, September 27, 2010

Let's Do It

There is no time like now to start over on a clean slate.

I had initially started this blog as a means to documenting my fight against type 2 diabetes with the goal of reaching a stage where I don’t take any more medications for my diabetes. Instead, mainly through a vegan diet and exercise, maintain my sugar at normal levels. I will give the reason for a vegan diet in a separate post.

As you may have read from the previous post, there was a big hurdle that I had to cross health wise last year. Well, now since I am well again from that ailment, it is back to the original quest, shall we say :-)?

I sincerely hope that what I share here may serve as an inspiration/motivation to others who are facing similar challenges in their fight against diabetes.

I am going to keep note of my sugar levels in the morning and evening levels on a daily basis in the initial stages, so that I am able to identify patterns in the sugar levels and what is beneficial or isn’t in keeping the sugar levels on their course.

Historically, I haven’t been doing a good job of maintaining my diet and exercise plan and there are huge spans of times when I have a lot of trouble gaining control over my mind, giving in to temptation, laziness to exercise, and craving for all kinds of food that are unhealthy (meat, fat, sweets, diary) and are detrimental to keeping control on the sugar levels. I think many of you will agree with me on this.

But, just as I have been doing for so many years, the best thing to do when you have fallen down is to get up and resume the fight. Eventually you will get it right.

Hope, perseverance and dedication in generous doses is what moves us forward over all kinds of hurdles we face in our lives and it wont ever fail in helping us in whatever we are attempting to do. This constant fight we have with our mind is lifelong in everything we do. I think we will do well enough if on average we are ahead in this fight with our mind.

With that, I shall end today’s post. I will try and be up to date on the posts, will post links to other articles that will be useful. I shall also post recipes that will be perfect for people suffering from diabetes from my food blogs.

Come, let’s fight this battle together and get by with a little help from each other.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Back to the Present!

I am back after a long long time, and happy to be alive and kicking!

I underwent a few surgeries in 2009 for diverticulitis. Complications occurred due to infection and I went through a critical patch.

The sugar levels shot up after surgery as they normally do, which isn’t good at all for a diabetic if not managed properly. So in addition to increased levels of oral medications, for the first time I had to take 20 units of insulin daily to keep the sugar within reasonable levels.

Due to the high sugar levels and the seriousness of the surgery, it took me months to recover and a long time to get back to being normal. It is now one year since my surgeries and I can still feel the after effects of the surgery at times. I was really scared wondering whether I will ever become completely alright.

When I admitted myself to the ER, I weighed 337 lbs and my sugar levels weren’t optimal either. I lost 61 lbs during this time, to 276lbs. After I completely recovered, the insulin intake was stopped and oral medications were reduced since my sugar levels started dropping very low.

I felt good about my sugar levels, which were now normal with the most minimal dosage of medications.

Then I had this strange period of time when, after having lost all this weight, I went into a binge-eating mode where I couldn’t go through a day without consuming chocolate (usually a 100g bar of Cadbury’s bar or sometimes two), gorge on fatty and oily food, desserts, and all my food had to be really spicy with a lot of chili powder. Normally I am not a person who likes spicy food much.

This was a period of time where I lost all sense and control of my diet and my sugar levels. I didn’t go to the doctors, since I was scared going near a hospital after going through what I did, and even small things that reminded me of the hospital and surroundings used to make me anxious.

Fast forward almost 4 months later to today, and I am now almost back to where I was in 2009, weighing 324lbs and sugar levels that are high and very sensitive to anything to I eat. My H1AC level reading was 8.3. The results from the blood test my new doctor ran woke me up alright!

Hence I thought it was very important that I focus on my health again, which includes my obesity and my sugar levels.

I want to revive what I had intended to do in 2009 - bring my health back in order, especially my obesity and diabetes and I am hoping that I can stay right on track this time around. There is no looking back as that is a waste of time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Report card, week of August 6, 2008

As I write this, I am well into my diet and exercise program.

After a visit to my doctor (due to a spike in sugar levels to 310 mg/dl and some heart palpitations) in the last week of June, after hearing what he had to say I had to really think hard about my life which I always took for granted.

He said to me if you don’t do something about your situation ASAP, you wont live to see your daughter (2.5 years old currently) as a grown up.

That statement hit me, and I started exercising and changed my eating habits immediately on June 27, 2008. I shall write about my diet in detail in another post.

At that point in time, I was weighing 325 lbs. My fasting sugar was averaging > 175 mg/dL and sugar reading in the evening prior to dinner was averaging > 190 mg/dL, often reaching 300. My current oral medications for diabetes management are Amaryl (Glymepride) 2mg daily, and Actos 15mg daily.

I started maintaining a spreadsheet of my daily sugar readings, both in the morning and the evening. The AM readings are fasting sugar levels and the PM readings are taken when I come back from work. I also started maintaining sugar readings after my exercise so as to keep track of the effect exercise was having on the sugar levels in my body. My aim is to exercise 20 minutes daily on the elliptical machine, although I do miss it on some days.

I have made very decent progress in terms of my sugar levels, as well as my weight. The following graphs below show my sugar levels since June 27, 2008 which are trending lower over time.

My first goal is to get my sugar readings to the normal level, within the range of 80 to 120 mg/dL. For that I really have to work hard on my diet and exercise. I am still not there yet, but have to keep a close watch as the sugar levels shoot up at times for reasons I can’t explain. My weight over this time period has gone down to 316 lbs as of August 4, 2008.

1) Sugar levels (June 27 to August 6, 2008) – AM fasting levels have come down from a weekly average of 165 mg/dL to a weekly average of 138 mg/dL; PM fasting levels have come down from an average of 155 mg/dL to 102 mg/dL.

2) Weight - down from 325 lbs on June 27, 2008 to 316 lbs on August 4, 2008.

More to write about very soon!

The Journey Resumes

My struggle with type II diabetes has been going on for the last five years. Obesity has been another issue that I haven't really been able to resolve all my life although there have been many attempts, some that were partially successful, only to gain all that weight back.

Both of the above issues are linked. Also, heredity may have played a part in this for me, as my mom suffered from both diabetes and obesity. Diabetes took her life at a young age.

I know that there are millions of people in this world who battle these diseases continuously every day, with the hope that they are able overcome /manage the same, and are able to lead a healthy life.

My aim with this blog is to reach out to everyone, write about the things I am doing to eventually overcome my Diabetes (yes overcome it!) and stay within the golden 80 to 120 range. I have also set myself the goal of losing 100 lbs in the process.

I would like to share what worked for me in terms of diet, food items, and exercise as well as other helpful tips I may find on the web.

I would like readers who are suffering from diabetes or obesity share their ideas and experiences here, and we all can gain some inspiration and hope. Lets kick some ass on this disease so we can live better and stay healthy!