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I feel like I've been duped

July 12th, 2011 at 02:00 pm

ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 637.89
RX total = 184.64
Discounted Gift Cards = 207.19
Total = 1,029.72

I've had diabetes and high blood pressure for over 10 years. During that time most of the things I read about how to control diabetes from the ADA were eat more whole grains, eat less meat, eat less fat. Even just this month the new ADA guidelines are to eat 45 - 65% daily carbohydrates. I followed the rules and I kept getting worse. Every year I had to increase my medications. I lost some wieght, but even with that I couldn't bring my diabetes/high blood pressure under control.

For the past 3 months I've been reading about a lot of alternative ways to control diabetes/high blood pressure and the middle of April I started trying them. The main one was to drastically reduce carbs (under 50/day), no sugar. Eat more protein (4 - 6 oz/meal) and eat more fat (just not trans fat). I am amazed. I haven't lost tons of weight, but I have lost 15 pounds in 3 months, eating around 1800 cal/day. I went from taking 4 high blood pressure meds to keep my blood pressure in the high/normal range to 1 med with my blood pressure absolutely normal. I got my fasting blood sugar results today for the 3 month A1c test. It is 6.1% down from 7.3%. This is fantastic! Under 6% is considered normal, if I can bring it down just a little bit more, I will be normal! In only 3 months. Next month I plan to get my cholesterol and triglycerides checked.

I feel like I've been duped, like the government has been lying to me. They want me to be on drugs to control the problem. They want the agricultural businesses to grow, by me eating more of their products. This is their advice for the last 20 years and in that time there has been an explosion of obesity and diabetes and I blame it on that advice to americans to eat more grains and less fat. The drug companies and agricultural companies donate hugh amounts of money to the ADA.

I watched the documentary FatHead on netflix, which gave a lot of good information. I've read several books including the Diabetes Solution, Eat Fat, Lose Fat, Protein Power and several others that explain how many, many, many studies show when people reduce carbs, all the markers doctors look at for health improve - blood sugar, blood pressure and lipids. I've found several websites devoted to diabetics who have improved their numbers this way and are now medication free.

Eating this way has taken away all my cravings for food. I've bought several candy bars in the last couple weeks that were free, but I haven't even been tempted to eat them. I've given them all away. It used to be I could eat a big bowl of pasta, or oatmeal or something like that and in 2 hours I was looking for something else to eat. I was never satisfied. I feel so calm now.

There are some drawbacks. It's a lot more expensive to eat this way. My grocery bill doubled last month and tripled this month. This month the reason is buying $100 worth of vitamin supplements to see if I can get my blood sugar down a little more. Partly the cost was because I wasn't stocked up for this way of eating and had to buy a lot of things when they weren't on sale. Once I get stocked and start finding the sales the monthly price should come down some. Another offset to that though is not eating out as much that saves around $50 a month since I went from 10 times a month to 4.

It's harder to eat out or go to friends to celebrate. I have to really plan ahead and bring my own food if needed.

It's really hard to find products without some kind of sugar or msg or transfat. It seems like everything has some form of sugar - it's amazing. Even tuna is packed in broth, which has msg in it. And just about every salad dressing or cheese or lunchmeat has either sugar or something hydrologized in it. Hydrologized anything means transfats.

I spend more time prepping and cooking food. I didn't used to eat meat at home much unless it was in a frozen dinner or tuna or something like that, so I actually cook meat.

It's a little boring after awhile since I mostly eat protein and veggies at every meal. There are some really good low-carb bars and ice cream and stuff out there and I can eat nuts, which helps. Again all that stuff is more expensive than grains. But bottom line I decided spending the money now to be healthy and get my numbers under control will save money in the future when I don't have to have amputations or heart disease etc.

I've lost one clothing size, both up and down and I have more energy. My heartburn after meals went away. I can't remember the last time I had a headache. I fall asleep within a half hour of laying down - it used to take me an hour or more. I sleep almost the whole night thru - I usually have one bathroom break, but the sleep seems to be a deep, good sleep, not restless.

All in all I feel so much better and the results speak for themselves. I did Atkins years ago, but couldn't stay on it for longer than a few days. For some reason this time it is not that hard. Eventually I should be able to increase my carbs some and eat around 100 grams/day.

I don't know why I finally decided to take control of this area in my life. I think I was kind of fatalistic before. You have diabetes, you'll have it for life. You'll always need medications. Eventually you'll die of it and probably a lot sooner than you would otherwise. I frequently read the advice from the ADA and tried to follow it, but obviously that was a load of @#$@#. And maybe that's why I was so fatalistic, because I did follow their advice and it wasn't working. I just kept getting worse.

Now the more I read the alternative view points and websites, the more excited I am about having normal numbers. You can't be cured from diabetes, but I can be normal. For the next 2 months I plan to continue this way of eating and add in the supplements that are supposed to help. I'll test again in September to see if I've made any more improvements.

Anyways having a stupendous day today with getting those results in the mail. I also got 3 more $5 credit cards from the cereal deal last month.

I finished reading my book Free Fall in Crimson by John D. Macdonald. Mystery - pretty good.

17 Responses to “I feel like I've been duped”

  1. librarylady Says:

    Congratulations!!! So happy for you. You know, you are saving money on the meds you aren't taking now. You could look at it that way, when you think about spending more on food.
    What are the supplements you are taking or going to be taking? I'm really interested.

  2. Miz Pat Says:

    This is wonderful to hear and I'm very happy for you. I feel you are right about being duped. I'm diabetic too, and goofed off on my diet along "proper parameters", and I'm back to feeling rotton. So now I'm off sugar, and lowering carbs and trying to eat veggies and protein.

    Part of this started when a nurse at urgent care told me I had to drink fruit juice when I was sick and dehydrated. I told her I was diabetic and she still stressed this.

    Your article is just another nail in the coffin of trusting health officials on things.

    I am very happy you feel better too. That's everything.

  3. crazyliblady Says:

    Congrats. Go forth and be healthy.

  4. ThriftoRama Says:

    Wow. I am so surprised they had you eating so many carbs. Is that what your diabetic nurse/doctor told you as well? I had gestational diabetes and it was all eat protein, eat vegetables, and limit carbs. I mean, haven't they always know that carbs turn to glucose in the blood faster?

    I am so happy you are feeling better. So happy, but as I said, I am shocked that that is the advice you were given.

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Good news that you are doing much better!

  6. M E 2 Says:

    I'm with ThriftORama. Any/all the diabetics I have known have immediately been told to cut their carb consumption. You should have discussed this with your doctor. Self-diagnosing/self-medicating/self-treating isn't a good idea.

  7. patientsaver Says:

    I'm really glad you're doing better, but it's in no one's best interests, including the government, that obesity has become an epidemic. I don't think the US Agriculture Dept nor the pharmaceutical industry has tried to dupe you. It's a worldwide problem that's resulted from a combination of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and our increasing reliance on packaged, processed foods.

    I agree that the health advice we get is often conflicting or ineffective. That's why I think it's our responsibility to educate ourselves (as you have done) and make an informed decision about our own healthcare and not simply do as the doctor says. But it's very often the case that advice we're given at one time evolves or changes down the road with new research or new findings.

  8. North Georgia Gal Says:

    A friend of mine was telling me about a diet that helps with cancer. I haven't read it but she is trying it with her husband who was diagnosed with level 4 cancer. She said that the government doesn't promote the diet but that studies have been done to prove it works. I am anxious to see what happens.

  9. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I came to the same conclusions years ago. I was diagnosed with A1C 13.2 about 20 years ago. Last AIC was 5.4 but I've had as low as 5.2. Serious low-carbing is the way I can do it.

  10. debtfreeme Says:

    Way to go on getting yourself healthy and finding a path that works for you! Keep on the healthy path!

  11. retire@50 Says:

    the vitamin supplements I'm taking are:

    magnesium 250 mg - 2 x/day
    chromium piccolinate 200 mcg - 2 x/day
    vitamin E 400 IU/day
    alpha-lipoic acid 300 mg - 2 x/day
    Co Q-10 100 mg in morning, 200 mg at night

  12. retire@50 Says:

    When I first got diabetes I did go to a diabetes nutrition class. I was told to limit my carbs to 3 - 4 servings per meal and 1 or 2 per snack. 1 serving = 15g carbs. So at the low end of 3 servings at 3 meals thats 135g / day. At the high of 3 meals and 1 snack it could be 210g/day. That is not low enough to lower most diabetic people's blood sugars. Right now the ADA recommends you eat between 45 and 60% of your calories in carbs. On a normal 2000 cal/day diet that is 225 - 300 g carbs/day. I was also told to eat less meat and less fat.

    I don't believe the government is trying to make people fat or have diabetes. I do believe they are swayed to promote a certain way of eating by pharmeceutical and agricultural businesses. I believe the obesity and diabetes are an unexpected consequence of those actions.

    When you look at how often the government gives out bad advice that in a few years changes, I don't know how you can believe anything they tell you. I prefer to use my common sense and see that if something isn't working for me, see what works for others and try it to see if it works for me too. For whatever reason it took me a long time to do that in this case, even though I'm pretty much a take-charge kind of person in all other areas and rarely follow 'common knowledge' advice.

  13. uRabbit Says:

    One comment: The government regulates manufactured drugs.

    Why else would cigarettes be legal and marijuana not? Why else would drugs that are known to be harmful to you be allowed to be sold?

    I try to keep things all natural. But when something so life threatening as diabetes comes along, grabs you by the hair, and steers you around like a puppet, it makes it quite hard to go au naturale.

    Congrats and keep it up!

  14. Jerry Says:

    Well, diabetes care is a HUGE industry (I used to work in it), and I am not remotely convinced that there is any political will (or even a significant research will) to cure it... only to manage it, because that is what leads to the money. Your hemoglobin A1C levels are remarkable, you are really almost there! Keep doing the stuff that is working, and you probably have some insurance that you can kick your meds to the curb. That is absolutely amazing, man. Keep it up! You are inspiring.
    Jerry

  15. baselle Says:

    That is fantastic, congratulations. I don't know whether you have been duped or not, the important thing is that you are in the 'zone' - your metabolism is improving, you are becoming healthier, you can prove it from your readings, and its a lifestyle change you can maintain.

    Oh yes, I have my own story about the medical establishment. I told the nurse that I had lost 40 pounds, she asked me how I did it ... I told that I did it in the most boring way possible by controlling my eating and exercising. The nurse was 200 lbs (the same I was when I started)...and promptly told me "she could never do that". Huh?

    There are times when we all have to be scientists and experiment a bit with ourselves. (that came out funny). I'd see how much more you can improve with the supplements, but be willing to measure it and drop them should they pan out.

  16. Miz Pat Says:

    Don't forget the FOOD industry. They have tons of processed foods that are easy to eat filled with fat, sugar and salt.

  17. Nika Says:

    I don't see how this is governments fault in any way.

    I don't have diabetis but it is general knowledge that carbs convert straight to sugar. Especially simple carbs! And eating whole grain (true whole grain, not gimmycky whole grain) is better when you do it instead of refined stuff, not in addition.

    I think government and doctors try very hard to promote healthy life style but "eat healthy and exersize" usually goes into one ear of most patients and out the other. Health costs are astronomical. Government does not "make" money of people being obese or diabetic. They spend money. And many doctors just give up. Since the patients don't eat healthy and exercise, medication is the only resort left. When it should be the last resort.

    Yes, food industry is deplorable in health standards and it is a battle to find truly healthy and fresh things. Because they seek profit - and the longer the shelf life of the product, the less profit loss is involved. So they refine, preserve, add a tonn of fat, sugar and salt to make it taste passable...
    Really, simple rule of thumb -- foods that are best for you don't have a long shelf life. That is the reality of it. Generally, longer you can keep it, the more processed it is.

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