Sunday, January 13, 2019
I'm still kind of new to this whole world. So I've been reading a lot. I'm beginning to really look askance at the ADA and their recommendations about diet. My doctor's, too, actually. I'm convinced that if I had followed her advice closely from the beginning, I'd still be trying to get my A1c under 7. In fact, on diagnosis, she ordered a repeat A1c for 7 weeks later and said that she hoped I might have gotten it down to the low 8s by then (started at 10.1 in mid-August). I completely ignored her 35-40 carbs per meal, 15 per snack - 3 of each each day. As it was summer, I ate a lot of garden vegetables, eggs, chicken salad and my daily carb count was mostly between 50 - 80. She was amazed that the 7-week redo was 6.9. More illuminating for me (about how medicine approaches this whole thing) is that she told me to stop testing (unless maybe I went out and had some fancy meal). She actually used the words 'You're there!' So, the whole goal is 'under 7'. But that corresponds to an average reading of 150!! That's accepting a perpetually high blood glucose that is progressively causing all kinds of damage. That was October 7th. I was scheduled for another A1c , for the beginning of January. My latest A1c, drawn on January 3rd, is 5.7. The doctor is thrilled, talked of non-diabetic. I'm thrilled, too, given that less than 6 months ago, it was 10.1. But 5.7 = 117. I'm still determined to get it lower.
I've definitely found that as the seasons changed, I've had more trouble staying as low on carbs. Now, it's more like between 75 and 125 and occasional days that go up to 140. Winter means chowder, and squash, and roasted things. (Still haven't touched pasta since August, or any good, fresh crusty bread.
I've been reading Dr. Bernstein's book, The Diabetic Solution. He, too, dismisses the conventional guidelines for carb intake. I haven't finished it, but his goal is maintaining normal blood sugar (at 83) and seems to have the goods for how it's done. Anyway, I think my own takeaway from this experience so far is that you have to be your own best guide and knowledge is everything. You can't just be a compliant patient following directions. There's work to be done and it's research and experimentation. There are some things I can eat without impacting sugar that I find amazing and other things that ought to be benign but send it soaring. Everybody's different and so everybody has to find their own way. But passive obedience to generic, one-size-fits-most guidelines is not the path for me.