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Diabetics?

Old 02-23-15, 02:05 PM
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gizzsdad
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Diabetics?

I would be curious to find out folks success with improving their overall health, specifically diabetes. As a result of a pre-op physical, I was diagnosed as diabetic and hypertensive. My A1C was 7.5 and my resting BP was 160/100. I am 58, 6'0" and weighed 246 when diagnosed. I was prescribed Metformin (500mg ER) and lisinopril/HCTZ. I was diagnosed 12/8/14 and go back for check on 3/23.

I've been riding for years, but a combination of genetics, injury and weight gain finally caught up with me. I think I've been pretty disciplined about my diet, and I alternate walking 30-40 minutes one day and cycling(stationary bike) 50 minutes the next, for a total of 5-6 days per week. I did buy a glucose monitor for my own benefit(the Dr. did not require it), and my testing has been the most disappointing aspect of my journey thus far. My morning(pre breakfast) checks have been running 125-135, and I had hoped for better. I've lost 20 lbs., have not touched any baked goods, white bread, etc., and NOTHING goes in my mouth without my knowledge of the type and amount of carbs in it.

I realize that everyone's body and genetic code are different, but I am curious as to whether I can hope for better with time.
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Old 02-23-15, 02:22 PM
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A fasting blood sugar of 125-135 disappoints you? I'm happy with that anyday (Type 1). My latest A1C was 6.9, not too bad for me. Cycling is quite a challenge with the diet and swings when out on a 70mi ride but I just check and eat.
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Old 02-23-15, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gizzsdad View Post
I would be curious to find out folks success with improving their overall health, specifically diabetes. As a result of a pre-op physical, I was diagnosed as diabetic and hypertensive. My A1C was 7.5 and my resting BP was 160/100. I am 58, 6'0" and weighed 246 when diagnosed.
Believe it or not.......you are in a really good place with your diabetes. Loose some weight if you can while you continue to monitor your diabetes as you've been doing. Oh yes....ride....ride.. ride as much as you can to burn up as much sugar/carbs as you can.

To make you feel better......I fight to stay at 7.6 A1C with my weight at 350#which is why I have to take insulin (I'm type 2) which is rare. I can't ride as much as want to due to my legs/knees being shot from bad genetics and long hours on concrete.
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Old 02-23-15, 02:51 PM
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Got to say that every Diabetic is Different. What works for me may not work for you.

I cannot take Metformin and the other meds as they drop my Blood Sugar to fast and too Low..

Exercise is my medication.
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Old 02-23-15, 03:02 PM
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keeping a Bit active On The Bike seems to be not having me on the same Type 2 path My Late father was on by my age, now.
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Old 02-23-15, 03:16 PM
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If you are at all typical, what you eat will be the biggest factor. Exercise is also important as it will help you take up the glucose in your blood stream. The rule I follow is to eat to my meter. When I'm testing a new food, I test my blood sugars every 1/2 hour or so after I eat to see what it is doing to me. What I'm looking for is the highest reading I get. My goal is never to see any blood sugar readings above 140 (lots of damages to you starts happing at 140 and above). Any food that takes me out of my goal range in a food I avoid or severely restrict.
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Old 02-23-15, 03:59 PM
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I exercise more. My a1c has dropped to 5.6 as my weight has normalized over the last 6 months. 215ish pounds. I ride my bike 5-7 days a week. Even in the winter season I have kept my miles above 100 per week, counting trainer miles with Garmin speed/cadence. Several days a week I will ride hard for at least an hour, spin class or Sufferfest video. Both weekend days I'll spend more than an hour each day on the bike. For me exercise has proven to be the key to good health, counting calories has been the key to weight loss and control. The more I ride the more I can eat, drink and be merry. My Dr. is thrilled. She says I have beat diabetes; with the footnote that as long as I stay active and control my weight.
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Old 02-23-15, 10:03 PM
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I was diagnosed 2/25/2014 with an A1C of 13. By July I had it down to 5.7 with Metformin and riding. Haven't worked out much during the winter. But the meter hasn't been high. Just keep using your meter. That will tell you what works and what doesn't.
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Old 02-24-15, 08:00 AM
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Thanks for all the kind replies! Ironically, this morning my glucose was 121, maybe I am on a path to improving. It will be interesting to see my blood work at the Dr. next month.

Can hardly wait for better weather to ride outside more!!
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Old 02-24-15, 07:30 PM
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I am not sure if I am like others, but once I got it in check and some weight loss I felt tremendously better. And have since. I really feel that my diagnosis, has improved my quality of life. I haven't felt this good for as long as I can remember. Sure its a drag some days, but I would not trade the way I feel for any of that sugary food.

Good luck and hang in there. It will get better. Also consider checking out the American Diabetes Association website for info. There is some really good stuff there.

Go Red Rider.
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Old 02-24-15, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by IARide4Fun View Post
but I would not trade the way I feel for any of that sugary food.
Ain't it the truth. You describe my experience exactly.
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Old 02-24-15, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gizzsdad View Post
Thanks for all the kind replies! Ironically, this morning my glucose was 121, maybe I am on a path to improving. It will be interesting to see my blood work at the Dr. next month.

Can hardly wait for better weather to ride outside more!!
Sounds like you are heading in the right direction. Recommended glucose levels are lower than in the past as it has become known that even moderately high levels can lead to all kinds of problems.

You might also consider getting a blood pressure device so that you can check your pressure regularly. The electronic ones are easy for do-it-yourself checking. Keep a log, as you are probably doing with your sugars.
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Old 02-24-15, 11:23 PM
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Hi,

I have to ditto what others have said about you being headed in the right direction. You have also made tremendous progress in a short time.

Eight years ago, at 63, I was diagnosed as type 2. Although my A1C reading was acceptable at 7.2, my fasting glucose reading was 199. At the time my other readings; blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. were good. Like you, I have always been active, but had slowed down a bet and gained a few pounds. The doctor prescribed a med (don't remember the name) and make some suggestions on diet and exercise. In addition to dietary changes, I started commuting by bike. It was only four miles each way, but seemed to help, at least mentally. Over the next year, I lost 25 pounds, reduced the diabetic meds and slightly reduced my blood pressure.

I do like get in at least one-half hour a day of hard riding in, but don't have an established exercise routine. My secret is to just keep moving. In addition to the bike riding, I do my own yard work, home improvement projects, keep the car and RV clean and shiny, build and fly kites. With this program my A1C stays below 6.9, morning glucose readings are normally 100 - 120 and blood pressure is 110/70.

Congrats and I hope you find my experience beneficial.

Regards,

Van
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Old 02-25-15, 06:29 AM
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I was listed as pre-diabetic and was in Stage 3B renal failure following a bunch of major surgeries, weighed 278lbs. I took my doctor's warning very seriously and worked up an approved nutrition plan with my doctor's help. With the number for the creatnine back in a safer range I to ride seriously, every day, this was in 2012. I am at 176lbs and all the kidney function and my A1C are in optimal range now. I'd have to pull them up to know the exact values.

I second using both the American Kidney Association, and American Diabetes Association, websites for good information on keeping everything in the green. I pulled a good bit of the recipes and nutrition planning from them both. The ADA recipe book is a great tool for coming up with sensible, good tasting dishes. One big thing that was mentioned above, cut the sugary stuff out. I don't allow myself to even get started down that road. the between meal snacking and sugary foods and drinks are big problems for me personally. With the kidney disease problems I opted to go vegetarian and be careful what I use for protein sources, but still get enough for a good, healthy balance.

Riding is probably the biggest mental lift I got and it kept me on the track to eating sensibly, and healthy. Like the above reply said, you seem to be on the correct track for managing the diabetes, maybe even getting your A1C number into the normal or safe range, just don't let some small improvement get you off the path. Best of luck on managing the diabetes, riding is one great tool for doing this.

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Old 02-25-15, 11:09 AM
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For many years my father, who had always been overweight or obese, could turn his Type II diabetes off or on by losing or gaining several pounds.

I do not know how much dietary fiber you are eating, but this can have a big impact on how rapidly your body takes in sugar. Whole fruits are good, but fruit juice is bad. Whole grains are fine, but avoid white sugar and flour as much as possible.
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Old 02-25-15, 03:14 PM
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Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in August 1995. Diagnosed the same day that Windows 95 came out so that explains why I crash, sometimes. Started commuting last year by bike. Long time since I was on a bicycle. The worst A1C ever at 9.6. Last checkup in November, A1C was 6.1. Weight is a healthy 180 lbs for my 6'2" frame. Feeling better than ever since diabetes was imposed on me. The regular exercise has been a big help. I take 3 injections of Novarapid and 2 of Lantus everyday. I test my blood sugar 4 times a day. I haven't had a serious low blood sugar reaction in over 7 years. I have computer skills and I found a job where I am really safe, an emergency department. I see dozens of doctors and nurses everyday. Never needed any help so far.
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Old 03-13-15, 05:46 AM
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I am a 20 year diabetic 61 5'9 145 pounds, I ride my bike all year. When I wake up and my sugar is 125 or so I am happy as can be. I take metformin only and refuse to take any other medicine. I eat low carb bread, about 10 net carbs a slice. I also eat Special K protien cereal that also is low in carbs about 10 net carbs a serving. I do what I can without going crazy. My quality of life is excellent, if I dont live till 80 or 90 I dont really care as long as my quality of life is good while I am here.
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Old 03-13-15, 08:52 AM
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I have type II. My a1c varies from around 6.9 in the winter to 6.1 in the summer when I lose winter weigh and ride a lot. I take 3 tablets to help control the a1c.
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Old 03-13-15, 03:07 PM
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You take pretty much the same as I but my dr threw in some extra stuff. I was in the 270 lb range a few years back and I'm down to mid 230's. I'm still working the weight lose with cycling training program and eating a lot better types of foods. Really shying away from the subway loaf types of breads and the better whole kernel grain (or what ever you call it). Redid my morning breakfast cereal to a low sugar (< 6 gms) higher fiber whole grain type. The only soda that I have is a small rootbeer when I go to the movies. Other than that it's water w/lemon or unsweetened tea (no splenda or any other sugar substitute). Everything helps.

For long rides I always make sure that I carry at least one gel just in case my sugar level drops. It's rare that it does (1-2 times per year) but I want to have something for those times.

MY A1C was at 6.7 before I made adjustments to my diet so I'm anxious to see what it is now.
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Old 03-17-15, 11:19 PM
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Stopped Metformin because of one side effect! As Jack Nicholson said in Bucket List, "Never trust a fart!"
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Old 03-18-15, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ofgit View Post
Stopped Metformin because of one side effect! As Jack Nicholson said in Bucket List, "Never trust a fart!"
Uh-oh.
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Old 03-18-15, 04:03 AM
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I'm Type 1 (since '86) and have found regular exercise to be the key to control. I was active and physically fit when diagnosed so it didnt really throw me for a loop.

Cycling has a profound effect on my control and general health and well-being. Sometimes it is very tricky on the long or intense rides but I just check more often.
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Old 03-18-15, 04:39 AM
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Type II here. Diagnosed back in '95 or '96. Didn't start taking things seriously enough until, Aug 2010, the second visit that year showed that I needed a different medication. 2 choices, metformin(was already taking) and insulin or metformin and Victoza. I chose the Victoza, started eating better and less which began a weight loss, started walking and then, in Apr '11, cycling. Nov. 2011 I now weighed 149 lbs. For the last 3 years, I have never weighed more than 154lbs and generally sub 150. A1C now is typically between 5.6 to 5.7. Oh, I cut out or reduced dosage for several meds(Cholesterol and Diabetic). I'll be damned if I ever go back. In fact, I get upset if I hit the 150s.
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Old 03-18-15, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gizzsdad View Post
...My morning(pre breakfast) checks have been running 125-135, and I had hoped for better...
Those really aren't bad numbers for first thing in the morning. My doctor says to wait awhile because "the process of waking up will elevate your readings". I've been waiting a half-hour or more before taking my morning reading.

It sounds like you are approaching it correctly. Lose a bit more weight and watch what you eat. And, continue exercising.

I've just been put on insulin about two months ago. I fought it, but finally relented when I couldn't bring my numbers down. The needles are so fine now that I don't feel anything when I stick myself in the stomach. It's helping, but I need to up my exercise routine and lose about 25 pounds.

One thing you may consider, and check with your doctor first, is during an especially intense, prolonged ride, your sugar levels might drop to the point where you will go hypoglycemic. That's actually more dangerous for us, so I carry some glucose tablets with me and take one if I start feeling a little weak and faint, (have only had to do this once, and it was not when riding. I drank a Coke that time, then ate something when I could.)
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Old 03-18-15, 04:34 PM
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Lots of good advice. It is boiled down in the body builder's theme: "Strength in the gym. Health in the kitchen."

I just returned home from a weight session in the gym. We were talking about this very thing. None of us have diabetes. But, we are all in vulnerable groups. It requires a great deal of mental discipline and energy to actually make a difference. Lots of food label reading. Lots of stress shedding old habits, and in some cases friends who can't stand someone else getting and, most important, staying healthy.

After all, when all the smoke is cleared, what you are doing is a complete, forever, life style change.
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