Blood Sugar Control – Day 5

5 days of very low carbs.

Weight is stable…kind of surprised I’m not losing.

Today I ate dairy free to see how it would feel.  Felt about the same.  I ate a ton of spinach to get my calcium.

I do notice I need to consciously intake sodium or I start to feel crappy.  I’m not sure if this is a transitory thing or if this is just how it is now.

Fasting blood sugar is still high – in the 150s.  Post prandial sugars are improving.  2 hours after breakfast was 148 (down from my fasting level of 156), and 2 hours after lunch was 105.  I’m not sure why my fasting numbers are so high.  Something having to do with cortisol maybe?  But I have, like, no cortisol to speak of.

Overall I’m feeling really good.  I’ve increased DHEA back to 4, and then 5 drops per day (heading toward 6, which was my prescribed dose). Energy is really good.  Mood is edgy – I’m not depressed but I notice I’m a little mood swingish – only when I’m hungry though. I feel hungry more often now that I’ve restricted my diet.  Sometimes I just don’t know what to eat or I’m somewhere without many options.  I wish the hunger would go away.  I forget about eating all the time until my body protests.  I hate that people think fat people are all guttons and pigs.  I would love to not have to eat.

Blood Sugar Control – Day 4

Muscle pain almost gone now.  Post-prandial blood glucose readings are the lowest I’ve seen in months – 2 hours after breakfast was 114, and two hours after lunch was 107.  Lately my blood sugar is never under 130, so this is pretty cool.

Amelia tells me that when adapting to being a fat burner you have to make sure you have enough water, salt, and potassium – so when I have carb cravings these are the things I’m reaching for.  And by carb cravings I don’t mean, “OOO I miss chocolate so much!! Just a little taste wouldn’t hurt!!”  I mean, “My blood sugar feels like it’s dropping through the floor even though I just ate an entire meal and I have to find a way to get through the next 5 minutes.”

Better

Since stopping Metformin my mood has improved dramatically.  Muscle soreness continues in my legs, but has lessened.

I’m on day 3 now with basically no sugar, no starch, no dense source of carbohydrates.  I’m trying to become a fat burner.  It’s a struggle but I’m going to stick with it.  If I’m not willing to take the drugs I better be willing to make the lifestyle changes.  I don’t want to be diabetic so this train needs to turn around.

I haven’t mentioned this lately but I started having hot flashes again a couple months ago (well before starting the current supplement protocol).  I’m still taking progest E.  I’m going to stop it for a while and see if anything changes.  My cycles are also all wonky, but that’s nothing new.

More Side Effects?

I’m haivng a lot of muscle soreness the last couple of days and today I feel fatigued and angry.  Also lots of carbohydrate cravings and irregular pounding heartbeat.  Wondering if these are side effects from taking Metformin.  I’m going to stop taking it for now.

I was just starting to feel better.

More Supplements, and Citrobacter Braakii

Ok, more test results.  I had a bunch of stool testing done, and most of it was normal – no parasites, no H. Pylori.  There was this interesting finding though:

Gram Neg

Apparently I have an overgrowth of one “potential pathogen” called Citrobacter braakii (see the guy in yellow up there?).  I quick google search didn’t provide a ton of information, but Amelia suggests this could be responsible for my psychiatric symptoms (depression, anxiety).  I’m not sure if all of it can be attributed to that – I mean, I’ve had the depression much of my life, although just in the last year it has become clear to me that it goes away when I change my diet or take antibiotic medications/herbs.  So entirely possible.  My bloating still has me mystified though.  That just started a few months ago, and continues to this day – always after I eat and it’s not just eating carbs.  Amelia says this could be related to a number of things including the above mentioned gram negative bacteria, or my utter lack of good gut bacteria.  I’m choosing to not overanalyze it and instead trust the process.

So to address the bacterial issue I’ve been taking the following, per Amelia’s recommendations:

I’ll be taking these for a total of 2 months to kill the bad guys.  After 2 months I’ll be taking the following probiotic 3x a day:

The remaining supplements I am taking are the following:

They also recommended fish oil, but I’ve chosen not to take it. I don’t think adding polyunsaturated fat to my world is going to help, even if it’s omega 3.  Research that I’ve read (link here with a good write up here) suggests that omega 3s help reduce inflammation when you’re eating a diet high in Omega 6 fats – so ok, if you’re going to eat a bunch of nuts or use vegetable oil there’s some benefit to balancing all the omega 6 with some additional omega 3. But omega 3 supplementation is probably not necessary otherwise, and may actually suppress the immune system. I could be wrong about this, but this is one thing about Ray Peat that I think is right on.  When I stopped eating excess PUFAs I stopped getting sick.  When I started eating them again I got sick within a couple weeks.  So this is the one area I’m not following directions with my new plan.  So rebellious.

Here’s an interesting thing Amelia told me about taking Metformin.  Apparently if you’re taking it and you’re going to have any kind of scan – like an MRI – with contrast, you have to be off the Metformin for at least 2 weeks or you risk significant kidney damange from the scan. Scary stuff.  My plan is to follow the advice of the NBT team and get off of these meds as fast as possible.

I still don’t have a blood pressure medication that works well for me yet, so my blood pressure is not well managed.  After identifying that I was having an allergic reaction to my last one (Losartan), my doc took me off that one and started me on Methyldopa.  It’s been over a month and doesn’t seem to be working.  No side effects at least, as far as I can tell.  I’ve been unsuccessful finding a blood pressure medication that works for me without unmanageable side effects. I’ve tried a bunch of natural things but the benefit didn’t last and I couldn’t figure out what was helping and what wasn’t.  My best bet is to lose weight and get healthier.  I can’t outrun my declining health with medicine.

Recovered

Well I’ve recovered from my bad day.  Part of the reason it was a bad day was that I was crying all day long.  It was pretty embarrassing at work – I was dealing with a complete and utter inability to handle even the smallest stressor.  It was like this:

Me: Why can’t I dial out on this phone?????!?!?!?!

Coworker: Did you put in your 5 digit passcode?

Me:  What passcode?  I’ve been here 3 months now and I’ve never heard of a passcode!!?!?!?!

Coworker: Yes, you should really talk to your supervisor about it.  I can’t believe she didn’t give you your 5-digit passcode.

Me: She didn’t!  (tears, tears, tears)

Coworker:  Oh no – you’re crying!  It’ll be ok!

Me:  I know.  It’s prolly just hormones….

Then later:

Me:  I can’t log into this program!

Coworker: Yeah, that program is a real pain.  It always kicks me out too.

Me:  BUT I NEED TO GET IN!!!  (tears tears tears)

Coworker: You’re really having a rough day, huh.  Maybe you should go take a break.

Me:  Good idea. (ducking my head into a big coat with a scarf and hat so no one will ask me if I’m ok on my way out to go cry in my car. )

SUPER EMBARRASSING!

So here’s what I think is happening – I think some of the DHEA I’m taking is converting to estrogen.   Amelia tells me that some of my hormone receptors are a bit super-sensitive from being deprived for so long.  So I cut the dose of DHEA in half from 6 drops a day to 3 drops a day.  Will try increasing gradually.

Otherwise I’m feeling much better.  Sleep, sex, and energy are improving.  I’ve been taking the recommended supplements for only about a week and a half.  My body seems to crave them though – I look forward to taking them and never miss a dose.

I’m over my emotional meltdown about being diabetic too.  I’ll never qualify for life insurance in the open market, but aside from that I’ll survive.  I mean, that’s the goal anyway…surviving.  I think I can reverse this thing though. Looking forward to the Diabetes Summit in March, if I can find some time in the day to watch the presentations.

I’m really enjoying working with Amelia and the team at Nourish Balance Thrive.  She is extremely responsive, kind, and knowledgeable about physiology.  I feel strongly right now that this treatment protocol is going to have a great outcome.

Next post – I’ll talk about the other supplements I’m taking.  I talked about the hormonal/adrenal support supplements a couple days ago.  There’s more.

Bad Day

My husband is losing his job.  I don’t know if I can afford these supplements anymore.  They’re expensive – over $300 a month.  I’m looking for cheaper alternatives but honestly I don’t know what the hell to do.  I’m thinking about selling junk on ebay.

I had a doctor’s appointment and a blood draw yesterday.  Nurse called today to tell me my HbA1C is 6.7 (up from 6.2 last July).  I guess I’m officially diabetic now.  Doc prescribed Metformin.  I’m going to take it.

I’m grateful to have good health insurance.  It looks like I’m going to need it.

Hormone Labs and Supplements

I have a short window of time to post today, and I’m trying to decide if I should blather on about having watched another awesome Allison Siebecker video (which is no longer available to the public, unfortunately, as it is part of this Healthy Gut Summit), or if I should share my labs that I’ve had done recently through Nourish Balance Thrive (which I’ll for now refer to as NBT).  Or if I should talk about my life?  Which to do which to do…how about labs?  I love labs.

Adrenal health labs first.  Remember back when I had them done before?  Here’s a summary of where we’ve been and where we are now:

Here is my first adrenal stress profile, from April 2012.  Jack Kruse described this as “Stage 3 or 4 adrenal fatigue,” but said that my adrenals probably “aren’t completely dead yet.”  Well, good.  Here’s April 2012:

chart

Then here it is in November 2012, about 6 months later after low-carbing and being under a lot of emotional stress.  Cortisol is lower in the morning and higher at night – the opposite of progress:

cortisol

And here we are, 2 years later:

Adrenal Profile Feb 2015

Note, my levels are in yellow….the ones very near the bottom.  Low.  It’s really no wonder I’m tired all the time. I’m now low across the board – in the morning and throughout the day.

Other hormones were also low – estrogen, melatonin, and testosterone were all at the very bottom of the reference ranges.  Progesterone couldn’t be accurately tested because the sample was contaminated by my having taken Progest E the night before:

hormones

To address all of this Amelia has me taking several supplements.  I got most of these through the NBT site – their prices are the same as Amazon in most cases and NBT’s shipping was super fast (took 2 days to get to me):

Amelia said that in addition to helping the adrenals, these supplements should help with balancing all of the hormones by addressing the Pregnenolone Steal phenomenon.  Each supplement had a good rationale – I should have taken better notes when she explained it all, but it all made sense.  There wasn’t a shred of woo in it.

I’m out of time for now but I hope to update with the rest of my tests and supplements soon.  There are a bunch more of both.

A week into the supplements I have to say I feel really good.  A little more energy, mood is good, libido might be making a comeback (yes, this surprised me), sleep is good.  I’m more tired throughout the day when I don’t get enough sleep now, which makes me think adrenaline is lower.

On the downside, I’m struggling a lot with diet.  Low carb results in major carb cravings and adrenaline.  High carb results in blood sugar craziness and frenetic eating.  My weight is stable either way, but I can’t seem to find a good balance.  For now I’ll continue a primarily low-carbish paleo-ish nutrient-dense-ish diet, with periodic bouts of sugar/starch consumption.  I don’t know what else to do.  Salads leave me starving.  Amelia recommends eating carbs with dinner, later in the day.  However, I have problems if I don’t eat them by lunch time.

Still have bloating related to SIBO – I’m taking stuff for this too, but I suspect eating carbs and sugar is prolonging the eradication of whatever is causing it.  Again, back to the diet.

Signing off for now.  Maybe more later today or tomorrow.

Updates

It’s been a while – I’m so busy now that I’m working full time that I can’t seem to make time to write.  I have labs to post at some point, but not today.  I’m ready for bed.  Bottom lining it today:

  • My cortisol is low.  I’m all adrenal fatigue-y.
  • No H. Pylori, no parasite, no yeast/fungal overgrowth.
  • I do have a bad bacteria which may be responsible for my depression, anxiety, and bloating.
  • I have deficiencies of B vitamins and other assorted nutrients, as well as a methylation issue.
  • I’m currently taking about 15 new supplements to fix myself.  One day I’ll list them.
  • Wish I had more time.
  • Low carb isn’t going well.  I feel like crap when I go all day without eating any dense source of carbohydrates.  My functional med practitioner says that maybe the supplements will help with that.  I’m not sure low-carb is the right thing to do anyway.  I felt better eating Peaty, but my blood sugar and triglycerides weren’t happy.
  • I’ve started exercising – just walking on the treadmill on my lunch breaks.

I need sleep.