If you have been following me on Strava or Facebook recently,you might see something like “Riding for science. -36” on a recent post. While not really science, it is to me, since I’m keeping track of how my cycling affects my blood sugar levels.
Yes. Blood sugar levels.
Why would I need to do that you might ask? I’m pretty fit, exercise regularly, appear to eat well and all that, right? That’s what I thought too.
My year started off badly and included making bad choices. Drinking too much, eating poorly, smoking and not exercising regularly. I was also experiencing more stress at work than usual. So, like I said, year started off badly. I am back on track, but that doesn’t change what has already happened. Add to this the fact that, not terribly long ago, I was not pretty fit, did not exercise regularly and weighed 100-ish pounds more than I do today.
Back in May I started feeling a tingling sensation in my feet and hands, along with numbing. I had a feeling I knew what was going wrong and took way to long to see the doctor about it. When I finally made it to the doctor, a check of my blood sugar without fasting pegged the device at close to 350. For reference, normal is between 90 – 100 (110 – 120 after eating). I was started immediately on 2 medications; 1 to help lower my blood sugar, the other, an anti-depressant, to help with my feet.
I have since followed up with a full set of labs. Everything is exactly how it should be EXCEPT my A1C and fasting glucose. A1C is an average of what blood sugar levels have been over the past 3 months. The average life of a blood cell is 4 months, that’s how they figure that out. Again, lower numbers are better and my A1C was almost 13%. For reference, normal is 4- 6%. My fasting glucose levels, after being on the meds for less than a week, were still 250.
Leaving the office that day, I had a new RX to double the blood sugar meds (1000mg / day –> 2,000MG / day). I had a short conversation with the doc about this and he told me to keep doing what I have already been doing, especially the exercise and continuing on my cutting the bad crap out of my diet. I go back for more labs in October, and it’s something I’m sure I will have to continue to do quarterly for the next forever, or longer.
Because that’s what you do when you have Type 2 Diabetes.
To be honest, I’m not really surprised. This, like many other things, is hereditary. I’m not the first in my family to get this. The part that is shocking is that it kicked in after I lost 100lbs. The one thing that everyone keeps reminding me to think about is how difficult this journey would be now if I was still carrying all of that weight!
One of the hardest things about this is watching what I consume. Mainly, beer. Now, you guys know that I do like my beer, right? The problem with beer, or at least the beer that I like, is that it’s loaded with carbs, which turn to sugar. And not the good kind of sugar either. That means, until further notice, I’m a non-drinker (for the most part).
Otherwise I will continue to exercise as much as possible, with a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 5-6 days per week, including getting back to the gym and not just riding bikes. I will continue to watch what I eat, staying away from anything processed or loaded with sugar, which is way more difficult than I ever realized.
So far, with my changes and the meds, I’ve been getting good results! I’ve actually seen 101 on my meter and see sub 120 now more often than not. The levels are still high in the morning and if it continues that will be top on the things I mention to the doctor next month. The numbness and pain in my feet is not as bad as it was most of the time as well. So, things are definitely looking up!
I’m not looking for sympathy, really. I’m just letting you know what is going on and providing myself a means to keep track of everything. I got this!