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  1. Little Voice.

    I don't have any before and after photos. No shots of me holding up trousers that are would wrap around twice. I havn't lost a shedload of weight. This is because I am what is known as TOFI (Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside). Up to 20% of people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes are not overweight, you cannot look at someone and make assumptions on their health status.
    But take a look at what happened to me, diagnosed aged 58 with a HbA1c of 98 (11.1) with none of the classic symptoms. It was down to having a general MOT at my Practice that flagged this up. Did some searching, discovered LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) lifestyle and I have never looked back. Within one month of diagnosis my A1c had fallen by 25 points and four months from diagnosis my A1c was a stunning 43 (6.1). My overall health has improved, I suffer less pain from inflammation but what is most important is that my prognosis has gone from dismal to fantastic in a matter of weeks. All blood markers have improved and job's a goodun'.

    In short, please don't think 'It can never happen to me'. Type 2 Diabetes is at epidemic levels and we are all at risk.


    Hope this is OK Deb. Edit it as you wish and good luck with the event, you are going great guns.

  2. Our ancestors did quite well, don't you think, they came down from the trees and developed a taste for protein. Subsequent evolution saw our hominid forebears walk upright, develope communication beyond squeals and grunts and learn of the value of using tools.
    They harnessed the use of fire making protein even easier to metabolise.

    About ten thousand years ago some bright sparks planted seed and the era of farming grain began. This allowed our hunter gatherer ancestors to stave off starvation and death. However.....

    The grain sown then was the species grass that bears little in relation to modern grains which have been bred, naturally and in a genetically modified way, for its energy value and pest resistance etc. This gave way to the monocultures we see around the world today which arguably result in denuded soil poor in nutrients and described by some as sterile. But I am getting ahead of myself.
    In my opinion the success of homo sapiens has an awful lot to do with one simple factor, adaptability. Adapting to food sources and enviroment is key and these adaptations happened quite quickly in evolutionary terms which brings me to the reason I post these musings.

    Ten thousand years is a mere blip on the evolutionary clock. For most of that time we have adapted, migrated and progressed, lengthening our lifespans, developing our cultures and ending up at the point whereby we can to a greater or lesser extent manipulate our enviroment to suit us. So what went wrong?
    Another personal opinion. It starts off with population growth. Taking aside the great plagues that saw the death knell of humans to a (conservative estimate) of one third fewer, we have been quite successful at producing sprogs and lowering infant mortality, on the whole. Which means that we needed more resources. Then came the era of exploration (aye, I know that is a big jump in time but stick with me, dear reader). The mediaeval saw an explosion of new technologies allowing man to go further more speedily and to bring novel items back to e.g dear old Blighty. We get to the early modern era (yes, I am looking at you Tudors!) and the introduction of sugar and potatoes. Virtually arriving in western Europe together. So that is 500/600 hundred years which, on the evolutionary clock, is not even speck, a single second in time.
    Come forward to the Industrial revolution and the advent of modern farming practices. The population numbers are not decreasing, food has to be available and plentiful and on demand. Trade is enhanced by technology in transport. Generally, people have more leisure time to explore their passions in information and knowledge and things in the main are still looking positive. Then it all goes pear shaped about 150 ish years ago. Technological advances in food production and in transport means that grain based foods, sugar and the humble spud become the norm. Within the last hundred years or so there has been an explosion of man made foodstuffs that have been battered with chemical and industrial processes to the point that they bear almost no resemblance to their original state. But more importantly, for most of the population of this planet, food has become cheaper. We arrive at the point where we live in perpetual harvest time and it is a harvest gathered from all four corners of the world.

    My point? Our success as a species may just prove to be our downfall.
    Stay well folks and don't have nightmares.
  3. Picture the scene, dear reader.

    It is a beautiful Spring day and I feel the urge to go out. I am limited as to where to go as I live in a very small town with few ammenities but I decide to do a weekly shop rather than do it online because at least a trip to the local supermarket is better than staring at four walls. But there are some hurdles.
    Is my chair fully charged? Do I have time to get there before it gets too busy? Do I go by car or do I really want to go by chair to take advantage of the weather and see a little of the local life outside of my front door? If I go by chair do I have two people to accompany me? If I go by cab do I have the cash to pay the inflated prices for a wheelchair adapted one (up to three times the price of a standard cab)? Will the driver have had the necessary safety training to make sure that the chair is strapped in properly?
    Or do I give up and carry on staring at those four walls?
    You may ask why I need two people to accompany me when I really want to just pop to do a big shop. This is because one person cannot carry a weekly shop all the way home so needs to take a cab, obviously they then can't accompany me home unless they make two trips. Ergo one to take home said shopping and one to accompany me home.

    I decide not to go, too much cafuffle.

    And people wonder why I get stir crazy?
  4. I am hoping with all my might that I am begining to redress the harm caused by decades of eating the Western diet. The harm that a high carbohydrate diet that has caused liver damage, atherosclosis, possible nephropathy, possible retinopathy etc etc the list goes on and includes Alzheimers, Dementia and Cancer. The recent findings are sobering, indeed.
    I am just an ill educated housewife on a limited budget but I would dearly like to be able to afford some of the tests that are available that might give me hope and encouragement in my struggle to undo some of the harm already done and to avoid future complications.
    I never thought that a Pancreatic scan done in that zooped up scanner in Newcastle would become a stuff of dreams for me. Even the privately funded blood tests are beyond my pocket.
    So, where do I, and people like me, find hope? Our A1c? Lipid panel if our GP deems it necessary? Liver and Kidney function tests? I need more because I need to 'see' my progress or the lack of it in real terms. Controlling my bg is not now enough to sate my need for hope. The more I learn the less hope I have because few boffins speak of what happens after a person with T2 reverses their Diabetes in terms of reversing the actual harm already done, harm that surely leaves scars.
    Because of preexisting health conditions I have not seen the return to former health that others report such as an increase in energy levels, less inflammation and a return to a zest for life. I wish now that I had never been diagnosed, ignorance is, indeed, bliss.
  5. I am not a great debater, I don't have the mental acuity for it. I do enjoy the process, though. Debating in text does have its drawbacks but the principles are the same, the rules remain the same. Never let the discussion become an excercise in ad hominem sleights, make point and counter point and try not to stray away from the subject matter. There is room for some lighthearted banter at the close of a debate but this should never be used to bully a point across and never, never be part of a clique that that continuously agrees with itself for the sake of it.

    I consider having an open mind to be a great asset, those who become bogged down in dogma are doomed to a life lived in a very small echo chamber and later to have the epithet of being one of the 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks' brigade. This is where healthy debate comes in, it is a great learning tool that in the past was considered worthy of its own slot in the school time table.

    Sadly, I have seen many a promising discussion descend into accusation, insult and flounce because some people are unwilling or unable to take the view that an opposing opinion may have some merit. A sign of maturity is to be able to disagree with another's viewpoint only after fully understanding their take on a particular subject.

    Stay well, folks.
  6. Five months from diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. What stage am I at now, I wonder. I hope that I am entering the acceptance phase but I am under no illusion that this could change. I am still checking labels and bg, still researching finding good things and bad when it comes to diet and excercise, and settling in to the new habits that no longer bring the fears of complications right to the fore of my mind.

    I feel useful, mostly for myself but also to my family. I am making inroads into making their diet a little better and at least I can alert them to previously unknown risks. This makes me feel a tad better about my parenting skills (XL sons are grown up but they are still my babies!). And if I can influence their habits then those of my grandchildren will benefit.

    Which brings me to the title of this entry. Am I not duty bound to assist those who come after me? My family and those who may be going through the shock of diagnosis? Isn't this what being a parent and a freind is all about? I am extremely lucky to have the love and support of family and I thank my lucky stars that I have them so does it cost me anything at all to give a helping hand to those newly diagnosed who are going through all the difficulties that I went through just a short while ago?
    It costs us nothing but arn't we honour bound to do it? I think we are.

    Stay well, folks.
  7. I miss the plain ol' ordinary stuff. I do not hanker for posh food in rich sauces or the slabs of cake from the Garden Centre cafes. I miss marmalade and I miss crisps sandwiches on fresh Warburtons white. I dream about salad cream, and onion rings. Weetabix looks heavenly in my son's bowl. Isn't it strange? I know it is the carb addiction raising its ugly head but I thought it would be the highly sugared foods I would miss but you can keep your biscuits and cake and your Ben and Jerry's, just gimme that puff pastry hat on that steak pie and I would be in seventh heaven.

    There is one caveat to all this. When it comes to Jaffa Cakes well, there is always one exception to every rule.
  8. A great Yorkshire word, is mithered. One that I am feeling a lot just lately. It means being nagged or harrassed from all sides. I am heartily sick of seeing HCPs of one sort or another for various check ups and treatments when, to be honest, all I want to do is to be left alone in a quiet corner to read my book. Perhaps, though, I brought some of it upon myself. Having had to see said HCPs I determined to address one or two other health issues that I had let moulder over a not inconsequential time. Getting my house in order is taking longer than I thought with seemingly useless appointments that serve little purpose.
    Take for instance an appointment with a nurse who told me she specialised in chronic pain management. The lass thought that neuropathic pain involved only the head and neck. This nurse told me in quite a condescending tone that it was up to she to decide if a referral for cordal injections would be made. This did not augur well for the rest of the mithering that she did about smoking, bg control and excercise.
    In the interest of not raising my bp or my bg I will keep the next order of mithering to a minimum. In order to get cordal injections I have to subject myself to weekly appointments lasting three hours each for six weeks to learn How to Live with Chronic Pain. Three hours of Mindfulness will have me so wound up that I'm not sure if I will be able to keep a lid on things. Anyhoo, I had thought that perhaps the appointment for injections would come before the course was to start but a letter arrived yesterday saying that if one or more appointments were missed then 'treatment' would cease. So, they are holding me to ransom, if I want the injections then I must attend this course for the duration. My only other option is to mither my GP for ever increasing dosages of painkillers.
    Mither him? I'll bray him! Another Yorkshire word.
  9. I love Pollyfiller, it covers a multitude of sins.
    Got a picture that it is in the wrong place? That is OK, move the picture and use pollyfiller to fill in the old screw hole, job's a goodun. Same goes for cracks and uneven corners. However, I don't want to see the the pollyfiller itself. A coat of paint or wallpaper does the trick. Now, you may be thinking 'Where is this daft lass going with this one?' Well, I now consider the carbs as pollyfiller. They're just there to fill holes but I don't want to see the results, I don't want to have the extra work of hiding the blobs that have to be painted or papered after being sanded. Better to not have the cracks and holes ergo better not to have to use the pollyfiller in the first place.
    You see? My mind works in funny ways and besides, pasta doesn't have the flavour that pollyfiller has!
  10. It looks like I have failed in my efforts to lower my dose of Amitriptyline. My sleep, or the lack of it has impacted my blood glucose levels and is now making me feel ill. I have actually broken one record, though. My previous record for sleep deprivation had been -2hours in 19hours.
    I have smashed this with 3hours of sleep in 28hours. This leaves me no option but to raise my dosage slowly back to that prescribed.
    I cannot function on this level of sleep for any longer as, for example, my eldest and his family visited yesterday unannounced and it took all my energy reserves and not a little will power to keep up with all the news and chit chat that went on whilst every fibre of my body was screaming for sleep.
    It has become clear that in my effort to cut back on my drug intake I might well risk the loving relationship with my family. It's a no brainier for me, family comes first.
    As an aside, one of my grandchildren is becoming more obese and I am worried. I am trying to formulate a plan to bring this up with her parents in as diplomatic a way as possible. I did mention yesterday that there might be a genetic predisposition to T2 so I hope that has planted a seed, fingers crossed. But in my heart I know I will have to tackle this head on.
  11. So, I am still carb counting like a goodun and just found out that fresh root ginger is about 18g of carbs per 100g weight. This has been my biggest 'Whoa' fact yet. I love fresh ginger and though I use small amounts in cooking I sometimes use an infusion to settle an upset tummy (which I have not had since starting LCHF diet). The small amounts used will not deter me from using ginger but I thought I would use this blog entry for facts on what we think of as herbs, spices etc.

    What was your biggest 'Whoa' and did you lose it from your chosen diet?
    Would love to hear your views.
  12. Having seen a post on the general forum concerning a particular gene and after having many an argument about the veracity of companies like Ancestry dot com (on a forum for history buffs) I feel I must remind folks that the science of genetics is still in its infancy.
    We all remember the headlines reporting that the Human Genome had been mapped but some people are under the illusion that all of the genes have been investigated and understood. People, sadly, spend a lot of money on commercial gene websites to be told that they are a direct descendant of Richard iii. FYI Richard iii left no descendants (some express a suspicion that he had an iligitimate daughter but suspicion is not fact). And remember, R3s genetic make up took months to establish, not a coupla weeks as these commercial gene identifier companies do.
    Between one and four percent of the Homo Sapiens genome are Homo Neanderthalis, another two to four percent has boffins flummoxed as they are unable to strictly identify those genes but a theory has been positted that they may be linked to ancient immunity to a long extinct virus or bacteria.
    Quite rightly, most investigations into the genome focuses efforts on identifying genes that cause life threatening or debilitating disease.
    To push forward a genetic cause of a particular type of diabetes whilst having no background in the field of genetics is, in my opinion, irresponsible at worst and at best it is useless 'guff'.
  13. I have always used Imperial measurements, I am of a generation whose knowledge of the Metric system is poor to very low. Whenever I try a new recipe I start by converting the weights from grams to ounces. I want to know my height and weight in old money. I can visualise miles but a kilometre could be the next street away or the next county.
    However, I have got into the habit of reading labels recently and as they are all in this new fangled, metric measurement I am slowly beginning to be able to visualise millilitres. I am still unsure about fluid oz converted to millilitres but the difference in oz and fl oz is very small so I have not searched it (do not need to muddy the waters any further!).
    Why then, oh why do we still use both systems in this country? Wouldn't it be better to have one system and be done with it? We still order timber in feet and inches but the merchants measure it in meters and centimetres. We tell our loved ones that the new arrival is 7lb 4oz but the midwife records the birthweight in grams. If you tell me you are 88kg I have no idea if you are even an adult let alone thin/slim etc.
    I will, no doubt, cling to my Imperial weights and measures like a hungry dog clings to his bone but.... Come on Britain make your mind up!
  14. I had made the decision now to implement it. I gathered the family and sat them down (they do make you nervous when they stand over you!). "Right" I said, in my most authoritarian tone. "I have bought the last white loaf that I will ever buy."
    I waited for the arguments, I waited for the huffing and puffing and I waited for the slamming of doors/stomping upstairs etc.
    Youngest just shrugged his shoulders and then asked if that meant he could give me less board! I was nervous about the middlun, he holds the title of Toast King hereabouts, he replied that it was OK as long as I bought more Burgen!
    I had geared myself up for a ruckus, no such thing so I was left a bit deflated. They seem to have taken on board the simple fact that whatever your status lowering carb intake is a stonking good idea.
    Round one to me. Round two will be takeaways. Any bets?
  15. I've not lost a lot of weight and I'm hoping that it is mostly visceral but I decided to treat myself to a couple of items for my wardrobe. As you do!
    In Autumn the dreaded isolation starts. It becomes more and more difficult to leave the house but sometimes it is a case of avoiding going out because of the palaver of booking adapted taxis (and paying two, sometimes three times the normal fare) arranging an escort and having a budget worked out. Sometimes it's just too hard. My record is sixteen consecutive weeks trapped either in my living room or my bedroom.
    This, I know, is not healthy so I sometimes try to push myself by buying a new jacket or outfit because that sometimes works. I like to look nice when I go out and even a trip to Sainsburys is better than looking at four walls.
    So, online at Debenhams sale page I go. Now, dear reader, you must understand that my clothes last a long, long time because I don't wear them very often. That sounds like I go around naked! No, at home I wear sloppy Joes and Jamas because they are easier to get on and off. I ordered a pair of summer trousers, a winter jumper a purse and a lovely pair of slate grey flats. Nothing matches but hey, they were bargains. The trousers and jumper were a size smaller than I'm used to but they fit well. I was so chuffed I returned to the sale and bought the same size in a jacket which would match the shoes.
    By coincidence, on the day of delivery a friend made an unannounced visit and brought her sister, too. I had never met the lass before.
    I ripped open the parcels and there were oohs and ahhs. Then this complete stranger asked me why I needed clothes from Debenhams when I could get more for my money at Primark.
    Ahem, I dislike the low quality but what is more, I hate the thought of women almost chained to sowing machines for very little pay and in dangerous conditions. The question of child labour also deters me.
    I was becoming angry. I told her that I would prefer to buy two good items rather than six things that would fall apart after a few washes. She countered with "Yeah, but it's not like you have anywhere to go unless it's like...erm... a day centre". Now, I like my friend but this sister was sitting in my home telling me what I should spend money on, I became more angry but didn't want to be rude to the sister for my freind's sake.
    Then I thought sod this for a game of soldiers. I asked the woman where she did her shopping and she said the names of the discount stores. I replied "Yes, it looks like it. And do you go drinking in those clothes?" She nodded and my friend laughed.

    Nuff said.
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