I see a trend here: Running Tuesdays are are evidently becoming Rest Tuesdays. I’ve been feeling a cold creeping on since Saturday and today my energy level dwindled to the ground; I was still real close to hopping on a treadmill this evening… I know. I’m smarter than that. Though I didn’t want to have two rest days for the week [instead of the scheduled one], I need my lungs to be healthy in order to run strong.
Plus, skipping out on my allotted gym time means I have some time to blog/prolong doing my research for my Health Ed class.
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My Serious Sugar Struggle: Part III
Alright, so remember way back when in December when I came clean about my serious sugar struggle? I had had enough of the constant cravings and was scared that I was ultimately harming my health. It took me a little while to decide how I wanted to deal with my “addiction”, but I finally got fed UP and created a tentative plan. Meanwhile, I had explained my concerns to my doctor and asked to have blood work done to check out my glucose levels – I know, only this nut would ask to get pricked three times by a needle.
That was the last week of December, and it wasn’t until this past Friday that I was able to talk to my doctor about the results. Can you say longest game of phone tag ever!? Grrrr.
The results were not was I was expecting. They were in fact the opposite of what I had predicted. After a 2-hour glucose tolerance test, my results revealed that I am hypoglycemic. My fasting blood glucose level was 46 mg/dL [normal fasting range: 70-100 mg/dL] – yikes! If it falls under 30, you can become unconscious.*
* I am not a doctor. This information is from my personal doctor, academic professors, and personal research.
What is hypoglycemia?
“In healthy people, blood glucose rises after eating and then gradually falls back into the normal range. The transition occurs without notice. Should blood glucose drop below normal, a person would experience the symptoms of hypoglycemia: weakness, rapid heartbeat, sweating, anxiety, hunger, and trembling.
Hypoglycemia in healthy people is rare. Most people who experience hypoglycemia need only to adjust their diets by replacing refined carbohydrates with fiber-rich carbohydrates and ensuring an adequate protein intake. In addition, smaller meals eaten more frequently may help.”
Source: Understanding Normal & Clinical Nutrition
As I understand it, my cells are very efficient at absorbing glucose. If I eat a large dose of sugar – I can gobble up the biggest chocolate chip cookie or most decadent brownie – my cells are capable of handling the rush of glucose [unlike a diabetic], but then I crash; it’s a vicious cycle. My doctor says I can still enjoy my dark chocolate, but that when I do consume simple sugars, I should be eating them with complex carbs to prevent the high/low rollercoaster.
I love learning about the human body and how to take care of it best. That’s to say I’ve been more than conscious of my cravings and energy levels after speaking with the doc.
That’s not all… you know what else popped up on my lab results? I have high cholesterol. Say what!? Yes, I was surprised… but not entirely. Both of my parents have high cholesterol and I’m aware that blood lipid levels are highly hereditary.
My Blood Lipid Levels
Total: 209 mg/dL [recommended: <200 mg/dL]
LDL: 142 mg/dL [recommended: <100 mg/dL]
HDL: 67 mg/dL [recommended: >60 mg/dL] – good
Triglycerides: 56 mg/dL [recommended: <150 mg/dL] – very good
Tip: To help you remember, think of elevated HDL as Healthy and elevated LDL as Less healthy.
My doctor said that one should go on prescription medication if their LDL is above 150. I’m not there, but close to it. After recently reading Real Food, and from knowing my diet/physical activity better than my doctor, I’m honestly not that concerned. When she suggested I add more fiber to my diet to help lower my cholesterol, I almost laughed. I don’t think I could eat any more whole grains, raw veggies, beans and legumes without some serious intestinal issues! She also said I could try the herbal supplement, Red Yeast Rice, if I so pleased. I haven’t done my research on it, so I haven’t started popping any pills yet.
I’m really glad I found out the truth behind my battle with sugar, and got to check in on the other key functions of my body [FYI: all other levels are “beautiful”]. I am going to continue to educate myself about the current research on cholesterol, and more importantly, will be trying to steady my sugar stream. I guess I wasn’t that crazy for thinking something was up after all. Just a couple more items to add to the “novel” of my health history ;)
Hopefully you learned a thing or two from this post. Time to go digging through the library databases, sip Relaxed Mind tea, and get to bed…
Have a healthy week!