5 Things I Wish I Had Done Differently When I Was Diagnosed Pre Diabetic
When I was told I was “in pre diabetic range”, I did not believe my doctor. Literally, I did not believe him. I was a very active, healthy eating, and fit person. I ate a very diabetic style, low carb diet as it was, so I assumed he was wrong. Just like that, I dismissed him. Of course, he told me not to worry about it. To watch my sugar and carbs.
It wasn’t until the 3rd (yes, the 3rd!!!) time that I finally stopped and thought – wait a minute..what is this about? Looking back, knowing what I know now, I would have done many things differently.
1 – I would have LISTENED and taken ACTION.
I would have asked for my test results – the actual numbers. I would have learned what they meant and where I fell in the “range”. I would have asked for my previous tests to see if there were any changes in the trend. Of course, I did this on the 3rd warning and I found that my A1C had been steadily climbing at a .1 increase each year. At this rate, I would be a type 2 diabetic in 6 years.
Being told you have high blood sugar is a blessing in disguise. The fact is – you have been notified. You now have this “golden opportunity” to change your future! Trust me, I lost 3 years of fight time. You must take it very seriously.
2 – I would have known my numbers.
I would have purchased a meter right away and began testing my blood at home until I uncovered what I was eating or doing to make my sugar spike. Understanding what makes your body react or not react is KEY in managing blood sugar. Knowledge is power. You have to know where your are today to get where you want to be. Understanding how to measure allows you to make necessary changes to progress. There are many reasons for high blood sugar – hydration, stress, food choices, lifestyle, hormone balance, etc. Understanding the cause is your ticket to REVERSING it.
Do not be afraid of this process. It is very empowering. Buying a box of test strips is affordable as a cash paying customer. You do not need insurance to be able to manage your blood sugar while home testing. However, if you are diagnosed pre diabetic, your doctor may be able to write you a prescription.
3 – I would not have eaten low-fat, artificial sweeteners and virtually zero carbs!
A lower than low carb diet can make your insulin DULL. I went many years prior to my diagnosis eating very LOW calorie, very LOW carb – vegetables, but not the nutrient dense kind. (Think iceberg lettuce cucumber, tomato salad vs. kale, spinach, sprouts, onion, cabbage). I did not have enough fiber in my diet, which aids in digestion and the detoxification process. Fruits, vegetables, nut, seeds, and legumes are carbs. I would have eaten more of these good carbs. I would continue to avoid grains, gluten and dairy, as I do today. But, without appropriate fats, my body was starving for energy.
I ate low-fat, fat-free, chemical-laden artificial sugars. Not realizing the impact this food was having on my hormone balance. I had lost 30 pounds so it was the right thing to do in my mind. I was “eating clean” until it stopped working for me and began working against me. I noticed the “issues” I was having with my body’s metabolism after I had spent some time focusing on muscle building. I ate TONS of protein. And I gained muscle. But, eventually, the protein was being stored as fat, as my insulin (AKA the fat storage hormone) was hanging out in my blood stream.
Today I eat to fuel my body. To nourish it. I look for foods that have something to offer in the way of nutrients. I eat organic wherever possible, wild caught fish, “good” fats, and tons of vegetables. I am never left unsatisfied!
I am constantly trying new, awesome foods that are tasty, as well as nutritious. That is why I created this free Low Carb? No Problem fun e-cookbook!
4 – I would have asked for help.
Real help from someone who knows to look at the person, not the symptom. I had to be formally diagnosed with pre diabetes before I could see a “good” endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic. He not only dismissed me, he basically said, I’ll put you on medication when your levels are higher. I guess I should feel lucky he didn’t immediately start me on Metformin, as so many doctors do today. They fail to tell you the side effects we hear listed on TV and in the package inserts. These warnings are REAL. There are many little things doctors won’t tell you about being pre diabetic that everyone should know.
I literally educated myself to the point of knowing every little aspect of the body’s insulin response. I would do this again and I continue to do it. It wasn’t until I had to test on myself for my diagnostics class that I realized what was happening in my body to create the metabolic “chaos” that explained my blood sugar issues.
I enlisted the help of a fantastic functional nutritionist who looked at the whole picture. The blood sugar was a symptom of a core issue. Getting to the core issues are what we should be striving to correct. The sugar levels, the weight loss, the body getting back in balance becomes the result of overall health building.
I was tested for things a traditional medical doctor would not consider on a regular lab. Things like vitamins, minerals, gut bacteria balance, parasites, oxidation, adrenal function, thyroid levels (not the standard TSH), etc. She coached UP my body, adding good things in the form of nutrition and vitamins and we coached DOWN the possible toxins in my world by removing things that could harm my adrenals. She also made me look at things I would not admit to myself – like my stress management and intense exercise habits. I realized how much control I have when I know my numbers. This is why I do what I do today. The amount of control we have when we are a participant in our own health is fascinating!
5 – I would have supported & protected my body in this toxic world.
I took supplements galore over the years. Heck, I had an employee discount plan on over-the-counter consumer products from my pharmaceutical job. What I didn’t realize was I had NO idea what I was taking. I not only was taking supplements that had no regulation, I was throwing paint at a wall. Aimlessly, self treating with all sorts of vitamins that claimed to work for one thing or another. Over the years, I definitely learned more about my sourcing and what nutrients were necessary to supplement, but even then, I wasn’t sure how much my body needed.
Learning there are consumer products that are medical grade, regulated and quality controlled has saved me money, impacted my body correctly, and actually created a true resulting change without the harmful side effects of prescription drugs.
Today, I take supplements ONLY for my deficiencies, that are part of a specific protocol. It is not forever. It is until my metabolism and homeostasis becomes normalized.
This process has taken years for me, but I am finally trending back down from the top of my peak levels. Had I done these things from the day I was blessed to be told of my abnormal blood glucose levels, I could have prevented damage to my vision, my skin, and my gut. But, how would I be here talking about all these great things to do in hindsight if I hadn’t learned the hard way? Things happen FOR us, not TO us. I am grateful for this process because now, I can help others avoid the years of being stubborn and counting too much on doctors who do not address nutrition, so instead they can start building health TODAY.