Diabetes Free at last !!!

Diabetes Free at last !!!

Today I had my final (hopefully ever) trip to my Endocrinologist and have been declared “Diabetes Free” at last …

HbA1c

I have not been taking ANY diabetes medication since my surgery (35 weeks ago), an now (as per my HbA1c stats below) I am finally in the “non-diabetic” range

HbA1c is a blood test that is used to help diagnose and monitor people with diabetes. It is also sometimes called a haemoglobin A1c, glycated haemoglobin or glycosylated haemoglobin.  It shows the average level blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.

The graph above shows my HbA1c stats for the last 6 years or so – since I was diagnosed with Diabetes.  Soon after I was first diagnosed, I was able to control it pretty well with diet and exercise, but in 2015 it shot up and I started medication.  Over the subsequent years, despite increased medication it was never really well controlled… Since late 2017 it has gradually improved, but this was primarily as a result of increase medication (mainly mutliple daily insulin injections).  However, since my Gastric Bypass operation (35 weeks ago) I have been completely off all diabetes medication… and my blood sugar is finally back to “non-diabetic” levels.

This does not mean that I am “cured” – the underlying problems still exist, and I will need to keep an eye on it in years to come (diabetes has a tendency to worsen naturally with age)… but I am no longer conside4red “diabetic” and will not (as long as I stay diabetes free) be impacted by the many life shortening outcomes caused by diabetes.

In fact… not only is my HbA1c looking good, my cholesterol (which surprisingly was never that high) is down and everything else is looking great… except for slightly low Iron levels… sounds like a great excuse to eat a nice juicy eye fillet to me 🙂

10 Weeks after Surgery – Some Stats

10 Weeks after Surgery – Some Stats

10 weeks since my surgery and time for some Statistics

My weight continues to drop off… it has been a little erratic… losing a little each day for a week or so… putting on a kilo … and then having it drop off again.. but the overall trend is consistently down, and in the 10 weeks since surgery, I have lost  a total of 14KG… and little under 1.5Kg per week is pretty good  right ?:)

More remarkably, I am still completely medication free for my diabetes… my HbA1c Blood results have plummeted since surgery… and I am currently just a smidgeon above the “Non-Diabetic” range.

HbA1c

HbA1c is a blood test that is used to help diagnose and monitor people with diabetes. It is also sometimes called a haemoglobin A1c, glycated haemoglobin or glycosylated haemoglobin.  It shows the average level blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.

The graph below shows my HbA1c stats for the last 5 years or so – since I was diagnosed with Diabetes.  Soon after I was first diagnosed, I was able to control it pretty well with diet and exercise, but in 2015 it shot up and I started medication.  Over the subsequent years, despite increased medication it was never really well controlled… Since late 2017 it has gradually improved, but this was primarily as a result of increase medication (mainly mutliple daily insulin injections).  However, since my Gastric Bypass operation (just 10 weeks ago).. I have been complelety off all diabetes medication… and my blood sugar is almost back to “non-diabetic” levels.

This was not entirely unexpected (and was the primary aim for the operation)… However the results have been much more dramatic than I had expected.  Loss of weight in itself, is one of the most effective ways to reduce blood sugar… and I had already lost about 10Kg prior to the operation, and had seen a reduction in my medication… However weight loss is obviously a gradual thing , and the “overnight” impact on my blood sugar was a bit of a surprise… and seems to have been been as a direct result of the physiological impact of the Bariatric surgery.

Weigth Loss

The graph below shows (almost) daily weight data since my surgery10 weeks ago :

Unsurprisingly, the rate of weight loss is highest in the first week or two, but since then (apart from a few “hiccups”) has been fairly steady at about 1.5kg per week.  In th4 last 10 weeks I have lost 14Kg :).  The “trend” seems to be that iI lose a small, but steady daily amount (around 300g) for 7-10 days… then I put a Kg or two back on overnight, it rollercoasters for a few days… and then I start the gradual weight loss trend again.  Not sure if this is related to  hyydration… or diet.. or whether it is just a natural pattern.

I have not been down to this weight for about 10 years and I am “swimming” in my current wardrobe, but I am holding off getting any many new clothes until I lose a bit more 🙂

My next “major” goal is 100Kg… I will probably reward myself with some new clothes…and I have told myself that when I reach that I will start back at a gym and start to do more regular (and more “serious”) excercise.

Diabetes II Linked with Diet Soft Drinks !!!

Diabetes II Linked with Diet Soft Drinks !!!

One of the main reasons I went ahead with Weight Loss Surgery was to manage/control my Diabetes II.  After several years of trying diet and exercise, the medications I needed to keep my blood sugar under control were increasing.  I am now very happy to say that since my surgery (just over 2 weeks ago), I have stopped all diabetes medication and my blood sugar remains completely normal.

I didn’t believe I was able to manage my Diabetes by diet alone… but recent research suggest that diet drinks and artificial sweeteners (which I used to have regularly) has a link to increased risk for Diabetes II.

I am satisfied that there was no direct link with my Blood Sugar readings and consumption of diet soda (I used to have 2 and up to 6 cans of Pepsi Max a day)… These drinks are “sugar free” and I could see that my blood sugar was unaffected 1-3 hrs after consumption (whereas I could see spikes in blood sugar after eating carbs/sugary food)…  However research by the Adelaide Medical School has found that high intake of low-calorie sweeteners (like those found in diet drinks) over just two weeks was enough to significantly alter the make-up of bacteria in the gut… which in turn effects the way the body absorbs and regulates blood sugar – increasing the risk of developing diabetes over time.

The researchers recruited 27 healthy subjects who were given a quantity of two different non-caloric artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame-K) equivalent to drinking 1.5L of diet beverage per day, or an inactive placebo.

The study determined that just 2 weeks of NAS supplements was enough to enhance glucose absorption and increase the magnitude of the response of blood glucose as a result. The authors conclude that “This study supports the concept that artificial sweeteners could reduce the body’s control of blood sugar levels and highlights the potential for exaggerated post-meal glucose levels in high habitual NAS users, which could predispose them to developing type 2 diabetes”.

The same Researchers are now setting out to prove for the first time if these sweeteners are actually impairing blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes sufferers rather than improving it, as has always been believed.

Diabetes ??? – I am CURED !!!!

Diabetes ??? – I am CURED !!!!

Well no… Not Really… I am not actually cured (I still have susceptibility to Diabetes II), but at the moment my blood sugar is being controlled without the need for medication. Medically speaking, there is no cure for diabetes but it can go into “remission.” Diabetes in remission simply means the body does not show any signs of diabetes. However, the disease is technically still there.

I was diagnosed with Diabetes II in several years ago, and since then have been battling to control my blood sugar – initially with diet/exercise, but for the last couple of years I have required medication and Insulin injections.

The long term effects of Diabetes are NASTY…(increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, feet and nerves)…. and controlling my Diabetes is one of the main reasons I decided to go ahead with Bariatric Surgery – the weight loss was a convenient side effect 🙂

I had actually lost about 10Kg in weight prior to surgery (primarily because I lost my sense of taste)  and I had already significantly cut down on medications before I even had the surgery… Bariatric Surgery is also known to reduce the dependency on medication to control Blood Sugar – partly because of the associated weight loss, but also because it seems to change the way the gut behaves (changes typically occur even before weight loss could be considered a contributory factor)

I have not had ANY Diabetes medication since the evening of my surgery and my blood sugar has been a very stable 6ish… although I need to keep monitoring regularly because once I start on food again (even mush) I am anticipating that this may change.

My Diabetes/Blood Pressure Medication

My Diabetes/Blood Pressure Medication

I was first diagnosed with Type II Diabetes several years ago… and since then have been on a cocktail of different medications (and more recently injections) to get my blood sugar under control.

Initially this was a single daily tablets, but over the years has expanded (as the Diabetes “took hold”) to include Insulin injections and also high blood pressure medication.

just a month ago, I was on 4 different tablets (taken at morning and night) and 7 daily injections of three different Insulin medications (3 in the morning and evening and 1 midday).  I was also doing regular (3 or 4 times a day) Blood Prick tests to monitor my blood glucose levels.   With all these medications I finally had my blood sugar “under control” but it was still too high… and was only going to get worse with time if I didn’t change something.

I thought I was already eating “pretty well”, but 9 weeks ago, I lost my sense of taste… and as a result…  lost interest in food… and also appetite.  As a consequence I significantly cut down on what I was eating, and “accidentally” lost 10Kg in 9 weeks.

My blood sugar levels plummeted, and I found I had to reduce my Diabetes meds and actually make myself eat more than I really felt like eating – just to get my blood sugar above 4 (I am not allowed to drive with a blood sugar less than 5).  In the last week I have also started my pre-surgery OptiFAST VLCD Meal Replacement Diet, so my blood sugar continued down and now – 1 week BEFORE my weight loss surgery, I have reduced my Diabetes AND Blood Sugar medications to 2 tablets and 1 injection each evening… and my blood glucose readings haven’t been this good in years.

Following surgery I expect to very quickly stop all diabetes/blood pressure medication all together 🙂

I was actually quite shocked over how much difference a very well controlled diet (in my case encouraged by loss of taste) had on my weight and diabetes… I had to start wondering if weight loss surgery is actually necessary, but I am positive that even though I have had great, fast term results, I wouldn’t be able to maintain it, and once my taste returned (it seems to be improving now) I would very quickly slip back into bad habits and my weight/diabetes issues would return.

This is very much supported by research on the long term benefits of weight loss, major studies such as the Swedish Obesity Study and the US Veterans Study show very strong long term benefits of Bariatric Surgery when compared with “traditional” weight loss strategies (diet, exercise, counselling)