Some of you know that I began a new line of nutritional supplements a couple of months ago, mid-May to be more precise. I said that I would keep you informed of the changes in my health and my medications so we all know how these products work. I had blood work done last week and I saw both my endo and pcp this week.
Prior to any changes being made in May I had blood work done. The result of that blood work was: A1c = 6.9, Total Cholesterol = 183, HDL = 51, Triglycerides = 138, LDL = 104, Fasting Glucose = 95. My blood pressure at that time was typically 124/76. At that time I took 20 units Novolin, 45mg Actos, and 2550mg Metformin.
My endocrinologist took me off the Novolin and replaced it with Byetta. I noticed after that change my morning fasting blood sugar was slightly higher than it was on the Novolin. It would vary from 91 – 114 with Novolin but increased to 110 – 122 with Byetta. In July I had a few issues with my health insurance and needed medication. I refused to pay $250 for 30 pills of Actos so I stopped taking it.
The result of the blood work last week was: A1c = 6.7, Total Cholesterol = 152, HDL = 33, Triglycerides = 189, LDL = 81, Fasting Glucose = 118. My blood pressure was 110/70. Even with the HDL and the triglycerides being higher both doctors are happy with the weight loss and want to wait to see how my body adjusts to not taking Actos.
I have been on Actos since Rezulin was taken off the market in 2000. I know most people hate that little pill, including me, but it does have a couple of good side effects: it raises HDL and lowers triglycerides. Not taking it probably accounts for most of the change in my blood work. Other things that might have affected the HDL and triglycerides are I have been eating a lot of fruit this summer. I did not know that fructose can raise triglyceride levels. In addition, some fruits contain a lot of sucrose. Sucrose is a combination of fructose and glucose. When the body breaks down sucrose it has even more fructose to deal with. I found a list of fruits that contain high metabolic fructose levels, meaning the amount of fructose when the sucrose is factored in, and I have been eating a lot of fruits in the high range. In case you are wondering I’ve had a lot of apples, grapes, mangoes, bananas and pears.
Another contributing factor to the fructose is one of the nutritional supplements has fructose in it. This is the one marketed as a sports drink. It is also the one that allowed me to spend all day father’s day out in the heat and not get a migraine from it. I love this supplement and I have been drinking it alone when I go outside to exercise. It keeps me hydrated very well and does not effect my blood sugar too badly. I guess I will have to cut back for the sake of the triglyceride levels though.
Aside from the blood work differences, in the past 90 days I have lost 35 lbs, and stopped taking Actos, with doctors’ approval. They both want me to change my dietary habits and allow my body to adjust to not having the Actos before they make any changes in medicine again. I know in one discussion somewhere here I said my doctor lowered my Metformin to 1500 mg. She did for a month, but it was an accident. (I should have known, it was totally out of character for her to change something without seeing me first.) She does everything electronically and pushed the wrong button on the dose. She put me back up to 2550mg of Metformin this week. I didn’t argue because she didn’t fight about me not taking Actos. I gave in to the Metformin dose even though my blood sugar didn’t increase with the lower dose.
In addition to those changes I no longer need pain medication for arthritis in my knee. The supplement I take for arthritis is working. Every day I feel less and less grinding from the bone on bone arthritis in my knee. The swelling is gone from my knee and the constant heat from the inflammation is also gone. It really feels like the supplement is helping my cartilage grow back, just like they said it would. I am super excited about that. My orthopedic surgeon told me the only thing he could do for the pain if the oral meds stopped working would be cortisone shots. Otherwise I would have to have a replacement.
One side note is that we had my vitamin D level tested. It was low even though I have spent much more time outside in the sun this year. Having dark skin and being overweight is hindering my body’s ability to get enough vitamin D3. Normal is between 30 – 100 ng/mL, mine was 24. I am now taking 2000 mg of D3 per day to increase compensate. I figured the neighbors would appreciate that more than me hanging out naked on the roof of my house for a couple of hours a day! :-)
Just so you know I have a lot more energy than I used to despite the low vitamin D levels. I am happier and calmer taking these supplements, my skin looks better and my nails are stronger. I really do love this stuff and know that it is working to help my body heal itself.