Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I have now officially been to diabetic class. There were five of us (well six actually, five women and one man with his wife). We had four teachers, one for living with diabetes, one to show us how to use the blood sugar meter, one for exercise, and the nutritionist. I found out that Diabetes is a major cause of morbidity and the fourth leading cause of death in the US. In 1992, diabetics represented 4.5 percent of the US population (11 million people), and the associated healthcare cost ($105 billion) represented one out of every seven healthcare dollars spent. And Alabama has the highest rate of diabetes in the U.S.

The good news is I can eat anything I want. The bad news is that a 2" square of unfrosted cake or cornbread is a serving and it takes place of something else. A serving is anything that contains 15 grams of carbohydrates. My diet is like this:

3 carbohydrate servings
1 egg or 1 slice of cheese or 1 ounce
of low fat meat

1 carbohydrate serving

3 carbohydrate servings
4 ounces low fat meat

1 carbohydrate

3 carbohydrate servings
4 ounces low fat meat

I get 3 servings (which ain't much, 1 tablespoon) of fat (olive oil, butter, cheese, nuts, salad dressing, avocado, etc) a day but that includes any fats in anything that I may eat like baked goods, deserts, casseroles, etc. But I do get all I want of most non-starchy vegetables. That explains the dream about green blood!!

A serving of carbohydrates is tiny. A small serving of French fries is 4 carb servings and 4 fats! ¼ bagel, ¼ baked potatoe, ½ of a banana, 1 kiwi, 1 cup cantaloupe, 8 ounces skim milk, 1/3 cup rice are all 1 carb serving. So even though I get variety, I get very little of whatever I eat. If I indulge in something good I don't get anything else. So a meal would be like this:
Small baked chicken breast
1 slice of bread
1/3 cup pasta
1/3 cup
sugar free pasta sauce
Steamed Vegetables

I'm also supposed to get off of caffeine and no diet drinks allowed! Some chemical in diet drinks (I can't remember the name) is bad for diabetics. Something about making the cells of your body swell and affecting the way you use glucose. The 64 ounces of water a day we've all heard we need in even higher in diabetics. We're supposed to have lower kidney function that other people and need to flush out the bad things.

I'm supposed to get at least 30 minutes a day of exercise, but then we all are. Working out is supposed to improve the way your body metabolizes glucose. One of the instructors claimed she got off of insulin just by working out.

Having diabetes gives you the same risk of having a heart attack as smoking a pack a day! Diabetes can be extremely dangerous, resulting in loss of vision, damage to the nerves, blood vessels, kidney function and decreased healing function. Damage to the blood vessels supplying the nerves and the nerves itself can cause gradual loss of sensation primarily in hands and feet which may extend up the limbs. Bacteria thrives on glucose rich blood and urine, people with uncontrolled diabetes are more prone to urinary tract infection. It can cause chemical imbalance in the blood causing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion etc.awfulunds aweful, doesn't it!! I don't think I can stop all my bad behavior at once. I tried to do without caffeine today and got a blinding headache. One Diet Dew cured that, so I think I'll work on the food intake first and take everything else one item at a time. This ain't gonna be easy, but I'm stubborn. And I've got lots of friends and family to keep me in line. Guess I'll get bitched at a lot!

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