Sunday, June 30, 2019

Adventures in High Blood Sugar

Since my gestational diabetes diagnosis I check my blood sugars once or twice a month to make sure they are on track and that I am not developing type two diabetes. The last two months they have been high. My highest reading was 185 but I was consistently getting 165 and 155 two hours after meals. That number is supposed to be under 120. High blood sugars damage your organs and decrease your lifespan. I want to live as long a life as I can and I like my organs working at 100%, thank you. Having these high numbers has caused me a lot of stress in the last two weeks as well as panic and depression. I am working so hard and doing so much to help manage my autoimmune problems and adding one more like type two diabetes to the list felt like a weight I could not handle.

I have a very knowledgeable Type one diabetes friend and couch who helps people with diabetes and fitness in general, so I booked a 30 minute call with her. I knew I needed outside help. I was exercising 40 minutes a day minimum and eating under 150g carbs a day (half the recommend American limit) with plenty of organic veggies and fruits. This is what I had been doing since I quit keto when Becky was 8 months old--and it had been working for me just fine. Until now, that is.

Becky, 18m old
I went into the call feeling helpless and lost. I came out of the call with a plan! I decided to go down to 50-100g carbs a day, add some strength training to my workout (previously only yoga and walking) and make a food diary so I can see what foods are "problem foods" for me. I went sugar free (except fruit). I had been consuming some honey and some coconut sugars and I've now switched to stevia and monk fruit to sweeten things if I need it. It has been two weeks and my sugars have not been over 110 two hours after eating. I am thrilled!! I really don't want to eat keto again--I would miss foods that I love. On my modified low carb "diet" I can still eat potatoes and beans--two of my favorite foods!

I did find a lot of problem foods that I have cut out. Rice is one--it elevates my blood sugar like nothing else. So do all the gluten free flours like buckwheat and sorghum that I had been baking with. I have switched to just using almond flour and coconut flour with maybe a tablespoon or two of gluten free flours to make it taste more like the "real" thing.

In the last 10 years I have changed up my entire way of eating many times. I went vegan first, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, keto... every time I make a change it is so stressful for a week or two (or three!) while I figure it all out and see if it is right for me. My body is changing as I age and especially after pregnancy! I am glad that I have been able to make elimination diets work for my health and the health of my family. But boy, it is hard.

This August we start Reuben's low key preschool program and this will be another change for our family that will ripple through the next 18 years of his life! Keep me and mine in your prayers and thank you for reading!