I have returned to I.F.ing (Intermittent Fasting), the only method of diabetes control that I’ve had consistent success with in the past. Combined with low-carbing, my NutriBullet, and exercise of course. Go here to read about a recent scientific study extolling the virtues of Intermittent Fasting.
It’s been 2 years since I’ve tried Intermittent Fasting. A lot has happened in the mean time: my mom passed away; my wife and I split up. But amazingly, my health has improved. My weight which consistently stayed in the 267 lb range dropped to the 250s in the last 18 months. I slowly became stronger in my core and in the last 3 to 4 months the agonizing muscle spasms that would strike seemingly out of nowhere and at any time I exerted myself finally stopped. As a result, I’ve been able to work out more regularly and more physical tasks have become possible.
On top of all this, though, two recent developments have prompted an awareness that I need to take my diabetes much more seriously and embark on a full-throttle lifestyle change.
About 3 weeks ago I discovered that I was much more sensitive to wheat than I had previously known but also I learned that wheat spikes my blood sugar more than actual sugar does. Also, I lost my glucometer so I wasn’t checking my blood sugar over many weeks. That always tempts me to over-indulge in higher glycemic foods because I’m pretending my blood sugar is fine. It wasn’t. I had all the symptoms of high blood sugar: more frequent urination; grumpiness; over-sleeping; low-energy; and blurred vision. Finally, I decided to purchase a new glucometer and discovered my blood sugar was out of control.
Around the same time I read about the addictive nature of wheat and how it can increase appetite and that it raised blood glucose more than a candy bar. That was enough! I knew I had to return to a low-carb lifestyle and avoid wheat or I was going to develop nasty diabetic complications like blindness, kidney damage, liver damage, gangrene, and heart problems. So, I have been wheat-free and low-carbing for 3 weeks.
The next development made a lifestyle change even more critical; I discovered my diabetic medication was causing my heart to skip beats. I have always been leery of metformin (the medicine that lowers my blood sugar by helping my cells absorb glucose) because of side-effects and so I have never been a regular user of the stuff. But because of my new commitment to get my blood sugars lower and keep them consistently low I decided to try the metformin again. About half an hour to an hour after I took my dose I felt an odd gaseous feeling in the center of my chest which I have had on occasion in the past but always chalked it off to indigestion. This time something didn’t feel right. I don’t know if it was because I was more mindful of my health but for whatever reason I decided to check my pulse. The rate was within the range of normal but it skipped a beat every ten. I wasn’t sure if I was right about that but I tried my pulse on my wrist, my neck and at various times over the next few minutes. But sure enough, like clock-work, every ten beats it was skipping one. Over the next 2 hours I checked dozens of times. My heart would skip a beat at either 10, 20, or 30 beats. This scared the crap out of me as I’m sure it would anyone. I tried to think if I had done anything different that day. I hadn’t eaten anything unusual. I didn’t have any symptoms of flu or fever. Then I remembered the metformin that I hadn’t taken in weeks.
I googled ‘metformin side-effects+skipped heart beats’ and got a number of hits mentioning skipped beats as a side-effect of taking metformin. I had never seen that listed before, not with the more known side-effects. I was relieved. Since quiting metformin I haven’t had a recurrence. It makes me wonder if the other times I had that odd full-ness feeling or gaseous sensation in my chest had been when I took metformin. I was relieved my heart wasn’t going to suddenly burst but now I was left with the realization that I had to get serious about blood sugar control or I will be on insulin. So now I’m low-carbing, going wheat and grain free, fasting until my blood sugars lower before I eat and I’m doing H.I.I.T workouts with a skipping rope and isometric body-weight exercise every other day. Praise God that my improved health and cessation of spasms has made working out possible.
I will keep you all posted.