Help - Does Diabetes and Winter Correlate???

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ChosenVessel
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/22/2009 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. Question. I was told that glucose numbers run traditionally high during the winter months. Is this true and if so why? confused ! ! !

Jeannie143
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/22/2009 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
People of northern European ancestry whose ancestors made it through the ice ages huddled by fires eating grain gruels have been programed to semi-hibernate in the dark winter months and try to elevate our serotonin levels with carbohydrates. When the harvest comes in the fall and we eat more carbs (comfort foods) in conjunction with the lessening sunlight and this signals our bodies to put on fat for the winter (time of hunger). These actions, combined with the lessening of physical activity when the weather is yucky leads to higher numbers. These are only some of the reasons...

Also, light foods and salads are more appealing in summer so I find it easier to eat better then. Just my 2ยข.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


ChosenVessel
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/22/2009 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jeanie. Thanx for that answer. It certainly makes sense. I figured the inactivity and less sweating had something to do with it. I guess I just figured that I would learn something abit more medical/scientific - ya know. Just alittle worried cuz if I cant keep my T2 numbers between 90 - 125 then my docs are gonna want to start talking insuline. Im learning that my depression may have something to do with my high numbers too ( b/w 145 - 250 I normally run ). I'm clinical, taking an anti-depressant. ok. Thanx again.

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/23/2009 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on Lantus insulin for over a year and it was a Godsend to me at the time. I was having a rough time keeping my numbers in line, trying to follow the ADA diet plan, and because of physical limitations, unable to exercise as much as I would like. It's a once a day injection, easy to take, almost painless and not much of a big deal. I just don't want you to stress about it if it becomes necessary. I went back in the posts recently and found the one I posted after I gave myself my first injection and I saw that although I was nervous, it wasn't as bad as all that.

Now, if you are doing the ADA food plan you are having a heck of a time with numbers. I try to eat nothing white except cauliflower and cottage cheese. This puts me in good numbers, along with my metformin, and I use my S.A.D. light to help with my depression (along with an SSRI). What part of the world are you living in?
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


ChosenVessel
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/23/2009 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jeannie. Lantus insulin? Is Lantus a brand? And you say that you were on it for over a year. Does this mean that you no longer take this?

I like the thought of eating nothing white. That kind of puts things in simple, more manageable terms. But what about potatoes? I'm being stubborn cuz I love them. I suppose yellow and red potatoes are out of the question... Eh-eh-eh smilewinkgrin

Anyway, What is a S.A.D. light and what is SSRI? And how does these help with depression?

At the moment I just had my meds adjusted.

I am now taking 850mg of Metformin 3x a day (was 1000mg 2x), and 5mg of Glyburide 2x a day.

I am taking 20mg of Enalapril 1x a day for my HyperTension; 40mg of Lovastatin 1x a day for my High Cholesterol (LDL's are high too); 81mg of Children's Aspirin 1x a day for a blood thinner,

And I take 10mg of Escitalopram (Lexapro) 1x a day for my Depression and Anxiety. I'm thinking of talking to my Doctor about increasing that to 20mg a day. I sound like a mess huh?!?!?

Anyway, I am in Chicago, Illinois - West Side Pride!!! How bout you? What are your coordinates? Are you in the medical profession. Cuz ya sound like a medical person or some type of therapist. And where in tarnation did you learn about that northern European trivia.

What do you do besides forum moderate.... hm-m-m-m?

I like your quotes. I have lots of em on my facebook profile. By the way, my name is Marvin. Nice to meet you Jeannie.

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/23/2009 10:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Marvin,
Nice to meet you, too, but I'm sorry for the reason. I'm in Michigan, a bit up north of you. I am a wedding cake designer and wedding show producer as well as a wife, mother and Gramma Bunny to 4 little ones. There will be a fifth one any day now! I quit nurse's training about three months shy of graduation. Didn't really want to be a nurse but I've used all that knowledge to help my family members with health and thru hospice.

I was diagnosed with diabetes over 10 years ago. Doc told me to do diet and exercise. Sent me to classes. I stuck my head in the sand and pretended I didn't have DM. He started the pills. I tested about once a week... Numbers got worse, eyesight changed from prolonged elevated sugars, got tinglies and numbness in my feet... Decided to start paying attention to my health a bit better. Enter Doc's Wife, the Other Doc in the office. She went ballistic on my numbers and whipped me into shape. Started me on Avandia and Lantus (a 24 hr. time release insulin made from human sources) along with my metformin. Made me fax her a food diary every week to see if I had this thing figured out. Numbers got better and everything calmed down.

We lost our insurance and I was buying my meds out of pocket. Diabetes meds were running me almost $400 a month. We are not wealthy people and sometimes it was a struggle to find the money for meds. I turned to my friends here on the forum and asked for help. With their guidance I started a low carb food plan that dropped my numbers and enabled me to lower and eventually discontinue my insulin. I also stopped the Avandia. My metformin runs me about $10 every three months.

Nothing white but cauliflower (and cottage cheese) is not so difficult. I don't weigh, measure, figure or plan anything. I simply don't eat anything made from grain or starches MOST of the time. Breakfast is coffee, eggs with cheese and 1/2 an orange. Lunch is deli meat & cheese rolled up in romaine lettuce, a carrot or other raw veggies and an apple. Dinner is meat, salad, and two or three veggies with a bit of butter. Snacks include sugar free yogurt, cheese and nuts, fruit and raw veggies, olives or 1/2 an avocado. Once a week I have a half a cup of real ice cream. Most evenings I eat a sugar free popcicle. I eat a ton of vegetables. Squash, brussel sprouts, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, mushrooms, radishes, rutabagas, if it grows, I eat it! I have home made soup at least once a week. I use thinly sliced cabbage in place of noodles in my soup. Everything gets cooked in olive or peanut oil (monounsaturated fats for good HDL's).

S.A.D. is Seasonal Affected Disorder, a type of syndrome that causes many people to gain weight, sleep more and become depressed in the darker winter months. Sunlight influences our brain's production of serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates circadian rhythms, (sleep cycles), appetite, mood and a bunch of other stuff. By using an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) med like prozac, zoloft, wellbutrin, etc. I help my brain use the serotonin I have more effectively. By using a broad spectrum light in my work space that's designed specifically to help peeps with S.A.D. I can increase the amount of serotonin I produce without snarfing on carbs (another way our bodies produce serotonin.)

about your potatoes... You might be able to have them once a week or so. Here's the thing most of us here have learned. Follow your food plan, eliminating your milks, breads, cereals and other carb sources for a day or so. Test your blood glucose two hours after the time you sat down to eat each meal. In a normal person it would be between 90 and 110 two hours after they started to eat because their bodies handle food correctly. Record those numbers. Next evening at dinner have your meat and veggies and one small potato. Two hours after you started dinner see how the potato has affected your sugars. IF you are lucky the potato may not mess with your numbers. or.. not... Some of us can eat brown rice or yams once a week or so without driving our numbers up. Some can eat potatoes. Most of us find that pasta is like eating pure sugar and spikes our numbers to unacceptable limits.

That's the thing about diabetes. It affects everyone differently and the only way to find out your body's tolerances is by testing and keeping records. If you keep a food diary and write down your blood glucose numbers you will be able to see which foods you can have and the ones you need to save for special days.

Getting late and I need to hit the hay. Chat at cha later!
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


ChosenVessel
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/24/2009 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jeannie. One word.... WoW!!! ok. here's a few more. Thankyou so much for that information. It will be helpful and I will copy and paste it to my notepad in my T2D folder. Now I have a better understanding of why it is important to monitor and journal. I will be passing this on to a dear friend of mine who is having the same dilema. Thanx so-o-o-o much. Will keep in touch and let ya know the results.

TVEditor
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 1/24/2009 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a note of recommendation -- I took all of Jeannie's (and others' around here) advice and it works! In my case, milk, juices, cereals, potatoes, bread and pasta (starches) were the culprits. I verified this by massive testing/journaling in the first 4 or 5 months after diagnosis but since then, I know what works and what doesn't. Now, I test 2-4 times a week just to make sure I'm still on track. Its not easy but its not all that hard either. I 'cheat' by substituting more meat and fats rather than bread and potatoes. Who woulda thought this results in weight loss? Not me ... but it does ... and also lowers your glucose readings!

Chris

ChosenVessel
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/24/2009 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi TVEditor. Thanx for the imput. I am still a novice about this since my diagnosis was only since about september of 2007. It seems that just when I learn more, I learn that I know less. So these simple terms from those of you who've been there, done that, and bought a shirt - is quite helpful. I'm actually taking deep relaxing breaths at the moment. My doctors are excellent but sometimes it's not the same as those with actual experience to teach me in layman's terms. It seems that I am closer to building a strategy to take to my next doctors appointment this coming February 2nd. So thank you Jeannie and TV. Anyone else care to add their 2 cents please do. Every cent counts. . . yes/no?!?!?

TVEditor
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 1/25/2009 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
It can seem overwhelming can't it Marv? My doc didn't give me much info and left it to the Diabetes Education Centre to explain. Unfortunately, they follow the Canadian (in my case, same as American) Diabetes Association's guidelines which obsess on their ideas of nutrition as opposed to diabetes control it seems. They suggested a complicated diet that would inevitably lead me to taking pills and/or insulin. This was acceptable to them but not to me so I started looking for all the diabetes information I could find.

Luckily, I found this forum and read every message from page 1 to the present. The talk was easily understood and it made sense to me so I tried a few of the suggested dietary changes.

'Eat nothing white except cauliflower & a bit 'o cottage cheese' is a lot easier to do than follow the plan given to me by the CDA.

I also started reading the labels on food containers. What an eye-opener!

The lessons I learned here were that diabetes is personal and also controllable through common sense approaches.

In my case, I was a bread-meat-and-potatoes (and marshmallows ;-) guy who loved his morning cereal and juice. I found that by substituting one vegetable (potato) for twice the helping of another (broccoli - YECCHHHH!) and Crystal Lite for real apple juice, the 'adjustment' in lifestyle isn't all that bad. As Jeannie is wont to say, "Your mileage may vary"; this plan seems to be working for me but the key is to experiment and find out what does and doesn't work for YOU.

(Editor's note: Hmmmph! Lookit me ... only been here a few months and spoutin' advice like I wuz a moderator or sumpin ;-)

Chris

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5396
   Posted 1/25/2009 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Marvin, so you're in Chicago?  I see you're having quite a winter so far!  I'm in balmy Memphis and we go to the beach everyday now.  Just kidding.  Are you taking any medication?  As Jeannie and Chris have told you, carbohydrates will keep your blood sugar high which is why we (most of us regulars here anyway) stay away from them.  I know it's a hard adjustment to change your diet but this is about your health and it's very important to control the blood sugar.  A good substitute for mashed potatoes is mashed cauliflower.  Just mash up the boiled cauliflower with some butter and season it the way you like.  Saute or broil bell peppers, zucchini (squash), eggplant.  Eat spinach or mushroom raw or cooked.  Grate cheese on everything!  Or, drizzle olive oil on the vegetables and give a spritz of lemon or lime.  There are so many great dishes you can have and you won't miss the bread or potatoes.  If I can do it, anyone can! 
smurf
Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


ChosenVessel
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/25/2009 8:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chris and Lanie.

Thank you so much for the dietary advice. I have already been using it with a friend of mine here and we are monitoring our diet and noticing (learning) the things that are making our numbers go thru the roof or remain at a constant but high figure.

I like the mashed veggie idea. Especially the part about the cheez. smilewinkgrin I have actually been craving veggies in the last several months so that's a good thing. My friend and I have switched to diet soda pop, sugar free flavored sparkling water, and sugar free kool-aid instead of juice. Lots of water. Caffeine/sugarless green tea instead of coffee and when we do eat dessert we split it.

I now appreciate that everyone's diabetes is individualized so those blanket rules that the docs give out seem little to be desired.

And Chris, I already save these correspondences and I plan on taking your advice and reading everything. Then edit as I copy and paste so that I can have a comprehensive resource to share with anyone else who may have inquiries. I also plan on recommending this site to all who need this type of guidance and support.

My bud and I help each other on the meds and glucose monitoring. And we do read labels. I'm familiar with them already cuz I made it a habit to read them before all this drama.

At the moment I am taking 850mg of Metformin 3x a day (was 1000mg 2x), and 5mg of Glyburide 2x a day for my T2D. My Doc says that if my numbers remain a constant high (140 - 155ish) then we will start "talking" insulin as a course of action since we've already just about maxed out the meds.

I am also taking 20mg of Enalapril 1x a day for my HyperTension;

40mg of Lovastatin 1x a day for my High Cholesterol (LDL's are high too);

81mg of Children's Aspirin 1x a day for a blood thinner,

And I take 10mg of Escitalopram (Lexapro) 1x a day for my Depression and Anxiety. I'm thinking of talking to my Doctor about increasing that to 20mg a day. I am learning that my D/A also affects my high numbers too. Jeannie mentioned something about that so I plan on investigating that more closely too.

Anyway - It's a balmy 15ish degrees here. That's warm compared to the minus 0 temps we've been having. With the wind in this windy city we've been dealing with minus 30 - 40 degree temps. So you see, the warmer teens are a welcome. Little to no wind keeps things comfortable.

Anyway - thanx again for the advice. I will have more questions I'm sure as I read these pages. So plan on hearing from me again. Only 3 days since I found this site and I'm already learning ton's of stuff. Thanx so much.

Sydnee10
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 561
   Posted 1/26/2009 1:02 AM (GMT -7)   
This is purely MY (my opinion).I would say Glucose runs higher in Winter,because it's cold out and we don't Walk/Exercise/Work-out as we do in Spring or Summer.When it's cold outdoors,I don't like to walk and breathe in cold Air.Lotsa People gain weight during Winter too.
 

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