prediabetic

Keto Background

I wanted to give a little background about what made me decide to give this a try.

Read this post for the explanation about the weight gain. After trying a different medication that made me really really sick (and the doctor told me to stop it immediately), I went back on the prozac at the lowest dose possible. I haven’t gained any weight on the low dose, which is good. But I still had that pesky 10 pounds I gained last year. Oye.

Anyways. I talked to my doctor about a few things. I just have not felt like myself since I had Logan. The weight was hard to lose. I wasn’t a lucky girl who shrank back to my pre-pregnancy body with breastfeeding (NOPE I gained weight breastfeeding). I thought once I quit breastfeeding I’d lose the babyweight, but it was a hard, hard slog. I got close. I got down to 9 pounds left when I gained it all back on the prozac. So I felt particularly angry about that!

I talked to my doctor about how hard it’s been. I actually asked her about a diet drug. I know, I know. I was feeling pretty desperate. But a friend of mine had lost about 40 pounds on Contrave and I asked my doctor about it. She was willing to prescribe it for me, even though it wouldn’t be covered by insurance. I’d have to pay out of pocket (very expensive too) and I actually considered it. And then after further discussion, I decided against it.

Basically, Contrave is a combination medication of Wellbutrin (an antidepressant that I’ve had success on in the past) and some kind of opioid blocker that helps people get off drugs? At least that’s my understanding of it. It basically blocks the part of your brain that makes you crave/obsess about food and overeat. My friend said it made her have no appetite and food just didn’t seem appealing. Except when I talked to my doctor about it, the dosage of Wellbutrin in the Contrave was INSANE. I forget what it is now but it was the max dosage that you can take and way back in the day I took the max dosage of Wellbutrin and had seizures on it.

Needless to say, I decided Contrave was not for me.

It was a moment of weakness, anyways, to consider it, but I’m glad I got more information and I’m glad I made the decision for myself.

When I talked to my doctor about it and told her I wouldn’t take it, she suggested I consider the Keto diet. She said that there were a lot of people in her office doing it for the new year and being successful and happy on it. She had another doctor who was an expert in it call me and tell me more about it. She gave me some tips and ordered some blood work.

Well, last week I did two things. 1) I weighed myself for the first time since before Christmas and 2) I got my fasting glucose tested.

My official starting weight: 177.2

(Pre-prozac I was 166, my pre-pregnancy weight was 157, my goal weight is 150)

I would like to lose 20 pounds. 27 would be AMAZING. Talking to Michael, I tried to figure out what would be a realistic goal for the first month of the Keto diet. Somewhere between 4-6 pounds for the month of February? I really don’t know. I’ve never done such a severe low carb diet before. Even when I did the low-ish carb thing before, I still had a lot of carbs. I didn’t give up my coffee creamer or my fruit or my yogurt….so we’ll see.

As for the fasting blood test. I was honestly pretty surprised at how high it was:

I’m not pre-diabetic but i’m getting there. Could it be because I had the flu and didn’t work out for almost two weeks before the test? Maybe? I have no idea. I’ve made a lot of changes to my diet in the past few months (for the better) but still my fasting sugar levels are high. Too high.

So here’s to hopefully a successful go at Keto!

Feeling Cheated

This post will probably sound rambling, and angry, and hurt and…the list goes on and on. So, forewarning.

Recently I went to the doctor because I was having dizzy spells that were becoming increasingly worrisome. I thought high blood pressure, inner ear infection, brain tumor, low blood sugar, dehydration, side effects of my acne medication…I had been taking sudafed on and off for months because I kept having issues with my ears feeling like there was liquid it in them (popping, crackling, etc). He did a bunch of tests, examined me, came up with nothing conclusive. He did a test where he took my blood pressure with me in different positions (laying down, sitting, standing). Thankfully my blood pressure was almost back to normal. (A few months ago it was super high when I went to the doctor.)

My doctor had me get an EKG to check my heart and then ordered a bunch of blood work. The results came back and I was pretty surprised by the results. I have to get my blood tested twice a year to check my kidney functions/potassium levels due to the acne medication I take. That test was ok. The platelet count reflected that there was some inflammation in my body or I was fighting off an infection (yay) but I don’t feel like I’m sick or anything.

The test also said I was anemic. I was anemic as a teenager and when I was a vegetarian. I’m really surprised that I’m anemic again considering the fact that I eat meat now and I have a pretty healthy/balanced diet with lots of veggies. My iron levels were 82 and I guess the normal range is 50-212, my saturation was 22% with a range of 20-50%. Eeek that’s a little low. Ok I can fix that. Iron supplements it is.

The glucose levels should be 70-200 mg/dL and I’m at 85. I guess that’s ok? He then said: 

“Your hemoglobin A1c is normal at 5.6, but this is very close to prediabetic range. An A1c between 5.7 and 6.4 indicates pre-diabetes, while an A1c equal to or greater than 6.5 would indicate diabetes. This makes it even more important for you to find ways to get active and moving again. Eating a healthier diet and trying to lose 5-10% of your current body weight over the next year or two would also help drastically reduce your risk of developing diabetes in the future.”

Um, what?!

My heart fell when I read that. Then I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I was hurt, I was scared, I was angry. Mostly angry. I felt cheated. The wake-up call I had 8 years ago that scared me straight was that I was pre-diabetic. Those words had terrified me beyond belief. I didn’t want diabetes. I didn’t want to have to test my blood all the time and take insulin pills or injections. It scared me enough that I realized it was time to lose the weight.

I worked SO HARD to lose over 100 pounds and I successfully lowered my blood pressure and avoided diabetes. I’ve kept my weight off for 6 years now and I exercise 5 days a week. I’m very active, I eat healthy, I count my calories, I log my food. So HOW is this happening again???

“For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c test is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. (source)”

So I am just at the border. I don’t know what my levels were 8 years ago when I was scared straight so I don’t have anything to compare this to.  The article goes on to say this:

“Patients with diseases affecting hemoglobin such as anemia may get abnormal results with this test. Other abnormalities that can affect the results of the hemoglobin A1c include supplements such as vitamins C and E and high cholesterol levels. Kidney disease and liver disease may also affect the result of the hemoglobin A1c test.”

I emailed my doctor to find out what was going on, why this was happening, and what I could do. I told him everything I’m currently doing and since I am ALREADY very active and eating right, what ELSE could I do? Seeing that above fact about things that can effect levels made me feel a little bit better I guess. If I was anemic, maybe that was effecting the test? I don’t have kidney disease but my acne medication can effect my kidneys…so maybe that is contributing to something? These were questions that I had and wanted answers to. Unfortunately I think the only real answer is to check my blood again in a few months after taking an iron supplement to see if things have changed.

Diabetes wordcloud

I’m not naive and thinking that just because I’m skinnier doesn’t mean I can’t get diabetes. I know that thin people can have it too. Sometimes it’s just genetic. My grandfather was diabetic. It could just be my family history. But I tell you, it’s a difficult pill to swallow to think that after all that work I did to lose the weight and how hard I’ve worked to keep it off…it could all be for naught. How could that be??

A friend of mine who is diabetic said I shouldn’t be worried. My levels weren’t alarming and the blood test wasn’t a fasting blood test. So perhaps she is right and it’s just a fluke. I decided to consciously cut out processed sugars the best I can, take iron, and ask my doc to do a fasting blood test to see what it says.

Anyways, I don’t have much else to share other than I feel stressed and unhappy about all of this. Time will tell. Perhaps this stress will be for nothing…