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A Shocking Diagnosis

13 Aug

I wrote before about how I’m seeing a reproductive endocrinologist to figure out why I’ve been in so much pain every month. It’s a debilitating pain that rears its ugly head every two hours for 10-14 days a month. It’s been a deterrent from running and anything remotely resembling a social life. I even had to call in sick one day at Disney.

While we’ve been ruling out things, the doctor sent me to the lab for a bundle of blood work tests. The results were shocking, discouraging, and a huge eye-opener.

Last Wednesday, the first thing she said was “has anyone ever told you before that you’re diabetic?” Diabetic. No. I have eaten myself sick. I did this to myself. I felt my eyes welling up with tears. (Side note- I had my glucose tested in 2009 and 2012, and both readings were in the 80s)

She went over the lab results line by line.

Technically, to diagnose someone with diabetes, one’s glucose reading must be 126 or above. Mine was 121. It shot up to 171 two hours after drinking the glucose drink. My A1C reading was 6.8%. The A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months instead of your blood sugar level at a point in time. Anything below 6.4% is prediabetic. A reading of 6.8 puts me right over the line. However, from my research, it takes two separate tests to truly diagnose diabetes, so I’ll be seeing an endocrinologist soon to get a second test and see where we need to go treatment-wise. I’ve very borderline diabetic, so my reproductive endo doctor is confident I can fix this with diet. This is NOT a life sentence.

But, there was good news. The blood work did show that I scored pretty well on the test they run to see if you can get pregnant. Here I thought I was pretty sterile. To hear that I have a good chance at getting pregnant definitely made me feel a lot better after hearing the bad news.

I left the doctor’s office with a diet plan suited for people with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and insulin resistance. It’s basically high fat, low carb or ketogenic.

The first two weeks is the Wean Off phase. The key is to wean off all sugar, all white flour, all white/red potatoes, and all white rice, as well as carrots and corn. I had none of this in my house anyway since I started a lower carb diet a few weeks ago, so this has been less difficult than I thought it would be.

The second phase is the weight loss phase. Each day consists of 3 meals and 2 snacks.

Foods to Avoid:

  • All flour-based foods (pasta, bread, chips, crackers, etc.)
  • No starchy veggies (beans, sweet potatoes, hard squash)
  • Dairy- hard cheese is okay
  • Juices
  • Fruits- limit tomatoes

Acceptable Foods:

  • Veggies (green leafy, broccoli, squash- yellow and zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, avocado, green beans, cabbage, cucumber)
  • Protein- meats, nuts, hard cheese, tofu
  • Oils- olive oil, butter, heavy whipping cream, mayo
  • Snacks- cheese, pork rinds, no sugar peanut butter, boiled eggs, olives, meats, nuts (peanuts and almonds are best)

Beverages:

  • At least 64 ounces of water
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Splenda is marginally better than sugar (use sparingly)

I certainly haven’t perfected this way of eating, but here’s a sample day I’ve had recently:

Breakfast- 3 scrambled eggs and 4 strips of bacon, coffee with almond milk (I need to ask doctor about coffee)

Snack- Genoa salami and white sharp cheddar cheese

Lunch- Chicken salad with slices of cucumber and celery sticks

Dinner- Margaritaville Island Lime Shrimp with zucchini and squash sauteed in olive oil.

Snack- 40 peanuts

Most of my days have been looking like this-

nutrition breakdown

I certainly haven’t been perfect every day, and I’m still learning, but I’m noticing some pretty great changes.

I can now drink iced tea without sweetener. I tried to drink it tonight with Sweet ‘n Low, but it was way too sweet. I enjoy the taste of the tea now without the sugar/sweetener.

I’m nowhere near as lethargic as I used to be.

My mind is no longer consumed of thoughts of food. I’m not addicted to it. When I think of food, I think of how I can make the best possible choice. I no longer have the option to make a bad decision knowing that it will have bigger consequences than I thought before.

I’ve lost 2 pounds in 6 days. It’s not a lot, but it’s just the beginning! This puts me at 6.2 pounds lost overall since the first part of July.

I’m feeling pretty confident that I can nip this diabetes stuff in the bud and lose the weight for good this time.

In other news, the pain is being managed, and I will resume running just in time to start a 20-week training program for the WDW Marathon!

So with that said, it’s time I sign off for now. If you’re doing a high fat/low carb (ketogenic) diet, how are you liking it? Are you finding success with it?

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12 Responses to “A Shocking Diagnosis”

  1. Sabrina August 13, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    I am so glad you are having success and feeling better! I am on my own journey with this diet but I struggle. I do feel better than I have; my headaches are gone and so is most of the pain. I know I’m not as rigid with my diet as I should be, but it’s a work in progress. I am a work in profess. This is truly a lifestyle change.
    Sabrina recently posted…Easy Oven Baked Pork DinnerMy Profile

    • Andrea August 13, 2014 at 11:28 am #

      Great to hear you’re doing so well on the diet too! We’re definitely a work in progress. We can’t be perfect all the time. It’s how we learn what works for us.

  2. Emily (@FitandFreeEmily) August 13, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    WOW – I’m shocked with you! That is GREAT news on the fertility front, though. What a great silver lining. <3

    I tried Keto for awhile and actually loved it. It eliminated most of my urge for binge-eating, as well, b/c I was so full from the fat! I found it REALLY hard to hit the Keto net carb goal (I was always going over), but I did feel WAY better when I got close to it everyday!

    I can show you how to tweak your macronutrients on MFP, too, if you want it to give you different percentages for your goals.

    Cheering you on, friend! You now have the knowledge and a plan. YOu've got this!
    Emily (@FitandFreeEmily) recently posted…Summer Vinaigrette Cucumber Salad #spiralizedMy Profile

    • Andrea August 13, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Thanks, friend! I just figured out how to change the macros yesterday, but thank you! May I ask why you stopped keto?

      • Emily (@FitandFreeEmily) August 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

        It was just hard to upkeep for me. Especially being mostly vegetarian, it was hard to get my protein in and carbs low. Seems like every veggie and fruit I loved was on the no-no list. Sometimes getting too restrictive makes me go all binge-crazy.

        But, ya know, I should probably just suck it up. ;)
        Emily (@FitandFreeEmily) recently posted…Summer Vinaigrette Cucumber Salad #spiralizedMy Profile

  3. Roni August 13, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Stay strong! The bright side is there are so many different ways to cook with those restrictions to still make delicious food. My spice rack has been my best friend. Get creative and you will get through it!

    • Andrea August 13, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Thank you! I’m having so much fun looking up new recipes!

  4. Cabernet and Chaos August 13, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    So glad you are making some progress! What a scary diagnosis! Have any of your doctor’s tried to put you on Metformin? My nurse practitioner recently said maybe I have PCOS, but I haven’t really had any of the symptoms and don’t want to go on a drug for a maybe. Definitely going to get a second opinion. Good luck with your lifestyle change! I’m looking forward to seeing what happens!!!

    • Andrea August 13, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      I just started Metformin a few days ago, but I’ve heard a lot of women with PCOS have had great success with it. I used to ask my doctors all the time for Metformin, but they wouldn’t give it to me. But this one did, thank goodness!

      PCOS is a little difficult to diagnose because you don’t have to have all of the symptoms. Did they tell you to get some blood work done?

  5. E. August 15, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    I was recently diagnosed as prediabetic and got some counseling from a nutritionist. She said coffee was OK, as long as I’d put only a very small amount in it — it is probably 1 or 2 tbsp. I can live without milk, except in coffee, so this was a great relief for me. Good luck!

  6. E. August 15, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    ooops….I meant to write: Coffee is OK with small amounts of cow’s milk :)

    • Abby September 2, 2014 at 7:00 am #

      Hey Andrea,

      Just wanted to check how the LCHF diet is going? I’ve been basically doing the weight loss version of your plan doing the week and allowing myself some treats (mostly wine – ha!) on the weekends. I got rid of my scale so I don’t know if I’ve lost weight, but my cravings for sugar really have gone away which I didn’t think was possible! Update us on how it is going when you get a chance!

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