Binge Triggers

20140527_134244

As diabetics, we have learned that if we reduce our carbs, it will lower our numbers. Easy, right? Easy in concept, anyway. Since I am recovering from a big slip yesterday and the yucky feeling, high numbers, and being lethargic are still fresh in my mind, I want to write about things that may cause you to slip as you walk farther on the low carb path. Pictured above is a ketostick. You use them to test your urine to make sure you are burning fat instead of glucose. The darker the reading the more ketones you are burning. Sunday, my ketones were somewhere in the range of the two darkest on the right. Today, because of my carb binge, I am about as far to the left as I can go.

It is tough getting into ketosis, and it will probably take me 3-4 days to get back into it fully. Why do I want to be in ketosis? The body can burn either fat or carbs for fuel. When we eat an extra amount of carbs that we don’t immediately need, (and this amount will vary by individual, activity level, etc) the body takes the extra fuel and fills up the liver with glycogen, then converts the rest to fat and stores it on the body. The liver is the unknown factor in controlling diabetes. We have dawn phenomenon to deal with, if we skip a meal the body thinks it is starving to death and will do a glucose dump. If you can get the glycogen depleted from your liver you will start having more stable and lower numbers.

However, if you eat a heavy carb meal, you go right back to square one. Where I am at today. It will not be quite as bad for me. Since me body is used to it, it will adapt back pretty quickly. There is where many people fail. Going into ketosis, especially the first time is tough. You can get an upset stomach, mild to bad headache, nausea, and a host of other symptoms. These symptoms can last from days to a week or two. Here is the key to the transition that I have found. The more carbs you can initially cut, the faster the liver will be emptied, and the shorter the transition will be. If you eat enough carbs to just barely start draining the liver, it can go on for quite a while.

Protein is another factor that has to be considered. The body is such a efficient producer and converter of energy, that we have to work within it’s guidelines. Fat can only be burned for fuel. It cannot be converted into fat. Let me say this another way; eating fat will not make you fat. What does the farmer feed his cow to get a better price at market? Grain. Grain will turn into glucose and what is not stored in the liver will then be converted to fat. The process that concerns protein is not very efficient, but the body can convert part of it into glucose. That is why a snack of meat at late night may cause a higher morning number. While you sleep, your body is converting the meat to fuel an any excess into some glucose.

The best balance is to eat very low carb, moderate protein, and high fat. You will need to figure out what your percentages are. As you change your body fat percentage (losing weight), you will need to adjust accordingly. This is much easier for the diabetic to do than try to mind read what the liver is going to do.

Triggers can come in all kinds of shape and sizes. It will vary from individual to individual. As I stood in the garage yesterday debating on whether to try and throw up on not, I realized that some carb-laden foods are like crack cocaine to a druggie. And they are.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/18/brain-imaging-confirms-food-addiction.aspx

The above study found that some foods were more addictive than cocaine. So, craving them is not your fault. Keeping them away from you is your first step in defeating the craving.

COUPLES – I hear of a lot of couples that struggle with having carb food around. There needs to be an understanding of the dangers and consequences to the non-diabetic spouse. Educating them that “a little piece of cake” won’t hurt you is totally wrong. If they had any idea of the struggle us diabetics go though every day, or the complications that little piece of cake might cause, they would understand better.

FAMILIES – “When are you going to stop that fad diet and eat some good food? That’s all that is wrong with you.” Again, it comes down to how knowledgeable they are about your disease. Some will want to listen and some won’t. You need to learn to pick your battles. The ones that won’t budge need to be neutralized. Ignoring them or acting like you didn’t hear them are a couple of ways. They should get the idea and back off after a while. Be prepared for the, “I just don’t understand why John has to eat THAT way.” This said to a third party, trying to draw them into the conflict and re-open things. Don’t fall for THAT trap.

GET TOGETHERS – This is a tough one. Not only is all the food that you shouldn’t eat around, you are with the people that were around you when you were eating it before. If nothing else, the body loves patterns. That is so why it is so easy to fall back into an old groove. That’s what happened to me yesterday. I couple of ways to combat that is to bring your own food or even eat a large meal of the correct food before getting there.

EMOTIONS – When we get upset, our bodies naturally want to feel immediately better. Binge carb eating is one way to do so. The sad thing is, you don’t feel better for long, if at all. The carbs cause a crash that totally wipes us out. Even today, 24 hours later, I can still feel the effects slightly. The point is you need to treat your body as a younger and immature you. It does not know what is best for it. You need to maintain control. That is key. Keeping your emotions in check will help that a bunch.

DEHYDRATION – Hard to believe, but sometimes a hunger or craving feeling is miss-read and is actually a call to hydrate. Experts say that instead of eating when you suspect you are getting hungry, drink some water first. Give that a little bit. See if it was hunger or thirst. Over time you may learn to distinguish the difference.

IN GENERAL – The NA program (narcotics anonymous) have a saying, “If you keep going to a barber shop, you eventually will get a haircut”. What they are meaning by this is that if you keep running in the same circles, having forbidden foods around, have friends and family constantly trying to draw you away from the way you need to eat to keep from damaging your body, there is a good chance you will fall off your horse. You need to remember that if your friends and family realized just how important to your health your way of eating is, they would change their attitude 180 degrees. And I hate to say it, if they don’t you may have to separate yourself from their influence for as long as you have to. The following video was created to show what happens when diabetes is uncontrolled. Might try showing that to your friend or loved one. I can attest the impact of it and I am the one that did the final editing of it.

https://diabetictreatmentalternatives.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/self-hypnosis-to-stop-carbohydrate-craving/

Learn to experiment with what keeps you away from carb binging. And most important of all, if you fall off your horse, dust your britches off, straighten your hat, and get back on that horse and ride! You can do this! Join a group of other individuals that have the same problems. Some days you can give them strength, other days you may need some from them! Good Luck!

Delayed Stomach Emptying

stomach_male_digestive_system

Gastroparesis is a condition in which your stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion. It is caused by damage to the vagus nerve, which regulates thedigestive system. A damaged vagus nerve prevents the muscles in the stomach and intestine from functioning, preventing food from moving through the digestive system properly. Often, the cause of gastroparesis is unknown.

However, the causes of gastroparesis can include:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Gastric surgery with injury to the vagus nerve
  • Medications such as narcotics and some antidepressants
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rare conditions such as: Amyloidosis (deposits of protein fibers in tissues and organs) and scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder that affects the skinbloodvessels, skeletal muscles, and internal organs)

How your stomach works 

Most people don’t know that the stomach lies high in the left upper abdomen protected by the lower rib cage. Empty, the volume of the stomach “pouch” is less than one-half cup. As you eat, the stomach’s muscular wall can relax and expand to hold about three pints of sustenance. The stomach’s job is to liquify solid food preparing it for digestion and absorption in the small intestine. This is done by mixing the food with powerful digestive juices for several hours. To hold the food within the stomach there are two valves. At the top of the stomach is the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which prevents backsplash of stomach contents upward into the esophagus. At the bottom of the stomach is the pylorus which controls the “drain” of the stomach. 

Once these two valves are closed, muscular contractions called peristaltic waves ripple through the stomach squeezing gently in the upper part (fundus), more powerfully lower down (antrum). These contractions are controlled by a stomach pacemaker, much like the heart, and travel through the fibers of the vagus nerve. When the pacemaker fires, this muscular churning motion mixes the food particles with powerful hydrochloric acid and the enzyme, pepsin. Produced by the stomach, these strong chemicals convert the food to about the consistency of cream of potato soup. 

Eventually the pylorus relaxes slightly, opening the stomach’s drain. The stomach muscle contracts and the now liquefied food is pumped a little bit at a time through the valve and into the small intestine where the digestive process occurs. 

Pump failure 

When all is working, the fullness we feel after eating a big meal gradually fades as the stomach empties its contents into the small intestine. After a few hours, the stomach is completely empty and ready for the next meal. 

What if the stomach pacemaker would slow or the pump fail? Then the stomach would drain much more slowly and not empty completely between meals. With the next meal, you would feel bloated and perhaps nauseated. There would be no room for more food and vomiting of undigested food might occur. Each meal would be an ordeal. You might be afraid to eat and begin to lose some weight. This is what patients with gastroparesis have to put up with each day. 

What is gastroparesis? 

Gastroparesis (gastric = stomach; paresis = paralysis) literally means stomach paralysis. It is a condition in which the stomach muscle becomes slow and weakened. Following a meal, it takes too long for the stomach to empty its contents into the small intestine. 

What are the symptoms? 

One problem in identifying gastroparesis is the fact that the symptoms are often vague. Most symptoms occur because the stomach doesn’t empty completely. Some residual food is always present. This may cause excessive fullness after meals, frequent burping, acid-reflux, nausea, and abdominal distention. Vomiting of undigested food often occurs 1 to 3 hours after meals. Individuals often complain of early satiety – feeling full before the meal is finished. Eventually, fear of eating may lead to unplanned weight loss. Persistent vomiting can cause low blood potassium, dehydration, and malnutrition. Diabetics may have complications because of poor blood sugar control. 

What causes gastroparesis? 

The cause is not known, but gastroparesis is a common complication of Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes occuring in about 20% of patients – especially in those who have developed other signs of nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) such as numbness or burning of the feet. People with Type 2 diabetes get it also, but less often. Diabetic gastroparesis can be a vicious cycle since diabetes causes nerve damage which leads to gastroparesis. And gastroparesis can worsen diabetic control since delayed stomach emptying makes digestion unpredictable which results in uneven blood sugar levels. Gastroparesis may also be a complication of stomach surgery for ulcer disease or weight loss. Some systemic disorders such as kidney failure, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, sclerodema, and thyroid disorders can also delay gastric emptying. Up to 30% of individuals with gastroparesis are idiopathic, meaning that there is no identifiable cause. It is felt that some of these may be due to an acute viral infection. Lastly, some medications such as anticholinergics (antispasmodics) can worsen the situation. 

How is gastroparesis diagnosed? 

Not everybody who is bloated has gastroparesis. In fact, most of the time, bloating and exessive fullness is caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). But, when symptoms are severe, the possibility of gastroparesis must be considered, especially in diabetics. Of course, prior stomach surgery, certain systemic disorders, and offending medications must be ruled out. 

If gastroparesis is suspected, blood tests are usually done to assess diabetic control and nutritional status. In addition, three imaging studies are available:

  • An Upper GI Series x-ray with barium may be done to obtain some information about the size of the stomach and determine if any retained food is present when fasting. Occasionally, a bezoar is found. This is a large ball of undigested vegetable matter that is trapped inside the stomach.
  • In most cases, a Gastroscopy “scope” test is performed to rule out more serious conditions such as a blockage due to ulcer disease or stomach cancer.
  • The most important test is a radioisotope gastric-emptying scan done at the hospital nuclear medicine department. The patient is given a meal that contains a radioisotope, a slightly radioactive substance that will show up on the scan. The dose of radiation from the radioisotope is small and not dangerous. After eating, the patient is asked to lie under a large geiger counter that detects the radioisotope and shows an image of the food in the stomach and how quickly it leaves the stomach. The test takes 2 to 4 hours. Gastroparesis is diagnosed if more than half of the food remains in the stomach after 2 hours.

What is the treatment? 

As yet, there is no cure for gastroparesis, but in most cases, symptoms can be improved with treatment. Regardless of the cause, treatment programs are fairly similar.

  • Diet
      Changing how and what foods are eaten is helpful. It is best to eat six small meals a day, instead of three large ones. Liquid dietary supplements are often recommended since liquid meals pass through the stomach more easily and quickly. Avoid high fat foods that naturally slow gastric emptying and foods high in fiber like citrus and broccoli because the indigestible part will remain in the stomach too long.

  • Medications
    • Propulsid (cisapride) was developed to treat this condition and was of benefit to thousands of patients. Unfortunately, it was linked to about 300 cases of heart rhythm irregularity including 80 deaths and was taken off the market in 2000. With the removal of Propulsid, an older drug, Reglan (metoclopramide), has again become the drug of choice. It has been shown to be effective in the acute management of many gastroparetic conditions, but often loses its effectiveness over time. It can be given by mouth, intravenously (into the vein), subcutaneously (under the skin), and rectally. Unfortunately, side effects are common including drowsiness, loss of menstrual periods, impotence, and muscle spasms. With prologed use, some patients develop a Parkinson’s-like tremor. Benadryl can limit some of the side effects but worsens the drowsiness.
    • Erythromycin has become the gastric prokinetic of choice for those patients who fail to respond to conventional agents. This antibiotic also acts to stimulate the muscles of the stomach to contract. It can be given intravenously and by mouth.
    • Domperidone (Motilium, Janssen) is another drug that improves gastric emptying and may have less side-effects. It has been available overseas (and even over the counter in Europe), but is not FDA approved in the US.
    • None of these drugs are totally effective and without side effects. Research is ongoing. Two new drugs that may possibly be helpful are Zelmac (tegaserod), a new drug for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation and Viagra (sildenafil), which is marketed for male erectile dysfunction, but has also shown some benefit. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that part of the delay in stomach emptying occurs as a result of lack of nitric oxide in stomach tissues. The same basic molecular problem causes impotence in men. Experiments have shown that in mice Viagra reversed gastroparesis. Human trials are underway.
    • When nausea is a predominent symptom, a separate anti-nausea drug is often added such asCompazine (prochlorperazine) or Trans-Scop (scopolamine patches). But, again, side effects are common. In severe cases Zofran (ondansetron) may be used, but is very expensive. In milder cases of nausea, accupressure wrist bands are a non-invasive method that most patients tolerate well.

  • Surgery
      Surgery is seldom done for gastroparesis, but in severe cases, a feeding jejeunostomy tube can be placed surgically. This thin plastic tube goes through the skin of the abdominal wall and directly enters the small intestine far downstream from the stomach. Special liquid nutrition given through this feeding tube bypasses the mouth, esophagus, and stomach and is delivered directly to the small intestine for absorption.

  • Gastric Pacemaker
        On April 8, 2000, the FDA approved a stomach pacemaker called Enterra (Medtronic Corporation) for “compassionate use”. This electrical device is implanted in the abdomen and functions much the same way a pacemaker works in the heart. Enterra is indicated for the treatment of chronic nausea and vomiting associated with gastroparesis when conventional drug therapies are not effective.

Summary 

Gastroparesis is a common condition that may affect anyone, but most often is seen as a complication of insulin-dependent diabetes, especially in those who have other signs of nerve damage like numbness of the feet. Up to a third of cases have no identifiable cause. Gastroparesis causes early fullness, bloating, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and contributes to poor blood glucose control. In severe cases, it can affect nutrition. Treatment is available, but, as yet, there is no cure. Treatments include changes in diet, better control of blood sugar, oral medications, and, in severe cases, a jejunostomy. Research is promising and new treatments may be just beyond the horizon.

Now, that is what the experts say on the subject. I feel I have had this condition for many years and it either contributed to my diabetes or my diabetes contributed to it. I have been testing several procedures for about 6 months and I have found a great deal of promise in what I am doing now. Follow this link for an explanation of what I am doing currently.  

https://diabetictreatmentalternatives.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/potato-starch-experiment/

What I have found is that:

I now have lowered my blood sugar to almost normal.

I now am experiencing a great deal of energy.

Even though my weight remains close to the same, it is easy to see that I am burning body fat up as it is showing visibly.

Eating as I have been, I do not get very hungry at all. I do run out of fuel and I now that is time for a capsule, my solution, and a coconut oil medallion.

For the one meal I have in the evening, I have found that I can eat limited amounts of foods that as a diabetic I wasn’t able to eat before.

I feel the cayenne capsule stimulates and aids in my stomach digestion. The DE is cleaning colon and small intestine plaque so that the small intestine can absorb the nutrition better. The potato starch is 70% resistant starch that is indigestible in the stomach and small intestine. In the colon it converts into a super food for the friendly flora that complete the digestion process. This gives me more mileage for the food I eat and allows me to go 24 hours between actual meals.

In closing, I would like to say I am very encouraged by my results so far. A very good possibility that others may be able to do this way of life (WOL) also.

Water Calculating

Water

As diabetics, we don’t realize the true importance of drinking enough water everyday and how it can impact our blood sugar levels, our health and weight loss efforts. According to experts in a recent study, drinking just 2 cups of water, which is smaller than the size of a bottled soda, before meals helped dieters lose an extra five pounds yearly and help you maintain your weight loss. Additionally drinking the right amount of water daily can actually speed up your metabolic rate and help to curb overeating when your body confused hunger and thirst. But how much water is enough? And what about the temperature?  Here is what is said about the temperature of the water and how that might effect your weight loss and hunger issues throughout the day!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/521032-does-drinking-cold-water-help-speed-up-your-metabolism/

Here is how to calculate how much water you should drink a day for both health and weight loss benefits.

  1. Your weight: The first step to knowing how much water to drink everyday is to know your weight. The amount of water a person should drink varies on their weight, which makes sense because the more someone weighs the more water they need to drink. A two hundred pound man and 100 pound woman require different amounts of water every day.
  2. Multiply by 2/3: Next you want to multiple your weight by 2/3 (or 67%) to determine how much water to drink daily. For example, if you weighed 175 pounds you would multiple that by 2/3 and learn you should be drinking about 117 ounces of water every day.
  3. Activity Level: Finally you will want to adjust that number based on how often you work out, since you are expelling water when you sweat. You should add 12 ounces of water to your daily total for every 30 minutes that you work out. So if you work out for 45 minutes daily, you would add 18 ounces of water to your daily intake.

To make it a littler easier to calculate how much water to drink everyday, here are the recommended amounts for a range of weights. Remember to adjust for your activity level.

Weight Ounces of Water Daily
100 pounds 67 ounces
110 pounds 74 ounces
120 pounds 80 ounces
130 pounds 87 ounces
140 pounds 94 ounces
150 pounds 100 ounces
160 pounds 107 ounces
170 pounds 114 ounces
180 pounds 121 ounces
190 pounds 127 ounces
200 pounds 134 ounces
210 pounds 141 ounces
220 pounds 148 ounces
230 pounds 154 ounces
240 pounds 161 ounces
250 pounds 168 ounces

Tips for Reaching Your Daily Water Goals

So now that you know how much water you should be drinking everyday, let’s talk about how to make sure you actually get enough. Drinking over 100 ounces of water may seem impossible at first, but with these easy tips you can reach your goal in no time.

  • Drink 2 cups (16 oz) of water before every meal: Science has proven that drinking 2 cups of water before every meal helps you to eat less during meal time and lose weight. If you do this three times daily – at breakfast, lunch, and dinner – you have already consumed 48 ounces of water.
  • Morning and Night: Get into the habit of drinking one glass (16 oz) of water when you wake up and another 8 oz glass before you go to sleep every night. This will add another 24 ounces of water to your daily intake. The easiest way to do this is to keep a glass or container of water at your bedside, that way as soon as you wake up and start your day, you can begin drinking water.
  • Keep Track By Your Container: One thing that has proven to help people consume enough water daily is to buy a special container for their water and set a goal of how many times they will fill and drink the container. For example, if you buy a 16 oz container and need to drink 80 ounces of water a day, your goal would be to drink 5 of those daily. Need to drink more water? Try a larger container.
  • Infuse Your Water With Flavor: Water doesn’t have to be boring and infusing your water with fruit, herbs, and other flavors can make it much easier to reach your daily goal. Try adding cucumber, strawberries,lemons, limes, and fresh herbs to create flavorful water.
  • Bubbles: Consider carbonated and sparkling water in addition to regular water. Many people find that adding sparkling water and 0 calorie flavored water makes drinking water throughout the day more fun. Find yourself drinking lots of expensive sparkling water? Consider buying a sodastream and make your own delicious sparkling beverages at home.