Blog Entries With Tag: blood pressure


Posted: Nov 1, 2013

Last week I had gone to my local clinic (CLSC) for my blood work for my endo appointment I had on Tuesday. Two hour wait – fasting – wanting to pee like a horse – but I held fast – and wished I lived in Cornwall, Ontario – where you can make an appointment for a diabetic blood work – no waiting.  Welcome to my province of Quebec – where we diabetics get NO RESPECT !!  It's like lining up for a loaf of bread in Russia in 1915 !

Fast forward to this week – and I’m waiting in anticipation for what my results are.  Don’t we all go thru’ this (well – maybe not for you folks that can get your results the next day).  Here in my province in Canada – unless you go private - $$$ - or have private insurance coverage - you out of luck - you wait).  For some reason, I lucked in on only waiting 10 minutes (usually it’s much longer) – and my endo called my name. 

The first thing he said to me as I entered into his office …. “You’ve put on weight – what’s happened?”

I wasn’t really shocked by that statement – since I know I’ve been gaining weight (thryoid tests are normal - I'm just perimenopausal).  It's not from over eating – my habits haven’t changed - I actually am eating less due to work load – but my emotional state of being over the past year has been abit fragile plus … I’m a lazy cow (the job I do requires a lot of sitting on my behind).

Of course, as I explained this to him, he nodded, saying “Good excuses Anna”.  Onto the scale I went – since my last visit to him in July – I’ve blossomed.  I’ve never ever been the weight that I am – even after I’d had my DKA experience as a teenager – where I’d put on weight (memories of my Mum buying Hefty Boys corduroy pants for me always makes me cringe).  My Mum was often picking on me about my weight, and made me feel guilty about eating – sigh.  Writing these blogs sometimes brings back memories I don’t like to remember.

Promptly he took my blood pressure (BP) and this is sometimes the worst part for me – as I have the well-known ‘white coat syndrome” – my BP is never as good as what I have at home.  His first reading out of the corner of my eye was something like 185 over … at that point he said something that wasn’t good.  Meanwhile, in my brain I’m going WTF???  He retakes it on another machine – the regular wall version (before he was using one of the home versions we can buy) – and this time – it’s abit better – but still higher than my normal readings – 135/120.  Of course, at home, mine are in usually in the 115/70 area – sometimes lower.  I’ve never had a problem with high BP.

Of course, he says this is all to do with my increased weight (jab, jab, JAB) – and then asks – “do you eat a lot of processed foods?”  I tell him no, that I rarely eat processed foods;  when I have time/money I try to do all my own cooking without adding extra salt, etc.  Hmm, but inside my head I think … I DO LOVE CHEESE - which is high in salt!!! 

So, the jist of the whole visit was that I’ve REALLY got to lose weight - especially with his concern over my BP.  He stressed that I become active (he still insists that sailing is a lazy man’s sport – which in away – as a cruiser – it is – you don’t do much – not like he does with his golfing – where you have a goal – to find the hole).

And yes, my A1C despite my DKA episode over my holidays this summer – was pretty good (he says normally A1C will rise due to DKA) – it was abit higher – but still excellent.  And he admitted, if I’d been on multiple dosage injections (MDI) – that probably the DKA would never have occurred – which I totally agree with him.  Pumps do have their benefit - but not when they don't alarm for an occlusion, etc. like George Michael apparently didn't do in my case.  

So, now I’m off to test my BG, hopefully accomplish a 30 minute walk, then test my BG again, and post my results for the Big Blue Test that I partake in every year.  I’m hoping unlike the other day when I did it, I don’t drop in BG to the point of hypo land, and will be reducing my basal rate on my insulin pump abit (thank you Petronella Peach for that suggestion).

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Posted: Mar 15, 2013
Salt or sodium if we're going to be technical is in EVERYTHING we eat - we can't avoid it completely - plus our body does need salt.  According to the ... The National Academy of Sciences - they recommend " that Americans consume a minimum of 500 mg/day of sodium to maintain good health.  Individual needs, however, vary enormously based a person's genetic make-up and their lifestyle ".


I was watching a recent episode of Marketplace a consumer program on CBC here in Canada - called The Great Salt Shakedown.  was mortified to find out that here in Canada - when you look at a food label for the sodium content of your food - that the daily requirements are based on a higher number than what the health authorities have been pushing for.  The percentages are based on 2,400 mg per day!

In a nutshell, healthy adults should NOT be consuming more then 1,500 mg of sodium a day.  When it comes to healthy children, their number is 1,000 - 1,500 mg of sodium a day.   Take for example, in my age group, I should only be consuming no more then 1,300 mg of salt per day - when I started to look at the sodium content on my low carb fav of cheese - which I've always known to be high - I just about flipped out! For more info on what you should be aiming for - along with other tips - here's a link to get you started.

In the episode, various participants were asked to collect their urine for the day, and from that, tests performed to see how much sodium was consumed.   It was pretty scary seeing some of the results, healthy/active folks both young and old, who thought they did not consume much salt.  One person, an avid swimmer that looked about my age, had almost 6,000 mg of sodium (and they were vegan)!!!  Let's just say, they were shocked at the results.

After that show, what did we do in my household?  Went looking in our pantry and started to evaluate our sodium content in our processed foods.  Scary, scary, scary - e.g. my fav Bush beans that I keep on the boat for fast meals with canned pork - combined I'm consuming over a third of my sodium level - or more depending on how much I slop on my plate after a day of sailing.   Guess what I'm looking at doing now .... canning my own meats for future sailing trips due to home recipes using way less salt than the mass produced stuff - you can check out one website that tells you how to do it (if you know of another way to do this - let me know).  

For myself as a diabetic, as I am sure many of you do as well, I tend to look mainly at the carb count on the food label, along with the fat and calories.  The sodium content is something I don't really look carefully at - but now after this show, I am.  We all know as diabetics how much stress our internal organs go thru' with the daily grind of our blood sugars, but add that extra sodium and of course it can contribute to high blood pressure - putting a strain on our kidneys / heart. 


How am I going to start reducing my intake of sodium you ask?  Well, I thought I already was with cooking from scratch - but after looking at two cans of tomatoes in my pantry - for 1/2 cup (125 mL) - and one serving from Italy (9 mg) and another from Canada (290 mg) - you can tell which one I'll be sourcing out in future!  Also, as one of the links from Health Canada below,  it points out when/if possible going for fresh rather then processed.  Of course for me it depends on what I can afford and the season (e.g. I can get great deals on tomatoes in September - but it's March right now).

So after having my breakfast, of simple toast (not my own bread like usual - which DOES contain more salt then mine), margarine, pineapple jam and 2% cottage cheese  - it all totalled up to almost half  of my sodium content for the day.  I'm realising this is going to be an interesting experiment to accomplish because many of the foods I love to eat that are processed in one form or another.  I won't even try to figure out what a processed cheese slice contains - I'm too scared to know - even though my fingers are dying to search online to find out what they contain - but don't want my bubble burst for my love of plastic cheese from time to time.

So, do you know how much sodium you consume in the day?  If you don't - check out this helpful guideline at Health Canada - I know I am going to try my best (even though I thought I was doing well).  Also, for more info on the chart showing the % of Daily Value (DV) - please go to this link.

Let the dance begin - at least I know pepper isn't bad for me (and I use a lot in my cooking - freshly ground)!

 
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Posted: Oct 29, 2009

Well, I'm finally getting my life back to order.  Don't think Mike, my husband appreciated my being away at the IDF Diabetes World Congress for 5 days (I averaged 12 hour days there), as my Domestic Engineering duties sort of went the way of the dodo bird.  I am back on track, almost, just don't pay me a surprise visit right now, as it still looks like a bomb went off in my house (I need a housekeeper as one of my friends says - treat yourself).

So, below you will find a rather amusing picture of me.  It was a way to let off some steam I think for all the delegates that were there, as attending seminars, learning new ideas of coping with diabetes can sometimes make for a tired brain.  It was fun seeing people from all over the world, putting on the RCMP uniform and standing with the Canadian Rockies behind them!  Of course, I had to do something different didn't I? Being the animal lover, I had to go and pet the moose.  He was very bristly, incase you are wondering! The staff had no problem the next day remembering my picture, no number required - just had to tell them - "I'm the moose lover!"

Novo Nordisk FatCatAnna

I went to the Novo Nordisk booth because I was interested in learning about Victoza, which Type 2 diabetics can inject once a day.  They can either use it alone, or combine it with their Metformin or sulphonylurea treatment.  The big thing with this insulin that they are thumping their chests about is that it helps patients gain better blood glucose control WITHOUT the weight gain, which often happens when going on insulin therapy.  According to one of the documents I have on hand, visceral fat (this is fat that surrounds our internal organs) was reduced by 13% to 16% in patients treated with Victoza + Metformin.  I know for a few diabetics diagnosed with Type 2, weight can be an issue, and of course, the sooner we shed it, eat sensible and exercise, the better our diabetes is controlled!

So in a nutshell it'll be able to do the following -

  • Reductions in A1C of up to 2.74%
  • Reductions in weight by up to 2.8 kg
  • Reduction in blood pressure readings
  • Improvement is beta-cell function (makes me wonder with time, if you start early enough - you might reverse diabetes as your pancreas start to produce insulin).

Not sure when it will be coming to the market in North America as all the information I am finding  is based in Europe - therefore I'm unable to post the Novo Nordisk link for you to check it out for yourself unless you register there yourself.  I've done abit of research on Victoza and there seems to be some problems with bringing it to the market due to labeling of the product believe it or not in the United States!  We'll just have to wait and see and be patient with FDA, but the forecast is for sometime in 2010. 

Also, if there are any of my friends from abroad reading my scribbles, and you've got some insight into Victoza, please feel free to share with us!

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Posted: Apr 3, 2009

I went to see my endo yesterday - of course - like we all do - wondering what my latest A1C was going to be.  Well, it was 5.7% - down abit from 6 months ago plus I've lost some weight.  Whoo! Whoo!  Though that "whoo, whoo" - quickly changed to a state of shock when the endo told me he had noticed protein in my urine.  I'm in good control of my diabetes - how could it happen?  I mean blood sugars are good and I've never had high blood pressure. So, after over 40 years of being diabetic - are complications of having it for so long starting to creep up on me - just not wrinkles around the eyes???? 

He was pretty busy that day (it was a 1 hour wait to see him) - and I didn't really get to get down to the nitty gritty with him like we usually do.  When he said he was going to hike up the Avapro  from 150 mg to 300 mg - my brain became alert.  I was honest with him and told him -  "Uhm duh, I take it when I remember - like ... not that often".  Shaking his head - he said - "you take insulin - take your pill!".  In the medical world these meds are called ACE inhibitors that help relax your blood vessels so blood flows more freely and lowers blood pressure and puts less work on your kidney.  He had prescribed it to me many moons ago - as a preventative for having kidney problems.   Fine and dandy - but even before going on this med - I had perfect blood pressure results - so even despite one of my friends telling me to "take it" - well - I've fallen off the wagon as far as taking the Avapro.

When I got home I went and did abit of research on Avapro (http://chealth.canoe.ca/drug_info_details.asp?brand_name_id=88&rot=4) - and what's got me even more confused was when I read a paragraph saying this medication  may not be good if you have kidney problems already.  Yikes!!!!

 So of course, I'm worried now - wouldn't you be?  Is it because I've been eating low carb diet?  I didn't have time to tell my endo this.   If it is, I'm going back to my way of eating before. Oh joy, OJ in the morning again and how I have missed your sunny smile in the morning!!!  The one thing I'm going to try to find out is what the number was for the protein found in my urine - was I on the edge, middle ... ???  I completely forgot to ask the endo this in my shock - which is not usual for me.  Of course, office is closed today - so I'll have to wait until Monday - then consult a chart I've come across as to where I stand.

 

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