Friday, August 16, 2019

Save T-Bone's leg!

We are trying to make this reach as many people as possible. My sister rescued her dog, T-Bone, from an abusive situation.  He weighed almost less than half his normal healthy weight. Now he's fighting for his life again after a driver hit him and ran, leaving him with a broken leg.  Please help us and my sister as she is working a minimum wage job and can't afford all the vet costs that are looming over her! This poor puppy deserves a fighting chance!  Here is our fundraiser link: Save T-Bone's leg!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Thyroid results from Low Carb Doctor

My thyroid specialist, Jackie, emailed me my thyroid results this morning. 
TSH is 0.047 uIU/mL     (0.450-4.500)
Free T4  0.85 ng/dL       (0.82-1.77)
Free T3  3.1 pg/mL        (2.0-4.4)
Reverse T3  14.4 ng/dL    (9.2-24.1)
Thyroid peroxidase Ab  24 IU/mL    (0-34)

I'm pretty happy with those numbers so I think I'll be staying on my current dose of 120 mg/day.  

Sunday, June 30, 2019

A1C comparison - Dr. B vs. Endo

I thought it would be interesting to re-compare (because I'm sure I've done this in the past) my A1C using the formula Dr. Bernstein (Dr. B) uses and the one my endo's office uses.

Dr.  B's A1C Chart

My A1C using Dr. B's chart:
Dr. B's A1C Values
Endo A1C chart

My A1C using my endo's chart:
Endo's A1C Values













Same line and same average blood sugar values, different A1C value.  Hmmm...
Technically, my A1C would be lower with Dr. B's chart.  That definitely makes me feel better.  Why can't we all agree to use the same chart?

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

New receiver and appointment time

On Saturday I got my new receiver in the mail.  I compared it to my old one for about a day and it seemed to be spot on.  New one got the purple shinies put on it.  Old one has the pink.


Today I had my appointment with Carrie. 

A1C went up to 7.2%...ugh. 
TSH is low again at 0.117.  I'll have to tell Jackie this before my next lab appointment with her in early July. 
Cholesterol...don't even get me started.  Surprisingly it came back lower than Jackie's lab.  Hmm.  But Carrie tried to push oats, of all things.  Nope nope nope.  I'll keep taking my fish oil, eat more salmon, and work on my thyroid and blood sugars. 

I told her I am noticing a feet-on-the-floor rise in the morning, unless that's the Levemir wearing off as normal.  I'm also seeing a rise in the afternoon right before my 4pm Levemir shot.  I told her I'd do some basal testing.  Maybe I need R in the afternoon with lunch to help with that, or I need to space out my Levemir more?  I don't know.  That's what I've got to figure out.  She seemed okay with that, knowing that I'm comfortable with Levemir and how it works. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

New Dexcom Receiver - Ordered!

For the past few months my Dexcom Receiver has been giving me error messages, doing system checks constantly, and frankly driving me insane.  I finally got a hold of tech support and they said the receiver is out of warranty and that I'll have to order a new one. 

After trying to figure out if I needed to have my doctor submit a new RX for it or not, I ended up calling Byram (my new medical supply company) and just placing the order myself.  It will go through insurance and I should hopefully have it soon.  Maybe a week?  Depends.  But as long as I can keep my old one running until then I should be good. 

Perhaps I'll upgrade to the G5 later in the future but for now I'm sticking with the G4. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Thyroid values with LC PCP


Lab work results from low carb PCP. TSH is 10, up from 0.16 in April. Still on the same dose - 90mg/day of Armour. She increased it to 120mg and wants to retest in a month to see if we over shot it. Looking back at my past thyroid labs, I seem to shoot up in the summer months - 48, 95 for TSH the past two years.

Cholesterol - I told her I'm not worried but would be interested in a particle size test. I told her no statins - they raise my BG, give me muscle weakness, and I'm not on birth control. She asked what Dr. B would say about my cholesterol. 

Had to argue with her about my 7% A1C - she said it was good, I said No, it's double normal. She asked what I meant. I told her 4.5 was normal and that under 5.5 was my goal. She tried to tell me it was too dangerous, but I told her 40 to 400 is too dangerous. I want to be 80-120. I told her Dr. B has been Type 1 with an A1C of 4.5 for decades and that she should check his book, YouTube, Facebook, etc. Hopefully she will, but I really just need her to help with thyroid and write insulin rxs for me since I'm dumping my endo.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Answered Prayers

I know I missed a post last week, but this week's post is going to make up for it, I promise.

Many of you know about my race to find a new thyroid doctor since my holistic NP decided my thyroid levels were too erratic for her to figure out.  I went to DietDoctor.com and found a low carb doctor in my area, contacted him April 22 and explained my situation, and made an appointment to see him May 1.

May 1st came and I took time off from work to go to the appointment.  Dr. McColl was very nice, very happy to hear I was already low carb and looking for a supportive doctor.  After an hour long consultation with him, he said he thought my biggest issue was my thyroid, since I wasn't happy with my endo's care and my holistic NP was dropping me.  I confirmed that yes, that was my biggest worry right now.  He said I was probably going to want to talk to the thyroid specialist they have at their other location, which is actually down the road from where I live.  I totally agreed and I made an appointment to see her...today!

Dr. Hone is one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met in the healthcare industry, and she was more than happy to talk to me about thyroid options, all sorts of food tolerance and thyroid testing, Celiac, Type 1, and medications we can try.  She was perfectly fine with keeping me on my current dose for now until we can establish a baseline test so she can see what their labs say about my levels (since they use a different lab than my holistic doctor uses).  I was thrilled to hear that she is even willing to prescribe me insulin since I self-manage and don't use a pump.  She said it doesn't sound like my endo is doing anything that she couldn't do for me, so I can basically drop my endo!!  I was ecstatic!  Dr. Hone also couldn't believe how doctors don't have their diabetic patients on a low carb diet. She was completely fascinated by the law of small numbers and Dr. B, which I explained to her.

I'll be coming in for lab work on May 21 and have an appointment with her to discuss treatment and such June 5.  I am BEYOND THRILLED with how the Lord has worked all of these pieces for me, especially when I thought things were going downhill.  He really was just closing one door to open up a better one!  Lord willing we will have things figured out and smoothed out this year and into next.

One step backward, two steps forward!

Also, just took a home A1C test:
 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Out with the old, In with the new!

On Monday the 22nd, I got a call from the nurse at my holistic doctor's office.  She sounded rushed and frantic, and explained that my thyroid levels were so erratic that my nurse practitioner was no longer going to help me treat my Hashimoto's.











That upset me since it felt like I was losing the only shred of support I have and she said I should let my endo treat me.  Seeing as how my endo wants to not suppress my thyroid and probably put me back on Levothyroxine, I opted to search for a new doctor.

I turned to my diabetic Facebook groups and then received a call from my mom, who suggested the Diet Doctor, Jason Fung.  I searched his website and found a list of low carb doctors.  Only one was listed in TN close to me, so I checked out their website.  I sent him an email right away, and got a nice, lengthy response in half an hour!  Long story short, he's a keto follower himself and said he'd do all the thyroid tests I wanted.  I've got an appointment set up for next Wednesday to see if he'd be a good fit!

What I find interesting is that his practice is unique in that they bill their patients with a monthly membership, instead of running things through insurance.  The cost is low and allows for him to give personalized attention to each member even outside of office hours.  Hopefully he'll be able to help me get my thyroid levels normalized and my blood sugars stabilized so I can get my A1C down.  One step at a time, right? 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Progress report

So I've been doing physical therapy for my back pain since January, and on Monday I will be discharged after my last appointment!  My back is feeling so much better and I'm going to continue to build up my core strength with the exercise program they give me.  Hopefully I'll also be able to get myself a bow and some arrows so I can take up archery again!

On Tuesday I went in to my holistic doctor to get my thyroid labs retested.  It should be sometime next week that I get the results back.  My dose was cut from 120 mg to 90 mg per day.  Wonder how that's been working?

My numbers have been cooperating for the most part.  A few highs every now and then, but I'm trying my best to stay on top of them.  Estimated A1C seems to be about 6.6%.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I wasn't expecting that!

I don't even know how this is possible, but my A1C came down! 
That's right, in just a month it dropped from 7.3 to 6.7!  Don't ask me how because I have no clue, but I must be doing something right!

I of course had to explain why I didn't want Tresiba, or a pump, or blah blah blah.  I am probably going to need a new Dexcom (G5?) once my receiver dies.  But I don't need all the bells and whistles and all the issues that come with medical devices that deliver insulin when syringes do the job just fine. 

I am going to get some R and start using that to help cover my food so I have some smoother lines.  That's my next goal...ironing everything out.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Thyroid labs and another diabetes appointment coming up

It's been a little while since my last entry and I've been busy with work, PT twice a week, video games, and running a household.  I got my thyroid labs back today with a new prescription change.

Apparently, my Free T3 is too high so we're cutting my dose back to 90mg a day...hopefully that will help.  Also, my Antibody levels have come down some more!  Yay!  (remember how they were 610 when I was diagnosed?)
DateLabTSHFree T3Free T4Reverse T3TPO AntibodiesRX
February 11, 2019Seasons0.015.11.3
29
Armour 90mg/day
December 15, 2018Seasons0.0220.916.933
Armour 60mg twice a day

I have an appointment with Carrie on Wednesday, but I'm not expecting it to go well.  MySugr has my estimated A1C at 6.9% (it dipped down to 6.8 for a day and then went back up).  They're averaging about 150.  I'm just struggling to get my numbers down.  I am NOT trying Tresiba, and I'm about ready to try a different NP. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Physical Therapy and Lower Blood Sugars

Before we came home from our Christmas holiday, my blood sugars started lowering.  I decreased my Levemir shot from 7 units at midnight to 5 units, and went to bed with a BG of about 120.  Around 4 or 5 in the morning, I woke up at 68 and had a glucotab.  BG went back to normal of 85.  I've since lowered it to 4 units and my numbers have been beautiful. 

I'm so glad I didn't try Tresiba...and THIS is exactly why I don't want to use it.  My BG has been known to do this before and being able to change my dose on a whim is what I need.

My doctor refilled my Levemir for me and I got it filled in MD.  I've had to fight for my insulin before but being rejected right before a big trip is not okay.  I'm looking for a new doctor but I haven't had any luck yet.

I had my first physical therapy appointment on Monday.  It went well, despite my head cold (also why I am home from work today...I am not feeling well).  The physical therapist was very knowledgeable and after a few tests to see where the pain is, what my strength is like, and what I can tolerate, he informed me that my core is weak, but especially my left side is weak.  He gave me some exercises to do, both new and old, that will help me strengthen not only my abs but also my glutes, hips, hamstrings (because I get shaky/weak in the legs sometimes and my hamstrings are weak) and back muscles.  The core is responsible for supporting the back and that is what I need to improve to help my back pain.  I will be seeing them twice a week this month, starting on Monday after work.      

Friday, December 28, 2018

Things are finally going the right way

Today I got 3 major health things done:
1.  My Levemir prescription was transferred from home and ready for pickup at Walmart.   Yay for getting it before running out!
2.  I heard back from the people at Byram and they got an account set up for me and Dexcom sensors ordered!
3.  I got a physical therapy appointment scheduled for the day after we get home. 

I also found a natural back pain reliever (kali carbonicum) at Whole Foods and it seems to be helping.  I priced some CBD oil (Ananda and Charlotte's Web brands) and will be looking into those more. 

I've been trying Swerve since my holistic doctor thinks stevia may be causing my bloating/gas.  So far, things seem to be much better.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Levemir Woes

Right before we left yesterday to spend the holidays with hubby's side, I was able to get my Armour thyroid refilled with a 3 month supply.  However, I was not so fortunate with my Levemir refill.  The pharmacy called me and told me that my doctor had denied to refill it due to the fact that they want me to try Tresiba.  I have decided I am not interested in trying it for several reasons:

1.  My blood sugars have been known to change on a dime and require a drop or increase in basal on a moment's notice.  Having Levemir taken every 8 hours allows for more frequent changes as needed.  Tresiba would be taken every 12 hours (I know the doctor thinks it's once a day but splitting provides more steady coverage.  Insulin actually only lasts as much as the amount of insulin on board stays active, and the less you take, the shorter its life span).
2.  I'm worried about negative reactions I've heard some people experience while on Tresiba.  I don't have negative reactions to Levemir. 
3.  Levemir works when it's dialed in correctly.  The problem I have is figuring out how to dial it in correctly.  Once I do that, I won't have such issues.  But that's no reason to switch to a new insulin.
4.  Trying to push me to try a new insulin just because they may get paid more in bonus money really irks me.  I hate that doctors don't consider the preferences of their patients because they're too focused on making money off of them.  The MORE you PUSH me, the MORE I RESIST.

I now have a limited supply of Levemir because I was forced to leave without the RX.  I contacted my doctor and requested the RX be refilled ASAP but it won't be responded to until after Christmas.  I brought a Tresiba pen, as well as the Levemir pen I've had on hand for emergencies.  I'm praying I won't run into any trouble, but I may have to find a TeleDoc to write me an RX in the meantime.

I managed to find an extra Dexcom sensor in my travel bag before we left, so it should last me the whole trip, but I'm still trying to get a medical supplier set up so I can order more.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New DME Supplier and Lab Results

I placed an order for more Dexcom sensors over the weekend and got an email yesterday from Better Living Now saying that they are no longer contracted with my insurance as of November 1.  I tried looking for another provider on my insurance company's website but it was less than helpful.  I decided to ask other diabetics who they use and got a recommendation.  I signed up with Byram and am hoping to hear from them in the next few days.  In the meantime, I am ALL OUT of Dexcom sensors and am therefore Dex-less. 

In other news, I got my lab results back from last week's blood work.  Nan said everything looked good, just one of my thyroid levels was low, probably because I hadn't taken my dose before I got my blood drawn.  She also said I could stop Vit D for a month if I wanted, as my level is in the 90s.  I just ordered and received a new box of supplements though so I'll just continue taking them.  She may tweak my order in a month to add things that will help with blood sugar management. 

I also told her about how I seem to be bloated/gassy after eating Lily's chocolate bars.  She said that's common but that it may not be the soy like I was thinking but rather the stevia.  She suggested switching to Swerve and said she'd send me a recipe I can use to make my own chocolate bars.  I'll see how that works!

I told her about my back pain, which has been continuing to bother me for the past week or two.  This is longer than most flareups I've had in the past.  She recommended trying CBD oil (Charlotte's Web or Ananda brand) for pain and inflammation relief and also said if I want to have a doctor look at my back, her son is a physical therapist who works with people who have sports injuries and back issues.  So I have some things to research and look into.  She wants to do follow-up labs in 8 weeks, and recommended coming in around noon so that my meds have time to work after I take them in the morning.  She's not changing anything about the dose right now until we run them again.  But I'm just happy my TSH levels are staying consistent.  She said they are the same as last time!  Just waiting for the results to be uploaded onto my patient portal so I can download them for my records.       

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Backsliding

Physically.










I had my appointment with Carrie yesterday. 
MySugr has my estimated A1C at 7.4% 
Labs say they are 7.3%. 

Carrie was impressed that they were so close.  I was not impressed that it had gone up.

She suggested Tresiba again, and gave me another sample.  I'm convinced my Levemir works as long as it's dialed in correctly.  Meals are also tricky.  I just can't get a handle on things.  I eat the same foods, pretty much at the same time.  I just always spike.

Checking to see when my next thyroid test needs to be done.  I want to get a fructosamine test done also to make sure my A1C is accurate.  It's similar to a hemoglobin A1C test but focuses on the past 2-3 weeks, whereas an A1C is the past 2-3 months.  In addition, the fructosamine test measures glycated protein in the blood instead of glycated hemoglobin.  You can read more about it here.

The good news is:  I refused the flu shot!!  

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Annual Eye Doctor Visit

DP & I had our annual eye exam today, at a new eye doctor.  We purchased our glasses from them last year because I had seen a pair of frames that I loved in their ocular shop.  They had such rave reviews and my mom took the kids there so I looked into their office a bit more.  They have a lot of high tech eye machines which I've always liked better than the standard eye-dilation (I hate having things in my eyes).  We were able to make an appointment for Saturday which is great so we don't have to miss work during the week!

I was called back first.  I had my eyes scanned by two different machines and did a few color and distance tests.  When the doctor got around to seeing me he went over the pictures the machines had taken of my eye.

I don't know why I reported last year that everything looked clear.  The old doctor told me I had mild non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy without macular edema, but he down-played it as something that wasn't a problem.  The new doctor took a completely different approach, making sure that I understood that my high blood sugars were causing damage that couldn't be repaired and if I continued to have high blood sugars, things would get worse.  He pointed out a total of 3 hemorrhages that I have between both eyes (1 in one eye and 2 in the other) and that only one was close to the optic nerve/macula, which was concerning.  He told me I needed to tighten my control if I wanted to prevent vision loss.

Both of our prescriptions changed considerably, so we ordered new lenses (and opted to keep our current frames since we like them so much).  I feel like we made the right choice switching doctors.  I feel like I got a much clearer picture of my eye health, and a doctor that actually understands the importance of normalizing blood sugars.  Even though he said an A1C of 4% was difficult to achieve, I know it's possible.  I'll aim for that.  Even 5% would be good.  I've done it before.  Now I need to work my butt off to do it again.

As if my body was scared into submission by what he said, my numbers have been lower today.  But I can't slack off.  Here's to lower blood sugars and keeping my eyes for another 40+ years!     

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Methyl Protect

I started on my new MTHFR supplement today.  It's called Methyl Protect from Xymogen.  I get most of my natural supplements there.  Their products are clean, pure, and made with professional formulas.  What you put in your body really matters.  I'll be taking one capsule twice a day with meals.  I can't wait to see if I feel a difference while taking this!   

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thyroid and MTHFR Labs

 Here are my thyroid lab results:

TSHFree T3Free T4Total T3Total T4Reverse T3TPO Antibodies
0.024.31.3

15.744

My MTHFR results are:
C677T:  Negative
A1298C:  Homozygous (two mutant copies of this gene)  Technically, I'm C1298C.

What does all this mean?

Remember how my TSH was 95 in July?  Well, I was right about Armour being my magic pill.  My TSH came WAY down, so instead of 60 and 90 mg a day, I am taking 60 mg twice a day.

As for the MTHFR gene mutation I have, let me see if I can put it in terms that are easy to understand.  

MTHFR stands for MeThylenetetraHydroFolate Reductase enzyme.  This enzyme is super important.  Its job is to help your body process amino acids (and our body is made up of amino acids!).  When mutations are present, lots of things can go wonky!  (This website has a great list of examples:  https://melanieavalon.com/mthfr-mutations-methylation/)

Homozygous A1298C is one of the worst mutations.
MTHFR A1298C mutations affect conversion of methylfolate into BH4, or tetrahydrobiopterin. BH4 plays an important role in neurotransmitter production, which is why MTHFR A1298C mutations are often associated with psychological disorders. The particular neurotransmitters affected include serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. MTHFR A1298C mutations may also affect melatonin production, which often leads to sleep disturbances. Additionally, BH4 is important for heart health and deficiency may play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease.  (http://www.mthfrtreatment.com/)

  • MTHFR is the short name for the genes that code for the enzyme that changes folic acid to the active form that your body uses (the long name is methylfolate reductace).
  • 1298 is the marker for one particular MTHFR gene.
  • You get one copy of this gene from your mother and one from your father, so there are two possible copies that can be either “normal” or “mutant”
  • If you inherited one good copy and one bad copy that’s called “heterozygous A1298C”
  • If you inherited two bad copies (one from each parent) that’s called “homozygous A1298C”
  • A…C stand for the bases that you actually have.  A = adenine C = cytosine.  Bases are essentially the letters that spell out your genetic code.  There are four of them commonly (C, T, A and G).
  • When this gene is “normal”or “wild type” it looks like MTHFR A1298A.
  • Heterozygous mutations (one good copy and one bad) are MTHFR A1298C because there is one normal A and one abnormal C Also occasionally written 1298AC.
  • Homozygous A1298C (two bad copies) can also be written as C1298C (because there are two abnormal copies with C instead of A). Occasionally you’ll also see it written 1298CC
Phew! So the take-away there is MTHFR A1298C means you have at least one bad copy of this gene, and if it’s called homozygous, or C1298C then you have two bad copies.
Homozygous MTHFR A1298C (C1298C) have about 65% normal activity (so 35% compromise). Normal activity refers to the way your body converts folic acid to 5-L-methyltetrahydrafolate (the active form) so that it can be used. Compromise in this case looks like a folate deficiency.

http://dramyneuzil.com/i-have-mthfr-a1298c-mutation-what-does-that-really-mean/

My doctor recommended a supplement to help with this.  Once I hear back from her with the exact name, I'll be able to order it.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Follow-Up Appointment

My appointment with Nan yesterday ended up turning into a phone appointment, which was really all I needed.  She relayed the results of my cortisol test, as well as my DHEA levels.

Cortisol is all in range, even a little low.   
DHEA is high so she said to stop taking it.

Since my endo didn't test my TSH in August, Nan said we needed to retest it now, so when I got off the phone with her I drove up to their office to get my blood drawn -- for the thyroid panel as well as for the MTHFR gene mutation test.  It will probably be a week or two before I get a call with the results.  I can't wait to hear what they have to say.

Now I need to save up for the LEAP (food sensitivities) test I want to have done.  It's more expensive but will tell me a whole lot of other useful information about which foods I'm sensitive to.  Hopefully it will help me figure out which foods to cut out, like soy and dairy, so I can heal my thyroid.