Good News!

imageAs some of you know, I had a total blood panel done in May. The hemoglobin A1C, which tests your blood glucose levels averaged over a span of two or three months, came back at 6.1. This meant I was pre-diabetic. Normal is 5.6 or lower. Pre-diabetic starts at 5.7, and diabetic is 6.4. And 7.0 is when organs start failing.

Well, I was bound and determined that I was not going to become diabetic, so I changed my eating and exercise habits drastically. The next blood test I did showed no change in my A1C, although my blood pressure and cholesterol tests were now normal. So I had another complete blood panel done about two weeks ago. I kept calling the doctor’s office to find out the results. They had the test results but couldn’t tell me what my A1C was yet because the doctor hadn’t signed off on the test results. Frustrating!

I called my doctor’s office again this morning. The person who answered the phone said my results were normal. I didn’t expect such good news, so I asked for the specific number. My A1C has gone down to 5.8! That’s practically normal. There are two other blood GL tests that I’ll find out about tomorrow when I go to the doctor tomorrow. But it all sounds like my hard work has paid off!

Am I out of the woods now? Heck no. I want to get my A1C to a much lower level, such as 5.2. The problem I’m having now is because of my knee, I went from exercising 7 days/week to none. The knee has improved slightly, but I need surgery.

So how do you lower your A1C?

* Lose weight if you’re overweight. This alone can lower your A1C.
* Exercise if you don’t already. All you need to do is walk. It’s that simple. Start with 10 minutes a day. Indoors or out. Just walk. Work your way up to 30 minutes of vigorous walking 5 times a week.
* Don’t consume a lot of sugar. Ditch the soda. Read labels. Sugar lurks in places you wouldn’t dream of.
* Eat a healthy diet that is rich in fiber (plant foods), protein and healthy fats.
* Eat foods with a low glycemic load and always eat protein when you consume carbohydrates.
* Take necessary steps to ensure both blood pressure and cholesterol levels are normal.

MRI UPDATE: I got the MRI done on my knee last Tuesday. I couldn’t straighten out my knee, couldn’t put any weight on my left leg, and I could barely walk. A friend drove me to my appointment. The MRI itself was OK, but because the technician had to straighten out my knee, I felt pain radiating up and down my leg, into my hip and down into my foot. I breathed through the pain, tried to relax, and hoped my muscles wouldn’t start to spasm. They didn’t. Whew! Unfortunately, my ortho surgeon appointment to get the results of the MRI isn’t until December 16. I’d like to schedule the surgery as soon as possible, so I can start recovering.

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Preventing Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's... Such a terrible disease.

Alzheimer’s… Such a terrible disease.

This is an important article to read. I think everyone knows someone who has Alzheimer’s or who has died from it. I do. It’s a horrible disease. And it’s so important that people pay attention to their diet, exercise and get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

I know several people who exercise, and some who eat healthy foods, but most people I talk to do not get enough sleep. Many have a sleep disorder, but they’re not seeking help for it. Please go to the doctor if you suffer from insomnia, even if you feel you have enough energy. But do not let them give you sleeping pills. They’re addictive and do not tackle the issue at its root cause.

An excerpt from the article:

Preventing your own decline
Isaacson runs one of the few Alzheimer’s prevention clinics in the country, and he also stresses the need to look at the disease holistically. “We now have research that shows very specific types of exercise, brain stimulation, taking control of diabetes, even in the pre-diabetes phase, can all make a difference.”

Tanzi agrees, and even lists his recommendations in order of priority: exercise, at least seven to eight hours of sleep, which helps the brain clear debris, an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean style diet, adding good quality Omega 3 oils (he likes krill), intellectual stimulation and social engagement.

READ: Alzheimer’s is a young(er) person’s disease — so get to work, By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent