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introduction to the "reversing diabetes" blog

I'm Jackie and you can find out about me from my about me page on another blog.  Since this blog will be almost entirely about me, and my journey to attempt to reverse diabetes, I didn't bother with an "about me" page here.

Why does a blog about diabetes have a Pacman for a logo? The reason is autophagy, a word which means self-eating.  Autophagy is the process by which lysosomes within a cell eat malformed proteins and/or damaged organelles, breaking them down into their component parts so those parts can be used to rebuild.

Image credit: Hörstmann Unternehmens Gruppe [Public domain]

8 week weight loss

This is a report of my daily weight for the first 8 weeks, while both doing my first extended fast and as I began eating like a bear.

This is a simple report just copied from my post made at the time to the ELAB Facebook group.

There's a larger, more legible chart in the full article below.

Image credit: ornery-geeks [copyright]

Sept 2019 bG

Though annoyed that I had to go back on insulin after getting off it during my first extended fast, the 30 u TDD I wound up on was giving me better control than the 100 u TDD had been previously. My numbers were pretty much staying under 140 the vast majority of the time.

I was recording not only bG, but what I ate and how much insulin I took and each decrease in prednisone as I weaned.

The first week was when Pete was visiting me, so we ate out a lot; I can recreate what happened from my spreadsheet.

Image credit: © David-i98 [CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)]

GI issues breaking a fast

My first extended fast, I broke cautiously and everything was fine.

My second extended fast, the decision to break was more abrupt, so figuring I had an iron stomach, just ate. Turns out this was a bad call.

I spent many hours in pain, burning through my gut, and running to the john.

I figured I'd been rather stupid and need to break extended fasts more sensibly. Fung has recommended chia seeds, so I began there.

Image credit: allyball4 [Pixabay license]

reversing adrenal insufficiency

I've suffered from adrenal insufficiency since at least 2007, having badly failed an ACTH-stim test and a subsequent diurnal saliva test. I made some cortisol, but it was low enough to keep me bedridden.

I began treatment in 2008 with hydrocortisone dosed throughout the day. After a few years, tired of my alarm going off all day long, I switched to dexamethasone because it only had to be dosed once a day.

When I began seeing my endo, she switched me to prednisone, as she felt that was the best treatment for adrenal insufficiency and I didn't really object. When I began this experiment, I was on 5 mg in the morning and 2 mg in the afternoon.

Note that this is a physiological dose, not a pharmacological dose. When being treated for an inflammatory disorder, much higher doses of prednisone are involved. My dose was intended to just replace the cortisol I was not making.

Image credit: from Grey's Anatomy via Wikimedia [public domain]

glucose ketone index (GKI)

I was very excited when I first ran across the glucose-ketone index (GKI), as I'm a bit of a data junkie. I'm not yet enough of a data junkie to shell out for a keto meter, especially given the cost of the strips.

There are some implications to the GKI that are interesting, but those little charts out there that tell you whether you're in weight-loss mode, or the best mode for diabetes or in therapeutic mode, are a bunch of nonsense; I can find no research to back this up except for research on a particular form of brain cancer. That particular cancer feeds on glucose, whereas most of the brain can use ketones, so it made a lot of sense there. But all these little charts you see telling you what the best GKI is for your purposes are largely just a keto myth.

But let's back up and discuss how to do the measurements in the first place before exploring what they actually mean.

Image credit: ornery-geeks [copyright]

Jackie's roux-less gumbo

The roux in gumbo is used partially as a thickener (as is the okra and filé powder), but also to add caramelization notes, as it tends to be a dark roux.

I found a number of keto gumbo recipes out there, but my own experience with almond and coconut flours did not lead me to expect good results using either of those to make a roux. I decided to double up on okra, which I love, for some added thickening.

For the caramel flavor, I chose to caramelize my onions. Between that and the filé powder, this came out tasting like a real gumbo.

Image credit: ornery-geeks [copyright]

coping with corona

There's simply no way for me to continue writing my blog ignoring the fact that we are currently in a pandemic.

For the rational side, the first recommendation is the CDC web site where you can doublecheck the nonsense often on social media and sometimes even in mainstream media. I also recommend following Peter Attia's COVID-19 page, which explains a lot of the science in detail that is accessible to non-scientists.

I also follow worldometer for daily stats, as well as my state's (PA) COVID-19 page for local updates.

But my intention here is not to discuss the rational so much as the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of dealing with the reality of COVID-19 while continuing to reverse diabetes and Eat Like a Bear.

Image credit: Jim Linwood / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

basic chaffles

I reentered the keto world about the time that chafflepalooza began. YouTube had videos, Pinterest was stuffed full of links, there were even Facebook groups dedicated to the chaffle, you could hardly read a word about keto without hearing about chaffles.

I was not impressed; IME, kitchen gadgets are bought, barely used, then recycled and I've already owned waffle irons before. The typical chaffle is made with a Dash one-waffle maker; the basic recipe calls for 1 egg plus 1/2 cup shredded cheese to make 2 chaffles. I didn't see why I'd want to do them one at a time; until I can buy half-eggs, I wanted to make at least 2.

But I'd mentioned a desire for one to my yard-sale-addicted husband and one day he came home with a $2 waffle maker that makes 2 square waffles at once.

Image credit: ornery-geeks [copyright]

Pete's visit

In April 2019, expecting to die soon, I made a pilgrimage to my home town. I wanted to drive around, see the school I went to, my old house, visit my father's grave. BTW, my father died at 58; I was 57 when I went.

I spent a lot of time with my best friend of several decades, Pete. Pete drove over an hour to help me unload my car into the hotel. Pete took several days off work to drive me around generally, and it was really wonderful spending hours talking, going to Salem Willows, finding a fried clam shack (these do not exist in central PA!) and just really connecting. It was probably going to be the last time I ever saw him, though we really didn't talk about that; we were enjoying the visit, not being maudlin and morbid.

Afterwards, Pete told friends and family that he didn't expect me to last a year.

Image credit: Petras Gagilas [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]