Monday, February 23, 2009

The terrible thing about Splenda, cause Splenda's a terrible thing

Okay yes, the tigger song doesn't *actually* go like that, but i can't help but sing this song in my head every time i put it in my coffee.

If i had the choice, i would never use the stuff (but then again, i ALWAYS have a choice) But when it comes to me having one coffee or two (and i always lean towards the 2) it's splenda that gets poured in.

I know it's better for me than sugar (according to Western medicine, although my moms doctors in the Netherlands differ profusely) but i just can't stand the stuff sometimes. Baking with it - can't tell much difference. But in coffee? Bluh with a capital puke. Not only does it make my beloved coffee taste like cat shit (first - don't ask why i know what cat shit tastes like, and secondly - i cannot understand whatsoever why some of the most expensive coffee in the world is actually derived from coffee beans that were eaten by cats and shat out again, then brewed into some pooey goodness) i end up with a frothy moustache whenever i take a sip.

Recently i was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and even though the doctors have said that a) I'm not old enough to get it, and b) I'm not large enough to get it, in the next breath they state that i have alot of risk factors. Besides being diagnosed with PCOS when i was 15 which causes insulin resistance, i also have 2 people in my family with diabetes. Neither of them have to inject themselves 4 times a day mind you, but that still upped my chances for it.

They discovered my high sugar levels this past November, which they labelled as "Early on-set gestational diabetes" (so yes, i was pregnant again) and for some reason when you have a still born baby, you have a higher risk for gestational diabetes with your other pregnancies. So immediately (during a 3 day frustrating stay in the hospital) i was put on Novorapid that i injected 3 times a day, once before each meal, and Lantus - a 24 hour injected insulin - that i took before i went to bed. All the RN's and the doctors (i had 6 doctors at this point - all specialists) told me i was SOOOOOOO lucky, because i skipped right past the oh-so-frustrating pill taking part to try to level out my sugar, and went right to the yippy-hooray-best thing in the world- insulin injections which are SOOOO easy. And the reason i was put on the injections is because you can't be on the pills when you're pregnant. In December, i ended up having a miscarriage, yet the high sugar levels never subsided. (well i shouldn't say that - they went down for 3 days, then right back up again)

So i officially had Type 2 after all - they figure that i had pre-diabetes, but when i got pregnant, it made my pancreas do a loopty-loo and apparently it all of a sudden has no clue how to metabolize carbohydrates.

So why am i still on injections!? Why can't i go back to the so called oh-so frustrating pill taking extravaganza, which i would prefer 100% (I'd like to express how very much I'd prefer it by saying something extraordinary like 210%, but it annoys me when people do that) to sticking myself with a needle 4 times daily.

Reasons i hate sticking myself with a needle:
Now, I'm not a squeamish person, so the actual act of sticking myself doesn't bother me in that matter, but c'mon i feel like a druggie! (not that I'd *really* know what that's like, but hey) The problem i have is this: i am now in danger of hypoglycemia. Okay, so i realize that being hyperglycemic is bad over time because it damages lots of organs, eyes, amputate your legs kinda stuff, but that's long term. But on a short term, if i go a bit high, i get tired and thirsty. Is that a big deal? Not really. But being on insulin injections has caused me to dip way too low on too many occasions - to a point where my numbers are as low as 2.3. And what's the oh-so-lovely concern with dipping too low? Hmm, that would be a COMA. Let's see now, Coma, tired and thirsty, comaaa, tired and thiiirstyyy.. i'll take the tired and thirsty please!! And what did i get from my doctor when i expressed these concerns? "oh that can happen, maybe you should up your Lantus" Right. Up the insulin that for *some* reason makes my heart race and pound out of my chest whenever i take it.

Don't tell my doctor but - I've stopped taking it. There were too many different views on what Lantus actually does. According to the doctors at the hospital, it not only keeps my numbers lower during the day, it helps keep my numbers up past the danger level (above 4). So doesn't that mean it ups my numbers too?! That's what i certainly get from it. And when my numbers are still high in the morning (in the 7's usually) my doctor says I'm not taking enough Lantus. Yet every book or doctors journal or research paper i read - high numbers in the morning when you're taking a 24-hour release insulin - means it's too high. Because at night your body naturally tries to regulate itself, and if you've taken too high a dosage of insulin that night, your sugar level drops. Your body tries to compensate by metabolizing more carbs into sugar, and it ups your numbers. So really - what the CRAP does it do!?

So yes, i stopped, and surprise surprise, my numbers in the morning are alot lower than they were, and in general my numbers have been much better. I suppose this is one of those things that make you go hmmm...

On another note, during my research I've found many many many doctors sites and journals suggesting supplements actually help diabetic patients. I've always been a believer in vitamins and minerals and all those good things, so i really wanted to give it a try. These sites listed the main supplements they had their patients take (which over a 6 month period caused the patients to no longer require insulin injections) so i thought I'd call my doctor and ask if i could take these too. I LOVE my doctor, i do, but this time, he *really* pissed me off! On one hand i like to think he said the things he did to make me angry enough to want to prove him wrong. So i asked whether i could take these supplements while on insulin. And he said "Sure! Go right ahead, it's perfectly safe. It wont work, never has never will and you're pretty much wasting your time, but if you feel the need to try this so you can tell yourself you did *everything* you could, then go right ahead". Nice. Thanks for that.

And how have the results been since i started supplements? Well lets see. In order for me to have my target blood sugar levels, before i started supplements, i was on 15 to 16 units of Novorapid before each meal, and 24 units of lantus at night.
Since I've started supplements - i reach my target blood sugar levels (or lower) with 9 to 11 units of Novorapid before each meal, and NO lantus at night.

But ya, he's completely right. It'll never work.


Laura Jayne said...

Diabetes is such an insideous thing I will send you all my best thoughts as you fight those numbers. And I agree, coma bad!

Ash said...

My mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year, Kat. She's done amazingly well, lost nearly 40lbs and eats better than she ever has. She's on Metformin, but it's been decreased cause her blood sugar is where it's supposed to be.

Diabetes runs in my family as well, so myself and Aileen have to be careful. I wish you the best in your battle!

P.S. Splenda is digusting and gave me migraines.

Not Your Average Mom said...

Okay...don't take this the wrong way, but I am kinda cool with the fact that I have another sugar free person to hang with!!!
I do the no carb/sugar thing for OCD diet reason only, and have had a ton of strange looks when I say - no, I don't eat thanks, I don't eat dessert...etc. Most people look at me funny when I ask for splenda (yes! Splenda!) for my coffee. One friend even told me that only 80 year old women used splenda.
Anyhow....I AM very sorry about the injection thing (and I totally get the druggie reference, I would feel the same way)but I am here to share in your cat-butt-tasting-coffee misery. Cause cat-butt-tasting-coffee-misery loves company, dontchaknow.
Love T

Zerilda The Superfluous Blogger said...

I am a huuuuuge Splenda lover. I am so sorry you don't like it. I love it. In fact, I am probably in need of weaning. But I don't want to.