Tag Archives: diabetes and pms

8 Week Carnivore Diet Update

I didn’t think I’d make it this long. Here are the last few weeks’ observations:

I began to check my blood pressure once or twice a day and found it keeping around 95/65 which is a bit on the low side. I take 10 mg lisinopril per day and cut down to 5 mg. My blood pressure dropped a little more and made me dizzy, so I removed it entirely.

But, something always stresses me out each month as I have terrible premenstrual syndrome symptoms and poor stress management (I think, anyway), so I kept a close eye on my blood pressure. Sure enough, stress made it jump up one evening to 130/115 so for several days I was sure to keep taking enough medication to push that back down. The anxiety has subsided, and so has my blood pressure, so now I’m down to 2.5 mg- 5 mg per day as a buffer–it doesn’t make my blood pressure too low and is there to help should I get overstressed. As soon as I feel stress growing, I think I’ll have to check my blood pressure and give a little more medication as prescribed (my doctor lets me monitor and adjust my dose slightly on my own).

Carnivore Diet Plus PMS

It was hard going through my period without alcohol or something sweet to help me cope. I might be more ashamed to admit this if I actually knew anyone who didn’t lean on something edible for comfort. If you’re one of these people who can go through physical pain and emotional turmoil and not turn to a little food or drink, I think I’d love to meet you. And maybe learn from you.

Anyway, once that was over, I felt much better. Something I did in the week before the extra stress and blood pressure elevation was consumed pre-salted hamburger patties (which were way too salty for me). I felt better switching to eggs at mid-morning and steak in the evening, both with salt. If you research the carnivore diet you’ll hear that you need plenty of electrolytes. This may be true but my blood pressure medicine raises my potassium a bit, and I take magnesium powder every morning. The moderate amount of salt on my food seems ok so far. I’ll keep noting further changes as this is new to me.

I’m still recovering from a knee injury from May, so all I can do is light exercise. That’s perfectly easy to do on this diet. I can walk miles, use resistance bands, and cook/clean without problems. I feel better actually, possibly due in part to my blood sugars being even better than before but also because my digestion is a non-issue for the first time in my life. I’m not even aware of it. I think that’s how we’re supposed to be, no?

I’m doing better with cravings now. I wish I didn’t have to fix the occasional low blood sugar with glucose because that keeps me in touch with the taste of sweetness. Still, I can watch someone eat pizza and feel nothing. I crave broccoli…but you know what’s funny? I don’t crave the thought of broccoli unless it’s got cheese or butter on it. When I think of other vegetables, the same thing happens! Does this mean I’ve been using vegetables as a carrier for other foods? Has my loud and proud love of vegetables been more of a virtual signal this whole time?

You could argue I like the combinations of the bitter and salty and sweet and creamy, etc., and you’d be on to something. We don’t tend to overconsume butter alone, we overconsume butter when it’s mixed with sugar and flour and salt and made into cookies. And many of us can’t resist these combinations–to the point of utterly destroying our health. Am I one of these people? Maybe. On my regular diet of animal foods and vegetables, I tend to avoid low-carb treats because the Pringles Syndrome– “once you pop you can’t stop” sets in.

My weight is down a bit more. I can finally put on most of my pre-pregnancy clothing. I have been trying to do that for about ten years, and I did it without feeling hungry!

At this rate, I’ll be at my pre-wedding weight by Christmas. I’ll be curious to see if that helps my blood pressure. I’m sure it will help my knees. Any extra weight means compounded weight on one’s knees and feet, and less is more for healing my quadriceps tendon tear.

I haven’t noticed any positive changes in my skin issues nor joint clicking and pain. Even if this diet doesn’t solve specific problems, it may help me rule out some things or provide hints. It may take more time, too. So many unknowns! I feel kind of nuts, but not entirely because I feel better than before and better is…well, better!

Diabetes, Being a Girl, and PCOS

 

If you’re a girl you will get a lot of this.  If you’re a guy I’d be honored if you bravely read on…

I know men don’t have it easy.  But as a girl I often get frustrated by the unique struggles we face all while holding diabetes’ hand.  We carry children or children do not come into this world.  We’re the ones who might attempt to breast feed, which isn’t easy for everyone and involves carefully adjusting insulin needs.  Our careers, our relationships, our lives are sometimes negatively smattered with our once a month hormone excitement called PMS.  Once a month we women menstruate, sending a surge of hormones through our bodies, causing insulin needs to often rise and mess with our diabetes.  <sigh>  All this despite the fact we already make less money at work than our male counterparts.

In many women with diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome is another matter to deal with.  And it’s not an easy one.  I don’t know if it’s true but I’ve heard PCOS is the number one cause of female infertility in the US.  Here is my problem with it: Doctors have told me I need to control cyst formation by taking birth control pills for a long time.  Yet, these pills cause leg cramping for me-a serious side effect that is not to be ignored because it’s a sign of blood clots.  So the pills are officially out.  Pregnancy makes the cysts go away because of all of the extra estrogen.  But getting pregnant while raising two toddlers and feeling up to my ears with diabetes and parenting definitely doesn’t sound like the right thing to do either.  I’ve been off of the pill for long enough now that my cysts are growing again.  I have tenderness and cramping in my abdomen and my PMS symptoms are worsening every month.  This includes my moods.  I had no mood swings while pregnant and was shocked at how calm I actually am.  Since I’ve been dealing with PCOS for a long time however, my periods have always been torturous and my mood swings have left me feeling like someone fought me and won.  I feel like I have 2 decent weeks out of every month.  So half of my life is being seriously challenged and I don’t like it.

I could improve PCOS by having no sugar, by keeping insulin levels low.  Yet, how do I do that when I need sugar for lows and when type 1 diabetes often means giving extra insulin, not for food, but to lower blood sugar?  It’s a wretched cycle to be in and I don’t see a way out.  I’ll be talking to the doctor about metformin soon to see if that will help me use less insulin because lowering insulin resistance is supposed to help with PCOS.  Left untreated, ovarian cysts can turn into cancer so I don’t want to do nothing to help the matter.  They also hurt and can cause cramping that can make a gal scream (I’m exhibit A on that one).  Three years ago I ended up in the hospital with really bad abdominal pain from a ruptured cyst.  I don’t want to get to that point again.  I already eat pretty well and I already exercise.  I’m not overweight but I could lose a few more pounds.  I maintain my weight eating 1200-1400 calories a day.  (Clearly, I don’t eat too much)  I have other symptoms of insulin resistance even though I use one unit of insulin per 15 carbs.  We’ll see what the doc says.  In the meantime, is there anyone out there who has PCOS and has found a way to manage it?  Does it cause you to have terrible PMS symptoms?  Since PCOS causes infertility and increases risk of miscarriage, how did I get pregnant and carry twins you ask?  My doctors and my family and I all agree: a miracle.

I’ve made it through that, now I’ve somehow got to get through this.

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