Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pre-diabetic husband


A week ago, a couple of hours after dinner, I tested Tim's blood sugar. I'd never done it before and had no reason to believe he had any blood glucose problems, he had full blood-work about a year before. He isn't overweight and he exercises a lot, but he does have high blood pressure (almost certainly caused by work stress and currently controlled by medication). The meter came up with the figure 10.1 mmol/L. Around equal to the highest I've ever had.

I was worried, but he had just eaten a couple of apricot delight. They couldn't have got to his blood stream yet (I think) but I figured he might have had sugar on his finger which would have skewed the test. I decided to test again after a high carbohydrate meal.

Tonight we had lasagne and then a big serve of ice cream for dessert. I calculated it was approaching 90 grams of carbohydrate -- which is twice what my dietitian suggested I have. I tested Tim. 9.7 mmol/L. I tested myself. 8.3 mmol/L.

His blood sugar is worse than mine.

Obviously this was not a proper test under the strict conditions they use for diagnosing diabetes, but it is indicative of a problem. Blood glucose for a person without impaired glucose tolerance should never go over 7.8, regardless of how much carbohydrate they eat.

I think we can assume pre-diabetes.

I am shocked and very worried. He has gone from very healthy a couple of years ago to suddenly very high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. High blood pressure is a risk factor so that comes into it, but diet must also play a part.

I control his diet.

I do all the shopping and all the cooking. Apart from the occasional restaurant meal or snack while out with the kids, he only eats what I provide. What have I been feeding us to get us both into this state?

My biggest challenge is to lose weight. His will be to manage his carbohydrate intake. He is a real carb addict; he loves sugary sweets and bread and pasta. If I serve a meal with meat and vegetable and no starch, he will go and have a couple of pieces of toast with honey afterwards.

We both need to do this. Diabetes is scary, but it isn't too late to reverse the process.

When I had gestational diabetes, I stuck to my diet because it was for my baby's sake. I've struggled to stay motivated for just my own health. But now I have two of us to look after again.

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