So for the first time in over four years, we have insurance and I was able to see a doctor. Considering I have now entered my 40s, I decided it was time for the whole tamale, Take my blood, full exam, vision test, visit the dentist, EVERYTHING.
I’m happy to say that my vision is still excellent. Instead of 20/10, I am now “only” 20/15 in both eyes. I’m apparently strongly farsighted, which explains the headaches if I read for hours upon hours at a time – something I am usually not able to do these days anyways.
The mammogram went well, as did the regular exam, and we won’t be able to see the dentist until March. Things were going well…until…
I picked up the phone yesterday and it was the doctor’s office. “We have your blood tests back and we would like to schedule you for a visit.” When I asked what the tests had shown the nurse said, “Oh…high cholesterol, high blood sugar.”
With type 2 diabetes in my family, I knew it was a distinct possibility I would also get it. Especially since I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies AND I can really tell that I suffer whenever I delay eating (I NEVER skip meals, which probably explains my “healthy” size). My blood sugar dips and I get cranky and hostile. Never a good combination.
My broker who is handling the 10th Street house purchase would tell you that I am VERY prepared. If I don’t have the answer right that minute, I find out and immediately follow up, submitting the paperwork he requests.
Since I had time today, and the doctor had a spot open, I scheduled my follow-up appointment for this afternoon at 2pm. But as soon as I did, I started researching. I want to be ready for this appointment. This doctor barely knows me, so I want to be very clear about my position on all of this – if she tells me I am pre-diabetic or even full-blown (doubtful, she will probably suggest a full glucose test) – I will let her know that I intend to change my diet and exercise more.
So the first thing I learned during my internet research is that high cholesterol and diabetes are often linked. I hadn’t known that. So if my focus is first on changing my diet, and then through adding back in exercise, I very well could affect both levels without the need for any medication.
Omega 3 Foods
Again, I found a link between omega 3 foods and reducing cholesterol, as well as beneficially affecting diabetes symptoms AND psoriasis (I get it on my elbows every fall and winter).
In particular, I found three foods that are easily incorporated into my diet: flax seeds, walnuts, and salmon. I like all of them. This site here suggested just two servings a week of salmon could boost my Omega 3 levels quite satisfactorily.
I will also start adding flax seeds to my hot cereal in the morning, as well as other whole grains (I have a great 12-grain cereal mix that I can add a tablespoon of into my cream of wheat in the morning) that will help provide complex carbohydrates.
And although it sounds absolutely disgusting, I might start supplementing one tablespoon of cod liver oil per day. That might really help to elevate the Omega 3 levels.
Eliminating/Reducing/Changing the Sugar
This is a biggie. I have a huge sweet tooth. It isn’t as bad as it was when I was a kid, there were several years in my teens where I subsided on sweets for snacks, lunch and more. Nowadays, it just translates into sweet coffee with a healthy dose of 1/2 and 1/2 in the morning, and regularly indulging in the upscale ice creams like Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry, and Starbucks.
I’ll start reducing the sugar in the coffee by swapping it out for honey. The doc will probably tell me that is a no-no, but we are talking raw honey here, not the mystery crap from China, and while it is a carbohydrate, it is still better than table sugar. Read more about that here.
My other alternative might be Sun Crystals Stevia and Sugar Cane Granular Sweetener, 1-Pound Bags (Pack of 3) for a while. They are a mix of cane sugar and stevia.
I guess it is about time I stopped ignoring my health and did something about it.