Thursday, 14 April 2011

Dolphins and polyols

So apparently, according to an article in the Guardian(, dolphins can turn on and off a diabetes gene. I lay in bed last night, shut my eyes tight and tried really hard to do the same thing, but alas I think I might just have turned it up a bit. My blood sugar levels have been high for ages. I can’t seem to get them down, or I’m doing something stupid like having the odd pint. It’s really, really depressing.

I learnt many new things recently, firstly that my HbA1c level was 7.8%. It should be, according to the nurse at my GP surgery, between 4% and 6% so it’s still high. However my last test was 10%, so 7.8% is a decent improvement. I also learnt that your HbA1c level can only ever drop by a certain amount each time, not something the diabetic nurse told me as it’s likely she doesn’t even know. Maybe she’ll read this blog and find out this rather vital piece of information.

I found out because I volunteered to take part in a study performed by the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism looking into MODY Maturity-onset Diabetes of the Young. MODY is not quite Type one and not quite Type 2. I’ll discuss this further in later blogs.

I also learnt of a study published in the Lancet suggesting the target rate for HBa1c test for diabetics should not be set as low as 4%-6% but should, as the evidence seems to show, be set at between 7% and 7.5%. One of the authors of the report called for GP targets to be scrapped immediately.

Truth is that I wrote some of this first post some time ago but never got around to finishing it off. I’ve been down lately and lack the original fight and positivity I had in the first six months since being diagnosed. I get a lump in my throat when passing cream eggs in the supermarket and now the larger Easter eggs are appearing, it hurts, I want one – but not just because I like the taste – I want one because I know I can’t.

Work has been stressing me out. I had a great fun and exciting project about providing health information for the fans of all 92 league clubs and it got canned for business reasons. Normally I’ll be gutted and then get over it and move on but I can’t seem to let it go. I seem to be feeling things more than ever before. I know depression is a risk for people who have just found out but I’m 10 months in – I wonder if I am still at risk, perhaps others might be able to share their experiences.

So I’ve given up drinking alcohol for three months to see the effects that has on my levels. I still don’t eat chocolate but I did try a Belgian plain chocolate ‘Sugar Lesss...’ bar on Valentine’s Day and it was pretty good. It contains something called ‘polyols’ – no, I’ve no idea what they are either but seem to be alcohol sugars. This is getting confusing now! No drinking but alcohol sugar is ok? Apparently polyols don’t break down in your mouth so tooth decay is not a problem but they constitute 37.2 % of the bar. My question is, are the manufacturers hiding 37.2% of the sugar in the bar by claiming “carbohydrates 40.5%, of which sugars: 0.9%”? I’m going to write to them and find out. Watch this space.


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