Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stargazey's Spouse

Yes. I'm married. I have been for 38 years. (That's not him in the picture, by the way.)

Until six years ago, both Hubby and I were significantly overweight. In 2003 I found the Atkins diet and slowly, gradually, I managed to lose 70 pounds and keep them from coming back.

Hubby paid attention the whole time. He didn't object, but he didn't want to participate either. Besides being overweight, he had type II diabetes and was taking 50 units of LANTUS insulin plus about 20 units of regular insulin every day. His blood sugars were over 180 in the morning and 300-400 in the evening. He had retinal edema and microaneurysms that were requiring more and more frequent laser treatments.

Hubby had high blood pressure, too. Even though he was on eight medications, he would sometimes have to go to the emergency room with pressures of 250/130 or higher.

Then a miracle happened. I started this blog and began discussing with him the articles I was finding about low-carb dieting and metabolic syndrome. Hubby has scientific training, and I printed out some of the relevant articles for him. Both of us began to realize that low-carb eating is not only good for weight loss, but it also causes a significant decline in blood pressure and in the symptoms of type II diabetes as well. (Read the article at the link for more specifics and even more links.)

On August 8, 2008, Hubby began the low-carb lifestyle. He didn't do Atkins induction, and he didn't keep his carbs extremely low, but he did manage to stay well below 100 carbs per day most of the time.

Since then, over eight months have passed. Hubby has never, ever stayed on a diet this long. Here are Hubby's current results.

    Hubby has dropped eight pant sizes. He has has lost enough weight that he hasn't had a flare-up of his chronic back pain during the past six months.

    Hubby now takes 40 units of LANTUS a day and seldom has to supplement it with regular insulin. He has decreased his Metformin from 1000mg to 500mg twice a day. His blood sugars are 80-100 in the morning and about 180 in the evening. His retinal deterioration is progessing, but it is happening much more slowly than before.

    Hubby still takes eight blood pressure medications, but they are now working to keep his blood pressure at about 140/70. He has cut his clonidine in half. His ankles no longer swell in the evenings, and he only needs his pressure stockings for airplane trips.

(For those who are interested, the improvements in blood sugar control happened almost immediately, but the improvements in blood pressure were much more gradual.)

Granted, Hubby's experiences do not constitute a scientific study. But they do bear out the fact that the findings of scientific studies can be experienced by real people in the real world. Low-carbing is not a magic bullet. However, for people suffering from the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including overweight, insulin resistance and high blood pressure, the low-carb lifestyle is definitely worth serious consideration.