Wednesday, July 28, 2021

BP and BS

I just checked my blood sugar; the last meal I'd eaten was lunch, and I took my metformin more than an hour ago (metformin reduces blood sugar, but it's of dubious benefit, as Dr. Jason Fung points out*). Despite my current diet, today's fasting since lunch, and the metformin, my BS was still high at 120, so lest there be any doubt, I'm still diabetic. (A non-diabetic person should have a number under 70. If you're in the 80s or 90s, you're probably pre-diabetic, so you need to watch out.)

I also took my blood pressure just a few minutes ago. Result: 132/82, with a pulse rate of 69. While 132 is still high, that's not bad news, and it may mean that the weight loss is having an effect. A pulse of 69 is certainly better than where my pulse used to be, i.e., up around the 80s and 90s. I take this to mean my heart is getting stronger as I continue the stair work.

According to my BS graph, my blood sugar ought to be around 130 right now, so I may be a bit ahead of schedule. (When the hospital measured my blood sugar, their number was at least 10 points higher than my number, which makes me wonder how accurate my BS monitor is.) Once I stop the Newcastle Diet, I'll reduce my consumption of SlimFast so that I'm using it only on Saturday mornings, with Saturday being the day I do my long walks. Any shakes I make post-Newcastle (except for those Saturday ones) will use unsweetened cocoa powder plus a keto-sanctioned sweetener like erythritol, monkfruit, or Stevia. My hope is that, once I'm mostly weaned off SlimFast, my BS levels will drop significantly. And once I've used up all my SlimFast, I won't be ordering any more: life will have entered the post-SlimFast era, and I'll have gone full-on keto, except for my cheat days.

My heart-rate graph says I should be around 87 beats per minute by now, so I'm definitely ahead of schedule on that score. And my BP graph says I should be around 140/92, so I'm ahead of the curve on that score as well, although my numbers are by no means satisfactory. Dropping SlimFast is going to be crucial moving forward. That's going to be the only way to truly embrace keto and continue to shed more pounds. Wish me luck.


*As I noted in a comment, according to Dr. Fung, metformin lowers your blood sugar, but the sugar doesn't just disappear: it leaves your bloodstream and goes into your surrounding organs, which is what happens with untreated diabetes, anyway, and it's why severe diabetes leads to eye problems, kidney problems, liver and pancreas problems, poor circulation, frequent urination, neuropathy, and everything else. So metformin provides the illusion of health, but in truth, it's merely abetting one's diabetes. Hence the need to get off these drugs ASAP. Along with quitting SlimFast. There's still much to do.


John Mac said...

I guess SlimFast is ironically named--never used it myself but assumed it was intended to help you LOSE weight.

Are those finger pricks the only way to test blood sugar? I'm curious about mine, but not THAT curious.

Anyway, all of your numbers seem to be moving in the right direction, so the hard work and sacrifice are paying off. Keep it up!

Charles said...

I'm just getting a chuckle at you "lowering your BS levels." Sounds like BS to me...

Kevin Kim said...


There's progress. May it continue.

SlimFast is a meal-replacement drink; it's full of nutrients, but it's also been heavily sweetened to allow it to go down easier. Taste-wise, it's perfect for chocoholics like me, but in terms of blood-sugar levels, it's horrible. Dr. Taylor, who developed the Newcastle Diet, claims the caloric restriction of the diet makes the sugar in diet shakes irrelevant, but I'm beginning to think he may be wrong. Either that, or he was envisioning a much less sugary diet shake.


Yeah, every time I wrote "BS," I was thinking the same thing.

Kevin Kim said...


Forgot to say that there are no-needle blood-sugar monitors that you can stick directly on your shoulder like a smoker's patch and use in conjunction with a phone app. Finger-prick is still the standard method, but I think this glucose monitor is becoming more common.