Exercise Effects On Blood Glucose Verified With CGM

As a Type 2 Diabetic who has controlled my blood glucose levels by adopting the Paleo lifestyle, I’ve written before on the benefits of exercise on my blood glucose levels and it should be common practice for docs to lead with this sort of ‘therapy’ for Type 2 Diabetics but unfortunately many medical professionals lead with medicine that have horrific side effects.

Over the past month I’ve increased my exercise activity and held to a strict Paleo diet and the results from my Continuous Glucose Meter (CGM) will provide further proof to this theory that exercise and Paleo alone (without meds) will control blood glucose levels in a Type 2 Diabetic.

Here are the data to support my claim.

pre exercise cgm

post exercise cgm

As you can see, my blood glucose levels are very stable in the later graph vs the earlier graph and the nighttime levels were around 100 consistently.  The estimated A1c for the last 2 weeks is also in the normal range (And not just normal for a Type 2 Diabetic, normal for someone who DOESN’T have Type 2 Diabetes).

For those interested in specifics of my exercise routine over the past month, I’ve stepped up my running frequency (moderately, only 3 times per week) and distance (long runs of only 3-4 miles) as I prepare for a 10k race on Thanksgiving and eliminated the ‘cheat’ days where I eat high carb vegetables and questionable menu items from restaurants. This is not ‘crazy’ type, high intensity workouts, just moderate jogging and cutting back on high carb foods.

It continues to baffle me why the medical community continues to ignore this ‘cure’ for Type 2 Diabetes.

 

 

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | 6 Comments

Trump Derangement Syndrome At NPR

 

Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a real affliction that has been claiming victims since November 2016 and NPR has been hit the worst.

In a piece this week on opioid addiction (another affliction that is apparently more treatable than TDS) the NPR Morning Addition co-host Rachel Martin couldn’t help but try and make this story about Trump (Even though Trump has done more than other recent Presidents to talk opening about this and attempt to use the weight of the Federal Government to help combat it).

Just when I was thinking that the story was getting to wind down, Martin took a 90 degree turn with this line of questioning of the mother (Simon) who has a son dealing with opioid addiction:

MARTIN: Are candidates talking about this issue in Florida?

SIMON: No, they’re not. Right now, we’re so polarized – for I think ridiculous reasons – and we’re not focusing on our own people and what our own people need to make it through the day sometimes.

MARTIN: Are you talking about like President Trump and allegations against him, the Russia investigation? All that stuff feels really far afield to you?

SIMON: Actually, I voted for President Trump.

MARTIN: Did you?

Martin was shocked, yes shocked, that this woman actually voted for Trump.  So she pressed further.

MARTIN: That means, Isabelle, you’re who everyone wants. President Trump especially wants to keep your vote with the GOP even though he’s not on the ballot in these midterms. In general, are you satisfied with how he has done the job in the past couple of years?

SIMON: I’m very satisfied with his performance on the job. I wish he would get off Twitter though because that is an unnecessary – ah, I don’t even know how to verbalize that. I just think it takes away, and it feeds into all the hatred we have right now and all the discord – it’s like if he would just do his job. The economy’s doing well. I believe for the things he stands for. He wants what’s best for America, and I really truly believe that. But he can’t help himself but to take criticism, and he just blows up and goes on Twitter with a rant. And that takes away from all the good he’s trying to do in other areas.

This obviously didn’t go the way Martin had hoped…..

Posted in npr, politics | 1 Comment

Florida’s Major Hurricane Strikes: No Change In 120 Years

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

From Roy Spencer via GWPF:

Florida’s Major Hurricane Strikes: No Change In 120 Years

  • Roy Spencer

I’ve updated a plot of Florida major hurricane strikes since 1900 with Hurricane Michael, and the result is that there is still no trend in either intensity or frequency of strikes over the last 118 years:

This is based upon National Hurricane Center data. The trend line in intensity is flat, and the trend line in number of storms (not shown) is insignificantly downward.

Nevertheless, the usual fearmongers are claiming Hurricane Michael is somehow tied to climate change.

After all, the Gulf of Mexico is unusually warm, right?

Yes, but if you look at the history of Jul-Aug-Sept average sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies over the eastern Gulf (available here, 25N-30N, 80W-90W), you will see that since 1860, this summer is only the 9th warmest in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Even more…

View original post 256 more words

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3 Month Update With CGM

It’s been about 3 months since I’ve been using the Abbott Freestyle Librecontinuous glucose meter (CGM) and I’d like to provide an update.

There are still a few minor issues with this CGM that I’ll touch on here but for the most part, this device has far surpassed my expectations with regard to real time feedback that the CGM provides with regard to lifestyle and diet changes.

The report that I just downloaded from my reader for the last 2 weeks provided some key insights that I’d like to share in this post.

Dawn Phenomena

The Dawn Phenomena relates to seemingly mysterious rises in blood glucose a couple of hours before you wake and eat breakfast.  It is something I’ve written about before and even with stick meters it’s easy to verify but the CGM provides rock solid evidence of this.

See from the graph below how many of the days over the past 2 weeks show a spike in blood glucose around 5:00 or 6:00 even though I don’t eat breakfast until around 8:00.

Dawn Phenomena

12-Hour Delay With New Sensor

In the manual of the sensor and reader it clearly states that there is a 12-hour period from when you install a new sensor where data is not logged.  I don’t know why this is but I suspect that it takes time to have the sensor sampling tube and electronics conditioned to the new location and it’s a minor inconvenience knowing that I’ll get 10 full days of continuous glucose monitoring.

You can see the gap in the graph below.  The sensor 10 day limit ended on 16-SEP-18 so I removed the old sensor, installed a new one and data started to be logged about 12 hours later.

12 hour delay

Exercise Effects

I’ve seen the effects of exercise on my blood glucose the day after and the CGM really highlights this.

On 15-SEP-18 (a Saturday) I walked 22,277 steps (9.77 miles) and you can see my blood glucose on Saturday night and Sunday morning was very low even though I ate a hotdog (with a bun!) Saturday afternoon.

fitbit

exercise benefits

Gaps In Measurements

For some odd reason, there are hours where data is not logged with this CGM.  For the most part, these gaps always occur when I’m sleeping and this could be due to me rolling over on my side and the pressure on the sensor causes it to not log the data.

Gaps

OK, that is all I have to report now but more will be coming later.

As a reminder to those that are new here, I am a type 2 diabetic that manages my disease by following the Paleo lifestyle and continuous feedback is a must when deciding what lifestyle and diet changes affect my blood glucose.  If you are a type 1 or 2 diabetic, please see your physician and get a prescription for a CGM so that you can manager your disease in the best possible manner to prevent a certain, slow, painful death (which is inevitable if you continue to ignore the data).

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | Leave a comment

Mysterious Low Blood Sugar

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve tried my new continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and finally something happened the other night that validated my desire, since I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, to have a CGM.

It is extremely problematic to wake myself up in the middle of the night to use my stick meter to see what my blood glucose levels are so a CGM (that takes measurements once every minute) is exactly the right tool for this job.

I’ve often wondered what my blood glucose levels are when I’m sleeping and for the most part they’ve remained stable but the other night something caused my blood glucose levels to drop close to 50 mg/dL.

low glucose 2

low glucose 1

I have no explanation as to why this happened.  I don’t take medicine or insulin injections to control my Type 2 Diabetes so I can’t attribute a poor application of medication for this.  I didn’t do anything odd (that I know of) with regard to straying from my Paleo lifestyle.

And this drop occurred around 3:00 am so it’s not like I jumped up and ran a 5K in the middle of the night on an empty stomach!

Although I haven’t found a causal explanation for this, I’ll be watching this closely now that I know this happens.

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | 4 Comments

Comparing Blood Glucose Measurements of Abbott Freestyle Libre vs. Livongo

I’ve been using the Abbott Freestyle Libre Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) for about 9 days now and I’ve had the opportunity to compare its blood glucose measurements with the Livongo stick meter that I’ve used for a couple of years now.

The following graphs show the comparison of blood glucose measurements between the Freestyle Libre and Livongo meters.

graph 1

graph 2

Line represents zero delta between measurements of the two meters

I have several brands of stick meters that I routinely compare and there is always a delta of at least 10-20 mg/dL so I’m not surprised that these two meters don’t measure the exact same blood glucose levels.  Blood glucose meter accuracy is about 20% so even multiple measurements with the same meter won’t line up exactly and can vary by 20%.

A blood glucose meter is no different than other meters that measure things like temperature, pressure, flow rates, etc.  There is an accuracy stated for the meter but that accuracy may not hold true for the entire range that the meter can measure.  Usually the meter manufacturer will have a tighter accuracy in a range where the measurement is more important (for example, with temperature it would be in the middle of the range where the temperature control system would expect to control).  While I can’t find this information in the literature for blood glucose meters, I’d expect the accuracy of these meters to be tighter at measurements <75 mg/dL because low blood glucose level can kill you quickly.

So while I’m not surprised that the Freestyle Libre and Livongo meters have deltas in their measurements, I am surprised that the delta between the Freestyle Libre and Livongo is always positive.  I would expect some to be positive and some to be negative (as the natural variation in measurement accuracies play out) but the fact that 12 of the 13 comparisons were positive (1 comparison had a delta of 0) leads me to assume that one of these meters has a consistent offset.

Now it should be stated that I have no idea which meter is closest to my actual blood glucose levels but that really doesn’t matter as long as the deltas continue to be consistent. With frequent blood glucose monitoring, the absolute value of these measurements isn’t what’s important; what you should be looking for is trends in the measurements that can be correlated with a diet or lifestyle change.

As I stated in an earlier post, I intentionally went off my typical Paleo diet for the first week of using the CGM so I could see what my blood glucose levels were after non-Paleo meals but next week I’ll return to my normal Paleo diet and I will be interested in seeing if the delta between these two meters decreases as more of my measurements are <100 mg/dL. If my theory about blood glucose meter accuracies being tighter at the lower range is true, this should play out in the data as my blood glucose levels drop to those lower ranges.

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | 2 Comments

First Experience With CGM

As I’ve written about recently, I’m coming up on my 5 year anniversary of abandoning prescription medicine treatment of my Type 2 Diabetes by using the Paleo lifestyle and followers of this blog should have noticed that I’ve done that by using data to drive my decision making process.

And while I’ve tried on occasion to take frequent measurements per day to assess what impacts diet and exercise have on my blood glucose levels, there hasn’t been a way to monitor my blood glucose continually (i.e. every few minutes) and it’s just too much of a hassle to prick your finger dozens of times a day (and expensive!).

There have been continuous glucose monitors (CGM) out on the market for many years now but they have mainly been used to pair with insulin pumps and that really doesn’t help type 2 diabetics out who don’t need insulin injections.

But recently two new CGM devices have been approved by the FDA that don’t need to be paired with insulin pumps – Dexcom G5 and Abbott Freestyle Libre.

I recently got the Freestyle Libre and started using it yesterday and I’d like to share some of my initial findings.

What’s In The Box

First off the Freestyle Libre system involves two devices – a reader and a sensor.  The meter is a handheld device that looks very similar to a normal strip reader and while you can use Abbott strips to perform instant readings of blood glucose levels, the beauty of the CGM lies with the sensor.  The sensor is a disk that has a needle that inserts below the skin and this is how it takes glucose measurements every minute.

freestyle libre system pic 1

freestyle libre system pic 2.JPG

Inserting The Sensor

Each sensor can be used for up to 10 days and they come packaged individually with a special application device and alcohol wipes.  The sensor can only be installed on the back of the upper arm (where your triceps are) and I didn’t need help with this, as it was easy to do.  You pick up the sensor with the applicator and then push the applicator against the skin to ensure the needle and sensor properly attach to your arm (there is some sort of adhesive that makes sure the sensor is securely attached (more on the quality of this attachment later).

Full disclosure, I’m not a guy who likes needles and I’m quite the pansy in that regard and I’m not particularly proud of that.  With that being said, I will say that there was a brief amount of pain that lasted a few seconds when the sensor was applied and there was a dull ache/pain for about an hour but after that I forgot the sensor was there.

Obtaining Blood Glucose Data

After you insert the sensor you then activate it through the reader but for some reason, you have to wait 12 hours before you can take your first reading.  I don’t know if this 12-hour delay is only for the first sensor you apply or for each new one and I’ll find that out in about 10 days.

But after the 12-hour delay, you can download data from the sensor by turning on the reader and placing it about 1-2 inches from the sensor.  The reader beeps and then you see a graph of blood glucose levels for the past 8 hours.   You can add notes such as info on the meal you just ate and insulin injection by tapping the pencil icon, which takes you to other menus.

freestyle reader screen cap

Glucose Readings Compared To Stick Meter

I use the Livongo meter to take instantaneous glucose meters via the traditional finger prick/stick method and I compared blood glucose measurements (ug/dL) between the Livongo meter and the Freestyle CGM 4 times over the past 24 hours.

Livongo Freestyle Libre CGM
150 157
129 143
111 111
104 129

As you can see, the Freestyle Libre CGM was mostly higher than the Livongo meter with an average of +11.5 mg/dL.  Now it should be noted that the Livongo meter (like all glucose meters) have a larger margin of error than I’d like to see and I’m sure the Freestyle Libre CGM and Livongo are no different.  That is why I’ve always said to pay attention more to trends than the absolute values of individual measurements.  But this is something I’ll continue to watch to see if this delta continues or if the average goes to zero as the sample size gets larger.

I will say that I have good confidence in my Livongo meter because I’ve seen good correlation with my A1C measurements I get from my doctor’s office. During my visit last month I had an A1C reading of 6.0%, which corresponds, to a blood glucose level of 126 ug/dL and from my Livongo data, I’ve averaged 127 ug/dL for the last 90 days.

The Beauty Of CGM Data

OK, so that is the extent of my experience for the first 24 hours using this meter and expect many posts in the future as I dive into this new treasure trove of data but I couldn’t wait to analyze this data.

Since this was my first experience with a CGM I wanted to really put my body to the test by deviating from my Paleo diet and eating a couple meals of high carbs and follow that up with exercise to see how my body reacted.

For the past two days, prior to exercise, I have eaten a breakfast that consisted of 4 eggs and three pieces of ciabatta toast with butter and blackberry jelly.  Grains and jelly are basically verboten for me under Paleo but I have previously discovered that I can eat those prior to intense physical activity with no detrimental effects to my blood glucose levels. But that was when I measured my blood glucose levels after exercise and I had no idea what happened between the 2 hours after the meal and the end of my exercise.  Now with the CGM I can see what happens!

The two physical activities I planned were golf on 06-JUL-18 and riding my bike for 20 miles on 07-JUL-18. Golf is not nearly as strenuous as riding a bike for 20 miles so I mainly want to focus on 07-JUL-18 for right now.

As you can see from the screen cap from my Fitbit app, it took me about an hour and a half to ride 20 miles.  The manual for the Freestyle Libre states that the sensor is water proof up to 3 meters but swimming should be limited to 30 minutes.  During the bike ride, I was subjected to rain for the entire hour and a half of the ride and the sensor not only maintained its electrical functionality but stayed firmly attached even after the shower after the ride so the robustness of the sensor to water was validated.

bike ride fitbit 07-jul

I finished my breakfast on 07-JUL-18 around 10:30 and left on my bike ride at 11:05.  As you can see from the graph below, my blood glucose level peaked around 250 ug/dL at 11:20 but then came down to 97 when I finished my ride at 12:35.

daily log

It should also be noted that I had a dinner of pork, zucchini and mashed potatoes that caused my blood glucose levels to peak at 173 approximately an hour after the meal (potatoes are bad for me as they cause my blood sugar to spike more than if I ate something with a high content of sugar).

I should also add that the Freestyle Libre has an app/program that you can download to your computer to export the data to reports and the options available are shown in the pic below.

freestyle libre report options

So much more to come regarding my new CGM later but after the first 24 hours I’m extremely happy to have this new technology to help me control my type 2 diabetes!

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | 5 Comments

Paleo 5 Year Anniversary

It’s been almost 5 years since I abandoned the treatment for my Type 2 Diabetes prescribed by my endocrinologist (Janumet) and adopted the Paleo lifestyle and I’m happy to report things couldn’t be better.

I went in for my annual physical recently and my A1c is still in the high range of a normal person without diabetes (< or = to 6.0%) and this is much better than the insane guidance from the American Diabetes Association that says folks with Type 2 Diabetes should have an A1c less than 7% which they push can only be obtained through medication.

a1c

Red Line signifies when I went off mediation and adopted the Paleo lifestyle

Everything in my comprehensive blood work was normal but I’d like to make a point that my triglycerides came down from a high reading the previous year (These readings should be below 150 mg/dL).

triglycerides

I attribute this to both the lack of exercise I had in early 2017 as opposed to the increased exercise regime I adopted toward the end of 2017 and continue today.

I signed up for a group relay race that amounted to me running two 10k legs with only a 5 hour break in between and I’m convinced that the training that led up to that race helped drop my triglycerides back to normal levels. That is the only explanation as my diet didn’t change in the past 2 years and the only variable was the amount and intensity of my exercise.

I should also note that when I was starting to train my body to be accustomed to running twice in a single day (I’ve been a runner for the past 19 years of my life and I can attest that running twice in the same day is no easy task….) I noticed that I had to deviate from my Paleo diet and eat grains and a higher level of carbs during the days I pushed myself to run twice.

At first I stuck to Paleo on the days I ran the doubles but when it came time for my 2ndrun of the day my legs were dead and I had no energy.  So allowing myself to ‘cheat’ on those days gave me more energy for that 2ndrun and my blood glucose levels on those days never strayed from levels associated with someone without diabetes – They were routinely around 100 mg/dL.  It was amazing that I could eat pancakes, muffins and pasta on those days and it was like I got a free pass!

Even with my body’s DNA, which predisposes me to be insulin resistant, increasing my exercise drastically compensated for that and my body found a way to clear the glucose in my blood stream and metabolize it in my cells.

I guess this is why you never hear of professional athletes who contract Type 2 Diabetes because their exercise regime prevents buildup of glucose in the blood stream.

 

 

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | 3 Comments

Climate Data Tampering 2018 Update

It is apparent that tampering of climate data at NASA/GISS is ongoing to make the past temperatures appear cooler to support their worldview that recent temperatures are increasing.

I wrote a blog post in 2011 showing how the actual NASA/GISS temperature station data don’t support the Global Warming (now called Climate Change) thesis and I thought it’d be good to compare the graphs I screen captured in 2011 to the graphs shown on the NASA/GISS website now to see if this data has been altered.

I’m using the NASA/GISS link here to obtain graphs of temperature station data so you can verify everything I discuss in this post. Note that I’ll highlight the differences between the 2011 and 2018 graphs with red ellipses on the 2018 graphs.

The Augusta/Bush temperature station data.

In 2011, the graph looked like this:

augusta 2011

Now it looks like this:

Augusta 2018

The Winnsboro, SC temperature station data.

In 2011, the graph looked like this:

winnsboro 2011

Now it looks like this:

Winnsboro 2018.jpg

The Columbia, SC temperature station data.

In 2011, the graph looked like this:

columbia 2011

Now it looks like this:

columbia 2018

The Darlington, SC temperature station data.

In 2011, the graph looked like this:

darlington 2011

Now it looks like this:

darlington 2018

The Wasco, CA temperature station data.

In 2011, the graph looked like this:

wasco 2011

Now it looks like this:

wasco 2018.jpg

The Tejon Rancho, CA temperature station data.

In 2011, the graph looked like this:

tejon-rancho 2011.jpg

Now it looks like this:

tejon rancho 2018

Are you starting to see the trend?

Past temperatures have been adjusted down and some past temperatures (if they were extremely high) have been removed.

Is this what Science looks like?

Climate Change is a fraud perpetrated by dishonest climate “scientists” and one day history will reveal this.  Mother Nature always wins in the end and the fraudulent claims made by charlatans will eventually be exposed in the white hot light of actual data.

Posted in Climate Change | 5 Comments

The Radical Left No Longer Filter Their True Feelings

I have become accustomed to the non-stop Leftist screed on Facebook since Trump was elected and mostly I’m numb to it but a couple days ago I ran across a post from someone I graduated high school that made me stop and question what the hell is wrong with America.

facebook post making fun of retired vet

This person’s post was about her chatting with a man at the gym who was wearing an NRA hat and all she wanted to do was yank his hat off and run away with it. She joked that he wouldn’t be able to catch her because he was disabled. And later she revealed in the comments to the post that the guy, who had served in the military, was injured on the job as a police officer running after someone.

So this guy who served his country and protected us in two key occupations – military and police – is worthy of ridicule just because he was wearing an NRA hat.

I read Kurt Schlichter’s piece in Townhall this week entitled “They Don’t Hate The NRA. They Hate You” and this Facebook post sums that up nicely.

This person’s Facebook post (and the comments that followed) exhibits perfectly what is wrong with America. We are so triggered by symbols that the media tell us are evil (a baseball hat with the letters NRA on it) that we wish to demean the personhood of someone we don’t even know.

And to put the cherry on top of this Facebook post, here is the AVI used by the person who made this Facebook post.

fb post avi

If you’ve decided to stick with love instead of hate, why are you ridiculing a veteran and former police officer who was injured protecting you only because of a baseball hat he was wearing?

Maybe the radical Left truly hate us.

Posted in politics | 3 Comments

Trump Derangement Syndrome

As I’ve stated before, I didn’t vote for Trump in either the Republican primary in South Carolina or the General Election but shortly after he took office I figured out what he was doing and it seems to be working.

Trump has caused a dissonance in the minds of the Far Left and most Left leaning media to the point where they aren’t really watching what he is doing and instead focus on his tweets and the Russian probes. Either Trump is doing this by design or he’s just fortunate that the Left is still so butt hurt over Hillary losing that they aren’t paying attention but either way, I’m happy.

I’m hoping that the Left doesn’t figure this out but I think some are starting to once I saw this tweet:

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 11.56.24 PM

So what you’re saying is that while the Left has some awesome memes with Trump tweets, the actual act of governing is taking place and apparently elections do have consequences. Well….Yea!

While the Left is in full epidemic mode with Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Republicans in Congress and more importantly, the Trump administration, is quietly undoing 8 years of government overreach.

Here is a nice list of accomplishments of Trump in year one and one of the most notable accomplishments only hinted at in that piece is the number of federal judges that have been confirmed in 2017 – Neil Gorsuch to SCOTUS, 12 to the US Courts of Appeals and 6 to the US District Courts.

Once the Republican Tax Plan becomes law (hopefully next week) then the cherry will be put on top of this banner year for Trump and the Republican controlled Congress.

It would’ve been nice to fully repeal Obamacare but all I’ve ever expected and wanted from Trump and the Republican Congress was meaningful tax reform and now we are poised to get that. Reducing Corporate and individual tax rates and removing the individual mandate from Obamacare will go a long way to bringing about a real recovery that never materialized due to the past 8 years of business choking legislation and regulation.

Posted in politics | 4 Comments

A Reminder About Who Pays US Income Taxes

I’ve said many times after the November 2016 elections that the only thing I wanted in 2017 from Trump and the Republican majority in the House and Senate was significant tax cuts.

I would prefer a radical change to our tax structure like those outlined in the Fair Tax proposals but I realize that something like that is a much too big ask in our hyper polarized political climate (although the Fair Tax could actually unite both sides…) so I’m glad with what has been proposed. At least a massive cut to the corporate tax rate would be enough for me to cheer!

And of course, the normal bloviating from the Left has come as a result of this with their tired “tax cuts for the rich” sound bites.

When the Left screams “tax cuts for the rich” this just tells me that they are either liars or they don’t really understand who actually pays the vast majority of US income taxes. For the politicians, it’s probably the former but for the average snow flake who probably has never filled out a tax form it’s probably the latter.

This website is a good place to help educate those who are truly ignorant about who actually pays most of the US taxes.

There are lots of charts and graphs on that link but these two should be all you need.

tax tble

tax chart

 

The top 1% of all income earners pays 40% of all income taxes but only account for 20% of all income.

The top 10% of all income earners pays 70% of all income taxes but only account for 47% of all income.

The top 25% of all income earners pay 86% of all income taxes!

If you’re going to give a tax break to folks you can only do that to the people that ACTUALLY PAY TAXES. That’s the top 25% folks!

And the top 25% includes folks who make over $77,000 per year. Hardly the mega wealthy here…

This isn’t some GOP trick to give massive tax breaks to the wealthy.  It’s about math.

Posted in economics, Income Inequality, politics | 3 Comments

Solar Eclipse 2017

This was my first solar eclipse where I was in the area of totality and I can say assuredly that it won’t be my last!  I’m hooked!

I wasn’t prepared for the shear awe that happens as we got closer to the main event and next time I’ll be better prepared for better photographs and spend more time just soaking it all in.

Just before totality I noticed that my eyes were having trouble adjusting and focusing and it was very different than just a normal twilight background.  I made sure it wasn’t just me by asking the 12+ folks that were with me if they were experiencing the same thing and sure enough they were.

I also wasn’t prepared for the splendid site at totality where you could see the sun’s corona in blue/white light.  I’ve seen pics of this but thought this was just an artifact of the camera but sure enough it was even better than the photos I’ve seen.

My one regret was not taking a picture of the 2 solar flares that were visible in my telescope during totality but the roughly 2 minutes we had were not long enough for me to do that and let all the folks take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to see a total eclipse through a telescope.  We removed the solar filter at the moment totality started and we had a person timing from that point forward and we moved everyone away after 2 minutes.

For those interested, my telescope is a 10″ newtonian reflector and I used a Televue 27mm Panoptic eyepiece with a Thousand Oaks Optical solar filter over the objective end of the telescope.

Here are some of the pics.

IMG_6716

My setup for the event.  Telescope and 15×60 binocs.

IMG_6409

Here I am setting up my binoculars that I used to project the eclipse onto the ground.

IMG_6722

Just starting, see the sun spots!

IMG_6731

IMG_6735

IMG_6740

IMG_6742

Little eclipses were seen on my sidewalk beneath my large oak trees.  Little gaps in the leaves provided perfect projection of the eclipse below. 

IMG_6743

IMG_6745

Almost!

IMG_6747

Now going the other way. 

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Paleo Lifestyle Can Achieve Normal Blood Glucose Levels

I’m coming up on m 4th year of adhering to the Paleo lifestyle alone to control my Type 2 Diabetes and I hope the data I’ll show in this post will prove to those struggling with this disease that it is possible to achieve a ‘cure’ without medicine that has deleterious side effects or complicated insulin injections/formulations.

For those not familiar, an A1c is basically the gold standard of blood glucose measurements because it can go back as much as 3 months in the past to give an average blood glucose measurement.

“The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. In the body, red blood cells are constantly forming and dying, but typically they live for about 3 months. Thus, the A1C test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent”

A person with Type 2 Diabetes can ‘fool’ themselves into thinking their blood glucose levels are good if they only take measurements with a home meter in the morning (fasting) but ignore the high glucose levels during the day after they eat foods that spike their glucose levels. You can’t ‘fool’ an A1c so that is why it is considered a true test of how a person is managing their Type 2 Diabetes over a long period.

Keep in mind that a normal A1c reading for someone without Diabetes is below 6% and you can see my A1c test results in the graph below (which includes the latest A1c I had last week during my annual physical).

a1c

After I was diagnosed I went the route of Metformin and while I achieved an A1c results of 5.6% (the first data point after the initial diagnosis), the side effects of those meds (which involved not being more than 2 minutes away from a bathroom at any time) caused me to switch to the Paleo lifestyle exclusively and I ditched the meds (red line indicates where I stopped taking the meds and switched to the Paleo Lifestyle).

Notice that when I was diagnosed in March 2013 I had an A1c of 11.5% so the results that I show above aren’t from a marginal person who was close to having Type 2 Diabetes. My Type 2 Diabetes was about as bad as it can be but yet my A1c test results over the past 3 years rival that of someone who is not afflicted with this horrible disease.

It should also be pointed out that the American Diabetes Association recommends that folks who have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes maintain an A1c less than 7%. This is madness since an A1c of 7% corresponds to a blood glucose level of 154 mg/Dl and that level of blood glucose is WAY too high!

It continues to frustrate me that the accepted medical guidance of the day is to force meds and insulin into people and tell them that they can still eat all the pizza, pasta, bread, beans and whole grains they can get their hands on. Literally the medical community is encouraging folks to take the path of a slow painful death that includes blindness, decapitated limbs and heart failure.

If you are a Type 2 Diabetic, don’t accept this ADA solution from your doctor. There is a better alternative and it doesn’t involve spending money on doctor visits or medicine!

 

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | 10 Comments

30-Day Paleo Reset

As I have stated in previous posts in 2016, I noticed my blood sugar levels were beginning to creep up and I struggled with the cause. I thought the reason might have been attributed to the Dawn Phenomenon, alcohol, reduced exercise or chewing gum. But after a few months of tinkering I think it was just that I got over confident in my success and decided to deviate too much from the Paleo lifestyle.

Even though I am a Type 2 Diabetic, for several years I have controlled my blood glucose within normal levels without the use of medication. And these “normal” levels are normal for someone without Type 2 Diabetes (fasting measurements between 70-100 mg/dl), not the “normal” that the American Diabetes Association says a Type 2 Diabetic should control his blood sugar (fasting measurements less than 130 mg/dl).

After 3 years of strict adherence to the Paleo lifestyle I had become over confident that somehow I had reversed my insulin sensitivity and my “cheat” days (which had previously been reserved for things like Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, etc.) were now a regular occurrence. Cheats for me consisted of beer, potatoes and grains such as grits, corn and chips and while I knew these were verboten, I refused to confront the brutal facts that these were not conducive to my genetic makeup.

I knew I needed a ‘reset’ and when Robb Wolf’s latest book – Wired To Eat – came out I quickly read it and accepted the 30-day back to Paleo basics challenge outlined in the book. The 30-day challenge didn’t just involve adhering to a strict Paleo diet, it involved getting 8 hours of sleep each night, moving every day and getting involved in community activities with friends and coworkers. Moving every day and socializing with folks is something I do every day so that was not a drastic change for me but getting back to Paleo basics and (more importantly) getting 8 hours of sleep each night was something that required effort on my part.

The results that I’ll share below mainly speak for themselves and this last month has reiterated the importance of following this Paleo lifestyle in not only controlling my Type 2 Diabetes but improving my general well being.

It should be noted again that my exercise regime was still the same – running, walking, biking or lifting weights 3-5 times per week – and the only thing I changed over the past 2 weeks was my diet and getting 8 hours of sleep every night.

Now on to the results….

The following metrics showed the improvement I made during this 30-day period:

  17-Apr-17 17-May-17
Weight 152.5 lbs 145.5 lbs
Waist to hip Ratio 94.70% 88.00%
Blood Pressure 119/80 109/75
Resting Heart Rate 67 bpm 55 bpm

The following chart shows my morning blood glucose readings prior to the 30-day challenge and during it.

morning blood glucose

Even more improvement is seen with the evening blood glucose readings during this same period.

evening blood glucose

During the mid way portion of this 30-day challenge I took my blood glucose readings about every hour in a typical day and the graph is shown below. (NOTE – the “spike” after dinner on this day was attributed to pineapple I ate with dinner.)

daily blood sugar may 2017

Now compare that graph with another graph during a day in late 2016 when I started to realize that my blood glucose levels were starting to be elevated.

daily blood sugar sep 2016

The following chart is from my Fitbit app showing the drop in my resting heart rate during this period and this was not from an increase in exercise but instead from an increase in the amount of sleep I got each night.

resting heart rate

You can see from the Fitbit app how my sleep each night during this 30-day period was about 8 hours per night and then you can see how this was a drastic improvement over what I had typically seen over the past year.

sleep

sleep past year.jpg

I’ll share more insights I gained from this 30-day reset in future posts and I’ll also explore the 7-day carb investigation that Robb Wolf explains in Wired To Eat but I want to stay on this strict Paleo lifestyle for another 30 days before I start that investigation. I need another 30 days to fully heal my body and complete the reset before I start experimenting with carbs and determining which are conducive to my genetics (and based on 3+ years of this, I don’t think there will be many that will fall into that category).

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | 6 Comments

Nancy Pelosi Is A Lunatic

In an NPR interview Nancy Pelosi demonstrated once again that she is either a pathological liar or a lunatic. I’m going with lunatic because I think she actually believes the crap that comes out of her mouth.

Here is the money quote (emphasis mine):

“Most of the people who can’t afford it have subsidies and the rest to cover their insurance in the meantime. But let’s go back to where we were before the Affordable Care Act because that was a time where they wouldn’t even be able to have any insurance. So what was the purpose of the Affordable Care Act? There were threefold – one, to lower cost; two, to improve benefits and three, to expand access for millions more people. And it’s done all three.”

Let’s examine her 3 so-called accomplishments of Obamacare.

1 – Lower Cost

I assume she meant the cost for insurance coverage and that has not happened.

From Time article last year:

“In 2008, the average employer-sponsored family plan cost a total of $12,680, with employees footing $3,354 of the bill, according to /react-text Kaiser data. By 2016, the cost of the average employer family plan was up to /react-text $18,142 for the year, with workers picking up $5,277 of the tab.”

And from Market Watch article last year:

“President Obama claimed that the Affordable Care Act would reduce annual insurance premiums by $2,500 for a typical family. Yet a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust found that, since 2008, average employer family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865. From 2015 to 2016 the most popular exchange family plan, Family Silver, saw a 10% average increase in its premiums. In some states, premiums rose by nearly 40%.”

But if she meant the cost of healthcare in general in the US has been reduced, that hasn’t happened either.

From PBS last year:

“The nation’s health care tab this year is expected to surpass $10,000 per person for the first time, the government said Wednesday. The new peak means the Obama administration will pass the problem of high health care costs on to its successor.”

2 – Improve benefits

From the Time article:

“In 2008, high deductibles were the minority: 18% of covered workers had deductible of at least $1,000, per the /react-text Kaiser Family Foundation, up from only 10% in 2006. For workers with employer-sponsored plans at small firms, 35% had deductibles of $1,000 or more in 2008, up from 16% in 2006.”

“Fast-forward to 2016, and high-deductible plans have become standard: 51% of all covered workers, and 65% of workers in small firms, face deductibles of at least $1,000. Workers at smaller firms must pay an average of $2,069 out of pocket before insurance payments kick in, versus $1,238 for workers at firms with 200 or more employees.”

Folks aren’t getting real insurance coverage they can use but instead they are just getting insurance plans with higher deductibles, which make it even more difficult to actually get the health care they need.

3 – Expand access for millions more people

Not as many folks signed up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges as was hoped:

“Many people would not have jumped on the Obamacare bandwagon if they had known the relatively small number of Americans who would actually be enrolled on the exchanges by 2016. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that between 9.4 million and 11.4 million signed up in 2016.”

“In contrast, in March 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 21 million people would be enrolled on the exchanges.

And what good is it for the few extra people who signed up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges if they can’t find a doctor or have such high deductibles that they can’t afford treatment?

Again, I really think Pelosi believes what she says so she’s not a liar but a lunatic.

Let’s all remember what George Costanza taught us in Seinfeld.

Posted in healthcare, politics | 4 Comments

An Economic Opportunity Missed

If you look at the US GDP growth since 1947, you’ll notice that the recovery magnitude always matched the recession magnitude except for the last one.

I’ve annotated the graph to show the recessions and recoveries in like color ellipses and the pair to the right represents our last recovery.  The zero GDP growth line is shown in clack and notice that with the exception of the last “recovery”, the magnitude of the recovery has equalled or exceeded the magnitude of the recession.

us-gdp-graph-2

Up until this last recession/recovery cycle, it used to all make sense. Recessions are part of the economic cycle and the Free Market would do what it always does, bounce back in like magnitude.

Except for the Obama years…..

Notice this last recession was severe but the recover was nothing but blah. The “recovery” has averaged around a 2% GDP growth rate and 2016 came in at a pitiful 1.6%.

From the WSJ article:

Speaking of weak, growth for all of 2016 clocked in at 1.6%, the slowest since 2011 and down from 2.6% in 2015. That marks the 11th consecutive year that GDP growth failed to reach 3%, the longest period since the Bureau of Economic Analysis began reporting the figure. The fourth quarter also rings out the Obama era with an average annual growth rate of 1.8%, which is right down there with George W. Bush for the lowest among modern Presidents.

Mr. Obama inherited a deep recession, but that makes the 2.1% growth average since the recession ended all the more dismaying. You have to work hard to suppress growth after a deep downturn, and Mr. Obama did that by putting income redistribution ahead of growth as a policy priority. He achieved the remarkable feat of slower growth and more inequality.

Massive regulation and other anti-business policies of Obama (and yes, George W. Bush too) handcuffed the US economy and that means there is a ton of potential energy in the economy just waiting to be released once the US government reverses course. Which is exactly what will happen in the next 2 years with a new style Republican control of the Executive and Legislative branches of government.

Just watch!

Posted in economics, politics | 3 Comments

Let’s See What Happens When Private Sector Folks Run the Government

All I’ve ever wanted for the past 15 years was a chance to see if our country would fair better if we replaced career politicians in the POTUS and heads of the Federal agencies with successful private sector folks and it appears my wish has finally been granted.

If I had known Trump would have placed people in his cabinet who were not career bureaucrats then I would’ve not only voted for him but I would’ve donated to his campaign and knocked on doors. And it appears he’s doing just that.

Rex Tillerson (State), Steven Mnuchin (Treasury), Sonny Perdue (Agriculture), Andrew Puzder (Labor), Tom Price (HHS), Wilbur Ross (Commerce) and Ben Carson (HUD) are just to name a few who spent most of their professional lives in the private sector.

Having a POTUS from the private sector who is used to measuring success based on hitting time and financial targets will cause a paradigm shift in the way DC operates. And this means the House and Senate will not have 4 (maybe 8) years of business as usual.

The recent meeting of Congressional Republicans in Philadelphia highlights that perfectly in their listing of ambitious year 1 goals (Repeal and replace of Obamacare, a defense and border funding bill, an infrastructure bill and a tax overhaul and revamp of the IRS). Repealing/Replacing Obamacare and a revamp of the IRS are two items that I had thought would take years (if ever) with past DC cultures but I’m glad to see the expectations have been drastically elevated.

Even Republicans in the house are starting to realize that life under POTUS Trump won’t be like normal business in DC:

“President Trump comes from a different world,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters. “Out in the business community, he likes things done fast, and he’s going to continue to push them.”

And from this WSJ link, even Speaker Ryan knows that expectations have been raised.

“This is going to be an unconventional presidency,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) told reporters. “That’s something we’re just all going to have to get used to.”

Amen, put the foot to the floor and get shit done so fast we forget what it was like when bureaucrats spent months debating whether a bill should be brought to the floor for a vote and feared what the reaction would be from the Main Stream Media.

Posted in politics | 4 Comments

Food As Medicine

There was a great article on NPR today that talks about the paradigm shift in medical circles where doctors prescribe food instead of medicine and this is manna from the heavens for me!

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-10-34-10-pm

As many readers of this blog know, I believe that any Type 2 Diabetic can have normal blood glucose levels but instead of doing that with medicine you can achieve better results by altering your diet and exercise regime. It’s not easy but it’s more sustainable over the long run than taking Metformin and Insulin injections.

I’ve chosen the Paleo lifestyle for me, but there is a link in the NPR article to a published article that suggest a Vegan diet helps other Type 2 Diabetics. The key is to find what works for your body but don’t default quickly to the medicine route but instead experiment with different foods and exercise routines that work for your body.

The money quote:

“What people eat can be medicine or poison”

Read the whole article, it’s good!

Posted in Diabetes, paleo | 1 Comment

The Dishonesty Of The Left

The Left likes to talk about unity and coming together but only if they are the ones in power. Once things (i.e. elections) don’t go their way, this whole unity thing becomes overrated.

Representative John Lewis is one of many House Democrats that have announced they’ll boycott the peaceful transition of power (AKA the POTUS inauguration) but that doesn’t square with a tweet he sent a week before the Presidential election last year.

If you don’t like the President Elect Donald Trump then you have the right to peaceful protest and to even boycott the inauguration if you so desire. Hell, even I attended peaceful Tea Party protests in 2009 and 2010 to protest the Democratic leaders who I felt were taking our country in the wrong direction.

It’s our rights as citizens to do such things.

But when you are a member of Congress and you push for unity when you think the elections will go your way, you better expect to be called out on your hypocrisy later when you seek division because you didn’t like the results of the election.

Trump has yet to serve 1 day as POTUS so the jury is obviously still out on how he’ll lead this country but I can say one good thing about PEOTUS Trump, he is causing the Left to show their true colors and I think we are only just now getting a glimpse of it. The Left isn’t concerned about hiding their true colors any more and if they continue to do this, the next four eight years will be glorious.

Posted in politics | 1 Comment