An excellent website for all things glucose oriented is Blood Sugar 101. There are also many other websites and forums dedicated to diabetics of all types. Whether you’re diabetic or not, you’ll learn a lot from spending a little time there. The only endocrine epidemic greater than the “thyroid one” is the “glucose one”. This, combined with how easy it is for anyone to monitor their own blood sugar and see if they’re on the way to diabetes, makes this a highly preventable disease for most of the non-floxed, currently non-diabetic folks.
As with most everything else, diabetes appears to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental or lifestyle factors. For the lifestyle factors, exercise and food choices are the two biggies. In addition, if you want to greatly decrease your chances of getting diabetes, do three things:
1) Don’t take an FQ antibiotic
3) Buy a glucose meter and strips, test regularly to see where you are on the “glucose continuum”, and avoid the foods that spike you or keep you high.
Glucose and Insulin Related Testing:
Fasting blood glucose: measures blood glucose after an all night fast.
Post prandial blood glucose: usually 1 or 2 hour posts are recommended. I experimented and tested with many times after meals, which helped to show me patterns of how I metabolized different foods when it came to glucose.
HbA1C test: measures the average blood glucose over a three month period.
Insulin and C-peptide test: usually done if a person is discovered to have diabetes. These tests can help distinguish between different types of diabetes. Your physician can run these, or you can order them yourself as I described in “Testing on your own: When the Docs Refuse”.
GAD65, ICA, and IAA: antibodies (autoimmune markers): These tests are usually considered only if the fasting C-Peptide test is low, and/or Type 2 Diabetes is revealed. These tests can help distinguish between Type 2 Diabetes and LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults), and this difference may affect treatment. FQT often seems to mimic autoimmune diseases, therefore it’s important to constantly be on the lookout for potential autoimmune markers. These tests are often overlooked when it comes to glucose abnormalities. However, in some cases, antibodies may develop before clinical signs, and therefore may be predictive in nature.
Dysglycemias (abnormal blood glucose) are a known adverse effect of FQ’s. One of the easiest and cheapest tests a person can do for themselves is blood glucose testing using a meter and strips. Meters are relatively cheap; you can purchase the ReliOn® Walmart brand for about $15.00; I bought the Confirm/Micro for about $36.00. The strips are always the expensive part of glucose testing (and be aware that you must buy the same brand for both strips and meters), but here again, the ReliOn® brand were the cheapest I found at about $35.00 per 100 strips (in store Walmart price). The ReliOn® A1C Home Test is a bargain at about $9.00 (in store Walmart price). I tested my meter and strips against two other brand meters and strips, as well as a couple of doctor ordered fastings and A1C’s, and results were very acceptable (10-15 point differences among meters which is acceptable for screening purposes; 0.1-0.2% differences in A1C). There is absolutely no reason anyone should need a doctor to tell them whether or not they have diabetes or pre-diabetes, or even wonder about it for themselves, when this incredibly easy option exists. And why anyone would pay well over $100 and spend hours for a doctor office visit and one fasting glucose and A1C measurement, when you can do your own glucose measurements for 0.35 cents a pop, in your own home, within 30 seconds or less, is beyond me.
To actually see how to do your own glucose testing, go to YouTube and type in something like “How to glucose test”. I’d say it takes me about 5-7 seconds to do a glucose check, and that’s mostly because it takes the meter a few seconds to get ready once I turn it on and then to get a reading.
Be aware that fasting blood glucose is dead last to rise when you are on your way to pre-diabetes or diabetes. So by the time your fastings get into those ranges, you’ve probably been spiking and in trouble post meal for some time. For example, I found that after eating my favorite pizza post flox, my blood glucose would go up to 250 mg/dL, and then, measuring my glucose every ½ hour, would take 8 hours to get down to 130 mg/dL (which is still high). This is considered frank diabetes. Yet, my morning fasting glucose was often 84, with the highest being 94 when I was running a little “hyperthyroid”. I should also say that any kind of movement really helped drive that glucose into my cells, so when I could exercise more, this helped considerably. However, I’ve spent years being bedridden, so obviously I couldn’t exercise to lower my glucose levels. Here is where monitoring with my meter pretty much told me what foods I could and couldn’t eat to keep my glucose within acceptable limits.
HbA1C measurements are valuable to have, but do keep in mind that if you only do A1C’s, you won’t catch any glucose “swings” that are occurring. For example, when I was not on thyroid hormone medication, my glucose was going as low as 50 or a little lower, then spiking quite high after eating. That would all average out to an acceptable A1C, but the reality was, my glucose homeostasis was really struggling. That’s information I got from serial measurements with my meter.
Dysglycemia’s are a direct adverse effect of FQ’s. There is plenty of published research to substantiate this; simply do a search on PubMed or the internet or review references provided on this website. Although all FQ’s have this potential, the poster child for this is the FQ Gatifloxacin, which was withdrawn from the market in 2008 due to life threatening dysglycemias, including “fatal events”. However, even if you are spared this direct damage, as an FQT victim, you are most likely very inactive. Over time, this inactivity in itself can cause problems such as Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes. You are at risk for developing these simply because of chronic inactivity. Once these conditions develop, you are at risk of further serious complications developing. Start prevention early, from the moment you develop or discover your FQ toxicity, and continue to monitor to prevent additional complications from developing. Your meter will tell you what foods you can and cannot eat, simply by the objective measurements it will give you post-prandially.