Another three months have passed, and it was time to check up on my internals again. I underwent several blood tests as usual, and here are my results compared to the last three times. My previous blog posts from this series: here, and here.
My blood sugar continues to improve, and my cholesterol, HDL, and LDL are all within normal range. The troubling thing is still my triglycerides, which seems to be slowly creeping back up. Why is this an issue? Triglycerides are a type of fat/lipid in the blood, and is the form that the body converts extra calories to when you eat. It is similar to cholesterol in that they are both lipids found in the blood, but triglycerides are a storage of unused calories while cholesterol is used to build cells and certain hormones. If left untreated, high levels of triglycerides may lead to the hardening of the arteries or thickening of arterial walls, which will lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. [source, source]
As with diabetes treatments in general, triglyceride levels can be lowered with lifestyle changes. More daily exercise, cutting back of calories, intake of healthier fats are some of the things I can do (and already do) to help manage my triglycerides and my diabetes in general. I was also prescribed a fibrate medicine for the triglycerides, as my levels are slowly creeping up into the “high risk” category.
I have also been a bit delinquent in the taking of my other medicine (the metformin combination). I am supposed to be taking it twice a day, but I usually forget the morning one because I rarely eat breakfast. My doctor says I need to be stricter about it if I want to see improvement. He also is more strict with the exercising, requiring me three times a week of cardio (I was only doing twice a week) and adding some lifting of small weights for building muscle.
This is the stage where I really need to be disciplined. I need to remember that my health is worth taking the effort to maintain, and it’s going to be more difficult to recover if I get worse or start developing complications. I need to work hard on it now, and I’m sure the future me will be thankful that I did.
Incidentally, it is also the National Diabetes Awareness Month in the US, but I felt that it is appropriate to write about it here as well. Here‘s a good resource for diabetics and their loved ones. This particular article is a great start if you want to know more about diabetes. Do check it out!