As a person with diabetes I have a lot of other people cheering me on and wanting to help me out. It’s not a lot unlike me writing this blog to help any of you who are doing your best to live a normal life with diabetes. Every now and then someone reads something or sees a feature on TV that they pass on to me as helpful information. I have learned that I need to approach any changes to my routine with caution and a plan. I recently went through a situation that reminded me of this. I’m going to share that story with you.
A few months ago someone close to me saw a doctor on TV talking about patients who take statins for cholesterol. If you’ve read this blog you know that my goal is to get off of all meds, but you also know that I have made this little deal with my doctor and at least for now I am taking statins. The doctor on TV said that statins removed some important nutrients from our bodies, and one way to replace them was by taking Co-enzyme Q10.
I did a little research. I read that if anything the CoQ10 may contribute to slightly lower BG levels and had the potential of lowering blood pressure. Neither of those effects seemed like a bad thing in my case, so I decided to start on the supplement. As time went by I started to have trouble controlling my BG. I didn’t connect it to the CoQ10 because at first I had also had some lifestyle factors that I thought were responsible. A vacation, some business conferences, and other situations where I’m not as diligent with my diet and activity as I should be.
Eventually I had a high HgA1c result and decided to increase my testing frequency. I started to find that my morning BGs were consistently about 25% higher than I was used to. I would go out for a run and my BG would increase instead of drop. These kinds of inconsistencies confused me and I started to get very concerned that I may need to add a medication to get my BG under control. I started to think that my body was changing.
Then my wife reminded me of the addition of the CoQ10. We did a little tracking and discovered that the changes to my BG control were consistent with me starting out on the supplement. I stopped taking it and my BG levels returned to what I would consider normal for me in the morning, after meals, and after exercise.
The lesson is pretty clear to me. Most people pass information on because they want to help. Despite those good intentions, nobody, and I mean NOBODY knows your body as well as you do. If you are going to start anything new in your routine follow these simple steps:
- Do your research before you start. This could and probably should include a discussion with your doctor.
- Document a baseline for you before you make any change.
- Increase your testing frequency after the change to determine if the results are neutral, positive, or negative.
- Pick a date to review the change and decide whether you should continue or discontinue the new behavior.
Follow those four steps and there’s a pretty good chance you will avoid the kind of confusion that I experienced.