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Various health updates [Mar. 9th, 2012|05:34 pm]
I can jog 5.3 mph for 20 minutes, but it might leave me a bit tired. 5.1 for 24 minutes, with one break after 10, was good. 5.5 3 minutes on, 1.5 off is possible, but I'm being *very* careful now, because I've got some soreness in my legs and feet from exercising so much (typically a hard workout in the "morning" (might be after noon - I work 2-11), and a walking workout at night.

I've lost 25 pounds - this would not necessarily be a health issue, but I carry a *lot* of visceral fat, and visceral fat messes with, well, everything. So, for me, because most of my fat is visceral, it *is* a health issue, and losing more visceral fat might lengthen, or conceivably save, my life.

My fasting blood sugar has been below 100 for the past three days (and 101 the day before that) - that's "toodamnhigh-normal" (True normal is 70-90. I suspect that anyone over 100 should get a glucose meter and learn that fasting blood sugar don't mean (expletive)[1], the amount of time you spend over 140 is what's important. Intervene early, and you can probably make smaller changes, more slowly, and maybe avoid any problems.)

I'm thinking of blogging about my blood sugar research (by which I mean "stuff I read on the web") and thoughts and feelings and health concerns as a 45 year old who, best case, will always need a quarterly HbA1c[2], but expects to at least check fasting glucose daily, indefinitely. (And who, let's face it - might be diabetic. Sometimes, beta cells (the insulin producers in the pancreas) just start dying off, and sometimes, by the time they catch your fasting blood sugar as high, too much damage has been done (too high a blood sugar poisons the beta cells - *remember* what I said about getting a glucose meter if you're over 100!).

Do people want me to filter? Cut-tag? Not worry about either? I will be discussing weight-loss-for-me, because, again, for *my* circumstances, it is critically important.

[1] Technically, fasting blood sugar is meaningful, but it's like the "check oil" light in your car. If you have the wrong kind of oil problem, by the time you see the light come on, it might be too late to prevent having had some damage done. Of course, it might mean you have a very slow leak, or slightly leaky rings. In either case, it's something you need to be concerned about for the life of your car. (Yes, I know - or you can get a ring job, or fix the leak. I *still* like the analogy!)

[2] HbA1c is a good estimate of your average blood sugar for the past three months. For most people, if this is in the normal range, they haven't had many big swings.

[User Picture]From: barbarakitten_t
2012-03-12 04:44 am (UTC)
ya know...just to add another data point, when I remember to check it my fasting blood sugar is usually between 125 and 144, but my last A1c went down. Very weird. Reading this has inspired me to do some more posting about my health...but it's really depressing.
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[User Picture]From: marypcb
2012-03-12 01:39 pm (UTC)
how do you identify visceral fat? is this the white/brown fat distinction?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2012-03-12 10:18 pm (UTC)
Visceral fat is the stuff that gathers around your internal organs in the abdomen. So, if you look at my belly, you see that it's, big. I'd be called "barrel chested" if I was bit beefier.

If you could pinch big rolls of fat on my belly, then I'd have a lot of subcutaneous fat. All that you could pinch at is okay. It's fat, but other than me carrying around extra weight, it's not hurting me. (And if was anywhere but in the abdomen, it would have to be subcutaneous fat, even if it was a big enough collection that you couldn't really pinch it.)

The stuff that you can't pinch is the visceral fat. I don't know if it's any different in composition (it's definitely *not* white versus brown, but there might be other differences), but the effect is dramatically different.

As far as I know (and I don't know much), there's a strong correlation between visceral fat and a host of things, including type II diabetes. Of course, a strong correlation can mean common cause. It could be that the same thing that makes me at danger for diabetes make me have a higher likelihood of building up visceral fat. But, reductions to visceral fat are correlated with reduced risks, so whether the visceral fat is cause or effect, reducing it means good stuff is probably happening.

The really good news for me is that it tends to drop best from low carb diets, and vigorous exercise. Since I'm down with both of those, it's like telling John Henry he's got a problem that a sledge hammer can resolve :-). (
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