Hello my fellow fighters, I hope you are all well!
I know it has been a while since I wrote a new article but we have had Christmas and I have been working on getting rid of the damage caused by E.M.P.C (excessive mince pie consumption).
I hope you all had a good Christmas I know it can be a difficult time when the dark nights come looming and the temperature drops.
Certainly the wet weather can often bring changes in our symptoms, having said that I have still been pleased with my progress and I am still managing to avoid using any pharmaceuticals so I’m doing well.
Recently I have visited my doctors though, the past couple of months I have been experiencing extreme fatigue. I presumed it was just the reduction in daylight hours and the drop in temperature that was keeping me glued to my mattress.
It was a persistent feeling and one morning when I was at my parents home I borrowed my Dads fingerprick machine he uses to monitor his blood sugar as he is a diabetic.
I try to keep an eye on my levels as his father, my grandfather, was also a diabetic.
I hadn’t eaten that morning and the reading was alarmingly high and so then slightly worried I bought my own blood sugar monitor from Amazon and kept testing at different times of the day.
The readings were always high whenever I did a test so I booked in to see the doctor. They performed some blood tests for things like liver toxicity, thyroid, the HbA1c test which is the test for diabetes and some other things were tested that I can’t remember at the minute.
What goes through your mind
People often talk about things that go through their minds in certain situations, you find out your pregnant people might ask you what goes through your mind, you lose control of your car at speed on a motorway people might ask what goes through your mind.
If people had asked me what was going through my mind in the days I had to wait for my results the answer would have been anger.
Whilst I appreciate that a small percentage of diseases are passed on genetically I have to admit that I would be seething to find out that all the healthy changes I had made had been ineffective or undone by a month of mince pie abuse.
As it turns out all my blood tests came back normal, I didn’t have diabetes as I was dreading and the other things tested were all functioning as they should.
So how come I haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes if every time I tested my blood sugar it was in the diabetic range. Well it turns out that the fingerprick test gives you a snapshot of your blood sugar level at that specific time and different factors can effect that reading.
The HbA1c test tells you the average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months, therefore I can achieve the result of not being diabetic.
So what was effecting the reading?
Well I’ve mentioned Christmas and the mince pies, unfortunately Christmas can quite easily turn into a time of excess.
I will have been guilty of eating too much and eating the wrong things so the effect of this may have influenced the readings and how I have been feeling.
Christmas can also be stressful and stress as well as depression can affect your blood sugar levels. I hadn’t been stressed about Christmas but I have maybe been down about wanting to move home and thinking of the jobs that need doing to get our home ready to sell.
Perhaps things like this have been the reason, I suspect it is a bit of everything that has caused me to not feel myself.
The blood test and trip to the doctors was a reminder to me. They are things that I don’t usually have to do, I pride myself on having arthritis yet living with next to no pain, not having to rely on medication and visits to doctors.
And although everything I have done to this point have helped me live well with arthritis, it doesn’t mean it’s easy.
I have spoken at length about the dangers of things like stress and sugar and yet I have slipped up and let both things re-enter my body and mind.
Though I can tell myself that I am only human, humans are flawed and we are going to make mistakes, that didn’t let me off the hook. I had to accept accountability and refocus.
Back to the template
I get asked constantly how it is that I manage my arthritis so well.
- Food – cutting out carbs, sugar and eating whole unpackaged unprocessed foods.
- Exercise – many forms of this, I built myself up and again over time and after 6 years I felt strong enough to return to the gym and weightlifting.
- Vitamins and supplements – It is always best to get your vitamins and minerals in their purest form i.e. from food, but where that isn’t possible or you need higher levels then purchase them in other forms be that tablets, creams, sprays.
- CBD cream and oil – It is a plant with powerful healing benefits, I suggest trying it.
- Physiotherapist/Chiropractor – What I am really referencing here is a medical professional with an intimate knowledge of the bodies joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and how to manipulate them to give pain relieving results. I accept good ones may not always be easy to find and feel blessed to have the therapist I have.
- Mindset – Things like meditation to eliminate stress, as we have just seen stress can have horrible effects like fatigue and increase in blood sugar levels meaning more inflammation in the body. Positivity comes under this as well, I always try to remain positive when it comes to my health and arthritis, it is too easy to say poor me and let chronic illness take control of your life. You only get one life, make sure you are in control of what you do and make it the best it can possibly be.
- Get a dog – Okay this one is optional. Those of you that follow our Facebook and Instagram will know how much I love my dog. They make you get outside, get fresh air and exercise, they love you on your good days and your bad ones and comfort you when you need it. Love and loyalty are powerful things.
So that is pretty much the template I use for staying pain free and my bout of fatigue and little health scare reminded me to get back to it as soon as possible.
My eating has been getting back to where I want it to be, less carbs and sugar plenty of fresh meat and vegetables and getting back to intermittent fasting.
The gym attendance had been a bit haphazard so I have tried to get back to that. A priority at the moment is getting rid of some excess body fat for obvious health reasons and we have another holiday or vacation (for my many American fighters) fast approaching.
With that in mind I have also called upon a previous training regime, HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training, it’s a bitch but has its benefits.
It is essentially performing an exercise at a regular pace and interspersing that with some short bursts of high intense intervals of exercise.
For instnace today at the gym I did some weight training and then finished with just over 20 minutes on the static exercise bike. I would cycle at a steady pace for 90 seconds and then pedal like a mad man for 30 seconds.
To some in the gym it may have looked like I was coming in and out of consciousness but I have included the picture below that shows my heart rate during the workout.
It is generally accepted that the higher your heart rate during an exercise the better it is at burning body fat, that’s why many people enjoy playing squash as it gets the heart pumping and working harder.
Obviously do your own research or consult a doctor before attempting the regime, especially if you have a weak heart or have had heart issues before.
As the image shows I managed to spend the majority of the time in the Endurance Training heart rate bracket and even had some time in the Athletic Conditioning area.
I haven’t managed to get my heart rate this high before during this exercise and the success has come from using the HIIT type of training.
With regular HIIT training and getting back to my ketogenic diet I should be able to ‘hit’ the beach on holiday like an arthritis fighting adonnis. He hopes.
Keep fighting hard people, speak soon.