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I'm seeing more and more about Acai berry juice to lose weight. It is terrible tasting, but some people are getting incredible results with it. Anybody working with this stuff who is using insulin? What kind of results and side-effects are you getting?

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Dear Janet. What is Acai and where do you get it?
Acai is a berry from a type of palm that grows in South America.

it is supposed to have high levels of antioxidants, and really keeps the colon moving. It tastes TERRIBLE and it is usually mixed with other fruit juices. Find it in the healthfood stores and in the juice section of the healthfood in some supermarkets. It;s expensive.

I tried the unmixed stuff for about two months, but didn't want to spend the money and hated the taste. Also was about to make a trip and didn't want to carry a little cooler on the plane. The gas that resulted from quitting was really unpleasant (I think a few people on the plane for the return trip almost fainted). And so I didn't keep it up.

Now that I'm taking insulin, my weight gain has been terrible (twelve pounds in six months) and I've got to do something different. The weight gain has happened even though I'm eating less! There's a lot of chatter about it in the media, and so I thought I would check in with my compadres on TuDiabetes.
Dear Janet.

Sorry to hear about the substantial weight gain. Welcome to the club. I have gain 10 lb per year for the last 5 years while on insulin. Trying low carbs now. Heard from my endo that some of his patients have had success with this. Tried lifestyle change with slightly hypocaloric diet with a lot of exercise. Did loose 10 lb over 60 days but then all hell broke loose and not only did I gain back the 10 but another 10. So too scared to try diet now.

Sorry to hear that you have sleep problems. I have always been a insomnia and so is my 25 year daughter. So you wonder if the insomnia contributed to developing diabetes. And now there is no doubt that the diabetes is contributing to the sleep problems. I cannot fall asleep if the BG is more than 120 and will wake up if it goes below 90 hard to stay in this range. You could ask your Doctor about a prescription medication called zopiclone or immovane at 7.5 mg before bed time. You can break the pill in two for a 3.75 mg dose that I find sufficient to fall a sleep. staying asleep is another matter. This is the least worst of sleep medications I have tried over the years. Main side effect it make things taste bad.
They had this profiled on the afternoon show called "The Doctors", a very good and informative show started a few months ago by Dr. Phil's son. They did say it was an expensive juice but the docs all tasted it and had all the audience taste it and all said it was "good". You are to drink 2oz in the AM and 1oz PM. They did not mention anything about it being for weight loss at all. That would be a great added benefit. They did mention that Brad Pitt and a couple of other actor types were raving about it and drank it daily. It's touted for the antioxidants and how good it is for you. Energy and all. I've not personally tried it and had not heard of it until the show yesterday. Comes from the rain forest and is a berry but each one is mostly a seed so it takes tons which is why it's expensive or so they said. I know we need the antioxidants but any purple food i.e. grapes, eggplant, purple peas or bean, cabbage, plums all can give us the same thing so unless there is something to the weightloss thing, I'm not sure if the expense would be worth it. Anyway, just extra info I picked up that I thought you might like to know. As for weight and insulin, I've had that problem for a good while now and it's just a fact of life for a lot of us. If I adjust my insulin up, I can count on another 5 or 10 lbs and the opposite is true if I adjust downward. My doc says that is just one of the side effects for a lot of people. If you figure out how to get around it I'm sure we'd all like to know how. Wish my input was more positive..............Karla
Dear Karla

Thanks for the info.

Yeah, maybe the expense outweighs the benefits.

As per the weight thingy -- I went to the neurologist for sleep issues today. He works in a big partnership in the region that has a boatload of specialists -- he is the one who got me into the endocrinologist. When we reviewed the fact that my weight is going up, my sleep issues are getting worse, and my A1c still over 10 after 6 months with the Endo -- he got angry right along with me -- he tells me that he is sick of the fact that 90 percent of his type II patients have this same problem, agrees with me that the approach seems to be fundamentally flawed. He promised to take the Endo's across the street to task and start to advocate for me and the other patients with this problem.

Will keep you all posted on how this goes.
Janet, I'd love to hear if he makes progress with the endos. They need someone to take them to task. I had surgery in Oct. and the surgeon called an endo in while I was in the hospital. I live in a tiny town where there is no endo so he figured I could use the help. That was mid Oct and my Bg's are still staying over 250 half the time and my thyroid is too low since he lowered the med, hair all falling out from it and all. Also, my BP went sky high on the new insulin he put me on. I'm a mess from all his changes and as you probably know, it takes much longer to straighten out the mess than for them to get you into it. Two days with an endo and I've had backlash for 3 mos. If you get any tips on sleep, please pass it on. I've had 21 years of being up all night and so I'm interested in anything at all that you hear, read, or learn..........Karla
Dear Karla

Whew, you have had a nasty experience! A number of years ago, a friend of mine was working among some people in an undeveloped region. She was saddened that the people in her village would spend every last penny on the witch doctor for remedies that were unreliable, and often made the sick person sicker. I'm thinking that some of us feel like we are not much better off -- some regions don't even have facilities that are clean and well-lit.

Yeah, there's a lot out there on the good night's sleep information highway. Perhaps you already know the things that follow. Perhaps there will be something that jumps out at you this time around. For me, I have done some of these things some of the time and sometimes they help.

Two things are useful to keep in mind.

... is the quality of your sleep substandard despite all of the environmental and habit-related effects?

If you have something going on physically that is either causing pain or distress, or that is disrupting sleep because of apnea, muscles spasms, etc, all of the sleep hygiene advice in the world will just cause you more frustration. A good sleep neurologist will order a sleep study that will help you know if there is something going on that can either be treated or at least understood.

Second, are there elements to the environment, or in your personal routines causing sleep disruptions?

- Do you have a restful end-of-day routine that gets you into the framework for sleep?

Things that help people include stable bed and wake time, pre-bedtime warm bath, soothing herbal tea, light snack of something soothing, wash face&feet, brush teeth with very mildly flavored paste and not with cold water, mildly scented candles such as lavendar. Things that hinder people include vigorous excercise just before bed, caffiene within 6 hours of bedtime, irregular waking and sleeping times, naps, reading or doing work in bed, large meals and spicy foods late at night, scratchy pajamas, cold bare feet.

- Is the sleep environment conducive to good sleep?

Comfortable bed, properly darkened room, proper temps (most people sleep well if the room is cool and the bed is warm), pleasant bedpartners (non-snoring, non-thrashing), total quiet or soothing noise like a fan or gentle music.

Actually, one of my favorite bed-time routines is having my husband read to me -- we really enjoyed the Harry Potter series at bedtime. He felt like he was making a positive contribution to my well-being, and I liked his soothing voice and kind attention. Unfortunately, we have not yet found a satisfactorily interesting and readable book to follow.

Finally, if there were once hostile circumstances surrounding bedtime, there might be emotional barriers to sleep. (example, adult whose parents fought only after bedtime and the child worried about the stability of their home life might not feel safe going to sleep -- person who had a person coming into their bed to do inappropriate things would probably avoid bed). Sometimes psychotherapy can help us unwind the mysteries of our points of resistence to sleep.

Good luck and sweet dreams!
Acai berry is being promoted by a huge online campaign of fake blogs pretending to be by people who lost weight using it. Every time a person running Google Ads blocks one of these fake blogs, the company changes the URL and advertises another. It's a classic scam technique.

Your life will be much happier if you accept there is NO MIRACLE WAY TO WEIGHT LOSS. The more expensive the diet aid, the less likely it is to be legitimate.

Losing weight is tough for everyone, but particularly tough for people with diabetes. If you cut carbs way down and limit your food intake you'll lose whatever it is that your body will let you lose, which is usually not anwhere near as much as you'dl like to lose, alas.
Dear Jenny and readers.

I think you are absolutely right. I have been in a low carb situation for about 2 weeks now and I feel a lot less hungry. I have not had any weight gain over the holidays which is a miracle in itself since today it has been too cold for an oldster to take the dog for a walk on many days. But we might go to the gym to compensated a bit.

Have been using the Lantus in two 30 unit dosage at 8 in the morning and 8 at night. I will cut the lantus to 2 X 25 units per day or less. And cut back on the bolus insulin and eliminated the corrective postprandial dose. BG was ok at 100 this morning about about the same last night. The only problem is that I was freezing cold last night I wonder if my body is not quite ready for "normal" bloog sugars.

Years ago my hypertension psychologist told me that he had patients that would experience hypoglycemic symptoms at a BG of less than 140, sounds like a horror story. Or could it be that if you had skyhigh readings for a long while the body takes time to adjust to normal ones? My 7 day average BG about 135 including fasting and postprandial down by about 10 points from 2 weeks ago, not good by your standards but hopefully going lower.

I have been taking Vitamin D3 an extra of 1200 units/day. One huge B complex pill and a small B-12. Should I add anything else?
Anthony, you guessed it. When my BG has been high, I can feel a hypoglycemic attack coming on at 120 and sometime higher, or so and when they have been low a while, I don't feel it nearly as soon. I ask a friend who is Type 1 since we were kids and she told me that being high for so long is what causes that.
Thanks Jenny

I was thinking this was too good to be true.

Unfortunately, the promise of "eat-less-move-more" has proven to be untrue for me. As a matter of fact, the neurologist that helps me with sleep apnea (a problem dating back to my teens when I wore a size 8, but only diagnosed at age 45), tells me that almost 90 percent of the patients he sees who have weight and Blood Glucose control issues have a similar experience to my own -- pills and insulin plus reduced calorie intake and excersize DO NOT result in weight loss, and DO NOT result in satisfactory glucose control.

I've reduced my caloric intake to 1400 calories a day, 45 carbs per meal, and some light excercise (it's all I have the energy to do) and GAINED 12 pounds in six months -- was 188 -- am now 210. BUT with over 100 units of novalog and 80 units of levemir, I'm still over 10 A1c.

I have tested BG before and after exercise -- and am often 10 to 20 points higher after exercise.

I have had a period when I was travelling that food was unavailabe and had almost a 20 our fast -- BG was higher by over 40 points.

When I was not using anything to control BG, my A1c was over 12, but my weight was stable with 2000 calories a day. I didn't have energy to exercise.

My life will be much happier when I stop getting the run-around from docs -- who tell me one thing and my body does another -- then I find out that there are boat-loads of people sitting in the shadow of shame thinking they are failures, non-compliant and desperate for a better way to do this -- and a decent quality of life.

My life will be much happier if I could have some confidence that I could walk out the door of my home, or get on-line, or read materials, or listen to reports on tv/radio and not feel frustrated that the things that are supposed to improve my health and quality of life were not just as disappointing as the failed promises of the fad diets.

So, Young one, thanks but no thanks.
Dear Janet.

My heart bleeds for you and I can genuinely sympathize being in the same boat. I suspect that sleep problems have a lot to do with the disaster. In my case safeway nose spray helps. Nose chiseling did not only for 6 month then back to congestion.

45 carbs per meal is still quite high.

Exercise is stessful so it is very normal to have BG higher after than before starting. I was shocked when I first noticed this. 3 miles of X-country skiing and 30 points higher. I asked my friend Dr. Cox about this and he returned What did you expect? That the first law of thermodynamics would apply. Yes it always does, but the adrenaline (epinephrine in British) and cortisol will rise thereby increasing your blood sugar.

I think there is a nasty feedback loop that goes along the lines more insulin, more carbs, more weight gain, more insulin,... Your neurologist is right to be appalled.

Let us know what transpires?




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