Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Great News for Diabetics!!!!

Well, as you might imagine from the title of this post, I am diabetic; found out a little more than a year ago. Diabetes runs all throughout my family - older brother has it, younger sister has it, father died from it, grandmother died from it, uncles and aunt with it, and the list goes on. I was fortunate to have been diagnosed early; currently, I'm asymptomatic, meaning I present no symptoms, other than above normal blood sugar. My doctor prescribed a series of oral medications, diet, and exercise in order to control my blood sugar and thus delay the onset of symptoms and unrepairable damage. I have done a fair job up to this point, following the advice of my doctor; then I came to China.

Rice is the staple of the Chinese diet - rice for breakfast, rice for lunch, and rice for dinner. So much starch would be bad for a diabetic. But, coupled with regular exercise, many diabetics can enjoy a little more starch in their diet. I have found that to be true for me. Let me be the first to advertise this point - for many diabetics (this is, of course, not true for everyone), the more you exercise the more likely you are to reduce your meds, lower your blood sugar, and perhaps change the diagnosis...

The kitchen in the International Broadcast Center is exactly 300 meters from Staff Dining; Main Dining is another floor up and Fine Dining is another floor up from there. I have to make that hike several times per shift, resulting in more than 12 miles of regualr walking per day, sometimes at a pretty quick pace...

The amazing thing about all of this, and the good news at least for me as a diabetic is that I have enjoyed a lot more starch in my diet (I love rice and pasta) but have lowered my blood sugar to well within normal limits, even too low sometimes. I don't know what this will mean for my next visit with my doctor (I see him as soon as I get back) but I think it will be good.

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