The End of Twizzlers

I mentioned last week that I was going to do an oral glucose tolerance test. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, it involves drinking a super-sugary drink and then having a series of blood draws at timed intervals to determine how well the body is processing the massive sugar overload. High numbers mean it’s not processing the glucose well and could indicate diabetes.

Since people with CF are at a greater risk of developing diabetes this has become a yearly “treat” (not). I mean, who wouldn’t be eager to drink the equivalent of a bottle of nasty maple syrup, then hang out in a lab for a couple hours getting repeatedly poked with needles?

My junkie arms after 4 blood draws in one morning.
My bruised-up junkie arms after 4 blood draws in one morning.

In any event, my doctor asked me to get it done again last week a bit before it was really due because last summer’s test showed slightly elevated glucose levels which could indicate “pre-diabetes.” As you might imagine, that was really worrisome. And now that I’m going to be trying to get pregnant it’s even more important that I know what’s going on with my insulin levels.

Honestly, I was really worried about this test. I was also worried because my doctor decided to throw in a liver function panel since recent bloodwork showed some abnormal results. I went into this round of testing wondering if this was the beginning of a CF-induced decline in the overall functioning of my internal organs.

However, I’m very happy to report that all of my tests came back completely normal! I’m over the moon. I had been worrying about the glucose test results all weekend and it feels like a great weight is off my shoulders.

OGTT results from last July and this month.
My OGTT results from last July and this month.

These results were especially rewarding given that I’ve been working for them. I have a terrible sweet tooth and since I’ve been on a high calorie diet my whole life due to CF, I developed the bad habit of eating a lot of junk food. Twizzlers, gummy bears, and other candy are a particular weakness. In the last few months I’ve cut out all candy and tried to cut down on “bad” carbs that can spike glucose like juice, white bread, white rice, etc. On the advice of the CF nutritionist at my clinic I’m also trying to be better about eating consistently throughout the day instead of skipping meals while I’m out and busy, then gorging myself when I get home in the evening. I’m also trying to stick to my goal of getting one hour of exercise twice per week – not as much as I’d like, but better than what I’ve been doing, which is nada. This is all supposed to prevent big glucose spikes that stress my body.

Apparently, all of this has been working to get my glucose back in the normal range, which is awesome! Now I just need to keep up the good work.


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