Thursday, March 03, 2016

Prescription drugs (PCT d - 76)

I may have already mentioned that I had only briefly considered, and quickly dismissed the possibility of laparascopic gastric band surgery. For me, there are simply too many risks of complications. Far better to do it "naturally". "But what about drugs?", I hear you ask. Well, people who know me know that I dislike taking prescription drugs. There are a couple that I have to take simply to make my life better: warfarin for an inherited blood clotting disorder, and a proton-pump inhibitor, omeprazole, for persistent heartburn.

My long-term blood sugar level, measured by my A1c, had crept up to 6.4% when I was 405 pounds heavy. 
For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c test is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes
As I started adopting a healthier lifestyle and losing weight, that value dropped to 6.2%, then 6.1%. I have avoided the diabetes precipice that I was staring into. But I'm still 320 pounds. I still have 16 months to go before I reach my 178 pound target. So, I was reluctantly persuaded to try metformin, at the lowest dose available. Hailed as the next "wonder drug", it helps people, particularly overweight people, lower their blood sugar levels. I really can't tell if it's the metformin that has helped bring my A1c down, or if it's the diet and exercise regime, but I'm going to continue to take it for the time being, especially since it's available for zero cost on my current health plan!

BP is back to normal again now.
I also recently started taking a low dose of an ACE inhibitor, lisinopril, to try to reduce my blood pressure. Having had really good blood pressure (120/80 mmHg) for most of my life, it had started to creep up to 130/85 or 135/90 - not terrible, but too high. After just two doses I could see a difference already. Now I've been taking it for a couple of months, and my readings are consistently good again.

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