Welcome to the Afibber’s Forum
Serving Afibbers worldwide since 1999
Moderated by Shannon and Carey

Afibbers Home Afibbers Forum General Health Forum
Afib Resources Afib Database Vitamin Shop

Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


Supplementation & Diabetes

Posted by Murray L. 
Murray L.
Supplementation & Diabetes
January 01, 2011 06:14AM
I need to ask a simple question. I am sure that I read in one or more of the reports and studies that our supplementation program, as a side benefit, improved the body's ability to use the insulin at hand in breaking down blood glucose.

Well, after starting supplementation with the big three plus about three or four weeks ago I find that I have had to cut my Metformin dosage in half (less than the therapeutic dosage at 500mg b.i.d.) and eliminate Gluconorm entirely. My blood glucose readings (our readings in Canada are different) are generally in the 5.5 - 6 range ALL THE TIME now. If anything I need to watch out for glucose LOWS and am checking as much as I ever have in my life. My meter will download onto my computer and graph the results with date/time/reading. It is going to be an 'eyes wide open' experience for my MD when I take the graph in next week and I can hardly wait for the results of an A1c reading.

Fact is, that I have not really changed my diet and if anything am eating a well balanced meal instead of avoiding carbs as I used to do in order to avoid spiking my blood glucose. I am shaking my head in amazement as a half cup or cup of rice in past would have sent me through the roof.

Today, no longer so. My body does indeed seem to be using the insulin available better and reducing my need for medication like Metformin. I get the feeling that weight reduction and diet manipulation may get me off of meds completely for diabetes.

Has anyone experienced the effect of having their blood glucose drop into the normal level so dramatically?

My AF (24/7) seems to be improving - I am on Metoprolol 25mg b.i.d. and my heart rate is fine but my rhythm is still erratic but I could swear that it is changing for the better with a more consistent pulse (my only means of measurement is a pulse oximeter). I continue to be short of breath and am seeing a pulmonologist as well as a cardiologist. Pulmonologist is looking down the compromised lungs path while the cardiologist has diagnosed AFib and is taking me down that path (and I can SEE that for myself).

But, the blood glucose readings? Is it the supplementation?

And BTW, don't know if I have any issues until the shipment arrives, but my shipment from iHerb contained some L-Carnitine which is not to be imported into Canada - it appears that one firm has the monopoly on the supplement and is getting about $150 for what iHerb charges $35 for. It appears to have cleared customs and is out on delivery for today! Bravo iHerb yet again... placed my order on a Sunday evening and it was shipped by Monday afternoon. Today is Wednesday and I fully expect delivery. Door to door 48 hours. Absolutely amazing. DHL.

If I don't have it, it ain't worth havin'.

Re: Supplementation & Diabetes
January 01, 2011 06:15AM
People who are insulin resistant and unable to properly handle glucose metabolism (and therefore have high glucose readings) are found to be magnesium deficient. It could well be that your magnesium supplementation is working unusually fast to reverse your insulin resistance and improve your glucose readings. As you are aware, just be cautious that the meds don't get you in trouble with glucose that goes too low. On the other hand, magnesium will serve you very well and safely.

On the other hand, my experience with metoprolol - 50 mg daily, caused insulin resistane for me. Beta blockers are known to have that effect. You may want to discuss that with your doctors.

Re: Supplementation & Diabetes
January 01, 2011 06:17AM
Hello Jackie, the last doctor i saw [during this last hospitalization for bronchitis and afib] put me on 50 mg metroprolol twice a day, morning and evening. What signs should i look for in terms of insulin resistance? When i just fail to take a dose, i get big scary runs of tachycardia, which reminds me of my pill in a hurry. Can i just shave off a small portion of each pill and gradually phase it out, do you know? Thanks in advance, i do not know what any of us would do without you.
Re: Supplementation & Diabetes
January 01, 2011 06:18AM
Hi Peggy - My FM MD always does both a fasting glucose and insulin blood draw.... she says it's the insulin that is the significant measure. If the insulin level is extraordinarily high, then she'll have you come back for(another) blood draw that involves the same fasting. The initial draw is done and then you eat a full meal including fruit and something like a cookie (so there is an indication of how your body handles sugar) and a draw will be done 30 minutes after the meal called post-prandial. Then, and then hourly after that, 4 more draws. Those hourly draws then show what happens to both glucose and insulin after an actual meal -which more closely mimics 'life' versus drinking the bottle of glucose since few people really consume 75 grams of sugar in one quick sitting. If the glucose doesn't fall, and the insulin also remains high, then the determination is insulin resistance.

As I've mentioned previously, those people who are insulin resistant are usually magnesium deficient and this is caused by the cell envelope or outer layer being clogged and stiffened from eating the wrong fats...ie, hydrogenated, trans fats. Since nutrient receptors lie in the outer cell envelope (phospholipid layer), key nutrients like magneisum can't access inside the cell where they function. Insulin needs magnesium, potassium and other nutrients in order the metabolize sugar (carbs). The remedy for the damaged receptor sites is the large doses of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids we often talk about. Once the outer layer is no longer stiff and receptor sites aren't damaged, then magnesium and other nutrients can access inside the cells and go to work to keep us functioning normally and healthy.

As for the metoprolol which is a beta blocker, the only alternative would be to discuss what other rate controlling drug might be an option that does not have the tendency for the insulin resistance.... ie calcium channel blocker. Not everyone will develop insulin resistance but the literature indicates it's a common side effect and it's in Dr. Seelig's book, Magnesium Factor. It certainly didn't take long to occur in my case.

Just remember that other things drive tachycardia - big culprit is reaction to food to which your body is sensitive... including the well known culprits, gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, certain nuts, etc. Once that inflammatory response is in your body, eating that food will revv up all of the reactions common to food sensitivities. So often, unless that's addressed, the tachy continues to be troublesome and really, it's just an indicator of much more serious things going on as a reaction to food...or even substances to which the body has become reactive.

Murray L.
Re: Supplementation & Diabetes
January 01, 2011 06:19AM
I have no clue as to whom Rx'd the Metoprolol but am on 25mg twice a day and it seems to work keeping my heart rate in line assuming that my cardiologist's diagnosis of AFib was correct and I do have confidence in him.

I seem to be in AFib 24/7 here. The pulse has improved and I am hoping that on re-examination at the end of January, including a Holter Monitor, I will have improved somewhat. I am presently on Warfarin 5mg daily at dinnertime, being monitored closely by my GP... and since he has to take blood he is monitoring everything else on the sheet with the exception of the pregnancy test I think.

I am presently taking:
Bluebonnet Chelated Magnesium Glycinate 200mg, 3 times a day
NOW Foods Potassium Gluconate 300mg, 3 times a day plus:
Two 8-10 oz servings low sodium V8 juice for the Potassium (apr 1700mg)
Jarrow Taurine, 1000mg twice daily
Jarrow Q-Absorb Coenzyme Q10, 200mg twice a day
Natural Factors Vitamin C, 1000mg slow release, twice a day
Bluebonnet Vitamin D3, 1000IU, three times a day
Natural Factors Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil 1000mg, twice a day

I have received and am wondering when to introduce the following
Bluebonnet L-Arginine 1,000mg capsules
NOW Foods L-Carnitine 500mg capsules
Jarrow MK7 Vitamin K2 as MK7, 90mcg softgels
Source Naturals Gamma E-400, 400mg softgels
Source Naturals Nottkinase NSK-SD, 100 mg capsules
Natural Factors B12 Methylcobalamin High Potency Chwables 5,000mcg

Am quite pleased with the rapid response of my body to the first group of supplements and am experiencing no ill effects whatsoever from the Magnesium although another brand/type had turned me into a goose for two days until I switched.

I could almost swear that my heart rhythm and pulse intensity have 'smoothed out' but not completely and that is quite obvious, but the pulse oximeter graphics are not all over the map any longer and this after only three weeks and a bit.

I KNOW that I have had to eliminate the Gluconorm from my daily diabetic regimen and have had to half the Metformin from 2,000mg/day to 1,000mg/day b.i.d. And my blood glucose, in Canadian terms, is sitting at a 6 and hardly wavers... I did an experiment tonight and ate a whack of rice for dinner followed by a good chunk of Italian fruitcake, which would normally shoot my blood glucose through the roof. Up it went. To 7.8 incredibly and I have a feeling if I take it in about an hour it is going to be 6 again. As I reduce the carbs from my diet I have a gut feeling that I am going to have to either reduce or eliminate the Metformin altogether.... and I will work with my GP on this; dying to know what my Hemoglobin A1c was on the blood tests he did last week.

He has agreed to follow along with my supplementation. My cardiologist is apparently very much pro-nutrients and supplements as it turns out and I will find out very shortly. And I know that my pulmonologist is pro-supplement as she is aware of what I am presently taking and has asked me to take N-Acetylcystene prior to a CT scan I am scheduled for on Jan 7. I have not even had a chance to look up NAC online yet; the pharmacy could not supply it and I forgot to include it on my order from iHerbs (an amazing outfit), so I had to go to the local GNC outlet and pick up a bottle of it hoping that it is quality product. She has Rx'd 500mg b.i.d. prior to the CT scan and for two days after the CT scan for reasons I can only guess at. The product is GNC's house brand and the bottle says"helps to reduce oxidative stress due to intense exercise. Take with protein containing meal. For occasional use only." Regretably, she is out of the country on a lecture tour until the end of January so I can't ask her about it and her receptionist is totally clueless.... she, on the other hand is outstanding; a PhD biochemist and an MD. So, long story short, it appears that there is indeed some support for supplementation here and I probably don't have to worry about my cardiologist walking out on me at the mention of Magnesium. I must drop by his office as he actively promotes some sort of supplementation program and I, frankly, never took note as I never realized the benefits.

I am sorry to be so long winded, but to close I think I should make my fellow AFibbers aware of a couple of things. Firstly that I was with H1N1 in May 2009, followed by a month in CRITICAL care in June due to bacterial pneumonia and on full (and I mean FULL) life support for three weeks in a coma. I awoke to a machine breathing for me and about ten lines running into my veins and arteries, multiple bags of Lord knows what hanging above me and a critical care nurse at my bed 24/7. Most of those in this department were wheeled out in a bag during the night. They told me that I survived only because I probably have a heart like an ox and had someone above looking after me. I was NOT expected to survive. During that time in hospital I was put on
Altace 5mg b.i.d.
Metoprolol 25mg b.i.d.
Oxycocet 5/325 weaning me off morphine (gone now)
Furosemide 40mg (now taken as required)
Symbicort Turbohaler 200ug - 8 puffs 4 times a day
Atrovent HFA 20ug - 8 puffs 4 times a day
Ventolin HFA 100ug - 8 puffs 4 times a day
The inhalers began immediately on my coming off of the ventilator and were gradually weaned so that I use them now as required for shortness of breath along with the Furosemide.

I am hypothyroid and take Levothyroxin .15mg daily for the past 10 years.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea immediately on release from hospital (my lungs are and remain significantly compromised) and use a Respironics S9 Auto APAP machine along with infused 4L/M of oxygen at night into the air line in order to keep my blood oxygen saturation above 90% (more like 95%) so that when I breathe shallow during REM and L4 sleep my body does not arouse me in order to take in more air/oxygen. I sleep like a log generally. Sleep apnea treated 100%.

I am somewhat overweight and suffer compressed disks from some serious car wrecks that I have been in over the years (why do they always plow into me from behind?); I also suffer from some (now) relatively minor arthritis which is untreated (enough pills).

My pulmonologist had me undertake a barium upper GI series and has me on Nexium 40MG tablet once a day at bedtime, although I have absolutely no apparent symptoms.

I am scheduled for a methacholene (SP?) challenge breathing test (my third lung function test in a year) in January along with that CT scan as one side of my diaghram appeared slightly higher than the other on the pix during the upper GI and she wants to rule out any sort of mass causing shortness of breath as well as allergic and asthmatic reactions to allergens as I read allergic to pretty much everything on the initial basic allergen test a couple of months ago: dust, cats, dogs, pollen, you name it.

And that's me in a nutshell. Never really took a pill until I was almost 50. Healthy as a horse. And then one by one everything went to pot.

Oh, one other pill - they have me on 0,5mg clonazepam since being in hospital as I gather they wanted to reduce any anxiety I might have had; nobody asked me or told me what it was or what it was for. I was not anxious in the least really except when they told me I could take a shower for the first time in a month! Now, that's anxiety! And nobody has bothered to take me off the stuff so I am still on it 4 times a day.

I share this with you all in the hopes that it paints some sort of a picture for you of what or where my AFib came from. And to close (I promise) the AFib made its rude appearance in early November I believe. I have never had a racing heart and the past year watching that pulse oximeter my pulse was always steady and in rhythm and perfect symmetry. And then, like throwing a light switch, there it was. A chance ECG during a regular GP visit was sent to my cardiologist on Friday and I was in there on the Monday for an echo and another ECG - the verdict was AFib. Coincidentally, this occurred after being cajoled by my endocronologist to restart a drug called Janumet and Caduet. Three weeks into this my problems began. I have stopped both and am back to plain old Metformin and, when needed, Gluconorm (not being used at all right now since beginning supplements).

And there you have it. ME, in a nutshell. Hope this sheds some light and more than anything I hope that my personal journey towards a resolution will be of benefit to my fellow members of this forum.

If we don't share we don't learn.

And I continue to thank everyone who fires me an email or a message on the forum - there is just so very much to absorb (a little pun there).

Hans Larsen
Re: Supplementation & Diabetes
January 01, 2011 06:20AM
Hello Murray,

Thank you for sharing your supplement and medication protocols. I noticed that your lung doctor has asked you to take NAC prior to your scheduled cat scan. This probably indicates that she plans on using a contrast dye. NAC and vitamin C have both been found effective in counteracting the negative effects of contrast media.

"Prevention of kidney damage from x-ray dyes
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA. Some x-ray, fluoroscopy, and CT scan procedures, notably ablation procedures and angiography, use contrast media (x-ray dyes) to enhance the images. Most x-ray dyes contain substantial amounts of iodine and their use can result in further damage to the kidneys in patients already suffering from chronic renal insufficiency or diabetes. Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center now confirm that supplementing with n-acetylcysteine (NAC) prior to the x-ray procedure can help prevent contrast nephropathy (kidney damage from the use of contrast media). The researchers evaluated the results of 7 randomized, controlled trials involving 805 patients with chronic renal insufficiency who were scheduled to undergo angiography or angioplasty. Five of the trials compared placebo to 600 mg of NAC given orally twice daily for 4 doses prior to the procedure. One trial used 400 mg twice daily for 4 doses and one used 1200 mg once before the procedure and once after. The researchers found that patients who receive NAC prior to the procedure experienced a 56% lower risk of developing further renal insufficiency (rise in serum creatinine of at least 0.5 mg/dL) following the procedure.

Meine, TJ and Washam, **. N-acetylcysteine to prevent contrast nephropathy. American Heart Journal, Vol. 147, March 2004, pp. 440-41

Editor’s comment: Although the above findings apply to patients who already have dysfunctional kidneys, it would seem prudent for all patients about to be exposed to contrast media to supplement with NAC prior to the procedure. Several other clinical studies have found that supplementation with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine during the day prior to and the day of exposure to contrast agents can markedly reduce the risk of kidney damage. The studies used 600 or 1200 mg given twice daily accompanied by adequate hydration. Unless assurance can be given that contrast agents will not be used during the ablation procedure, N-acetylcysteine supplementation for a few days around the time of the procedure would be a prudent preventive measure.

It is also possible, but not supported by any evidence I am aware of, that daily N-acetylcysteine supplementation may be beneficial for afibbers taking amiodarone (Cordarone). One of the major side effects of amiodarone is the development of hyperthyroidism associated with the high iodine content of this drug. Although N-acetylcysteine is freely available in health food stores, its long-term use should be cleared with a physician since it may aggravate some conditions, especially diabetes."
(From "lone Atrial Fibrillation: Toward a Cure, Volume 2, pp.92-3)


Murray L.
Re: Supplementation & Diabetes
January 01, 2011 06:21AM
Hans; thank you for that information and I had a feeling that it had something to do with the contrast die.

I am presently 58 years old.

I will ensure that I take the NAC before and after the CT Scan (they are seeing one side of the diaghram higher than the other). And I have just switched to 1,000mg Vitamin C slow release b.i.d. and think I will up that to three times a day for a couple of days before and after the scan as well.

Hans, you are a wealth of knowledge. Thank you.

BTW, my three orders from iHerb have all arrived now. The airmail order to Canada arrived and was delivered without being inspected by customs at all. Ditto both of the DHL shipments - the DHL shipments simply took the value stated on the waybill and charged me the tax that an Ontario resident would pay. The mail shipment did not. Mail took two weeks to arrive and DHL was virtually overnight.

I continue to be amazed by iHerb despite running off at the mouth about them. And the L-Carnitine came through as well without any problems in the orders. Here, one has a very difficult time getting the stuff. It is hush-hush behind the counter hidden stuff in the health food stores. If they trust you are not a G man. Sic.

If they would only take some of the money they waste on these programs and put it back into the health care system we would be far better off. The health care sysem, BTW, contrary to popular believe is NOT a free system. One still pays for 'extra services, dentistry, drugs, etc.' and you really need private health insurance to cover all of this. On top of this, employers are required to contribute to the health care plan to support it based on employee earnings each month. Smoke and mirrors!
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login