Pic of the day: Disgusting leg rash. At least it is not as bad as five years ago, when I had a bleeding sore.
Fat and legs
Five years ago I had an entry named "Glucose & legs". This curious name came from the observation of a sore on my leg that wouldn't heal. This is a problem for diabetics, but I am not one, so I was a bit confused. Well, I have some more data on this now, from my own life.
In spring 2005, I had some kind of infection, probably a virus infection of my liver. I suffered severe gastro-intestinal problems for a couple weeks. Even afterwards, I would get horribly ill some days. Soon I found out that it was caused by eating fat. When I started eating much less fat - only the normal "background level" in bread, milk etc - the symptoms disappeared. Also the frequent milder sicknesses that I had for years before. I guess those were a kind of precursor, and some of the diary entries from before describe pretty much the same symptoms. Then again I ate a lot of fat in the old days. Not a lot of food, but much of it was fat.
Through 2005 I kept avoiding fat wherever I found it, and lost nearly 15% of my weight. In addition to the low-fat diet, I also exercised more than I had done the last couple years before (which had been very little). Gradually my digestion adapted to larger amounts of food, but less calorie-dense. At the time I was always hungry. Even when my stomach was full, my brain was still hungry. But there were other changes too. One of them was that the leg sores disappeared. They had been chronic, but now they just faded away.
I don't know why this happened. Was it the increased blood circulation from all the hill walking? Was it the lack of fat? Was it the body greedily sweeping up my glucose faster than usual? I still think it was probably not the glucose, because earlier this winter my doctor ran tests for pre-diabetes and found no trace of such. I seem to absorb sugar pretty efficiently, not least for someone who had two diabetic parents.
I am however fatter than I was in 2005. I have not regained all the lost weight and probably never will. But most of it is back, and I have now stabilized on near 90 kg (198 pounds, according to Google). It must be nearly a year now that I have had varied between 89 and 90 kg depending on time of day. And I now have a chronic rash on my right shin. Not quite as bad as in the picture from 2003, but it has been there all winter and it doesn't get better. Quite the opposite, if anything.
Further study is in order, I guess. Though I am reluctant to lose those pounds again. I remember waking up in the night unable to sleep for hunger. I remember the unpleasant feeling of my stomach being too full for comfort and my brain stem still screaming for food. I am not sure exactly where the line goes, it may be that I can lose a few pounds without the survival reflexes kicking in, but I think I would need a stronger motivation than an itching leg sore to live my days in hunger ever again.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.