Monthly Archives: July 2012

pearl and jake get fed

Danae and her family are on holiday, camping in Norfolk, and have no-one to feed their cats, Pearl and Jake. So Sheila and I decide to cycle through the forest towards the Waterworks Roundabout and to 19, Pelham Road to feed the two pussies. En route we stop at the Butler’s Retreat for lunch and we also see some long-horned cattle in the forest.

outside the hungry house

me near the tennis courts in the Roding playing fields

We do just short of 15 miles and burn 1300 calories. And get stung by a lot of stinging nettles following the narrow path along the banks of the Roding from Louisa’s house as we came home.

Our route was :


another flat!

Sheila and I cycle up to High Beech and on through Upshire to Copped Hall and homewards. It is a very pleasant journey despite a few light rain showers. But, after we have stopped at the King’s Head in High Beech, I have a flat tyre! My fourth since I bought the bike on 17 May. This time I try to repair the puncture myself and do a reasonable job but the tyre deflates 3 times on the way home. However I do manage to cycle most of that way so my roadside repair has worthwhile.

I must, though, find out why I have so many punctures and on the same tyre. This time Sheila was with me and followed the same route as myself with impunity. One thing that did strike me was that the ( or a) puncture on the inner tube was facing the wheel rim rather than the road. Is there some protrusion from the wheel itself causing these punctures? Must investigate or it’ll soon be cheaper to catch a bus.

across the path at the top of the hill

Several trees were down in the forest and one right across the path.

fizzy drinks! An inflammatory article

An interesting article in the Mail on fizzy drinks and the onset of diabetes 2 resonates with me. There is also another article suggesting eating less carbs which I also feel some affinity towards.

This all leads me to look again at my symptoms and suggest I need to explore (and get tested for) glucose tolerance. This was what I was meant to be tested for at Whipps X  but was such a cock-up.

It may well be that my confusing symptoms are to do with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Below is some useful information.

Glucose Tolerance Test

OGT test is a more substantial test than finger pricking

Diabetes Tests

The glucose tolerance test also referred to as either the OGT test or OGTT, is a method which can help to diagnose instances of diabetes mellitus or insulin resistance.

The test is a more substantial indicator of diabetes than finger prick testing.

What is an OGT test?

The test is used to determine whether the body has difficulty metabolising intake of sugar/carbohydrate. The patient is asked to take a glucose drink and their blood glucose level is measured before and at intervals after the sugary drink is taken.

Why is an oral glucose tolerance test done?

This can be a useful test in helping to diagnose:

How is the test performed?

Before the test you will be asked not to eat, or drink certain fluids, for up to 8 to 12 hours before the test. You may be asked to not take certain medications in the lead up to the test, but only if these would affect the test results.

For the test itself, you will first have blood taken to measure your blood glucose level before the test.
The next stage is to take a very sweet tasting, glucose drink.

Further blood samples will then be taken either at regular intervals of say 30 or 60 minutes or a single test after 2 hours. The test could take up to 3 hours.

Between blood tests you will need to wait so it’s best to have some reading material, or something else to keep you occupied, with you.

What should the OGTT results be?

People without diabetes

  • Fasting value (before test): under 6 mmol/L
  • At 2 hours: under 7.8 mmol/L

People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)

  • Fasting value (before test): 6.0 to 7.0 mmol/L
  • At 2 hours: 7.9 to 11.0 mmol/L

Diabetic levels

  • Fasting value (before test): over 7.0 mmol/L
  • At 2 hours: over 11.0 mmol/L

What do these OGT test results mean?

If you are within the impaired glucose tolerance range, you will likely be advised to make lifestyle changes. In some cases, blood glucose lowering medication may be advised.

If you fall within the diabetic range, it is quite likely that blood glucose medication will be prescribed to help your body keep your blood glucose levels down.

Impaired glucose tolerance test

An impaired glucose tolerance test involves taking a concentrated amount of glucose and then measuring blood sugar levels after two hours.

Impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes is diagnosed as follows:

  • Normal: under 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl)
  • Prediabetes or Impaired Glucose Tolerance: 7.9 to 11.1 mmol/l (141 to 200 mg/dl)
  • Diagnosis of diabetes: more than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl)

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance occurs when the body becomes less sensitive to insulin

Related to Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance occurs when insulin levels are sufficiently high over a prolonged period of time causing the body’s own sensitivity to the hormone to be reduced.

Once the body starts to get resistant to insulin, it can be a difficult process to reverse because the knock on effect of insulin resistance.

Higher circulating levels of insulin in the blood stream and weight gain help to further advance insulin resistance.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is closely linked with inflammation, which is the body’s attempt to heal itself.

It is thought that in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes the body’s immune system releases a chemical called cytokines which is thought to interrupt with the action of insulin.

Therefore, lower insulin sensitivity and increasing insulin resistance.

Type 2 diabetes that is brought on by obesity is a result of chronic inflammation.

Causes of insulin resistance

Research is continuing to look more closely into how insulin resistance develops.

It is thought that the principle cause of insulin resistance is obesity.

The link with inflammation is of particular interest to me as I often suffer from this = arthritis, eczema, deficient immune system etc.

Lille and Cologne

The running kit Louisa bought me for my birthday has seen a good bit of action.

I ran from our hotel in Lille to the citadel, an old military fort, and would have explored further except I discovered the fort occupied by the French SAS. I turned and ran back to the hotel. The SAS were supposed to be “rapid reaction” but not fast enough to catch me!

My main excitement was running along the Rhine from our hotel in Cologne. I wasn’t planning anything but soon found that I had passed the 5 m mark, pushed on to 7 km and decided to go for 10 km and did it comfortably. Very pleased with myself as I felt an idiot when I first started running not so long ago.

looking back towards our hotel

the protest camp on the Rhine

running through the meadows opposite the Dom

the island opposite our hotel and the chocolate factory

a google Earth view of the 10 km run

The run can be seen on google maps here:

and the Google Earth link is:

My diary and mykellyman have more details  and flickr more photos.



behind the bike shed

the banshee’s residence

Well, actually you can’t get behind this bike shed but who smokes nowadays anyway? And if you do wouldn’t it be nicer to have a quiet fag (preferably an artificial cigarette) – perhaps on a coach outing?

art trail runs

Just spent the last few days in Sandwich and Folkestone with the Burkes exploring the Kent coast and local art (Emin and Childish). I did some runs and discovered that finally I am getting a rhythm and a gait that feels natural and helps my running. I am also getting able to spend longer stints of running between walking.

Best thing though was discovering areas and places that the others didn’t because they were restricted to walking. And slow walking in Sue’s case.

Gazen Salts nature reserve


the old town walls of Sandwich


my friend in the nature reserve that enjoyed my diabetic oat biscuits

In Sandwich my main run was through the Gazen Nature resort and around the old town walls. My run was :

and it’s Google Earth link is :

In Folkestone, the hotel was near the Leas, a cliff park and gardens, and I ran along this area and down the cliff to the beach and up again. I am now easily coping with 5 km.

an art installation at the top of the Leas


the abandoned cross channel ferry link at the old port of Folkestone

the old harbour

the Leas funicular which works on water gravity

The first run, along the upper Leas, is :

and it’s Google Earth link:

The run along the lower Leas link is :

and it’s Google Earth link is :

More details are in my Macjournal and photos on Flickr.