If you wanna be the best, if you wanna beat the rest, medication's what you need

OK sorry, that slogan was from some old TV show and was "dedication" not "medication", but so easy to change in your head.

Amlodipine is the latest they have me on for blood pressure. I changed from Indapamide to this, and it is, err, interesting.

First off, the Indapamide made me very "on-edge" but I could get work done, but was out of breath all the time.

Now on Amlodipine it is different. The first thing was going off the Indapamide meant I was hypo (low blood sugar) and had to quite drastically lower my insulin. Hypo is pretty easy to spot and to fix, if you have snacks.

Then put on Amlodipine I was hyperglycaemic, which is harder to spot. You feel more tired, which is easy to dismiss. But you also find infections, spots, acne, boils, and all sorts within days. Not at all nice. High blood sugar can be a real pain, and take a while to recover. Though, low blood sugar can be dangerous in very short timescales too. It is harder to die from high blood sugar, generally, but not nice.

What is key is any change of any medication, even if unrelated to diabetes, do the blood sugar tests like mad, even if only for a few days! Other unrelated medication like these drugs for blood pressure can have a massive impact!

Amlodipine has massively pushed up blood sugar and I am on almost twice the daily insulin now. That alone is strange.

Routine is everything - change anything from routine and it all goes to shit. I had this at the weekend, with being late for my usual breakfast. OK breakfast is a costa coffee and sausage roll, but normally at 8:30. My body does not understand weekends. On Sunday, my blood sugar went from high 7 to low 4 in 20 minutes and by 9:30 I was shaking. Going on holiday, along with a few time zone changes, is going to be, err "fun". I'll cope. There is 24 hour pizza on the ship!

As long as I stick to routine now, I think I have it sussed, finally. Much higher insulin, but breakfast, some light lunch, a proper dinner (with Gliclazide) and a few drinks... The daily routine works and keeps me on balance. It amazes me sleep for 8 hours+ works to be honest as during the day that would not, so clearly my body learns a routine and adapts.

It was so much easier when my body regulated this crap entirely by itself! One day we'll have stem cell or artificial replacement pancreas implants, but for now, I inherited this crap from my mum. Not her fault, obviously, and she has had a way harder time than I have. But that's life.


  1. Interesting. I've been on amlodipjne for a while, but I haven't tested my blood glucose after taking it (I usually take it first thing in the day, but I tend only to test blood glucose at the same time). I am not dysgeusia, but keep an eye on it. I'll have to do some checks.

  2. My wife (type 1) recently got one of these: https://www.freestylelibre.co.uk/libre/

    She now no longer has to prick for her general maintenance. She just scans her arm with her monitor, or even her phone!

    It's pretty good. Stores the last 8 hours of continuous data. Only real issue is it's 10 mins old data when you scan, so has to fall back to the normal way before driving.

    They are quite pricey. £60 for a sensor which lasts 2 weeks I believe. The NHS doesn't seem to keen on handing them out yet.

    1. Much as one may be nice, and I have friends using them, I am not sure I really need yet - apart from changes like this, I am pretty good. But that may change I guess.

    2. That's actually not that different to (say) five tests a day, strips and lancets included.

  3. No doubt side effects vary from person to person, but my experience is the reverse. I've been on 40mg Olmersartan for quite some time, but found my BP never went below the magic 120 and tended to nudge up to 135 - 145. I was given Amlodipine but it made my face swell up so I stopped it PDQ. However, I was then given Indapamide and found it very powerful: just one 1.5mg tablet works wonders, so I only take one when necessary every ten days or so to top up the Olmesartan.

    Just over a year ago I was advised that I was at higher risk of diabetes because my HbA1c blood glucose was 44 (42 and you're at risk, 48 and you have it). A very useful NHS 'Healthier You' course and lots of walking has brought it down to 38, which is nice, and I've even had to buy smaller jeans. I seldom manage 10,000 steps per day but average over 50,000 per week (nearly 20 miles) so that seems the best way to avoid diabetes.

  4. The other little slogan I liked back in the day was:

    "You can do it, if you B&Q it!"

    Also I like the embarrassment of those DFS adverts, especially the "I wanna be a Rock Star" one.

    Always do what the doc says though :)

  5. Here is that DFS advert I mentioned:


  6. DFS to me means Disc Filing System, from the BBC Micro days when typing * *DFS selected the, you guessed it...

    My boss has the "scan with your phone" blood sugar monitor thing. He likes it because the App draws graphs for you.

  7. We must be a similar age ... Record Breakers with Roy Castle!


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