Friday, October 2, 2015

Type 1 Survival, the Holocaust

This is a wonderful, but frightening account of a type 1 diabetic's survival during the Holocaust. At the end of the article you can click to read the man's story in his own words.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Type 1 For 86 Years

Perhaps the longest living Type 1 person in the world. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3, Lillian Stamps has defeated the illness by using insulin daily for the past 86 years. According to Dr. Kariampuhza, Ms. Stamps’ endocrinologist, she could be the longest living person with diabetes.
“Lillian was diagnosed around a time when different medications were being discovered to help with diabetes,” said Dr. Kariampuhza. “She had been put on every medication to help treat it, she was diagnosed at age 3 and insulin was discovered in 1921.”
Born in 1926, Ms. Stamps remembers her childhood as being a difficult one, where she was put on all different kinds of insulin that were newly invented back in the 20s. Her parents kept her insulin cool in the water well in the front yard because refrigerators were expensive.
“They didn’t have all the things to check your blood sugar like they do now,” said Ms. Stamps. “You used to have to test urine, and when it was blue or green that meant it was low and I would get to eat something.”
Ms. Stamps was given an award for living with Type 1 diabetes for 75 years and will be getting another one this year for 80 years - for recognition of exceptional achievement in living courageously with diabetes for more than 80 years, from the Joslin Diabetes Center, the world’s largest research center in Boston Massachusetts.
“Diabetes affects many organs, usually people will die due to the complications from diabetes,” said Dr. Kariampuhza. “I have nominated her and arranged for her to receive medals for living with diabetes for this long.”
Dr. Kariampuhza has written to the American Diabetes Association three times to nominate Ms. Stamps to receive a medal for 25 years, 50 years and now 75 years for being committed to her health and managing her diabetes for 86 years.
“I’ve been her doctor for more than 10 years, she is extremely committed to taking care of herself,” said Dr. Kariampuhza.
Ms. Stamps continues to use insulin and manages her health by eating well and is cared for by the staff at Brookdale Tyler East in Tyler. According to Ms. Stamps, the hardest years of her life were her teenage years, because she found it difficult and embarrassing to always have to say no to certain foods or drinks.
“I never was married or had children because they told me I wouldn’t live long enough to do any of that,” said Ms. Stamps. “I lived a normal life, and my favorite thing to eat is ice cream, but it has to be sugar free.”
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3, Lillian Stamps has defeated the illness by using insuli...

Monday, September 28, 2015

Double Diabetes


There were no diabetes "types" when I was diagnosed in 1945. All
people diagnosed with diabetes were treated with insulin taken from
pigs and cows. That crude form of insulin gave me back my health. In
the years 1936-1939 it was discovered that there were two types of
diabetes, but it was not until 1959 that the labels Type 1 and Type 2
were attached. Oral drugs for Type 2 diabetics were introduced in the
years 1955-1956.

Now, in current times, we are seeing more and more people with
characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These individuals
have "double diabetes". This occurs when:

1. A person with type 1 diabetes becomes overweight and develops the
basic feature of type 2 diabetes – insulin resistance (IR). Typically,
the type 1 diabetic would then use a type 2 medication to help control
the IR. Insulin would still be necessary as well.

2. A person with type 2 diabetes has one of the key features of type 1
– the presence of antibodies in the blood against the insulin
producing beta cells of the pancreas causing a decrease in the body's
ability to produce insulin. The decreased insulin production can then
lead to the type 2 diabetic becoming insulin dependent. These
individuals still use their type 2 medication for their IR.

So double diabetics may have initially been either type 1, or type 2.
Once they have become double diabetics they have IR, they are using
insulin, and they are using a medicine (usually metformin) for their
IR. I have several type 1 friends, and type 2 friends, who are double
diabetics. Some of my type 2 friends are using a pump and a CGM.

In the 1990s I stopped using animal insulins, and began using
synthetic insulins. I began gaining weight, even though I was
following a much healthier diet, and eating fewer carbs. The only
thing that had changed was my insulin. I have read many reports that
say the synthetic insulins cause our cells to store fat. Maybe that
was the reason for my weight gain, but I did not know that information
until much later. I had never been more than five pounds above my
ideal weight (185) until the 1990s. By the year 1997 I weighed 242
pounds. That was a net gain of 57 pounds. A lower carb intake and
plenty of exercise did not seem to help at that time.

Finally, in 1998, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance. I had
several relatives with Type 2 diabetes, and it seems likely I was
predisposed to become type 2. The predisposition and the weight
gain are likely the explanationfor my insulin resistance. In the early
2000s I reduced my daily carb intake, increased my amount of
exercise, and lost 34 pounds. I initially used avandia for my IR, but
started using metformin in early 2011. Using metformin for one year
was very good for me. That medication has helped many diabetics
lose weight. I have lost an additional nineteen pounds, and am
presently only four pounds above myideal weight. Despite the
weight loss, I still have IR. Metformin,eating an average of 140-150
carbs per day, and getting lots of exercise has kept me in good
health. My A1c's are typically below 6.0, and except for some mild
nerve damage, I do not have any diabetes complications. Double
diabetes can be controlled, and my health is just as good now as it
was before I became a double diabetic.

Getting Diabetes Supplies

Great info for people with low incomes, or lacking insurance, who need help getting diabetes supplies.  Note: This article was initially presented by Christel Aprigliano, a wonderful diabetes advocate.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Do You Keep Your Diabetes A Secret?

Do You Keep Your Diabetes A Secret?

A psychologist with diabetes discusses this in the article below. Starting in 1945 I did not tell anyone about my diabetes except my relatives, a few neighbors, and teachers in school. My mom did the telling, I kept quiet about it. People did not seem to know anything about diabetes wen I was young. My teachers had not heard of diabetes. I did not tell friends about it until college, but they did not understand it. I never really opened up about my diabetes until 2006, online, and in public. It was such a relief to come out of hiding and educate people about diabetes. I try to do that online, and in giving speeches to groups.

If you keep your diabetes a secret, what is your reason for doing that?