Thursday, June 14, 2012

Many T1 Diabetics Have Eye Protection

Many of the Joslin medalists, with type 1 diabetes for at least 50 years, have been found to have protection from diabetic retinopathy. I may be one of them since my ophthalmologist has been saying for many years that I do not have any diabetes related eye damage after 66 years of T1D. It is hoped that further study of a small subgroup of the medalists will "lead to a means to prevent or slow the progression of diabetic eye disease".

Friday, June 8, 2012

Diabetes Dos & How Tos

My friend, Riva Greenberg, is preparing her third book. She has been type 1 for 40 years and is a wonderful author. Did you read her other books? Her book on diabetes myths is fantastic!! It is called "50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It". Type her name: Riva Greenberg: in the search bar on and look at her books.

Riva is collecting diabetes stories for her third book, and she needs your help:

"I'm writing my third book - “Diabetes Dos & How Tos" and need your help. I'd like to feature a dozen people with just a line or two about something you do that helps you stay healthy living with diabetes.
The book has a number of Dos (steps) to take care of your diabetes, and several recommended ways (How Tos) how to do that.

There are 4 sections: Food Dos, Medical Dos, Fitness Dos and Attitude Dos and at the end of each section I’d like to feature a "How To" from a few people - what you do to manage one of these aspects.

Can you share in just a sentence or two with some detail what you do:

1. To manage to eat healthy? e.g. "I always bring my own food to the airport because that way I can ensure I'm going to eat something healthy."

2. To take care of your diabetes – it can be anything from how you organize your medicines, to reading up on new advances, to preventing or treating hypoglycemia - anything you do that is at all medical related to caring for your diabetes. e.g. "I keep glucose tabs in all my purses and pockets so if I have a low I'm ready for it"

3. To manage to stay fit, or get exercise? e.g., "I work out at Curves three times a week. Being around other people and the inspiring music keeps me going."

4. To keep your stress under control e.g., "I go to a yoga class in my neighborhood once a week, and twice if I can find the time."

You can answer all or any of the 4 questions above. Can you also let me know:
Your name?
What type of diabetes you have?
How long you have had diabetes?
How old you are?

Thank you so much,


Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Type 1, and Metformin

I was type 1 for about 50 years when I changed from animal insulins to modern day insulin. That led to my gaining weight and becoming insulin resistant (IR). I had to use a type 2 med to handle the IR. Avandia was the med my doctor chose, and I used it successfully for 12 years, starting in 1999. Avandia was found to cause many users to have heart problems, so my endo would not renew my prescription, and he prescribed Metformin in early 2011.

I have mixed emotions about Metformin. It has enabled me to lose 22 pounds, and I am now only one pound above my ideal weight (185 pounds). That is great, although I have had to buy new clothes and belts. Lol! My insulin resistance has been decreased, and my insulin sensitivity has increased. That is also good.

Metformin was initially introduced as a med to help with weight loss. Later on, it was found to help with with IR. It has caused me to lose some of my appetite, and I don't want to eat as much now. At one time I was losing an average of two pounds per week. To keep from dropping below my ideal weight, I had to increase my carb intake from 130 to 150 carbs per day. My weight has now stabilized. I don't want to eat that many carbs, and sometimes I have to eat when I am not hungry. That is annoying! If I lower my carb intake, then my weight drops too. I have tried lowering my Met dosages, but then my IR increases, and my BG numbers rise a lot. I am taking 1000 mg of Met in the morning and evening.

While using Avandia my BG's were very good, and I stayed in the interval 70-130 about 90% of the time. I have used Met for 15 months, and I have a lot more highs and lows than before. My BG's are now in the 70-130 range only 66% of the time. BG's as low as the high 30s, and as high as the 170s are happening. I did not have those kinds of numbers while on Avandia. I am now on the roller coaster with my BG's, like I was before pumping.

During the first few years of the new century, I was diagnosed with some spots of neuropathy in both eyes, and neuropathy in my feet. That was caused by the unstable control, and the roller coaster I was experiencing. Complications can occur for that reason, even when the A1c is good. My A1c was below 6.0 for several years when those complications were diagnosed. After using a pump for a few months my BG's stabilized a lot, and my retinopathy disappeared. My neuropathy was still there, but the symptoms rarely appeared. The pain was gone. Pumping is great!

Now, while using Met, my roller coaster control has returned, and I am concerned that my retinopathy, and neuropathy pain may return too. My doctor says he has no other med to offer to help me with my IR. Avandia and Actos have both caused damage to many diabetics, so Met seems to be my only choice. I have tweaked the heck out of my pump, trying to get more stable control. It was easy with Avandia, but seemingly impossible with Metformin. I am apparently stuck with Met, and with the more unstable control. I am expecting those complications to return at any time now. Call me a pessimist, but this happened in the past, and it may happen again.

Any suggestions?