Friday, January 31, 2014

Insulin Allergies Do Exist

Insulin Allergies do exist, but are rare. They were much more common when the insulin we used came from the bodies of pigs and cows. I have online friends with insulin allergies, and they have received much ridicule from people who think these allergies do not exist. I want to spread the word that these allergies do exist, and there are ways of dealing with the problem. See the article below presented by the Joslin Diabetes Center.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dr. Joslin's article, Type 1, 1900-1950

Dr. Elliott Joslin wrote the following article in 1950. It gives a report on Type 1 diabetes for the years 1900-1950. It is very interesting to be able to compare the now with the then while reading this article. Type 1 diabetics, and others, should find the article very interesting...rather startling too.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A New Faster Acting Insulin

There is a new fast acting insulin being tested called FIAsp, by Novo Nordisk. It is in stage 3 trials, with both type 1 and type 2 participants.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Medtronic Enlite vs Dexcom G4

CGM Comparison, Medtronic Enlite vs Dexcom G4

My friend George has made an excellent comparison of these CGM's. He wore both CGM's for 18 months and has presented his findings. It is excellent, and written like a book, with table of contents, diagrams, and data. His conclusions may be very helpful to CGMusers, or prospective CGM buyers. George does not have a Facebook account. You can find his discussion on

If you use the link below, it is a PDF and takes awhile on my computer to download. The page that appears seems to be blank. You will need to scroll down to find the beginning of his masterpiece. Here is the link:*yw1ZNH-xccPp-zMqBlMIzpzrIPhn0VlskVSKeI*iD54EHRqw52PthmvnBy7TkNkomPh29e0PRt2eThUyv/CGMreport.pdf

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Diabetes Is More Than Type 1 and Type 2

Diabetes is much more that just type 1 and type 2.

"The disease 'seems to result from a collision between genes and environment,' and the rapid increase in both forms of it, they said, 'suggests that many patients are genetically predisposed to both forms.'"

Saturday, January 18, 2014

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.

Note: The definitions above were found on a diabetes website.

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 had the Type 2 gene. The gene and the weight gain are likely the explanation for my insulin resistance. In the early 2000s I reduced my daily carb intake, increased my amount of exercise, and lost 24 pounds. I initially used avandia for my IR, but started using metformin starting in early 2011. Using metformin for one year was very good for me. That medication has helped many diabetics lose weight. I lost an additional 29 pounds, and was then only four pounds above my ideal weight. Despite the weight loss, I still had IR. Metformin, eating an average of 140-150 carbs per day, and getting lots of exercise is now keeping me in good health. My A1c's are typically in the 5.8-6.1 range, 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.

Do you think you may have double diabetes? If you are type 1 and have gained weight, and are using more insulin than usual, then you might want to speak to your doctor (preferably an endo) about this.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DKA and Type 1 Longevity

I have researched but could not find much info about DKA occurring long ago in the 1940's and beyond. Common sense suggests that there had to be a lot of deaths due to DKA back then. There were no meters that allowed us to test at home, and urine testing was totally unreliable. Animal insulin that was injected once per day certainly did not make carb counting and basal/bolus control possible. My first meter was purchased in the mid 1980s, about 40 years after my diagnosis. My numbers were awful, and most were in the upper 200s and lower 300s. I must have had DKA much of the time. So how have I survived through those years? I did not know about carb counting until the late 1980s, and I did not start basal and bolus insulins until the mid 1990s. So that was about 50 years of poor control due to lack of the necessary devices, insulins and knowledge. There had to be many deaths resulting from DKA in the early years. I never heard about DKA (diabeticketoacidosis) until the new century, and I never tested for it until 2007, even though I had highs above 250 that suggested possible DKA. I think that those of us diagnosed that long ago, who are still alive and with good diabetes health today, must be blessed! I don't know how I deserved to survive and stay healthy, but I did, and so have many others among the Joslin medalists. They receive medals for 50 and 75 years of living with type 1. There are a few thousand medalists that are alive, and without any serious diabetes related complications. What makes us different from most type 1 diabetics? Why have we survived those early years, and why did we not die from DKA? This question is what Dr. King and his research team are addressing at the Joslin Diabetes Center. The Joslin Medalist Study has been running for eight years, and more than 800 medalists have participated. I participated in 2009. Many interesting results have come from the study. You can read about the Joslin Medalist program and the Study on the link below.

Diabetes Photo Museum

There are many pictures and stories from the past about diabetes. It starts in 1552 BC with the earliest found reference to diabetes, and extends through the centuries to the discovery of insulin, and beyond. Here is the link to the Diabetes Museum.