Sunday, September 28, 2014

Do You Hide Your Diabetes?

Do you hide your diabetes?
For many years after my diagnosis in 1945, I did not know another diabetic. I mentioned my disease to a couple of friends when I was a teen, but they looked so puzzled. They did not know what I was talking about, and I doubted they even believed me. So I hid my diabetes for many years, but I did try telling a few teachers in high school and college. They did not seem to understand, and maybe they did not believe me. When I was a college sophomore I had a very bad hypo while taking my first calculus test. When I approached the teacher and explained that my vision was blurred, and I could not read the test paper, he would not help me in any way. That was the only test I ever failed. There seemed to be almost no knowledge about diabetes in my early years.
I dated and told my girlfriends. It did not seem to make a difference to them that I was a diabetic. That was probably because they did not know enough about it to be concerned. The first person I knew who really was concerned was my wife, but only after we were married. She was not concerned before we were married because she never saw me have a hypo. I was high much of the time on animal insulin. I did not tell my students after starting my teaching in 1962. There did not seem to be any reason for doing so. I was alone as a diabetic, except for my family, until I was married. My wife and I have been married for 50 years, and she has been so wonderful in so many ways with helping me with my diabetes. But there was still something missing!
In July, 2006, I found diabetes on the internet. That essentially changed my life, in a very important way. There were so many people online who were diabetics, or they had family members with diabetes. We talked with each other, and we learned so many new things. I believe that at least 80% of what I know about diabetes was learned on the internet. I was helped in so many ways, and my control and my life improved. I became a diabetes advocate to many online people who needed to know the things I had learned. So many parents of diabetic children have found me to be an inspiration because I was diagnosed when I was 6, and am very healthy now that I am 75.
After 69 years as a type 1 diabetic, I am very comfortable telling people about my diabetes, and about diabetes in general. It is very comforting and rewarding to give and receive help online. I will never again hide my diabetes. I hope my online friends feel the same way!

Tuesday, September 23, 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.

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 34 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 have lost an additional nineteen pounds, and am presently only four pounds above my ideal 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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Connection Between Diabetes and Pancreatitis

A recent research project was done on 1,102 patients who had Acute

"After experiencing AP, a total of 37% of the individuals developed
pre-diabetes or diabetes. Sixteen percent of the people that developed
diabetes needed insulin after experiencing AP. It was shown that a
diagnosis of AP will increase the risk of diabetes in individuals by
more than “twofold” over 5 years. The researchers conclude that
studies need to take place to see how this risk can be lowered."

Read more:

Friday, September 19, 2014

New Treatment For Diabetic Eye Disease

Doctors King and Aiello have discovered a new treatment for retinal disease, including retinopathy. They both work at Harvard and The Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Dr King is also the head of the Joslin Medalist Study. They received the World’s Most Prestigious Award for Vision Research for this discovery.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Why Does Diabetes Increase The Likelihood Of Heart Disease?

Glycation and Heart Disease

"Glycation is the process of bonding of proteins and lipids with sugar molecules, including glucose and fructose. This process is not enzyme controlled and is very detrimental to the human body. Latest studies have confirmed that fructose shows ten times the glycation activity of glucose......... Thus, fructose is not as harmless as scientists previously thought."

This seems to suggest that eating a lot of fruit is not such a good idea. I eat about four fruit exchanges per day, maybe I should cut back to only one fruit exchange each day. What do you think about this article?

Monday, September 1, 2014

William Rounds, 85 Years With Type 1

William Rounds was born in 1923, and diagnosed later that year, when
he was 11 months old. He was a Joslin medalist and attended the
medalist meeting in 2009. I did not attend that year, but I did attend
in 2011. He was type 1 for 85 years in 2009. The link below gives an
article about him. On the link page you will find the stories of 11
long term type 1 diabetics. The ADA magazine, the Diabetes Forecast,
celebrated their 60'th anniversary in Oct, 2008. The magazine wanted
to publish stories about people who had lived 60 years with type 1. If
you scroll down the page you will find my story in the left hand
column. William Rounds was on the cover of that issue.