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.

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