Tag Archives: excercise

Damned If You Do Damned If You Don’t

I wrote a post a little while ago on Facebook and got a few comments back that showed me a need to explain diabetes and what causes it. I’m not dissing or throwing shade on anyone (modern young person terms) because I looked online and was horrified by what I found. The 2 type of diabetes are thrown together and made to seem like they one disease of which type one was the worse than the other. From my view point they are in reality 2 different but related diseases. Type 1 is caused by a bad gene called SIRT1 gene and it causes an autoimmune response in which the body’s immune system kills off the beta cells that create insulin. Type 2 is more of an environmentally caused disease. Being overweight, not eating good balanced diets, not exercising, and yes genetics also are all noted for causing this disease. The biggest difference between them is using insulin to control it. Type 2 diabetics can control it without insulin for quite a while. I have an aunt who has had for longer than I have but was able to control it with diet and pills only for decades before it progressed into needing insulin to control her sugar level.

I was never that lucky. I was 8 when I was diagnosed with type1 diabetes. I ate my veggies (not so much now lol) and was very, very active back then so diet and exercise get thrown out the window right off the bat. Nor was I fat back then. I spent too much time riding my bike all over town to eat all the time and sit in front of the TV. My body’s immune system killed off the beta cells that made my insulin. I had a test run last year (after the last pump failure) to see if I was actually type 1. I am. My body does not make any of its own insulin nor do I have any binding antibodies in my blood. Those are another possible causes of the issues I had been experiencing.

Now on to the “cures” for diabetes. The plain and simple fact is there is no cure for diabetes, type 1 or type 2. Yes type 2 and even type 1 can be controlled BETTER by taking certain herbs and medicines. The oldest one I heard of is garlic. It actually contains the vitamins that help insulin act more efficiently. The only issue to me is that if you need to take garlic additives or add more of it to your diet you weren’t eating enough in the first place.

Now as far as curing type 1 diabetes, there is no cure and I do not have much hope I will see one in my lifetime. The true cause of diabetes is the reason for my lack of hopeful thinking. Since it is caused by a bad gene even if you used stem cell research to make new beta cells what will stop your body from once again destroying them? The only true fix is to fix the bad gene. We are no where near that kind of medical technology, unless you watch too many movies.

I had a previous experience with this issue, the difference between treating a symptom or fixing the cause. My shoulder when it is was messed up was hard to get diagnosed let alone treated well. They kept trying to use physical therapy to fix it. Several CAT scans and MRIs later they could not find a decent answer to the pain I was having. It went on for nearly 3 1/2 years, I’d go to therapy and then the pain was back. Finally I did my own research and found that scope surgery had a 90+% chance of ending the pain. So I asked and was told if it was what I wanted they would do it. The only other option brought up was a steroid shot which for a diabetic is a true nightmare. It will send your sugar level into orbit for the better part of a week. When even the doctor is reluctant to do it you know there is a high risk factor.

Well, the surgeon told me after the surgery he found the problem as soon as he got the scope in there. I had apparently dislocated my shoulder and ripped 1/3 of the cartilage (cartilage does not show up on any CAT or MRI scans, only scopes can see it) off the front of the joint. It had been getting pulled into the joint and that had in turn torn up my bursa sack (lubricates the bone to bone joint). For 3 1/2 years they had been treating the symptom instead of the real problem. In that 3 1/2 years it had probably caused even more damage. One can never really be sure but you have to wonder about it. So if they had gone in and looked when it first started would my shoulder still have a bursa sack?

Back to diabetes, so the death of the beta cells is not the true disease simply a symptom of a bad gene and run away immune system. So to really fix (cure) diabetes you will need to fix this bad gene. The holy grail of medical science is to be able to fix bad genes. Downs, diabetes, heart issues, and many other diseases are greatly or solely influenced by genes, mainly bad ones. Its a two edged sword as well though. Where do you stop once you start? Do you give people animal hearing? Better sight? Fur to be able to handle colder temperatures? Where do you stop at this level of engineering? Damned if you do damned if you don’t.

The Balance

Ever tries to balance a see saw when you we are a kid? Maybe some you reading this are kids still. The thing is you had to match the weights on the end of the beam to get it to balance. Those of you who have been a diabetic for while will already know it is more than a simple two way balance. There is a complex three way balance in diabetic control that a lot of people don’t understand, The two best known components are food (carbs to be specific) and insulin. Usually the first thing someone asks when I get a low blood sugar is “Did you forget to eat?” or next is “Did you accidentally take too much insulin?”. This is were I love this new pump, it remembers everything. OK first, I don’t take insulin unless I am sitting at the table ready to eat so no I didn’t forget to eat after taking the insulin. Second, here is the recorded amount of insulin I took and no there are not any mistakes. I have noticed over the, oh only 36 years of being a diabetic, that my body is very sensitive to the exercise level it gets each day and week. If I increase my level to just 30 minutes a day I will find my insulin need will drop, how much depends on the intensity of the exercise. I used to work out a lot but have cut back since I had to let my YMCA membership go. The formula for a good steady diabetic plan is not how much food, insulin, and exercise you do but the proper balance of it all. If you increase or decrease any one part you must balance it in one of the other areas. If I want to loose weight I can cut back on the food (best method by the way) or I can increase my exercise level. Either way I will now have to balance this by decreasing the insulin I take. This first step is not really that hard since I count carbs anyway and the insulin  I use is dependent on the amount of carbs I eat each meal. My supper ratio is 1 unit for every 5grams of carbs so a meal with 60 grams is 60 divided by 5 which is 12 units. I eat more I take more, I eat less I take less. Confused yet? It’s about to get worse. Once I’ve lost some weight the basal insulin will have to be cut back. Love this pump! As I loose fat it will allow the insulin to work more efficiently and I will need less between meals. More later folks!