Type 2 "Reversal"

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Type 2 "Reversal"


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Old 07-10-2010, 04:21   #1
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Default Type 2 "Reversal"

A lot of market reading I've seen lately has been throwing this magic word around a lot. It seems like a temptation to T2s to dangle this word in front of their eyes, and I feel like it's offering an impression of false hope. I'd like your input.

I've been treating this as a progressive illness that will ultimately deteriorate the body over time until death, despite all manner of healthy living. It is an enforced death sentence whose speed is determined near mathematically by our own choices. Despite it being a less severe case than T1, no T2 diabetic that I've read about has not died from complications of diabetes. Naturally it doesn't say what those complications are, which is unfortunate since every diabetic's effects are individualistic, and our lifestyles are all different. Much motivation begins with "A diabetic can still live a long, healthy life, and many have." But it never gives the result: "But they died from it anyway."

2 operates on the principle that as long as it is present, there will not be enough naturally produced insulin. The pancreas is still working as it is meant to, just not to sufficient effect. But none of the "reversal" endorsements I've seen, despite them advocating all sorts of top foods and exercise programs, describe the improvement of insulin output to the point where diabetes can be called ineffective upon the body.

I've never heard of someone "beating" diabetes like cancer. My impression is that the healthiest lifestyle can possibly recess the risks, drive it underground, but it always lays dormant waiting to emerge if there's a lapse in choices. And over time, no matter how dormant it may be, the natural aging of the body aggravates its associated conditions - retinopathy, neuropathy - that they'll begin to emerge of their own accord. "Reversal" is not permanent.

Then again, although it's touted that 2 often progresses to 1 as the body ages and resistance breaks down, I haven't heard of this as the norm. In other words, people have lived with the risk levels and needs of T2 without escalation until death. Unfortunately such numbers aren't given.

I'm sorry for those who feel I'm painting a bleak picture, but I feel motivated by cold truths and existing data, and I prefer straight answers without softening, but it seems like few resources come right out with the blunt honesty of death. I suppose my analogy may seem severe, but no one so far has spoken to me about a T2 who lived to old age and died of causes other than those brought on by it. I feel that this ambition to medically "reverse" T2 seems only like a cruel choice of words to motivate a healthier lifestyle and not more than a dream. Nothing is being "reversed" to the point of elimination, it seems only like postponing the inevitable. Is this a bad impression?

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:40   #2
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I don't like the way they throw these words around either - I'd rather they call it control, which is what it is. "Reversal" indicates to me that one could then, once it's reversed, return to their old habits, and we know that isn't true.

One thing I know is that type 2 doesn't turn into type 1 . . . type 2 patients may become insulin dependent, but they're still type 2.

Now I gotta go back & think on your questions a little longer!





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Old 07-10-2010, 04:52   #3
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Your post was well written and I agree. I don't fall for claims for ways to reverse diabetes, although many will beg to differ. My maternal grandmother had T2 diabetes and died from complications after gallbladder surgery at age 52. She had to have her foot amputated shortly before her death due to gangrene. My Mother doesn't know any more than what I just mentioned, so her death could have very well been due to diabetes complications. We have come a long way with modern day technology and medications, but diabetes is a progressive disease. All we can do is to treat it the best that we can.

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Old 07-10-2010, 16:29   #4
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I have been type 1 since 1945, but in the 1990s I started gaining weight when I started using modern day insulins. I gained enough weight that I became insulin resistant and I had to start taking a type 2 med. A type 1 with insulin resistance is called a double diabetic. I am still classified as type 1 since my pancreas produces no insulin. I reduced my carb intake to 130g per day and increased my exercise. I lost almost all my weight gain. Now I have good control with my insulin pump.

When a type 2 becomes insulin dependant and produces very little insulin, that is also double diabetes. You should Google "double diabetes", it is an interesting topic. I have a friend who was initialy type 2. Through the years he has reached the point where his C-peptide is 0.5, so he produces very little insulin. He had a hard time stabilizing with insuin injections, so he started using a pump. He has excellent control now and rarely has highs or lows. His name is Lloyd and he is a moderator on this forum, but he has stopped posting here. Lloyd, and many others like him, are very optimistic. They have been type 2 for a long time and are doing remarkably well. They have no reason to believe that there diabetes wil lead to complications, or death. I don't either. I have been type 1 for 64 years and I have no diabetes complications. My control is very good.

Richard

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Old 07-10-2010, 16:59   #5
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Interesting that some say you can turn to a T! from a T2. I am T2, was diagnosed when I was young (only 16). Now I have become insulin dependant. My c-peptide is very low and I hardly produce any insulin anymore. I use a pump...which I LOVE! But....I am still T2 *shrug*

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Old 07-10-2010, 18:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onaughmae View Post
Interesting that some say you can turn to a T! from a T2. I am T2, was diagnosed when I was young (only 16). Now I have become insulin dependant.
I never understood how that's even physically possible. I'm not 1 and don't pretend to know all the details well, but a basic notion I have of 1 in contrast to 2 is that the pancreas has stopped producing insulin completely. Zip, zilch, nada. It's ceased its natural biological function and so you need to artificially provide the insulin. I don't understand, especially over the years of living with 1 and managing insulin artificially, how you can make this for all purposes "dead" organ spontaneously begin to operate and produce chemicals again. It just doesn't seem medically possible, any more than spontaneous regeneration.

Halle Berry made that same statement that she had slipped into 2 from 1 over years of healthy living and insulin management. I wanted to laugh at her, but now I just pity her, and hope no diabetics take a celebrity's words to heart.

Edit oops I read your post too fast and reversed the type process sorry! But my opinion of 1 ---> 2 still stands.

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Old 07-10-2010, 21:33   #7
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Oh I agree....its just not possible. A true type 1 has no beta cell function, their own body attacked their pancreas, they will show up positive for the antibodies. They can develop some insulin resistance (which is a hallmark of T2) but they will alaways be T1. Just like I have some characteristics of T1, I will always need insulin, no matter what. I read that interview that Halle Berry had and either she has no idea about her own disease, or her doctor is an idiot and cant tell what type she really is. She was obviously T2 all along.

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Currently taking:

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Neurontin 300mg three times a day
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Old 07-11-2010, 00:02   #8
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I know that I'm going to catch some more flack for this post, but here goes:

The claims about reversible Type 2 diabetes make sense if you understand that diabetes is not two specific diseases, but many disorders that effect insulin production and utilization.

Type 1 and Type 2 are relatively new, arbitrary categories of symptoms, intended to displace the term Juvenile Diabetes. Initially Type 1 and Type 2 meant insulin-dependent and non-insulin dependent - defined by how patients had to be treated once their disease became overt. Though that's no longer the case, the labels have stuck. That's what happens when diseases are defined by their symptoms, not their underlying causes and mechanisms. Remember the story of the blind men and the elephant? Introduce a rhino, then a hippo to the story. The blind men create a new name for all big animals - T's, then divide it by the size of their ears. An elephant is T1. A hippo and a rhino are T2's.

Basically, any condition characterized by the rapid elimination of insulin production is put in the Type 1 category, an impairment of any kind in insulin supply or utilization is Type 2. If you browse through discussions in the various diabetes communities, you'll see other categories like LADA and Type 1.5, but Type 2 diabetes seems to be a category that no one seems to want to question for fear of being labelled insensitive or non-PC.

The mixed messages about Type 2 diabetes being reversible have to do with one of the sub-groups of persons having diabetes who don't fall in the Type 1 category. This fastest growing of all diabetes sub-groups, (estimated to now be 80% of the persons in the type 2 category) have two common characteristics- they are obese, with pancreases that were capable of producing more insulin than they needed until their body mass got too high - and they are getting almost all the publicity.

This sub-group of people don't have initially have impaired insulin production or utilization in the normal sense of those terms. They couldn't have become obese if they didn't have sufficient insulin production; something else caused them to become obese. By rights they should be in a separate category, not lumped together with persons who have normal body mass and insulin insufficiency or insulin resistance. For the sake of discussion, call their disorder Type 2.5 diabetes.

Unlike Type 2.0, Type 2.5 can be reversed- provided that the otherwise normal beta cells have not been overloaded for so long that they fail from working overtime. That's because Type 2.5 isn't a cause, but a result of obesity.

If you put Type 2.5 aside and only look at Type 1 and Type 2.0, from a practical standpoint, the only thing that distinguishes them seems to be the speed at which the disease progresses. I think that we'd make more progress toward practical solutions if we paid less attention to our Type categories and focused more on our commonalities.

I hope this clears things up, but if not, feel free to start shooting. I have my flack jacket on.


Last edited by psdaengr; 07-11-2010 at 00:10.
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Old 07-11-2010, 00:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psdaengr View Post
I know that I'm going to catch some more flack for this post, but here goes:

The claims about reversible Type 2 diabetes make sense if you understand that diabetes is not two specific diseases, but many disorders that effect insulin production and utilization.

Type 1 and Type 2 are relatively new, arbitrary categories of symptoms, intended to displace the term Juvenile Diabetes. Initially Type 1 and Type 2 meant insulin-dependent and non-insulin dependent - defined by how patients had to be treated once their disease became overt. Though that's no longer the case, the labels have stuck. That's what happens when diseases are defined by their symptoms, not their underlying causes and mechanisms. Remember the story of the blind men and the elephant? Introduce a rhino, then a hippo to the story. The blind men create a new name for all big animals - T's, then divide it by the size of their ears. An elephant is T1. A hippo and a rhino are T2's.

Basically, any condition characterized by the rapid elimination of insulin production is put in the Type 1 category, an impairment of any kind in insulin supply or utilization is Type 2. If you browse through discussions in the various diabetes communities, you'll see other categories like LADA and Type 1.5, but Type 2 diabetes seems to be a category that no one seems to want to question for fear of being labelled insensitive or non-PC.

The mixed messages about Type 2 diabetes being reversible have to do with one of the sub-groups of persons having diabetes who don't fall in the Type 1 category. This fastest growing of all diabetes sub-groups, (estimated to now be 80% of the persons in the type 2 category) have two common characteristics- they are obese, with pancreases that were capable of producing more insulin than they needed until their body mass got too high - and they are getting almost all the publicity.

This sub-group of people don't have initially have impaired insulin production or utilization in the normal sense of those terms. They couldn't have become obese if they didn't have sufficient insulin production; something else caused them to become obese. By rights they should be in a separate category, not lumped together with persons who have normal body mass and insulin insufficiency or insulin resistance. For the sake of discussion, call their disorder Type 2.5 diabetes.

Unlike Type 2.0, Type 2.5 can be reversed- provided that the otherwise normal beta cells have not been overloaded for so long that they fail from working overtime. That's because Type 2.5 isn't a cause, but a result of obesity.

If you put Type 2.5 aside and only look at Type 1 and Type 2.0, from a practical standpoint, the only thing that distinguishes them seems to be the speed at which the disease progresses. I think that we'd make more progress toward practical solutions if we paid less attention to our Type categories and focused more on our commonalities.

I hope this clears things up, but if not, feel free to start shooting. I have my flack jacket on.
No need for a flack jacket from me...I basically agree with you. I think some T2's can reverse the symptoms for sure by following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Doing those things will lower insulin resistance and alleviate symptoms. My issue is with the word "reversal" which to me indicates that it has gone away. I dont agree with that. I think that these people would find themselves right back where they were if they went back to eating what a lot of people consider to be "normal." Basically they still have tendency towards insulin resistance no matter what...and would be right back where they were before.

But, having said that....for people like me...there is no reversal. Even though my insulin resistance has lessened considerably from better dietary habits and regular exercise, I will never be able to get off of insulin. My pancreas simply does not produce enough to even maintain normal body function anymore.

I think one thing that makes it so difficult is that as diabetics we are all lumped together under general headings of T1 and T2....but each of us is very different in what is exactly causing our diabetic symptoms. That makes it so hard to share things. What works for you, for instance, may not work for me or the next person. Its very much a YMMV kind of thing.

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A1c in March 2010 12.6%
current A1c 6.3%

Currently taking:

Metformin 1000mg twice a day
Neurontin 300mg three times a day
Cymbalta 30mg a day
Symlin injections 60 mcg before meals
pumping with the minimed Revel and novalog
Milk Thistle twice a day
Fish oil twice a day
Nexium once a day
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:14   #10
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Originally Posted by onaughmae View Post
I think one thing that makes it so difficult is that as diabetics we are all lumped together under general headings of T1 and T2....but each of us is very different in what is exactly causing our diabetic symptoms. That makes it so hard to share things. What works for you, for instance, may not work for me or the next person. Its very much a YMMV kind of thing.
I'm positive that some of what works for me wouldn't work for some one. I'm equally sure that some of what works for me, or for you, would work for many other people regardless of type - or even if they didn't have diabetes.

For example, I'm lazy, but I learned to cook so that I can enjoy what I can eat. In the process I've learned that I enjoy some things that I'd never tried, and learned that some things that I'd been eating were causing problems for me. I didn't learn to cook from someone who had type 1 diabetes. I'm still lazy, but I'm eating better, and my overall health has improved.

My point is, if we know that something works for us and we understand why it works, and can explain what it does, then that is something we should be sharing. If we don't understand why something works, if it's not consistent and predictable, it may be interesting, but possibly not useful or safe.

I see many medications listed in some signatures. I know that it is very difficult for a person using many chemicals to identify exactly why their therapy does or doesn't work. That's why I worked so hard to reduce the number and dosages of prescription meds I use, one at a time. I'm not "lucky" and I don't think that I have any special talent. I'm just dedicated.

I think that there are other people out there who can do the same - if we talk about it. The first step has to be to stop rejecting things that anyone says work for them, then consider why they might work or seem to work.

Also I think that reversal is accurate, in the same way that giving a car a tuneup improves performance, and ignoring maintenance will eventually degrade performance again. I don't subscribe to switching to a healthy diet healthy lifestyle, but to constantly look for small changes to make that are healthier.


Last edited by psdaengr; 07-11-2010 at 01:21.
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