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Lazza 06-22-2019 20:59

not diabetic but here I am
 
Hi. I am not diabetic. I don't even have prediabetes. But I am here to learn for reasons I will explain.

I am a 63 y.o. healthy male. I'm not on prescription meds, just slightly overweight, very fit. I am also a bit obsessive about my health. So when 23andme told me I have 80% greater than average chance of developing type II diabetes I got alarmed. I tried to understand how they came to this conclusion but it seem they looked at a great number of genetic bits (SNPs) and combed through data from their customers (that is, among the millions of 23andme customers there is quite a large number who say they have diabetes). Even if this 80% value is very wrong it is likely I have at least some genetic predisposition for diabetes.

I do have a family history of diabetes. My father's mother had it back in the 1960s. She wasn't obese, just elderly. I never thought much of it at the time but I was only a kid. My late sister, who died recently (and unexpectedly) in her sleep, had complained of low blood sugar but was never diagnosed; she had a phobia about doctors. In light of her bouts of low blood sugar, being 80-100 lbs overweight and in her early 60s I believe it is highly likely she had diabetes.

As for myself, whenever my fasting glucose blood level was measured it was 85-95. Six years ago my a1c was 4.8. I just had it checked again and it was 5.5. This is a sizeable increase but I think (well, I hope) it was due to being 20 lbs. heavier now (; back then I ate a low-ish carb diet but such a diet caused me issues in the long term).

I can thank 23andme for having me learn all about type II diabetes. I am absolutely shocked and appalled at the number of diabetics and prediabetics there are in America, especially in my age bracket. I plan on losing 10 lbs. by cutting back a bit on carbs. I am not PANICKED about getting diabetes but I will do what I can to avoid getting it.

Thank you for reading all this! :smile2: I will probably post questions on this forum, either on my behalf or for my friends (many of peers have diabetes).


_Lazza

xring 06-23-2019 02:47

Just a FYI. Although most doctors will blame diabetes on obesity, that doesn't explain the many thin people who get diabetes. Or the many extremely obese people who don't get it. Which means no one really knows what causes it.

When an overweight person is diagnosed with diabetes, doctors frequently use that association to blame the patient. Doctors don't like to use the phrase, "We don't know."

I participate in a diabetes support group. Out of the 25 people, 21 are not overweight & only 4 are...maybe 10 lbs overweight.

itissteve 06-23-2019 03:18

Welcome to the forum, Lazza! As xring points out, there is no direct correlation between being overweight and becoming diabetic. In that respect, you are being wise in evaluating behaviors which either lessen your exposure to metabolic syndrome or diabetes.

There's a lot of information on this site from the many of us seeking to manage our diabetes. That management relies on a lot of science and on figuring out what works for each of us -- there is no one way to do this. I encourage you to look around, check out the links to various studies, and ask questions as they come up.

A good starting point for you would be the Web site Blood Sugar 101. This covers the biology behind the condition. Once you understand the basics, you'll be better able to determine approaches that can work for you.

I'm looking forward to seeing your questions in the forums!

Lazza 06-23-2019 12:45

Thank you for the fast replies!!

In my brief study of diabetes (..lots of Google'ing) I am utterly shocked at how prevalent the disease has become. I can understand why doctors would immediately blame obesity because the increase rate of diabetes parallels the increase rate of obesity. But of course correlation does not be causation. It is a complex situation.

As I said in my prior post, I am passionate about my health (; my once severe psoriasis and severe IBS were resolved through diet/supplements). When I lose 10 lbs it won't be by simply eating a bit less and exercising a bit more. I will prune back the empty(-ish) carbs (..high glycemic index) that has crept into my diet over the past few years.

Of course I eventually become one of the non-obese, fit individuals who develop diabetes I have no choice but to accept it. It's hard to fight genetics. But this doesn't mean I won't try!!

itissteve 06-23-2019 13:17

All we can do is all we can do. :plain:

How each of us contracted diabetes is a small matter now that we have it. What matters is what we do about it. We can take steps to put it in remission, for many years, and to ward off the damage the disease can cause. Not to scare you, but high achievement usually requires a little effort. But we're doing it -- and you can, too. I hope we can provide lots of resources for you in your fight.

mbuster 06-23-2019 14:12

Hi Lazza, welcome to the forum. Trending the increases in obesity and diabetes does appear to show some correlation, but it is kind of like the chicken or the egg question, which came first. Now trend those changes with the changes in US nutritional guidelines.

I would encourage you to encourage your friends to join this forum.

alamogirl 06-24-2019 16:56

Hi Lazza, welcome to the forum! I come from a family of diabetics. My parents were diabetics, and one by one, my siblings and I became diabetic. No one really knows for sure what causes diabetes.

For instance, my Mom was diabetic. She had 3 sisters, and only 1 other sister developed diabetes, but none of her kids are diabetic. My two other aunts never developed diabetes. As far as I know, my siblings and I are the only diabetics from Mom's side. My Grandma was diabetic, but I don't think Grandpa was. Could be my siblings and I were more likely to develop diabetes because Dad was diabetic. None of my uncles were diabetic, so maybe that's why none of my cousin's developed it.

Lazza 06-24-2019 20:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by alamogirl (Post 1320467)
Hi Lazza, welcome to the forum! I come from a family of diabetics. My parents were diabetics, and one by one, my siblings and I became diabetic. No one really knows for sure what causes diabetes.

For instance, my Mom was diabetic. She had 3 sisters, and only 1 other sister developed diabetes, but none of her kids are diabetic. My two other aunts never developed diabetes. As far as I know, my siblings and I are the only diabetics from Mom's side. My Grandma was diabetic, but I don't think Grandpa was. Could be my siblings and I were more likely to develop diabetes because Dad was diabetic. None of my uncles were diabetic, so maybe that's why none of my cousin's developed it.

Again other than my paternal grandmother no one in my family has been diagnosed with diabetes … that I know of. People often are tightlipped about their ailments, others avoid doctors. I have/had cousins who were/are terribly obese. My father lived on Krispy Kreme donuts; he died at 67 of lung cancer. My maternal grandmother had a sweet tooth for cakes; she died at 83 of heart failure. It would be hard to imagine all of them were spared diabetes, or at least prediabetes.

Thinking back to my father, when I was college age he would always try to get me to go with him to Krispy Kreme. I'd say that stuff is poison. He thought "what kid would deny the chance for a crème filled donut??". :vs_laugh:

_Lazza

xring 06-24-2019 22:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lazza (Post 1320439)
Thank you for the fast replies!!

In my brief study of diabetes (..lots of Google'ing) I am utterly shocked at how prevalent the disease has become. I can understand why doctors would immediately blame obesity because the increase rate of diabetes parallels the increase rate of obesity. But of course correlation does not be causation. It is a complex situation.

As I said in my prior post, I am passionate about my health (; my once severe psoriasis and severe IBS were resolved through diet/supplements). When I lose 10 lbs it won't be by simply eating a bit less and exercising a bit more. I will prune back the empty(-ish) carbs (..high glycemic index) that has crept into my diet over the past few years.

Of course I eventually become one of the non-obese, fit individuals who develop diabetes I have no choice but to accept it. It's hard to fight genetics. But this doesn't mean I won't try!!

Another interesting tidbit: In my photo, I'm at 185 lbs. I've since gone down to 170, which is good for me, at 5'11". At diagnosis, I weighted 250 lbs. I decided to get serious about weight. I bought a book by Joel Fuhrman, MD called "Eat to Live" & followed his eating plan & lost 80 lbs. over the next couple of years. Within 3 months, after only losing 25 lbs, I had labs again. My A1C went down to 6.0 from 9.0 at diagnosis & my doctor said, "you're in a non-diabetic range. Keep losing weight & your diabetes will go away." (how many times have we heard that?)

After I lost the next 55 lbs, my blood sugar started going up, A1c went up to 11.4 & I started on insulin. Maybe with some people, diabetes goes away with weight loss; not with me. Having been overweight since birth, I'm happy with the weight loss without a "diet."
The best a doctor can do is repeat what he learned - from what he's taught; the info he gives you may apply to some, but not to all.

Lazza 06-25-2019 11:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by xring (Post 1320473)
Another interesting tidbit: In my photo, I'm at 185 lbs. I've since gone down to 170, which is good for me, at 5'11". At diagnosis, I weighted 250 lbs. I decided to get serious about weight. I bought a book by Joel Fuhrman, MD called "Eat to Live" & followed his eating plan & lost 80 lbs. over the next couple of years. Within 3 months, after only losing 25 lbs, I had labs again. My A1C went down to 6.0 from 9.0 at diagnosis & my doctor said, "you're in a non-diabetic range. Keep losing weight & your diabetes will go away." (how many times have we heard that?)

After I lost the next 55 lbs, my blood sugar started going up, A1c went up to 11.4 & I started on insulin. Maybe with some people, diabetes goes away with weight loss; not with me. Having been overweight since birth, I'm happy with the weight loss without a "diet."
The best a doctor can do is repeat what he learned - from what he's taught; the info he gives you may apply to some, but not to all.

Wow, that's interesting … and a bit disheartening. How many years did it take from diagnosis to taking meds??


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