The Diabetes Forum Support Community For Diabetics Online banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I run into more and more folks who, like myself, are diabetic. And to me, it sure seems that this disease is affecting more people than I can ever remember as I look back at my youth (I'm currently 63).

The thing that often moves my heart to the brink of envy, is when I find someone who is diabetic, and only using Metformin.

And, what's even more mind blowing to me is that these folks don't follow a tight, or, even close to tight diet. They don't exercise. They eat everything they want and crave, while I've either had to give those things up, completely, or, eat in moderation. Some even continue to use alcohol. "Lucky !!!"

And here stands I... a person diagnosed in 1995 with T-2. I went to the classes. Took out subscriptions to Diabetic magazines. Followed the diet quite closely. I never drank, so I didn't have to give that up. And, due to an injury and the rapid progression of degenerative disc disease, I need an emergency Decompression and Laminectomy surgery in 1991, with a fusion of L-2 through S-1, and hardware attached and still in place. Because of my DDD and surgery, I was already exercising 3 to 4 days a week, for about 90 minutes a day. And my diagnoses with diabetes, caused me to add 2 more days a week to my exercise regimen.

Like those who I run into with diabetes, I too, started out on Metformin, added Glypizide, and in 1999, insulin was added. Today, I remain on a smaller dose of Metformin, regular doses of Novolog (prior to meals) and Lantus at bedtime. I exercise no less than 50 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

The problem is, I also have neuropathy, which was diagnosed in
1998, and it is rapidly progressing from my feet, ankles and calves to my hands.

For the last five years, my kidneys have regressed to stage 3 renal failure, and I fight blood pressure, triglycerides, etc.

So, when I run into these folks who "take only Metformin" and eat what they want, and the only exercise they get is walking to the kitchen numerous times each night for snacks, and going to restaurants and eating whatsoever their little hearts desire, drives me crazy, pushing me toward the brink of medical envy.

You don't know how many times a week I run into these people and just wish I could have their body.

You'll never know how many times I cry out to God, telling Him that this just isn't fair, but, it is, what it is, and there's nothing I can do to change the hand I've been dealt in life.

This disease is much like a tornado that bears down with every bit of power it can muster up, destroying almost everything in its path.

Having spent 6 years in the mid-West, I became a student of tornadoes out of necessity and the drive to survive when those sirens went off. There was one thing that never ceased to amaze me when I surveyed the destruction of a tornado, and it was how that twister could touch down here and not there. With its indiscriminate funnel, I was amazed to see how that twister would take a house over there, but, leave one untouched right next to it. The ability of a tornado to hit, skip and miss was an anomaly of nature.

In a way, Diabetes is something like a tornado. It comes into our lives, bearing down and delivering to some of us more medical issues and problems than it does others, who have the same disease.

I guess this is the nature of this monstrous disease. And while it would be easy to be angry and filled with envy when I come across someone who is only taking Metformin, sometimes for 10 to 20 years, I must remain thankful for the fact that as bad as my diabetes is, and the subsequent physical consequences are, there are others worse off than me. And, for that, I remain thankful.

This disease, like any other disease to our human bodies, are subject to the indiscriminate impact it has one each individual. For instance, Cancer will kill one, and another can be healed from the very same cancer.

Diabetes is going to have a more devastating impact on some us, than it has on others. As my wife says to me when I dwell too long on a negative thought, or, issue, "Get over it, and move on!"

Shalom,

Pastor Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
This was a good post Paul! When I am with my sister, I often think how lucky she has been to dodge the diabetes bullet, so far. All I have ever heard was that diabetes tends to skip generations and like playing duck, duck, goose, I am it! I miss the days when I didn't have to watch what I put in my mouth. To sit and dwell on it does no good, we can't change it. We just have to manage the disease the best we can. As I sit here typing on my computer, my Mom is eating a candy bar and doesn't have to worry about what it will do to her blood sugar. :( Does not seem fair....but life goes on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lily B

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That Chocolate Bar Made Me....

This was a good post Paul! When I am with my sister, I often think how lucky she has been to dodge the diabetes bullet, so far. All I have ever heard was that diabetes tends to skip generations and like playing duck, duck, goose, I am it! I miss the days when I didn't have to watch what I put in my mouth. To sit and dwell on it does no good, we can't change it. We just have to manage the disease the best we can. As I sit here typing on my computer, my Mom is eating a candy bar and doesn't have to worry about what it will do to her blood sugar. :( Does not seem fair....but life goes on.
.... drool :hungry: with envy. Life isn't fair, but, we know that all too well. BUT, don't try to take the bar away from her. Just ignore it, and how good you remember it tasting once it hit your tongues taste buds. :boxing: fight the urge, and let me know that you won. :D

Lots of Love Back to You,

Pastor paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,394 Posts
I didn't know how lucky I am . . . my everlovin' husband gets to eat what I eat! Right down to the strawberries sweetened with erythritol and sucralose! heehee! (and he usually doesn't know the difference . . . ;))

But I will caution you, Paul, about assuming we patients on "only metformin" can eat anything we want. It just ain't so, brother. I haven't eaten a potato or a slice of hot sourdough bread in over a year, nor will I - for the rest of my mortal life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gotha....

I didn't know how lucky I am . . . my everlovin' husband gets to eat what I eat! Right down to the strawberries sweetened with erythritol and sucralose! heehee! (and he usually doesn't know the difference . . . ;))

But I will caution you, Paul, about assuming we patients on "only metformin" can eat anything we want. It just ain't so, brother. I haven't eaten a potato or a slice of hot sourdough bread in over a year, nor will I - for the rest of my mortal life.
I figured you were a good patient... but, there are many who are not, and I've ran intoa view of them. :yuck:
 

·
Anti-Man Made Carbs!
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
Great post!

i am a met "only" taker, but strict dieter and walker
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,590 Posts
I run into more and more folks who, like myself, are diabetic. And to me, it sure seems that this disease is affecting more people than I can ever remember as I look back at my youth (I'm currently 63).

The thing that often moves my heart to the brink of envy, is when I find someone who is diabetic, and only using Metformin.

And, what's even more mind blowing to me is that these folks don't follow a tight, or, even close to tight diet. They don't exercise. They eat everything they want and crave, while I've either had to give those things up, completely, or, eat in moderation. Some even continue to use alcohol. "Lucky !!!"

Pastor Paul
I dont know that I really ever think "lucky"---I usually think more often "unfortunate." For the person that is taking metformin only and still eating whatever they want, whenever they want, they are usually just fooling themselves into complacency. Even if they are managing to have an *OK* A1c and FBS, chances are that they are having extended periods of elevated post prandial blood sugars that are (for now) silently ticking away at their eyes, nervous system, cardiovascular system, renal system, etc...not to mention over working an already over burdened pancreas. One day they may suddenly realize that they have all these complications and maybe even are struck with a pancreas that has just given out. I am a walking example of this.

For years I just took my medicine and then ate whatever I wanted. As long as I took my medicine, I was fine....right? I was diagnosed T2 at a very young age...I was only 16. I thought I was ok....I didnt have the *bad* kind of diabetes, afterall. Of course, years later I was hit with neuropathy, macular edema in both eyes ( I am going this morning for laser on my right eye actually) and a pancreas that finally gave up the ghost. My poor over burdened beta cells finally told me that they were done playing this game. I am now at point where I dont even produce enough insulin on my own to cover my basic basal needs.

I have often wondered, if I had taken better care of myself earlier, would I be in this situation now? No idea....I could have still had the complications I have....my pancreas could have eventually failed anyway...but it is more likely that it would have been a better outcome.

So, for any of those "metformin only and eat whatever you want" diabetics out there....learn from my (and many others) mistakes...you really arent *fiine as long as you take your pill* and you really *do* have the *bad kind of diabetes*. There is no such thing as a good kind of diabetes. No matter what type you are....its all serious and should be taken seriously in how you manage it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks....

I dont know that I really ever think "lucky"---I usually think more often "unfortunate." For the person that is taking metformin only and still eating whatever they want, whenever they want, they are usually just fooling themselves into complacency. Even if they are managing to have an *OK* A1c and FBS, chances are that they are having extended periods of elevated post prandial blood sugars that are (for now) silently ticking away at their eyes, nervous system, cardiovascular system, renal system, etc...not to mention over working an already over burdened pancreas. One day they may suddenly realize that they have all these complications and maybe even are struck with a pancreas that has just given out. I am a walking example of this.

For years I just took my medicine and then ate whatever I wanted. As long as I took my medicine, I was fine....right? I was diagnosed T2 at a very young age...I was only 16. I thought I was ok....I didnt have the *bad* kind of diabetes, afterall. Of course, years later I was hit with neuropathy, macular edema in both eyes ( I am going this morning for laser on my right eye actually) and a pancreas that finally gave up the ghost. My poor over burdened beta cells finally told me that they were done playing this game. I am now at point where I dont even produce enough insulin on my own to cover my basic basal needs.

I have often wondered, if I had taken better care of myself earlier, would I be in this situation now? No idea....I could have still had the complications I have....my pancreas could have eventually failed anyway...but it is more likely that it would have been a better outcome.

So, for any of those "metformin only and eat whatever you want" diabetics out there....learn from my (and many others) mistakes...you really arent *fiine as long as you take your pill* and you really *do* have the *bad kind of diabetes*. There is no such thing as a good kind of diabetes. No matter what type you are....its all serious and should be taken seriously in how you manage it.
That was a great testimony to those who take Metformin and blow off taking care of their diabetes. Thanks for your words of warning and wisdom "onaughmae", you are a true warrior for the cause.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
36 Posts
No, when I see people who have type 2, I feel pity, not envy, because so few of them are managing any aspect of their health well.

I also feel anger, because in most cases, what is called type 2 diabetes is a predictable and reversible consequence of an unhealthy lifestyle.

When you have type 1, you know it, and you can't ignore it. Once the shock disappates, you find that here are a lot of tools at your disposal, tools that you can use to monitor and manage your health. Insulin, syringes, BG metering and A1C tests become a small part of your everyday life, and if you work with your HC team, you can live a "normal" life.

The motto for type 2's should be "Ask your doctor about how long you can expect to live if you don't accept personal responsibility".

Unfortunately type 2s are treated just like those with high BP or cholestrol issues. Instead of making it clear to those who have these diseases that their lives are in their own hands, quacks and alchemists "manage" the disease with multiple pharmaceuticals - medications that force the body to do things it wasn't designed to do. Instead of motivating patients with lifestyle diseases to change their lifestyles, they make them junkies.

Ironically, the mortality statistics for persons with unmanaged diabetes have been used as the "rationale" for dening personal major medical coverage to persons with type 1- while type 2's are accepted. The consequence has been that type 2 diabetes is perpetuated, more junkies are being hooked on Metformin and other diabetes drugs, while those with type 1 diabetes have been denied economic access to the resources needed to economically keep their disease under control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
I have T2 diabetes and take both insulin and oral medications. My pancreas does not function properly. I don't consider myself a junkie. Not taking any medication would certainly send me to an early grave. Do you have diabetes? If so, T1 or T2? Having T2 diabetes is not something to be ashamed of and it is a real medical condition. It is not merely an issue of neglect to ones body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,394 Posts
I agree with Breeze. And I think we need to know more about you, psdaengr - since you seem to know so much about us, and how we neglect and abuse ourselves. Tell us your own numbers and your history.

You've been here awhile - making sweeping statements and generalizations. Be specific now. Tell us about how you manage your own diabetes, if you have it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
36 Posts
I have T2 diabetes and take both insulin and oral medications. My pancreas does not function properly. I don't consider myself a junkie. Not taking any medication would certainly send me to an early grave. Do you have diabetes? If so, T1 or T2? Having T2 diabetes is not something to be ashamed of and it is a real medical condition. It is not merely an issue of neglect to ones body.
Yes, I have diabetes (read on for numbers). Pity isn't a form of empathy and sorrow, not a belittling. I don't think that having any disease or condition should be a cause for feeling shame or embarrassment. I feel sorrow for anyone who uses a therapy that isn't as effective as possible, because I've been there..

What I said was,

"No, when I see people who have type 2, I feel pity, not envy, because so few of them are managing any aspect of their health well.

I also feel anger, because in most cases, what is called type 2 diabetes is a predictable and reversible consequence of an unhealthy lifestyle."

As many as 90% of the people who are categorized as having type 2 diabetes have nothing wrong with their insulin production - either its quality or its quantity; it's the rest of their bodies that are out of control. They have outgrown their pancreases, causing pancreatic overload, a complication of obesity. Rather than identifying this as a separate disorder, the definition of type 2 diabetes has been bastardized to include them.

By lumping them in with those who have insulin resistance or improper alpha or beta cell response to blood glucose levels which is true type 2 diabetes, they make life harder for those who have true type 2 diabetes, those who have normal body weight and abnormal insulin production or regulation.

If you are one of those few, I feel pity for you, not because you have a disease, but because you get the fallout of guilt by association from their behavior as well as the consequences of doctors trying to treat diseases that they don't understand using chemicals that they don't understand.

People with impaired beta cell function get treated the same as those with overloaded beta cells using chemicals to force the cells to produce more insulin. In either case the result is the same, the beta cells get burned out. This is in contrast with insulin replacement therapy which addresses the shortage. The two approaches are like pumping an oil well dry vs changing to a new source. The more rational approach is shunned because of the supposed "pain" of changing behavior.

I have diabetes also, as did my father and his mother. I was fortunate that my beta cells failed rapidly and dramatically, instead of gradually like my dad and grandma. I say fortunate, because their doctors persisted in trying to treat them with oral medications until their beta cells totally failed. Once this happened and their diabetes was treated with insulin alone, their glucose management improved, but the damage was done. Both of them were blind, had impaired mobility, and died prematurely.

I can forgive this ignorance of fifty years ago, as I can the ignorance of 30+ years ago when I developed overt symptoms. It may seem incredible to you, but I had to argue with my doctors about using a home glucose meter when they became available, pay for one out of my own pocket, convince them to use those results and convince them that I had to self-manage blood glucose though insulin dosage modification. I had to battle with my doctors and my insurance companies every step of the way, convincing them that NPH once a day wasn't adequate, MDI of basal and rapid insulins was needed.

Over a period of 30 years I was I was gradually able to find a team of doctors who would listen, look at the same research and clinical trials that I'd been watching and work with me. Though I've experienced setbacks and complications, my self-management has steadily improved. My A1Cs for the last couple years have been in the high 5's. My total cholesterol is under 10, my BP is 110/65, my weight is average for my height.

My frustration with with the treatment of type 2 diabetes is that I know that BG can be well managed using MDI insulin alone. All the research shows that the use of Metformin and other oral drugs doesn't stop the progression of type 2 diabetes, doesn't improve long term outcomes vs insulin replacement therapy alone, and that remaining beta cell function can be preserved if insulin replacement therapy is used instead of drug-stressing the beta cell activity.

Rapid strides are being made toward the development of an artificial pancreas, and an understanding of the antibody process underlying diabetes. So why would any sane person chose a blood glucose management protocol that further damages the insulin production capacity of their panaceas, when a safer and more effective protocol exists that also protect their remaining beta cells?

Traditional medicine isn't science, it's mechanics practiced by well-meaning people who don't understand how the machine or the medicines work. Medications like Metformin are the product of a medical community that deals with symptoms, using the side effects of chemicals to counter these symptoms, without understanding the underlying mechanisms of disease. The majority of medicines in use, including Metformin are the biological equivalent of pouring Motor Honey into a malfunctioning engine. Ignoring the other side effects and consequences of these chemicals may have been the lesser of two evils in the past, but science, not medicine is now driving progress toward the cure for diabetes.

Within a very few years the old labels of type 1, type 2, adult onset and juvenile diabetes will be supplanted by scientific disease names that relate to the causes and underlying mechanisms of each of the many different diseases that have been lumped together under the dark ages name "diabetes". Until medicine is replaced by science, we who have these diseases will have to contend with the Motor Honey mechanics and cutters who call themselves doctors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,590 Posts
<climbs onto soapbox>

I can understand your frustration with the treatment of T2 diabetes. Myself, I have thought for years that many of us are mismanaged from the beginnings of our diagnosis. Personally, its my belief that many T2's would benefit from insulin therapy at a much earlier stage than many of us are. I absolutely believe that if I had started insulin therapy years ago instead of beating my pancreas to death with sulfonyureas I might actually have some beta cell function left. Do I have a some tangible proof of this? No...but it certainly makes sense to me.

I think where the issue some people might have with your earlier statement is....is that the way it was worded made it seem as though you thought T2 diabetics are that way because of an unhealthy lifestyle that could be changed if they chose to do so...compared to a T1 that has no choice.

I am not sure that is what you meant to come across...but to me...thats what it seemed. In *my* opinion, neither T1 or T2 is *worse than the other. There is simply a different mechanism at work leading to the same result. In a T1 there beta cells are destroyed...they have no control over that. In a T2 they have a malfunction in the ability to use their insulin properly. Both conditions result in the same symptoms and same unfortunate complications. Treatment is both the same...and different...both have their own issues to deal with.
One thing they do share in common is that both types are caused by a genetic problem. Insulin resistance doesnt just happen because you ate too many cookies. I hope that as time goes by and more research goes into it, a solid scientific reason can explain exactly why it occurs. It is definitely genetic as evidenced by the fact that *most* of the time T2's run in families. I dont think it can purely be blamed on unhealthy lifestyle. If that were true every overweight person in the world would have diabetes. Many of us were within a so-called normal weight range when diagnosed (as I was).

Whatever your type is...the end result is the same. We are all in this battle together and can only strive to do the best we can to manage the hands we have been dealt.

<jumps off of soapbox and goes back to writing this stupid paper for school>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,394 Posts
Yes, I have diabetes (read on for numbers). [edit]

I beg to differ, and differ strenuously. Metformin, unlike sulfonylureas and/or other oral medications, does absolutely NOT promote pancreas burnout & beta cell death. Metformin increases insulin sensitivity - period. It works to decrease insulin resistance, and it has worked for many years. It is affordable, which insulin is absolutely NOT, and you are going to need to provide better verification of these blanket statements. Of course, insulin is one of the best tools in the toolbox, and we all know the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes (and metformin is used for type 1 patients who develop insulin resistance). There are, however, many other combinations of treatment which assuredly do work, and many people on this forum are testimony to that fact.

In other news, the jury is still out on whether obesity causes diabetes or diabetes causes obesity, and the evidence supporting the latter thesis is accumulating rapidly.

I applaud your early insight into diabetes management, your life-long efforts and your success in controlling your diabetes (as well as controlling your medical team). But you are not the first or the only such astute patient. There will always be people who ignore their health and continue their bad eating habits, their smoking, their drinking, and plenty of other vices which contribute to the detriment of the human body. Those are not the people you find on this forum.

Despite your disclaimers ("so few" and "in most cases"), you are bashing type 2 diabetics here, and you are in error.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Your words struck a chord with me. I have so many other health issues that diabetes has taken a back seat for the past several years. There is 1 good thing about diabetes and that is being able to take blood sugars. That give me a sense of control.
My migraines, sinus issues, back problems and my Multiple Sclerosis do not lend that sense of control.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top