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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, diabetesforum. Diabetes runs in my family tree on my mother's side in a major way. It is my opinion that I became pre-diabetic and then diabetic much earlier than I otherwise would have because I recklessly mismanaged my health when I was young, especially during my twenties. I had issues, and not getting a grip on them played a major role in why I didn't take proper care of myself.

What things might I have avoided to stay non-diabetic longer? I would say the obvious ones are: 1) cigarette-smoking/ tobacco chewing (the latter lamentable behavior mostly took place when I was a teenager); 2) high-fructose corn-syrup soda-pop (I think that one is a major player in the exploding diabetes epidemic); 3) eating junk-food. I trust that these assertions aren't terribly controversial.

What made me realize that I had a problem I later learned was diabetes was being tired all the time and being increasingly prone to carbohydrate cravings if I didn't carefully manage my consumption of sugary and starchy carbohydrates. Eating bread also made me terribly sleepy. The most noticable change was when pre-diabetic insulin resistance caused me to gain a very large amount of weight on my lower-middle front torso area. It took me a long time to realize that all these things indicated that something was seriously wrong. I am now inclined to think I was in a pretty well-maintained state of denial. I also had issues with a disorder known as candidiasis, in which the candida albicans yeast organisms in the colon over-proliferate and cause problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and rashes, among others. It is my understanding that diabetes and candidiasis often go hand-in-hand.

My denial crumbled when I started thinking about my situation with carbohydrate cravings (I attributed the tiredness to the candida problems I had begun treating a while before then with an effective probiotic) and did some poking around on the Internet. I often wonder how many early diabetics have been snapped out of their denial by the Internet and how easy this wonderful tool makes it to investigate any topic about which one may be slightly curious.

I have good health insurance from work, so I went to the doctor to get checked out and sure enough, I hade Type 2 Diabetes. I was put on Metformin and a blood pressure medication (finding one that was good for me was a struggle, but I'll save that story for later if I do tell it at all) and changed my eating habits dramatically. I think the biggest favor I did myself was eliminating white-sugar- and white-flour-based processed and junk foods from my diet. I also ultimately decided to eliminate wheat entirely because of its blood-sugar-raising gluten. My breakfast consists of turkey breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs with a medium-small serving of oatmeal mixed with coconut oil. It's at breakfast when eating too many starchy or sugary carbohydrates can put me on a carb-craving roller-coaster for the rest of the day, so I regard that meal in particular as the crucial one. Everything you eat, not to mention how much, when you are managing this condition is certainly important, though.

I don't think all carbohydrates are bad because that in my view is black-and-white thinking, which the realities of life generally don't support. I favor relatively lower-glycemic-index carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. I tend to think that carbohydrates that are allowed on the candida-diet tend to be better for diabetics as these tend to be relatively lower-glycemic-index carbs.

It probably doesn't even need to be said that getting a certain amount of exercise, such as a 45-60 minute vigorous walk every day, is of crucial importance to managing diabetes. My numbers have been showing considerable improvement, and to demonstrate this, I will post the results of my first blood-test in August 2009 and my most recent one in November 2010.

Blood Glucose Fasting: 159 -- 112

A1C: 7.8 -- 6.0

Cholesterol Panel: 246 -- 201

LDL Cholesterol: 167 -- 126

HDL Cholesterol: 45 -- 55

Triglycerides: 172 -- 110

I also lost 25 pounds, going from 260 pounds to 235 pounds. (I am a 43-year-old caucasian male who is about 5'6" with a large frame.) I believe it was the Metformin that made most of this weight-loss possible, as well as playing a major role in my improved numbers. (I take a gram of Metformin a day, in two half-gram doses.) Triglycerides is the hardest number for me to manage. My clinic dietician thinks I eat too much food, but I do a lot of physical work for a living, so I need the fuel. Besides, I'm a pretty lonely guy, so I'm not very big on compounding my issues by adding hunger to the mix. I have been eating progressively less food since May/ June 2009, when I first began to realize I needed to make changes. I still have changes I need to make because I have always been a slow changer. But these changes are probably the most important and necessary I have ever made.
 

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Reading your history, OC, I find myself thinking 'some things never change!' :)

You got here a lot younger than I, but so much of the same territory covered - even the maternal family tree! And in a way, I was recognizing things, and yet not quite "recognizing" it. Falling asleep every time I ate? There were darn few meals that didn't include bread, either as sandwich makings, toast, or breading on everything from chicken to pork chops to chicken-fried-steaks. And I even called it "carb coma", for gosh sake! But the connection to diabetes didn't click even then, because I didn't know then, that diabetes is all about carbs.

Metformin has helped me greatly too, with stabilizing BG levels, & I credit it with curbing my appetite & facilitating my 35# weight loss, which came about with fairly generous use of fats along with my low-carb/high-fiber/mostly protein meals.

Thanks for the backtrack and catching us up on your diabetes journey.
 

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It is always interesting, and informative, to read how people got to diabetes. Myself, younger than you both, got here by abusing sugar. The signs were there (candidiasis and sleep were big for me), but I didn't know anything about diabetes and never made the connection. I was seriously abusing carbs. I was never fat, I have always exercised, but I just ate too much damned sugar.

I have limited my carbs now, I haven't lost any weight (mainly because I was quite fit anyway) but I do feel a great deal more healthy. I am off my meds, attempting to control things with diet and exercise. I am doing ok, but I am making some mistakes (had a 2.5 hours spike yesterday and the BG raised to 300 at its peak!!!!), but I am learning. I am testing the crap out of myself and learning all the time. My next A1C is on 15th Jan, that is when I will truly find out how well I am doing.

I do have one large issue, I cannot, however much I fast (12 hours is the max) get my morning BG to below 120. Usually it is 120-130. It was slightly lower when I was taking the pills (Daonil), but even then it never went below 110. Has anyone got a remedy for the liver dumps I am experiencing during the night/early morning? I get up at 06:00 and 12 hour fasting (after no carbs at my evening meal) is 120-130. Surely I am doing something wrong?
 

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I think diabetes is the only disease when we are made to feel we are to blame for doing it to ourselves. First let me tell you , it is no your fault. There are millions of people who eat poorly out there and they never get diabetes. I realy feel that pre diabetics and diabetics have something different in our endocrine systems that don't process carbs very well. So even when we eat normal amounts of carbs, we develop insulin resistance and get high bgs. Most people don't take action until they are dx'd, though. Similar to you I have found I can't tolerate most carbs except some sprouted bread once in awhile. I also use the Coconut oil as my fat and find it helps. As diabetics we have to manage our diets different than the non diabetic. This is very hard to understand. I was trying to explain this to my adult daughter yesterday. Even though some foods like fruit are healthy we can't process it without spiking, so I have to avoid it. She kept telling me I needed to eat more fruit and cereal because it is healthy. She feels she is not at risk because she thinks she eats healthy even though she eats high carb diet. Much of this is genetic, I fear and we have the genes that put us at risk for this disease. Glad you found us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
@Shanny: A meal with a lot of carbs can make an insulin-resistant person drowsy, but in my case, eating a significant amount of bread surpasses all other carbohydrates in that effect. It's like taking over-the-counter sleeping pills in that it's an especially foggy kind of tiredness. For me, "dread" is a well-deserved rhyme with "bread". I still have the occasional sub-sandwich at Subway, though. Even though bread isn't my friend as a diabetic, their whole-wheat bread is pretty tasty, IMHO. Being active or taking a nice, brisk walk often seems to go a long way towards counteracting this effect, I've noticed.

@goo stewart: Are you aware of the Dawn Effect? That's where your body jacks up your blood-sugar levels in the morning hours. It sounds as though you know of this with your reference to "liver dumps". It could be that some people are more prone this effect than others. I think I mostly just got lucky with my last blood-glucose fasting reading. Had it been a typical day, it would have been somewhere between 120-140, I tend to think.

It's so easy to abuse sugar in today's society. I read in Gretchen Becker's Type 2 Diabetes: The First Year that caucasians of European descent are among the least prone to diabetes of any major ethnic grouping in the world. Might that be a reason why societies of largely European ethnic composition have such a notorious sweet-tooth? I recall from my history classes in college that one of the first agricultural commodities for which expansionist old Europe engaged in trade was none other than sugar-cane. Though it is certainly true that Europe and the USA have managed to infect the rest of the world with our sugar-addiction, with what I believe to be an array of tragic health-results, including diabetes, for our international neighbors.

ETA jwags: As for the issue of blame, I think that one is complicated. That living your life a certain way can impact how soon or even if you get diabetes is demonstrated by the fact that since the arrival of HFCS soda-pop, children and teenagers are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Before HFCS, that generally didn't happen. My worst self-care took place in the years around the time that Nirvana's lead singer Kurt Cobain took his own life out of his feelings of despair and worthlessness. Similar feelings caused me to abuse myself both physically and emotionally, hence I call those my "Kurt Cobain Years". Being able to drink all the soda I wanted for free at the restaurant jobs I was working at the time was certainly part of the problem, BTW. My self-care during this period was horrendous enough that it's difficult for me to avoid the conclusion that I might have triggered diabetes earlier than it might otherwise have happened. I really do have a talent for doing myself in (not to mention compulsive self-blame and self-pity; apologies for the TMI).

Also ETA: In my original post in discussing more desirable carbohydrates, I meant to say, "relatively lower-glycemic-index, whole-grain, less-processed grains and also fresh vegetables". Though I suppose frozen veggies will do in a pinch (such as having a small fridge, as I do).
 

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Hello

hi,
I m Madan,from the Diabetes capital of India,Hyderabad(16.7 % of population are Diabetics)

I worked in pharma industry for 18 years and in 2010 I established Diabetes World in hyderabad.

every day I interact with minimum of 10 Diabetics and to enhance the awareness among them about proper management of Diabetes.
I also run a blog -diabc.blogspot,ABC of Diabetes
 

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I was never a sugar eater and never drank regular soda. I was a carb addict though and loved my whole grain breads, brown rice, brown pasta, quinoa and whole grain cereals. I ate the things our government tells us to with the Food Pyramid. There was no history of diabetes in my family. I did not eat HFCS and made most of my things from scratch. Both my husband and I now have diabetes. So with us it was definitely the whole grain bread and cereals. We both exercise 6-7 days a week, 1-3 hours a time. I really do feel insulin resistance is caused by a whacked out endocrine signalling system. I now know I just can't eat certain carbs safely. It is my body that did this to me, not me. I now am doing very well on low carb, organic diet and will continue this for life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
@jwags: So you were a healthy-carb eater, were you, and became diabetic nonetheless? I am aware that such cases exist, which is part of the reason why I espouse the specific dietary principles that I do. (BTW, another common blood-sugar metabolism disorder, hypoglycemia, has also been known to afflict healthy-carb eaters.) I am sorry to learn that you became diabetic doing what you thought and what you were told was the right thing to do. That must have been a blow.

I guess I tend to lay much of the blame on myself for becoming prediabetic at 30 because my older brother (older by ten years) has always taken excellent physical care of himself and shows no signs of diabetes. But then again, he has never had a weight problem, and I always have. Weight problems, which are also largely genetic, IMHO (I can supply a link here or in a PM if anybody is interested in further information), probably do an awful lot to potentiate a family-predisposition to diabetes. As I have said, I tend to think the best I could have done was make my diabetes occur rather later in life with better self-care. (I know, should have, could have, would have.) When I was working those restaurant jobs in Madison, I was guzzling that soda-pop by the pitcher! (I later switched to diet soda, but I am also extremely wary of aspartame these days.)
 

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I was around 148 pounds in a size 8 when I was dx'd. I was a little overweight for my height 5' 3.5" but not what I consider overweight. I played tennis 4-6 hours a week and worked out in the gym the other 3 days at least 2-3 hours. When I told people I was diabetic they thought I was making it up. I was the picture of health and my diabetes was picked up when I went to get new eye glasses. When they dilated my eyes they saw tiny specks in the back of my eye and sent me for more detailed eye tests. When the Opthamologist injected me with dye and took pictures of my retina and saw many microscopic leaks he immediately knew that was what happens in diabetics. He said damage appears in your eyes many years before other places. Sure enough when my blood tests came back fasing was 240.
 

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I too can attest that diabetes comes regardless of so-called "healthy" eating. I too ate all the fast-acting carbs . . . lovely whole grain breads kneaded/baked by my own hands, beautiful Kennebec potatoes grown in our own garden, homemade granola cereal made by my own recipe and baked in my own oven. Keep in mind that I'm a child of the 60s - the great back-to-basics era . . . always growing everything we could, cooking from scratch and preserving the abundance by canning & freezing.

Yes, processed/junk food is implicated strongly because it is so widely available & cheap, but a potato from my garden will spike me just as fast as a bag of chips from the grocery. Apologies to Gertrude Stein, but essentially 'a carb is a carb is a carb.' :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Yes, processed/junk food is implicated strongly because it is so widely available & cheap, but a potato from my garden will spike me just as fast as a bag of chips from the grocery. Apologies to Gertrude Stein, but essentially 'a carb is a carb is a carb.' :D
Yes, your body essentially treats all carbs as sugar. Though sacharrides containing fructose probably increase your risk of diabetes more because too much fructose interferes with proper glucose-insulin metabolism.

Keep in mind I was doing many other unhealthy things beyond my dietary habits such as not exercising enough, smoking cigarettes, and consuming way too much caffeine. In fact, I'm still struggling with the caffeine addiction.

ETA: Though if it's possible to do all these healthy things and still end up with diabetes, perhaps nobody can really say how my history would have been different had I done things differently.
 

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I am of the opinion that you do not eat your way into being a diabetic. You dont cause it by bad dietary habits. You can most certainly exacerbate your disease by bad habits...but I dont think it causes it. I lay the blame squarely at genetics. If that were true, every carb eating, overweight person in the world would be diabetic, and they are not. My husband can eat more carbs in one meal than I eat all day, and his blood sugar is just fine. Trust me, he is the *king* of eating crap, processed, bad-for-you food. I am not your "typical" type 2 diabetic. I was diagnosed at the age of 16...still young, not over weight, and active. The reason they found it? Because they were looking for it. My grandmother, mother and sister...all diabetic. Chance are, if they had not been looking for it, by the time they found it I would have been overweight. Insulin resistance causes you to gain weight. My pancreas no longer produces insulin, and I am insulin dependent now. My beta cells simply burned out. I am inclined to believe that I could have preserved my beta cell function for a longer period of time if I had kept better control, but years of pancreas stimulating drugs and poor control i think just burned it out faster. I think my pancreas would have lost function eventually anyway, but I have to wonder if it would have happened as quickly.
 

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I will go you one further and add, maybe your diabetes caused your carb consumption!

It certainly caused mine, near the end! I craved sugar and never had done that, before.

I do wish someone would do some research on that ... but it'd require stricter diagnostic criteria than we currently have.
 

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I will go you one further and add, maybe your diabetes caused your carb consumption!

It certainly caused mine, near the end! I craved sugar and never had done that, before.

I do wish someone would do some research on that ... but it'd require stricter diagnostic criteria than we currently have.
I like your explanation, I do think it is a chicken and egg question, which came first. If you are genetically prone to insulin resistance, even eating normal amounts of carbs will put on weight. I was always a skinny kid and teenager but after I had kids, especially in the 30's it seemed something started to change, even though I was eating the same things. At first I just figured it was growing older, now I think it was insulin resistance rearing it's terrible head. If I had changed my diet 30 years ago I may have avoided diabetes, who knows. We automatically blame obesity on overeating in theis county. There may be an underlying condition like insulin resistance that causes you to store fat instead of burning it.
 
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(I later switched to diet soda, but I am also extremely wary of aspartame these days.)
Interesting. When diagnosed I switched from a heavy daily input of sugar (5-pound-bag every other month) to Aspartame (Equal). I've heard a lot of rhetoric concerning Aspartame...but no "real" reports from diabetics about what "aspartame" has done to them.

Care to share your insights...or are you just leery of all sugar substitutes?
 

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I like your explanation, I do think it is a chicken and egg question, which came first. If you are genetically prone to insulin resistance, even eating normal amounts of carbs will put on weight. I was always a skinny kid and teenager but after I had kids, especially in the 30's it seemed something started to change, even though I was eating the same things. At first I just figured it was growing older, now I think it was insulin resistance rearing it's terrible head. If I had changed my diet 30 years ago I may have avoided diabetes, who knows. We automatically blame obesity on overeating in theis county. There may be an underlying condition like insulin resistance that causes you to store fat instead of burning it.
HOWEVER there are people (typically young, slender, highly active ones, many in medical profession) who feel that such a statement is denying responsibility for our condition.

I am very quiet about this opinion most of the time, because people like those will argue with it, and send me into a bizarre blaming cycle. NOT healthy. Not to mention it contradicts my observations ... just not worth fighting their BS though!
 

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I do think it is hard enough to deal with diabetes without the blame and guilt that comes with it. It makes my blood boil sometimes when I hear people in the government say we have to alter the way people eat because they all will become diabetics and cost the healthcare system tons of money. Personally I pay tons more into insurance than I ever receive in services each year. What they don't tell you is that even if you are dx'd diabetic you can manage the disease so you don't have complications and cost the government money. The other thing that they like to tell you is that if you lose the weight, Voila the diabetes will magically disappear. Well, guess what, not true. At 113 pounds I am better controlled but that is because I limit my carbs at meals. If I eat things like fruit, ww bread, wg. cereal, I would spike well above 200+. I have enough to deal with taking care of this disease 24/7 without being blamed for doing this to myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This is a very interesting discussion. I've thought a lot about what might be the cause of diabetes. The fact that there has been a growing diabetes epidemic since 1990 in this country makes me think that lifestyle (such as drinking too much HCFS soda-pop, for instance) has something to do with it. If it were purely genetic, wouldn't the rates of diabetes remain pretty much constant regardless of what people did to themselves? I think genetics are a big part of it, though. My current theory on the epidemic is that the HFCS is tipping people who only have a very modest genetic predisposition towards diabetes over the edge. Seriously, you really have to think something's up when it becomes almost commonplace for what used to be called "adult-onset diabetes" to be diagnosed in teenagers. My clinic dietician thinks "portion distortion", or people eating way more than they really need to be full, is part of the problem. But recently I read that HFCS short-circuits a hormone that tells you that you have had enough to eat, so that takes us right back to my pet theory!

@foxl: What drives me nuts about hyperglycemia (diabetes by another name) is how ravenously, monstrously hungry it makes you in general before you start controlling your blood-sugar!

@Bountyman: People on a candidiasis-forum of which I'm a member say that aspartame sets off their symptoms in a way that other artificial sweeteners don't. My personal rule of thumb to date is "bad for candidiasis, probably bad for diabetes". I was guzzling huge quantities of Crystal Light in the years before I started experiencing the diabetic fatigue. I poured it down the drain when I finally forced myself to read a website about the purported dangers of aspartame. The stuff can make you lose your hair, and the right side of my hairline was starting to recede in a dramatic way. When I flushed the CL, the hair filled back in shortly afterwards!
 
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welcome outcold... I'm a newbie to this forum. I've just read the thread and pretty much agree with everyone... love hearing your experiences. I probably should mention how I came to get diabetes (will try and summarise). I was a 25 yo female and overweight. I went to doc & got diagnosed with urinary tract infection and then alarm bells rang for my doc. I was sent off for all the blood tests and 24 hour liver tests.... etc. The results came back to say I was type 2 diabetic... my jaw hit the floor. In my mind one other female family member I knew had diabetes and nearly died twice as went into diabetic comas.... I didn't want that... no way! I then got referred to endo and got told I was diabetic at 25 yo because I had family history (other females including my mother on mother's side now have it since I was diagnosed) and I have PCOS. Well I went on to lose 20 odd kgs and was doing quite well with the BGL on diet & exercise alone... then it stopped working altogether. I was put on metformin to start with and stayed on that for about 5+ years. It was a dreadful drug for me... had all day sickness & such... couldn't leave for work in a hurry as attached to toilet often. I then got put on every other drug doc could think of... eventually nothing worked. I'm now on insulin since Feb10 and they are still trialling with me what's the best dosage for me atm. I regularly see endo. My theory is that we get diabetes mainly because of genetics and partly because of lifestyle. I think media & govt are presenting it all wrong to public as there is no cure so there is no point in telling ppl they can "get rid of it altogether"... I've found out for myself that it's progressive. I did my darn best to take care of myself.... still had high BGLs. Like anyone I've had times when I get dissappointed and slack off a bit. One thing you learn is that stressing over BGLs doesn't help at all. If I get pain, sick, emotional, or whatever they all can make my BGL soar... never mind the food or exercise. I hope I didn't bore anyone. lol. love reading your stories.
 
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