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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
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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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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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.
 

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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.
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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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.
 

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I hope this clears things up, but if not, feel free to start shooting. I have my flack jacket on.
All I ask is that you back up your assertions with verifiable citations. I'm going to tell you again that there is mounting evidence that type 2 is NOT caused by obesity; that the opposite is true; and the studies go back several years. Yet the myth persists.

Despite the fact that it is the prevalent view that insulin resistance is the main genetic factor predisposing to development of type 2 diabetes, review of several lines of evidence in the literature indicates a lack of overwhelming support for this concept.

Here is just one of the studies
Studies of twins has shown that identical twins have a 4 out of 5 chance to both develop type 2 diabetes. Fraternal twins pose no such risk, despite being born to the same parents and raised in the same environment. There is so much more to this issue than you apparently are willing to admit, and yet you persist in arguing that type 2 diabetics brought it all on themselves by overeating. Please dial it down.

p.s. As regards the car analogy, eventually old cars are going to need more than a tuneup, they're going to need replacement parts. What then?
 

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I believe whole heartedly that insulin resistance causes obesity. Not only because of the studies that talk about it...it just makes sense. You have a genetic tendency towards insulin resistance. The IR causes your blood sugar to be high. Your pancreas which still produces insulin normally at that point cranks out large amounts of it in an attempt to correct the blood sugar. The insulin grabs onto those pesky glucose molecules in your blood and tries to move it into the cells, but the door is locked. So it does all it can do at that point...it stores it as fat. Most notably in the midsection. Ever notice many T2 diabetics are heavier in the middle with little skinny "chicken legs"? All the added weight *exacerbates* your IR....which makes your blood sugar higher...which cranks up your pancreas...and so on...and so on...its a vicious cycle. Losing weight and exercising will reduce your blood sugar since it lowers your insulin resistance. But the IR is there first, in my opinion. Most T2 diabetics are not diagnosed until they are much older and have already gained quite a bit of weight. If mine had not been caught so early, I probably would have been very overweight when I diagnosed. Mine was only caught so early because we were looking for it. We were looking for it because of my family history....my grandmother, mother and sister...all T2 diabetics. Sure seems like a strong argument for a genetic link to me. If it walks like a duck...quacks like a duck...it is most likely a duck :)
 

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Shanny:

I'm not going to argue with you, since I don't disagree with you.

What I said, if you'd read it carefully, is that there are several kinds of disorders being lumped under the category of Type 2 diabetes.

One of them, perhaps only one of them, is characterized by obesity-induced pancreatic overload that is reversible by weight loss.

As far as there being a reference that I can point to, that would require that the medical doctors who created these two all-encompassing categories of diabetes understand the underlying mechanisms of the diseases that they collectively call diabetes, more than 2000 years after the Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia first named the condition. The fact is that they don't. **** sapiens have been around for at least 15,000 years, but medical doctors can't decide what a healthy diet should be. They don't know how Avandia actually works. Medical doctors won't discover what causes these diseases, university research scientists will.

If you want evidence that a dietary-induced form of Type 2 type of diabetes exists, consider that the population of Japan. This was a genetic sub-group that was isolated for centuries from outside genetic "contamination". Like the US, Japan a very low incidence of all forms of diabetes prior to WWI, and continued to have a much lower incidence of Type 2 diabetes than the US until a well after WWII, when the population started to adopt American eating habits. Japan now has a similar rate of Type 2 diabetes as the US.

The same thing happened with the Inuit of Alaska, a group that lived on a diet of 90%+ animal fat and protein for most of their existence. They had no history of obesity until 30 years ago Now their rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes are higher than those of the US..

If this doesn't demonstrate that dietary changes precede one form of Type 2 diabetes, then you'll have to wait until all the genes related to diabetes are identified.

Don't hold your breath. By then the internet as you know it and this forum probably won't be around, and I'll be dead.

I'm sure that if die after getting hit by a bus, my death certificate will ascribe it to complications of diabetes. :eek:hwell:

Regarding parts replacement: http://www.artificialpancreasproject.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Those are interesting examples.

I'll just put out one small issue with your statement. The reason why Inuit rates of obesity and diabetes are higher than Americans: there are about 150, 000 Inuit to 300+ million Americans, so it's natural that the numbers will seem alarmingly higher per capita.

But having worked with Inuit and First Nations community members, I did notice some contempt in elders for the new eating patterns of newer generations that have embraced urban North American food. Supermarkets and fast food not only promote obesity but also deter from traditional foods that required more effort to obtain and are less processed.

The Canadian Inuit community was permanently changed with the introduction of snowmobiles and grocery stores about 30 years ago. Now able to conveniently reach distant locations without slower transports, they created much larger packed communities that required larger and faster means of feeding. Hunting skill has decreased mathematically over the generations as fewer young adults display interest in traditional methods of obtaining meat.
 

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So 30 years ago the Inuit suddenly had access to carbs and they got diabetes. Hmm interesting.

I was at a diabetic education class at Emerson Hospital. Where the MD explained that most T2 will suddenly gain weight just before DX without changing there eating or exercise due to IR.
 

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OMG you guys hav scared me to death. I am newly diagnosed type 2. A few months back I was borderline, now my fasting BSL in am is bout 12-13. I hav been given 3mths to control it with diet and exercise or start medication. Do I even stand a chance? Is it now a given that this condition is with me from now till forever no matter what I do? I guess I am living with false hope that I can hold it off longer :-(
 

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We sure don't aim to scare anyone to death, Lee-Ane, but we try not to mislead people either, and yes, diabetes will be with you from now on, unless a cure is discovered. But there is no cause for fear, because despite it being an incurable condition, it is controllable (if I could make that word blink, I would - it's that important to emphasize), and you are the one who can control it.

The "hold it off" part comes in regard to complications. Please don't try to hold off diabetes by ignoring it, or declining the medical tools it takes to control it. You need to get your levels down and you need to do it quickly to minimize your risk of complications which develop when levels go high and remain high. The choice is yours how fast or how slowly, and how much you want to struggle getting the job done. My levels never went quite as high as yours are, and I take metformin three times a day. As my signature block shows, I also take a few other supplements and I eat a low carb diet. This is what it takes right now for me to keep my levels between 80 and 130. If and when I find them creeping upward, I will consult with my doctor about going on a little basal insulin, or whatever else it takes to keep that blood glucose low enough to do no damage to my organs.

This may sound strange, but having diabetes is not really the issue, because diabetes can be controlled and controlled tightly. Getting complications like kidney failure, blindness, amputation, etc., is the real issue of diabetes, and if you are willing to gain control of your blood sugars and keep them low, then your risk of developing complications drops drastically. If it's a choice between eating rice/pasta/bread/potatoes every day and going blind, or eliminating rice/pasta/bread/potatoes from your diet and keeping your sight, which would you choose?
 

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Interesting point of view Diabrarian...but hey, we all start dying the day we were born.

I'm not dwelling on the years I may have lost, but rather those that still remain. I was about 275 lbs. when I was diagnosed with Type 2 nine months ago. Today I'm about 215, active (have started running) and eat healthier than I ever had...meanwhile friends who do not have diabetes are still morbidly obese and in my opinion will probably die of a heart attack, colon cancer, etc. long before I do.
 

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I can only speak from my personal experience on this.

Type 2 from 1993, I followed various doctor's advice as I gained weight and began taking metaformin in larger and larger doses. This parallels the actions of my mom and her mom, which was starting out as type 2 and progressing to type 1 as they gained weight in the recognized 'apple' shape. Both of them ultimately died of cancer, shooting tremendous amounts of insulin in the end.

In addition, blood fat levels grew and grew for all of us.

I have put a halt to this process (I think it could be called 'reversing', but as noted, this is a real hot button word). By taking action from a holistic rather than 'symptom stomping' mindset. I've cut my metaformin use in half, lost 30 lbs from my middle, dropped blood fat levels, and blood sugar has become controlled.

This has been done under my doctor's supervision - when I told him what I was doing and why, his eyes sorta glazed over and he said 'Whatever you are doing, don't stop'.

It's frustrating to have good results that save and better lives, know that they work in a general fashion, have a plan that works, and not be able to share because of 'being different'. The general herd can't get past the white-coated authority figure in their head which makes it so easy not to think, just deal with the crisis du jure.

The desire for many people with type 2 diabetes to want to continue the habits that got them where they are (I know I don't exercise nearly enough), mostly eating themselves to death, while having total misplaced faith in partial solutions provided by pharma is frustrating and supremely saddening.

Self imposed blinders are the hardest to remove.
 

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I agree, Russ . . . people need to take responsibility for their diabetes, and that means lifestyle changes. The simple truth is that obesity fosters insulin resistance, so LOSE WEIGHT! The simple truth is carbohydrate raises blood sugar, so LOSE THE CARBS! The simple truth is that exercise lowers blood sugar, so GET MOVING!

(and I'm good with "reversing" as long as we keep it in reverse & don't try going back to our old ways. Calling it a cure implies that we could go back to our old ways without adverse effects, and that is SO not true!)
 
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