Still Learning

In 30 years of diabetes, which has progressed, sometimes become better-managed, and has changed over the years, I’ll profess my avid interest in its treatment.

I thought I knew a lot until I started the preparation for going on an insulin pump earlier this year. Since then, I can’t tell you how much more my poor brain has been filled with extra information. Every week it seems I learn something new. Whether it’s about managing the disease, research, reading other people’s experiences, it’s still learning.

My averages had been creeping up over the last couple of weeks. I can put it down to a number of things including another kilo on my already overweight frame (I still manage to just scrape in to the ‘overweight’ category with Body Mass Index (BMI)).

We had visitors and were eating out a lot, in places where whatever was on my plate was sometimes difficult to carb-guess. And the kicker was the extra exercise. Like some, I’m not textbook when it comes to exercise. I don’t do enough of it (knee needing replacement) so I go high during exercise – contrary to text book advice – and have to bolus more. More bolus = more insulin = more weight for me. Going high during all the walking we did meant extra insulin.

So, whatever the reason or combination of reasons for my averages going up, I felt I had to break the cycle. Three days last week, I did very-low-carb. This week, I’m doing lower-carb. It’s done the trick. Don’t take this as advice – it’s just my experience.

Under no circumstances did I want to increase my TDD of insulin, which would put on more weight. What I did, worked nicely for me. I’m back to carb-watch-eating and my numbers are way better. In the process, I also shed a couple of pounds, for which I’m very grateful. The extra weight seems to be super-glued to me, and getting it off is a battle.

In passing, my endo, a few weeks ago, told me not to worry about the extra weight, considering how well I’ve done since I went on an insulin pump. I didn’t think much of it at the time. My thoughts were of fashion and vanity.

In a twist of fate, I subsequently read about some latest studies which suggest that BMIs under 18 and over 30 are associated with a greater risk of death. What was apparently surprising to the researchers was that the overweight category BMI: 25 to 30, was NOT associated with any significant greater risk. And the most surprising was that the underweight category BMI <18, was.

We all thought that calorie restriction was the way to go. Apparently not. From what I’m reading, going into the twilight years with a little extra padding, isn’t all that bad. What is vitally important, is your fitness. If you are normal weight and not fit, you do worse than someone overweight and fit.

If you have the time, watch the video below. It outlines some of the latest research.

Obesity: Ten Things You Thought You Knew

So maybe my endo had seen these same studies.

That still doesn’t let me off the hook as far as off-the-hook fashion goes. And yeah, I’m not all that fit. I hope to change that.

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Please Don’t Lecture!

It bugs the hell out of me! Well-meaning (sometimes) and uninformed (nearly always) people telling someone (including me) how to manage their diabetes.

While I haven’t lately had anyone tell me anything that irked me, I see it and hear it all the time.

Please folks, if you don’t have diabetes yourself, unless you’re a medical person (and they are sometimes wrong too),  don’t presume you know anything about how to manage anyone’s diabetes!

Just a few tidbits… if you have diabetes, as you know, this list can get a mile long. Here are just a few that come to mind.

  • Because I’m a few pounds overweight (thank you insulin), don’t presume I have Type 2. I don’t.
  • Because something worked for someone else, don’t presume it’ll work for me… and above all, stop shoving it down my throat.
  • Don’t tell me that if I don’t look after myself, I’ll die. That’s the first thing we learn. Then it’s OUR choice.
  • Please stop being the food police!!! I have insulin. Theoretically, I can eat whatever I want as long as I can manage it effectively with insulin. (Doesn’t mean I do or I can.)
  • If I look like I’m not motivated to manage my diabetes effectively, motivate me gently, suggest a counselor who can help, or just plain hold your tongue! You probably have no idea why I’m not motivated.
  • Don’t talk to me about low-carb, high-carb, low-fat or whatever other combination of foods you think aren’t good. Studies have shown that both a low-carb/high protein/high fat, or high-carb/low fat diet/low protein (in whatever combination you want) are equally effective for losing weight. If you can manage your diabetes well on high carb, then that’s your choice. If you manage on low-carb, that’s your choice too. If you manage on a mix of both, fine too.

I can’t stress this enough, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT in terms of their management of diabetes and what works for them, and what they’re willing to do. If just one thing worked, everyone would be on the same diet, with the same amount of insulin/pills, taken at the same time of day, via the same method. Nice try, but no cigar!

If everyone was motivated the same way, there’d be no issue – everyone would have perfect A1Cs, right? Even then, diabetes doesn’t always behave the way it’s expected to all the time. Just doesn’t happen unless you’re a total creature of habit (eating the same thing every day, same exercise, same everything, stable hormones, no illnesses and so on)! Even then everyone gets curve-balls at one time or another!

What I want to stress above all else is that it’s people’s personal choice about how they manage their diabetes, whether you think it’s right or not.

If you find someone who’s not motivated, then try gently once or twice, then LEAVE THEM ALONE, and don’t judge. Support them in other ways. It’s not your place to be judge and jury for anyone else’s life.

Even if you think you know better, please don’t lecture – more often than not, it’s more unproductive than helpful.

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Mediterranean Diet Better for Diabetes Than Low-Fat Meals: Study

Mediterranean Diet Better for Diabetes Than Low-Fat Meals: Study

Been saying the same thing it for years!!

Whether you’re Type 1 or Type 2 or anything in between, if you can’t keep your blood glucose within your target range most of the time, try cutting the carbs!

On lower carbs, diabetes is so much easier to control – on insulin and even more so, without insulin!

If you are on any medications for diabetes, please check with your doctor before embarking on any change of diet.

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Animas Insulin Pump

I've had an Animas Insulin Pump since June 2009. I absolutely love my pump and I love the wonderful people at Animas (AMSL Australia).

If you are even remotely thinking of getting an insulin pump, please feel free to contact me and ask me why I love mine and what a huge difference it's made to my life.

There are also lots of posts here to give you similar information.