Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Am I Cured?


Semantics and Type 2 Diabetes

 

One of the arguments I see most often about type 2 diabetes, in forums and as comments online after articles, revolves around these three words: reversal, remission and cure.  There are so many people who claim to have the answer to type 2 diabetes either through a diet plan or supplement.  They claim to have a cure or that they can reverse your type 2.  The argument that ensues takes offense at the idea that type 2 can be cured or reversed or even put into remission.  I think that the evolution around these arguments stems from the irritation we feel when people tell us “all you have to do is this…and you’re cured.”  I think we get hyper-sensitive and I’m as much to blame as anyone else.  So let’s take a look at these three words.  Here are the definitions taken from a medical dictionary:

Reversal: A change to an opposite condition, direction, or position.

Remission: a temporary or permanent decrease or subsidence of manifestations of a disease.

Cure: Restoration of health; recovery from disease.

Let’s say I’m someone who has type 2 diabetes (Hey!  I DO have type 2 diabetes!!  Not much of a stretch, eh?) and I find a food plan that I think will work for me and I try it.  I work hard at lowering my bg numbers.  I exercise.  I kick D’s butt.  So now I have an A1c of 6, which is on the low end of recommendations for someone who has diabetes.  Based on the definitions above, have I reversed my diabetes or put it into remission? Am I cured?  Well, I could say that it’s reversed because I have changed the direction of my disease.  My blood glucose was going up and now it’s going down: reversal.  I could also say that my D is in remission because I have a decrease in the manifestations of the disease.  As for cured, I may have restored my health but I have not recovered from the disease.  In all three cases, diabetes is still there lurking, ready to return should I change my habits again.  If I did change my habits back to the way they were before, eating whatever the heck I want and not exercising daily, my D would definitely reverse itself again or come out of remission.  I would say that all three words are similar in that respect.

It’s all semantics.  People and companies that are pushing their plan for your diabetes are out to convince you that they can cure you.  They can’t.  You have diabetes and you always will.  Deal with it. I’m not saying that there aren’t plans out there that can help you control your diabetes but don’t be fooled into thinking that someday you will be able to ignore it.  You can’t.

Dealing with diabetes, regardless of type, requires a lifestyle change.  Don’t look at is as a diet because you’ll be setting yourself up for defeat.  Dieting implies that you’re making some changes for a while to see some results.  The changes you need to make to your lifestyle are changes that you need to continue from now on.  Maybe some of you who are reading this might think about that and start saying, “Woe is me.” or:  “This totally sucks.”  Yeah it does totally suck but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world as we know it. Instead, look upon it as an opportunity to do something positive for the rest of your life.  It’s not a punishment, but an opportunity.  Change your focus and concentrate on making positive changes that will prolong your life; that’s a good thing!

In the end, it’s ok to get upset and rail against the world because you drew the D card, but it’s not ok to wallow in it for the rest of your life.  As for me, I’d much rather decide that I will not eat high-carb foods on a regular basis and opt for healthier choices instead. I won’t feel miserable because I can’t have some of the foods I used to eat.  Yes, I will eat a treat on occasion.  Yes, I will skip the exercise now and then.  Yes, I will get upset from time to time.  However, I intend for my focus to be on the good things in my life.  I like eating in a way that is healthier for me.  I don’t really miss the “old days”.  I feel pretty damn good, thank you very much.

It’s just semantics, people.  It’s up to you to search out a food plan that works for you.  Ignore the naysayers and do what’s right for you.  Don’t be duped into thinking that you will be cured or that your D will go away.  Maybe you can reverse it or see your complications go into remission, but it is up to you to stay vigilant and follow your path to better health.

12 comments:

  1. I love people who think that Type 2 Diabetes is a disease of choice (dripping sarcasm...). I am a T2 diabetic who has exercised all of my life and I'm currently training for an Ironman. There is no reversing my disease. All I can do is slow down the progression. http://defyingmydestiny.blogspot.com/

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  2. As a Type 1 I hesitate to weigh in, because I don't live with Type 2 so I don't feel I can give an informed opinion. But I honestly feel remission is a better word than cure, for the very reasons you've given here. As for Type 1, some will consider an Artificial Pancreas to be a cure for us, but I don't. I am excited for it because it will reduce my day to day diabetes burden, but until my pancreas works again (without needed to take any drugs) I won't consider myself cured.

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  3. I cured my diabetes 2.
    This is confirmed by my doctor.
    My blood sugar is now reduced to 5.4 (above 6.1 is insulin insensitive = diabetes2)

    How did I do it.

    1. Stop eating all foods with hydrogenated fat (also known as trans fats). It is man-made.
    2. Get your fat from a fist of walnuts per day.
    3. Eat the walnuts for 7 months to replace the man-made fat in your cell walls with natural fat.

    Reason:-
    Hydrogenated fat is modified fat which has an extra hydrogen atom added to it, to prolong food shelf life.
    However, you insulin expects “natural fat” around every cell in your body for the past 4M years – evolution!
    So Insulin is “confused” by the new molecular structure of the fat membrane around you cells.
    By replacing the “man-made” fat by natural fat (from walnuts) over 7 months you insulin works as intended , opens the cell wall and lets the sugar in to be consumed as energy. Done.

    New York state will probably ban all food with hydrogenated fat this year 2012. (They were first to ban smoking!)

    Caution: Manufacturers have negotiated agreement with the food authorities to NOT show hydrogenated fat on packaging if it is less than 0.05%. So beware and dont eat any food that has long shelf life (snacks, cookies, etc) including the oil used for fries in your local fast food outlet.

    For how insulin works see http://www.khanacademy.org/science/healthcare-and-medicine/v/glucose-insulin-and-diabetes

    I am an engineer, not a medical person, so I bring a different discipline and training to problem solving.

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    1. Good job on getting your diabetes under control. Like I said above, it's semantics but there is no cure for diabetes. There is definitely good control, which is sounds like you've achieved. Congrats!

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    2. There is a cure for type 2 diabetes caused by obesity. Bariatric surgery and low calorie diets have been shown to return many patients to normal levels of sensitivity and production of insulin. Liver and pancreas returned to normal levels of fat and patients were took off meds and those that kept the weight off have remained diabetes free. What is that if not a cure? Semantics would be to call that a remission because some who put weight back on return to diabetes. However for those that do not it is a cure.

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    3. Opinions vary and that's what makes the world such an interesting place. First of all, obesity does not cause diabetes. Period. If it did, then every obese person would have diabetes and that's not the case.

      When someone goes to the extreme of reducing their stomach to the size of a walnut in order to lose weight, they are not cured of anything but are now living a very restricted lifestyle in order to force their bodies to keep from gaining weight. It is true that some people see the removal of diabetes symptoms and no longer need medication, however, if they returned to their previous ways of eating they would again see a rise in their blood glucose. They are not cured. A cure would mean that someone would be able to eat whatever they want without blood glucose issues.

      I know that there are many morbidly obese people in the world who just can't lose the weight on their own and turn to bariatric surgery. I feel for them and understand their plight. However, they are just trading in one lifestyle change (reducing carbs and portions and add exercise) for another major lifestyle change (being forced to eat only 1/4 of food/liquid at a time for the rest of their lives). It's my opinion that saying bariatric surgery is a cure for diabetes is a very dangerous thing.

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    4. Kate when did you first discovered you D. At what age? do u have a family history of diabetes?

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    5. Hi Rohini, I was 50 when I was diagnosed with diabetes. The only person in my family, that I know of, who had diabetes was my paternal grandmother. She developed type 2 late in life.

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  4. Thank you. I read and i am TYPE 2 diabetics and I am doing regular execise but it is not controlled. Please suggest me how to control my diabetics and let me know you want any details.

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    1. Hi Raghuraman, I wish, more than you know, that I could give you the advice that would turn your diabetes around. The problem is that each of us is different and our conditions are different. There is no way to know what path will lead you to better health but there are some things that will help you no matter what. Let me insert here that I am NOT a doctor or certified diabetes educator or any type of medical professional. I'm just a person who has diabetes. I cannot give you medical advice, but I can give you support and encouragement. My best advice is to test your blood glucose at least 3 times per day: at fasting and before and after one meal to see how the foods you are eating affect your glucose. Pick a different meal each day until you get a good idea of how what you are eating raises your glucose. Here is the most important part: DO SOMETHING with that information! If you find that bread or potatoes or rice causes your glucose to rise then you might need to think about not eating those foods. If your diabetes is uncontrolled then you may need to adjust your diet, especially looking at lowering the carbs you are eating that come from starchy vegetables and grains. The fact that you are exercising regularly is AWESOME! Keep it up!

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    2. Hi Raghuraman, lose at least 5 Kg and check your Blood sugar. It will be definitely be reversed.

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  5. Nice and useful blog.I am very impressed from your blog.I will share your blog with my friends .Thanks for sharing and keep it up.

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I truly love to receive comments from readers, however, if your comment includes a link to a website about diabetes or information on how you "cured" your diabetes, it won't be published. If your profile name links to a website about diabetes, it won't be published. If you also write a blog and would like me to include it in my blog roll, please say so in a comment and I'll do that. Thanks.