July 1, 2013

Is Diabetes Progressive?

When I started thinking about blog topics, I had a few ideas that I have blogged about that I wanted to include. As I searched for the different blogs, more ideas flooded my memory. I will start and see where each topic takes me.

The topic for this blog: Is diabetes progressive?

I have received several emails on this topic, asking me how I know this, and to provide proof. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists generally ignore this and lay out what they think as being a progressive disease. See the blog by Tom Ross here and my blog here about their thoughts.

They do have some information under Diabetes Care section for preventing diabetes once you have prediabetes, and even some about preventing prediabetes. Read my blog here about one of them. One article can be found here and is on target for this.

Tom Ross is an honest to goodness example of someone that has prevented the progression of type 2 diabetes. By using his meal plans and his exercise program, he was able to avoid medications after diagnosis with the knowledge of his doctor. Yes, he still has type 2 diabetes and he will be the first to tell you this. He has been able to prevent the progression to the complications and like the title of his site, he is not medicated yet. Notice I said his plans and not someone else's plans. He tests to monitor his blood glucose and confirm what he is doing works for him.

Take time to explore and read his website. Take time to read his journey here. Then read this page. For an example of his analytical side read his first blog linked above. For an example of his wry humor read this blog. His blogs range from the hilarious on occasion and to the serious side. In his occupation as a technical writer, his blogs show a wide range which keeps me reading.

My younger brother had diabetes for approximately 35 years and managed it with a meal plan and exercise without medications. Finally, cancer and its treatments forced him on insulin until his death about three years later. Therefore, I know that it is possible to delay the progression of diabetes for decades.

Next, David Mendosa has struggled to lose weight and had peripheral neuropathy that he was not aware of until a doctor and his tuning fork told him he had it. He has been working to improve that condition. He was successful using Byetta to reduce his weight and uses his meal plan and exercise to manage his diabetes. He has succeeded in halting the progression of diabetes and he also blogs about his successes and occasionally a mistake he catches himself making. He writes about diabetes at Health Central and on his own site, especially about his exercise when he does photography.

I especially like his blog here when he quotes Dr. William Polonsky when Dr. Polonsky says, “What’s true is that poor management causes those problems (in talking about the diabetes complications). Well managed diabetes is the leading cause of NOTHING.” You may also enjoy reading David's blog here about the progression of diabetes and what the doctors think of it.

Now me, I have not been as fortunate. I was diagnosed late (probably about three or more years late) and was not even able to manage it with oral medications. Therefore, after about three months, my doctor and I had a good discussion, and I started on insulin. Since then I have been able to manage my diabetes, with the help of insulin. My neuropathy has gotten better although there is still a lot of improvement to obtain. My hearing loss may have some loss from diabetes, but most is attributable to my time in the military and the loud noises I was exposed to. Moving up in age is not helping either.

Basically, the onset of most complications is caused by the lack of diabetes management or poor diabetes management. I have seen this in a few other type 2 patients, but yet I am a member of a group of type 2 people with diabetes and they are managing diabetes extremely well.

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