August 23, 2010

Seek the advice of your doctor or medical team

Why am I quoting from Tom Ross so much? Because I don't like reinventing the wheel and what he says make a lot of sense. You should read many of his blogs. For someone that has been able to stay off medications after diagnosis, this by itself speaks volumes. This alone should cause you to want to read his site here. Click on the colored text to follow the link. And yes, I am promoting a fellow blogger's site for several reasons, first to give you a challenge to take your diagnosis seriously and realize that some things are definitely possible and to encourage you to take charge of your diabetes. The following is from near the bottom of his home page.

Begin quote: But first: check with your doctor. Please bear in mind that I am not your doctor. In fact... well, don't tell anyone, but I'm not a doctor at all. The only reason you have for taking my advice seriously is that I have been very successful in managing my own diabetes without medication. This suggests that I am doing something right, but it really doesn't prove that I know what I'm talking about, does it?

Therefore, if you decide to take my my advice, I'm honored, but I want you to discuss it with your doctor, too. Or perhaps I ought to say that you should discuss it with your "health care team". This phrase turns up often in diabetes literature, to my puzzlement. Does everyone but me have a team? I have a doctor, but he works solo. Perhaps the other members of my team were benched for some infraction of the rules.

Anyway, see what your doctor, or squadron of doctors, has to say about all this. There might be circumstances in your life, or in your medical history, which make my advice inappropriate in your case. For example, your doctor might think that, given your present condition, the exercise program I'm recommending would do more to increase your cardiac risk than to reduce it. (I wouldn't count on it, if I were you, but conceivably he could think that, and if he does, you need to find it out now.)

Generally speaking, when you have type 2 diabetes you are in charge of your own treatment, and you have to make a lot of significant health decisions on a routine basis. But for the really big decisions, you need to seek guidance from a doctor who knows the particulars of your case. When you are thinking of adopting a new health regimen, no matter who recommends it, and no matter how much it may have helped someone else, you need to verify with your doctor that it is safe for you to give it a try. I want you to do this in regard to the recommendations I am giving here. End of Quote.

Do I recommend this – yes, Yes, YES! I know that Tom is doing something right. I am fortunate to have the team of doctors on my side and while I am not able to use Tom's method of controlling my diabetes with nutrition and exercise, I am not ashamed of this either. My diabetes was discovered after I had the development of one of the complications (neuropathy) and another related risk for those with diabetes, sleep apnea.

Is Tom's way really possible? If you haven't read his blog, do so, as this is definitely possible. There are other people with type 2 diabetes that have been on medications and with proper nutrition and exercise have been able to get off and stay off of medications since then. Yes, it does require dedication, effort, and discipline, but the payback is well worth it.

Why don't I use the words “diet and exercise” as other writers? Because I don't believe in diets. They are not sustainable in the long term and there are not diets specifically designed for people with diabetes. Yes, many people use them, but few are able to sustain the good results and often revert to their bad habits. Lifestyle change and good nutrition are the necessary ingredients for success with diabetes and the key to making this work is exercise.

Many of us can afford to lose some pounds, I know that I can. I am working on getting back into exercise slowly again. I have some other medical problems that have prevented me from being on my feet (for walking) under doctors orders, but I have finally been given clearance to start again slowly by riding a bicycle. The doctors orders emphasized slowly and to call him if any problems reoccurred. So I will see.

All of the above discussion is premised on your having a doctor that knows how to communicate and discuss with you your diabetes and steps to manage it. If you do not have such a doctor, them find one that will. Yes, I am saying “Fire the one you have and find one that will” Maybe finding one that will work with you would be best before firing the current doctor. Yes, again this can be a very frustrating endeavor until you find the doctor that is a good fit for you. Some doctors are very put off with patients that are pro-active in their health care. A good blog written by a doctor about this very issue is here. Yes, this is a repeat from a previous blog, but understanding this is so important.  NOTE: Link is Broken.

Also consider finding an endocrinologist as they specialize in diseases of the endocrine system and diabetes is one of these diseases. They normally (but not always) work with other specialists like a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a Certified Diabetes Dietitian or Registered Dietitian (CDD OR RD) who can assist you with the education and nutrition you need to learn. Just learn that the advice of these specialists can be changed or adapted to fit your needs.

Some doctors and endocrinologists are changing and working to change. They are seeing the handwriting on the wall. They are beginning to see a small decline in the “pill cure” generation and a giant increase in internet savvy patients. These primary care providers will not be able to dictate and prevent their patients from finding evidence that the doctors are out of touch and not doing the patients right. This has been a pleasant revelation.

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