March 13, 2014

A Type 2 That Does Not Believe in Testing

Recently Allen and I ran into each other at the grocery store. I was on an errand for the wife and he was picking up supplies for the weekend. We stopped and talked briefly and while we were talking, another individual that neither of us knew overheard something I said about working on a blog about a book I had ordered. He interrupted us and asked if I was the person writing a diabetes blog.

When I asked the name of the blog, he had the name of my blog correct, so I acknowledged that I was the author. Then both of us had to listen to a string of profanity and him telling me that I could stop blogging, as I didn't know what I was talking about. Allen asked him what he talking about before I could.

He said testing and I asked for some specifics. He said any testing. Allen said I have different types of blogs on testing. He finally said telling people to test so often to learn what different foods do their bodies. He continued that his doctor says all he needs in a quarterly A1c test to learn what is needed. I asked why he believed his doctor.

The answer was that his doctor was his father and his father followed the ADA. Allen said if that is the case, we could not teach him anything. I said I have one question. What is his father's advice on nutrition? The answer was a total shock. The fellow said his father believed in not eating any whole grains, or starches. He said his father believed in low carb, low to medium protein and high fat.

Good, said Allen. We have that much in common. Next, Allen asked what medication he might be taking. Metformin was the reply and Allen asked how many years he had type 2 diabetes. The fellow answered about six years. I knew where Allen was heading with his question and Allen asked him if his father was testing him for vitamin B12 deficiency. The fellow answered that he had just had a test for vitamin B12 and vitamin D. He explained that his vitamin D was low and he had a shot for that and he was taking a supplement. The vitamin B12 was still in the suggested range, but on the low side. He said his father had suggested that he eat more liver, eggs, and salmon, plus beef and pork. Then in about 10 months, he would be tested again.

I asked what his last A1c had been and he said that after diagnosis of 12.0%, he was consistently between 5.0 to 5.8%. He continued that he was only taking 500 mg per day of metformin. I said he was fortunate that his father could monitor him and advise him on nutrition as it had helped him.

Allen stated that not everyone was as fortunate and received an education about diabetes, as he had been receiving. Then the secret came out. He stated that his mother was a doctor of nutrition and he had her for guidance. Allen and I said almost in unison, “No wonder you don't need to test.” He agreed and asked why I was pushing testing.

Allen said that not everyone receives the education and can have family available to help. Most of us need to learn on our own and testing is about the only avenue to available to help us learn.

I said I would continue to emphasize testing because without it, most are operating in the blind and would have no idea if they were improving or if their blood glucose numbers were becoming worse. I said he could ask his mother how hard it was for many people that believed the high carb, low fat doctrine that has been preached for so many decades.

I said I had to leave. Allen told me later that they had talked for almost an hour more. He said that the follow was a lot more positive when he left. He was in town visiting his sister and lived about three hours distant.

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