Can We Beat Diabetes?

I’m not talking about a cure or prevention as much as do we have the tools with which to beat diabetes by achieving good results? I think that most of us occasionally run into a decent number. We should be proud of that! Sometimes, I like to compare diabetes to baseball as a great baseball player bats say .300 and gets $10M/ year or so. A decent baseball player might bat .285 and get paid maybe 1/3 of that, depending on the breaks. But great player might, over the course of the year, get 5 or 6 more hits (cf. Bill James…) than the decent player. If we are having a rough time, going from say 20% in a wide range with outliers and crashing can be uncomfortable however if you can practice various techniques [no, this is not where I want to discuss “low carb” vs the “standard American diet” again, we have tons of threads about those interesting topics!!] perhaps you can improve your “batting average” which, very likely will pull your OPS (A1C?) into line and, the next time you talk about contracts…oh wait…

I wrote a blog about this recently if anyone is interested, please check it out but I think that we can turn diabetes into a disease of victory if we work on contemplating all the things we do that are great!!

Blog

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Just read your blog post over @ DiabetesMine. Very Nice!

Yes, I do think we have the tools to bat .300 and I think the tools to bat over .400 (gasp!) are coming. It is also important to remember the past is over, so if you “struck out” on your last at bat, you can only use the experience to help with your current at bat. Beating yourself over the “strikeout” will only distract you from your current task.

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I enjoy your positive attitude.

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Yes, I think we can beat diabetes. Now I know there’s no cure in sight and I’d be pleasantly surprised if one arrives before my time is up.

I get what you’re talking about and I believe we’re on the same wavelength. Diabetes is a disease that we can manipulate and approach a somewhat normal metabolism. We may not be able to do that day after day but often enough to live a long and energetic life.

I’m a big believer in studying and trying tactics to normalize my blood sugar. Some people may see the time and interest I pay to this as an erosion of life quality. I don’t see it like that. I see diabetes as a formidable foe. When I can knock it down and run many hours in my target range, I get a kick out of that! Defeating formidible foes is more fun than easy ones. Maybe the same kick that fantasy baseball winners get when they win.

I know this personal view of diabetes and the style we both prefer is not universal in our community. It’s too bad. If more people would give some of the tactics we use a try, perhaps a few of them would enjoy success and better health. I know it’s dangerous to generalize from personal experience but some of what we’ve learned can apply to at least a few other people.

It’s an old adage that nothing succeeds like success. When I can produce a string of days that meet my goals, I am pumped up. It stokes my energy and enthusiasm that keeps me in the game long term.

By the way, I am 2/3 of the way through Ponder’s Sugar Surfing. I am more impressed with this work than I thought I would be. Sometimes his descriptions seem vague and repetitive but overall I think his work is worthwhile. I will be consciously practicing micro-boluses and micro-carbing. I’ve used these techniques before but I’ve never deliberately drilled them to make them a familiar habit and a honed tool.

My Apple Watch makes playing this game easier. I’m glad I have it. Ponder talks about increasing your glances at your CGM display to about 50 per day. I have no problem doing that with the convenience of the watch. What I need to beef up is natural questioning of the data to wring every last piece of intelligence out of it.

The idea of taking a 120 flatline deliberately down to an 85 flatline consistently is very appealing to me. His whole method seems to capitalize on “keeping your head in the game,” and using data to your benefit. I am going to see Ponder on Saturday at a seminar he’s putting on in San Francisco.

I read your piece over at Diabetes Mine when it came out this week. Good job!

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Thanks Terry! I am intrigued by Apple Watches but am on the fence as there’s a $700 Dead box set out there too, limited edition and unknown how many are left. At first, I was gonna blow it off but now I’m thinking “hmmm…”

In response to this post I’d like to share my personal experience with diabetes, noting that it is my personal one and we are all different so I am not telling others what to do.
I was diagnosed with type 2 in the spring of 1998 at the age of 47. On the one hand it came as a bit of a surprise as neither of my parents or siblings have had diabetes. On the other hand, I had a paternal grandmother who did have type 2 diabetes and given that I and her were the only two members of our family that had, should I say, paid less attention to healthy eating and our weight than we should have, I guess it was not a total shocker.
At the time I weighed 224 lbs which at my height of 6’1" put me pretty close to the definition of obesity.
My doctor at the time gave me the usual lecture about diet and exercise and had me come back after doing my bloodworks again after six months. Still no change in my hba1c which was around 8.6 so my doctor prescribed metformin.
Before starting on the medication I took the time to read the advisory and was shocked at all the possible side effects that were listed. So I thought there had to be a better way and set out to do some research, using the internet which by then was quite helpful. Thanks to Mendosa’s website I became aware of the benefits of using the Glycemic Index to limit my carbs to those that were slowly converted to blood sugar. At the Joslin website I found lots of information about the strong benefits of exercise and weight loss when managing type 2 diabetes. So I combined the two, launching a routine of using only low GI carbs, limiting portion size and going for brisk, 40 minute walk IMMEDiATELY after each of my 3 main meals.
In six months I lost 30 lbs, and my Hba1c had dropped to 6.1. After a year my weight was 180 lbs, 54 lbs less than when I was diagnosed, and my Hba1c was 5.2 My diabetes was far from cured but it was pretty well managed. I stuck to that routine for over ten years, then had a bit of an interruption in 2010 when I had a cardiac arrest that resulted in 2 months in hospital and six months in rehab, followed by slow progress to full recovery. I stuck to my low GI diet but walking was limited somewhat. Slowly but surely my Hba1c started creeping up until six months ago I passed the 7.0 mark and started on a low dose of metformin, which has brought my readings down below 7.0 again.
However, having managed my type 2 without medications for around 16 years I figure I gave the disease a pretty good run for the money, and certainly saved the health care system a lot of money by avoiding medications.
Now that I am approaching retirement and won’t have to work every day I hope to get more active again, but regardless, I certainly feel it was worth the effort for those years I stuck to that routine, with benefits far beyond just bringing blood sugar levels down.

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This is probably one of my top 3 favorite blogs I’ve ever read. I love your positive yet logical approach to life with D. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sarah :four_leaf_clover:

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OMG What to do?!?!?! I would go for the box set first. From one Deadhead to another.

Sarah :four_leaf_clover:

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Just a reminder that "Apple has confirmed reports of problems using the Apple Watch on tattooed wrists. The company has quietly updated a support page on the heart-rate functionality.

Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings."

Cuz I know you are inked :slight_smile:

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LOL, thanks @karen57 and @curlysarah and @Vancouversailor! I am practical about diabetes but, so far, have chickened out on the Dead CDs, as much the ENORMOUS chore of loading them all into iTunes, then what happens when 1/2 way through I get some sort of “memory full…” message…eeek. I’ll see where we go with that.

No ink on my wrists Karen, so I should be ok with that!

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Hello Acidrock:

Not certain we need to “win”…

I propose, not LOOSING to be quite sufficient… :neutral_face:

Different creatures, not sure, but suspect they may be?

The most important tool we have is knowledge - knowledge about the latest developments and research regarding diabetes, and knowledge about our body and how we are responding to our current management regime.
As an example of the first I’ll mention the way that the advice from dieticians and governments has basically done a 180 degree turn over the last six months. It is no longer 'avoid fat, go easy on eggs, but help yourself to carbs as much as you want". That new knowledge could be very helpful to diabetics who have been unsuccessfully trying to manage blood sugars while following a traditional diabetes mealplan. Now would be the time to give low carb, moderate to high fat diets a closer look and a tryout. And while doing so, make sure not to be stingy with your test strips.
Another example is someone who over the years has been successful at managing with diet and exercise but who suddenly finds their blood sugar levels going through the roof. The trouble is that to make that discovery, they need to be testing at home constantly, another example of the pertinent value of knowledge when living with diabetes.

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i like the, positive attitude,.

i did just, read yours blog to, nice blog.

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Thanks for the feedback and support! Good luck with your efforts! Oh wait, we don’t need luck!!

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I agree with a lot of others on here; there may not be a cure but knowledge is powerful. Read all you can and more importantly know the sources of where this information comes from. There is plenty of bad advice out there. I personally have gotten a lot out of Dr. Stephen Ponder’s book “Sugar Surfing”. With my Dexcom G4 with share; I have been able to drop my A1c from a 6.1 to a 5.5. This is mostly because I am now able to make my alarms louder at night and also the increased accuracy that the later algorithm affords me. I am a type 1 and my goal for years has been to try and get an A1c under 6.0 without the hypos.

But like everyone on here; I have my rocky times and when the boats rocking; you have to take a step back and try the process of elimination. The important thing is to try an eliminate as many unnecessary variables as possible. There will be times that no matter what you do; your glucose will fluctuate. For me I go back to my static meals and specific juices that I use to boost with. These are things that I know the exact number of carbs, grams of proteins ect…

Then from there I will lower my expectations from having a good or great day to lets shoot for a good 8 hours. I usually start with my sleeping routine and then work forward. Before long I have my 24 hour clock figured out again. For me this balance can be upset by simply gaining or losing a few pounds.

The bottom line is set goals for yourself that are attainable; if your end goal is near normal sugars; that can be a very lofty goal. Remember that there will need to be a lot of small victories that will need to happen first.

I am a bigger fan of not losing as others have said. I’m also not afraid to fight for every inch of control I can get.

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Many did




ok I am getting tired