Joslin Medalists....Important Discovery In Eye Study

“Many long-term survivors with diabetes show little or no progression of retinopathy after a certain point, and this resistance apparently has nothing to do with glycemic control, a researcher said here.

A new study of ‘Medalists’ – a cohort of diabetics who have lived for 50 years or more with the disease, assembled by the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston – indicated that about half did not have proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and those individuals almost never showed any worsening of eye disease after the first 17 years.”

Congratulations, Don. You’ve certainly hit upon the formula for success! How long have you been eating no carbs? No vegetables? I eat very low carb (30-35 daily). People often freak at this, so I’m curious.

I once read somewhere that if you can hit 20 years with Type 1 without any complications your risk for them decreases somewhat.

I’m at just over 19 years with no complications, but my A1c isn’t great at the moment so I don’t really feel all that safe. :frowning:

These studies are interesting, though. Thanks for posting them!

I made it 20 years without any complications and then it was all downhill after that! At about my 15 year point, I was in the hospital for a non-diabetes related problem and the nurses were all surprised that I did not have any complications, especially with my eyes. I think they jinxed me!

I better not go around posting such things, then. I have an eye appointment in six weeks and might jinx myself!

I did not have any diabetes related eye problems until 50+ years after my diagnosis. It can happen at any stage of your diabetes life. I started pumping in 2007 and my number of highs and lows decreased. With a more stable control all the symptoms of retinopathy in my eyes disappeared.

I average 150 carbs per day. I do not gain weight, and my blood sugar is very stable with A1c’s below 6.0. Gerri is T2 and probably does not use insulin, so I can understand her eating very low carb. We T1’s should not have to eat very low carb, unless we need to lose weight. It seems easy to me to be able to eat 150 carbs per day and still have good control. Some T1’s do not use carb counting to determine their insulin dosages. That could certainly cause many problems.

Richard, Gerri is T1 and on insulin. There are alot of T1s that eat low carb to help control BS better. Bernstein recommends about 30 grams of carbs a day and he has alot of followers!

I admire all of you with your A1c in the 5s.

Even with the pump, I struggle to maintain an A1c in the high 6s/low 7s (before the pump I struggled to stay below the 8s). I’ve given up trying to get below 6.5 which I tried for years to do and only got once (with way too many lows). To this day 6.4 is the lowest A1c I’ve ever had.

I have at times in the past eaten within 100-150 grams of carbs a day and counted carbs very closely (literally weighing food), but that’s when my A1c was in the high 6s. Now it’s higher and admittedly it’s due to my life being crazy and not paying as much attention to diabetes as I should.

I have not tired an ultra low-carb diet, but so many other things cause my blood sugars to change (stress, activity, hormones, weather!) that I don’t think it would have a huge difference. Maybe when I’m done grad school and have a full-time job (instead of two part-time ones) and have some sort of consistency in my schedule I will try it and see if it helps.

I do think having some consistency helps - at least it does for me! I tend to eat the same foods every day so that also helps some.

i agree richard :slight_smile:

I eat more or less the same things as well. I’m not sure if that’s what helped me bring my A1C down to 6.4 after being diagnosed at 10.6 this past June, or if it was other factors. But I’d say that as long as predictabillity is not causing you stress (as in life being incredibly boring in its sameness), then it probably helps the body to know what’s coming on a regular basis…

it doesn’t cause me stress to eat the same things over & over. I have been like that most of my life even pre-diabetes!

Woops! My apologies to Gerri. I looked up a Gerri and saw T2. Now I realize I had the wrong Gerri.

Kelly, I did not realize any T1D’s followed Bernstein’s diet. I don’t see why it would be necessary. It makes good sense for a T2D though.

WOW! Eating the same things every day would be so boring to me. I would get tired of my favorite foods if I did that. I told my wife I like variety in everything except women. LOL!!! She gave me a funny look and a tiny grin. I feel so wicked.

I can have variety but maintain very much the same number of carbs at corresponding times of the day. I avoid foods that have a high glycemic index number, except at lunch. I exercise after lunch so that works out well for me.

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Hi Don,

Wow! I can’t imagine testing only twice a month, espeically on the insulin regimen you use. I spent eight years using R and NPH when I was a kid/teenager, and it worked okay except for the occasional severe low and the need to snack during the day and have a rock-solid consistent schedule. I can’t imagine using it today with my lifestyle right now. I’m glad it seems to be working very well for you, though!

I do recognize that, being in my 20s, I am in a very different place than someone who is, say, in their 50s or 60s. It’s also difficult online because I see MANY Type 2s posting with perfect numbers, and of course my control looks outright suicidal when I compare it to theirs! I’ve also gotten some harsh comments from Type 1s who do follow super low-carb diets and have excellent control. Thankfully, none of that recently. I know that I can get my A1c down to at least the 6s once this school semester is over (I bit off way more than I could chew!), and I’ve decided I am happy with anything in the 6s for now.

Thanks so much for your comments. :slight_smile:

For most of the 1990s I was in the 6s and that caused me no harm. I have been in the 5’s all of the current decade but the 6’s were OK too.

MissKitka, you qualify for the Joslin medal. The medals are given to T1 diabetics after 50 and 75 years. If you do not have the medal, and you are interested, let me know. I will give you the link to tell you how to apply.

Me too! I eat about 120 carbs a day, fairly low but not crazy low. If you can adjust insulin to your carb intake don’t see why as a T1 you would have to cut out all your carbs? Sorry, I enjoy life and eating too much to deprive myself totally of carbs :slight_smile: and as long as my A1c’s stay in the high 5’s then I’ll continue. My Doctor told me that in his experience, if you haven’t developed complications after 20 or so years then you probably won’t.

No apology needed, Richard.

I follow Dr. B’s recommendations because I don’t want to take large doses to cover meals. With smaller doses comes smaller miscalculations that are easier to correct. I don’t have the high highs or low lows any more. I feel much better eating fewer carbs & using less insulin. My lipid profile improved as well.

I love food also. People assume that cutting carbs is some horrible deprivation. It’s not. I eat delicious meals.