Such a Shame

(I was frustrated after a conversation with my Biochem professor last night. Though I'll never send it to her, this letter is the result.)

Dear Professor Know-It-All,

I really don't appreciate it when you tell a future doctor that 99% of patients don't need to be put on statins or medications to aid in blood sugar control because both conditions are preventable and controllable by diet and exercise. I appreciate it less when I happen to be standing Right. There. And when I try to explain that high blood pressure and high blood sugar are not the same in terms of how "easily" they can be controlled, the proper way to react is NOT to tell me that I'm wrong and that they're both lifestyle diseases.

Did you know that insulin resistance is NOT a preventable disorder? That, in most cases, it's caused by an ingrained biological problem, not lifestyle? That sometimes the person who has it does EVERYTHING they can, completely changes their lifestyle, and still has to be put on medication? I know, because that happened to me.

I know that I'm different than most patients. That I'm "too young", "too thin", "too active", eat "too well", etc. to fit the "profile". HOWEVER. Just because I'm not a sixty year old with a BMI of 40 who sits around and eats french fries all day does not mean that I apply to what you said any less. I spent four months eating almost no carbs. I lost 8% of my body weight (which, by the way, is more than the amount necessary for seeing improvement in blood sugar management). I went to the gym. I walked miles every day. And do you know what happened? My blood sugar went UP, not down.

Yes, I begged to be put on Metformin. But it wasn't because I was being "lazy" about what needed to be done. It was because the more I cut out carbs, the less I could eat. It was because despite the exercise and the weight loss and the diet, I still took naps AND went to sleep early every day. I actually fell behind in my schoolwork (and am still playing catch up more than two months later) because I was too sick to do any work.

So please, do your research. Don't talk about these disorders like you know everything about them. Your class is my favorite this semester, despite the fact that it's at 6:30 at night twice a week. You're one of my favorite teachers EVER. Please don't make me hate you because of something so stupid.

The Student Who Knows Better

Yes, but if you protest that you really did do everything you could to control your diabetes you will not be believed. Do send your letter to him.

i love how you signed it-great! send it!

Hi! I think you should send it and add acidrock's link about type 2 diabetes.

This is an excellent comment and has many real concerns that show the unbelieveable arrogance and lack of real knowledge when it comes to type 2 diabetes.

a) Insulin resistance in this person's view ( and probably doesn't count) is a normal glucose flow control function of the human body in a distributed storage system used to prevent overstuffing the glucose storage sites of skeletal muscles if they are already full of glucose. I do NOT see it as a disease and some failure of human body.

b) type 2 diabetes has a mix/web of issues from medical hiccups, misfires, diet, exercise, aging, genes and as well environmental factors all playing a roll.

c) the height of arrogance and ignorance is to believe diet and exercise can fix it all. No so. Liver leakage and excess liver glucose release, medical problems can overwhelm those steps. Been there - done that. WHile diet and exercise are key parts of the puzzle - not the only necessary ones.

d) if liver leagage is issue and usually one also sees excessive dawn effect, metformin has now through its latest findings - not theory and blind othodoxy - stops excessive liver glucose release directly and outside the ampk cell glucose control chain. Unfortunately we have a class of folks who maintain there is no such thing as a liver leakage.

e) unfortunately, I would tread cautiosly here and seek alternative path to solving and not try and correct said party.

I wrote a book about my own trials recently cleaning up my type 2 mess after 26 years and grief encountered. There is amazing science out there carefully tucked out of site like finds from an Indiana Jones archeolgy find stuffed in the government warehouse.

See my book At the Precipice - Jim Snell and website

Best wishes and good luck and better health - do NOT give up early. I did and ended up fixing a bigger mess 26 years later.

I would also add that from a power perspective ; I would not:

a) send a letter or in writing; that becomes intractable and sets up for a fierce fight.

b) person in power has more power than you and can wreck havoc in your career.
The church will defend the choir member over outside comment, etc. I would not want to be dead rite in the graveyard.

c)ignore this part of said person, appreciate the good and accept your cure and needs lie on a different path. That is not easy and can be difficult.

good luck - best wishes.

My 20 year old type 1 son had a daily dose of rampiril added to his medication regime at the beginning of the year. He is slim, muscular, one of the fittest individuals that I know. He shuns all unhealthy foods. He exercises daily, plays hockey, rugby, runs, weight trains, resistance trains and the list of daily activity goes on. After 10 years of diabetes being told that he would have to take rampiril to protect both his heart and kidneys from less than optimal blood pressure results and repeated random urine tests that show too much urine albumin, he was devastated and felt like he'd somehow failed with his D care. The kid has excellent A1c's, he is highly attentive to the everyday management of his diabetes, he does not smoke, he does not drink. I cannot offer up one single piece of advice from a lifestyle point of view, or D care attentiveness, that he could change or do to make his health situation better than it is today. He would be very hurt if he were told what you were told by one of his professors. Those who think they are in the know, need to stop placing blame on the shoulders of those who are afflicted with life long chronic disease.

I can't send her this letter for a few reasons, the biggest including that I like her, that she knows who I am, and that I want her to write me a letter of recommendation in a few weeks.

However, I would like to give her the article posted here from the ADA.

The weirdest thing is, we had a very long conversation after class, about lots of things but one of those things was chronic diseases. I "explained", but I still don't think she got it.

It seems you have your answer. Whether she got it or not does not seem that important.

Somedays folks have to walk a way, spend a few days and later in the quiet may get it. At the moment and height of the discussion, other things may be being defended and the impact of the discussion has not registered yet.