Sunday, July 27, 2008


My dreams are usually very intense and meaningful, last night was no exception.
I dreamt that I was instrumental in creating a Research Facility ONLY geared to treating, improving the Lives of and even curing those with Type 1 Diabetes.
This *complex* Disease has existed for thousands of years with the continuation of all the "side-effects" associated. We all know them, for those that do not here is a list:
1. Amputation
2. Heart Disease
3. Blindness/Retinopathy
4. Sexual Problems
5. Fertility Problems
6. Kidney/Bladder Damage
7. Premature Cataract Formation(Diabetic Cataract)
8. Stress
9. Depression
10. Micro and Macro Vascular damage.
11. Peripheral Neuropathy
12. Autonomic Neuropathy
13. Increase in Candida and Skin Infections
14. Conception & Delivery problems
15. Dental problems(there is a loss of dental bone in those w/T1DM) and cavity exposure from "correcting" Hypoglycemia in having the sweet residue remain on tooth surfaces for too long of time.
16. Defective counter-regulatory mechanisms to help correct Hypoglycemia.
All these can (and sometimes do) occur in people with T1DM despite having good Glucose/HgA1C Numbers.
No one wants to hear "bad news," but those of us w/T1DM should still be aware of how complex and awful this Disease is. The reason why it still does not gain Media Exposure compared to HIV or Type 2 Diabetes, is that it is not as "sexy" to write about this 10-15% Disease.
Those organizations that are suppose to "represent us," should be more vocal(shouting instead of speaking with political correctness).
My initial exposure to Type 1 Diabetes came after I was diagnosed at six and later would meet with an Endocrinologist while waiting to be called in a large room within a hospital filled with other people with Diabetes. Many of these other people had only one leg and those with two legs were not able to see.

Some of you will say that, 'we now have many tools available to us to make our Lives easier and better.'
The reality is that despite all these "tools," WE still have a serious and complex Disease that not too many Researchers, Physicians and others in Healthcare have a good enough grasp on to prevent all of the potential damage that this Disease is capable of creating.

I do not want to present a fatalistic and totally despairing outlook for those of us with T1DM in spite of the seriousness of this Disease.
So, what are the things that we may do to alter/modify and influence the direction of T1DM upon our bodies?
1. Learn everything about T1DM. That includes reading, and asking many questions.
2. Be Proactive about T1DM. This is your Body!! You are in control 24/7......Respect your Body and listen to its needs.
3. Have a Physician who will both listen to your concerns and be able to communicate with you. Do not sit in the "backseat" while your Physician drives the car. You should be in the front seat along w/your Physician.
4. Exercise everyday instead of very other day or 5 days a week. Exercise anerobic or/and aerobic will reduce your glucose levels and make your Body more Insulin sensitive.
5. Learn how to Meditate to relieve Stress that any Chronic Disease(T1DM) will bring.
6. Eat FRESH foods rather than can/frozen. There is more of the nutrition value obtained from fresh foods that your Body needs and wants.
7. Decrease your carbohydrate intake. Remember you have T1DM so your Body cannot "automatically" supply the additional Insulin needed for the conversion of carbs to glucose that will occur.
8. If you are overweight......lose wight. Most, if not all of people w/T1DM do not have a weight problem. Remember T1DM as a group are 2-5X more vulnerable to any type of Heart Disease.
9. Examine the use of CAM for your Body. Complimentary Alternative Medicine. The NIH even has incorporated a special division which researches the influence of CAM over Disease and Illness.
10. Keep in mind that there is a high degree of Inflammation associated with any Chronic Disease, especially T1DM..........there are certain herbs and Nutraceuticles that will reduce the level of Inflammation within your Body without the side-effects and toxicity of NSAID'S.
11. Keep an *Open Mind*.......Learning is continual.
12. Remember....not all Endocrinologists have the interest/intelligence and passion to be Physicians for those of us with Type 1 Diabetes.
13. Since Medicine has UNFORTUNATELY become a BUSINESS instead of Science with Compassion...........CHANGE DOCTORS IF NECESSARY!!


Angela said...

thanks for visiting my blog. To answer your question, yes. I have an inheritary form of gluten intollerance, my eldest definately has it too, we havn't challenge tested the youngest 2 yet.

Scott K. Johnson said...

I really enjoyed this post. There are many things on your list that I am not doing yet, and feel I need to work harder to make them happen for me.

I also agree that even with all the "tools" we have available (which I am thankful for), our treatment is very primitive and the expectations placed on us are unreasonable.

BetterCell said...

Hi Angela.....Thanks for visiting from across the Channel. There is a relationship between Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Hi Scott........I know exactly how you feel!!
That is why, I have become my own best Doctor. Who better to understand and help oneself, and if you are a Spiritual or Religious Person, then G-D will provide the Strength to enable you.

Anonymous said...


Great post, great information--now if we could get the diabetic population to read it, and heed it, we might expect things to look up a bit. Sadly, I fear most diabetics are caught in the "good numbers" game, where the ultimate reward is a pat on the head by their god-like physician. Until one of the awful complications rears its head, it's easier to think good numbers PREVENT complications.

As to your #13 above: finding a doctor with the science, wisdom and compassion to treat patients with this disease is difficult. But, when you advise patients to change doctors, if necessary, the point becomes moot if they follow any of the preceding advice. Patients who challenge their physician, or oftentimes merely ask to be a partner in the ongoing 'adventure' will find themselves FIRED. Sad, isn't it?

Again, great post. I'm copying it to my archive file to share with others who may be newly diagnosed.


BetterCell said...

Thanks for your comments Melody.
The more of us with T1DM that can be helped and enlightened by those who succumb everyday with this complex Disease, the better it will be.
The ultimate gain is to put words of wisdom and experience into everyday practice by never giving up on OURSELVES!!

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About Me

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New York, New York, United States
I do not give up my Autonomy,especially to the Medical Profession. Passionate, Creative, Able to see Beauty within Simplicity, I Am Not A Diabetic, rather I have Diabetes (there is a big difference between the two on many levels).Type 1 Diabetes since 5 years of age. Belief in G-D