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Diabetes in the News

(It’s never a good way to start a post, but I’d like to apologise in advance for the rambling nature of this entry. It appears I need some time to get my mojo back. Bear with me, it’ll be worth it, I almost guarantee…)

Anywho…

Just read this article…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2023882/Could-Atkins-diet-help-diabetes-bay.html

And despite the ridiculous title, it strikes me as a big nod towards the way diabetes treatment is going, and needs to go. Cut down on the carbs, and you’ll cut down on the need for insulin, thus enabling your body to cope with the amount it has to produce and ta-da, your blood sugars improve. (I am aware it’s not that simple, btw). But how FRIGHTENING is it that we’ve been told all these years to chow down on the pasta, rice and potatoes, and yet suddenly (finally) health professionals are admitting that’s probably not the best idea. I know I’m only scratching the surface of this very complex stuff, but I worked the principles of this it out by reading a couple of books… why has it taken so long for things to change on a wider scale?  It just strikes me as a bit worrying that we’re supposed to figure this condition out to help our bodies as much as possible, yet the advice we’re getting is conflicting, confusing and ultimately, potentially damaging.

I think it’s great that experts are opening up to this way of thinking (albeit releasing the information “quietly” as it kind of goes against everything we’ve ever been told). Mind you, does it even come down to thinking at all? Is it not science? So maybe for a wee while we’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes, and as such there’s been a rebellion of *gasp* intelligent, free-thinking people who instead of relying on the drugs that doctors hand out, are using their brains and figuring out that they can, to some extent, help themselves. Good on ‘em. No medication in the world can help a condition like this 100% unless you’re willing to invest some time and understanding to what is actually happening to your body, and why it’s suddenly screaming: “Excuuuuuse me, I can’t cope, my pancreas is shot to shit!”

And it’s not about cutting out carbohydrates completely (as the article’s rather dramatic title would suggest), it’s just about cutting back a bit. Hell, if I was told I couldn’t eat chips EVER again there would be uproar (a worrying amount of my time is spent thinking about/preparing/consuming/resisting food). In 1996, when I was diagnosed, I was told I could never eat sweets again, and I knew at that point, as an eight year old whose life generally DID revolve around spending my pocket money on treats from the shop, that my life had changed, and it wasn’t looking good. No more Haribo = disaster. Hang on though… oh the one hand Jen, you can never eat sweets again but oh wait, instead, just fill your plate with potatoes and bread with a side order of pasta. HELLO… they end up in your body as the SAME THING. Confusion much?

Like one of the comments below the article says, sugar is a drug, it’s always been a drug. It’s always been manufactured. I KNOW when I’m eyeing up the Ben and Jerry’s that the more sugar I eat, the less well my insulin’s going to work. Imagine what our poor bodies are going through when faced with a 21st century lazy, greedy, processed diet? I’m not excluding myself from this; I can be both lazy and greedy in abundance on a daily basis.

I’m just hoping that now the medical experts seem to have cracked the idea that (potentially for Type 2s at least) relying 100% on drugs is not the answer, people will stop being so confused, and start to use some initiative. Diabetics CAN take their health into their own hands and change things for the better, in fact I think we SHOULD. It’s like an annoying “frenemy” that unfortunately at the moment just ain’t gonna disappear. So we can ignore it and it’ll make life hell for us, or we can try and understand where it’s coming from, tolerate it, and do the best we can to keep it’s tantrums at bay, even if you do stick two fingers up at in when it’s back is turned. Not only do you not have to get it right ALL of the time, you do not (and should not) have to do it alone.

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