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  • Diabetic "Gene" - a rant

    I am so frustrated with my mother-she is 62 years old and has acted like she was in her 90s for at least the last 10 years. She has metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and arthritis. She is the number one reason why I follow primal-I do not want to spend the last 30 or so years of my life complaining about how bad I feel.

    I have tried to introduce her to primal-mainly by way of talking about how much better her knees, etc would feel if she followed an anti-inflammation diet. I've sent her primal success stories, CW-type articles that favor lower-carb and clean eating, etc. This week, she emailed me to tell me she was going to the doctor yesterday, and fully expected to be placed on insulin because her glucose numbers have not been good on Actos and with exercising and "watching her diet". I know what that means, being she grocery shops at Target...So I again told her she should consider eating mostly meats and vegetables, olive oil, avocado, and a bit of fruit. She said she would talk to the doctor about it.

    Her email to me this morning says, "Since Mom, and my Grandmother and Les (her brother) all have it, Mom and Les Type 2 and my Grandmother Type 1. The meds and my diet and exercise aren't really doing much and probably won't because I have the "gene". " OMG-THE GENE!!!!! Nothing will work because she has THE GENE!!! And then at the end of her email, she tells me she has to go pick up jelly doughnuts to take to her friend, which is a weekend ritual for them.

    I'm not sure if the doctor told her changing her diet was worthless, or if that's her own perception of things. I guess my fate is sealed, too, because I'm sure I have the gene.

    Ok, I've vented, now I can go back and try to respond to that email.
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

  • #2
    Send her this. Genetics of Diabetes - American Diabetes Association
    My Fitday public journal.
    Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
    Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
    Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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    • #3
      There's a saying, "genetics loads the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger". Genes don't mean much without the environment for their expression.
      Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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      • #4
        Blackcat beat me to it. You can't get T2 diabetes without eating processed food/high-carb diet. It doesn't matter if you "have the gene", if you don't feed your body the things that can make you sick, you won't get sick.
        Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

        My Primal Journal

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        • #5
          I hear ya! So frustrating. You just want your loved ones to be healthy for grok's sake!!!!

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          • #6
            Thanks, davem-I love that it's from the ADA! I read that article, and I'm not so sure that would be helpful to her, knowing how she thinks. She would probably latch on to the statement about Type 1 (even though she has Type 2) being more common in cold climates-she lives in New England. Your article did encourage me to do a search on genetics and diabetes, though. I found this gem from Joslin Diabetes Center/Harvard Medical School website:

            "Myth #1: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.

            FALSE: Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas completely stops producing any insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use glucose (sugar) found in foods for energy. Environmental triggers appear to cause the autoimmune disorder in those individuals with a genetic predisposition to the disease, and it isn’t caused by eating too many sweets.

            Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly (this is also referred to as ‘insulin resistance’). This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are over 40 years of age, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, although today it is increasingly occurring in younger people."

            Ummm...no mention of the impact of diet and lifestyle? All they did was define diabetes, not identify causal factors. I'm still looking for information about genetics v. lifestyle from a CW site so I can pass that on to her. Not that her perceptions will change-her CW beliefs are pretty firmly ingrained. I'm trying to remember how it was that I was able to move away from CW...
            My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Blackcatbone View Post
              There's a saying, "genetics loads the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger". Genes don't mean much without the environment for their expression.
              Originally posted by Uncephalized View Post
              Blackcat beat me to it. You can't get T2 diabetes without eating processed food/high-carb diet. It doesn't matter if you "have the gene", if you don't feed your body the things that can make you sick, you won't get sick.

              Yes, but apparently my mother doesn't believe that. I think her email made me so angry because I didn't realize how little control she thinks she has over her health-I just assumed she wasn't making the diet changes because it was too hard, not because she didn't see any point. The hopelessness is sickening!
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

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              • #8
                And I just have to add that on the Harvard website under the Diabetes Management section, there are lots of categories of articles - "Getting Started", "Footcare", "Alcohol", "Sexual Health", etc. The only nutrition article is about Glycemic Index-the gist of the article says it's too complicated for the average person to follow. Gaahhh!!!
                My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

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                • #9
                  You can't change some things.
                  My Fitday public journal.
                  Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                  Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                  Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                  • #10
                    That's how I felt last time I took my dog for a checkup (I really just took him for the legally-required rabies shot, and succumbed to the standard blood test). The doc says to me, "oh, dapple doxies are so cute, but you know they are going to get diabetes like most small dogs" - EXCUSE ME?! I told her he eats raw meat, no kibble. She says, "well it's genetic..."

                    I was stupefied. I am not going back to her.

                    Back to your mother - yeah, my mom is the same. They are fatalistic about their health and their own destinies. And something about their age group especially is very sheep-like in the presence of a DOCTOR - an almighty, all-knowing and infallible doctor. Auuuugh!
                    Positively Radical Pigeonholes are for Pigeons!

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                    • #11
                      Hmm. I had a mini dappled doxie that got fat when her best dog friend died. Ironically, the other dog died because my ex (who was pretty heavy with a definite sugar belly) kept feeding him his left over ice cream he had every night of his life. The dog had a heart attack.

                      The doxie kept getting fatter and fatter, and my ex wanted to put him on a low fat diet. Nope, not gonna happen. I wasn't Primal back then, but I knew enough to be dangerous, so I found a dog food with a high meat and organ content (gasp!) and the dog slimmed down very quickly.
                      Durp.

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                      • #12
                        I come from 5 known generations of type II diabetics, I was diagnosed at 35. The medical community pretty much writes you off if you have a chronic disease. Before paleo I was grumbling at my endo(endocrinologist) that I was eating the same things that had been keeping my A1c in the 5's but that now my blood sugars were getting very touchy and going high anyways. Her reply was that it was just my disease progressing and that there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it. I'm not 100% paleo, but working on it, and I've been watching my blood sugar get more stable. I also notice that if I cheat my blood sugar goes just as high as it did before. I've noticed and improvement in the chronic fungal crud and some of the other 'lovely' side effects of being diabetic. I've only lost 17 lbs and it has been slow. I've got thyroid and asthma problems so I don't expect things to happen quickly. I'm a bit more motivated than most, I watched my mom die at 59 of complications of diabetes and I have a 4 year old son. I've got too many reasons to keep fighting it

                        On the arthritis front, I injured my back this summer and got told I had some arthritis in my spine by the physical therapist. I was also told that the more I kept moving the fewer problems I would have.
                        Ingvildr

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                        • #13
                          As far as the OP, I don't think there's any sold line between "healthy" and "not healthy". We're all born dying, but some of us are definitely on the fast track. You can get away with a little more when you're younger, but it catches up with you eventually.

                          Not needing to be thin to be healthy... it depends. I've seen some REALLY unhealthy thin people. No muscle at all. They look like a light breeze could blow them over and they wouldn't be able to get back up. On the other hand, just how much over that mythical "ideal" can you get before it's obviously not doing your body any favors?

                          Honestly, how much extra weight you carry is none of my business unless:
                          1. You're someone I know personally and care about (my mom, etc)
                          2. You're someone I work with and have to cover for when your excess weight or inability to work becomes an issue (I work with a few now)

                          And that's about it.

                          Being a little overweight isn't a big deal and may not say much about your health. But I doubt anyone seriously believes you can carry an extra 100 pounds and not have it impact your health in any way. But again, that's not my business unless I'm very close to you or forced to do extra work because you can't do your job.

                          Live and let live, however healthy that may be.
                          Durp.

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                          • #14
                            You cannot save some people from themsleves.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
                              Hmm. I had a mini dappled doxie that got fat when her best dog friend died. Ironically, the other dog died because my ex (who was pretty heavy with a definite sugar belly) kept feeding him his left over ice cream he had every night of his life. The dog had a heart attack.

                              Poor dogs are getting diseases that wild canines don't get. We are feeding our dogs the same crap diets we eat. (Well not WE, but the rest of the SAD eating people. )
                              Positively Radical Pigeonholes are for Pigeons!

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