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Thread: Diabetic "Gene" - a rant page

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    Tawny's Avatar
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    Angry Diabetic "Gene" - a rant

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    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.

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    There's a saying, "genetics loads the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger". Genes don't mean much without the environment for their expression.

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    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.

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

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    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...

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    Tawny's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
    Quote 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!

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    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!!!

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    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.
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    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!

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