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The 30 Day Diabetes Miracle

I recently heard an interview with one of the authors of the The 30 day Diabetes Miracle on the Diabetes Powershow podcast and picked up the book today on my way home from work. So far (I’m on page 60), it’s well written and filled with loads of information. I think my brain is on overload.

I’ve not really learned much about type 2 diabetes. When my youngest daughter was diagnosed with type 1, that became my focus. I’ve actually not had the best attitude about type 2, since it can largely be prevented and even reversed with diet and exercise while type 1 cannot. I am learning how the diet of the general American public is creating type 2 diabetes in staggering numbers and how it can be prevented. I don’t want to develop type 2 diabetes – and guess what? I have a lot of symptoms of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, and have been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries.

Time for a wake up call, Natalie? Why, yes! I think it is.

This book has information about both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and focuses on how healthy lifestyle changes can improve the health and daily lives of those with either type of diabetes. I’ll write more as I learn more.

For now, I’d encourage you to find this book – at your library or local bookstore – read it and share it with others!


senseless tragedy

This news article about the 11 year old girl in Wisconsin who died of diabetic ketoacidosis is so very sad. While her parents sat by and prayed for her, she suffered needlessly as her body shut down.

When my youngest child was diagnosed with type I diabetes at age 10 (she is now 11) in December 2006, she was in diabetic ketoacidosis. Her body had attacked and destroyed the beta cells in her pancreas and her body no longer produced insulin. The theory is that her body probably fought off a virus and then turned on the insulin producing cells in her pancreas for some reason. Upon arrival at the ER, her blood sugar was 757 and she had large ketones in her urine (thus the name ketoacidosis). Her body was trying to burn off the excess sugar in her blood, but craving sugar at the same time because she could not utilize it without insulin to help out. She was weak, lethargic, had lost about 20 pounds over 3 or 4 weeks, and was very dehydrated although she drank everything she could. I thought she had a stomach virus and then thought it was her appendix. She was in pain, barely able to walk due to shortness of breath and was extremely weak. I had to hold her up and practically carry her into the ER. It was awful and very scary.

I cannot imagine seeing her like that, sitting there praying for her and not seeking help.  I prayed for my daughter, my whole family, our friends and members of our church prayed for her.  We also sought those trained with the knowledge needed to help us.  The medical staff at the ICU told me that if I’d not taken her to the hospital, she’d probably not have made it through that night. She was almost in a diabetes induced coma.

I can understand that her parents have their religious beliefs, whatever those beliefs are. We all have beliefs that govern our lives. I cannot understand how a parent could sit by and watch their child suffer and die when something could have been done. I’m just not made that way. This child could have lived a long, happy and healthy life with diabetes education and insulin therapy.

Reading the news story about poor little Madeline Neumann brought back so many feelings. My eyes were full of tears and I felt the sort of outrage and indignation that I feel when one of my children have been bullied or treated unfairly. This was a needless tragedy, a death that could have easily been prevented.

cure for type I diabetes on the horizon?

Look at this!

Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have initiated a phase 1 clinical trial to reverse type 1 diabetes. The trial is exploring whether the promising results from the laboratory of Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, can be applied in human diabetes. Faustman’s previous studies have shown that mice with a form of diabetes that closely resembles type 1 diabetes in humans can be cured.

In the animal studies, a commonly used vaccine that provides protection against tuberculosis, called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) was used effectively to deplete the abnormal immune cells that attack and destroy the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. The first step in the human study, which is currently enrolling volunteers, is to determine whether the same strategy using BCG vaccination can be used to modify the abnormal autoimmune cells that are present in type 1 diabetes, sometimes called “juvenile-onset” diabetes.

“We are pleased to be starting human clinical trials,” said Faustman. “Human trials take time, but we are making the step from curing diabetes in mice to determining whether it will work in men and women with diabetes.”

Type 1 diabetes usually starts during childhood or adolescence and can cause a variety of severe complications including kidney failure, loss of vision, amputations, heart disease, and strokes. It occurs when a person’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. In the absence of insulin, which is necessary for sugar and other nutrients to enter cells, blood sugar levels rise. The risk for developing complications is closely linked to the elevated blood sugar levels over time. If blood sugar levels are well controlled, the long-term complications can largely be avoided.

However, the so-called intensive therapy that is required to maintain near-normal sugar levels requires life-long demands on the patient, including frequent blood sugar monitoring and at least 3 daily injections of insulin or use of an insulin pump, along with restrictive diets. Insulin doses must be adjusted based on blood sugar levels, dietary factors, and anticipated exercise. Thus, a cure for diabetes has been highly sought after and has attracted much research interest.

The clinical trial is using the BCG vaccine for several reasons. BCG has been used safely for nearly 80 years as a tuberculosis vaccine. It is now being used in the human trial because it causes a low-grade inflammatory reaction, which in the mouse model of autoimmune diabetes lead to the destruction of the abnormal autoimmune cells.

David M. Nathan, MD, director of the MGH Diabetes Center, who is leading the human study at MGH, provides context, “This is the very first step in what is likely to be a long process in achieving a cure. We first need to determine whether the abnormal autoimmune cells that underlie type 1 diabetes can be knocked out with BCG vaccination, as occurred in the mouse studies.”

Adapted from materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Source: Massachusetts General Hospital (2008, March 14). Phase I Diabetes Trial Aims To Reverse Type 1 Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/03/080313125344.htm

Isn’t that exciting?

JDRF family rally

Son, youngest daughter and I went to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) family rally yesterday. It was the kick-off for the walk on May 31. The rally was held at Incredible Pizza. While I attended the parent meeting, which was filled with good information and great families, the kids watched movies and worked on an art project. After the parent meeting, we ate lunch and then the kids got their game cards and played in the game section.

I took a few photos, as I like to do. The lighting was not great and the photos are grainy.

visit with the endocrinologist

Youngest daughter’s appointment was today. She’s 5’4″ now, the same height as my mom and two inches shorter than me.

Her A1C was not so good this time. The A1C is a number obtained from a blood test that shows what the average blood sugar level has been for the past 2-3 months. The American Diabetes Association recommends that the A1C stay below 7 to avoid developing complications. Daughter’s A1C today was 13.5. Scary, huh? When translated to blood glucose levels, that means her average has been around 300.

We came up with a plan of action, changed daughter’s basal rate (the amount of insulin her pump gives her each hour) between the hours of 2:00 pm and midnight since that seems to be the time she has the most trouble with high blood sugar levels. We discussed changing food to insulin ratios (the amount of insulin she gets each time she consumes carbohydrates) and talked about more changes that we can make if today’s change doesn’t work. We’ll go back in 2 months and call before that if things aren’t going well.

Daughter’s blood sugar was 156 before dinner. YIPPEE! Much better already.

This big blue crayon stands outside the hospital where our diabetes care team’s offices are located.

high blood sugar, ketones = sleep deprived

I worked an hour late this afternoon since tomorrow is youngest daughter’s quarterly appointment with the endocrinologist. When I got home, she was in bed sleeping. Oldest daughter and son said she had a snack after school and then went to bed. Not typical behavior for her. Not at all.

I checked her temperature, no fever. Then I had her get up and check her blood sugar. 552. Her goal range is 80 to 150. She also has large ketones. The goal is to not have any ketones in the urine. Large = >160 mg/dL. These numbers worry me. Especially since her numbers were good this morning before I dropped her off at school. I wonder if this is the beginning of puberty and if this is a little taste of what the hormonal changes that come along with puberty can do to insulin and blood sugar levels in the body.

I’ll be up every 2 hours with her through the night checking blood sugar and ketones, hoping her numbers are back to normal by morning. I’m really glad that she has an appointment with the endocrinologist tomorrow afternoon.

UPDATE:  At 4:00 am, her blood sugar was 187.  I could finally sleep peacefully at that point, for 2 hours, until time to get up.

Thursday Thirteen #50

Thirteen of my favorite podcasts:

1. This American Life

2. Barnes & Noble’s Meet the Writers

3. The Dave Ramsey Show

4. Divorcing Daze

5. Manic Mommies

6. More Hip Than Hippie

7. MuggleCast

8. The Pet Vet

9. What Really Matters

10. Jumping Monkeys

11. Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

12. The DivaCast

13. NPR Sunday Puzzle

*bonus* 14. Slate’s Audio Book Club

*bonus* 15.  The Diabetes Power Show


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!