Letters to the Editor
One Reader’s Plan Yields Big Success
- Eating foods that are nutritionally balanced. This precludes most extreme forms of dieting.
- Eating foods with a lower glycemic impact. This involves an understanding of the twin principles of the glycemic index and glycemic load.
- Eating foods with a lower energy density. I did this by eating more vegetables and fruit, lean meats, low-fat milk and yogurt, and less processed foods. The biggest change was portioning my plate at mealtime, with 50 percent low-carbohydrate vegetables, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent whole grains and starchy vegetables. I also ate fruit for between-meal snacks and a moderate-calorie evening snack.
- Getting regular exercise. I started doing aerobic exercise at least 45 minutes a day, six days a week.
As a result of applying these principles, I was able to lose nearly 80 pounds. My blood sugar levels usually measure as nondiabetic.
Control Is Not a Cure
Tsk, tsk to the editor for saying that the only cure for type 2 diabetes is diet and exercise (My Own Injection, April 2006) when there is actually no cure for type 2. Some people may be able to control type 2 with diet and exercise, but far more need medications or insulin or both. Controlling something isn’t the same as curing it.
Stacey P. Martin
East Hampton, New York
Marathoner Wants More Information for Diabetic Athletes
Thank you for the article on cross-country skier Kris Freeman (“Kris Freeman Skis for Olympic Gold in Italy”, February 2006). I would like to strongly suggest more articles on how to manage insulin and glucose levels while participating in an athletic activity. There is so little information out there.
I enjoy running and have completed four marathons to date, with three more coming up this year, including the New York City Marathon. Last fall, I did the Marine Corps Marathon as part of the Diabetes Action team.
I’ve managed to delay type 2 diabetes through running, but even while training for a marathon, my blood sugar levels still creep up to the edge, “pre-diabetic” as one doctor refers to it. My family history on one side is 100 percent with type 2 diabetes. I’m 46 and at the point when other family members have been diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes. It’s incredibly frustrating, however, to participate in endurance activities where the “normal” diet emphasizes high levels of carbohydrates. It also seems as if “normal” processing of insulin and glucose during exercise is barely understood relative to improving performance. When I explain that my body doesn’t process these things “normally” and that I need advice on how to make adjustments, nutritionists and experienced runners usually offer just a blank stare.
Like Kris Freeman said, rather than doing more research, the easy reaction is usually to tell us, ”Stop competing in endurance activities; diabetics shouldn’t do them.” They’re wrong—we can—and in my case, it’s helped me cling to the ability to manage my blood sugar levels without medication.
Thanks again for the article.
Nurse Educator Critiques Insulow Article
I am writing in response to your article “Supplement Addresses the ‘Root’ of Diabetes Problems” in the March 2006 issue.
The article states that Insulow “can reduce—or in some cases eliminate— the need for administering insulin or medications used in managing blood glucose levels,” which cannot be substantiated by medical science. The product Web site cites studies to try to prove its point. However, the studies referenced are on biotin or R-lipoic acid, not on Insulow. People with diabetes who are desperate for a solution to their health problems will read this article and believe that Insulow is a miracle solution, when it is nothing more than a nutritional supplement.
As a nurse educator I am aware of the studies trying to find the root cause of diabetes, but as of yet, they have not been successful. I am also aware that Insulow is a dietary supplement and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate these products. Do your readers know this? The article neglected to mention this fact.
Kathleen M. Carroll, RN, CDE
San Jose, California
Keep On Truckin’
I found out in September of 2005 that I was diabetic, and this has changed my life in so many ways.
Since I was an over-the-road trucker, it also took my career from me for the time. With the new laws for truckers using insulin, however, you can now get a waiver to continue working as a driver.
I will be building my own Web site that deals with trucking and diabetes, and that will offer information to truckers on where to find help.
I hope in the near future to return to my career as a driver and to show people that diabetics are able to fight back.
Jeffrey Wayne Mather
Q: Have you decided not to have children because of your diabetes?
- No = 60%
- Yes = 40%