One of my favorite Psychology professor’s most used saying was “Don’t Should All Over Yourself”, it’s now one of my favorite sayings too.
I hear almost on a daily basis:
I should have eaten better.
I should have exercised more.
I should have lost weight.
I should have changed my habits because of my family history.
I should have paid attention when I was warned by the doctor.
I should have been born rich instead of beautiful. (whoops, that’s one of mine
Then after people spend some time reading the blog I hear:
I should have a better A1C, others do.
I should have better fasting readings, others do.
I should be able to control without medication, others do.
And even more dangerous:
I should be able to cure myself, I read that it’s curable!
I should try this new method that doctor’s don’t want you to know about, it could cure me.
Implied in all of these statements is:
It’s all my fault.
I gave this to myself.
I have only myself to blame…………………………..
And that’s exactly what’s going on here “The Blame/Shame Game“!
And because so many people diagnosed with type-2 are often overweight, most of the issues revolve around that area. It’s gotten to the point where many new (and not so new) people report that they don’t tell anyone that they’ve been diagnosed because they’re afraid of the blame that will come their way, as if their own self-blame isn’t bad enough!
Most of society, and especially the popular media are also quite willing to have you blame yourself because then they can sell you things aimed at “curing” or “reversing” your problem.
How many “diabetic friendly” foods and items would be out of business if the real truth were known. Not to mention the diet plans and fitness videos, books, cd’s and web sites that would go belly-up. The fact is that most of the sugar-free and diabetic foods you see for sale aren’t any better, and are sometimes even worse than the regular versions. That’s because sugar is just another carb, and carbs are what need to be controlled. A sugar-free muffin has as many or more carbs than a regular one. The same is true for fat-free items. Often they have more carbs than the regular version because they add extra sugar to make up for the missing fat. Diabetics can eat the exact same foods as non-diabetics, they just have to control the carbs in any given meal.
The “Eat Like a (insert foreign country here) Diet will reverse your diabetes. This program is available in a special offer to you for just 12 payments of 29.99, the book and nutritional supplements are not included.
Many of these specify “whole grain” which is better from a nutritional standpoint, but whole grain has as many carbs as bleached white stuff, and must also be controlled.
Our “Beach Blubber” program is complete with all of the videos, books and nutritional supplements you’ll need to have the body of a star and perfect health! (individual results may vary)
Again, these programs are often high priced, the supplements are often bogus, and the videos and books are often geared towards selling more products and making more money. In many cases they go just short of false advertising, read the small print!
Our Fitness Center specializes in curing metabolic disorders such as diabetes!
First, there is no cure for diabetes! There’s good control, which is quite different from cure or reversal. The above statements, and in addition walking is one of the best exercises for diabetics. But they can’t make any money on walking and they want you to believe that all of the fancy equipment does the job much better than anything you can do on your own.
Today on Trash TV Dr. Quack will speak about his new book on “You Too Can Be Cured, just try harder”.
Oh please save us from those TV doctors! Again, it has mostly to do with ratings, ratings, ratings! Don’t forget to buy their books too to give them more money, money, money
What Doctor’s Don’t Want You to Know, now available for the first time in paperback.
Conspiracy theories are always big. Don’t trust big organizations, don’t trust big Pharma, don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have extremely white bleached teeth. Now granted there’s always usually a speck of truth in the theories. Just enough to play on your natural mistrust and paranoia and build on it with lies and false claims.
And then their’s your family, friends, co-workers, next door neighbors………..who also are willing to “guilt you out” and have “great” knowledge of diabetes:
I told you to stop eating that junk food.
Diabetics aren’t supposed to eat that.
My Aunt is diabetic and she eats whatever she wants to.
If you lost that weight you wouldn’t be diabetic anymore.
Are you satisfied now? You gave yourself diabetes!
Just a little dessert won’t hurt you!
My cousin used this special herb that cured her in 6 months (cured her of having a bank account is more like it)
You can never eat anything with sugar again. Here have some biscuits instead.
The general public knows very little about diabetes. In fact many of them don’t know the difference between type-1 and type-2. They only know mainly what they hear in the media (see above) or tales from long, long ago that have been since disclosed as myths.
For instance many people still think that diabetes (both types) is caused by eating too much sugar and that you need to give up all sugar. We now, of course, know that sugar is just a carb and carbs must be controlled but not given up entirely. Unless a person has experience with diabetes in their family or friends they rely on what they hear in the media or what Great Aunt Sally tells them.
Also the sad fact is that most type-2′s are not well controlled. They weren’t properly educated on controlling the disease, they listened to nutritionist who treated them as one-size-fits-all and one-method-fits-all. Each person with diabetes has a different body and what works for one may not work for another. To recommend the same amount of daily carbs for a 100 pound 5 foot woman as for a 200 pound 6 foot man makes very little logical sense, but it’s done all the time.
Many people just also live in denial thinking that the serious complications just won’t happen to them or they just give up and don’t think they’re capable of changing.
Not to mention advise from doctors and other health professionals:
Don’t eat anything white. (um, isn’t cauliflower white?)
Just cut out all sugar and white stuff and you’ll be fine.
Just take these pills and you’ll be fine.
Just up the dose and you’ll be fine.
Just take this brand new high-priced medication and you’ll be fine.
Just go on a 1200 calorie low-fat, low-salt, high fiber diet and you’ll be fine.
Just lose weight and start exercising and you’ll be fine.
Just have gastric bypass and you’ll be fine.
You must eat low-fat because diabetes causes heart attacks.
You must eat at least 300 grams of carbs a day or your brain will start to malfunction. (they like to use big words like “malfunction”, makes it sound more professional)
Eventually you’ll have to go on insulin.
If you don’t do what I say you’ll have to go on insulin.
I’ve found over the years on the message board that doctors and other medical professionals are often guilty of the same incorrect thinking as the general public.
Unless a doctor specializes in diabetes her knowledge is limited. Some are better than others so in many cases it’s the “luck of the draw”. To be fair many of them develop “burn out” because so many diabetics refuse to help themselves by making diet and lifestyle changes. So doctors just prescribe more and more medication.
Since the recent advances in the field of genetic research have taken off the old understanding of diabetes and it’s causes are in many ways being dispelled. The link between type-2 and family history (genetics) has long been known, however the significance of these genetic factors are taking on new importance.
No family history
Even several decades ago the criteria for diagnosing T2 was much higher and unless a person showed the more severe symptoms of advanced diabetes they more than likely were never diagnosed. The cause of death in most cases would have been reported as a heart condition or stroke usually, when in fact it was really a complication of diabetes. Even today many people “fall through the cracks” in the earlier stages, and are only diagnosed after the disease has progressed.
Just because you may not have a “known” family history, doesn’t mean that you don’t have a family history. My father’s mother’s reported cause of death was “dropsy” but from information I heard talked about and things I now know, I’m almost certain that she was diabetic. I believe my father was as well. So the rule here is you should have picked different ancestors.
Fattest man in the world – not diabetic!
There is indeed an obesity epidemic. If you believe the things you see and hear you’d think that being overweight causes diabetes to develop. To carry that logic through then that would mean that everyone overweight develops diabetes, which is not the case at all! If it were the case there would be a world-wide epidemic the likes of which had never before been seen in history.
The one-time fattest man in the world who weighed 1.200 lbs at the time was tested repeatedly and shown not to be diabetic! Did I mention that he hadn’t gotten out of bed for years either? It’s true that losing weight will help control diabetes. It also helps insulin resistance which is a marker for type-2 diabetes. But weight in and of itself will not cause nor “reverse” diabetes. This is a myth. Popular but nonetheless a myth.
There’s also plenty of evidence that insulin resistance causes weight gain, not the other way around!
Finally there are people of normal weight who are diagnosed with diabetes as well. So how do they explain that?
What the statement from the source below is basically saying is that newer gene research is shattering the myths that are currently held about what causes type-2,and that within the classification of type-2 there are many variations. It’s not just one catch-all diagnosis.
“Genetic studies in the past 3 years have provided a greatly increased knowledge of the regions of the genome involved in adverse metabolic consequences. There are now over 100 common genetic variants reproducibly associated with metabolic traits, including reduced beta-cell function, obesity, increased lipid levels and increased glucose levels. These genetic findings are already altering perceptions of how these traits develop and interact to result in diseases such as T2D.”
It’s also long been known by the medical community that Type-1 diabetes is an auto-immune (AI) disease. It’s now becoming more and more evident that Type-2 is as well:
Many people who develop type-2 also have other AI conditions.
Metabolic issues usually start in childhood
You hear a lot these days about preventing diabetes, but really the steps you’d need to take to prevent it altogether would have to begin in early childhood, and continue for life. The only way to really prevent diabetes is to live as though you were a diabetic regarding diet and exercise especially. And this would involve a lot more than “cutting out white stuff” and junk food. It would mean severely limiting the amount of carbs eaten. Most children would not and should not severely limit the amount of carbs because carbs are necessary for a growing child’s development. Even type-1 children often run higher BG numbers than normal because of this. And then, of course, they also have insulin to help with the control.
Also, because current knowledge cannot accurately pin point exactly who has the genetic makeup for T2 (at least not currently), unless a child is obese there’s no way to tell if they do have the genetic markers and no incentive to investigate.
Studies were done on childhood obesity and T2 and their thin siblings were going to be selected as the controls. To the surprise of the scientists, the thin children also had the markers but it just hadn’t yet manifested as “visual” like in the overweight children. So they were at risk also.
Some conditions and/or medications can cause diabetes
There are many conditions and medications that actually can cause diabetes. There’s also research that indicates some forms of pollution or other environmental facts can cause both types of diabetes.
Tying the Obesity Epidemic and the Diabetes Epidemic Together
Was a major mistake. Obesity in itself is a very complex issue with multiple causes. It’s another case of “blaming the victim”, and it also ignores the fact that all types of diabetes are increasing, not just type-2.
Medications aren’t a “fix”.
You’ll never be able to just take medications and then eat anything you want to eat. Not even insulin will allow this, and in many ways it’s harder to control type-2 with insulin because people still have their own natural insulin production that can kick in at any time making control difficult. Medication is to be used in addition to diet and lifestyle changes not in place of.
Taking medication is not a personal failure!
All people with diabetes are different and their bodies are different. Whether or not you require medication often depends on what stage of the disease you were diagnosed with. A person diagnosed in the early stages has a lot better chance of controlling without meds than a person diagnosed with very high numbers that went undiagnosed for years.
So don’t try to compete with anyone else, but try to do your own personal best and try to challenge and outdo yourself!
Most importantly, I’d like you to know, and actually believe in spite of all the popular “knowledge” being dispensed that you did not cause your diabetes!
However how you deal with it from now on is in your control.
© EMO 3/12
Knowledge is Power