Monday, July 6, 2009

You are not a camel

Part IV: Continuing with Type II diabetes signs. Besides obesity.

In addition to being obese, you are...

Thirsty. Thirsty. Thirsty. You carry a bottle around with you. And you are constantly checking around to see where the nearest restroom is. You hate car trips. You hate plane trips. You hate ANYTHING that keeps you away from a bathroom for more than 30 minutes.

When there is 'way too much glucose in your bloodstream, and your cells can't move it out (either because they don't need it or because you have insulin resistance or because you don't have enough insulin PERIOD), then the only recourse your body has is to let it spill over into your kidneys. You pee a lot to get rid of the excess sugar. I mean glucose. And because you pee a lot, you are always thirsty. Always. You wake up at night with cotton mouth.

It takes a terrible toll on your kidneys until they are no longer able to adequately filter your blood and you have to have it filtered externally with a process called "dialysis." When that happens, and your kidneys are shot, you are then in what is known in the medical profession as "end-stage renal failure."

Would you like to guess why they call it "end-stage"?

Try an experiment: [if you are obese and are thirsty all the time] just eat protein only for one week. No. Five days. Try it. Nothing but meat with no sugar added. 0 carbs on the label. Hamburger patties. Chicken without breading. Turkey. Fish. Force yourself. Nothing but meat. Five days won't kill you.

At the end of those 5 days, you won't be drinking like a camel and peeing like a racehorse. And you won't even be afraid to go for an hour car trip. What does that tell you? Oh, and you will weigh 5 pounds less than you did 5 days ago, too.

If you take in less sugar, you will have less sugar to get rid of and less sugar to turn into fat. Glucose, I mean. Damn.

Type I diabetics are seldom fat, not if they have survived childhood. They know. Oh, they know! Type I diabetics are insulin-dependent and have been injecting since the time they could walk, or before. Sometimes a child is born with a few beta cells in his pancreas and it doesn't hit until they are a teenager or even in their 20s. But if your pancreas is not making any insulin, then you are Type I.

The ability to inject insulin yourself, and therefore keep sugar out of your blood, within reason, does two things. One, it makes you be able to be thin. Two, it sometimes gives you a false sense of security and you think you can eat anything you want - all you have to do is inject more insulin.

But that is killer thinking. That is suicide thinking. If you are Type I, thank God you are still alive, and then eat right and exercise. Too much sugar in your blood will kill your tissues just as surely as it does for people who don't inject insulin. Why? Because it gets high for a while before you can bring it down and, over time, the damage is still done. Not to mention that you will still get fat, because the insulin you are injecting is still working to turn the excess sugar into fat.

You have an advantage, admittedly, if you don't abuse it. You can have that piece of cake or go out for ice cream or pizza ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE and get away with it as long as you "cover" (shrewdly calculate the amount of fast-acting insulin you need for the expected load.) But don't make a habit of it. Some would caution that you are playing with fire by doing it EVER.

Type II diabetes sufferers will almost surely eventually burn out the rest of their Beta cells and become Type I. Fact of life. Expect it. Try to delay it or even avoid it by starting to maintain your weight early on and eat right and exercise. Please.

Yes, more to follow.

1 comment:

Janet said...

I never tried the protein only for 5 days, but back when I was working i'd drink one Coke every day for lunch (can size). I replaced it with water every day for a month, mainly because I was trying to save money. I changed absolutely nothing else. Still ate the same, exercised the same (poorly). I lost 5 pounds. Sugar is insidious.

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