Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The games we play

The way Type 1 diabetes is treated today is a sickening game.

I like to remain gentle when sharing information about how I treat my diabetes, but sometimes its fun to add a little drama and really go at it. I guess its a blog and I don't really have to worry about people getting turned off face to face! That said, I recognize everyone has a choice in what they do and I do like to maintain an attitude of openness. That said, here we go-

The day to day treatment I observe is sickening. Its an attitude of "eat this and take your medicine." ie. eat a nice big bowl of mac and cheese, a glass of milk, an apple, and then two cookies for dessert, just remember to take your insulin! Sound relatively balanced? Well its not:

Mac+ Cheese: 1/2 cup  24 grams carbs (does anybody really only eat a half of a cup?)
1 8 oz skim milk: 13 grams carbs (if you pour a glass of milk, is it really only 8 oz?)
apple: 15 grams carbs
2 cookies: 30 grams carbs

total = 82 grams of carbs.

Then, depending on what kind of activity you do next, you either get sick from the insulin (ie. medicine) and have a low blood sugar or you get sick from the food and have a high blood sugar. Then, if you're low, you stop what you're doing and eat between 15-25 grams more of processed, fast acting glucose. Then you test again and eat some more or carry on. If you're high, you correct and take more insulin. Then depending on how things go, you might end up going low later and repeating the whole process just described.

Then its dinner time, and the game starts again.

It's a sickening game that might very well be completely, or at least partially avoided, if we give up attachments to food that we shouldn't eat (and its not just because we're diabetics that we might not want to eat). In the meal I described above, there's hardly any fiber- fiber being essential to controlling glucose absorption. There's nowhere near enough fat to more slow that absorption and and too much straight up sugar (lactose in milk, processed sugars in cookies as well as the ever so slightly more complex carbohydrates in pasta).
        If we can admit that certain foods ultimately do not make us feel well nor help keep our blood sugars in range, we'd have an easier time at controlling. It's a sickening game, and I won't play it.

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