Diet (carb) compliance and the diabetics you know IRL (in real life; a.k.a. not just online)

I am consistently impressed with the efforts made by the TuD community as a whole in terms of taking this beast seriously and working hard to maintain control of their health. There is no question that it is hard even for the most compliant of us.

However...!

When I look at the diabetics I know at work, family, school, and everywhere I go in the "real world" I find that I am an island of control in a sea of folks significantly out of control. I am amazed that many of those people know the details well. They know the underlying metabolic functions and what can be done to address them. They know the complications and the statistics. Yet they persist in having 5 slices of pizza, or saying "I'll have the diet soda, but I can't give up my evening ice cream or my pasta for lunch."

There is a broad spectrum of control of course. Not everyone is going to be in the "5" or even the "6" club (referring to groups on TuD based on A1c #s), but everyone here is here because they care and are trying. I seem to keep finding a lack of that effort and dedication in the people I know and meet and that freaks me out a bit. How do you not take this beast seriously.

So my question to you all (finally!) is: do you know/meet people in the real world that take their diabetes seriously and work hard at controlling it, or do you find those people few and far between?

I do not in any way mean to come off condescending on this issue. Getting my own diet and bg under control has been a monumental task (and remains a day to day challenge). I am simply astounded by the situations I keep finding people in and am sincerely concerned by it.

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I have only met one T1 in 'real life' (this is real life too?).. and she was an avid follower of a very low carb diet, and gave me a very hard time for eating an apple with my lunch.. that has unfortunately really stuck in my head. She also proceeded to tell me about what I should and should not eat..

I've tried to find a T1 support group here, but there are not any that I can easily find.

My father is a T2. He keeps his numbers fairly regulated- BUT he takes a crapload of insulin and eats whatever he wants, and is overweight. Instead of trying to eat moderate carb and seeing how that works out for him- he tries to go Atkins style or eats a TON of carbs in a day. Both extremes obviously do not appear to work for him because when he's on very low carb, he will suddenly give in to the carb cravings..

It has always hurt that he treats himself this way. I hoped back when I was diagnosed with T1 that he would start taking better care of himself.

But of course, he hasn't.

I honestly don't really know many people who are T2 or T1. My mom is T2. She watches what she eats and exercises regularly. I don't know what her actual number are but she does test regularly and for the most part seems to have good control. She is still able to eat a relatively normal diet but has switched to whole grains, eats less junk and overall is reasonably conscientious. I was able to do that for the first 10 years too. She is on met, I think 1000 mg a day.

I have a rather distant relative of my husband's who is T2. She sort of watches what she eats but not really. She avoids eating all she wants of super sugary foods but that's it. Her son just told me the dr. just started her on insulin.

I talk to my mom about diabetes stuff. I don't much with the relative. I know that she would never eat the way I have to. She is a very sweet lady but has no self control when it comes to anything in life.

I agree, I have been a diabetic for the past 27 years, and was finally told by my endo this past appointment that i am really a T1. I have been able to manage fairly good, had a stroke about 5 years ago, very mild and then took it really seriously. However, it was just yesterday on this site that I learned the insulin to carb ratio, why didn't my doctor tell me this, instead of just playing around with my dosage.

I am sooooo sooo glad that I found this site, after only one day of trying it, my sugars yesterday never made it over 5.6 or 100.8. I know it is only one day but it is making me more aware of what I am eating and injecting.

Thank you to everyone on this site,

I will be more informed and make better choices!!!

Hi clouder. I'm so glad that I found this site, and happy that you found it, too. What a difference a day makes! Cheers.

I would like to suggest that EVERYONE (myself included) take a cold, hard look in the mirror before getting smug, superior or whiney about those other people who don't take excellent care of themselves.

Is there a mirror in your house? Do you see perfection when you look in that mirror? No?

Me neither.

Being judged and criticized for our imperfections is quite UNhelpful, in my experience. What is helpful is having access to the correct information when I am ready to hear it and am seeking it out because I'm ready to hear it.

Just something to think about when those smug-ly thoughts start bubbling up in our heads: am I being helpful, compassionate and generous with what I have learned? Or just obnoxiously blind to my own imperfections while I take inventory of someone else's imperfections -- and talking down to them about how they ought to be living their lives?

I have found that the best cure for looking down on others (and thereby driving an emotional wedge between ourselves and other people) is a bracing period of self-examination. It sure yanks me up out of any urge to feel superior.

Please note that there is a world of difference between being justifiably proud of making successful improvements in our own self-care (yay!!!) and being unjustifiably smug towards those who are not (yet) where we happen to be today.

I agree with you Jean. I've never liked the blame game. I know that my numbers have not always been "perfect", if there is such a thing, but I know that I've always felt like I was doing the best I could do at that point in time in my life. There are many emotions that come into play when living with a chronic disease for a long period of time.

I struggle constantly to stay out of self-righteousness. And often fail. I'm even self-righteous about that.

Oh, yeah. It's a never-ending struggle. But worth it, I think...?

Is it ok if we are smug and superior to doctors, CDEs, insurance companies and government managed (sic) health car systems?

Got your golf clubs ready AR?! :)

LOL -- you know the old saying from Emerson: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..."

Smug away...but watch out for those blinding flashes of self-reflection!!!

I have only encountered one T2 who is taking care of himself. We both have IT backgrounds, in a former life I was a cabinet maker/trim carpenter. Perhaps these choices of professions indicate underlying OCD/perfectionist tendency's?

All the others I meet are blissfully careening toward a very ugly end, no feeling in the feet, heart disease, even a few missing digits or limbs. I must admit I don't get it. I sometimes think I was lucky in that I spent 6 days in the hospital on diagnosis, It really got my attention. Being computer literate and loving researching things certainly helped, that's how I found this community.

But I wonder if it could be something as simple as carb addiction. We know carbs stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. Morphine acts in a similar way so this is powerful stuff.
I know I was certainly a carb addict pre diagnosis. Now if you have a metabolism that can handle carbs with no ill effects there is really no consequence to carb addiction. I work with a lady who is skinny as a rail and has a high carb snack every few hours all day every day. I recently saw an estimate that 10 to 20 % of the population has such a metabolism.

However if you have a genetic predisposition to insulin resistance + carb addiction, your addiction will have serious consequences over the long term. The estimate of the percent of the population with insulin resistance to some degree is 40% +.

If my theory is correct, and I admit it is mostly speculation, the standard advice to limit portions of carbs is next to useless, if the person is addicted to carbs. Alcoholics can't stop at one drink and a carb addict can't stop at one doughnut. Speaking of doughnuts people sometimes bring in a few dozen at work and I guarantee you I never stopped at one during my carb addict days. Since going cold turkey on the fast acting carbs 2.75 years ago I have no problem resisting. My coworkers all think I have an iron will and tell me about their friends and relatives who are destroying their health by not changing their eating habits. Instead I think I have learned to avoid the trigger that results in addictive behavior. The cravings are gone, but I'm sure they could come back as soon as I gave into the temptation to have just one.

Perhaps instead of telling people to switch to healthy whole grains they need to be told how carb addiction works and how to beat it, for the sake of their health. Telling a carb addict to switch to whole grains is like telling an alcoholic to switch to 3.2 beer the results are depressingly predictable.

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