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A Motivation I Haven’t Written About

There's a motivation underlying my food & fitness obsession I've not written about.

My mom, aged 67, is a Type 2 diabetic. I intend for her to be around for a good long while, and so far as I have witnessed, the "help" she was getting from the medical establishment — whom she paid to treat her — is beyond malpractice; but I'll refrain from telling you what I really think.

There's lots of anecdotes I could tell; like how I sent her to my personal trainer to do resistance training, and then how just two weeks ago I showed up at her house for the 66th birthday party to see her backyard sporting about 25 new large plants of various things for the spring. Each one had come in a 5-gallon pot, for which she had dug all the holes herself. Said she wasn't even sore afterwards.

She was diagnosed some years ago, was put on oral medication, given diet recommendations, regular checkups and so on. But there was considerable confusion about what she ought to eat. And I don't think she was ever admonished to increase her lean muscle mass. She was aware of the low-carb advice, but that wasn't really the advice she was getting. And, of course, the low-fat-crap is pervasive throughout the medical community. It is very hard to maintain a low carb diet that's also low in fat. The difference has to be made up with protein, and that can get very unpleasant. Just in terms of sheer mass, fat is more than twice as energy efficient as either protein or carbs (9 kcal per gram vs. 4).

And yet, her blood glucose levels just kept creeping up, she'd have huge swings, spikes well over 200, and so on. Then — it was perhaps a couple of years ago — they determined she had to go on the self-administered shots, which really got to her emotionally. She's no dummy. She could see the downward progression. Type 2s always get worse and worse.

The gym helped a lot, I think. Also, she has recently gone to a super low-carb diet, with no concern for fat or protein. This means no grains or grain products at all and very limited fruit. Her blood glucose has now stabilized between 85 and about 105 most of the time. 125-140 is the very upper spike range for a normal person. I also got her Dr. Bernstein's book, regarded as the Diabetes Bible for those in the know.

She shoots two types of insulin, a fast-acting and a time-release. Several weeks ago she was able to drop the fast acting one (no spikes). Then, this weekend, her and my dad hitched up the 5th-wheel trailer for a camping trip. She forgot her insulin at home. They were only a couple of hours away, so it could be had, but she decided to just monitor closely. Pretty much, it's staying in the 85-95 range. The highest measures was 123, but usually the highest reading is the first of the day, and that's coming in at 105.

Every doctor she has ever seen has been exactly worthless. No; destructive with their bogus low-fat, high carb, whole grains bullshit.*

Anyway, if you know any Type 1 or 2 that might benefit, send them over to Bernstein's place. He's a Type 1, living with it now for nearly 60 years. He was trained as an engineer, was literally dying as a young man from the disease, determined he had to take matters into his own hands, figured it out, nobody would listen because he wasn't a doctor, so he went and became one. His story is a very interesting read. Also, there's a link to his diabetes forums on his website. It's chock full of Type 2s who have cured themselves through exercise and low-carb dieting.

Later: *I don't think that's really even it. What I suspect is that lots of doctors are tired of trying to get people to follow any diet that doesn't' allow them to consume as much as they want, of anything they want, whenever they want. I have actually read in various places that even diabetics who were able to control their blood sugars via low-carb diets ultimately decided to just do the insulin. They don't know what a path of self-destruction that is, and I don't think doctors are making sure they know.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

1 Comment

  1. Happy Curmudgeon on April 28, 2008 at 17:13

    Thanks for this post, Rich. My mom, 73, has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, on top of a raft of other things. I'm going to distill the Bernstein stuff for her – English is not her native language.

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