Category Archives: eyes

Type 1 managed at home from the start


Outside of a patient arriving in a DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) one can actually manage them at home from the offset. Yes this may well be a bit controversial, however, in my opinion subjecting a whole family to hospital admission of 10 days at the start of such a huge ordeal is controversial too.

There are many arguments for both sets of management.

My personal feeling is that a hospital is a very traumatic place to be. To subject an entire family to 10 days in an institution with bad food and light far away from home is akin to a concentration camp.

Trauma is also about how it is managed and the calmer, better slept “managed” parents and children do better I believe.

Type 1 diabetes is an absolute lack of insulin. There need to be multiple mind shifts that occur and this requires calmness and astuteness. It is very easy to manage in this day and age what with excellent new insulins as well as cheaper CGM availability.

We currently have an epidemic of type 1 diagnoses. If I learnt anything from Larry Distiller (guru and endocrinologist) it was step back, take a deep breath and apply the knowledge you have calmly. This is the dictum I follow with great success.

type1diagram

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Sticky mess 2


So when the sugar goes above 10 mmol/l (different values and way of measuring in the US and UK), the blood vessels : arteries and veins in the : eyes, heart, kidneys and feet and also EVERYWHERE (yes that includes the reproductive organs) SHUT – the sticky mess shuts them and so the cells can not get oxygen and they “starve” and can die.

That is when you have episodes like : stroke, heart attack or a black foot requiring amputation.

Or when you go blind, need dialysis or need to have a heart bypass/stent.

So what is the answer ? More meds, better meds ?? Maybe BUT mostly, more exercise, better eating habits, more exercise etc, consulting the team you know about re your diabetes : dietician, podiatrist, biokineticist, doctor, etc at least once a year.

If you keep the sticky mess away, did you know you live longer and better quality of life than your non-diabetic counterpart?

Diabetes college …


Should we open up a college to teach folk about diabetes. The diabetes man. Yeah.

A touch of sugar, my doctor says I have a little bit of sugar.

So much of confusion out there. Yes diabetes is here in a big way. Yes it’s logarithmically growing. Yes is perfectly preventable (type2). Yes there are massively big differences between being insulin dependant (type 1) and insulin deficient (varying degrees) type 2.

So yes maybe we need diabetes night school or even day school to tutor folk.

Yes you can not stuff endless amounts of carbs in your mouth. Yes that includes beer. It’s a carb. Yes it is.

Whiskey and water is better but in the quantity of one drink.

Yes fruit is full of carbs – sugar. Yes it is. No it is not great for diabetics. Does that mean you can’t eat fruit at all? No but the quantity and the type count.

Can a dietician help you ? Yes very much so.

Will exercise help ? Indeed, at least one hour though and a few times a week.

Do you have to run ? No, walking is actually better exercise.

Bottom line when your sugar goes above 10 in the blood stream things stick together. A Sticky mess.

Diabetes non-month -we can still make folk aware ;)


Hello. Today is the first of December. November (diabetes month) officially over. “Ca dover”.

Diabetes is a growing problem. Most people do NOT choose it. More so type 1 – spontaneous destruction of all beta cells of the pancreas making you insulin dependent (like alcohol dependant only a little different (this is a little joke so don’t get too upset about this statement if you are prone to getting upset).

Type 2  can be lifestyle induced but that does not mean you should judge the person. Or that anyone has given you the power to do that. Or the right.

Insulin only comes in the injectable form. Yes that means you have to inject anywhere from one to 6 x a day. Then you also have to test your sugar – another “prick” required.

So don’t be a prick to diabetics as having dealt with so many already they can’t tolerate you too. And for that matter the moms and dads of diabetic children also fall into the category of not needing any more pricks in their lives – they are hard enough. Grow some empathy. Please? Even if just for the festive season.

So, in december, the festive season. Not everyone in this life is as blessed as you : health and wealth and mental health wise. If you only do this this festive season let it be that you are kind. To all around you. Truly kind not the falsely kind of kind.

Born in the wrong country


So sometimes I feel that really deep deep down in my soul I am actually a mixture of spanish, italian and a few kinds of south american.

I love to dance. Even in the light. Even in the night when no-one else is. Even in the sun shining day. Even in the hay. I just love it. I love the beat. I love music with a beat. I love music with a soul, and I love a community that embraces that as do the afore-mentioned.

As south africans and (I am told as men) dancing is something learnt whilst drunk and can only be performed in such a state and the window is quite narrow as once too many drinks are on board the physical act of standing is even hard.

So I am native to another country and my soul beats that drum.

It would be so great though if as south africans (at least) we could embrace the person who is dancing instead of rejecting, dissing and naming and shaming them.

Just a thought.

Different is not bad and it should not be intimidating. It certainly should not ever invoke nastiness.

As a nation (at least the privileged part thereof) we tend to be quite critical as well as sharp with our words. We tend to be a little arrogant and set in certain ways we call our own. There is nothing wrong with our own ways but by the same token there is also nothing wrong with another way ?

A spoon full of sugar :)


Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. This is a philosy that buys into disguising one thing as another. A way to make something that is hard easier. Something that tastes bitter taste sweet in order to get it down and in so doing to heal.

While this may be a technique that could work for say antibiotics, it is maybe not the way to go for a general philosophy in life. Sometimes we need to face the hard truth – the music even if it is damn hard to hear.

The hard facts are that simple carbs – boil down to sugar – in copious amounts are bad for you. Simply put sugar makes things stick to other things – your arteries and veins and organs – eyes and kidneys are unhappy campers if you load the body with sugar.

There are even some studies that show the effects of sugar on the brain being something similar to cocaines’ effect on the brain. And the more you have the more you need kind of scenario plays out here too.

How many spoons of sugar in that coke ? or fruit juice ?? Too many.

Think about what you drink.

Think about quality of life, and longevity with quality.

Think blue – diabetes, type 2 is preventable as well as treatable.blue-circle

 

 

 

Diabetes type 1 on the rise?


Is type 1 on the rise or is it just that we are better at diagnosing it?

Type 1 diabetes is where your pancreas or B cells are not able to produce any insulin and thus your cells are not able to get any glucose into them and literally “starve” and are forced to metabolise other substrates in order to attempt survival. This is what causes the massive weight loss associated with initial diagnosis.

The anniversary for the first successful insulin being dosed was yesterday.

1921 – Banting and Best (accredited -though there were more people involved).Ninety six years ago. So before that if you had type 1 diabetes you would not really survive.

Now however type 1 ‘s sometimes outlive non-diabetic patients.

We have come a long way.

Is type 1 hereditary ? In part so that is one reason why we do have an increase in type 1 diabetics. It is not the whole story.

However type 2 diabetes has risen out of proportion to any other chronic disease on the planet. To say it is a tsunami logarithmic disaster is to be polite about it.

Type 2 is preventable as well as treatable. And yet! we have this huge huge burden on our health economics worldwide. Does not make sense.

So a challenge for the new year – are you on a trajectory to developing type 2 ? You have the power to stop that. IF you are already type 2 there are so many things you can do to get better control as well as control  the progression and not go onto the inevitable : insulin.

For inspiration and ideas : follow Fran Steart on Facebook for wonderful recipes, get exercising (in any way that takes your fancy) and see a team of practitioners who can get you to target. 🙂