A very encouraging article

In doing research online for this blog I have found several articles that I have been delighted to stumble upon. This is a very encouraging article. It would suggest that the human body is highly likely to be capable of regenerating/replacing the beta cells of the pancreas. Personally, I had been under the impression for many years that once the beta cells had been destroyed that was the end. It now appears that this is far from true.

So, the question then becomes: what perpetuates the destruction of the beta cells? What is the factor or are the factors that maintain the autoimmune response directed against the beta cells? Is it simply a matter of a leaky gut? Is a combination of leaky gut and continued ingestion of proteins that provoke an immune reaction the answer? Does the issue lie in the realm of gene expression? Perhaps, if you entertained an epigenetic perspective, there is some sort of emotional state or mental trauma that is favoring a certain gene being expressed which may have implications for the immune system ultimately giving rise to the sustained autoimmune eradication of the beta cells? The one thing I do know is that in a laboratory setting the pancreas can regenerate its beta cells. That is very encouraging, indeed.

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How I will cure myself: An Overview

How does one go about curing the “incurable”? …I don’t know. The answer would preclude the question. That is the funny thing with Type 1 diabetes. No one can state definitively what causes this disease. There are certainly a multitude of strong opinions on the cause(s) of the disease but, at this point, there is no definitive answer. At present, the working theory is that Type 1 diabetes is a result of an autoimmune reaction directed against the beta (insulin producing) cells of the pancreas. It is suspected that this is a result of exposure to (a) food protein(s) with a similar amino acid configuration to that of the beta cells. As a result the body goes about creating antibodies which ultimately destroy the beta cells because they can’t be distinguished from the offending antigens. It is also believed that there is a genetic factor involved and that an infection might be implicated in the initiation of the autoimmune response.

So, I have broken my approach down into two parts: 1) Getting myself back to optimum health and 2) determining the mechanism(s) that set this in motion and making redress.

The first part is reasonably straightforward. I have and will continue to eat in a way that will help me ensure that my GI tract is in optimum health and functioning properly. This, as it continues to become more and more apparent, is of paramount importance. Especially considering that Type 1 diabetes is now being grouped with other conditions such as Crohn’s, IBS, and MS. There has been much speculation with respect to the link between ‘leaky gut’ and Type 1 diabetes (along with the other aforementioned conditions). Naturally, much consideration will be devoted to this so it can be addressed in depth. I recognize that I am unlikely to be the first to decide that eating well is vital. Where I believe my approach differs is in the fact that I have gone about eliminating dairy (milk, butter, milk proteins, etc.), wheat, gluten, gliadin, etc. and other foods that I have found I do not tolerate. (If I am not the only person to take such and approach, I hope that I will discover others who have attempted this and that something useful can be gleaned from shared experience in this specific endeavor.) I have also eliminated soaps, detergents, deodorant, and toothpaste that are laden with chemicals so that my body is able to avoid having to allocate water and liver function to detoxify these things. This should ensure that the GI tract is provided the opportunity to actually heal. I also take probiotics nightly to aid in reestablishing the gut flora that is necessary for proper digestion and vitamin production as well as protecting against unwanted bacteria, fungus and parasites. Ideally, this will enable the intestines to become less permeable, which means undigested proteins and lipids won’t pass into the bloodstream. This is significant because some of the most convincing evidence points to food protein as the key agonist in eliciting the autoimmune response.

The second part is less clear. While I sincerely hope that rejuvenating my GI tract will suffice, that it will resolve the immune interventions directed against my pancreas, it may not be that simple. What then? I suspect that it will be necessary to examine ideas that have not previously been entertained. I have had the privilege of becoming acquainted with many different protocols and methods for assessing and treating dysfunction, whether it be a muscle, joint, organ, etc. I find that Applied Kinesiology is an incredibly useful tool in helping to identify the origins of dysfunction. It employs a number of protocols to assess and treat the body, many of which deal with biochemistry and immune function. It has also been my experience that hypnosis is quite effect in resolving a number of issues, particularly those that have an emotional component to it or are the product of belief or thought patterns. The mind is a very powerful tool and at times can actually work against you in subtle yet powerful ways.

By restoring the proper conditions in the gut, assessing immune and biochemical function and working with the unconscious mind, through these methods I sincerely believe that what I have set out to do can be achieved.

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Latest HbA1c (Feb. 3, 2011)

So, my HbA1c was “better” this time.  It was 7.0.  Cholesterol and microalbumin were all good.  The problem is, I am anemic.  Mildly, according to the blood work.  But, apparently anemia tampers with the results of an HbA1c reading.  What confounded things was that I have elevated fructosamine.  The HbA1c gives a 3 month average.  Another measure of longer term blood sugar levels is the amount of fructosamine.  It is useful in examining blood sugar levels over a period of a couple of weeks to a month, where the HbA1c provides a marker for blood sugar level over a period of approx. 3 months.
For information on the fructosamine blood test please check out fructosamine.
For info on the HbA1c blood test, the standard test endocrinologists use to track the blood sugars over extended periods, check out HbA1c and eAG blood test.

I should mention that the blood work ordered last time indicated that I was anemic.  This explained a lot as I had decreased energy.  Since that time I have tried to get a healthy, anemia eliminating, dose of iron by eating meats and veg rich in iron and taking ‘Floravit’.  It seems to have partially successful as, according to the dietitian, I am “just slightly” anemic.  I certainly feel much better and have been enjoying a marked increase in my level of energy for a couple months.  What is somewhat puzzling is that my B12 and folate levels are normal.  So, I am now awaiting a meeting with a hematologist to try and figure this one out…

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Latest HbA1c

My last HbA1c was 8.0 or 8.1, which came as a bit of a surprise.  This would have been done in the late summer or fall of 2010 (reflecting the overall average from the previous 3 months of blood glucose levels).  The general trend that I had noticed was that my blood sugar was becoming increasingly stable.  What I mean is that there seemed to be fewer dramatic swings from sub 4.0 mmol/L levels to levels in excess of 13.0 mmol/L.  Perhaps not the most stringent of ranges but, in my experience, there would periodically be some broad swings from high to low and low to high.  I have noticed that things have become more stable but, apparently my blood sugars have been balancing a little beyond the target range.  I am very curious to see (on Feb. 3) if things have returned to a more optimal range.  Generally speaking, my HbA1c have been around the 7.0-7.5 mark.  I have enjoyed great care from my Endocrinologists over the years and this has been reflected in my HbA1c results.

There are a couple things that may account for the slightly higher than normal HbA1c:

1) I made a change from ‘Humulin N’ insulin, a longer acting “background” insulin that I was taking twice a day (one shot before bed and one, smaller shot with lunch) to ‘Lantus’, which is only taken once, before bed.  These two different types of insulin perform the same function.  While this change took place roughly around a year ago, there has been an adjustment period, which might at least partially explain the high HbA1c

2) The most likely candidate would have to be my ongoing change of eating habits.  Over the past 3-4 years I have made what I consider to be a remarkable transition.  At present, my biggest thrust has been to eliminate wheat and oats from my diet.  I favor meats, salads, nuts, berries and some fruits, and complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice and quinoa.  Because of the shift away from being more reliant on carbohydrates for energy, I have had to err on the side of caution and it would make sense that this has led to an overall rise in the average blood sugar over time with the upshot being that there are less abrupt transitions between low and high numbers.

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At This Time

Presently, I am in the process of going through all of the information that I have collected for this blog and trying to organize it into logical groupings and synthesized in a way that makes it easily accessible in the future.

I am also awaiting a meeting with my Endocrinologist so that I can get the results of my latest HbA1c.  I am also curious to inquire about the current initiatives being taken in regards to finding a cure for diabetes and what the most up to date theory is on the cuase(s) of type 1 diabetes.

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DISCLAIMER

I am not a doctor and I am not a dietitian.  The information on this page will either be from a source which is documented in some way or is anecdotal in nature.  So, before you decide to incorporate anything you have learned from this page, mull it over a bit first and, if you are uncertain, speak with a doctor or an appropriate health care practitioner.

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Mission Statement:

My purpose in creating this blog is manifold. I want to share information with others that I feel may be of use in effectively managing type 1 diabetes.  More than two decades worth of experience should count for something and I feel it behooves me to share my insights and revelations with others to hopefully help make their lives easier.

In addition, it is my sincere hope that this blog will garner enough attention so as to create a dialogue amongst people in various walks of life and professions that will be of some benefit.  Ideally, through a sharing of wisdom, those who are afflicted by type 1 diabetes will not only gain exposure to new knowledge and strategies for keeping control of their blood sugar and improving their overall quality of life, but that we might also advance the progress towards finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.  Personally, I wholeheartedly believe that a cure is within reach in the near future.  It just makes sense to avail ourselves of things like social media to pool our knowledge so that all may benefit.

And, finally, my ultimate and most ambitious goal in creating this blog is to document my own endeavors to cure my type 1 diabetes.  I have been a health care practitioner for several years and have come across a wealth of interesting information that I am all too happy to share.  I have also met many gifted health care practitioners who have shown me some interesting approaches to finding answers.  It is my hope that one or some combination of these approaches will hold the key to resolving type 1 diabetes.  But, what is of equal importance is that, should I be unsuccessful, perhaps something of value may be gleaned that could ultimately lead to a breakthrough in solving the type 1 diabetes puzzle.

Also, I want to make it clear that I welcome criticism so long as it is constructive.  I recognize that I am human and I will err.  As I have stated, I hope that this blog will provide insight to as many as it can, including myself.  I have much to learn and hope that this blog will prove to be an excellent means of doing so.

I truly hope that this blog can be of some value to those with diabetes and, ultimately, in finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.

-Andrew

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