#Type1Runs… or Plods

 

my feet in Sketchers

 

The half-marathon training continues… limps on, more like. My body repeatedly tells my brain this was not wise. Sheer stubbornness forces me on.

It heartened me to read of another type 1 saying her training veered between 20-mile runs that went well and three-mile runs that floored her. We juggle not only the effort of running with balancing blood glucose levels.

Too high and running turns into an activity that resembles wading through waist high treacle. Too low, and your calves seize up as your body goes on a glycogen hunt. Either way, both states bring you to a grinding halt.

Magic formula

The magic formula that is running with diabetes is akin to Google’s most complicated search algorithm. Factor in sleep, the previous few days’ average blood glucose levels, where you are in your cycle (if you’re a woman), what you’ve eaten, how much insulin you have on board, how much food you need before running, what foods provide the best fuel sources, how far your blood glucose levels drop and by what time spent running…

If you can work it out, you’re better at this lark than I am.

Exercise affects us not just at the time but for up to 24 hours afterwards. And if you’re exercising for more than an hour at a time, it becomes trickier to work out what you need to do with insulin and food.

Pilates and yoga

Bouts of activity that last half an hour to 45 minutes are relatively easy to manage. If you want to do more exercise than this, you can break your activities up—a walk in the morning and an easy jog in the evening, say. And plenty of Pilates and yoga thrown in for those nice stretch and flexibility benefits.

My vow is post September 30, I’m never doing a run longer than a 10k and my weekly runs won’t add up to more than nine miles, if that. Dear reader, I make myself accountable here.

Meanwhile, September 30 (the half-marathon date) hurtles ever nearer. Yikes!

 

 

Thrity-One-Year-Old Claims Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

A PICTURE OF BLOOD TESTING EQUIPMENT AND NEEDLES

A PICTURE OF BLOOD TESTING EQUIPMENT AND NEEDLESGoogle alerts frequently pairs ‘diabetes’ and ‘cure’ together, but most of the time the words don’t capture my attention. Even when ‘type 1 diabetes’ and ‘cure’ make the same sub-heading, I’m not jumping up and down.

Yeah, yeah, heard it, bought the tee shirt, and no impact on my life so far…

But The Sun newspaper carried a story this week about a 31-year-old who claims to have cured his type 1 diabetes with diet and exercise alone. Again, that approach can achieve results with type 2 diabetes but it’s the first time I’ve seen it accredited to a cure for type 1.

Exercise and diet

Daniel Darkes’ regime isn’t for the faint-hearted. He eats a diet high in zinc (nuts, oily fish and veg) and runs more than sixty miles a week.

But before you dig out your trainers and start stock-piling the Brazil nuts, Daniel’s type 1 diabetes has some qualifications. He has a rare, abnormal gene, which doctors believe might have restarted his pancreas.

The 31-year-old from Daventry in Northants developed diabetes eight years ago and stopped giving himself insulin last January (2017)*. He started cutting down on insulin after experiencing hypos in 2016. He travelled to the US in March 2017 to find out more. Doctors ran further tests to find out what we happening to his body.

Brain sending messages to pancreas

He was put on a fasting diet and exercised at the same time. The medical staff noted his brain had begun sending new signals to his pancreas, and he hasn’t injected himself with insulin ever since.

Daniel told The Sun that doctors believed his abnormal gene combined with exercise is the reason he’s been able to cure himself—it’s as if the gene acts as a back-up immune system and has recharged his pancreas.

He is still being monitored at Northamptonshire General Hospital.

Abnormal genes

I’m fascinated by this story—as I suspect most type 1s will be. I’m no medical expert so my opinions are qualified, but I suspect that Daniel’s abnormal gene plays a huge part in his ‘cure’ (and this won’t be regarded as such until he reaches the two-years-without-insulin mark). It’s also interesting that the description of his diet (scant as it is) sounds like a low-carb diet.

The article said that Daniel’s case “could provide a revolutionary new approach to treating type 1 diabetes”, while Diabetes UK said it couldn’t speculate on whether Daniel had ‘cured’ his diabetes or not, and that there was “no clear cure for type 1 or type 2 diabetes”.

 

*DISCLAIMER – please, for the love of all things injectable, do not skip your insulin injections if you have type 1 diabetes…

 

A Day of Type 1 Diabetes

wp-image-1961591207jpg.jpgWhat’s it like having type 1 diabetes? Like having a part-time job on top of everything else…

I’m like most people – sometimes I manage great control. Sometimes, through no fault of my own, I don’t. And sometimes the fault is my own. My blood sugars go haywire, and I spend the day yawning, wishing people wouldn’t talk to me because it’s too much effort to talk back.

Sorry if you’ve met me when I’m like that.

Anyway, here’s what a day of living with diabetes looks like…

8am. Up and at ‘em! Or something like that. I’m self-employed, and I work from home, so I don’t have to commute. Or go to an office – thanks be to all the stars above. My cat likes to sleep on top of me, so sometimes it takes me ten minutes to get up because I don’t like to shift him…

Blood sugar – 6.6mmol. Oh no, is this going to be one of those terrible goodie two-shoes posts where people show off about their brilliant control?

I take my long-term insulin when I get up – 13 units of Levemir. I give the dose in two injections because I think it works better that way. Being an impatient sort, I need to count to 20 to stop me removing the needle too quickly. (You might not get the full dose if you take the needle out too soon.)

I don’t bother with breakfast. Up and at ‘em feels more do-able when I don’t. I’m accidentally doing the trendy 16-8 thing, where you only eat within an eight-hour window.

I work from 9am to 1 pm. I’m a freelance writer, so I write blogs, website contents, video scripts and more for clients, mainly small businesses that are trying to improve their SEO. Some years ago, my husband built me a standing desk. Once you get used to standing for work, it feels much more comfortable than sitting all day.


wp-image-282956511jpg.jpgBlood sugar – 4.2mmol
. Oh, no! It IS going to be a humble-brag blog.

1.30pm-2pm. Lunchtime. Today, I had chilli, salad and some green beans on the side and I finished with some peanuts. I took half a unit of Humalog to cover roughly 20g net carbs. I didn’t take it until after the meal because my blood was low beforehand and because I was planning a walk afterwards.

2pm. I usually go for a walk. I use a Jawbone app to track my sleep and activity. About an hour of walking a day takes you to 10,000 steps.

3.30pm – a bit more work. I write dog blogs for a client, and as I love animals these are my favourite ones to do.

5.30pm – 3.9. I had a banana to cover the low blood sugar, and then I went to a spin class. The instructor LOVES Lady Gaga. I’m beginning to hate her, as I associate the poor woman with nasty hill climbs.

7.30pm. Blood sugar, 11.1. Not so goodie two-shoes now, eh?! Huffing and puffing exercise sometimes does that to me – sends my body into a panic. ARGH, this is hard! Find sugar! Walking doesn’t do this.

I made myself a cheese and onion omelette. Other omelettes are available, but why would you bother?! It was more like cheese, with a bit of onion and egg on the side. I had one unit of Humalog to cover the net carbs.

wp-image-990815369jpg.jpg8pm – oops, how did that get in there? A cheeky little glass of pink fizz… It was so nice, I had another one. And er… maybe another one after that. I reckoned it would help lower blood sugars ;)*

10pm – second dose of Levemir, 6 units. I try to find a spot on my abdomen that doesn’t look too punctured. Medical staff stress the importance of changing injection sites regularly. I’ve got a lump on my belly that’s been there 20 years because I overused the same spot. I don’t go near it now.

10.30pm. I had an Atkins fudge bar. I didn’t take any insulin with it because I’d had a few glasses of wine. Atkins chocolate bars aren’t as carb-free as they boast – but they do contain fewer carbs than a standard chocolate bar.

Bed time. And that was my Friday.

 

*Usual rules apply – as a condition, type 1 diabetes will vary widely between individuals. What I do isn’t a recommendation or prescription for anyone else.