Diabetes Management, Miracles, and Size Shaming

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NOTE: I AM ABOUT TO START WORKING ON MY WEBSITE AGAIN. REJOICE!

I wanted to share this pretty much everywhere because I think it is vital information.

Trigger warning:
Discussion of diet and potential weight loss in context of treating a medical condition
 
Please note that I do not advocate low-carb dieting for the purpose of weight loss any more than I advocate reduced calorie dieting for said purpose. However, for a person who is not diabetic to follow the diabetic diet would be far less harmful than following fad diets which can result in malnutrition. My son, who is not diabetic, has been following the diet with me with a few exceptions, such as the fact that he likes to drink Ensure shakes occasionally because sometimes he either forgets to eat or does not feel like eating.
The American Diabetes Association diet is not the Atkins diet or any other such “low carb for weight loss” diet. The ADA does not approve of deliberately causing ketosis for the purpose of weight loss. Ketosis is, in fact, something to be avoided. It is very hard on the kidneys.
 
I was diagnosed with type II diabetes this week.
My blood sugar readings had been in the low 100s according to the test previous to this one, which showed full-on diabetes with a fasting sugar reading of 125. 
I was devastated.
I am now grateful for the diagnosis. 
A couple of things have happened, which I did not think were possible for me.
First, my cravings for refined sugar, which have plagued me for my entire life, have disappeared overnight.
I do not know if this happens for all diabetics, and I am not speaking for all diabetics. I am speaking for myself. I am not one of those people that’s going to go around telling others that their experience is invalid because I experienced this.
I have not been especially hungry. I have been satisfied after meals, whereas in the past I was not satisfied after even a large meal. I have a long history of emotional eating and of NEVER FEELING SATIATED. It is a horrible feeling. I do not know if the mode of eating that I’ve been forced to adapt would help other people. I am only speaking of what has happened to me.
I am NOT counting calories. Carbs are actually much easier to count. I keep myself below 60 at the absolute outside per meal, and it usually ends up being below 50.
Cheese, which generally has one carb to less than one carb per serving, has been my go-to snack. But where in the past I would have been capable of eating half a bag of string cheese and not stopping, I’m now satisfied with two sticks, maybe three if I’m feeling particularly peckish.
I am not saying that I am now one of the “holier than thou” and that people who are having trouble controlling their cravings or fighting with binge eating and emotional eating are “the lesser.” I am mad as hell at the way fat people are treated, and I will continue to be mad as hell about this, regardless of what I weigh. Here is something I want people to understand. Not all people are fat for the same reason. Not all fat people overeat. Some fat people have medical problems, and many fat people with medical problems have endocrine problems. As the kids today say, THIS IS A THING. 
Stereotyping all fat people as being lazy gluttons is narrow-minded discrimination, and people who engage in it are narrow-minded. They are either misguided concern trolls, or they are looking to cover up their own insecurities by finding a scapegoat. Either way, this is wrong thinking, and it MUST stop.
I speculate that treatment of my condition will lead to a degree of weight loss. Again, this is not a goal that I am actively pursuing, and if it happens, it does not make me superior to anyone who is larger than me. The idea that it would is erroneous and harmful. I really wish people would stop thinking this way.
What I fear are the triggering weight based compliments that will come if I lose weight. I think I will respond with something like “I appreciate that you are trying to compliment me, but I’m not a better person for having lost weight. I have a medical condition which has caused the loss. I prefer to be complimented on my actions rather than on my appearance.”
Another thing that has happened, literally overnight, is damn well miraculous as well. I have not had any instances of significant incontinence over the past day! For the past nine years, I’ve had to wear the maximum size incontinence pad, and had to change it several times a day due to uncontrollable loss of large amounts of urine. I would often end up having to change my underwear and trousers as well. 
Over the past couple of days, I’ve only experienced minor leaks, which might be considered par for the course in a woman my age. I would certainly be happy if this continues to be the case. If I could buy a smaller size pad and not have to change it as often, it would save me a significant amount of money.I have been spending at least $30 every two weeks for incontinence pads for the past nine years. This really adds up.
And now, some things I’ve read.
Individuals with type II diabetes are more likely to have larger physiques, although the disease does not strike only larger people.
People with untreated type II diabetes will have significant trouble losing weight.
The problem with many of the articles I read is their tendency to play the Blame Game, but rather than blaming the pancreas for malfunctioning, the patient is blamed for not being able to lose weight. Uncontrollable cravings are blamed on a character flaw rather than being seen as a symptom of pancreatic insufficiency. 
Again, I am not saying this is true in every case, but it seems to have been true in my case. It makes me furious that when I have tried to discuss this issue with health care providers, I have been greeted with a “just don’t eat that” attitude.
I assure you that had a significant change not occurred literally overnight, I would be having trouble managing these cravings, diabetes or no diabetes, knowing the consequences of consuming such large amounts of carbohydrates or not. These cravings are like drug addicts describe regarding their particular addiction.
 I do not want to go down the slippery slope of saying that refined sugar causes everyone to experience these kinds of cravings, but for certain people, like myself, who had untreated pancreatic problems, it very well may. I also want to reiterate that I am so sick of people being blamed and shamed for not having a body type that adheres to the very rigid social standards of beauty that I am going to puke all over the next concern troll or sanctimonious asshat (I’m talking to you, Maria Kang) who suggests that “fat people just don’t have enough self control, blah blah blah, oh look, I can talk out both sides of my mouth and my ass all at the same time!”
I have read that diabetes causes inflammation. I’m certain that it does, and that the inflammation it causes is detrimental to optimal health.
I now wonder if my pancreas may have been malfunctioning for years, in spite of the fact that my blood glucose levels were under the magic number of 100. I don’t have any real way of knowing. I always blamed my hypothyroidism for my cravings and the fact that my weight kept going up although I’m physically active. I have no way of knowing if it has been thyroid combined with pancreas, if my pituitary gland is messed up and causing both problems, or what the hell is going on exactly. I may never know.
I do know two things.
Thus far, I feel a lot better.
People who scapegoat fat people (or anyone else they deem unattractive) suck. 
There does seem to be a correlation between being heavy and type II diabetes. Let us get one thing straight–being heavy DOES NOT CAUSE DIABETES! From the less blamey-shamey things I’ve read, untreated diabetes and weight gain create a vicious cycle, much as hypertension and atherosclerosis create a vicious cycle. This article seems scientifically sound and does not have a blame and shame tone.
I would also like to address the matter of size shaming in the medical community.
IT BENEFITS NO-ONE.
Fat people will tend to avoid visiting the doctor when they know they are going to be shamed for their weight. Thus, important physical diagnoses, such as diabetes, may be missed, because if the person isn’t getting tested for such conditions, they aren’t going to know about them. Also, critical health problems may be missed by lazy physicians who, rather than doing what is necessary to make a real diagnosis, tell fat patients that their problems would all go away if they would just lose weight.
Health problems in thin people may be missed because lazy physicians assume that since the person is thin, they are healthy and there is no need to run a battery of tests. Thin people may also fall into the trap of thinking that their physique automatically means they are healthy.
A weight-neutral atmosphere is absolutely necessary in medical treatment.
Doctors need to believe patients who tell them that their cravings are uncontrollable rather than berating them and telling them to just bootstrap it up and not give in. That is lazy medicine which does nothing to get to the root of the problem.
Doctors need to believe patients who tell them that they are following the prescribed diet and they are exercising but still not losing weight.
Doctors need to stop trying to make Number Twelve Look Just Like You and start treating all patients with respect regardless of their size. They need to run certain tests on all people regardless of size. They need to listen to what the patient is saying. They need to TREAT THE PATIENT, NOT THE CHART!
Anything else is bad medicine.
In conclusion, if you are experiencing uncontrollable cravings for refined sugar, if you are gaining weight in spite of being physically active, if you experience uncontrollable, large losses of urine, your pancreas may be at fault. Insist on the proper tests. You are deserving of competent medical treatment and of respect.
This long post now draws to a close.
Peace,
The Cheese
Cross posted all over the fucking place, because this is important information. Share it, but credit me.
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2 thoughts on “Diabetes Management, Miracles, and Size Shaming

  1. Interesting post. And you’re right, people should not make stupid assumptions about why others have gained weight.

    You probably know this, but cinnamon is an awesome tool for helping keep your blood sugar in check. And there’s no side effects.

    • Thank you for your comment. Sorry I took so long publishing it. This blog has been badly neglected.
      I do take cinnamon, but I feel its necessary to give the caveat that if a person actually has diabetes they mustn’t neglect medications such as metformin if it’s been prescribed, and certainly they can’t neglect insulin if it’s necessary. Controlling blood sugar levels is the most important factor in insuring that diabetes doesn’t wreak havoc on the body.
      At this point I’m not insulin dependent. I do take Metformin. I haven’t had any problems with it, as long as I take it with food everything’s fine. Some people do experience nausea and diarrhea, however.
      As far as size stereotyping, the glutton who sits around eating entire buckets of Kentucky Fried, following this up with an entire cake, and washing the whole thing down with soda while watching an endless stream of reality TV is in the minority. Most large people don’t eat significantly more than our thinner counterparts, and the majority of us aren’t lazy.
      However, even the stereotype should be viewed with compassion. I’m not sure how anyone could imagine that such a person is happy, and furthermore, how could anyone believe that shaming said person is going to do anything but make them feel even worse about themselves?

Thank you for your kind comments and polite constructive critique to help improve my business.

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