Tuesday, 4 September 2012

What Constitutes Success?

World Touring Car Championship 2011 Race of Japan: Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport) celebrating the victory in the race 2. I've been thinking about the goals of this experiment and how I measure those goals. Firstly, the goal. Clearly the ideal would be to cure my type 2 diabetes. However, cure is a loaded word. Lots of people have claimed to have cured type 2. Every other day my Google Alerts box gets another so-called cure. Some  are studies by professional scientists that have been blown out of proportion by the media. Scientist says, eating dust seems to show, in a tiny uncontrolled study, that insulin resistance was lowered by an almost statistically insignificant amount. The newspapers turn this into, "Dust Miracle Cure for Diabetes!" (not a typo - they would drop the type 2 part as well).

Another bunch of alerts are snake oil salespeople. Perhaps I'm a cynic but I'm unconvinced by a magical diabetes cure that couldn't describe on page one of an overly colourful dedicated web site, but could be explained for just $19.95. If I had discovered that cure, I might not try to get a few pounds or dollars for it. Instead I might subject it to scientific scrutiny via the peer review process. I might not get my $20 a sale for a year but I may well get a Nobel prize, a patent and become a hero for millions of people with this terrible disease.

Anyway, the goals...

I'll see this experiment as an amazing success if my blood sugars normalise and I can eat "normally" again. That means that I can eat carbohydrates without spiking my blood sugar over 7.0mmol/l (126mg/dL). Will I go back to eating high carbohydrate food? Probably not. I wouldn't mind being able to go out for a meal once a month and not have to hunt around the menu for the one (if there is one) low-carb, vegetarian meal. An occasional relaxation of the low-carb diet, rather than giving up on it.

Would that be a cure? Maybe, maybe not. Talking about a cure is controversial to many. Some would say that normalising my blood sugar and insulin response would not be a cure, but would be remission or reversal of diabetes. The expectation is that going back to my old style of eating would reverse the reversal and I would become diabetic again. This is probably true and is the reason that I will never become a high carbohydrate eater again.

I suppose what I'm hoping for (and I'm not that hopeful to be honest) is something better than being in a position of managing my diabetes, along with the daily, nay hourly, work that this entails.

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