Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:

I am a 37 year old type 1 or type 1 1/2 diabetic female who is 1/4 Native American. I have had diabetes since I was 14 years old - so 23 years now. I have retinapathy and now just since January I have been diagnosed with thyroid and possibly Lupis or some other auto immune disease. My father (who is Native) has 6 siblings. All who have diabetes. Two of them have died from complications both at age 39. I don't smoke or drink, I am not overweight and pretty much eat a high protein, low carb, low fat diet. I am still fairly active - ride motorcycles, walk, run, etc... but with all this I can't control my diabetes.Some days I can't get my blood sugar over 100 for 8 or more hours even though I'll eat ice cream or OJ. Other days I can't get my bs below 350 no matter how much humalog I take. I am trying desperately to slow down the retinapathy and or whatever else is happening. Do you have any tips or info on the cells transplants?

A:

There is successful research going on with islet cell transplants. Some of the earlier problems were with drugs used post transplant. As the research continues, I'm sure we'll see progress pointing to greater availability for more of you with diabetes. Meanwhile, have you explored with your endocrinologist the newly released long acting insulin, and/or an insulin pump? Are you taking any nutritional supplements? Has your eating pattern been thoroughly worked out? The "right" protein is important. It may be that when you target your lows, you end up overtreating and rebound with highs. Brittle diabetes is difficult, but some of the suggestions here have shown to be helpful.

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