Live Real. Eat Real.

Tired Musings

I have had trouble sleeping every day this week.  It’s not so much that I can’t sleep at all – I have no trouble falling asleep, but if I wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason (last night it was a killer hot flash), I find it very difficult to go back to sleep.  So I’ve been up since 3 a.m., which has pretty much been the norm since Sunday night.

Menopause is a wonderful thing.

Not.

We’re getting all ready to go watch our side of beef be cut this afternoon (hopefully I won’t be too terribly brain-dead from lack of sleep), and tomorrow I’m making a 3-course fondue dinner for The Young One and five of his friends for his 17th birthday.  Sunday morning, I’m making them all breakfast.

I’ve never claimed to be in my right mind, you know.

At any rate, I hope you’ll forgive my lack of substance today.  I had a long post planned after all the Paula Deen brouhaha, but I’m just not up to it today.

However…

When I was growing up in the 1970s, I knew exactly two people with diabetes:  a young friend who was type 1, and my great-grandmother, who developed type 2 in her 60s.  Which was pretty much the norm – so much so that type 2 was often referred to as “geriatric diabetes.”

These days?

Three of the seven employees in our office is diabetic (another is prediabetic); the spouse of one of our co-workers is diabetic;  The Young One’s grandmother is diabetic; my ex-husband is diabetic; the young daughter of the hygienist at my dentist’s office is diabetic; my father-in-law is diabetic.  These are just the people I can think of off the top of my head – the people in my immediate circle of family, friends and acquaintances.  I’m sure each of these people could cite a like  number of their friends, family and acquaintances with the disease.

There is something at work here, and few of the “experts” can agree what that is.

How about you?  How many people do you know who are diabetic?  Do you have any opinions on what is driving the “epidemic?”


14 comments

Michele says:

I know several that are and my dad was type 2. I think it has a lot to do with diet and lifestyle, at least the type 2 kind. We eat too much and all the wrong things. We don’t get the kind of exercise that our ancestors got, etc. American society has seemed to forget the word moderation and industry. I could go on and on about the industrial revolution, factory farming and federal subsidies and their contribution but I’m tired too because I’ve had 3 nights in a row of waking at 3am and not getting back to sleep. Chamomile tea seems to help.

Be says:

Simple – the Standard American Diet. It’s caused by a huge increase in the amount of sugar and grains in the Western diet is directly related to the increase in diabetes, cancer, heart disease, ADD, ADHD, Parkinson’s, and I have a strong suspicion that Alzheimer’s is also related. The average American consumes about 3 pounds of ADDED sugar per week! That’s a lot of sugar, especially for whoever is eating my share.

I would contend it might be a little more complex. I think it has to do with the quality of the foods that we are eating. Back in the day, (a la Fannie Farmer Cookbook,) or even medieval times, a LOT of grains were consumed by the poor. The thing is, they weren’t genetically modified, sprayed with Roundup, DDT, and whatever crap the agricultural “industry” dreamt up for producing higher yields.
My grandfather used to tell me that while we may wish for the ways of old, we also must remember it was a different time back then. There was more rural areas, less pollution, cell phones, cell towers, television, plasma TVs, LCD screens, etc.
Life was a lot harder work back then. I don’t think we move less than we did back then, we just have to eliminate more toxins than back then. Remember that “working out” was for side-show freaks and strong-men. Today, the GVT would have us believe that as a diabetic, I NEED 1 hour of hard exercise a day. That’s crazy!

Now, do I believe we need to eliminate them? Abso-frickin-lutely. Our bodies are now in a perfect storm of chemicals, hormones, insulin resistance, sleeplessness, and caffeine! It’s time to slow down, relax, and get our health back. Then maybe we can look at adding some real grains back – if there is any left, that is.

Pseudo says:

I work at a school with a high demographic of poor and disadvantaged students. A good junk come from the housing projects. There is a very high percentage of their families with diabetes and diet related health issues. One of the problems is that these days it costs more to eat healthy.

I remember when I was growing up, the cheapest food at the store was the fresh fruit and vegetables.

BTW The Young One and his friends are quite blessed.

Be says:

It definitely costs more for good eats, but a lot of that can be attributed to cheap crap developed from government subsidies (specifically corn). The best intentions coupled with the government’s bad dietary advice (such as to eat 6 servings of carbs a day) have conspired to make US diets worse, especially for low income families.

In truth, the percent of food spending to total income has fallen inversely as obesity and diabetes (and other modern diseases) have increased. Interestingly, the cost to feed a family has still fallen as the number of meals eaten out has increased. I submit that it is a matter of priority – we can all afford to eat healthy, but some would rather spend the money on drugs and tobacco.

Jan says:

I’m glad you’ve brought up the price of food, especially in the form of refined carbohydrates, because I’ve been thinking about a post about that.

I think you’ll be surprised.

My mom is diabetic. Her dad was diabetic. Uncles are now turning up diabetic. My dad was listed as prediabetic. Of course, it’s diet and exercise. My mom is taking control of things now, watching her grains and sugars, joined a walking group, started MOVING more, and now her blood sugar levels are so much better. She and my dad were used to following doctor’s orders, her doctor is certain the drugs are what’s making her feel better, but she cut the dosage on her own, making the drug the control and her own actions the variable. She’s proving she can turn things around on her own.

Agreeing with the others about the SAD and excessive grain consumption in general.

I will say that since going paleo 6 months ago, we have had to increase our budget by about $150-200 per month (we are a family of 7, and 2 of our boys eat as much as adults). I am extremely grateful for a husband with a job that allows us to be able to do that! Increased health has its advantages, though, and the increase in cost is well worth it.

You know, it’s funny. I didn’t know a lot of people that were diabetic before I was diagnosed. It seemed like they all crawled out of the woodwork. LOL

I knew a couple of T1D growing up. It was a mysterious illness. I even remember feeling envious at one friend for the attention that he got from his illness. I wished that I had it. (Oh, the irony, I know!)

Even when I was diagnosed as “borderline” back in 1990, I still didn’t know a lot of people with the disease. In fact, no one told me anything, including my mother – only that I needed to “watch my diet.” Right.

At my last job, it was very hard to hide my diabetes, and I wouldn’t want to anyway. I then found out there were at least 3 employees that had it in the kitchen. These were skinny people, mind you. Not at all the fatsos that the media portrays the T2D to be.

In fact, at my previous job, there was a little Bengali dishwasher that was diabetic – I only found out because I had just been diagnosed and he saw me testing my sugar. This gentleman partakes in the Ramadan every single year, and earns my respect because he is able to fast from sunup to sundown, and still manage his sugars. You know what? He weighs maybe 100 lbs soaking wet. So much for the stigma, huh?

Be says:

LOL – It’s kinda like buying a new car – you start noticing them everywhere!

Seventeen!! Wow!
Personally, I’m a photographer for Winter Formal this weekend. How many teens does that involve? : )

Diabetes – well, it’s a side effect of obesity and poor eating habits in many (but certainly not ALL) cases. I know a lot of diabetics … my high school best friend was one, and now it seems to be in fashion with middle aged people everywhere. (I’m joking – please don’t send me nasty emails.)

Both paternal and maternal grandmothers were diabetic, my dad had a fairly recent diabetes diagnosis (Type 2) after having become less active after his strokes (and not adjusting his diet to accommodate the less active mode). My uncle (his brother) has had a slew of medical issues all his life, one of them being diabetes as well. I found out recently that various other relatives are diabetic… with only a handful on the ‘obese’ scale, the rest are skinny as a rail and active – but still diabetic.

My aunt (the only one of her siblings who is not diabetic) nags – I mean reminds – me constantly to make sure I watch what I eat and drink so I don’t end up like the rest. ;)

My purely anecdotal evidence is that I don’t know many type II diabaetics here in England. I know some people with extraordinarily bad diets (to me). But it is all anecdotal. My experience is that genes are very powerful. Some people can get away with extraordinary indulgence. Other people get clobbered.

I don’t think I am in danger. I cannot tolerate sweet food in my main course. To me sweet is a treat at the end and it doesn’t belong anywhere else. I hate ham with a sweet glaze. I think pineapple on pizza is an abomonition. Marshmallow with sweet potato makes me feel sick, and why would you add brown sugar to something that was already sweet?

Fat, on the other hand, really turns me on. I’ve always said that there were Sweet People and Fat People.

Erin says:

My dad is type II, but controls it with diet and exercise. Seems like standard american diet is the culprit for the increased numbers…

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