Double Diabetes More Than Double The Trouble

If you suffer from diabetes which form -- type 1 or type 2 -- do you have? Does your doctor know which one it is? And, is it possible you can have symptoms of both types of diabetes? This blurring of symptoms has prompted some medical experts to identify a "new" disease, particularly in children, they say is harder to diagnose and treat: Double diabetes or even type 3 diabetes.

Experts believe this mix can happen at any time in a patient's life and comes in various forms. For example:

  • Type 1 diabetics who get insulin injections may gain weight, then become insulin-resistant (type 2).
  • Type 2 diabetics may not be responding to therapy, and may be developing a dependence on insulin typical of type 1 patients.

Even more distressing, a pediatric endocrinologist and double-diabetes expert has identified 25 percent of type 1 patients at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh who are obese and display other type 2 symptoms. An ongoing study to determine the best treatment for child type 2 diabetics is uncovering many participants who harbor antibodies that signal they have or are developing the type 1 form too, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Makes you wonder if the real reason type 1 diabetics are also succumbing to type 2 diabetes is because the ADA and nearly every endocrinologist who treats type 1 diabetes is virtually clueless about how to advise their patients about optimal nutrition.

Contributing editor and noted colleague Dr. Ron Rosedale probably said it best in his recent comments on treating diabetes: Unfortunately, doctors are poor teachers because they themselves are being taught wrong. They are being taught by very large and wealthy corporations, including pharmaceutical companies, whose motives are not to improve people's health, but to maximize profit. The medical profession still treats diabetes as a disease of blood sugar, since that is a symptom that can be modified with drugs. Diabetes is not a disease of blood sugar: It is a disease of insulin, and perhaps even more appropriately, leptin signaling.

Here's a three-step plan that should help you gain control over your diabetes if you have it, and protect you from getting it if you don't:

San Francisco Chronicle July 19, 2005

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