Monday, November 26, 2018

Good news for people with diabetes

Robin Koops, an instrument maker, is suffering from Diabetes Type1. Now supported by the Dutch Diabetes Fund, Robin has invented and is currently testing an ‘artificial pancreas’. (Yes, I read Dutch newspapers).

If you like me and suffer from Diabetes, this is great news. Nearly 9% of the population in Canada suffers from diabetes. That is close to 3.4 million Canadians!  Another 6 million suffer prediabetes. So that is nearly 9.4 out of 37 million – a cool 25%! Some call it an epidemic. For me, it is statistical quack mire that never answers the question whether it is a decease or a genetic condition. The statement that Diabetes Type 2 is due to lifestyle is bullshit. Just like its cousin Type 1, it  is clearly hereditary and yes many sufferers are obese. But many others, adhere strictly to diets, including the now popular Keto-diet (Atkins-diet-like). Many spend days worrying about their food and taking medicines or even inject with insulin (daily injections and blood-sugar monitoring). Yes, many diabetes sufferers follow also strict exercise programs – I do every day 1 hour. 

The dangers of diabetes are being dangled in front of us by every doctors visit – do you want to lose a leg?  If not, then take these and these and these pills.  They say diabetes type 2 is reversible – maybe but all my efforts have led to nothing and every time it seems, I encounter another relative that has the condition.  I refuse to call it a disease as it is built into the genetic make up of many millions. To declare that 25% of the population is sick and has to swallow pills for decades is making me furious. 

Some are destined to live long lives and others are living short lives. Are all people sick when their genetic make-up foretells they may die of heart disease or stroke because other family members did so?  Now it seems that Alzheimer's also has a strong genetic component and so, should we call children with such a genetic make up Alzheimer's sufferers and count them as sick? Do we put them on pills payable to the pharmaceutical industry for the rest of their life?  Big Pharma would love that, but it may make not only big money for this industry that already extracts payments from billions of people but it also creates the mentality that we all are somehow sick!  How is that for quality of life?  Legal medical drug addicts for life! 
Now Robin Koops has come up with a device the size of a cell phone that hangs on your belt. It doses continuously insulin and glucagon into your body while wirelessly monitoring your blood sugar. A big step forwards for insulin injectors. He calls it an ‘artificial pancreas’ and is supported by the Dutch Diabetes Fund.

I abhor medical science and want to stay away from these statistical kwaks who run their methods over large numbers of people to ‘discover trends’ without discrimination. I do that a bit as geologist and I know how there are many exceptions to these statistical rules.   I refuse to adhere to these random number generators – the same ones who nearly destroyed the dairy industry with their cholesterol data that now gradually is being tuned back. 

Yes, you may identify some stuff that helps lowering blood-sugar levels but much of this undifferentiated data is released as ‘science’ and scares the bejeezus out of the population. It frightens people into  non-life-enjoying beings afraid of nearly every type of food.  I wouldn’t be surprised that one day we will see ads stating: ‘Life kills you!’.

In my books, the longer you stay out of hospital the less chance doctors lay their hands on you and kill you. This may sound extreme but still, where do most of us end up dying?  I think, the longer you can do without a doctor the longer you will live - now there is a project for statisticians. My father recently passed away at the tender age of 93. I had aunts who suffered diabetes and lived long lives. I was never aware of the many that suffered diabetes until they reached a ripe old age. I support a healthy lifestyle and paying attention to daily exercise and to what you eat. But not to the point that my life quality suffers, and I become basically an addict to the drug pushers of big pharma and the bureaucracy of the insurance industry.

I hope the medical industry comes up with true solutions for extending our life. But at the same time, we should pay most of our attention to quality of life. That starts with healthy finances and that is what this blog better understands than medical stats driven drug campaigns. You’d think the medical profession has graduated from ‘take 3 aspirins and take a rest’. But that is what it basically still is doing.  Now Bayer is frantically advertising that older people should walk every day around with aspirin to fight heart disease. The gal!

My father finally died from a worn-out body. A worn-out spine, an imminent aneurysm in the intestine area but ultimately, he died in his sleep weeks before the euthanasia committee would have reached its decision. He lived a full life – the last days his back was hurting so much that he was on morphine but that after a long eventful life. He was semi-blind and needed a hearing aid. He also was shortly in the hospital to get a stent somewhere in his 80s – I and my siblings never got the full story. There was also something with the prostrate, but it passed.  Medicines helped him to live longer – but once he stopped playing tennis at age 83 because of worn cartilage in his knees his life went down. Yet he never failed to enjoy his life as long as he could. He mostly lived those final years in an apartment 300m from where he and my mother brought us up and where he grew up. Up to the day that he needed more care and then he moved to a senior-assisted-living apartment where after 2 years he passed away. Al this was done with grace and acceptance on his part. An example I hope to follow. Hopefully beyond the age of 93.

For me, I am not a medical number!  I am a free man (as they say in the TV series) who wants not to be treated as a medical statistic and scared into taking pills that may or may not help. Right now, at nearly 66 years of age, I enjoy life and do many things. I do take pills and wish I could get rid of them. My weight is similar to when I was a teenage swimmer, i.e. far from obese. I still swim and exercise. I do not wish to be treated as if my diabetes is due to my lifestyle. It just makes me lose confidence in medical science – if we can not do better than running a bunch of stats then in my opinion, we still live in the medical stone-age. 
Still statistically my changes to reach 75 are 80% according to the Mayan Clinic. That is much better than focussing on the 20% chance I won’t be there and that is based on very crude statistics. I bet I’ll be around for a long-long time and maybe then we have better means to deal with this diabetes thingy.

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