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Diabetics are carb intolerant

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by notafanofsugar, May 14, 2014.

?

Are diabetics just carb intolerant?

  1. Yes

    46.8%
  2. No

    46.8%
  3. I abstain!

    6.4%
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  1. notafanofsugar

    notafanofsugar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Saw a post on the DCUK facebook page today, and thought it was quite interesting:


    I just wanted to ask what people think of Carol - I think she's right... although I had a smile when I read it!

     
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  2. notafanofsugar

    notafanofsugar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  3. AlexMBrennan

    AlexMBrennan Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    No, that's just a stupid oversimplification.
     
  4. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Depends on the treatment type, I'm type 1 so inject insulin so I can tolerate carbs, by injecting insulin I am just doing the job that my otherwise healthy pancreas would have done.
     
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  5. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's a smart simplification, and refreshingly simple. Diabetics are carb intolerant. They either tolerate carbs poorly (Type 2) or not at all (Type 1). It is a refreshingly plain and simple way of describing the disease. It's also the correct definition of diabetes. It's the only thing that Type 1 and Type 2 have in common really. Otherwise the etiology of both is very different.

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
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  6. AlexMBrennan

    AlexMBrennan Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It boggles my mind how you could possibly think the type 1 diabetes could be described as "doesn't tolerate carbs" - without insulin, you die just as quickly if you don't eat anything.
     
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  7. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    I've voted YES from a strictly T2 point of view. By cutting out most carbs, James went, almost overnight in some cases, from being an obese, depressed person, only half there mentally, who constantly napped and had lost interest in life to a normal weight, lively, wide awake and happy person, with ambitions and goals in life, who has made the gym one of his hobbies. Cutting out carbs - nothing else. HbA1c fell dramatically to non-diabetic levels, HDL cholesterol is now higher than LDL and triglycerides are a mere speck in the ocean. For James, it was definitely a carb intolerance.
    Sally
     
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  8. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Just to add to my post above, I have taken to describing my husband as "having a carb allergy" or "carb intolerant", rather than saying "diabetic" when ordering and enquiring about food availability. I find it is simpler. After all "everyone" knows what diabetics need (special puddings, jelly babies on hand) and those who aren't quite sure go and look it up on DUK and before you know it, you're being served a chip butty, with a side order of "diabetic" jam.
    Sally
     
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  9. Scardoc

    Scardoc · Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree that this proves James was carb intolerant. Removing carbs was the means to improve his weight and, in turn, quality of life. But who's to say that an exercise regime wouldn't have achieved the same results? Or a reduction in carbs coupled with more activities?
     
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  10. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That's completely factually incorrect Alex. Have a quick read of the history of diabetes treatment pre insulin. Carbohydrate avoidance was the essential treatment, precisely because it extended life dramatically. Yes an untreated Type 1 diabetic would eventually die anyway because of inability to clear ketones, but to an untreated Type 1 diabetic carbs were a deadly poison that rapidly hastened their death.

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  11. Scardoc

    Scardoc · Well-Known Member

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    Surely the point here is that a T1 diabetic does not have a functioning pancreas and cannot produce insulin. The medical dictionary defines intolerance as "Extreme sensitivity or allergy to a drug, food or other substance". A T1 is not extremely sensitive to carbohydrates, they have no mechanism to deal with carbohydrates.

    If your kidneys stop working and you can't filter your blood would you be blood intolerant?
     
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  12. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Scardoc said:
    I don't agree that this proves James was carb intolerant. Removing carbs was the means to improve his weight and, in turn, quality of life. But who's to say that an exercise regime wouldn't have achieved the same results? Or a reduction in carbs coupled with more activities?


    It is very well documented that ingesting carbohydrates puts up blood sugars in diabetics. There must be hundreds of statements on this forum along the lines of, "I ate a jam doughnut and my sugars went through the roof", "porridge always spikes me" etc. Therefore, it would seem logical to me, if you don't eat jam doughnuts, porridge etc, sugar levels will not go high, therefore HbA1c will not be high and the debilitating effects of diabetes, from just feeling down and exhausted to blindness, will not occur. It's ingesting excess (for them) carbs, which makes T2's ill. It's sugars, which the damaged, diabetic body cannot tolerate, not spending too long on the sofa.
    In James' case, the first thing he did on diagnosis was give up most carbs. Within two weeks all blood sugar tests were within the normal range and he immediately felt better. It took longer than that for any weight loss to show and he didn't get into serious exercise for about 3 months. Now he has lost weight and does more exercise, he is probably more carb tolerant than he was a year ago.

    But, I think, what we are arguing about her is words and definitions and that the important thing is sending out a clear message. A very clear message is,
    a T2 cannot tolerate much/some/any sugars.

    The body cannot process them and the person will become ill if they have more than they can cope with. The situation can be improved (some say to the point of cure) through weight loss and exercise, but this is irrelevant to the basic, clear message, which can be given out, without misunderstanding, to T2's and those who feed them.
    Sally
     
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  13. Scardoc

    Scardoc · Well-Known Member

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    It's the chicken and egg question then. Are you carb intolerant because you have diabetes? Or do you have diabetes because you are carb intolerant?

    If it's the former then surely the message needs to sent before the horse has bolted regarding lifestyle choices.
     
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  14. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with Scardoc's first point. It is not a chicken and egg situation. Neither one comes before the other. Having T2 diabetes IS having a carb intolerance. Diabetes AND carb intolerance (in my view they are the same thing) can be reduced, some say cured, by losing weight and taking more exercise. But the best way of dealing with an intolerance, before you have had time to reduce or cure it, it to stop (over) consuming the thing you are not tolerant of.
    But I do agree with the second point made by Scardoc. The message that large quantities of carbs are not a good thing for anyone, needs to be got out there.
    Sally
     
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  15. AntLockyer

    AntLockyer · Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what I said to the doctors. That was shortly after they congratulated me on my 5.5 HBA1c and told me to carry on what I was doing.
     
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  16. Minglemouse

    Minglemouse Type 1 · Newbie

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    Certainly not carb intolerance... If you do choose to control diabetes by just eating lettuce that thats your choice but not injecting insulin is causing a massive hormone imbalance which in the long run will probably cause some serious complications. And your diet is going to be very unhealthy.
     
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  17. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    I must admit, if challenged, this is how I describe why I'm not having rice/chips/desert, or whatever. I used to say I didn't handle sugars too well, but needed to cover the wider carbs, when dining out with acquaintances.

    Of course, it's an over simplification, but for lay, generally disinterested folks, it works for me, to be able to get on and enjoy myself, without interrogation or a label I don't favour.
     
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  18. GKS83

    GKS83 Type 1 · Newbie

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    An intolerance suggests more of an allergic reaction to me. Type 1 and Type 2 are completely different diseases.... Treated and managed very differently.
     
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  19. Ashlie

    Ashlie Type 1 · Member

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    I'm sorry but this has completely angered me!! If it was as simple as being intolerant then we would just have to cut it out not take life saving medication!! It's not like being lactose intolerant is it!! Background insulin keeps us alive, we do not produce it, even if we didn't eat carbs n didn't have to take quick acting we would still need background because our pancreas has destroyed itself! T2 not so much, most T2 are diabetic due to poor lifestyle, poor diet, no exercise and being over weight, they still produce insulin just not enough to go round their bodies, thays why they take a tablet it's like a top up of insulin, so yes exercising n eating right may improve T2 but to say a type 1 is "carb intolerant" is ludicrous, even when I go on a low carb diet my levels are still high! Plus we need carbs to survive!! Diabetes causes so many complications in life n health because once one organ has started attacking itself others can too, ketones are dangerous n even having the flu can cause them not just eating carbs, using lactose intolerance as an example that doesn't cause health problems n doesn't threaten your life every day! Silly silly people agreeing with this!
     
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  20. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    If we were carb intolerant then how come we can eat vegetables and fruit?

    I think there is a variation in how many carbs people with diabetes can safely eat rather than us all being carb intolerant.
     
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