Amish and Diabetes

By BreC Latest Reply 2014-12-23 05:32:30 -0600
Started 2014-12-09 18:42:36 -0600

I live in an area that a lot of our neighbors are Amish. For those who don't know, Amish travel by horse and buggy. Mennonite sometimes own vehicles. Amish do not have electricity, some Mennonite's do. So Amish live by old world standards and Mennonite are the border of old and new world. There are good and bad in both cultures as is in the modern world. Our next door neighbor Fred and his wife Mary are very good people. Fred has come knocking on our door on many occasions just to talk or if a family member needs a midwife. Since it is against their religion to use modern conveniences we have to make their calls for them. They won't even talk on the phone once we have someone on the line. We respect their beliefs and are happy to assist them. They bring us homemade breads, jellies, or whatever they have grown in their garden.

Fred came by and left some homemade bread for us. I see no need to explain that I can't eat it because my husband does and he says it make for some good sandwich bread that he can have for lunch at work. All of this got me thinking about the Amish and diabetes. I did a quick search and found interesting articles on the subject which I will post one of them.

12 replies

JSJB 2014-12-23 05:32:30 -0600 Report

My wife and me traveled to Lancaster, Pa area and enjoyed all the meals. We made it a point to go to restaurants with Amish Cooking.

Lakeland 2014-12-13 20:55:28 -0600 Report

I live in lancaster, pa so we deal with the amish daily at our furniture store, some Amish only use chiropractors, but I have seen some at the local doctors office. I never asked any of them about how they treat diabetes or if they ever know they have it. I know they have a community insurance that they pay into for medical bills.

they work so hard in the fields & things I'd think they're diabetes type 2 anyway would be controlled better because of their work ethic

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-12-10 22:42:01 -0600 Report

Hi Bre,
without knowng very much about the Amish I really don't have to much of a. Opinion accept that by eating home grown , home made foods I have to thinkthey live a very healthy life. Do you know if they would use medications prescribed by a
Dr.? Would they even see a regular Dr.? Don't mean to ask so many questions
but , I would reaklly like to know. Thanks, VL

BreC 2014-12-11 05:27:22 -0600 Report

I know that the ones around here used to eat at the McDonald's that was in the Walmart supercenter. As far as doctors, I have never seen them at a doctors office but have seen them lined up to pick up a prescription at a pharmacy. Most every business around here are equipped with hitching stations for use by them. There is a lot they do that would surprise the outside world. I totally respect their choices and have learned to not ask too many questions. I am curious though as to if they suffer some of the same medical issues that we do and how they treat it. Like diabetes.

4catMomma 2014-12-10 14:25:23 -0600 Report

I would also think that since they eat much healthier ie no processed stuff, fast food etc, that even being a bit heavier, they are probably still healthier in many respects.

Kats49 2014-12-09 19:21:25 -0600 Report

You are a good neighbor to them as well. God intended for us to help and love one another.

jayabee52 2014-12-09 19:07:59 -0600 Report

Howdy Bre
I grew up around the Amish in the northeast IN area (near Ft Wayne). I did a study of their religion and their tenents, Actually as I learned the Amish are an offshoot of the Menonite religion. I had originally thought it was the other way 'round I have a cousin who married a Menonite and he seems about as modern as they come.

"Amish or Amish Mennonite are a very traditional sect or a subgroup of the Mennonite Church. Founder of this sect was Jakob Amman and his followers came to be known Amish. Mennonites are a Christian group of Anabaptists following the teachings of their swiss founders. The name Mennonites is drawn from Frisian Menno Simons who through his works articulated the teachings of the original peaceful Anabaptists." source:"

There are differences in the practices of individual clans of Amish depending on the particular "bishop" making the rules in that locality. For instance: Some allow their picture to be taken others do not. Some are allowed to use plain buttons while Amish in other localities must use straight pins to hold their clothes together.

I am fascinated by the Amish.

God's best to you and yours


BreC 2014-12-10 12:12:11 -0600 Report

James, I'm not so much fascinated by them anymore. I suppose when you see them on a daily basis you don't pay that much attention. The tourist are horrible during the spring and summer months. The Amish around us do not want their picture taken. I suppose with their active lives coupled with eating natural foods would lessen the numbers of those with diabetes but surely some would have the symptoms weather treated or untreated.

BreC 2014-12-09 19:20:34 -0600 Report

Living among them one sees a lot of things that others would say "no, they don't do that" which is sometimes laughable. There are good and bad and Fred's family are some of the best people. Back in the summer we had to call an ambulance for my brother-in-law who had passed out in the swing beside his house. Fred saw the ambulance turn into the driveway and ran across the field and jumped the fence and was with us before the ambulance got parked. Then again there are some who think we automobile drivers should get out of their way.

BreC 2014-12-09 18:43:08 -0600 Report

What Doctors Don't Tell You: ASK THE AMISH: Why does this sect have lower rates of diabetes II?
The Amish is a strange Christian sect living in America. They keep themselves to themselves, they refuse to wear anything bright or colourful, such as buttons or jewellery, and they eschew most every aspect of modern living and technology.
Two very important studies, published in 2002 and the year before, showed that the incidence of type II diabetes could be reduced by 58 per cent through diet and exercise. But was it the weight loss, which was the byproduct of the exercise and diet, that caused the risk, or was it the exercise itself?
Turning to the 30,000 Amish in America, it seems that exercise - and not weight loss - is the key to reducing the risk of diabetes. The Amish are involved in a great deal of physical activity, yet obesity is as big a problem in their community as in America generally. While obesity is generally considered to be a precursor of diabetes, the Amish seem to refute that.
While the latest study seems to prove a link between exercise and diabetes, those concerned about diet - an issue not addressed by the study - could do worse than consider the Montignac high-glycaemic-index diet.
(Source: The Lancet, 2003; 361: 87-8).

RosalieM 2014-12-10 07:30:02 -0600 Report

I am interested in your discussion about the effect of exercise on diabetes.
After having had diabetes for 30 years, I have no complications that usually come with diabetes . Why? My A1c hovered around 7 all that time.
I have had A1c between 8 and 11 at times early on before I figured out the diet thing. I want to know why this is so. My Dr told me a couple of years ago that I had a mood disorder that didn't need treatment. It is related to Bipolar, but I only have one pole. I never get depressed as bipolars do.
The other symptom is a great deal of energy. I have always liked doing things that require energy. So does working like the Amish (Which I do)keep my blood sugar from damaging my body? I also don't ever feel diabetic either. If my blood sugar goes too low I will notice that. I never notice a high. It can be over 300 and I don't notice. If I didn't check my blood sugar I would 't know it was over 300. What do you think?

BreC 2014-12-09 19:46:36 -0600 Report

The Amish we come in contact with all are hard workers. Most of the males are along the thin side while the females are along the heavier side. Does this make the females more prone to diabetes. I don't know. The females do all the house work and cooking and may be sampling as they prepare a meal but they also work hard in the gardens. It is interesting to learn how they do or would deal with diabetes.

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