The progression of type 2 diabetes means your pancreas will produce less insulin as time goes on. Nothing more, nothing less.

By Antique-Dave Latest Reply 2009-06-09 12:14:00 -0500
Started 2009-06-07 20:07:52 -0500

This is a comment from one of the other sites regarding the disease progression of diabetes.

What are your thoughts?

8 replies

Edie 2009-06-09 12:14:00 -0500 Report

I am now 52 and was told at the age of 16 I was Diabetic and then in my 30's was put on pills and then just 6 or so years ago I was put on insulin with out my OK I knew that if given a chance to bring down my numbers again after Surgery with out the insulin and just the pills I could do it. My Dr. is now telling me to get off of the Insulin I need to lose Weight but it is harder to do than said. But if there is a chance to be back on pills I am going to make it come hell or high water.
They say we can reverse the effects of Diabetes but I haven't seen it done yet. If anyone knows how to do that let us know please.
Your Friend Always;

kdroberts 2009-06-09 08:06:50 -0500 Report

It's too vague for my liking and there are two issues to consider.

I'm a strong believer in the belief that type 2 isn't really a valid diagnosis because the people who make it up are far too varied and have far too wide a range of issues that it doesn't make sense to say they all have the same thing. More likely is that type 2 will slowly start to break off into different, more defined classes and then you will have a better answer. When that starts to happen you will be able to see the people who do lose insulin production and those who don't because right now there are type 2's who have the same insulin production now as they did decades ago when they were diagnosed.

The other thing to consider is more controversial I guess. The question is diabetes a naturally progressive disease or does the medical advice given to manage it make it a progressive disease? Say you have an a1c of 6.5, your fasting readings are 115-120 and your post meal numbers are 140-160 always and have been for 15 years. By the approved treatment goals you have had excellent control for the last 15 years so when you start to get complications or you start to lose insulin production it gets chalked up to diabetes being a progressive disease and you can only do so much. However, what would have happened if for the previous 15 years your a1c was 5.5 or lower, your fasting between 80-90 and post meal between 90-110? Would you still lose insulin production and have complications? Some people think no but the studies are still to young to really confirm that. Plus, it would be a major, major issue for all the organizations in the world who have been coming up with the treatment guidelines to turn round and say that the goals they were giving in order to avoid complications were actually causing people to get the very same complications they were trying so hard to avoid. I think that it's a bit of both, it is progressive in general for most people but the management goals are speeding the progression up.

My personal belief is it's a combo of all things. More types that are unidentified at the moment, some of which will have differing levels of progression and in different areas (insulin production, insulin resistance, chance of complications, etc) and management targets that are too loose. In reality we know practically nothing about diabetes in general, a little here and there but pretty much next to nothing so everything now is more or less trial and error based on educated guesses. There are no hard and fast rules, nothing guaranteed and no predetermined path for everyone. That's why it's so important to see a doctor on a regular basis and really talk to them about how you feel, what you're doing and why they want to to do what they want you to do. Firstly because you are you and your life is your life so you need to work to find what will work for you and fit in with your life. Secondly, doctors talk, write journal submissions, participate in clinical trials and do research. The more info they have the more chance there is of actually making significant breakthroughs in understanding what diabetes is.

Sarguillo 2009-06-08 16:55:20 -0500 Report

Ok, I agree, At one time, pills alone and I was fine, then the pills didnt work so well and I was on higher dosages of pills. Then they didnt seem to work for me, now I am on insulin. I wont call that progress, Just progression of diabetes.

GabbyPA 2009-06-08 07:51:53 -0500 Report

Unfortunately, you're not wrong. It is progressive and we can delay and even stop some of the complications of it if we take good care of ourselves. Watch all our numbers and do our best to keep everything on target. So your efforts are not wasted, they are what keeps you going.

I know I was only diagnosed a little over a year ago and have tried so many different things to get myself in line. Some work, others didn't, but one thing is for sure. I am healthier now than I was a year ago. Do I still have diabetes? Yep, but I have a MUCH healthier lifestyle than I used to have. It has a lot of room for improvement, but that is good. Keeps me on my toes.

Just like any chronic disease, this will eventually win. The key is to make it fight harder to get you...each day is a victory for me. We are all going to die. Death, I guess if you look at it this way, is also a progressive "disease". Something is going to take us one day. Our battle is with diabetes. At least I feel like I have more say in it than if it were a car crash that took my legs or some blood disorder I caught along the way of life.

We each have our infirmity, that is what makes us mortal.

2009-06-07 20:53:02 -0500 Report

Diabetes is a progressive disease that's true. What works for today to manage it may not work tomorrow. That is why we all have to stay on top of things and not get to complacent with our care. For myself, when I was diagnosed 7 years ago, I could manage it with diet and exercise, now 7 years later it's not enough so I have to take pills. Maybe in time I'll need insulin, who knows. I have the attitude of 'whatever it takes'. I don't know if the progression means you make less insulin no more no less.. I just know that things change with time.


Antique-Dave 2009-06-08 07:38:27 -0500 Report

Thanks Judy
From everything that I have read in the past couple months about D being a progressive disease no where have I seen it boiled down to simply your pancreas produces less insulin as time goes on.

So if its that simple then where does insulin resistance fit in to the equation?

my understanding of the progression of the disease is that in spite of my best efforts D will progress, albeit more slowly if I am doing a good job (hopefully) Am I wrong?

2009-06-08 16:42:21 -0500 Report

Nope you aren't wrong Dave. If we stay active in our health care and management of this disease, we can slow the progression but we can't stop it like some of the 'miracle cures' tell us. It may be under control which is the best place to be but as time goes on, whether it be we produce less insulin or our bodies become more insulin resistant it will progress or other changes that the medical community doesn't know about yet happen. It could be 20-30 years from now so it's not like if you eat a cupcake today, tomorrow it will get worse. Life changes us everyday despite Diabetes and we are either up to the challenge of change or we aren't. For instance, I've had this for over 7 years, I've lost the weight, I exercise regularly, I eat right but it still changes. This year I'm having trouble with multiple infections in different parts of my body every couple of weeks or months. I do not have it in my blood it's been checked so it's on my skin. My doctor told me today that this is from Diabetes, it is not predictable or preventable but it is treatable. When I had two surgeries within a month last fall something got triggered that activated my personal bacteria to be 'angry' and when it sees a way in it takes it now. No tests to tell us why that happened, no tests to tell us when it's going to happen again. I just have to be careful now because even a microscopic hole in the skin that no one can see can be an open door for this stuff. So here is another example of a change in Diabetes.. Did I ever have this type of thing before? Nope. Will I get more? No one knows! Will I survive Youbetcha!!!

Happy Monday

lipsie 2009-06-09 08:41:07 -0500 Report

I feel ya Judy…I just FINALLY healed wounds that started my whole beginning stage of this, yet have another small one..and they said yup have to watch from now on cuz it'll continue. I dunno if you are referring to the same type of things but it sounds similar so I thought I say something. Sheila

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