My Sad, but Funny, History With Carbs

By Richard157 Latest Reply 2010-07-29 20:42:45 -0500
Started 2010-07-29 16:51:39 -0500

In one chapter of my book I recalled several things from the history of diabetes. One paragraph from that chapter is given here:

"There were two schools of thought in the 17'th century. One theory proposed replacing the sugar lost in the urine by following a diet high in carbohydrates. The second school believed that carbohydrates should be restricted to reduce excess sugar. Eureka!!! That may have been the first time excessive carbohydrates was considered to be detrimental to diabetics. The first theory seemed to be much more popular, and the idea of restricting carbohydrates seems to have been lost for the next few centuries. I say that because treatments being proposed in the late 1800's included bleeding, blistering and doping, with no further reference to restriction of carbohydrates. What a shame!!! If the second school of thought had become the popular one, that may have accelerated the advancements in the years that followed."

In 1945, the year of my diagnosis, carbohydrates were never mentioned. I did not know about the effect of carbohydrates until the late 1980's. That was about 300 years after the initial proposal that carbohydrates should be limited in a diabetic's diet.

Why was the initial theory ignored for so long? I used to think about that a lot, and it made me angry!

There are many things that my doctors never told me and one of them was that I should follow a low carb diet. I found that tidbit in a magazine. My doctor assumed I already knew that, but I didn't. I am so fortunate to have avoided complications for more than 40 years while eating hundreds of carbs every day. I avoided sugar, but ate many, many carbs. Avoiding sugar was the only advice I was given for so many years.

In modern times, with all the technology that is now available, and all that is known about proper diabetes care, it is much easier to avoid complications. My attitude about my diabetes and the mishaps that happen, has changed. I can now laugh at things that used to make me mad. A sense of humor has totally replaced my former bitterness. That sense of humor has helped me so many times, in so many ways. I can now laugh about the carbs I should not have eaten, and I can laugh about the things I should have been told. Laughter is the best medicine I know!

3 replies

Crashnot 2010-07-29 20:42:45 -0500 Report

That's remarkable information to have found, I wonder how they evaluated which foods had carbohydrates? Perhaps by the sugars that could be cooked out of them?

But laugher certainly is the best medicine. After my pre-glucometer years of falling asleep at my desk in school and having the boy kick the desk to keep me awake until a candy bar arrived, passing out in my salad at a restaurant, and many scary instances, I had to learn to either laugh or cry at my circumstances. And laughing is certainly a lot less stressful!

We are carbohydrate monsters. I didn't learn about them until much later, due to not going to any diabetes doctors for years because the last one told me I only needed to see him if I was having troubles. So I got on the carb band-wagon exactly two years ago with my pump! Still haven't figured out how to turn off my carb monster, but at least I'm aware of when it's taking control now and can counteract it a bit.

Glad to hear you've found your humor Richard! You've done well, I have a very difficult time trying to imagine you as being a bitter person!


tabby9146 2010-07-29 20:39:57 -0500 Report

That is amzing that you have been able to avoid any complication for 40 years! Kudos! I found what you said interesting about way back in the older days what they used to say. So glad being diabetic isn't quite as restrictive as it used to be, otherwise I would have a very hard time of it losing weight and keeping it off.

Harlen 2010-07-29 17:55:37 -0500 Report

It may be that no one would never get any one to deal with low carb diet back then ????
best wishes Richard