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July 23, 2005

Meal Planning, Food and Diet, Type 2

Question from Yucca Valley, California, USA:

My daughter-in-law was obese until diagnosed with type 2 and put on two medications. She has lost weight, has the energy of five people and drinks sugary Cokes all day long. Plus, she eats ice cream with syrup, Ding Dongs and anything sweet she wants. I, on the other hand was diagnosed with type 2 a few years ago. I am still obese, have no energy whatsoever and am very careful about eating sugary foods. I do not drink Cokes or anything with sugar! Yet, I don't lose weight and move like a slug. I am 10 years older than my daughter-in-law (62). Why is she doing so well while eating all the wrong foods?

Answer:

You cannot compare your situation with others. Each person has a unique level of insulin resistance and ability to make insulin on demand. It may be that, with the loss of weight, your daughter-in-law has had marked improvement in her diabetes with improved response to insulin and an improved ability to make insulin on demand. Just because she gets away with it now does not mean she will be able to in the future. Type 2 diabetes has a plot line that changes over time. If she gains back the weight, which she could with the diet you describe, she will be in trouble. Other thoughts include the differences in exercise. Are there other concomitant medical problems? What medications are you on? Patients taking metformin may lose weight with improved control, whereas patients taking other drugs may gain weight.

JTL