My mother’s mother was diagnosed as diabetic late in her life; I honestly couldn’t tell you whether they said it was Type 1 or Type 2 but she was UNDERweight. She was put on insulin (Humalog) but died of a possibly unrelated stroke after a few years at a fairly ripe old age.
My mother is overweight and was diagnosed with type II; she’s been taking oral diabetes meds for years and went off sugar, but isn’t eating a strict diet, and has relatively successful control.
I was diagnosed with type II about 20 years ago. I had already taken steps to reduce my intake of obvious sugars, because I suspected as such without going to the doctor as soon as I should have. I was put on Metformin and Amaryl. This worked for a couple of years and then my beta cells basically burned out (probably because of the Amaryl, which causes them to crank out more insulin to try to overcome resistance) and my A1C numbers started climbing.
Most likely I’m in a state of “double diabetes” – insulin resistance as well as failure to produce sufficient insulin naturally.
I was switched to Byetta for a while (a non-insulin injectible), which was nauseating at first but limited both my appetite and my blood sugar for a while, until it didn’t. Then I was put on Lantus, which is a slow-acting insulin injected twice per day. That helped a little but not enough, so I was also put on Novolog, a fast-acting insulin injected before meals. When I changed jobs, my insurance required me to switch from Lantus to Levemir. This is where I’ve been for a while.
I’ve gone through a few phases of physical activity. Sometimes it was walking with ankle/wrist weights or riding an exercise bike for 1-2 hours every day. Sometimes it was being in a taiko performing group with 9 hours of rehearsal a week plus another 1-2 hours personal practice plus relatively frequent walks. Anyway, at one point I was down 40 pounds from what I weighed when I was originally diagnosed. (Taking insulin tends to lead to weight gain, so this was something of an accomplishment.)
My best results come with moderate physical activity, making sure I have NO carbs at breakfast and few to none at lunch, along with the 5 injections and 2 pills and 4 blood sugar tests every day. But my best results, even at maximum physical activity and my lowest weight, have never been “controlled”; I remain extremely sensitive to carbs, and continue to have a higher fasting blood glucose reading than after any of my meals with insulin.
I do not believe that if I were to lose 40 pounds from where I am currently, bringing me well out of “obese” range, that I would be “cured” of diabetes. In fact, I suspect if I lost 100 pounds at this point I might still be dependent on insulin, just perhaps a lower dose.
Both the insulin analogs I’m on are expensive – without insurance they are in the $500 a box range, with one of them being an 11 day supply and the other 23 days.
My doctor has been trying to prescribe me an SGLT2 inhbitor – Invokana, Farxiga or Jardiance – but a combination of insurance quibbles, holidays and vacations has held the process up for a couple of weeks now. While the FDA has issued warnings about a risk of ketoacidosis with these drugs, that seems to be relatively rare, and some weight loss as well as significant reduction in A1C is common.
Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disorder; Type II diabetes is literally every other case of hyperglycemia. Often, a person is diagnosed as Type II based solely on their age when their blood glucose is found to be high.