Totally Unscientific Poll – Type 1 Diabetes, Coxsackie, and HFMD

I am NOT a scientist. I hold no degrees in any sort of medical or biological field. I’m just curious about something.

Recently, some new articles have come out linking the Coxsackie B virus with causing type 1 diabetes, but in doing a quick Google search on “coxsackie type 1 diabetes,” it looks like researchers have been studying this potential linkage this for several years, only now it’s suddenly getting more attention. Hopefully because we are getting closer to a cure? I can dream, right?

When my daughter was a little over a year old, she brought the lovely Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) home from daycare to share with us. If you read up on HFMD, you’ll notice it’s a Coxsackie A virus.

So cute and so little! This seems so long ago, not just 1.5 years.

If you look closely, you can see some of the HFMD red spots on the bottom of her foot. She got over it quicker and had much milder symptoms than I did.

Usually, only kids under 10 get HFMD, but I was one of the “lucky” adults who caught it. I had the tell-tale brief fever, then WHAM. It felt like I was hit by a semi truck of fatigue, I got some teeny red spots on my hands and feet, but the worst symptom was the gigantic blister/set of blisters that formed in my throat and made me feel like I was swallowing sharp kitchen knives for 3-4 days. It was awful. Made eating and drinking almost unbearable.

Anyway, the reason I bring that up…..I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 21. The fact that I got HFMD as an adult probably means I did NOT get it as a child and had no immunities to it. If I HAD gotten it as a child, would it have helped me combat getting type 1 when I was 21? OR, if I had gotten HFMD as a child, would it perhaps have triggered type 1 in me at *that* age instead of waiting around until I was older?

The poll below is completely voluntary and anonymous. I’m not writing a book or some grand scientific journal entry, I’m just wondering what other people may know/may have experienced anecdotally (is that  a word?) with the coxsackie viruses and type 1 diabetes. If you have time to answer the poll, or even just comment with your thoughts and insights on this blog post, I would greatly appreciate it!!

Pregnancy Diet Plan with Type 1 Diabetes

No, I’m not pregnant. Although, I desperately wish I was, that ship may have sailed.

Regardless, I’ve been chatting with a lot of d-friends lately who are looking into the getting-pregnant-business, and they have been asking about pregnancy diet plans.

Below is what my endo’s nutritionist gave me, and it worked like a charm every day that I followed it. And by “charm” I mean: relatively reliable and consistent good blood sugars within a range I could handle at that point in my pregnancy. Blood sugars are ALWAYS a moving target, but pregnancy makes that even more of a challenge. It felt like I was changing basal rates and insulin-to-carb ratios almost every week.
As we all know, your body and diabetes may be different, but this is what I went by, and this worked for me. I am connecting this with Type 1 diabetes because that is what I know, however, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be applicable for a Type 2 or gestational diabetic as well – as always, you should consult with your doctor to discuss what is best for you as an individual.

Everything in ( ) is examples for that meal – you may obviously swap it out for things you like & different stuff each day – these examples are using the Diabetic Exchange lists. I was a little cavalier and didn’t quite stick to it 100% of the time. When you are pregnant and crave a chicken quesadilla, you must have a chicken quesadilla, though it may not mesh exactly into the options for food at dinnertime.

But to this diet’s credit – my HbA1c’s were fabulous throughout the 9-ish months of pregnancy – 5.2, 5.7, and 5.9 respectively. AND my daughter came out with no issues whatsoever (despite my fears throughout the entire 37 weeks that every high or low blood sugar was killing her. If I could do it all over again, I would do my best to NOT be so stressed out, and instead just relish in the ability to BE pregnant.)

Breakfast
– 1 protein (one egg)
– 1 starch (one slice of whole wheat toast)
– 1 milk (1 cup skim milk)
– 1 fat (1 tsp margarine or 1 piece bacon)

Morning Snack
– 1 protein (1 oz. cheese)
– 1 fruit (1 small apple)

Lunch
– 3 proteins (3 oz. lean turkey)
– 2 starches (2 slices whole wheat bread)
– 1 milk (or 1 fruit) (1 cup plain or lite yogurt)
– 1 fat (1 tbsp diet mayonnaise)
– 2 vegetables (1 tomato / 1 cup raw broccoli)

Afternoon Snack
– 1 protein (1 tbsp peanut butter)
– 1 starch (6 crackers)

Dinner
– 3 proteins (3 oz cooked chicken)
– 2 starches (1/2 cup pasta, 1 slice bread)
– 1 fruit (1/3 of cantaloupe)
– 1 fat (1 tsp margarine)
– 2 vegetables (tossed salad with tomato)

Bedtime Snack
– 1 protein (1 slice cheese)
– 1 starch (1/2 English muffin)
– 1 milk (1 cup milk)

Česky: Pizza

Pizza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notes & info links:

  • I had terrible morning (really, all day) sickness throughout my pregnancy, up until the day I gave birth. The ONLY thing that kept me from retching all day was making sure I ate something every 3 hours. It was like clockwork, and I could almost biologically tell you when it had been exactly 3 hours because I would start getting nauseous.
  • Near the end of my 1st trimester, my husband and I went on a cruise. It was amazingly beautiful and relaxing, but my most favorite memory is eating a piece of PIZZA almost every night around 11pm so that my blood sugar would stay stable throughout the night. I AM NOT KIDDING. Pizza!! It was an historic event of perfect blood sugars with relation to that usually-nightmare-blood-sugar-causing food. (This only happened in 1st trimester and beginning of the 2nd. During the crazy-insulin-resistant-3rd trimester….pizza was off the table.)
  • There are tons of resources out there around pregnancy with Type 1 diabetes. Before I really engaged with the breadth of the DOC, I chatted a lot on the boards at  http://www.diabeticmommy.com/
    TuDiabetes also has forums and groups filled with women looking to get pregnant, currently pregnant, or post-pregnancy who can be great sounding boards for questions: http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/diabetesandwomen
  • And for those of us who face infertility (diabetic or not) and issues with just getting pregnant in the first place: http://www.resolve.org/

Artificial Pancreas? Not.

Artificial is defined as:
1. a. Made by humans; produced rather than natural.
b. Brought about or caused by sociopolitical or other human-generated forces or influences: set up artificial barriers against women and minorities; an artificial economic boom.
2. Made in imitation of something natural; simulated: artificial teeth.
3. Not genuine or natural: an artificial smile.

Pancreas is defined as:
A long, irregularly shaped gland in vertebrates, lying behind the stomach, that secretes pancreatic juice into the duodenum and insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin into the bloodstream.

By smooshing (clearly, a scientific term) those 2 words together, somehow mainstream media thinks that because the FDA approved something with ONE FREAKING NEW FEATURE ON AN INSULIN PUMP, suddenly we all will soon have fake pancreas machines that will “fix” our diabetes.

Scott Hanselman wrote a post about this that describes (better than I can) exactly how I’m sure a LOT of us feel: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ItsWAYTooEarlyToCallThisInsulinPumpAnArtificialPancreas.aspx

Am I excited about new pump technology? Yes. Would I love to have an artificial pancreas so I didn’t have to think about managing my diabetes 24/7? Of course. But please – until it really does everything-my-broken-pancreas-should-do, or very close to it – don’t call it an artificial pancreas.
English: Diagram shows insulin release from th...

English: Diagram shows insulin release from the Pancreas and how this lowers blood sugar leves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)