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[IPp] Re: pop-digest V1 #822

On Dec 16, 2004, at 7:20 PM, pop-digest wrote:

> From: Rachel A <email @ redacted>
> Subject: [IPp] Congress Encourages Research on Chromium Picolinate and  
> Diabetes
>  Does anyone know if Chromium use will be as effective in T1D as T2D?  
> If not,
> why?
> Thanks,
> Rachel
> http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp? 
> ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20041216005432&newsLang=en
Hi Rachel -

Chromium won't work for type 1.  Even the press release is fairly  
careful to only talk about type II (though I think they do slip in a  
few places and just say "diabetes").   What the press release says is  
that chromium may make the body more sensitive to insulin.  If it  
works, this would be helpful for a type II but it won't help a type 1  
at all.  It can't bring back a dead pancreatic islet (the part of the  
pancreas which makes insulin in a "normal" person, but which is not  
working properly, or is dead, in a type 1).  And it can't substitute  
for insulin.  There is nothing that substitutes for insulin as far as a  
type 1 diabetic is concerned.  I'm not even aware of any research that  
is even trying to find an insulin substitute.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause a lot of confusion because they have a  
lot of the same symptoms, complications, and treatments.  And  
unfortunately they are often both called "diabetes".  But they are  
caused by completely different problems in the body.  Type 1 diabetes  
is a disease in which the pancreas isn't able to make enough insulin  
(eventually, isn't able to make any).  Usually it is an autoimmune  
disease (the body's immune system has killed off the part of the  
pancreas that makes insulin).  But once a type 1 diabetic is given  
insulin, their body is able to respond to the insulin basically as well  
as a non-diabetic person would.

Type  2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a situation where the body is  
able to make insulin, but can't respond to it as well as it should.   
The goal therefore with a type 2 is to make their body more sensitive  
to insulin (that is, to bring them back up to a normal level of insulin  
sensitivity).   There are multiple options on how to do this - every  
drug (other than insulin) that you've ever heard of for diabetes is for  
type II only.  Sometimes type II's also do take insulin - one treatment  
option is to just saturate their system so that at least SOME insulin  
gets through.  Diet and exercise also help type II's come up to normal  
insulin sensitivity.

There is a mall up the street from us and there is an herbal store that  
routinely has a poster out showing sort of pill (perhaps it's chromium,  
I don't know) and the poster just says "Diabetes - blood sugar  
defense".  Every time I see it, I want to smash the window in front of  
the poster; every time I wonder how many type 1's might try using these  
pills instead of insulin, and how many would die as a result.

- mom to 3 yo Sigrid, dx'd @ 11 mos., pumping Cozmo since 17 mos.
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