Free Gifts with Diabetes

What did you get? Let’s see, mine came with a thyroid disorder and severe allergic reactions that turned out to be gluten intolerance. So now on top of the carb-counting and the shots, I’m limited to wheat-free foods, which is a whole other world of complexity, since so much “normal” food is glutinous. Are we having fun yet?!

I’m finding out how common it is for us folks with one organ-specific autoimmune disease to develop other autoimmune disorders. The body’s immune system, already going haywire, attacks other organs, like the thyroid gland.

Apparently upwards of 30% of Type 1’s also get Celiac Disease, an inability to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Sheesh! If it’s so common, why did it take so many allergy-specialist-visits and so much bloodletting on my part to discover that my reactions were caused by gluten?! They tell me mine is a “straightforward wheat allergy” as opposed to full-on celiac sprue, but the imposition’s the same: no normal pasta, bread, or baked goods of any kind. Analyze that!!

So is it becoming more common for new diabetics to suddenly show up with all sorts of add-on disorders? Probably not. My Endo says it’s partly due to the doctors getting more and more proactive in looking for these things before symptoms arise: Type 1’s get tested for thyroid disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and (maybe, if suspicion arises) gluten problems. Type 2’s for cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and a host of other things if they’re severely overweight.

My doc recommended I search the official Endocrinologists Association web site for “polyendocrine autoimmunity” to research this issue further. Um, NOT really a site for patients. Too much medical mumbo-jumbo we’d rather not decipher. But I did like the Patients First campaign and the Patient-Physician Contract. If you tend to slack off, this is worth printing out and pasting on your fridge, I’d say.

Back to reality, though: Diabetes and gluten intolerance is otherwise known as the DOUBLE-WHAMMY PAIN IN THE ASS. Those of you who’ve got them know just what I mean!! So here’s what I do: I order lots of gluten-free (GF) crackers, cookies, and baking mixes ahead of time from my favorite online stores, www.glutenfreemall.com and www.glutenfreetradingco.com. Then I bake breads and prepare GF pancakes and such ahead of time and freeze them. So when I’m at home, no problemo. Going out in the restaurant world’s another story. But that’s a posting for another day…

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18 Responses

  1. Patrick
    Patrick April 13, 2005 at 1:50 pm | | Reply

    I’m a recently diagnosed Type II diabetic in my late 30′s. I found this post interesting as my 6 year old son has a host of life-threatening food allergies including peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs and sesame seeds. I wonder if the reverse is true and if there has been any research done on a genetic predisposition to diabetes for him.
    As far as diagnosing allergies, a physician completely missed an analphylatic episode when we introduced milk and it took another several months and two ER visits for someone to suggest his eczema and asthma attacks could suggest food allergies.

  2. none
    none April 13, 2005 at 8:34 pm | | Reply

    well in diagnosing, we go by statistics- whats most common at what age, so they probably thought something infectious was the cause of the baby’s first allergic episodes…

  3. Patrick
    Patrick April 13, 2005 at 8:53 pm | | Reply

    The physician thought it was viral (my son was completely covered in hives around his waist and arms) and he went limp in our arms…, but came out of it fairly quickly before we saw the doctor.
    I was just sympathizing with the ‘bloodletting’ Amy had to go through, not with the physician’s original diagnosis. My son saw several pediatricians multiple times before they figured out the problem, so I realize how complex and difficult diagnosing can be.

  4. Violet
    Violet April 14, 2005 at 12:08 pm | | Reply

    Further evidence of the injustice of…well…everything. Just what you need, a bonus disease! Humph. Sorry you have to deal with this.

  5. Martha O'Connor
    Martha O'Connor April 14, 2005 at 3:51 pm | | Reply

    hi Amy et al,
    I know many children with Type 1 who also have celiac. I’m so sorry~I do know that one mom told me this opened their culinary travels to the world of Asian cooking, as it’s so dependent on rice. I’m so sorry, though. Bummer!

    Visit my newly-launched site if you get the chance~linked with my name, I think.

    Take care, xxoo Martha

  6. Martha O'Connor
    Martha O'Connor April 14, 2005 at 3:51 pm | | Reply

    hi Amy et al,
    I know many children with Type 1 who also have celiac. I’m so sorry~I do know that one mom told me this opened their culinary travels to the world of Asian cooking, as it’s so dependent on rice. I’m so sorry, though. Bummer!

    Visit my newly-launched site if you get the chance~linked with my name, I think.

    Take care, xxoo Martha

  7. Martha O'Connor
    Martha O'Connor April 14, 2005 at 3:51 pm | | Reply

    hi Amy et al,
    I know many children with Type 1 who also have celiac. I’m so sorry~I do know that one mom told me this opened their culinary travels to the world of Asian cooking, as it’s so dependent on rice. I’m so sorry, though. Bummer!

    Visit my newly-launched site if you get the chance~linked with my name, I think.

    Take care, xxoo Martha

  8. Amy Tenderich
    Amy Tenderich April 15, 2005 at 9:07 am | | Reply

    Thanks for your support, guys, but please do not feel sorry for me. I’ve been blessed with many good things in life, and there are much worse things that could happen to a person.

    - A

  9. Shannon Lewis
    Shannon Lewis April 15, 2005 at 6:43 pm | | Reply

    This is why I’m totally supporting Dr. Faustman who cured diabetes in mice. Lee Iacocca is spearheading a fundraiser for her research. The technique she’s testing to cure diabetes can be applied to most autoimmune diseases. I’m always telling people to go to http://www.joinleenow.com often repeatedly.

  10. cindy
    cindy April 16, 2005 at 12:50 pm | | Reply

    i was diagnosed with diabetis yesterday, and my dr. put me on 10 unit of insulin 2xs daily. could someone out there please help me i am really scared?

  11. Amy Tenderich
    Amy Tenderich April 16, 2005 at 2:00 pm | | Reply

    Hi Cindy,
    Don’t be scared. You will adjust, I promise! Diabetes is a pain in the butt, for sure, but it is manageable.

    There’s so much I could tell you, it’s hard to begin. Please share what your most immediate fears are, and maybe I can address them here.

    Another great place to visit is the ADA’s “Newly Diagnosed” message board at the ADA at this link: http://community.diabetes.org/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&webtag=adanewdiagnose .

    You will be all right!
    Best,
    Amy

  12. Joe Blow
    Joe Blow April 19, 2005 at 2:26 pm | | Reply

    My gift was psoriasis. Screw you immune system.

  13. Printcrafter
    Printcrafter April 29, 2005 at 10:34 pm | | Reply

    I got the thyroid (before the diabetes actually). I’ve also had an unusual number of colds this year. Seems to me that diabetes is enough. We should be immune from the common cold.

    41-year-old T-1
    Dxed 10-04
    On Cozmo pump since 01-05

  14. Rachel
    Rachel July 17, 2005 at 1:10 pm | | Reply

    I had subclinical hypothyroid levels for 4.5 years before they went above the magic number of 3.0. (Though one reading was above 3.0 but that was before the standards changed from 5.0…)

    So, January diagnosis of hypothyroidism followed by March diagnosis of type 2. woo-hoo!

    but hey, I was getting at least two awful sinus headaches a month from 1999-2004 (actually to the point of considering surgery) and now, I’ve had only two since starting thyroid replacement hormone in January. I’ll definitely take these two over chronic sinusitis and surgery.

  15. hypothyroidism
    hypothyroidism October 1, 2006 at 5:18 pm | | Reply

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  16. sheila
    sheila March 28, 2007 at 12:59 pm | | Reply

    Hey, my husband is trying to get the OmniPod PUMP. BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD DENIED IT!!! How does one get the omni pod if they have problems and are getting the run around with their insurance company????

  17. Katie
    Katie December 2, 2007 at 3:38 am | | Reply

    I’ve been type 1 for 16 years now (diagnosed at 9) and coelaic fof 10 years. I really don’t find it big deal – there are so many glutin free products now that taste ok (there was NOTHING available when I was diagnosed) and it even seems to be pretty trendy to have an intolerance now! There’s no point dwelling on the ‘unfairness’ we just need to get on with it an remember that we’re a lot better off than other people in this world : )

  18. cindy  vornlocker
    cindy vornlocker April 12, 2008 at 1:34 pm | | Reply

    HI
    I;m 45 and i HAVE underavit thyroid and diebetstyp 2 take shot very moring
    i found it is very very heard for me to lose wait can you give me any ideals that may help me out i try every thing i don’t what any surgey anything will help thank you and my fear is going blind i now some people that whant blind i had surgey in my right eye for catrack and i woulder if anyone have truble walkand standing with there diebetsa

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