Mr. Universe’s Little Book with Big Pom-Poms

It’s only 110 pages. I read it on the plane on the way home from St. Louis. It’s an “exercise prescription” to prevent Type 2 and combat Type 1 diabetes. It’s The Diabetes Antidote from Mr. Natural Universe Doug Burns, with Denny Dressman (he’s the journalist who helped NFL star Jay Leeuwenberg write Yes I Can! Yes You Can! — a review for another day).

Diabetes_antidote_book This little book from Mr. Big Type 1 is a like a field guide to gettin’ your diabetic head in the game. It tells the story of how a scrawny kid diagnosed with diabetes at age 7 morphed himself into an award-winning body builder. And in-between the snippets of his story, we get a lot of empowering messages about the indispensable effects of exercise and how important it is to “just do it.”

I couldn’t agree more that “exercise is the best diabetes medicine.” What struck me in particular was the authors’ quotable quote on its significance for people with Type 1:

If you’re not very active, even though you have insulin regulated, you’re not helping yourself.” They explain that exercise not only boosts your metabolism and thus burns body fat, but also — with increasingly strenuous workouts over time — “causes the body to consume glucose of its own, and less insulin is required.” Doug tested the theory empirically by recording his own stats on training, insulin, calories, and body fat leading up to his 2004 Mr. USA victory.

Now I’ll be darned. Can you believe that when I mentioned my workout regime to my first diabetes educator a few years ago, she actually said, “Well, as a Type 1, you can exercise till the cows come home, and it won’t change your diabetes.” Hah, I just knew that couldn’t be right. Vindicated!!

Doug also talks realistically about “bouncing around” — from 146 to 296 in 90 minutes, after skipping an insulin dose to avoid a low during intense training, his notes recant (with obscenities removed). So superstar body-builders do the BG yo-yo, too? Grin.

The big message of this little book is in fact the age old axiom: you can do anything, if you put your mind to it. It’s a little rah-rah in particular for those already committed to the benefits of regular exercise, but still worth a look for a little “empowerment boost” on your next plane or train ride. Or if you know anyone with diabetes who just can’t get off the couch… I’m not sure this book alone is the antidote to inertia, but it certainly can’t hurt.

(ComServ Books, online for $12.95).


3 Responses

  1. Ed
    Ed September 12, 2007 at 8:21 am | | Reply

    Intesnive training defientley reduces the need of insulin – I’ve had to reduce the settings on my pump twice as I up my Ironman training – I went from reducing all basal rates .05 to .5 which is a huge % change in my basal rate for the day.

  2. Bonny C Damocles
    Bonny C Damocles September 12, 2007 at 8:57 am | | Reply

    Thank you very much for talking about The Diabetes Antidote, Doug Burns’ book.

    I always get very excited and very interested in reading what special people like you and Doug talk about. Both of you are experts and you want others to learn the truth about diabetes and its treatment.

    Since my diagnosis as a t2d in July 1991, my one and only diabetes medication has been exercise. It was easy for me to find out its effectivity. From a fasting diagnosis sugar reading of 468 mg/dl, I was able to bring it down to normal range in two weeks by running the stairs no less than a total of 2 hours/day.

    I have long reduced my stair-running time to not much more than 1 hour/day but I am still getting normal sugar readings. Food has never been a part of my sugar control because I generally eat plenty of carbs in all my 3 full meals/day. Strictly no snacks and none of the foods and drinks which are bad for my heart’s health.

    I have proved to myself that exercise is truly excellent for treating t2d.

    If nobody believes what I am saying, that’s perfectly normal. Even I can hardly believe it.

    I will just go on my merry way of proving to myself that t2d is not a progressive disease. What else should I do but to shoot for the most difficult goal considering that I will soon be completing my 17th year living like I have no diabetes.

  3. Adam
    Adam September 12, 2007 at 6:02 pm | | Reply

    I have type 1 diabetes and I run six miles five days a week. I have been running since 1978, except for the spring of 1981, when I stopped running for about two and a half months.


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