LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Friday, May 22, 2009

The sins of the mother

I learned something soooooooooooo cool today. A new word. A new concept.

Metabolic Imprinting.

In a nut shell this translates into: so goes the mother, so goes the baby. New research shows that out-of-control diabetic mothers are more likely to have babies that get diabetes sooner. This is above and beyond the genetic predisposition for diabetes that gets passed on from parents to the next generation.

So here is a way to think about this: our DNA is our hardware. Our in utero environment is our software. No matter how you are built, your software is how you are programmed to run.

While you are a fetus, your body learns to adapt to the environment it grows in. All human systems seek homeostasis, a biological steady state maintained by a constant dance of input and counter input, just like keeping a car in its lane requires constant subtle adjustments of the steering wheel and accelerator.

If you think about this, it is logical. If your body grows up in a high-sugar environment, it thinks that high-sugar is normal. The problem, of course, is that no matter how much battery acid you are exposed to; you can never adapt to swimming in it. High sugar is battery acid. It corrodes all living flesh in time.

But metabolic imprinting is about more than just blood sugar, it is about the entire balance of what makes us metabolically healthy or unhealthy. Lipids. Blood pressure. God only knows what else. The growing baby learns from its mother how to act. And just like a parent can be a good or bad influence on social behavior, so too, apparently, can she be a good or bad influence on metabolic behavior.

So the lesson for the day for the ladies: if you are planning a baby, get your metabolic house in order first. If you find yourself pregnant (oops!); get your house in order ASAP.

3 Comments:

Blogger josl said...

ah...more good news.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Just what I needed, more news to make me feel even more guilty that my son has diabetes.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume you're referring to type 2 diabetes? You might want to clarify....

3:26 PM  

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