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Diabetes Medication

Byetta, diaTribe, and Me

The question that my readers ask most often is, “How are you doing on Byetta now?” The last time I addressed this question was August 16 in “My Byetta Progress Report.”

At that time I had lost 68 pounds since starting on Byetta in March 2006. My A1C had dropped a bit from 6.8 to 6.4.

Now, a new diabetes magazine called diaTribe includes my latest progress report, “the wonders of byetta: one man’s weight-loss journey.” Kelly Close and James S. Hirsch edit this superb new online publication.

A subscription to diaTribe is $29 per year – but you can easily get it free. All you have to do is provide anonymous feedback twice a year.

My diaTribe article reported my status after 53 weeks on Byetta. At that point I had lost 111 pounds. My A1C was down to 5.3, and all my other numbers were in range.

The diaTribe article just came out on April 1. But I wrote it a month and a half ago, and when you take Byetta, things change awfully fast.

I haven’t had any more recent blood tests since then. But as of today I have lost 7 more pounds. I have met the goal that I made at the outset – to weigh less than when I got an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army.

At this point, my diabetes is under control. It may not be cured, but it is in remission.

Now, another problem that I don’t have to carry is the invidious label “obese” or “overweight.” And now that I have reached my original goal of having a normal body mass index (BMI) I am looking ahead.

The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study showed that a BMI of 23 or below is even healthier for people with diabetes, and I have recalibrated my goal to that level. On my 6′ 2 1/2″ frame that means losing another 14 pounds.

Having cycled down from “morbidly obese” through “obese,” I want a label to describe what I plan to weigh when I reach my revised goal. We don’t have a formal one to describe it.

But, about a year ago I read about a businessman who cares as much about diet and nutrition as making money. The writer described him in a word that stuck in my mind and hope some day people will use when they think of me. That word is trim.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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