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“I am alive today ( 41 years with type; 1) because of their help
and love through the years.”
• Sara Sklaroff’s discussion of how
diabetes is a disability and yet not one
[“A Question of Health,” Nov. ’ 11, p. 9]
made me think of all the ways we’ve
talked about having diabetes. My
family and close friends have come
up with a description of my diabetes
that makes us laugh every time: “You
have diabetes, but everyone around
you suffers from it.”
Each of them at one time or
another has reminded me to eat or
test or bolus or exercise. Though
sometimes I argue, I am alive today
( 41 years with type 1) because of their
help and love through the years.
GriFFi Th, ind.
there are lots of home maintenance
tasks to do.
Bottom line: Eat less and burn more
calories with exercise or work. Find a
way to fit both approaches into each
and every day.
have never heard of brown body fat.
What is it?
Cerri Tos, CaLiF.
oaK ridGe, Tenn.
How Now, Brown Fat?
• In your too brief of an article on
brown body fat and white body fat
[“Fat Switch,” Dec. ’ 11, p. 27], you did
not explain what brown fat was.
I am 75 years old and have had
type 1 diabetes for 43 years, and I
Associate Editor Erika Gebel, PhD,
responds: Brown body fat burns
calories to generate body heat, unlike
white fat, which stores calories. Until
recently, brown fat was thought to exist
only in infants and some animals. Now
studies have identified tiny pockets of
brown fat in adult humans, along the
upper back, on the sides of the neck,
between the collarbone and shoulder,
and along the spine. Scientists are
• As a man with type 2 diabetes,
I have a two-part approach to controlling my weight. First, I am trying
to eat smaller portions at every meal.
I lost 10 pounds a few months ago,
and it helped drop my A1C by 1 point!
This week I got below 200 pounds for
the first time in a very long while.
Second, I ride an exercise bike
while watching TV news. I pedal faster
during commercials—I hate them anyway. I also have a ski-like step machine
and a radio with headphones (so I can
use it without waking my wife). Or I
take walks around my neighborhood
or hike at the local arboretum. Plus,
A Proud Milestone
• My son is 53 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes in 1961.
He has been on insulin for 50 years. He has no complications from
diabetes, but 13 years ago at age 40, he was in a car accident and
has traumatic brain damage.
He is under my care and doing well. Is there any
award for 50 years of complication-free diabetes?
Chief Executive Officer Larry Hausner, MBA,
responds: As I mentioned in my personal note to
you, Rebecca, we’re delighted to join in the diabetes
anniversary celebration for your son, Steve Whitley.
Having loving “type 3s”—friends and family like you—is an important
factor in living a long time with diabetes.
The Medalist Program at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston
(1-888-567-5462) recognizes people who have managed their diabetes
with insulin for 25, 50, and 75 years.