Thursday, August 25, 2005

Jordon Cooper

for many of us, jordon's website (now his blog though much of the website stuff is still avail thru his blog) was one of the first places where we read about the emerging church. jordon was recently diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and is struggling enormously with its side effects.

pls speak with God ab jordon's situation when you think of it.

Type II Diabetes

i've also been diabetic since 1996. in the US, diabetes is the #7 killer and the average diabetic has the disease for a decade before it's diagnosed (it can be asymptomatic for a long time). here's the disease in a layman's nutshell:

much of our food is turned into glucose which needs to get into our cells so that it can metabolize and give us energy. however, blood sugar molecules are too large to get into our cells and need a key, as it were. the beta cells of the pancreas produce a hormone called insulin that unlocks the cell and allows the blood sugar molecules to get in. however, if because 1) there isn't enough insulin or 2) the cell won't allow the insulin to work (seemingly sometimes because of the percentage of fat in the cell), then the blood sugar stays in the blood and causes all sorts of damage to the heart, the eyes, the limbs, the kidneys, etc. think of the blood sugar as an abrasive. it does its damage slowly but ineluctably.

20% of all adults in the US will be diagnosed with diabetes before they die because of american overweight and obesity rates (though since the disease has genetic roots, not every overweight person will become diabetic), which hastens or precipitates the onset of Type II (in Type I, the pancreas simply produces no insulin, but most diabetics are Type II).

before the 1940's and the discovery of insulin, doctors simply gave us as little food as possible to diabetics but we would eventually die young or younger. now, because of insulin and oral agents and a greater understanding of the positive effects of diet and exercise (diabetics may be asked to use any or all of these tools to attack the disease), diabetics have a better chance than ever of living a long life, but 1) because the disease may be diagnosed so long after onset and 2) because the management of the disease is so patient-driven (many folks don't make all the necessary lifestyle changes, don't test their sugar as often as they should, etc) and 3) for reasons we may not yet fully understand the disease can still be ravaging.

much money is spent looking for a cure and I believe that one day one will be found.

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