Thursday, December 17, 2020

Does Control Get Easier as We Age?

 Someone recently mentioned to me that their control had gotten easier as they got older. I'm not talking about going from 20 to 30 years old. By older I mean senior citizen status.

This is the second person who has told me that. The first one was a type 1 on basal/bolus insulin. She was on a low-carb diet and didn't need much insulin to cover meals, but she needed some. When she reached her mid-80s, however, she found she sometimes didn't need mealtime insulin at all. And she could again eat peaches, which she adored.

She said her doctor, a GP, said that sometimes happens.

"I'm cured," she often said.

One thing that can make blood glucose (BG) go up is gluconeogenesis in the liver, where glucose is formed from other things. Insulin is supposed to turn the gluconeogenesis off, but when you have insulin resistance, that doesn't happen, and the gluconeogenesis is one reason for high fasting BG levels.

Both these reports are, of course, annecdotal, but when I heard this a second time, I decided to look into it.

Here is a study in rats that says, "It is concluded that the gluconeogenic capacity of liver declines with age regardless of the gluconeogenic regulator." So the concept may have some merit.

Long ago I read somewhere that I unfortunately can no longer find that an Indian doctor said some of the Indian herbs that seemed to work to keep BG levels down did so by damaging the liver, which would reduce gluconeogenesis.

So liver function might be key.

 I was wondering if any others had noticed improved BG control with aging, meaning 70 years old or older.

Of course, there are other reasons control might improve. With time we get accustomed to whatever diet works for us. We usually get less exercise than when we were younger and playing several sets of tennis before lunch. Well, OK, I never did that, but some people did. And we often eat less because with less exercise we're not as hungry.

But if you're doing pretty much the same thing you've been doing for some time and you find your control improving with age, I'd be interested in hearing about it.