Byetta, diaTribe, and Me

Patient Expert

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.