I've never been on Byetta but, from what I've read, it works in CONJUNCTION with typical Type 2 meds (that make your pancreas produce more insulin and/or help your body's cells be more receptive to insulin/glucose).
This seems to work great for those who have a pancreas full of beta cells that can produce the insulin required to make these meds all work so nicely. I.E. Type 2's.
However, you cannot wring blood from a stone and so, also, you cannot make the pancreas produce more insulin if it does not have the capability - there are no cells left to squeeze insulin out of. I.E. Type 1's.
We 1.5's or LADA's, start life normal but somewhere along the way, our immune system starts attacking itself or, more specifically, the pancreas. This can happen at any age. It may present itself as anywhere from hypoglycemia to IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus), depending on where you catch it in it's progression and depending on what symtoms you have at the time of diagnosis.
I don't know at what diminished-capacity level I was in when they caught mine and started treating me as a Type 2. But it was through that initial treatment and subsequent failure to improve that they slowly started to realize that I was not a Type 2. I was of normal weight, normal-low BP, normal cholesterol but sugars continued to rise and weight began to fall off despite fantastic eating habits. From the Type 2 diagnosis, it was all pretty gradual for about
15 months then, Wham! In two weeks I'd lost almost 20 lbs, blurred vision really bad, unbelievable fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and more. Scary to say the least.
Simply put...for me, some meds did their best to squish every last bit of insulin they could outta my pancreas and the others did their best to get every bit into my cells but, when it came to the end....nothing but insulin saved my life and continues to do so.
I can't say for sure if my being on the meds accelerated the demise of my insulin production but, it seems logical that they would when that's what they're designed to do - mine were beaten into submission and died of exhaustion
, but I do know now I could've gone on insulin sooner and saved myself a whole lot of illness and suffering.
There are some tests that can be done to help determine if you are actually Type 1 or Type 2 but you're best to ask your doc about
that. Most seem to follow the course of action of treating as Type 2 and monitoring the progress. You could be like Warren, a Type 2 that doesn't seem to respond to traditional meds without Byetta or something like that. You could end up responding better to the meds your on now (sometimes they can take a while to adjust to), or you could be a LADA, in which case you eventually end up on Type 1 treatment : insulin. There is no replacement for insulin.
Sometimes time is needed to get a better picture, too. Keep monitoring your sugars, keep a food diary, and monitor your weight. If you start to lose weight, especially without trying and/or it happening fairly quickly....get thee to the doctor, pronto.
All will be well and just know we're here for ya
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"