Borough President Adams is going off his meds — and that’s great news.
The Beep, who announced in late July that he has type 2 diabetes, has since gotten his blood sugar under control and can stop taking insulin injections and other metabolism-regulating medicine, a spokesman said. The diagnosis was a wake-up call for the elected, whose blood sugar was so high in the summer that it should have incapacitated him, the rep said.
“The doctors said, ‘I don’t know why you’re not in a coma,’” spokesman Stefan Ringel recalled. “He was told he would need to be on insulin for the rest of his life.”
Doctors took a three-month average of Adams’s blood sugar in the summer and found his so-called “A1C levels” were 17 — roughly three times the normal amount, Ringel said.
The figures are so high, one expert wondered whether doctors messed up.
“A normal level is around 6. Ten represents poor diabetes control. And 17 is astounding — it makes me wonder if there was an error in the test,” said Kathleen Axen, a professor and deputy chairwoman of nutrition at Brooklyn College.
Adams, who is no stranger to the gym, upped his exercise routine and adopted a vegan diet, Ringel said. The Beep shaved off 20–30 pounds and is now a trim 175 pounds, the rep said. Now his tests show his A1C levels are 5.7 — just a hair above those in people without diabetes, he said.
Adams, who said he is genetically predisposed to the disease, was diagnosed in April.
Exercise and weight loss can improve the body’s ability to regulate high blood sugar, but it is most effective in people who are dangerously overweight, according to Axen, who said Adams’s turnaround may have been exceptional.
“I wouldn’t want people on insulin who are not obese to think that, by losing weight, they have a good chance of going off insulin,” Axen said.
The Beep plans to use his story to inspire others, Ringel said.
“He has reversed his symptoms, and in addition to having cut 20–30 pounds, he is a far healthier person today — and a man that is now committed to sharing what he has accomplished with tens of thousands of brooklynites,” he said.