Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Truth about Type 2 Diabetes

·        You did not “do this to yourself”.

·        Yes, your lifestyle before your diagnosis most likely helped you toward developing type 2 diabetes. (There are ways to develop type 2 that have nothing to do with weight etc., but they are the minority.)

·        Go back and read the first listed item.

·        You can’t develop type 2 diabetes (or any type) by eating sugar.

·        There is a genetic component to type 2. If you don’t have that genetic component, you will likely not develop type 2, regardless of your weight, level of activity or love of Snickers.

·        You can thank your ancestors for your diagnosis. (Thanks Grandma!)

·        You should dramatically lower your consumption of processed and junk foods once you’re diagnosed. (You don’t have to do that cold turkey, but the sooner the better for you in the long run.)

·        You should dramatically lower your consumption of processed and junk foods whether you have diabetes or not. :/

·        Some people can eat bread/potatoes/pasta when they have type 2 diabetes. Some cannot.

·        Some oral diabetes medications cause some nasty side effects. If you’re about to start taking a medication, don’t ask others if you will have side effects. We don’t know. The best way to find out is to try the medication and see how you react. 

·        There are no magic pills, miraculous diet or voodoo that will make your diabetes go away. You need to learn to live with it.

·        Everyone is different, and so is their diabetes.

·        Regular exercise makes a big difference in your ability to manage your diabetes.

·        Weight loss should not be your goal; a healthier lifestyle should be the goal. Eat better and exercise more often and the weight will most likely decline.

·        Losing weight when you have type 2 diabetes isn’t easy. Don’t focus on the scale, unless it’s weighing your food.

·        Don’t ask others what the best fruits are for people with diabetes. The best fruit for you to eat is the one that doesn’t cause your blood glucose to raise too high. Only you can determine that.

·        Go back and read the first item in this list.

·        Your goal should never be to “get off the pills”. Never. Your goal should be to change your lifestyle so that you can do your best to manage your diabetes. Better health, despite diabetes, should be your goal and medications can help you achieve that goal.

·        You cannot get rid of diabetes. Learn how to live a good life with it.

·        If you take insulin, don’t fall into the trap of think you can still eat that junk food. You can, but it’s not your best choice.

·        Diabetes, any type, can cause you to fret, focus on the wrong things, whine, complain and generally feel like you’ve been given a raw deal. You have, but life with diabetes can be just as good as it was before, maybe better.

·         It’s ok to fret, focus on the wrong things, whine, complain and generally feel like you’ve been given a raw deal. Just don’t live there.

·         If diabetes causes you to be depressed, seek professional help. According to this paper on the International Diabetes Federation webpage, in their study,“… about 45% of all diabetes patients had undiagnosed depression.”

·        Connecting with other people with diabetes helps, whether it is in person or online.

·        Food is not your enemy. Don’t give it so much power over you.

·        There are lots of yummy things to eat that won’t cause you grief with your blood sugar.

·        There is a huge stigma attached to diabetes. People can be mean and hurtful. Either ignore them or try to educate them, but don’t let them undermine your hard work.

·        Go back and read the first item.

·        Yes, you can have that dessert.

·        Don’t whine if your blood sugar rises too high after eating said dessert. It’s your choice, so deal with the consequences.

·        Don’t feel guilty…about your diagnosis or the food you eat or your lack of exercise. You know what you should do but that doesn’t mean you’ll do it all the time. Give yourself a break!

·        Don’t ask others how many carbs you should eat. We don’t know. Work with your dietician (if you’ve been lucky enough to see one) and experiment with your meter.

·        If your dietician or health care provider has you doing/eating something that doesn’t seem to work for you, speak up!

·        “As physicians, we counsel, we coach, we prescribe, we cheerlead. But the only person who treats diabetes is the person who has it.” Physician Daniel Lorber

·        People with diabetes are just like people without diabetes. Some are heavy. Some are thin. Some exercise a lot. Some don’t. Some love sweets. Some hate chocolate (!!). Some are liberal. Some are conservative. All of them are just people who should exercise and have to pay closer attention to food, but shouldn’t everyone?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Diabetes: Not to be ignored

Have you ever experienced a situation like this: Someone is speaking and they are truly annoying? You would simply love to ignore them but the information they are conveying is important. You shouldn’t ignore them. 

How about when you’re on a jury panel and the judge is reading the expectations and responsibilities that you and your fellow panelists are expected to follow? “Dang, I hate being on jury duty. I’d like to be anywhere else!” But the person on trial is depending on you to pay attention so that they will be able to be heard. It’s their right. Regardless of your annoyance, you shouldn’t ignore that responsibility.

If your child was sick, would you ignore the symptoms or neglect their care? Certainly not.

Then tell me why SO many people who have T2 or “a touch of sugar” feel like they can ignore their condition? I feel that it may be because, quite often, it doesn’t feel or seem urgent. They may feel fine and it’s possible that their health care provider didn’t do an adequate job of conveying the seriousness of this disease. Probably they’ve read online that you can cure T2 with pills or veggie water or hocus pocus. Heck, if it’s that easy to get rid of, it must not be serious!

I felt the need to write this after posting my last bit about finding a better way to deal with my diabetes. I would hate for anyone to read that and think that I’m ignoring my diabetes or feel that it isn’t serious. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I know how serious my diabetes is and I know that I can’t ignore it. My current path doesn’t mean I’m ignoring my diabetes, I’m just not letting it rule my life. That’s an important difference.

I will admit, especially during my recent funk, that I’ve felt like type 2 diabetes just isn’t as serious as type 1. (I can’t believe I even typed that.) It’s simply a matter of reading about how T1s need to monitor so closely, stick themselves numerous times per day and are often faced with situations that can easily turn deadly. Sometimes that realization makes me feel guilty for shouting that "T2 is serious!" T2 isn’t like T1. We can actually ignore our diabetes, do what we want, and not have any immediate repercussions. Does that make it less serious? Nope. In fact, it could be argued that that makes T2 more serious because, in the long run, we could face all those serious complications if we don’t pay attention, and so many people aren't paying attention!

I don’t mean to turn this post into an “us vs them” discussion. Diabetes is deadly serious, regardless of type. I just want to hammer home to those T2s who might be reading this: Don’t ignore your diabetes. Don’t assume that it will go away. Educate yourself and take the time and energy to find out what combination of medicine, food plan and exercise will work best for you.

I’m going to quote something I read in an AARP Bulletin today, “As physicians, we counsel, we coach, we prescribe, we cheerlead. But the only person who treats diabetes is the person who has it.” Physician Daniel Lorber (emphasis is mine).

Sage words. Please pay attention.

Two posts in two days. I might be back.