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?


  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! Many things to learn. Many things to know. Even more to remember and take action on.
    I love the quote! Too many people with type 2 diabetes and even with type 1 seem to want the doctor to do everything for them - does not work that way folks.

    Another great post!

    1. I'm starting to think that "you're back!", but I won't say that for fear I will jinx the fact that you are back writing. In the next week or two, I plan to start an experiment that is related to "Your Better Way" post and the idea that sometimes it is healthy to follow your diabetes regimen without obsessing over minute-to-minute results. I am planning to go a few days without looking at my Dexcom CGM except when it alarms that I am out of range. As a Type 1 living with insulin and pump/CGM technology, my life is different than yours. But in many ways we're the same as I try to optimize my mental health and the numbers of my diabetes life.

  2. One of the best things I've read all day! Thanks for work/effort. We should print out copies to hand to the diabetes police when they get into our faces. I'm just saying...

  3. Great diabetes truths... Thanks Kate!

  4. Great post, Kate! I can really relate to the part about not making "getting off of medication" your diabetes self management goal - I tell newly-diagnosed people all the time that medication is a tool they have that can make it easier to get to a healthy A1c, not a sign of weakness. Thank goodness for Metformin and the like because those pills, shots, etc. make it possible for millions of diabetics to live healthy lives!


  5. Love this post. I'm gonna put in in my post of interesting blog post for the week.


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