Many thanks to Biz for taking the time to write this post and share so much with us.
“Diabetes is a Manageable Disease”
Whenever I read that sentence in doctors office literature, on-line or in diabetes magazines, I sometimes shake my head. Yes, diabetes IS a manageable disease – but the left out the “micro” management part!
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was put on oral medication and told to diet and exercise. My sister and I had just finished a year with Weight Watchers – this was 1999 – and both successfully lost 70 pounds. I felt great!
I maintained that weight loss for several years, until all of a sudden, the oral medication wasn’t working. My average blood sugar sustained in the high 200’s and no amount of exercise and diet changed that fact.
I was put on insulin two years ago, and in the course of that time have gained 30 pounds back. Yes, weight gain is a side effect to taking insulin, but insulin opened up a whole world of foods that I had neglected for so many years! “Do you mean to tell me I can have bacon and cheese on my fries for only .99 cents more? I’ll take it!” I would just cover the carbs with more insulin!
I realized that was not the answer. I have to pretend that I don’t take insulin to shut the door to foods I shouldn’t eat. It’s a constant battle every day. I can’t just walk out the door without a plan. I have to weigh my food to figure out how many carbs I am eating to make sure I give myself the right amount of insulin.
Then there is the struggle of eating and taking insulin while exercising. There are some days I test my blood sugar 8 times in a day! And there are times when I am on the elliptical, eating a granola bar because my blood sugar is dropping. But I know I have to do it to prevent having complications later in my life, such as eye damage and kidney disease.
Roughly 18 million people are walking around with diabetes and don’t even know it. The basic symptoms:
• Rapid Weight Loss
• Increased Hunger
• Frequent Urination
• Tingling in the Hands and Feet
There is also another phenomenon with teenagers who are insulin dependent. It’s called Diabulemia. It’s an eating disorder in which people with Type I diabetes deliberately give themselves less insulin they need, for the purpose of weight loss. The sad part is that if not caught and treated early, they are likely to suffer from the effects of not managing their diabetes YEARS earlier had they monitored their diabetes. This includes renal failure, blindness and diabetic neuropathy.
Could you have diabetes and not know it? I urge everyone to ask for a glucose test at your annual physical with your doctor. The sooner you know you have the disease, the sooner you can treat it.
However difficult, I know I have to manage my diabetes so I can have a long life with my husband and kids. That’s the prize in managing this disease!
Thanks to MizFit for giving me the opportunity to share my life with diabetes!