People sometimes ask me, “What’s the most important thing to do if you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?’
My answer: “TAKE THIS DISEASE SERIOUSLY.”
Well, actually, I don’t usually shout, but I sometimes want to. If you’re reading this, then I think you’re taking this disease seriously, trying to learn as much as you can about it so you can control it.
But too many people don’t. They want the doctor to give them a pill so they can go on exactly as they have in the past, eating too much, especially foods that make their blood glucose (BG) go up, and getting no exercise.
One problem in type 2 control is that the results of not controlling well aren’t immediate. You won’t break out in blue spots if you eat a big piece of chocolate cake with ice cream. Your hair won’t turn pink if you eat a huge pile of mashed potatoes and gravy with Texas toast on the side. Some people feel bad when they have high BG levels. Others don’t.
I was diagnosed with fasting levels in the 300s, and I went into the 400s after meals. But I felt fine.
No, the effects of high BG levels are insidious. The glucose gloms on to various substances in your body and eventually causes complications. The damage from the glucose can result in cataracts, retinopathy that can lead to blindness, neuropathy that can make your feet hurt all the time, vascular problems that lead to heart attacks, amputations, impotence, kidney disease, and more.
None of these complications are pleasant. But if you take this disease seriously and control your BG to normal or near-normal levels, the chances that you’ll get complications are low.
It’s not easy. Watching your friends pig out at an ice cream stand while you drink a cup of black coffee, no sugar, isn’t fun. Different people have different ways of dealing with this. Some can eat just a couple of spoonfuls of some treat and leave the rest. Others find it works best to avoid the treats altogether. I’m in the latter group. If I ate a couple of spoonfuls of some treat, I’d crave it all. When I haven’t eaten bread, cake, and ice cream for years, I no longer want them, even if all around me are eating them.
This situation of not wanting the treats isn’t instantaneous. It takes a while before you can deal with these situations easily. But persistence pays off.
Well, I’d rant on and on, but right now I’m craving a lamb chop with broccoli and butter, so I’d better go.
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