Getting a Handle on Type 2 Diabetes

I am not a doctor, or a diabetes specialist. I am learning about being diabetic as a recently diagnosed person. Please always check with your doctor before adapting any information to your personal situation.

I met with a diabetes specialist last week. If you are diabetic and haven’t talked to a specialist, I encourage you to do so. I feel so empowered after that appointment. And I learned three important things.bear-1863992_640

  1. I asked her about all the contradictory information online – one site says you can eat “fill in the blank.” Another site says the complete opposite. Plus, I eat a high vegan diet. How am I supposed to know what to eat?

The answer – If foods affected each person the same way, this would be an easy fix! But it’s not. Everyone processes each food differently. What one diabetic can eat, another may not be able to, regardless of what the Internet says. The one agreement – carbohydrates (“carbs”) are consistently an issue. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat any carbs, but low-carb diets are highly recommended.

I was testing my blood morning and night as requested by my doctor. The specialist recommended testing my blood morning (not sleeping well affects your blood sugar), before lunch (to test for breakfast), before supper (to test for lunch) and bedtime (to test for supper). (I’m not a big “snacker” and sometimes struggle to get lunch in.) This will tell me how my glucose is after the meal I last ate. If the number is within a normal range, then what I ate was fine and my body was able to process the food with no glucose issues. If the number is high, then I need to assess what I ate and make accommodations. Over time I will get a very clear idea of what my body can and can’t process in terms of blood glucose levels.

2. How do I get a handle on all this, it’s a bit overwhelming?

There are three ways to control my diabetes.

a) Diet
b) Exercise
c) Medication

And the guideline was pretty simple. If you don’t want to change your diet then increase exercise and increase meds. If you don’t want to exercise then control diet and increase meds. If you don’t want meds, then control diet and increase exercise. It just makes sense, right?!

I’m in the “I want off the meds” group. (I am not on insulin.) I feel like I have my diet in control right now and I’m really proud of myself for that step. Now that I’m tracking my glucose levels for each meal, I can really get this right.

She taught me that low carb doesn’t mean no carb and it also doesn’t mean I can’t ever have food from my “no” list. If I want popcorn when I go to the movies (I LOVE move popcorn… layered please!) – no problem, I just need to add in extra exercise before or after to make up for it. Essentially, there is no “no” list, it just depends how much exercise I want to put in. However…

pavilion-1660462_640exercise is my struggle. It always has been. But, I want off the meds!

So, I have consistently being practicing yoga for 20 mins every morning, since November. (I absolutely love the series) I purchased the DVDs and do one episode every morning.

I have some other things in mind, and will slowly add them into my schedule. I find I work best with baby steps. Too many changes at once equals failure. Plus, with Spring coming in a couple of months, I know that I get energized to be outside walking and riding my bike. (And now that I live in the country, I will actually ride my bike!)

3) Can I really be off medication for life?

Yes. Once I get my readings consistent for six months, I can discuss with my doctor about reducing one of the meds (I’m on two) and again after another six months of consistent readings, I can try to reduce the second. As long as my blood glucose responds favourably to being off medication, my diabetes would be in remission. Cured? Nope, but I can control it. If I falter in diet or exercise it will come back. It’s up to me.

I watched this Ted Talk recently, about reversing Type 2 diabetes. It’s a real eye opener and I suggest giving it some of your time.

It’s all about life long changes.


About Suzanne Costigan

Author of Empty Cup, a contemporary, social issues based young adult novel.

Posted on January 22, 2017, in Clean Eating, Living Ideology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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