Diabetes: What I Didn’t Know

For as long as I can remember I have had prediabetes. I will go more in depth on prediabetes in another post so look out for it. I had the occasional blood sugar spike, low blood sugar levels, Urinary Tract Infections, frequent urination, fatigue and night hunger/thirst. There are more symptoms relating to diabetes but these were the ones that affected me for the most part. 

About six years ago, the symptoms started getting more intense. I had really nasty headaches and blurry vision. I eventually got lenses but I still did not make the connection to diabetes. It was not until I started to get disoriented at work, feeling the need to pass out at 9am in the morning, that it crossed my mind. My mother is a type 1 diabetic who uses insulin so I was aware of some things, as well as managing the prediabetes, which I admit I didn’t do too well. I really had no idea how serious of a matter this was.

Between 2009-2010, I was really stressed out at work and at home. My health was in bad shape. I felt so terrible, but everyone just thought I was being a complainer. I eventually landed up at my doctor’s and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was started on medication after that.

So the first thing you understand or rather what people make you understand about diabetes is, eating too many sweets can cause diabetes, or maybe you’re overweight and that’s why you’re diabetic. WRONG! These factors along with genetics(which no one ever considers) are definitely factors that contribute to diabetes but it’s not the only thing. For instance, my diet is pretty well managed right now but I cannot come off my medication as my body does not produce enough insulin, therefore I need medication to stabilize my blood glucose levels. There are a lot of heavy people who enjoy snacks and are not diabetic. A slimmer person may look healthy to you and can be diabetic, that’s the reality of the disease. 

So I was made to feel like this is not something so serious. You just take your meds when you eat, check your glucose levels often, be active or exercise, maybe shed some weight, and stay away from sugar. So sugar automatically became the enemy. This worked for about a week. My lifestyle, diet and medications are always being altered. This disease does not have any one way to be treated.

Some people are correctly informed, maybe they have a generous doctor or nutritionist, but most people don’t know the severity of the disease. I worked at a diabetic clinic at the hospital for a couple of years and these patients know they’re taking a blood test but they don’t always know exactly for what. They don’t ask questions if the doctor makes it seem that all is okay. When I saw that I was being tested for liver and kidney disease and while doing research, it scared me. I was never told that diabetes affects almost everything in your body. 

You have to stay away from a lot of foods other than ones with just sugar content, or just have them in moderation. I will also leave this for another post but an example is CARBS. Carbs is not your friend if you are diabetic and that’s a problem sometimes because carbs give you energy. 

The scary, interesting and shocking part of living with diabetes is knowing how it can affect my body other than spiking blood sugar levels and making me feel tired.
– Heart Disease
– Stroke
– Kidney Disease
– Infection risks due to immune system suppression
– Poor Circulation
– Wounds take a long time to heal
– Neuropathy or nerve damage
– Visual loss/Blindness
– Gum/Teeth disease
– Erectile Dysfunction
– Liver Disease 

So it is just more than controlling how much sugar you consume. Being Diabetic is a Lifestyle, one that you have to put a plan into place and manage as you go along.

Disclaimer : I am not medically trained, this is just my thoughts and experiences with diabetes.

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