Diabetes is very personal to my family and me because our eldest brother is suffering from type 2 diabetes. He has a diabetic foot…2 toes have been amputated. His current symptoms are nerve damage (neuropathy) and kidney damage (nephropathy).
There’s a lot of misinformation about having diabetes. Some of it has a gloom and doom approach, making you believe that life as you know it has ended with your diagnosis. Like other diseases, diabetes does have its complications.
But there is hope because diabetes is curable! You must change your mindset and take control to prevent this disease from negatively impacting your life. You can prevent things from spiraling out of control once you know how to manage the disease and keep complications at bay.
Diabetes Is One of the Most Prevalent Diseases in the World
Out of all the diseases in the world, diabetes is known as one of the most common. According to statistics, more than 30 million Americans have some form of diabetes.
But out of this high number, nearly a third of the people who have diabetes aren’t even aware that they do. These are people who may be having symptoms, but they’ve either been attributed to something else or they’ve been ignored.
It used to be that once you reached a certain age, your risk of developing diabetes increased. But now, you can be diagnosed with it even in childhood. More often than not, diabetes is lumped into three categories.
These are type 1 diabetes, type 2, and then the kind that you can get when you’re pregnant, which is known as gestational or pregnancy-onset diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, it’s usually kids and younger people who get diagnosed with this (although some adults have also been diagnosed later in life).
The symptoms can range from thirst to extreme irritability to fatigue. With this type of diabetes, it means that the pancreas is incapable of making enough insulin to adequately handle glucose control.
When you have type 2 diabetes, more often than not, people associate this diagnosis with being overweight. But you can get this type even when you’re not overweight. With this type, it means that while your pancreas does produce insulin, something has gone wrong with the way that the body is able to use it.
Sometimes the use is impaired by carrying too much weight – but other times, it can be due to a medical cause. With gestational diabetes, women who are expecting a child develop abnormally high glucose levels.
When this happens, it can cause health issues, but once the baby is delivered, the diabetes usually goes away. However, studies have shown that people who have pregnancy related diabetes may develop again at some point after their pregnancy.
Another type of diabetes occurs because of an autoimmune condition in which the body mistakenly attacks the cells in the pancreas and because of the damage, the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin.
When you have diabetes as a result of another condition, this is known as secondary diabetes. Pre-diabetes occurs when your glucose levels are consistently above average.
When you have an A1c test done, if your numbers are between 5.7 and 6.4, this is an indicator of prediabetes. It means that if you don’t make changes in the way that you eat and the way you live, you’re at risk for developing full-blown diabetes.
When some people get a diagnosis of diabetes, they might feel a sense of overwhelm. That usually happens because they feel uninformed and scared. They don’t have the knowledge to understand how to handle the disease and how they can still live a healthy life despite the diagnosis.
Sometimes, people feel shame because of the misinformation surrounding diabetes and the statements that it’s a “fat person” disease. There’s no shame in having diabetes and you don’t have to be overwhelmed. You can manage this disease and in many cases, even reverse its effects.
Diabetes Is One Disease That Can Be Managed and Reversed
Diabetes is not a death sentence like some people fear once they hear the news. Hundreds of years ago, before the medical field gained the knowledge on how to deal with the disease, the prognosis wasn’t good.
But now, a diabetic can live a life that’s just as healthy as someone who doesn’t have the disease. In fact, the bright side of this diagnosis is that it does put you in control of your destiny, helping you feel more empowered.
By taking certain action steps, you do have the power to manage it. As long as you’re willing to step up and make changes in your life, you can handle the disease or even make your numbers return to normal.
But you do have to be willing to make these changes in order to fix the problem. You may need to give yourself some time to come to terms with the diagnosis because you might feel shocked once you’re told.
That’s normal. But just realize that you’re not alone. If you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, the first thing you want to do is find a support system or group so you can surround yourself with help and positive support.
You want to start fixing the problem by addressing your nutrition. While the way that someone eats and being overweight is not always the cause of diabetes, it is one of the factors that need to be dealt with.
You need to be sure that you’re eating healthy meals that are appropriate for diabetics. You’ll find many eating plans that focus on low-carb foods that keep diabetes in check. Healthy eating equals weight loss when you’re watching your calories and your carbs.
Limiting carbs is a necessity if you have type 2 diabetes, regardless of whether the cause is secondary or not. If you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle, that’s also a risk factor for developing diabetes.
You need to get moving. Start exercising at home, with friends, or join a gym. Make exercise a part of your daily life. You’ll feel better, lose weight and control your condition at the same time.
You also want to learn to manage your stress. When you have diabetes, stress can cause a spike in your glucose levels. This is due to the stress hormones that are released. So when you start feeling stressed, have a plan so that you know how to deal with it to prevent it from affecting your diabetes plan.
How Diabetes Complications Can Upend Your Life
Unfortunately, not everyone will put in the work to manage their diabetes. Like any other disease, if you don’t care of yourself, it will get worse. Some of the complications that occur with diabetes can be mild and more of an annoyance than something that disrupts your life.
Some of the mild complications concern the urge to urinate more frequently. This happens because the glucose levels are too high and the body is trying to expel the extra glucose.
Not only can this lead to dehydration but it can also cause sleep disturbances because you might have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Neuropathy, also known as nerve damage, can happen as a result of having diabetes.
This can feel like tingling or a pins and needles effect. The longer your glucose levels remain out of control or your diabetes isn’t diagnosed, the worse the nerve damage can be.
You can begin to have areas of your body where you lose sensation. You’ll notice this by touching the affected area with something such as the tip of a pen. If you run the pen across the damaged area, you’ll notice that you’ll have areas where the pen can touch the skin and you won’t feel it.
Other complications aren’t so mild and can be more extreme. People who have diabetes are more likely to experience cardiovascular problems. These can be things like heart disease and heart attacks.
Some people with the condition are prone to having strokes. When you have diabetes, your risk level of having a heart-related emergency is double that of people without the disease.
Your eyes can be affected due to diabetes, too. People who are diabetic tend to struggle with vision problems because the high glucose levels damage the blood vessels in the eye.
This can lead to partial and even complete loss of vision. Early-onset cataracts are more common in diabetics and you can start to have problems as early as in your late 40s or sooner, depending on how long your diabetes has been uncontrolled.
Kidney damage is common among people who have diabetes. This is because, just like with the nerves in the eyes, the higher glucose levels damage blood vessels in the kidneys.
The same thing can happen to the blood vessels within the brain. The longer the diabetes is not controlled, the more damage it can do to your body from head to toe.
When the diabetes isn’t controlled and you develop nerve damage, this can cause a condition known as peripheral artery disease.
Once this occurs, you don’t get the proper amount of blood flow, especially to the lower part of your body. The reduced blood flow leads to an eventual loss of blood flow, which causes gangrene.
In order to prevent this from spreading, the limb must be amputated. High glucose levels can reach the point where the person with the disease slips into a diabetic coma and death can follow.
Relying on Quick Fixes Like Insulin Can Be Frightening
Sometimes people don’t want to put in the work to address the physical issues involved with having diabetes. This can happen because they might not know what to do. Or they might feel overwhelmed, and this leads to inaction.
But sometimes, people don’t change their ways because they’re set in their habits. They want to eat whatever they want. They don’t want to put any portion limits on the foods that they eat.
So they continue to overeat. Those who are sedentary will often resist change, especially if they’ve been non-exercisers for the majority of their lives. Some people don’t know how to put in the effort and some people choose not to.
The end result for both types of people is the same, however – diabetic complications and a life cut shorter than it should have been. Others decide that they can just rely on quick fixes and think that solves the problem.
So what they do is they figure that their insulin is just going to take care of the diabetes.
They’ll eat whatever they want, won’t exercise and then try to handle it by adding more insulin in order to try to counteract their bad habits.
Assuming that the insulin is going to erase the unhealthy lifestyle is a mistake because it doesn’t work. You can end up eating more than what your insulin dose can handle, so you still get the complications from the disease because your levels aren’t being managed.
Your life is valuable and the contribution you make to your family, friends and to the world is needed. Diabetes doesn’t have to be something that shortens your life. It doesn’t have to be something that robs you of your vision or causes you to lose a limb.
When the disease is effectively managed by living a healthy lifestyle, you can a long life.
In order for that to happen, though, you can’t shy away from what needs to be done. When you get diagnosed with the disease – or if you have it now – it’s time for you to embrace the changes that will give you a better life and a longer future.
Start by eliminating bad habits. Quit eating food that makes diabetes worse. Stop overeating and practice portion control. Eat foods that are heart-healthy. Learn what the glycemic index is and how each food affects your glucose levels.
Stop sitting around. Get up and start exercising – even if all you begin with is walking. Look for ways to challenge yourself and reward yourself when you rise to that challenge.
Get enough sleep. Sleep is important for a diabetic. Stop letting stress get to you and find healthy ways to manage it. By taking the initiative, you can control diabetes instead of it controlling you.
What Can the Diabetes Freedom Course Teach You?
The course, Diabetes Freedom, teaches you that and more. But the course also teaches you what you might be eating every day that can actually make your diabetes symptoms worse.
There’s a green vegetable that you might think is healthy. It’s not – and you might accidentally be sabotaging the control of your diabetes by eating it. You can’t help what you don’t know, but what you don’t know can have serious consequences.
That’s why you need to understand how to fight back using the Diabetes Freedom material. The course gives you a manual that covers the three stages to ending diabetes complications.
Once you buy the course, you’ll gain access to a list of foods and beverages that are recommended for diabetics. But you’ll also get the information on which foods and drinks you need to stay away from.
In the first stage, the course teaches you how to follow an eating plan that can have your diabetes symptoms under control within just two months. In the second stage, you’ll learn about healthy fatty acids and how you can use these to gain more energy and help stabilize your blood glucose levels.
The third stage of the course shows you how you can put principles in place to control your diabetes for life. You’ll learn what super drinks are and how to apply them as part of your healthy eating plan.
You’ll learn why the antioxidants in these super drinks are important for diabetics. The course teaches which carbohydrates to eat so that you can improve insulin sensitivity. You’ll discover which proteins to choose to help you shed extra pounds.
What’s good about this course is that it recognizes that people aren’t going to experience the exact same symptoms with their diabetes. You might not have any problems with neuropathy, but you might be having trouble getting your glucose numbers down to a healthy range.
The course is customizable by using a questionnaire so that it addresses what each person is dealing with in the area of complications. The course has 7 rules for you to follow that can help you take control of your diabetes, improve complications and live a long and healthy life.
When it comes to handling a diabetes diagnosis, it’s natural to be nervous and disheartened about what you’ve just been told. But this is a highly manageable disease that puts you in the driver’s seat.
All you have to do is take the time and steps to activate a plan that empowers you and helps you prevent many of the complications that others will endure. It requires you to be vigilant and proactive about your health, but if you do it, you’ll find that you’re living your best life from this point forward.