Living successfully with diabetes is what I've learned to do
since my diagnosis in 2008. At the age of 45, I was diagnosed with new
onset Type 2 Diabetes. What is Type 2 diabetes? Normally cells in the
pancreas release proper amounts of insulin. This helps sugar enter into
cells throughout the body for energy. One main problem of type 2
diabetes is the “resistance” of cells to insulin. In other words, it
takes more insulin to produce the same effect. In addition, people with
type 2 diabetes do not make enough insulin for what their body needs.
Type 2 diabetes is not just a problem of blood sugars. It also affects
blood pressure, cholesterol, and fats, inflammation in the body, and
blood clotting. Type 2 diabetes can run in families as it does in mine.
My maternal grandmother (my mother's mom) is 92 years old and has lived
with diabetes for many years. This disease is often seen in the
overweight. The tie-in with obesity comes from the fact that there is
higher “resistance” to insulin with higher body weight.
Were there early warning signs I missed? Yes, they are as
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Mood swings or irritability
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
Detecting diabetes early on can reduce the risk of developing kidney
disease, and eye damage. Please learn the early warning signs of
diabetes and notify your physician if you suspect you may have
Has my life changed since being diagnosed with diabetes? Yes.
Prior to being diagnosed, I lived a fairly normal life. When I say
fairly normal, I mean I was married, worked in the private sector till
I was laid off, exercised only occasionally, and ate what I wanted
without thinking what I might be doing to my body. Following being
diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I had to make changes to my lifestyle,
which include routine exercise, 30 minutes a day and controlled diet. I
choose to walk at a moderate pace for my exercise 30 minutes a day. I
eat 3 meals plus a snack, watching the number of carbohydrates I
consume. In addition I check my blood sugar at least twice a day.
Through exercise, eating healthier, and prayer, my diabetes is
currently controlled without the use of any medication. I am grateful
to God for helping me thus far. Why? When I was first diagnosed, my
blood sugar level was over 400. My doctor at the time thought I would
be on insulin for the rest of my life. The only time I was on insulin
was when I was in the hospital.
I have done much research on diabetes since being diagnosed and
have learned that 20 million people in the United State have it. Type 2
diabetes is on the rise in the USA and is increasing in children and
Who are some of the people living successfully with
- Brett Michaels – Musician
- Missy Fox – Professional Marathon Runner
- Gary Hall, Jr. - U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist – Swimming
- Mike Echols – NFL – Tennessee Titans
- Scott Coleman – Swimmer
- Edward James Olmos – Actor (Admiral Adama on “Battlestar
- Patti LaBelle – Singer
- Arthur Ashe – Professional Tennis Player
In future articles, I will discuss complications of diabetes and
how they can be avoided, diet, and how to develop an exercise program.
Also, I will share with you more individuals who live successfully with
diabetes. Please continue to follow my articles to learn more about
diabetes. Remember: Successful Living With Diabetes is possible.