What The Heck is Diabetes and Why Do I Have It?

You’ve been recently told that you have Type 2 Diabetes or Pre-diabetes.   Your doctor tried to explain it to you, but if you are like me, you didn’t quite understand what they were saying.  I remember being scared, and then kind of tuned back in after the fear subsided just a bit.

So, what is Type 2 Diabetes – aka Adult Onset Diabetes.  In plain English Diabetes occurs when there is too much glucose (better known as sugar) in your blood.  You see, it really belongs in your blood cells, not running around in your blood.

Why isn’t it getting into your blood cells?  Well, now it gets a bit interesting.  There is this hormone called insulin which helps get sugar into your cells.  Insulin is produced by the pancreas.  So, your pancreas might not be producing enough insulin for some reason, or the insulin isn’t opening the cell door (sounds like jail, huh?) for the sugar.

Pretty simple.  Either there isn’t enough insulin or it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. As a result, you have sugar in your blood, which is not where it belongs.

So, the goal is to get the sugar into your blood cells.  How do you do that?  Well, the first method of attack, if your A1c is not too high, is through diet and exercise.  If that does not work, there are oral medications (think pills) that can be used to help the sugar get into cells.  Dr. K is doing a great job explaining the various medications.  Look here to get a basic understanding of the drugs.

And, if the pills don’t do the job, insulin might be prescribed.

Diabetes is not a death sentence.  It does mean that you have to begin to watch what you eat – go heavy on fresh vegetables and eat fewer fries – you get the idea, right?

Why do you want to take Diabetes seriously?  Because of what it can do to you.  If you don’t control your sugar, a whole bunch of not-so-great things can happen to you.  The good news is that you can control it.  You can manage and control diabetes.

How?  Three (not too many, huh) ways are through diet, exercise and medication.  Bottom line, go on a permanent lower calorie or lower carb diet. Carbs turn into sugar in the body – you can see why you want to limit those.  Exercise – just 30 minutes a day makes a huge difference.  Just 30 minutes.  And, if you are prescribed medication – take it.

The American Diabetes Association has some great information.  And, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) defines Diabetes and provides a decent overview.

Be patient with yourself.  Your fight is a marathon, not a sprint.  You did not get Diabetes over night and it will take a bit of time to get it under control.  I started with an A1c of 13 – very bad – and it took me 15 months to get it into the normal range.  I fought it hard from Day One of my diagnoses.  I know first hand that it can be controlled and beat down into submission.  Take a look at the Survival Guide to assist you in your battle.

YOU CAN DO IT!  You can control and manage Diabetes.  Patience.  Diet.  Exercise. Medication.  Just three things to do.  You can do it.  I know it.  I believe it.  And, you need to believe it.

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I am not a doctor or health professional. I am just a guy who is working everyday to control Type 2 Diabetes. My goal is to offer hope, help and solutions for day-to-day living for the diabetic. The disease can be controlled. It can be managed. And, you can do it!

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Posted in Exercise & Diet
2 comments on “What The Heck is Diabetes and Why Do I Have It?
  1. Excellent article. I certainly love this website.
    Continue the good work!

    • Patrick,
      Thank you. I truly believe that Diabetes is not the death sentence it might have been years ago, but that folks can thrive after diagnoses.
      My goal is for folks to beat back Diabetes and learn how to control and manage it so they will have their best life.
      Phil

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