“I am sorry, but you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes.” When you hear these words, from your physician, it can often rock your world. The first thoughts in your head, can range from mild disbelief, to serious questions. “How could this have happened?” “I’ve been taking good care of myself.” “My lifestyle doesn’t point to any risk factors.” “No one in my family has diabetes.” ‘Why is this happening to me?” These and many other questions can often leave a deep seated impact on the mind. Now it isn’t like diabetes is an airborne disease. Nor is there any cure, or vaccination available.
What diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, is a combination of lifestyle, family history and health factors, which come together to afflict an individual with a disorder that can have a significant impact on their lives. This of course, isn’t the end of the world. Not in the least bit, if a person monitors their lifestyle, gets more active, cuts down on the behaviours and foods that will exacerbate the problem, and accepts moderation as the management tool du jour.
Diabetes affects millions upon millions of people across the globe. As human evolution has made ‘work’ more sedentary, and human beings more dependent on machines, this chronic lifestyle disorder as only spread even faster. You know that old wives’ tale, about taking a break to stop and smell the roses? That can be an analogy of how one must take a break from ‘work’ to get one’s circulation going and becoming a tad bit more active.
Simple things can mean the difference between controlled levels of glycogen, a well balanced life and relative good health and constant level fluctuations and other complications that type 2 diabetes can bring on. Let us in this guide therefore explore what living with diabetes entails and take a look at some success stories that prove that with a little management and a lot of moderation, people suffering from diabetes can in fact lead near-normal lives.
What living with diabetes entails…
Like any other chronic disorder, diabetes can appear to be a daunting one. People will always have their own ‘experiences’ and stories to share with the patient. Many a times these stories, influence patients the wrong way. Diabetes is a long term problem, sure, but diabetes can be effectively dealt with. Dealing with diabetes requires a little bit of faith, oodles of patience, self control and moderation. Through diet control, right monitoring, exercise and medication, millions of diabetics the world over have successfully managed their ailment and millions more, are getting to grips with the challenge. Let’s take a look at what it takes to manage diabetes successfully.
- Diet Control: This is an important element in effective diabetes management, simply because diabetes is directly linked to the food we eat. The bodies inability to process sugar, due to lack of insulin is essentially how diabetes is defined. Therefore, what you eat and more so what you don’t become a huge part of successful diabetes management. Diabetes management through diet control is often confused with complete abstinence from any food containing sugar, which is an absolute myth. Everything we consume contains sugar in differing quantities and there is no way to completely avoid sugar as such. What is in your control is watching what you eat and moderating the intake of the same. Avoiding certain fruits, foods loaded with sugar and substituting sugar with artificial sweeteners, while increasing intake of leafy vegetables and other beneficial foods, is also a major part of diabetes management.
- Blood glucose monitoring: Blood glucose monitors are an invaluable aid in diabetes management as they help a patient track their daily sugar levels and at the same time serves as a motivational tool of sorts. After all it is validation that all you are doing to control your sugars is working! Blood glucose monitoring effectively becomes a very important and vital component of a diabetic patient’s daily routine. It also helps a doctor increase or decrease dosage of vital drugs that can make all the difference in the successful management of the disorder.
- Exercise: Diabetes is a very serious issue and a sedentary lifestyle is one of the most important contributory factors in causing and adding to the disorder. It would serve a patient well to be a tad bit more active as activity helps the metabolism, which in turn means that an individual burns more sugar. Exercise in this case needn’t be rigorous, and a simple activity like a half an hour daily walk too, is known to enable diabetes patients lower their sugar levels considerably, in conjunction with the right medication.
- Medication: Medical science has made the management of type 2 diabetes a whole lot easier, through advancements in delivery of drugs, discovery of new molecules and other progresses. Taking the recommended daily dosage of these medications is one of the ways to assure yourself of a good control of the disorder.
- Stress management: Since diabetes, especially type 2, is a lifestyle disorder, stress is definitely one of its triggers. So stress management automatically becomes a vital component in successful diabetes management. Look at it like this, keeping away from stressful situations isn’t always possible, but how you choose to respond to stress is. Choosing to channelise your energy towards activities that calm you down, such as yoga, reading and hobbies like painting are excellent ways to beat the triggers and keep in good health.
- Patience: Diabetes management is a sensitive subject and as such can try a patient’s patience. Sometimes a certain drug may take longer than normal to affect you or to even be available. It would pay in such a situation, to be patient and understand that this disorder will knock you down at times, but the true victors are always the ones who patiently persevere to the end.
5 Diabetes success stories that you will not believe:
People are always in awe of those that beat the odds. It is human nature to root for the underdog, the survivors and those that succeed against all odds. Diabetes is a lifelong syndrome and as such something that is quite difficult to deal with. There are however people from all walks of life who do suffer this ailment but haven’t allowed it to phase them. Instead they’ve soldiered on and made successes of themselves, against all odds. So here then are 5 such incredible individuals, whose success against diabetes are sure to inspire you to do the same.
- Tom Hanks: Hollywood superstar and all round nice guy, Tom Hanks has starred in some of the most memorable and top grossing films of all times. A long time diabetes sufferer, Hanks has never let his ailment get in his way. He says that a strictly regimented lifestyle, including exercise, medication, yoga and keeping active, keep him in good health. He was diagnosed at a relatively young age and for the longest time kept his ailment a secret. Known for his involvement in philanthropic activities, Hanks today runs a charity for diabetes and cancer awareness and is an inspiration to millions.
- Randy Jackson: American Idol judge and award winning music producer, Randy Jackson has been living with diabetes since 2002. When he was first diagnosed, he weighed over 300 pounds and was at a risk of losing his foot. Since then, a strict diet, weight loss, exercise, a regimented lifestyle and of course moderation has made a significant difference. Never before has Jackson looked and felt fitter, in his own admission, diabetes came as a wake up call, and he’s since managed to turn his life around, why then can’t anyone else!
- Billie Jean King: Billie Jean King, multiple time grand slam winner is testament to the fact that anyone, even celebrated athletes can fall prey to type 2 diabetes. According to King, the realisation hit her like a ton of bricks and she could not believe it at first. The gradual acceptance of her condition gave rise to the determination to battle the syndrome. This made managing it a whole lot simpler. Plenty of tennis, regular blood glucose monitoring and timely consumption of medications she says are her way of managing diabetes well.
- Sonam Kapoor: Starlet, fashionista and the darling of the paparazzi, Sonam Kapoor isn’t what you’d picture as a ‘typical’ diabetic. She was diagnosed by accident when in 2008, she felt weak and dehydrated. Testament to the fact that none of the symptoms of diabetes can be taken lightly and mandates immediate attention. Today yoga, regular medication and diet control are the secrets to her normal life.
- Wasim Akram: Pakistani legend and ace commentator Wasim Akram was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 30. Being a champion, Akram steeled himself and began with the insulin treatments, despite a well documented history of trypanophobia (fear of needles). His peak physical condition and belief in himself and the fact that he was willing to alter his lifestyle and diet control meant that he was able to make the necessary adjustments required to lead a mostly normal life.
Diabetes isn’t the end of the world. You can check other way to manage it or check how much does trulicity cost. As celebrities, athletes, politicians, business leaders and even day-to-day people prove that diabetes can be controlled and a next to normal life can be led, the real takeaway from this should be the importance of the five pillars of proper diabetes management, of which blood glucose monitoring ought to be the most important.