Life with Diabetes


After your first diabetes consultation, and a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, you are probably thinking to yourself, “I can’t do this!”

You can. Millions do, every day. In fact, you must, because if you don’t your chances of going to the hospital are 50 percent higher than those of a diabetic whose blood sugar is under control.

Take a deep breath, and one step at a time. For example, the next time you are tempted to pop that gumdrop in your mouth, check your blood sugar instead.

Check it often. For a diabetic, blood glucose levels are as critical as blood oxygen levels are to someone with emphysema. Either one, out of control, can lead to the critical care unit, or death.

Get more exercise. As a type 2 diabetic, you want to focus on aerobic programs like walking, biking, hiking – even jogging, but don’t overdo. The diabetic optimum, to start, is 50-percent intensity, or no more than a 50 percent increase in your heart rate over long duration.

Take your medications. The doctor may prescribe any number and variety of diabetic medications used to control both blood sugar and appetite – the two elements critical to living with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetics usually begin on a regimen of metformin until they reach a maximum dose of 2,000 milligrams daily.

If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, this medication will be even more critical, and will – with few exceptions – be an analog (or form) of injectable insulin. If you are the parent of a preschool diabetic, the responsibility can be overwhelming. Once your child reaches school age, you’ll share this burden with a school nurse or trained, licensed individual.

Fortunately, type 1 diabetes sufferers represent only about 5 percent of total diabetes victims, which means you, a type 2 diabetic, have a disease that can be reversed by losing weight, getting adequate exercise, and watching your diet carefully.

Type 1 diabetics will never achieve this level of comfort.