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10 Reasons You Don’t Want To Be Diabetic

Posted by on Feb 10, 2011

Diabetes is the fastest growing disease in the world today. It’s considered as a somewhat controllable disease for the majority of people because if most people could control their weight and live a healthier lifestyle they have a chance to stave it off altogether, or at least reduce their reliance on things such as medications.

I’ve written enough about my being diabetic on this blog to depress everyone. Yet I feel that I need to write about it again. So, other than the links I’ve included in this post, I figured I’d throw out 10 reasons why you really don’t want to be diabetic, and should think yesterday about starting to try to life a healthier lifestyle. By the way, you can be healthy and still get it for many reasons; just wanted to make that clear.

1. The testing. I have to check my blood glucose at least once a day, sometimes as much as 3 times a day. I used to have to prick my finger to check my glucose, and even 9 years later I would flinch whenever I did it; just couldn’t get used to it. Now I have a kit where I can check it through my hand. It almost doesn’t hurt unless I do it incorrectly. Still, I have to test and remember to test because of #2.

2. The numbers. In the early days, when I was first diagnosed, once I brought my glucose down I’d check and my numbers would look great and I’d think that maybe I’d just had an episode because I was eating badly. Thirteen years later, sometimes it seems that no matter what I do, I can’t bring the numbers down. And then, every once in awhile I bring the numbers down too far. So, it’s either the shakes or the lethargy; balance can be tough.

3. The lethargy. Let me talk about the lethargy a bit more. When the lethargy hits you it’s like you’re going to fall asleep and never wake up. Okay, it’s not always that bad, but it can be scary. If I happen to eat the wrong thing, I can become quite lethargic within an hour; sometimes within 30 minutes. It’s a good thing I work from home because there’s no stopping the nap. And sometimes, it’s going to be a major effort to wake up. My scariest episode was being down for almost 4 hours and having my wife have to help me wake up when she got home from work; at least I’ve made sure that’s never happened again.

4. The food. Food becomes tough to gauge, I have to say. If I eat broiled or baked chicken without the skin I can do fairly well, even if I put some sauce on it. Protein in general terms helps keep me more alert. But it’s not perfect, and no one can continually just eat protein. Gauging things like rice is a difficult thing; believe it or not, the same goes for a serving of mixed vegetables, which supposedly has more starch in them, and thus that helps make one tired. Trying to find the right diet can feel mind numbing sometimes.

5. The portions. Sometimes the food is fine, but trying to figure out proper portions can be a trip. When I lost some weight last autumn it followed my trying to eat more food at every meal, believe it or not. That worked, measuring and all, except I was only eating one thing at a time. So I could eat 8 to 12 ounces of chicken and that was fine for awhile. But I found myself hungry and dissatisfied. The counselor I was working with suggested adding some things to it. Those things gave me more energy, but I didn’t lose anymore weight; I didn’t gain any either. It becomes hard finding a balance in how much one can eat to sustain and how much one can eat to lose weight. And I’m not good at that.

6. Insulin. Yeah, I’ve jumped right to this one because I’m on insulin. It’s actually what’s called a slow acting 70/30 mix, but it’s still insulin. Because it’s slow acting it lasts longer than traditional insulin, but it also takes awhile to start working. Insulin actually promotes weight gain; isn’t that an interesting conundrum. So, you work hard to lose weight by portioning out food and going to the gym but if you don’t work out hard enough you won’t lose weight because of the insulin. And you can’t stop the insulin because you need help keeping your glucose down; isn’t that a trip?

7. Medications. There are oral medications one can take, but trust me they’re a crap shoot at best. I was put on 6 different medications before my doctor got me on the one I take once a day now, along with the insulin. But here’s the thing; if I forget to take it, and I do, it could take up to a week for it to start working as it’s supposed to again; ugh. This means that it’s almost impossible to get glucose down again, no matter what I do; almost, that is. Some medications have now been recalled because medication is always dangerous to someone; I’m glad I was never put on any of those, but you just never know when a study will come out and throw you for a loop.

8. Exercise. You have to exercise at some point to help bring your glucose down; there’s just no getting around it. But exercise can have this interesting thing that can mess you up. For instance, it turns out that one isn’t supposed to exercise if one’s glucose is too high; I ignore that one, which for most people might not be the smart thing to do. You could injure yourself if your glucose is too high by doing certain exercises, and since when glucose is high your blood flow isn’t great, pooling blood due to injury is a bad thing. When my glucose is high I only walk and do stomach crunches, no weights, so I figure I might be fine. But there are also times when I might push a bit too much without realizing it and my glucose drops drastically, especially if it’s warm or I overheat. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, usually you don’t know it’s coming and suddenly you’re there. So, even exercise is a crap shoot sometimes.

9. Thirst & Bathrooms. Talk about a weird loop in one’s life. Diabetics can be abnormally thirsty sometimes. This means they drink a lot of water. Yet they can also have to go to the bathroom often, whether they’re drinking lots of liquids or not. Drinking too much water can force your kidneys to work too hard, and as a diabetic they don’t filter all that well so it puts a lot of stress on them. Not drinking enough water and going to the bathroom a lot means your body is losing fluids, of course, but that means you overheat and thus will have other issues, so you need to make sure you drink enough water. But you never know which one will come to pass sometimes. For me, I drink a lot of liquid in the evenings, and thus go to the bathroom a lot in the evening as well. If I drink tea or soda in the morning, I’m going to be going to the bathroom every 10 to 15 minutes eventually; it’s the oddest thing.

10. Fear. The more you learn about diabetes, the more scared you get. I’ve only touched on some of the simple stuff. But I have to be checked to make sure my fingers, toes, feet and legs aren’t starting to get numb all the time. If I feel a little bit of a tingle I wonder if it’s my shoes or the diabetes. My eyesight was what helped indicate that I was diabetic, and you wonder if your glucose is high for awhile if you’re going to drive yourself blind. Most diabetics leave this earth because of heart problems, and thus there’s that stress in worrying about things such as exercise or even shoveling snow, especially when every once in awhile you get a weird pain in your chest that you’re unsure of. Rapid heartbeats are scary; night sweats are scary, and I’ve experienced both. And you don’t even want to know about the chills that sometimes comes without warning, and there’s nothing you can do about them, shower, blankets, heaters, nothing except wait them out, which can take hours. Nope, not fun at all.

I implore you to be proactive on this bad boy. Go to the doctor and let them test you for it; getting it early is a big deal. Work on some kind of eating plan that avoids tons of carbs and sugar. Work out even a little bit, because it all helps. And learn more about the symptoms before you get it, then especially afterwards if you get it. Yeah, there are lots of things that say they can get you under control, even “cure” you. Nothing cures it, but it can be managed. However, if you can avoid it… do that!

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Thanks for sharing this information. Diabetes is very common in my family. I have an uncle who takes insulin too and has been doing so for a long time.

It is definitely something we should have checked.

February 10th, 2011 | 10:57 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

For sure, Evelyn. Course, with you on your vegan kick, you’re probably making sure you’re okay.

February 10th, 2011 | 12:51 PM

Hi Mitch, thank you for your caring post. Food is such a complicated survival necessity. I used to have a problem with my digestion and. I was always reading books on diets and foods, experimenting on their effectiveness and all that. But now I’ve found my own bowl of food.

February 10th, 2011 | 11:18 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Good for you, Anne. I always think I’ve found my way, but it’s a constantly changing thing it seems.

February 10th, 2011 | 12:52 PM

May I recommend my book? It’s called “Eat right for your Type” Written by D’Adamo, this book will guide you which food is right according to your blood type. So far, it’s the only book that helped me solve my bloat, hyper-acidity, and weight-loss problems.

February 15th, 2011 | 12:35 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

We have that book, Anne. My wife only got through 15 pages or so and I’ve never even picked it up, yet we’ve had it maybe 4 or 5 years now. Yeah, I know, read it! lol

February 15th, 2011 | 1:11 PM

Oh, you do! I didn’t read the whole book either. I don’t see the point. I only read the part about my blood type.
Well, need I say more? LOL!

February 22nd, 2011 | 10:14 AM
Jessica Sieghart:

Thanks for posting this. It’s always good to have reminders not to take one’s good health for granted. My dad has diabetes and I know it’s a struggle.

February 10th, 2011 | 6:15 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

No problem, Jessica. It manifests itself differently for each person, but if one can avoid it then that’s the better way to go.

February 10th, 2011 | 7:45 PM
Ali Mujtaba:

I’m not diabetic but this article really got me concerned and I kinnda feel the need to check myself to the doctor. Anways thanks for sharing, seems like a terrible disease.

February 10th, 2011 | 9:01 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Ali, it affects everyone differently, and if one can stay healthy enough not to deal with it, then by all means. Go see that doctor; always better to know.

February 10th, 2011 | 11:33 PM
Larry Lewis:

Diabetes is a subject I care about and talk about very much. This is a really important article, and i applaud you for writing it. In my mind it is a wake up call, pay attention and adopt a healthy lifestyle and you will then be able to avoid your situation worsening.

February 11th, 2011 | 4:51 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Larry. I write about this from time to time because it’s important to me as well, but I don’t want to hammer people over the head with it.

February 11th, 2011 | 11:08 AM

My grandma lives with diabetes for more than 35 years, I think she had used to it, but more and more health problems occur with age. I think she have nearly lost her vision. If I am not wrong she is on insulin 3 times a day for more than 20 years. The worst is when you know that there is no cure, but I heard that there is a research in some of Asian countries based on stem cells which actually may help.

February 11th, 2011 | 4:23 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, you don’t get used to it, but there are times when you just want to quit trying because it seems like there’s nothing you can do to get the numbers back in line. That and sometimes it affects your feelings and mood.

February 11th, 2011 | 11:06 AM

I think I didn’t used the right words,you are right there is no way to get used to it, but the life goes on and right now it is easier, there is even a diet chocolate for diabet, however you are right, the number is increasing every year. Especially with people over the age of 50.

February 11th, 2011 | 9:09 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Actually Carl, people over the age of 50 find out they have it, but most probably had it way before then.

February 11th, 2011 | 10:04 PM

I think that nobody wants to be sick, but most of us are unaware or simply neglect the dangers around them, in our food etc.

Is it true that diabetes is hereditary?

February 11th, 2011 | 4:40 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Mia, it can run in families, but these days people are more likely to be diagnosed as diabetic without there being a family history because of diet.

February 11th, 2011 | 11:07 AM

As you know Mitch my father is a diabetic and has been for as long as I can remember. He takes insulin three times a day, sometimes four if he thinks it’s necessary. Because of todays technology it’s not as bad as it used to be. Where he used to use a syringe he now uses a pen that allows him to dial the dosage. It’s so easy now that I give him his insulin when I’m around.

He actually eats almost everything except for sweets. He will actually adjust his insulin dosage sometimes depending on what he’s eaten. May not be the norm but it works well for him.

February 11th, 2011 | 6:01 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Sire, it’s not the best way to go at it, but I kind of do the same thing here and there. I haven’t given up sweets, but I have drastically cut back on pasta and rice and other foods considered as high carb.

February 11th, 2011 | 11:09 AM

Mitch, it’s funny that you made this post when you did. I already knew that my blood sugar was an issue when I was pregnant, but I learned that getting sick (like with the flu) can make my blood sugar go crazy. I learned that by having to be hospitalized (Yikes) so now I have to get all of those vaccines and shots (blech). And now they’re saying I’m a full blown type 2 diabetic, so I know full well what you’re going through. Did I mention that I’m terrified of needles?

February 11th, 2011 | 10:04 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

DeAnna, I did see that, and trust me, I don’t like them either. But I’ve gotten used to it, and you will if you’re injecting yourself more than once a day. I hope you know not to keep injecting in the same spot; that will cause its own set of issues.

February 11th, 2011 | 11:10 AM

Hey Mitch,

Being ill is never something that anyone will want and although people don’t appreciate the fact that they are healthy until they get sick, I think reading posts like this can make anyone wonder how their life would be if they would be sick.

Diabetes is a very tiresome disease, and having to carry insulin with you all the time and a strict diet is not something I want to experience.

February 11th, 2011 | 12:45 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Alex, it’s not much fun, and of course I’m not always willing to be so strict so I have ups and downs. And though insulin is kind of a pain, the truth is that it ends up not being as scary as I’d thought it was before I had to start using it.

February 11th, 2011 | 7:10 PM

Two of my close relatives are diabetic. Dealing with that is not fun for them. I do know a little about the lethargy, but mine is from low blood pressure. Extra low when I take sick. I once went to my GP, his nurse tried three different BP cuffs on me, finally laid the last one down and said, “I have bad news for you Doug… you’re dead.”

February 11th, 2011 | 12:54 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

LOL! Allan, that’s never happened to me, but it would be interesting to see my doctor have that kind of sense of humor. I often wonder how my work life would be if I had these bouts of lethargy at work.

February 11th, 2011 | 7:12 PM

Thanks for sharing this information, Mitch. I’m the kind of person who tends to self-diagnose, which is why I stopped reading WebMD. I become concerned whenever I can’t shake off something, and I start imagining the worst.

On my next checkup, I’ll be diligent about getting as much information as I can.


February 11th, 2011 | 5:36 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Mitch, it doesn’t hurt to ask them to check it out, and of course being a black man, they’ll certainly let you know about high blood pressure if they see that. Of all things, I seem to have been lucky on that count so far, even though it also runs in the family.

February 11th, 2011 | 7:53 PM

Thanks for sharing this information Mitch. My family, Grandmother side do have a history of diabetes. And in a rice eating country like mine, its a very common sickness in here. But with proper diet and exercise, it can be avoided.

February 12th, 2011 | 2:14 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Good luck with it, Ron. Sometimes it just can’t be avoided, but it can be controlled.

February 12th, 2011 | 8:05 PM

my mother is diabetic, she has a terrible diet.
But finally quit smoking cigarettes
thx for your tips

February 13th, 2011 | 1:13 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

I wish your mom well; it’s tough changing eating habits, that’s for sure.

February 13th, 2011 | 11:55 AM

I really appreciate this post, Mitch. Although I have no first hand experience with diabetes, I have a friend who is sick almost all the time because of her ulcerative colitis and hypertension and I feel for the difficulties that she has to go through. I can’t imagine what she is going through being a working mom and all, but now that you listed all these things, I can gather that she really has quite a hard time at it, just like you. I believe this is the way it is when you get these lifetime illnesses that you have to cope with. I am just glad to see that people like you and her have the strength to really hold on and endure.

– Wes –

February 14th, 2011 | 2:43 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Wes. Actually, we either move on or we give up, and there’s no giving up. It’s not always bad; it just can be if one isn’t careful, and sometimes even when we are careful. Overall it’s a warning to people to not be afraid to get tested because it’s better to know and to work on it than to not know and suddenly find it’s too late to do anything about it.

February 14th, 2011 | 6:29 PM

Thanks for sharing that. I learned a few things I didn’t know. I had Gestational Diabetes while pregnant with my first child which, of course was temporary and mild in comparison, but gave me a small glimpse into the world of having to constantly check ingredients and be aware of what is being eaten. I think the most shocking to me was the fact that many fruits are so high in sugar – such as grapes which I had to stay away from.

February 19th, 2011 | 9:41 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Melinda, you’ve got it right on the fruits and such. Bananas are very high, as well as apples. They don’t tell diabetics to eat as much fruit as possible as a diet recommendation because even though it’s a different type of sugar, it’s still sugar. It’s a reason why I rarely drink apple juice; way more sugar than 5 cookies will contain. That’s the thing I try to tell people who know I’m diabetic yet know I have a sweet tooth; some desserts end up causing less grief because of sugar content, although caloric content is less.

February 19th, 2011 | 11:14 PM

Great post and a timely reminder to us all! I have friends and family members with diabetes and have seen the toll it takes.

April 4th, 2011 | 3:37 PM

Absolutely right, but not all fruits contain more sugars, and those that can harm the body but not fruit sweets like jams, cakes and even fat. If you want to take care of ourselves, we can, but if we are not careful how and when we eat is not good, that we eat is important, I heard from a very good doctor you should not eat after 6 pm.
In conclusion, be careful what you eat and eat!

Jocuri’s recently blog ..jocuri fotbal – jocuri mario

May 17th, 2011 | 3:42 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Jocuri, your doctor is mad if he’s telling people not to eat after 6PM. For instance, if I didn’t eat after 6PM then often I’d be up for 9 hours without eating; I couldn’t survive like that. Instead, they should say to try not to eat so many hours before heading to bed, since we all have different schedules. Overall I don’t find it as easy to find things to eat as many other people might, but then I’m kind of picky.

May 17th, 2011 | 2:20 PM

Honestly I’m afraid if I have diabetes because my father and grandfather have this deadly disease. As an impact, I pay much attention to my menu. I always avoid fast food and cola. It’s not good for health, says my mom. Thanks for posting the reminders, Mitch.

May 21st, 2011 | 11:25 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

No problem Andrew. I hope you don’t, but if you think you might make sure to go to the doctors and have a test done.

May 23rd, 2011 | 11:15 PM

Appreciate your post. I’m not diabetic but almost became one. 2 years ago I became depressed and for 2 weeks did nothing but eat and sleep. I then noticed I was always hungry and was having blurred vision in the mornings. It turned out that my blood sugar was already in the prediabetic range. It took me a while to accept it because I am slim and have always thought it’s not in my genes. I forgot about the influence of diet and lifestyle though.

To cut a long story short, I began a daily exercise program of brisk walking/jogging and some light-to-medium resistance training. I also drastically reduced my rice & bread intake & increased my vegetable consumption. I’m happy to say that my blood sugar is now in well within normal limits. If I may mention, the book “Eat to Live” by Dr. Fuhrman proved to be an eye-opener and helped me a lot in deciding what dietary changes I had to do.

June 2nd, 2011 | 8:50 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks for the contribution. I’ll admit that I’ve seen that book; my wife actually bought it. But neither of us has really read it; my wife made it through maybe 100 pages, I never even cracked it open. I’m glad you were able to avert it.

June 2nd, 2011 | 1:40 PM