World Diabetes Day 2013

Today is World Diabetes Day and it’s the 4th time I’ve written something specific for this day. That those years were 2008, 2009 and 2010 are somewhat disappointing, along with the fact that out of the previous 21 times I’ve even mentioned the subject only 6 of them have been since the 2010 post, either means that I’m trying to ignore the fact that I’m diabetic or that I haven’t had enough incidences to even think about mentioning it.

The Pincushion Effect
duisburgbunny via Compfight

Of course that’s not true at all. The thing about diabetes is that even things like being in the sun for just 10 minutes can have a great effect on you if you’re not careful or paying attention. Eating properly or badly have effects on you that you’re never quite sure which way things will go. For instance, as I said in one of my recent videos, I ate lots of pretzels during my 2 weeks of low fat eating because they had no fat in them and had some of the lowest glucose readings ever, only to discover that what they actually do is make your glucose shoot way up and then drop way far down quickly, as there’s more carbohydrates in a serving of pretzels than there is in a serving of pasta; that’s not good.

Why is this such a big thing? Because it’s the fastest growing disease we have in the United States. There are more than 25 million people in the country who have been diagnosed as being diabetic, and another 79 million diagnosed as pre-diabetic; that’s not good at all. The FDA or EPA (I can’t remember who) is on the verge of banning trans fats from our food, and I’m betting most of you are like me in not even knowing just how prevalent this stuff was.

Diabetics have to worry about stuff like liver disease, heart attacks, kidney failure, neuropathy, amputations, nerve damage… let’s just face it, there’s a lot of complications possible. Most of the pharmaceuticals aren’t overly expensive but they still end up being a lot over time. Doctors want us tested more often, we’re put on medication even when we test normal because the standards change when you’re diabetic.

Then we have to deal with people who know that we’re diabetic and utter stuff like “should you be eating dessert” and “you should eat more vegetables” and “isn’t that fat going to kill you”, while pounding on us with stuff like “you know that Equal will give you cancer” and “don’t you care about yourself to eat better?”

Here’s the thing; of course we care. However, like most cancer patients who continue to smoke or patients who have heart attacks who go back to eating high fat diets, changing a behavior you’ve had for a lifetime isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. For me, I at least get some exercise in here and there, but I’ve never met a dessert I like that I can stay totally away from. I find that I eat less than I used to but I’ll binge here and there. I’ve also found that the healthy foods I sometimes eat aren’t always so healthy; that’s disappointing.

Nope, this isn’t a typical World Diabetes Day post. I’m not really out to make us seem like victims. Truthfully, most of us brought it upon ourselves, even if we didn’t really know better. I have so many relatives on my dad’s side of the family who are diabetic that I knew my day was coming, and yet I still let some of my binging make it come faster. I have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, and the best thing I can say about myself is that I don’t have any of the permanent symptoms yet.

I write this because I hope those of you who aren’t diabetic take care not to get there. I write this because I hope those of you who think you might be but don’t want to go to the doctors to confirm it will go; better to know and have the chance to take care of it than one day suffering something you can’t overcome because you didn’t want to know.

And I write this because I want you to know that if you’re diagnosed, it’s not a death sentence like it was in the past if you at least take some precautions and so some of the things you should do. I’m not perfect, but in many ways I take care of myself a bit better than my dad did. In “some” ways that it. 🙂

6 thoughts on “World Diabetes Day 2013”

  1. Hey Mitch, I am glad you are getting a handle on your diabetes. Diabetes is a complex situation. You are right it is the foundation for many other problems.

    My Mother had diabetes before she passed. Every time I hear about this condition, I think about her.

    Many people do not recognize how serious it is. I am like you, every now and then I try to forget what could happen.

    1. Michael, there are times when it’s way out of my mind, and other times when it’s the only thing I think about. Yet it’s always in the back of my mind and I like to try to get the word out to others to at least get checked every once in a while because the earlier it’s caught, the better the chances are to live a pretty normal life.

  2. A close family member got diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago; luckily it wasn’t too serious and with some modifications of diet it has not effected his lifestyle too drastically. I think he also goes for eye tests, as I believe it can effect your eye sight? Certainly a health issue which is becoming more and more of an problem as people have more weight than they did in the past.

    1. Hi Richard. Yes, it can affect your eyes, and that’s actually what made me go see a doctor in the first place, which led to my being diagnosed. Now that was scary.

  3. Hi Mitch, I have always been a fan of the information you share with us, be it about diabetes or terrorist attacks. I too believe that knowing as much as possible does help a lot in saving yourself from danger, as they say ‘ A known devil is better than an unknown angel’. Thanks for the post.

    1. No problem Rey. I’ll share whatever information someone needs about diabetes because I hope to help others stay away, or learn how to live with it if it does come.

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