Type 2 Diabetes: Symptoms and Treatments

5.3 million Americans are diabetic and don’t know it. Here is a list of some common symptoms associated with type two diabetes: excessive thirst, extreme hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, increased irritability and unexplained weight loss. If you have these symptoms and are concerned that you are at risk for diabetes, please talk to your health care provider immediately.

I was 22 years old when I was first diagnosed with type two diabetes. After some research, I learned that 95% of diabetics are type two. In an abbreviated version, this is what it means. The difference between type 1 (formally know as insulin dependent) is the pancreas has stopped producing insulin. With type two, you are still making insulin, just not enough. This is important because insulin converts glucose (sugar) into energy. Without the insulin (or without enough) the sugar builds up in the blood instead of the cells and leads to serious health conditions such as blindness, heart attack, stroke, blood clots and more. That’s why frequent testing is so important.

About a month and a half ago, I couldn’t understand why I had been feeling so bad. My daughter had pneumonia and I figured I had gotten it too. I was tried all the time. Depressed. Overwhelmed. I finally went into my doctors office and they tested my blood sugar. Normal range is between 80-120. Mine was 451. This is after having been diagnosed for 6 years! I thought I knew everything there was to know. I didn’t know that diabetes was linked to depression. I had forgotten that when your sick, your blood sugar rises. I had gotten my A1C test done (a test that tells you what percentage of your blood is sugar) and at the time of diagnosis it was 14%. “Normal” range is 6%. I had taken it from 14% and gotten it down to 5.5% for 3 consecutive tests. I thought I had it figured out and didn’t need to test. So I stopped. Now I’m in the hospital, and I have been put on insulin. (They would have prescribed a pill, but I’ve had bad experiences with them in the past and was not willing to go on them again.) They think my type two may have turned into type one. I had to go to all the education classes – again. (For the third time) and they didn’t think it was going to be enough. In addition to my Lantus (An insulin that is a slow release and works over a period of twelve hours) I know have to take Novo something or other. I stick myself 11 times a day. I have to record everything I eat and have regular blood testing. This is not easy with a toddler. This is not easy no matter what else you have going on. But it does get better. You are not alone.

Here are a few “short cuts” you can use to help lower your sugar. When it comes to eating: small, frequent, healthy. Throughout the day are much better than two or three big meals. Raw veggies are great for snacks. (Remember to always check the label. I thought all vegetables were “free” meaning no carbohydrates but a small snack pack of carrots is one choice!) Really watch the portion sizes. That’s been a big wake up call for me. Exercise. 30 minutes a day is what’s recommended, but I find it hard to get a whole half hour to myself, so I break it up into 10 minute segments. I know they say it’s better to do the 30 minutes consecutively, but they should be glad I’m giving them anything at all! And support. Family and friends are a wonderful thing. Especially when your having a bad day. Call them and tell them your frustrated. You hate this stupid disease and mom, stop “helping” me! Sorry, I mean tell them what you want. A wise friend of mine once said “you get to go there, but you don’t get to stay there.” Meaning you can feel sorry for yourself, but not for to long. Finally, reward yourself. Self care is hard work. You deserve a treatâÂ?¦ that’s meant figuratively.

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