Discovering you have type 2 diabetes is a life-changing experience. It can be a life-change that is good or it can be disastrous. And popping pills to control your diabetes may not be the answer, but, it’s up to you. Let me explain…
The majority of newly diagnosed people have type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle is believed to contribute hugely to the development of this type of diabetes; the wrong lifestyle for your body. Eating the wrong foods – and often too much; a sedentary lifestyle – too much sitting around at a desk, watching TV or Are pills answer to losing belly fat at a computer or just general inactivity all contributes. Your body loses the battle to keep your blood-sugars at a safe level for you and you develop insulin resistance; type 2 diabetes.
Drastic life-saving changes are needed. So what do we do? ‘Pop a pill’ and carry on (almost) as before. Sure you might make some token changes, like not eating so many cakes, sweets and biscuits. Or you might cut down on the sugary drinks.
But, for the vast majority of us, that’s about as far as it goes.
And that’s not good news for our health.
How do I know this?
Because I have type 2 diabetes – diagnosed in 1982.
But I wasn’t particularly overweight and I did have a reasonable amount of physical activity in my daily life. So I followed the (then) current expert thinking on the ‘ideal diabetic diet’, which included a high proportion of high-complex-carbohydrate foods, such as potato, bread and pasta. I didn’t make the connection between this type of diet and my constant high blood-sugars.
So I popped the pills prescribed and avoided the obvious sugar-laden enemies; cakes, sweets and sugary treats.
So where’s the problem?
The problem is the constant underlying, grinding effect of continuing the wrong lifestyle and eating habits and the consequences it generates. My condition very gradually, almost insidiously, got worse. Yet I was following the eating guidelines I’d been given.
You see, taking drugs to control your diabetes, instead of changing your eating pattern and lifestyle can create an extreme yo-yo effect on your blood-sugars. It did for me. I ranged from a high of 17.6 mmol/l to 2.8 mmol/l (the safe range is between 4mmol/l and 7mmol/l).
And I had no idea of what was happening between my own blood testing sessions – but the overall effect on my HbA1C was not good. Keeping within the ‘safe range’, for me, was a nigh-on impossibility.