stomach sweets candy webAbout 30 years ago, after a routine blood test, my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic. I was not sure what she meant, so she explained that my blood sugar level was hovering around the lower end of the mark that is considered Type 2 Diabetes. At the time, I did not worry much because, of course, I felt I was invincible. Well, I was not invincible. Not long after the initial diagnosis, I was officially a Type 2 diabetic.

 

What is the difference between Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes leaves the individual without the ability to make insulin. Without insulin we cannot live, which is why individuals with type 1 diabetes must be on insulin treatment.

Type 2 diabetes This form of diabetes has a stronger genetic component than Type 1 diabetes and is commonly associated with overweight and obese adults. It can be treated with prescribed medications.

Although I was about 30 pounds over my optimum weight, I did not think it was that bad. Unfortunately, my condition meant that I would be taking medications for the rest of my life unless I made significant changes to my food choices. The long-term repercussions were frightening but I did not take them too seriously. I had to watch my sugar intake. Having a sweet tooth did not help, so I wavered from high sugar to not-so high sugar in my blood.

Present day
As the years wore on, I did see the subtle signs of diabetes. Regular blood tests showed varying levels of sugar. If you are familiar with the counts, I hovered anywhere from 120 to as high as 190 (danger level). On top of the long-term effects of Type 2 diabetes, there was always the danger of getting full-blown Type 1 diabetes, which meant having to give myself insulin injections at least once per day for the rest of my life (not a happy thought).

Several months ago, my blood test showed an A1c count of 9.0 which is very high. Normal range is 5.7 and below. I knew food was the secret to better health. Fortunately, I found a woman (Raymi at Ceiber Root Wellness, ceibarootwellness.com) who was especially knowledgeable about good nutrition. After chatting for a bit, she suggested a food plan that would help. I was not so stupid nor so stubborn as to ignore her advice. I followed her plan. Three months later, my A1c count was 7.0. My doctor was astounded that I could improve in so short a time.

I had to cut back the amount of sugar I take in — whether that was candy, sweets, or carbohydrates in their many forms. I lost more than 20 pounds. I look even more beautiful than ever (at least in my opinion [sigh]) — all kidding aside, I feel much better. Although I am better, I am not out of the woods. I still fight the long-term effects, like early-onset neuropathy (where I have less feeling in my feet). Diabetes affects your eyesight and so far I am good in that area thanks to regular visits to my eye doctor. My long-term prognosis is quite bright if I maintain my vigilance.

We all know that, as a group, Americans are overweight. This means the prevalence of diabetes in its forms is higher than need be. You should protect yourself from this insidious disease. Speak to your doctor and help you and your family. It is never too late, but the sooner you change the better. Modern medicine has the equipment to monitor your blood sugar level and the medication to help mitigate the disease. Your best protection is to avoid it to begin with or reduce its effects through proper nutrition.

Lastly, I am not a doctor (much to my mother’s regret), so nothing I say in this article should be considered medical advice. I just want to share my own experience in the hope that I might help others. I wish you good health now and in the future.

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