Simple Things Every Diabetic Needs to Succeed

 

What Items Fit Diabetic Needs?

 

Today I wanted to go over some things that every diabetic needs or could use on a day to day basis. Although this is catered to type 2 folks, a lot of these apply to type 1 as well! These are items that all of us should keep on your person. Most of them are no-brainers, but it doesn’t hurt to highlight them.

 

1. Medication

 

A lot of the meds that you take needs to be with food. If you’re like me, and breakfast ends up being at your desk, then you want to keep this on hand. Same for in the evenings. Sometimes I don’t always make it home for dinner but may end up grabbing something with friends or coworkers. You want to be sure that you can still take your meds on time.

 

    2. Glucose Meter

 

Whether you’re a vet or a newbie, I suggest this for you as well. Why? Well, it helps to know where you are. You’d be surprised how much your blood sugar levels affect you. Ever been super cranky and you didn’t know why? Check your numbers. It very well could be a result of it. It also helps to keep track of where you are throughout the day especially before and after meals. Doing this is especially important if you’re just starting out.

 

    3. Journal/App

 

A journal is a great way to keep track of your numbers. It helps you to see where you’re consistent. It’s also helpful for your doctor as well. I mainly use an app, but as a stationary nerd, it would be a lie to say I don’t write it down too. The current app I use is Sugar Sense by MedHelp. It’s available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. You can set reminders, document what meds you take, and it even exports your report so you can print them out and bring them to your doctor. It’s a great looking app too, and there’s a lot it can do.

 

    4. Hard Candy and Juice

 

I’m sure the eyebrows are up right now. Why would a diabetic need these things? Having these items is more for emergencies. It’s like insurance if you will. Let’s face it, life happens. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t stop for that. Food is our fuel, our gas for our cars. What happens when a car runs out of gas? It’s the same for your body. Sugar is needed. It’s what helps to provide us energy. The juice and hard candy are to help get some sugar in your system to tie you over until you can eat. You suck on the hard candy when you feel hungry, but can’t get to food right away. The juice is for when you’re past that point and the shakes set in. Liquids get into your blood a lot faster than food. Try not to gulp it all down at once. Just keep sipping until you start to feel better. I usually get the small juice packs. I still check the label to make sure it doesn’t have all of the added junk it. If that’s not available soda is also a quick way but I caution you to get the travel cans (the small ones). You only need a little bit. Grabbing a 20oz is over doing it.

 

These are just the basics. There’s a lot of different ways to get yourself setup for success.

 

What are some things that you keep on hand? Share below!

 

 

 

 

How to Control Your Blood Sugar

Blood Sugar

If there is one thing that I could say can be tricky about type 2 diabetes, it’s how to control your blood sugar. It’s as if there is an art to it in the beginning. It’s like fine tuning an instrument or radio station where there’s no static. When you need to control your blood sugar, it seems like it’s a daunting task. I mean come on there’s sugar in EVERYTHING. So how can you control your blood sugar and keep it at normal levels?

 

Understand carbohydrates

I don’t necessarily mean that you need to count every single one (keeping track does help I won’t lie), but if you understand how carbs affect your sugar levels, it can make food decisions a lot easier. The way I did this is I went to see a nutritionist. She provided me with a lot of great information about understanding carbs and the average amount that our bodies need to function. I will do a dedicated post on this later.

Know the many faces of sugar

A lot of people don’t realize that sugar has many different names. You’d be surprised what’s actually in a lot of those “sugar-free” items at the store. To control your blood sugar, it’s best to know how much sugar is actually in what you’re eating. It may say there are only 10 grams (carbs included) but be sure to check the ingredients list as well. You’ll find all the added sugars listed there. That’s why you see a lot of food items labeled with “No Added Sugar” because someone realized “Hey if there’s no sugar, how the heck is it still so sweet?!”

Limit the Sweet stuff after 2 pm.

It takes your body quite a while to process sugar. We already know what too much of it can do. To control your blood sugar, it helps to limit when you have sugar. Again we know sugar is in everything whether it’s in the form of actual sugar or carbs. Do your best to limit the amount that you intake after 2 pm. This way your body already has a jump start on processing the sugar already in your system. Team that up with your meds and 8 hours of sleep and your blood sugar in the morning should level.

Water, water, WATER

Listen I am the WORST about drinking water. My tongue has developed such a palette for delicious sweet drinks that the idea of liquid nothing makes me sad. But one must do what one must do. Keeping your system flushed helps control your blood sugar because it’s getting rid of any excess. You want your body to use what it needs and get rid of the rest. Of course, infused water is a huge help but do be mindful if you use fruit. Try to limit the fruits and veggies you use to those with low sugar.

 

Discipline and Consistency

As you can see, there are a lot of different things that you can do to control your blood sugar. None of that matters if you don’t hold yourself accountable and stay consistent. Don’t worry I’m still trying to get it down because let’s face it life happens. We can’t predict what’s going to happen every day. What we can do is formulate a plan to get through it no matter what is thrown at us and make wise choices on the things we eat and drink.

 

What are some ways you control your blood sugar? Share your tried and true methods below!

Don’t Let Fear Get in the Way of Getting Checked

 

Get checked. It’s important

 

Ok so we know what diabetes is. You have an idea of the starter medication that you’ll take and some of the side affects. Are you planning on getting checked? When should you get checked?

 

The Symptoms

Common diabetes symptoms include having to pee a LOT, being super thirsty (I call it Sahara desert mouth syndrome), hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, and fatigue.

The biggest thing that I noticed when I decided to get checked was I was ALWAYS in the bathroom. It didn’t matter if I had something to drink or not, every hour I was going. I also noticed that I had this weird dry mouth thing happening (Sahara desert mouth syndrome). It was like I was always thirsty and whatever I drank wasn’t enough. Thirst is the worst thing for me to have because my weak point with the cutting out a lot of sugar are drinks. I have a serious sweet tooth when it comes to drinks. It’s how I’ve been able to go without eating sugary things. Traded one demon for another. So every time I got thirsty I’m reaching for some juice or sweet tea and sometimes coffee. Every now and then I’d reach for a soda but could stop drinking them when I wanted. I’m sure doesn’t matter if I’m drowning in Hawaiian punch.

 

I fell into this cycle of drinking sugar, then running to the bathroom, then drinking more sugar. Sleeping through the night was impossible without going to the bathroom at least 3 times. I started to think about it being something more. Even the dry mouth started to keep me up at night because it was so uncomfortable. I had to sleep with a water bottle under my pillow just to get through the night.

 

I ignored the symptoms for a while

 

A conversation with my dad that had me thinking it was time to get checked. I asked him how he went from a pre-diabetic stage to full type 2 diabetes. After a while he gave me a run down of what the body does to let you know. He said that with all the excess sugar in your body what ever doesn’t get used ends up doing 1 of 2 things. It’s either stored as fat, which then adds more weight to your body. That ends up being more work for your organs to process things and it gets tired out. Or your body tries to get rid of all the excess sugar. You guessed it, by flushing it out of your system. When your always thirsty, your drink more. If you drink more, you pee more. Diabetes plays a role in your eye health as well so sometimes it’ll even come out through your tear ducts. Ever wonder why your eyes are watering up and leaking?  Not so random.

 

I finally went to the doctor

 

So anyways after that chat with dad, I made an appointment. I had spent the last 2 months running to the bathroom all the time, dying of thirst, and getting no sleep. If  working out was an interest I had zero energy to do it.  It was this vicious cycle that was wearing me out. Did I mention that during those sleepless nights sometimes I would eat? Yup! After being up so long I would get hungry. Throw in my Sahara desert syndrome and you’ve got the perfect recipe for unknown diabetes to drive you crazy.

 

I had been putting off going to the doctor because I was scared. I’d watched so many people around me fight illnesses. I’ve seen home pharmacies created. People hooked up to machines or in the doctors office every other week. I had always struggled with my weight (more in my head than in real life) but never thought that I would get sick. I thought I was immune to some degree. Getting checked meant that I could end up the same way. Having my own pharmacy and being attached to machines the rest of my life.

 

I struggled with the thought. Getting checked meant facing the fact that I may have a disease. It would also put all the attempts at losing weight and being healthy to shame. How could I post all these healthy meals I made if I ended up with diabetes anyways? I realized later that the fear I had was facing the fact that I wasn’t consistent with my health or dedicated. It brought to life all the reality that when I was out I would eat whatever. I didn’t have the discipline to try and eat better. To get checked means facing my failures.

 

But no failure is worth my life.

 

My doctor was pretty confident about my diagnosis just from my urine test because there was so much sugar in it. Of course they still did the blood test but the sugary pee was the least of my problems. My numbers were really high, too high in fact. The “good news” is that it’s caught early enough for me to make a change. Now I didn’t have this huge coming to Jesus moment. I won’t lie and say I pulled a complete 180. Everything I eat is not organic and whole. I haven’t quit sugar quite yet.

 

I still struggled. When people brought junk to work potlucks or donuts just because I still ate them. I still eat fast food, candy, and drink beverages loaded with sugar. I took my meds religiously then kind of fell into the “if I remember” routine. I’m not perfect.

 

You are not alone

 

If there’s anyone out there with a similar situation I’m telling you, begging you even, to get checked. Diabetes is a silent killer for a reason. Some people don’t even have symptoms. Don’t worry if you’re not sure or if it’s something that runs in your family, it doesn’t hurt to add it as part of your check up routine. When it comes to your health knowledge is power. If going to the doctor makes you nervous, have a friend or family member go with you. Make it a part of your annual physical. At least if you know, it’s something you can get a jump on or stay in front of. Know that you’re not alone. Know that it’s not easy for me either but we can’t keep doing what we used to do. What we used to do is what got us here. It’s going to be hard. You’re going to have to really gain control of yourself, but we can do it! This disease is something we can take charge of and beat. Don’t be afraid to find out.

 

How did you find out about your diagnosis? Did you have symptoms? Feel free to share below I’d love to hear your stories!

Let’s Stop Diabetes Together!

 

What is type 2 Diabetes?

 

Type 2 diabetes is a condition where your body is becoming resistant to insulin (the stuff that helps move sugar into your blood cells). To help your cells accept the insulin, we take medication. I’m sure most of you know these things but it doesn’t hurt to cover the basics.

 

But there’s 2 of them..

 

Why are there 2 types of diabetes? Well type one is a genetic disorder. The pancreas produces very little insulin. Because of this those with type 1 have to manually take insulin. This disorder is a genetic mutation.  Type 2 can happen at a late age although it’s affecting people younger everyday with the rise of obesity. Being overweight can cause your pancreas to tire out and over produce insulin. On top of that a diet filled with carbs and sweets and you’ve got a body riddled with sugar and not enough insulin. When you’ve had too much to eat what do you do? Stop…except for holidays like thanksgiving where you just have to get in one more bite.

 

So your body makes too much insulin to help your cells use the sugar but your cells are not taking in any. If you’re not making enough, it could be you’ve already got so much in your system your body starts to reject it. Either way, too much sugar in your blood can cause a lot of damage to your body. Yes it’s needed, but if it’s not being used or there’s just way to much, there’s not a lot your body can do. That’s where myself and a lot of people in the US are at right now. Type 2 diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in America. We’ve become so saturated with sugar that our bodies are starting to quit on us. I’m only 26. I was diagnosed 6 months ago right before Christmas. Great present right?

 

The struggle has been real

 

I’ve struggled these last 6 months. I keep thinking that it’s all about what I’m eating but it’s more than that. If I want a bacon cheeseburger I can have it! Yet if said cheeseburger has a 1/2 pound patty, I’m pretty sure that’s overkill. So here I am, so sweet and full of sugar! My life depends on truly being able to take control of my health and I intend to do just that. That’s why I want to fight. Lets show people that this is something that can be done. I refuse to be condemned to a life of pill popping when I am in control of how I take care of myself. It will not be easy but lets beat this!

 

Anyone else with me?