Your father complained about feeling dizzy upon getting up from the couch to switch a light on. He also talked about a prickly sensation and numbness in his extremities. A visit to a clinic was scheduled. The diagnosis was Type 2 diabetes. Your dad was roughly 63 years old at that time. You’ve been ignoring the numbing sensation on your left foot.
During one of your trips to Birmingham in the UK, the numbing attack was so severe, and you finally went to see a private doctor. It was the same diagnosis as your father’s—Type 2 diabetes.
You know a little bit how it’s being managed by your father, with his regular visits to the hospital. Still, you were a little bit in shock. It’s quite different when it happens to you. What do you need to do now? Is there going to be extreme restrictions that you now need to adhere to?
Here’s what you need to know to take care of yourself following your diagnosis:
An Overview of Diabetes
Heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, blindness, and leg and feet amputations, if these don’t scare you, they should. If not adequately treated and on time, this could be your scenario.
The next scenario would likely be death. There’s a reason why diabetes is referred to as the silent killer. In the “cause of death” power rankings, diabetes sits at number 7.
In 1980, the estimated number of people globally with diabetes was 102 million. By 2014, this has ballooned to 422 million. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that 9.4% (2015) Americans have diabetes. The ADA estimates that nearly 253,000 deaths can be directly traced to diabetes.
Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 means it’s genetic. You had it when you were born, or it happens during your childhood. Your pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to breakdown and transport glucose through your bloodstream. Glucose is what you need for energy. Patients with Type 1 require insulin shots.
Type 2 is referred to as maturity-onset diabetes. Your body is unable to process insulin properly. For energy, the body looks for other sources. This puts a strain on your body and symptoms manifest, like fatigue or feeling dizzy.
What You Should Do Moving Forward
Don’t ignore the diagnosis! Follow what your GP or your endocrinologist advises you to do, including taking the proper medication. Here’s what you need to do to manage your type 2 diabetes:
- Visit your endocrinologist regularly. There are no two ways about it. Your medical practitioner should see your laboratory exams at least every six months. Your medication might need to be adjusted if you are making progress. Since you’re taking medication, the state of your other internal organs, also needs to be monitored.
- Exercise. Bring your heartbeat to at least 120 bpm for at least 20 minutes, three times a weak. The medicine will do its part, but together with exercise, you strengthen your cardiovascular system, which may prevent heart disease.
- Diet. Switch to eating food high in fiber, a calibrated serving of lean meat for protein, and fewer carbohydrates. When you have Type 2 Diabetes, carbs are your enemy. Follow your stomach rather than your palate. If you’re full but still craving, stop eating!
Metformin is going to be your friend and lifesaver. Be aware of signals. If you’re a busy executive with a packed schedule and can’t have proper meals on time, always keep a snack in your pocket. You’ll need it when you suddenly feel weak.