Well it is October and it is, among other things, National Diabetic Month. The Halloween candy is for the little spooks not for us diabetic types.  

Last January I went in for a simple physical and found out I was much sicker than I thought. I had spent maybe years with my blood sugar in the 300 range. A fasting blood sugar should be 85 or less. That first test I did showed 364 and my A1C at 13.6. The A1C test shows your blood sugar average over the past three months. You should have a level of 4.6 percent for healthy people and below 7.0 for the ones not so healthy. My blood test was not too good.

So things moved fast after that blood test. All of a sudden I was seeing an endocrinologist (diabetic doctor) and getting my thyroid checked. Learning to give myself injections, what to eat and not eat, to exercise no matter how physical my job was, and getting bags and bags of medicine. I had to tell my coworkers if I was acting sillier than usual I might need some help. I had another problem, traveling. When your aging parents are 180 miles away, you’re on the road a lot. I told the doctor I needed to go to see Mom and Dad, and he told me that was not happening until my sugar was under control. I was too sick to drive. And to think I had been driving a lot not knowing how sick I was. What a way to start the new year. But I was lucky I had started a new year with my kidneys, eyes, and my life.

But I am, sadly, certainly not the only one. There are 537 million of us diabetics on the planet. That means 1 in 10 people are sick with diabetes. Last year 1 person died every 5 seconds from complications of diabetes. Wow, that is incredible to me. I know I did it to myself with pounds and pounds of sugar ingested because I have type two diabetes. I cannot believe how much sugar I was constantly pouring into my system. Stress eating and trying to fight off the energy drop in the afternoon.  You just do not realize what you are doing until it is too late or you are thinking my body can handle it. It cannot handle that much sugar.  An elephant could not handle that much.

Now you know your health is not what you thought it was. The doctor has looked you in the eye and put the fear of God in your heart because if you do not change some things quickly, you will be meeting God, and your doctor is not kidding. So you start looking at your lifestyle. First thing you do is think about diet. Oh my, I have to throw away all my food, never have anything to drink but water, and eat food with the taste of Styrofoam peanuts.

But wait, slow down, and take a minute. Everyone starts to think, as I did, that there are no more carbs in your world. Don’t even look at them. That doughnut on the counter in the breakroom, or worse yet, looking absolutely perfectly yummy in the doughnut case at the gas station is cruel and unusual punishment. You just have to learn not to go overboard on certain things. Of course you cannot have all the carbs and sugar you really want to have, but it is not Keto to the extreme either. 

Actually your body needs carbs and going overboard on cutting them out can lead to health issues. For instance, you can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and arrhythmia in the long run. Completely ditching food with carbs might cause your body to flush out other positive nutrients, namely potassium. Potassium ranks as one of the key minerals lost when you cut carbs. Stomach aches and digestive discomfort can be an issue, plus other vitamin imbalances and poor sleep. So eat the required amount of carbs.

There are symptoms to this ordeal, but you need to see them for what they are. Your body is desperately telling you there is a problem. A savage need for water, then a savage need to get rid of that water is one big neon indicator. The funky part of that statement is that your body is pushing out liquid trying to flush the sugar out of your system which dehydrates you. So in other words, your own body will purposely dehydrate itself to get you to drink more water. Seriously, if you feel that something is not quite right, get checked. It could save your life. I was lucky I have a friend that kept saying that I was drinking and going to the bathroom too much. She finally said that I could lose my kidneys if I didn’t get checked and she knows what she is talking about, being a kidney transplant patient. If she would not have said that I never would have gone to the doctor. She literally saved my life. It was that serious. Diabetes is one of the main causes of kidney disease. I know I was in trouble for at least 2 years based on symptoms. My parents have lost one child and I just about put them through that horror again. So please do whatever you can to not go down my road.  

Go to the doctor regularly, watch what you eat, exercise regularly (especially if you are on the borderline), and live a happy, healthy life. A long, happy, healthy life.