|Allyson Goris Kennedy|
I've learned a lot since then. Type 2 Diabetes is usually (but not always) caused by poor eating habits, lack of exercise and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. Not everyone with Type 2 Diabetes needs insulin. Though you may reverse your A1c through diet and exercise, you will have this disease for the rest of your life. If you begin to slip back into old unhealthy habits, you will be out of control once again and your A1c will most assuredly skyrocket!
No one ever wakes up and says, "Gee, I think I'll gorge on food and give myself Type 2 Diabetes!" Everyone has their story and a little empathy goes a looooong way.
Here is a very helpful piece of advice for people with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Sugar free does NOT always mean carbohydrate free. Often foods that are labeled "sugar free" have more carbohydrates than the regular option and have alcohol sugars as well. Also, make sure to check the nutrition facts on "diet" sodas. Sometimes there ARE carbohydrates (and they are fast acting).
Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas decides to stop working altogether. There is nothing the person ate or didn't eat that caused this disease. A person with Type 1 Diabetes needs insulin to stay alive for the rest of their life. Blood glucose needs to be checked at least 6 times every day (at night as well). There are many more low blood glucose levels with Type 1 Diabetes. If not treated quickly with fast-acting sugar (15 carbohydrates - like juice or hard candy), the person can die. Every carbohydrate needs to be calculated, and insulin given before the person can eat.
Despite all we do to stay alive, things that are beyond our control can occur, such as Heart Disease and kidney failure. The list unfortunately goes on and on.
A common cold for a person who doesn't have Type 1 Diabetes may mean a few days of missed work or school. A common cold for a person with Type 1 Diabetes can land them in the ICU.
Oh, and one other thing. Even though you are usually diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a child or young adult, you can be diagnosed at ANY age. A friend's mother, in her 50's, was misdiagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes ten years ago. She was active, ate a healthy diet and was not obese. The doctors ASSUMED that because she is an adult, it was Type 2 Diabetes. They could have killed her as a result! The treatment for Type 1 and Type 2 is altogether different. At my urging, she went to a team of endocrinologists that actually knew how to read a blood test result and properly diagnosed her with Type 1 Diabetes!
There are too many lives lost to Type 1 Diabetes. There is no known cause. Is it environmental? Is it a virus? One thing is for certain - it is NOT their fault!
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes suck and we need a CURE - NOW!!!!!!!!!!
Listen to this story.
I'd like to mention that today is NATIONAL CUDDLE UP DAY!!! Find someone who is battling Diabetes and give them a great big hug today, okay???