I am 57 years old and have had Type 2 diabetes for 5 years now. I do not have it under control and I don’t want to use insulin. I am always tired and have bad mood swings. I am depressed and I don’t exercise. I love sweets and tend to eat out every day, I don’t know how to “eat as a diabetic.”
Finding out you have Type II diabetes is a blow to your ego. Your “old lifestyle” (and a little genetics) is the main reason you got diabetes. Denial is a normal initial reaction, but 5 years is past reasonable! Start changing now before you have more problems than insulin!
Uncontrolled diabetes leads to blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, loss of digits, legs, and worst of all, an early death. There’s no denying those facts. Here is a plan to get you on track to living well with your diabetes:
1. Accept responsibility for your diabetes care. Professionals can guide you, but you put the food in your mouth and you choose to exercise or not. You already realize that your current behavior needs to change.
2. Find professional medical help now: a good diabetologist (an Internal Medicine Doctor who is an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes care), internist, or endocrinologist to start or adjust your medication and follow lab testing.
3. Find a Registered Dietitian (eatright.org) or Certified Diabetes Educator to learn meal planning. You will instantly realize your idea of “eating as a diabetic” is really just a healthy diet for everyone. You will learn portion control, the backbone of healthy eating with diabetes.
4. Learn how to fit eating out and an occasional sweet into your meal plan (Hint: exercise can balance this for you.)
5. Your gynecologist may help with your lethargy and mood swings if they are menopause symptoms.
6. Exercise can boost energy. Start walking 10 minutes a day in supportive shoes.
7. If you are still depressed, consider seeing a counselor.
8. Join on-line or local groups of people with diabetes to learn and share.