Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Diabetes and The Journey

So, since this is the beginning of the weight loss challenge, let's look over an issue that is common amongst those of us who are obese.

Diabetes.

This is pretty common regardless of size/weight, although extra weight and size doesn't help it.

Today we're focusing on type 2, as this is most common amongst us heavy folks.

What is type 2 diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association:


Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn't able to keep up and can't make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. - 

Putting it nicely, we're too sweet for our own good.

For some this is something that runs in families.  This is true in mine, with both parents, many siblings, uncles, and aunts who were dependent on insulin due to diabetes.  About half of the total people were normal/average weight, the other half were above.


Diabetes affects not just glucose in the blood, but does damage to your entire body if left unchecked.  Your eyes are greatly affected in time, which can leave you blind.  Your nerves throughout your body are affected, which leads to neuropathy.  Skin complications, ranging from yeast and bacterial infections to necrosis, easily happen due to poor circulation, inability to heal quickly, especially in the lower extremities.  Ketoacidosis can happen among people with diabetes, especially if blood glucose levels are left unchecked.  There are other complications possible as well, depending on how long glucose levels have ran high and not treated.

This is a battle I've been engaged in personally for a few years.  I was at risk due to close family having it, and then moved on to insulin resistance in my late 20's or early 30's.  About 4 years ago, I was feeling horrible, and had my husband (an RN) check my glucose just for a base level before going to see a nurse practitioner, and it read 498.  He was a tad upset, as was I, and I was able to get in for treatment immediately after the clinic heard the number.  My therapy started with insulin and Metformin, which had a dual use in treating Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which also deals with insulin resistance issues.  In the subsequent years I've been able to stop insulin therapy, and move on to Metformin only, and sometimes Victoza (another shot, but not insulin, and it helps the body produce it's own insulin and also really helps with appetite control.)

While diabetes is not confined to the overweight population, it is most definitely common.

If you're following in my journey and you have diabetes, feel free to comment and share what has worked for you!



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