Study Type: Member Story
Patient Sex: Female
Patient Ethnicity: White
Patient Age: 57
Published Date: 05/07/2018
Conditions: Diabetes: Type II, Weight Problems
Therapies: Exercise, Nutrition, Diet Therapy
I didn’t know I had diabetes until a blood test came back showing I had high levels of blood glucose in my system and another blood test showed a high hemoglobin A1c level. Diabetes runs in my family so I wasn’t surprised but I didn’t pay much attention to that and allowed myself to become overweight and sedentary. I ate whatever I wanted to eat and much of what I ate was processed food that was high in sugar and fat. I am a female in my 50's. I didn’t have any symptoms of diabetes when I was diagnosed. The doctors suspected I was becoming diabetic because, when I was seriously ill in a hospital a few years before, the doctors needed to give me a lot of insulin to keep my blood sugars down. The diagnosis of diabetes was made about 9 years ago when the blood tests indicated I had type 2 diabetes. After I had diabetes for a few years, I began having burning pain in my feet from diabetic neuropathy and had to take medication to cut down on the burning pain.
Because diabetes is hereditary, I had my daughters to motivate me to make changes in my lifestyle. One of my daughters is overweight and doesn’t like to watch her diet. I think that, if she watches me eat better, make better foods, and exercise, she will follow suit and will try to improve her lifestyle choices as well.
I love this food or Dish: I like roasted vegetables, especially roasted asparagus and roasted
carrots. They contain a lot of complex
carbohydrates and are low in calories.
I thought that type 2 diabetes would mean that I would die a premature death and would have to take medication for the rest of my life. Now I know that, with a proper diet and exercise, you don’t have to take medications for diabetes and the negative effects of diabetes can be controlled by eating right and exercising.
Natural Therapies for Diabetes: I’ve done some research on natural remedies for type 2 diabetes besides diet and exercise. I’ve learned that some people use meditation, chiropractic treatments, hypnosis, yoga, aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbal remedies, biofeedback, massage, and relaxation techniques to control type 2 diabetes. Chromium supplements have been found in some research studies to decrease blood sugar. Chromium helps make insulin work better, which lowers blood sugar. American ginseng has been studied and has found to lower hemoglobin A1c in type 2 diabetics when taken over several months. Magnesium supplements may also help diabetics who are low in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency blocks the secretion of insulin from the pancreas and worsens insulin resistance. I never tried any of these things but, if my diabetes should become worse, I might try these supplements.
I was completely sedentary before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I stayed sedentary for several years after my diagnosis. Then I started to gradually increase my exercise. I worked out on a treadmill and took more walks. I even jogged on the treadmill for several minutes at a time. Now I make exercise a part of my everyday activities and try to get in 150 minutes of exercise every week. It was hard to exercise daily at first but I soon came to look forward to my time on the treadmill or just walking outside.
Before I became diabetic, I ate whatever I wanted to. I drank juices with high levels of corn syrup and ate foods that were high in fat and sugar. I liked ice cream and at it by the bowlful. After the diagnosis of diabetes, I didn’t really change my diet at first and still maintained poor eating habits. I was started on pills for diabetes and later had to take shots.
I decided that a life of pills and shots were not for me. With the encouragement of my doctor, I started to eat healthier foods. I made foods from home that contained plenty of fruits and vegetables. I ate complex carbohydrates and stayed away from foods containing raw sugar. I cut down on calories and foods that were high in fat. I began to lose weight and lost 80 pounds over about a year and a half.
Now I eat a bowl of non-sugar cereal with low fat milk for breakfast or toast and eggs. I eat fruit whole as a snack and a sandwich with chicken or tuna for lunch. For supper, I generally eat a fish fillet or a chicken breast with roasted vegetables. For snacks, I sometimes have a granola bar that increases fiber, which is good for the bowels and doesn’t increase the blood sugar so much.