This is the post excerpt.
Halloween and T2DM
I love Halloween.
It is my favorite holiday of the year. I count down the months and days till Halloween.
As a kid, I would plan for months about my Halloween costume.
I would save my money to buy pieces for my Halloween costume.
But I would always have two costumes: one I would wear to school for the Halloween party and the second was for Halloween night trick-a-treating.
The only part of Halloween I hated was when I got home and Mom searched through my candy haul making sure everything was safe to eat.
That’s the good part, the bad part was that all my favorite Halloween candy disappeared from my bag.
I knew where it went but what could I do about it.
Now as an adult, I still love to celebrate Halloween with the kids.
Decorating and dressing up for Halloween, seeing the smiles, and occasionally the tears, of the kids is well worth the effort.
I give the Halloweeners candy; what would Halloween be without the candy.
That would suck.
How would you feel, as a kid, if you went through the trouble of getting dressed up to walk around in the cold evening air to collect …… banana nut bread or whole wheat pretzel sticks with sea salt or vegetable curry flavored popcorn.
WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING? MAN ARE YOU IN FOR IT NOW!
Just because I have T2DM does not mean that I need to spoil the youngsters fun and enjoyment of collecting candy.
I just don’t need to eat any of it (okay, maybe just a piece or two).
The holidays do not have to be death sentences for T2DM people.
We just need to be more careful and conscious of what we do shove into our mouths.
One of the reasons I love Halloween is pumpkin pie.
If medical science ever comes up with the ability to power a human body just on pumpkin pie, I will be there with buzzers and bells.
But now, things have had to change.
No more double helpings of pie at lunch followed up with a slice for a snack and another piece, with ice cream, at dinner. Now it is one thin piece for the entire day.
This year, I have asked my wife to make pumpkin pie with stevia rather than sugar; I know it could change the taste but I am willing to give it a try if it means that I can better control my blood sugar levels over the Halloween holiday.
Will I still enjoy the Halloween holiday and my pumpkin pie? You better believe it.
Stay healthy and have a great Halloween.
Sweet Foods DO NOT Cause Type 2 Diabetes
Sweet foods may have contributed to your development of Type 2 Diabetes but it sure did not cause you to get Type2 Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes develops in your body in one of two ways, neither from eating sugary foods.
One way is because your pancreas is not creating enough of the hormone insulin. Insulin is the body’s chemical mechanism which helps control how much sugar is in your blood.
The other is that your pancreas is creating enough insulin but your body is not using that insulin efficiently or not at all. This second condition is referred to as insulin resistance.
So you can see that type 2 diabetes is not caused by eating sugary foods but through the inactions of insulin secretion or the effective usage of the insulin created and released by the pancreas.
Please do not take that above statement as a justification to eat all the sugary foods you come across in the next twenty minutes. Excessive sweet foods, eaten over time, can damage the beta cells in your pancreas that create insulin.
As well, eating too many calories and fats may also contribute to insulin resistance.
Make sure you get enough physical exercise to burn off these extra calories so that you can keep a stable weight or even shed a few kilograms.
Three of the greatest risk factors for developing insulin resistance are your age, your weight and your level of physical activity.
People over the age of forty-five, generally, are more susceptible to developing insulin resistance. As we age, our body ages as well. Things don’t work as well as they used to. This goes for our internal organs as well. Things start to malfunction. The beta cells in the pancreas may not be working as well as they were when we were twenty years old.
Being overweight or obese significantly increases your risks of developing insulin resistance. The stresses and strains added to our bodies by being overweight or obese are significant.
Not only do these extra kilograms stress our already overworked pancreas into producing more insulin, the extra work our lungs, heart, liver, intestines and kidneys need to go through just to keep up is astonishing.
Physical activity lessens the risks of developing insulin resistance. Getting 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week provides fantastic benefits for your health.
Not sure where to find the time to get 30 minutes of exercise? I gave up watching the evening news to devote to doing my 30 minutes. I know a woman who bought a dog just so that she would have a reason to go for a twice daily 15 minute walk. Find a reason to get active.
Sugary foods did not, in all likelihood, cause you to develop Type 2 diabetes; these sugary foods may have contributed to you getting type 2 diabetes. More likely, you are genetically predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes and there is not a whole lot you can do about that.
So the next time someone says something to the effect that sugary foods causes type 2 diabetes, set them straight with the facts not fallacies.
Here is to your health.
Battling T2DM is a challenge. Here are some of my ideas about how we can fight back.
Battling Type 2 Diabetes
Having Type 2 Diabetes is a constant battle. 24/7/365. T2DM does not take a day off nor does it take a two-week holiday at the beautiful, sunny beach in tropical Thailand. Oh, how I wish!
Instead, T2DM tries to complicate your normal everyday existence through increased / decreased blood sugar levels (hyper / hypoglycaemia), numbness in your feet (neuropathy), blurred vision (retinopathy), increased frequency of urination (polyuria), and so, so many more.
So how do we combat this nasty, ever-present disease? The answers are simple but the execution is anything but simple as many T2DM people will attest to.
I strongly belief, and the literature supports this, that there are three major areas that all T2DM people can improve in order to help alleviate type 2 diabetic issues.
The first, and I feel, the most important is better diet and nutrition. I know that if I go and indulge my dim sum craving my blood sugar levels are going to skyrocket. I cannot be surprised with the results after loading my body with all the carbs I just ate. And I also know that if I have a piece of birthday cake, my blood sugar will rise.
I am not suggesting that you cannot eat these things. You can eat anything you want but you also cannot be alarmed by the results of your next blood sugar test after eating your food choices. You need to accept the consequences of your food-eating actions.
Eating better and more nutritious foods is not that difficult. Reduce your intake of simple carbs and replace them with complex carbs. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Lately, I have been one a beetroot kick; I love the taste and the smell of beets. Baked beets, beet and cucumber salad, beet soup, grilled beets and eggplants. You get the idea. What’s the point? I have dramatically increased the number of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily and weekly thus helping my blood sugar levels.
The second major change is adding appropriate exercise to your existing lifestyle. We all have personal exercise preferences; mine is yoga and walking. It is recommended that Type 2 diabetics get at least 1.5 hours of exercise per week; that breaks down to 30 minutes per day for 5 days. Not that much when you really think about it.
My wife and I go walking along the river for 30 minutes twice a week. I do yoga at least twice a week for 30 minutes and do core strengthening exercises 2-3 times a week for 15-20 minutes each time.
When do I make time for this? Walking happens on my days off from work when we can both relax and enjoy the scenery and each others company better. During the week, I get most of my exercise done in the morning before work; I seem to have more energy all day long after working out in the morning.
There are ample research studies that describes in detail the benefits regular exercise can accomplish (for everybody) not just diabetics. In my opinion, diabetics need a little stronger push towards exercise than the non-diabetic. Again, the literature tells us that most diabetics are more sedentary than the average person; so that push towards exercise needs to be stronger to get that non-moving body into movement.
The third major change, and this one causes me the most challenges, is acceptance of having Type 2 Diabetes. I have T2DM; T2DM does not have me. My life does not revolve around my T2DM. Sure, T2DM is another shadow that follows me around wherever I happen to be but it does not take over my life. I have that piece of birthday cake to celebrate my nephews 9th birthday because I am a part of his universe. I accept what is going to happen to my blood sugar after eating that cake but my nephew’s happiness is more important.
I have sometimes struggled with this concept of accepting my diabetes. Some issues are easier to accept and forgive while other issues still create anxiety and tension; acceptance, for me, is still very much a work in progress.
We all deal with our T2DM in different ways. What works for me is what works for me; there is no reason why it will / should work for you. Maybe it will; then again, maybe it won’t. Who is to know until we try. I am more than willing to give some other approach a try.
Share your opinions and approaches to battling your Type 2 Diabetes.
Until next time,
My name is John and I have Type 2 Diabetes. I was diagnosed with T2DM in December 2010 while I was working in Kuwait. Seven years later, I still have occasional issues with my feet. In fact, last week I had more infected bone removed from my right foot.
At that time (2010), I lost my first toe due to microvascular complications due to T2DM. In 2011, I lost a further toe toes. In 2013, another toe was amputated. And in 2015, I lost my fifth toe.
Those were all very trying experiences for me. And the learning curve after each amputation was incredibly steep; in fact, I have had to become not only a T2DM expert for myself and my family but I have had to make myself powerfully knowledgeable about endocrinology in general, but cardiovascular disease, hypertension, pharmacology, hyper/hypoglycemia, kidney disease, retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy and many other topics of concern to T2DM sufferers.
What makes me sad is the great number of people with T2DM who have no clue about their disease and what havoc it can do to their bodies. I met an older woman who was going to have a below-the-knee amputation who had no idea what disease she suffered from nor the consequences of this disease.
What is the purpose of this blog? That is a great question. Here is my answer: I want to help educate T2DM sufferers and their families in how to better live with T2DM.
Having T2DM is a daily challenge as everyday is different. But the most important thing to remember is that T2DM does not control your life; your lifestyle controls your T2DM.
Knowledge and education about T2DM make living with this dreadful disease more comfortable and bearable. I will present information about living with T2DM from my perspective, discussions about alternative and complementary medical approaches to T2DM, complications arising because T2DM, nutrition and dieting, mental health, exercise and fitness and many other topics.
I want T2DM people and families to share their experiences and their feelings as this is a community of like-disease people looking to connect, share and hopefully, educate others with this disease.
I welcome everybody to the discussion. If you have any ideas or topics you wish to introduce, please drop me a comment.