I decided to write a blog article on my life now with diabetes. I have always been active and had a good appetite and tried to eat healthy Now that I am older and in my 50s I find it hard to keep the weight off and even harder to exercise. For the past four or five years my doctor has told me that I was pre-diabetic. I had never heard of that term before and my assumptions were that you had it or you didn’t. The definition of pre-diabetic according to the Canada Diabetes Association,
“It is estimated that more than 5.7 million have pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes refers to blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes (i.e. a fasting plasma glucose level of 7.0 mmol/L or higher). Nearly 50 per cent of those with pre-diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
It is important to know if you have pre-diabetes, because research has shown that some long-term complications associated with diabetes—such as heart disease and nerve damage—may begin during pre-diabetes”(Association C.D., 2017)
Five years later I was confirmed to be Type 2 diabetic. My blood sugar levels were 8.2. According to my doctor this is very high so she immediately put me on medication to try to help lower my blood sugar levels. I take one pill a day in the morning which is Komboglyze. The pill is large so you have to make sure you drink plenty of water to wash it down.
As well as taking this pill I have to test my blood levels every day, once a day. I am one of the luckier people who do not have to continually check their levels multiple times a day. My doctor has set some regimens for me to help me lower my levels and hopefully prevent the next step which would be having to take insulin daily.
To get a better understanding of my particular type of Diabetes the following information should help explain what each type is.
TYPE 1 DIABETES:
According to the American Diabetes Association:
“Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.”(Association, 2017)
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.”(Association, 2017)
The next step is to get your meter and strips and needles so that you can test your levels. the pharmacists have these supplies and if you are with a heath insurance or have health coverage through your work, most often there is a low or zero cost for the supplies. Because I have good coverage, I am not charged for these items, as well, I live in Canada so there may be different rules and regulations if you reside in a different country. My advise is to check your healthcare provider to find out what you qualify for.
The images below show you what the equipment looks like, and there are several different types available.
The kit includes the tester, a meter to read the tester slips and needles in the pouch. This kit is very similar to mine but mine is simpler with a dial to change the level of depth for the needle to go. My first attempt did not go well as I could not figure out how to work the reader properly. I went to the pharmacist and they showed me how to do it correctly. You have to make sure that he slips inserted into the meter are put in correctly and then a small blood drop appears in the meter so it can read the slip once you test after using the needle.After getting the hang of using the equipment it does get easier. If you have problems just go to your pharmacist, they are usually pretty good at assisting and showing you the technique. If you prefer to check around for other sources go to this web link:
I keep a diary of my tests so that I know what my levels are every day. The first two weeks I took random tests for morning, afternoon and evening. I tested before I ate and then after I ate. After two weeks my doctor advised to test in the mornings only to get an accurate test ratio. I learned something that I did not know about our sleep and the term ‘breakfast’. When you sleep your body goes into a hibernation and will ‘fast’ until you wake up. When you wake up you have to ‘break the fast’ by eating and waking up your bodily functions. So the term breakfast can be interpreted as ‘breaking the fast’.
My next article will delve further in detail about other important facts Diabetes and the differing types. I also help the link helps you to give you a good idea on how to properly test your blood. I am including links below for both the Canadian and American Diabetes Association. I will add more as I research.
Association, A. D. (2017). Type 1 Diabetes. Retrieved from American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-1/
Association, C. D. (2017). Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.ca/