Diabetic at very young age - Confused
Recently I have been getting emails from many youngsters asking me many questions related diabetes, most of them are worried and confused. This reminds me about my state when I was diagnosed diabetic about 20 years back.
State of Confusion
It is very natural to get confused or worried when you get to know that you are diabetic and subsequently you will be confused with more and more questions like
I am going to be a patient rest of my life ?
Is this the end of my happy life?
How long am I going to to live from now?
Are my organs going to have problems?
I cannot eat anything sweet
What are my long term illness and so on
You may be feeling
Sugar dropping due to medication and so on
Lets get into those and I will try to share my experiences
My Initial stage – Completely Confulsed
I was put on insulin when I was diagnosed as diabetic. Before every meal I was supposed to take a shot of insulin, check my sugar level after 2 hours because most of the time my sugar level will drop then I eat more. I was told to adjust the insulin as per the results taken using the glucose meter. when I was on insulin, I used to feel hungry eat more that what I was told to because my sugar level was dropping.
I was not able to focus on work, no proper sleep because my sugar level will fall during night time and then I will eat and when I check my sugar level after 2 hours, it would be very high. This was a never ending problem.
The problem with insulin is that it makes you hungry and sometimes it drops your sugar level that you almost faint. While on Insulin I was eating more that i was told and I started gaining weight.
I was told to eat chapati instead of rice, lots of great advices all around other than my regular dietician.
This would be the situation of most of the newly diagnosed friends.
How to come out of this?
Stop Worrying / Stress
Worry or stress scretes harmones like adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone also secreted from the adrenal gland. It makes fat and muscle cells resistant to the action of insulin, and enhances the production of glucose by the liver. Under normal circumstances, cortisol counterbalances the action of insulin
It is very important to understand the status of your body. You need to understand how a specific food is impacting the blood glucose level. How much is the right quantity that your body need and so on.
Diet is very critical- Try to understand what you should eat, what is good for you, how much you should eat? Look into Glycemic Index of the food that you are eating, test more to understand how every food works on you. Low carb food, high protien and fat diet.
Check out the fruit list for diabetes
Being a south Indian my earlier breakfast would be 6 idilis or some dosa or puttu or even chapati and some curry, may be one egg. But my new normal breakfast is 4 Egg whites, 2 egg yolks, some sprouted grams, oats with some berries and almond milk. Its on rare occassions that I go for traditional breakfasts that too the quantity would be less.
Workout – Burn calories
You need to adapt to regular work outs or any type of sports. I suggest you should work out 5 days a week and rest for other days. By workout, I mean to really challenge yourself and do something. I workout at least 1 hour a day and my target is to burn 700 calories for the entire day by physical activities and I do that almost all the days.
Regular Checks and Adjusting medication
When you change your diet and have very less carbohydrates and sugar, your sugar level will drop low that you may even get into the state of hypoglycemia. It is very important that you do regular checks at home using glucometer and adjust your insulin dosages or even tablets. You may need to consult your doctor for this. Over a period of time you will be able to do it yourself.
Regular check ups and very important to understand the real status of your health. I suggest a full lipid profile every 6 months if things are normal, a repeat after 3 months if some results are bad. Get medication from a good physician or a diabetologist.
Conclusion – Deciplined Lifestyle
A deciplined lifestyle is mandatory to live a healthy diabetic life. Your new normals would be to have proper sleep, eat right food in right quantity, take your daily medications, go for regular workouts, get your lab tests done periodically and adjust your medications. Yes this would be your new normals and you would be living like a very normal healthy human being.