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A blogger recently wrote that she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after being hospitalized with an infection. She was quite surprised by the diagnosis, because she was physically active, never ate fast food and exercised 1.5 to 2 hours a day. She also said that although she was a little overweight, she wasn't obese. After receiving her diagnosis, she lost 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms).
Later, the same woman read a news article stating that by the year 2050, 1 out of 3 people in the U.S. will have type 2 diabetes. She was upset, and rightfully so, by reader comments that referred to those with type 2 diabetes as "slobs," "lazy," and "people who can't control their eating." One comment went so far as to say that they "deserve the disease."
Wow. No matter the type of diabetes, the diagnosis always comes as a shock. With it often comes guilt, self-blame, denial, depression, anxiety, fear and a sense of helplessness. I felt all of these when my two sons were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes — as their mother.
Why is type 2 diabetes one of the few diseases in the U.S. for which it's all right to blame people for getting it? Lifestyle plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, but so do genes. One person might be overweight, able to eat whatever he or she wants, never exercise and yet still not get diabetes, while another person who isn't overweight, eats a healthy diet and exercises does get type 2 diabetes.
As William Polonsky, PhD — author of several diabetes books — says, "You didn't do anything wrong. Having diabetes doesn't mean you're a bad person. It means your body isn't functioning right."
An important thing to remember about having type 2 diabetes is that it's a manageable disease. It's within your ability to turn it around and minimize risk of developing complications.
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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The people who use the blame game are stupid. I have type II diabetes because of my gene in the family. I am perfect in weight and height, exercise regularly, eat right. Check my blood 4 times a day, average reading of 130 and yet my A1C reads 7.5 which suggest and average of 165. I have asked over 6 DR. and they have no explanation.
Thank you! Our local paper carried an article that continued the myth of "we should have done better in eating, exercise, ect." I was pretty upset enough to respond to the article in an editorial in hopes of educating those who still think diabetes is a blame game.
The blame game is precisely why I have kept my diabetes diagnosis a private matter. My health care providers and my family know, of course, but that is it, and that is how I intend to keep it. Society blames people for a huge variety of health issues -- a heart attack because of life style, diabetes because of weight, and even accidents from carelessness! Shame on those people, particularly those who state the blame. Perhaps they are afraid and trying to avoid every untoward health issue, but blaming others is hateful.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH DIABETES.
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how long does it take to develope diabetic neuropathy with diabetes II
Thank you for this balanced and compassionate piece.
Now, can you please fix the wrong information in the page on 'diabetic diet' in the 'in-depth' section? I am talking about this sentence:
"When you eat excess calories and fat, your body responds by creating an undesirable rise in blood glucose."
This is totally wrong. Fat has little or no impact on blood glucose. It is carbohydrate that has the greatest impact on blood glucose, therefore to prevent BG spikes, the best solution is a low-carb diet.
There is no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' carbohydrate. All carbohydrates raise blood glucose and make blood glucose management more difficult.
Fat is unnecessarily demonized. But fat is not the enemy. It is carbs that are problematic for diabetics, not fats!
Suppose someone has a genetic predisposition for glucose/insulin intolerance. Over time the pancreas must produce more and more insulin to achieve the same effect. Insulin causes fat to be deposited so the body can burn the excess glucose from the bloodstream. In other words the early stages of diabetes makes people fat, not the other way around. The coincidence of lowering carbohydrate intake often helping with both issues has hidden this fact from public perception.
Gram: You are to be commended for achieving an A1c of 6.1%. You state that you have "lost the battle". This is not true. Diabetes is a progressive disease and many people get to the point where they need insulin to maintain control of their blood sugar. Being on insulin does not make you a failure; it is another treatment to manager your blood sugar. Keep up the good work!
At 52 I was losing my eye sight, felt awful for years and was dianosed with diabetes with an A1C of 13.8. I had been on Atkins/South Beach low carb diets for years and I believe it was hiding my advancing diabetes problem. I was over weight even after a 38lb loss, due to the high blood sugar. It should have come as no surprise to my doctors, my mother, grand father, great grand father and great grand mother all had diabetes and lost limbs and other complication. And I had 3 babies all over 9 lbs at birth and had gestational diabetes. Like most people I lost wieght, changed my eating and eventually had a 6.1 A1C, but over the last 2 years even as I continue to lose lbs and eliminate carbohydrates (less than75g per day) I have lost the battle and now like my mom and most of her relatives I need insulin too. But I still battle with my weight and read up on every bit of information/helpful advice I can find...as I just recently was able to finally attribute the waves of nausea I have after eating to a possible wheat allergy, one more thing to eliminate from my diet, but I feel better. I also suffer from GERD and was not sure if maybe all the meds made me so ill. I seem to have a problem getting my doctors to listen to me, as I am fat, they tend to attribute all my ills to that. GRRRR. My bigest fear is that my mother doubled her size when she started insulin and the doctors have made many mistakes along the way, and the same will happen to me.
..."type 2 diabetes is that it's a manageable disease. It's within your ability to turn it around and minimize risk of developing complications. "
If this is so, why do some who have been doing everything right (eat healthy and exercise daily, religiously) ends up with type II diabetes? Something is terribly wrong and no one has been able to answer this question. Vascular specialists are the doctors that most should be seeing when there are concerns relating to walking (possibly other limbs) and yes, brain matters (hallucinations). You see, the brain is affected once there is a major break down with the vascular circulation of blood. This is a fatal complication caused by diabetes. Believe it, it goes unchecked by almost every specialists that have training in podiatry and neurology. What does that say about the education medical doctors are receiving? Even among so called Ivy league educated doctors, they are missing the tell tale signs. So, blame is misdirected to patients and not doctors. When you are visiting a doctor's office you except medical referrals when the attending doctor is unclear. Once society brings doctors down from a pedestal and treat them as weather forecasters, the diligence require for sound diagnosis may improve. If you suspect any faultiness with walking or people are questioning your accounts of daily events (not enough blood flowing to the brain), do see a vascular specialist. They most likely can restore blood flow if it is not too lat
Thank you for your post....I have a dear friend who is 5 feet tall and weighs less than 90 pounds. She has terrible Type II diabetes - her blood sugar often peaking in the 400 range. I am 60 y/o, overweight and am taking steps now to avoid developing the same disease
I, too am tired of being thought of as weak, slovenly and lazy.
We need greater public education on this illness, not more judgment.
Thank you for your post. I have a friend who has expressed extreme frustration because she feels she is blamed for her Type I diagnosis. She is 5'3 and 110 pounds and jogs 3 miles a day and eats healthy. People tend to think she is somehow at fault for this terrible diagnosis. We need more avoid the blame posts. Thanks, Jana www.adoctorandanurse.com
I find the 'guilt' associated with Type 2 one of the hardest things to deal with. I spent years sitting behind a desk working overtime in a community oriented high stress job - always putting others before myself and own family. Now I feel guilty because if I say I am Type 2 people look at me as though it is my fault. I lost about 20 pounds after retiring and exercise hard but the weight is creeping back on and it is very disheartening.
I am type 1 which is an autoimmune disease. Type 2 is not. I think my husband has type 2 or is a pre diabetic. His fasting bg is 125 or higher and his A1c is higher than mine. He will not eat what I do.
Hello I'm a new diabetic. Type 2 I guess my body doesn't produce insulin that works. I take oral meds and insulin twice a day. I'm also very open about my condition mainly to inform others around me. Inform them about me and low blood sugar and maybe they won't experience what I had and have togo through everyday and the rest of my life. Sounds like the guy needs to realize that most people who take thier condition seriously is probably more fit than this person. If he approaches the wrong diabetic he may get put in his place. Diabetics that don't know they are, have no energy to workout or work as hard. Your body function just aren't normal. It's funny I've always watched what I ate, did physical activity 7 days a week and still gained weight before I learned of my condition. Now that I'm on medication it has been easy to get down to size. Most people have no real knowledge of the effect of the diabetes in your everyday lives. To be honest I thought I was just getting old. To my surprise diabetes had a negative effect on a lot of different parts of my life. Its a sad day that people like the one that wrote this article and others are so ignorate to the different experience and effects of the diabetes and is allowed to have articles that are offensive and degrating even published. More power to diabetics and thier issues. God bless.
My husband's thyroid gave up in his early thirties with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. No one blamed him for that disease. When he turned 50, he developed Type 2 diabetes - and the blame game started. Despite keeping a low weight, exercising, minimal medication, his pancreas gave out and he ended up on insulin. How was that "his fault"? Autoimmune disorders run in his family, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thyroiditis, Diabetes - genes play a huge role and people need to keep that in mind.
Right you are. There should be no blame just telling people risks and telling them how to avoid those risks. We live is a very finger pointing type of society but couch potatoes should not be looked at like they are trying to get sick.
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