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What was your first reaction when your health care provider told you that you have diabetes? Were you overwhelmed? Scared? Or, did you completely deny that you have diabetes?
An initial, and sometimes later, reaction of denial is quite common. In our work, we see many forms of denial, including statements such as:
Fear, grief and depression are other common reactions to a diabetes diagnosis. Whether your initial reaction is denial, fear, grief or depression, we hope that you're able to move forward and accept the challenge of managing diabetes. Don't let these common emotions lead you to avoid self-care or to think that the diagnosis will "go away." Diabetes is a lifelong, chronic illness that can lead to complications if left untreated!
For the sake of your health, it's important you reach the point of acceptance. Fight for your health. Set goals, make a plan and ask for help from health care professionals such as diabetes educators and registered dietitians.
Tell your friends and family how they can help, and seek the support of a diabetes support group near you. The Juvenile Diabetes Association and American Diabetes Association websites also have information about camps for children and teens with diabetes. Remember, you're not alone.
Have a good week.
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
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Ok, I suppose I'm one of those people who has a bad arse attitude to diabetes. I hate it and I'm sick of it. I want to stuff my face with pizza, chocolate and whatever because those are the types of foods that I like. I'm not in denial about having diabetes, I just detest it. I hate having to prick my fingers, I hate having to have a blood test every 3 months for the doctor to check up on what is going on inside, I hate taking medication and I absolutely despise the smart arses who work at the hospital. First thing they do is ask you to get on the scales. Oh, I didn't lose those few pounds, oh that must mean that I've been really naughty. Yeah, and so what? Am I going to die when I'm in my 60's? Maybe and so what? We all die. My brother's dead and my boyfriend is dead so my death will be just another statistic like everyone else. I appreciate everyone else's attitude about this but how about the other side of the coin. How about the fact that some of us just get fed up with this disease and it impacts on everything and that's why so many people just say, "stuff it". Who the hell likes bland food? Please don't go on about flavouring food with spices. I love chocolate and I love pizza and no I will not be giving it up even if I've got diabetes.
To Michael, how does avoiding dairy help in reducing A1c? I am just curious because I want to reverse my type 2 which I have for years but still I am managing my sugar with diet. Thank you.
Emotional psychology is a major hidden and often unspoken-of issue in most aspects of life, but especially so with eating and exercise.
So much so in fact, that not only are we in denial about our eating and exercise maladaptions, we are also in denial about our emotions and our need to talk through our emotional resistance to healthy change.
I think basically, people are proud and pride resists change. Change requires self-reflection and grieving over giving up old ways. This is hard and unwelcome for most of us. So, we turn away, and waive off all the "do-gooders" and their unpleasant uncomfortable messages.
Still, a minority realize that it is in their interest to get on board, and own the fact that change won't come easy, but it will be worth it. I am at this place now; I'm 55, overweight, and love food and cooking. Still, I am changing my ways. I've lost a modest amount of weight and hope to continue. I've changed my eating, little by little incorporating more healthy and less unhealthy food.
Now, I annoy those around me who want to continue to indulge in the old ways. I was surprised at how "conspiratorial" bad eating habits are, no one wants to eat steak and potatoes or half a box of ice cream and pie alone. It is a rough road. Much rougher than most people are willing to admit.
Why is there never any talk about REVERSING pre-diabetes? I was diagnosed with as pre-diabetic six months ago and instead of just going in for blood testing and eating the diabetic diet, I began eating a totally plant based diet. No meat, dairy (yes, even nonfat milk), diet sodas and bread. At my last fasting blood test, my HGB A-1C and 2 FBS levels were NORMAL. It is possible to reverse diabetes and pre-diabetics with a sensible vegan diet. No blood tests and no silly diets. Also, consider taking cinnamon and fish oil. They work.
I firmly believe one of the major reasons people are not as vigilant as they should be when they find out they are diabetic is because they think there is something wrong with their character. The stigma is there is a lack of discipline as well as laziness. This is what puts people in denial. Disease needs to be an external enemy. People want to fight an external enemy. They can't wait. Diabetes has to be reframed, not only as a disease that is not the fault of the person who has it, but is contributed to by the food industry who produce food that is the cause of the problem. These companies keep putting on the shelves product after product with all kinds of added sugar, that they know is bad for us as well as addictive. This is a message that must be reiterated over and over when engaging a new Type 2 diabetes patient and it not just help them forgive themselves, it will give them a cause to fight for. And above all, people want a cause to fight for.
My last 2 FBS results have been 103 and my Hgb A1C is 5.7. I am told that I am pre-diabetic. I am cutting down on carbs, increasing exercise and trying to cut down calories. I am 5'4 and weigh 134. Question: how can I include 6 oz. of wine at dinner? Is dry wine or alcohol in general considered a sugar?
I hope others read this who fit this description like I did for many years. You hit the nail on the head. I just want readers to know how much better you can feel if you do take ownership and proper steps to manage this illness. It is truly amazing how much a 30 minute walk a day does to improve your numbers. The biggest thing I want to underscore - TEST your blood glucose regularly. You may be shocked but you need to know in order to take it seriously. Thank you so much and all at Mayo responsible for all the great advice published free of charge on diabetes.
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