Type II

There are a lot of misconceptions about diabetes, and a lot of ignorance and misinformation.  Some people are unaware that there are two types of diabetes.  Some people are unaware of what the differences are between the two types.

Type I diabetes is when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to lower glucose levels in the blood.  This is typically a condition that a person is born with that is triggered by some illness or event.  It is an auto-immune illness.  Anyone who has this condition cannot be blamed for it.  Nothing that they did caused them to have it.  It is purely genetics.

Type II diabetes is when the pancreas produces insulin but the muscle and fat cells in the body have become resistant to it, so that the insulin no longer does the job that it is supposed to do in the body.  This is also genetic, but not purely genetic.  Certain people are predisposed to getting this type of diabetes because of their genes.  However, it is triggered when the fat cells on a person's body fill up and when the glucose levels in the blood are continually triggering insulin spikes and highs to be produced.  In other words, most (but not all) of the people with this type of diabetes have caused it by eating too many carbs and growing too fat.  It is a lifestyle-triggered disease.

Last Tuesday, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  Many people I have told have asked how I reacted to that news.  It was not a surprise.  I had suspected it for a while because I was experiencing some of the symptoms.  Just to raise awareness, some symptoms to watch for include intense thirst and hunger, frequent urination, burning sensation in the feet, tingling in the hands and feet.  Also, you may have diabetes but not experience any symptoms, so it is important to see a physician and have your blood sugar levels monitored on a regular basis.

So, how did I react?  Very optimistically.  It isn't advanced.  I don't think I've had it very long.  I am not insulin dependent, which means my pancreas still produces the insulin that I need.  I am on metformin, which is a drug that stops the liver from producing glucose, so that helps regulate my blood sugar levels.  As I understand it, I will be on that drug for some time while I diet and exercise, to increase my body's insulin sensitivity back to a normal level.  Eventually I will no longer need the metformin to keep my blood sugar at a healthy level.

I attended a class on diabetes yesterday, where they gave us resources and information to help manage diabetes.  I feel very good about the information I was given.  I have been tentatively thinking about losing weight and getting in shape, but I have just been too lazy to do so.  Now I feel like I have sufficient motivation to do it.  The desire to reverse this disease is strong enough that I will do what it takes.

I have also gone to see a chiropractor, and that is helping with my back problems.  I feel like there have been several health issues that have slowly built up over the years that I am finally taking care of.  It feels good to know that I am starting to take care of my body, rather than take it for granted.  I'm more aware of my posture, and doing exercises which will support my spine and help it to heal.

So, it is awful news to be diagnosed with diabetes, whether it's type 1 or type 2.  It is a very serious disease.  I can cause all sorts of organ problems, blindness, loss of limbs.  It is not something to take lightly.  But for me the diagnosis was a positive force for good in my personal life.  It will help me become healthier and happier because I choose to manage it.