Getting Diagnosed and Living With Type 2 Diabetes
Hi there. I’m a Type 2 Diabetic and I am currently in my early fifties. I was originally diagnosed with Diabetes back in 2003 and since that time I have been following my Doctor’s advice, but I have also been following a path of natural means of treatment.
Now, I don’t personally think that I’m what you would call a ‘fat man’, although my bathroom scales tell me something different. They say that at 106 kgs and 5ft 10ins tall (178 cms) I am clinically ‘Obese’ and have a BMI of around 32-ish. To look at me you’d say I have a bit of a belly (I wear size 40 inch jeans) but I’m certainly not the biggest guy around.
My initial journey with diabetes started in my early forties, when I had no real control over my diet. I would eat pies, and takeaways, sweets, and chocolate, as well drink beer and wine. You could say I was your typical bloke enjoying the lifestyle of a good income. I’m a caucasian guy with a grandparent who had diabetes, but other than there was no predisposition towards getting the disease. My father dies at 87 and my mother at 58 (she smoked too much and it got her in the end). I’m a non smoker, and I generally eat well although I’m also a terrible binge eater at times on the wrong stuff.
My initial symptoms, weren’t your typical diabetes symptoms, in that I was never overly thirsty, nor did I frequent the toilet that often to pee. But I did suffer from regular headaches, and it was only because I consulted my GP about those that a blood test confirmed I was diabetic. I had Hb1ac levels of around 6-7 from memory back then. My doctor didn’t put me on medication, bit rather told me to watch my food and what I ate and to cut back on foods that were high GI.
This commenced a journey for me which has taken me through over a decade of nutritional and physical experimentation. I have tried various natural and nutritional supplements that supposedly help control blood sugar levels. I’ve tried various dieting regimes, and I’ve also undertaken regular physical exercise regimes.
The Purpose of this Type 2 Diabetes Control Website
The purpose of this website isn’t for me to brag about what has or hasn’t worked for me on my journey. It’s more for me to share with you what I have found has some positive impact on my blood results and what I have found to be frankly non effective.
I certainly don’t advocate that whatever I take will cure me, as I’m not one that believes diabetes is curable, (at least not at this stage in medical science) however I do believe that if it has been my lifestyle that got me to where I am today, through poor eating, eating and drinking the wrong foods as well as doing little to no exercise, then I am equally confident that turning most of these areas around in my life and having some real self control can not only enhance and improve my blood sugar results, but also potentially even put this ‘blasted’ disease into remission, for a very long time (if not permanently).
If you are where I was a dozen or so years ago, and you’re looking for some hope and inspiration to beat this disease, then I would love for you to join my and share with me your own path and journey. I will be detailing what I learn about new diabetes medicinal advances, what I discover through my own personal research and self trialing what seems to work and what doesn’t. I’ll leave things entirely over to you as to whether you undertake to try some of these things yourself. At the end of the day, what works for me, may not work for you, and vice versa.
I know modern medicine is becoming inundated with people with Type 2 Diabetes, and frankly the impact on the health systems in any country around the world is going to be extremely stressed, therefore if I can help contribute and reduce the impact of this disease on us all, then it will have been a job well done.
My current Type 2 Diabetes Medication Situation
As we speak it is nearing the end of 2014. I am no longer on a diet only blood sugar control. I am currently on Metformin tablets and I average around 2500mg per day, taking it usually 3 times a day. My blood sugar control isn’t necessarily the best in that my Hba1c floats around the high 8’s. The interesting thing with this is that my HbA1c from 2010 till mid 2013 had dropped from around 10.5 to about 8.9 (These are read in percentages rather than the ‘new units’ of mmol/mol) (In the old units % this went from 92 to 73. The ideal goal is 53 max, or 7 in the old readings).
A Positive Effect from a Simple Diet Solution
Now I’m quite an analytical sort of guy and I have my theories as to why my reading were on the constant decline over that 3 year period. I also have a dieting regime that I started towards the end of 2013 that helped me to lose around 5-8 kgs over the course of about 3 months, and when I look at the Hba1c results over that period, I also noticed quite a sharp decline in the readings (from 73 to 68, or 8.9 to 8.4 in the old units) over 6 months. The interesting thing with this diet regime, is that the person who invented it was also borderline type 2 diabetic, and they cured themselves by using this eating regime, which is more of a sustainable way to eat, rather than a diet. It truly is something that can comfortably fit your lifestyle and work for anyone. More on that later, or if you want to learn more about that now, CLICK HERE.
Using a ‘Natural Medication’ That I Believe Also Helped Control my Diabetes HbA1c Levels
From 2010 till mid 2013 I had been taking a particular ‘natural medication’ for months and months during that time, and my exercise levels were off and on, so I cant really put it down to ‘working out’. My eating was also all over the place during this period, so again I cant say I was helping myself much on that front. One other thing I noticed over that period that I put down to taking that ‘natural medication’ was that my blood pressure improved so that it was usually fluctuating around the normal levels. (My Blood pressure was measured at an elevated level back in early 2011, and my GP wanted to put me on Blood pressure pills, but I refused.
They also wanted to put me on statin medications for cholesterol- but I tried that for about a week, and then took myself off them because they gave me aching joints). These days my blood pressure floats around the 120-125/75-80 sort of range.
What is that ‘natural medication’ I was taking? It was Resveratrol. Not any old resveratrol I might add. There are low dose Resveratrol supplements that I personally think have no effect. Instead I bought 500mg Resveratrol (about as strong as they get) supplement tablets from a world renown producer of them. Resveratrol is supposedly also effective at helping you live a longer life. I can honestly say that for me, Resveratrol helped me to normalise my blood pressure readings, and I also think it had a small effect over time of reducing my hba1c readings.
Diabetes Signs and Symptoms for Men
I guess I can say, I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
Type 2 Diabetes used to be known in the ‘olden days’ as either ‘non insulin’ dependent diabetes, sugar diabetes, or adult onset diabetes.
It just so happens to be the most common form of diabetes and is said to affect around 90% plus of the men that have diabetes.
The primary difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is that people with type 2 diabetes still do produce insulin, but the disease becomes prominent due to the fact that their pancreas either doesn’t produce sufficient insulin, or their bodies aren’t able to utilise the insulin they do produce, resulting in insulin sensitivity.
The resultant effect of when the insulin is not being able to fulfil its role in the body (which is to transport the sugar into the cells for energy) is that the sugar in the bloodstream effectively stays in the bloodstream, leading to the various problems associated with ‘sugary blood’. This means the blood becomes more viscous, it maintains a level of ongoing sweetness (which it attractive to bacteria, etc) and it also means the body isn’t able to find the energy levels it often needs, leading to a feeling of tiredness.
Also, because of the unusual saturation of sugar in the blood, the body’s natural coping mechanism is to try and dilute this blood, hence the feeling of thirst, or dehydration. The kidneys do their best to get rid of the sugar in the blood and call on water within the body to expel it in the form of urine, hence the regular need to pee, and this too results in a feeling of dehydration and more thirst. If permitted to continue, and severe dehydration occurs and the person is not able to drink sufficient fluids to rid the body of the excess blood sugar, there is the potential for a life threatening condition of ‘diabetic coma’ developing.
Common Symptoms Experienced by Men Who Develop Type 2 Diabetes
The common problems that are experienced by people who are either ‘undiagnosed’ diabetics, or are ‘on their way’ to developing diabetes include;
- Unexplainable tiredness, especially after having eaten
- The urge to urinate more frequently (and especially so at night)
- The feeling of unusual thirst
- Itchiness of the skin
- Ongoing pervasive headaches
- Wounds, cuts or skin conditions that take longer than expected to heal
- Blurred vision
- Tingling fingers and/or feet
These are by no means the only symptoms you may experience, and also, you don’t need to experience them all, to be diabetic. From memory, I only ever experienced the headaches, and the regular thirst. If you have any of these symptoms and you are overweight and generally don’t do any exercise, then it may be a really good idea of you go and talk to your GP or Doctor.
The long term complications of having continual ‘uncontrolled’ blood sugar levels is chronic damage to the body and the organs. Over a period of time (and this is why diabetes is considered the long term slow killer) the nerves become damaged leading to eye problems, kidney issues, poor (or lack of) circulation to the extremities like the feet and hands (even resulting in amputation eventually). Diabetics also become prone to heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, depression, and anxieties.
Who is Likely to Get Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have a target client. It is NOT selective. The typical belief that you must be overweight, hispanic, or have a history of it in your family are not the required attributes in order for you to get type 2 diabetes.
It can strike anyone, anytime. Even if you’re physically fit, slim and have no history of it in your family, you can still get diabetes. Your chances may be reduced if you fit that last description, but you are no less likely to be a candidate.
Men who are acknowledged as being at the highest risk for the disease are men who are obese or overweight. If you have the typical range of ‘lifestyle associated concerns’ such as high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low good ‘HDL’ cholesterol and high ‘LDL’ cholesterol, as well as high blood pressure, then technically you would have what is known as ‘metabolic syndrome’ meaning that unless you make dramatic changes to your lifestyle, you are a likely candidate to develop type 2 diabetes within the next couple of years. Older people also have a greater susceptibility of becoming diabetic due to the fact that the ageing process makes the body less able to tolerate sugars in the blood. In my experience of having had this disease for about 12 off years, I have seen others in their sixties and seventies, who aren’t necessarily overweight or obese develop diabetes.
There are Plenty of Health Supplements Available for the Benefit of People with Diabetes
Having Type 2 Diabetes, I am told, means that I am on a slippery slope downwards.
I am told that no matter what I do, that the Diabetes will win over in the end. If I don’t have my feet amputated due to lack of circulation and then having them go gangrenous, or I don’t become blind, or end up on kidney dialysis, or have heart issues, then I guess I could count myself as one of the lucky ones. (That’s what the health professionals tell me) They tell me that eventually I will end up on insulin, as eventually the pills will stop controlling my type 2 diabetes.
Now, I consider myself a pretty clever sort of guy, and I certainly don’t intend going down to this disease without a fight. I also know that I could be considered my own worst enemy in many respects as I don’t probably take my disease as seriously as I should. Over the past ten odd years, it seems I can manage to get control of one aspect of my life, be it either exercise, or eating, but I never seem to be able to get them both in control at the same time (for any lengthy period that is).
There were times about 7 or 8 years ago, (before I started on the Metformin) where I was a very regular Gym goer. I must have belonged to this particular Gym for about a year. I would do the requisite aerobic work for half an hour, and then I would push weights or use the machines on slowly increasing reps and weights. I must admit I felt on top of the world at that time and I certainly got stronger and lost a reasonable amount of weight, however I also realise now that my eating wasn’t right. If you asked me today, I would have to tell you that I think I carry about 15kg more than I think I should to be an optimal weight. I stopped going to the Gym for a couple of reasons, one was finances, (it was starting to eat into money when the world was going through the Financial crisis) and the other was that I was getting bored. Unfortunately I’m not the kind of person that can stick at doing the same thing forever, and so the financials, and the boredom forced me to stop, and then I became complacent, and lazy.
I have however during most of my dozen years with diabetes taken some form of supplementation, and even now when I am taking a full dose of metformin, I am still taking another 4-5 different natural supplements. Most of these supplements are aimed at improving the Hba1c, and I’m not schedules for another Hba1c until next month, so I will be interested to see whether this round of supplements has made any difference on my last Hba1c reading of 73. (I’ll keep you posted)
Also I would say right now, that besides the supplementation, neither my diet, nor my exercise are at optimal control. I still eat Ok, but also blend it with a reasonable amount of rubbish and junk food and my exercise is spasmodic. It would probably amount to 1-2 times per week, where I go a 30-50 minutes sometimes brisk walk. SO I figure, both of those areas could do with a real overhaul.
Now I guess, you’re curious as to what Supplements I’m taking (in case I’ve stumbled upon a really effective combination). I presently take the following (as well as my Metformin);
- Circumin (turmeric) tablets (for anti Inflammation)
- Co-Q-10 (Meant to be good on blood sugars)
- Resveratrol (High Strength) tablets (meant to be good for blood sugars)
- Olive leaf Extract (Research results have shown this to be effective at reducing blood sugars in a clinical trial)
- Vitatmin D tablets
I have made these above links clickable, so you can see the exact brand and strength I am taking, and you can choose to buy yourself if you wish.
Personally, I do believe the combination is working in some ways, but I generally rely on my Hba1c to tell me exactly how I’m doing.
Bitter Melon and Type 2 Diabetes
Bitter Melon also known as Bitter Gourd, Karela and Momordica charantia has been used for hundreds of years by people from the Asian countries in the knowledge that it can be useful in lowering the sugar levels in the blood stream and therefore it has been used a lot to help people with type 2 diabetes.
The availability of Bitter Melon for use a natural means of treating or helping people with type 2 diabetes is in the form of a tea, (made from the fruits or the leaves) a juice, and also pills and powder extracts. A number of clinical trials have been undertaken in recent years on laboratory animals and there is a very good good indication that administration of Bitter Gourd has positive effects on blood sugar levels, something people practicing Ayurvedic medicine have known for some time.
Insulin Resistance & Bitter Melon
In people with Type 2 diabetes, the liver, the muscle, as well as the fat tissues become generally unresponsive to insulin—they are defined as being “insulin resistant.” Trials with rats and mice that were either insulin resistant or had type 2 diabetes have shown that bitter gourd can help to either prevent or even reverse insulin resistance.
The anti-oxidative nature of Bitter Melon is also thought to play a role in reducing the impact of diabetic complications of the eye, nerves, feet, kidneys, etc.
It is thought that the reason Bitter melon consumption helps reduce blood sugar levels is because it contains a chemical that acts similarly to insulin itself.
Evidence from trial to date has been inconclusive due to various factors. Some suggest the fruit is efficient as a means of reducing blood sugar levels, whilst others remain inconclusive. It may be that it works for some people and not others. I personally haven’t taken Bitter Melon directly as fruit, or a tea, but I have taken some nutritional supplements that contain small amounts of it. I can’t say I noticed anything different after having taken it for a month or so, but then again the amounts in these supplements may have been too small to be impactive.
Bitter Gourd Side Effects
There are a few potential side effects that you need to consider or look into before taking Bitter Melon. (Best to consult your GP beforehand) These relate to pregnant women, and eating the seeds can have an adverse effect for sone people.
Regardless whether you refer to it as Momordica charantia, Bitter Melon, Karella, or Bitter Gourd, whatever you decide to call it, has found favor in Indian cultures for hundreds of years, so I believe that where there’s smoke, there’s got to be fire. Therefore if there is limited research to date to substantiate one way or another that this product works, then you’ll have to make up your own mind, or even potentially consult with an Ayurvedic Medical expert, or even a naturopath.
This is something I will probably try out myself one day. My understanding is it grows in hotter climates as a fruit, and it is described as being a strongly bitter tasting item. If you live in areas of the world where you cant get hold of the fresh (or frozen) fruits, then taking supplementation may be another option. Either way, ensure you buy from a reputable supplier that provides bio-effective products and is well within the use by dates.
Have you Been Told You’re Pre Diabetic? Or you Suspect You Might Be Someone with ‘Metabolic Syndrome’?
If your Doctor told you this, then its time to sit down and listen to his/her advice.
Trust me, this happened to me years back, probably a couple of years before I was actually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
My doctor wanted me to go and have a ‘blood glucose tolerance test’ and me being me, I put my head in the sand and ignored his advice. I carried on living my life the way I always had, eating the usual crap that I’d eat, and drinking alcohol whenever I felt like it. I guess one of my saving graces was that I was never a Coke or other type of pop fan.
Anyway, long story short, a couple of years later, I ended up going back to that doctor and thats when another blood test revealed I was indeed now a type 2 diabetic.
And being diabetic is no fun.
It’s like living your life constantly looking over your shoulder for the bogey man.
There are also many other considerations about being diabetic that people never think about. Things like, when you want Health Insurance, or Life Insurance, or Income Replacement Insurance, or Travel Insurance (in fact any insurance where your Health is a factor) – you can pretty much kiss goodbye to ever getting any of those insurances, unless you have pots of money and can afford the excessive premiums.
So what’s your situation? Why are you here reading this post? Is it too late for you to make lifestyle changes? Or Perhaps, you’ve left it too late like I did!
Maybe you’ve already been experiencing the excessive thirst, or the constant need to pee all the time. Maybe your fingers and toes suffer in the winter with getting cold or worse, perhaps they tingle or feel a little numb.
Have you been to your doctor for a blood test lately?
Or have you been putting it off like I did?
If you’re overweight (and I don’t mean just a little bit) quite a bit, and you know your athletic days are well and truly over, if your kids look at you with pity because of how much weight you’ve put on over the last few years.
If your exercise desire has got up and gone, and the only real exercise you get these days is from the car to the office in the morning, and then from the office back to the car again at night and you’ve experienced a few of the typical diabetes like symptoms, then you know this message is going out to you!
Did anyone in your family have diabetes? Are you of a race of people that is genetically predisposed to getting diabetes?
For goodness sake, do something about it!
Do you know that if they catch people with Metabolic Syndrome, or pre diabetes, and you make the appropriate lifestyle and diet changes required, that they can help you to reverse this condition and if you focus on a new lifestyle, then you can (or should be able to) live a health diabetes free life for the rest of your years. Ignore it, like I did, and you’ll end up like me, regretting you ignored the initial signs.
Go and get yourself tested NOW!
This is the Best Long Term Successful Diet Plan There is (In my Opinion)
In regards to the diet regime I have implemented since the middle of 2013 and which I have found to be;
- Effective at losing weight
- Seemingly effective at reducing Hba1c over a few months
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Easy to mix into your daily life
- Doesn’t limit you food intake (generally)
- Allows you to live a lifestyle that makes for long term sustainability of the ‘diet regime’
I discovered this ‘diet process’ one day in 2013 whilst watching a documentary on TV. It showed a Doctor in the UK Michael Mosley who had achieved all of the above whilst never really feeling like he was on a diet. In my opinion when you can do that, and lose weight and reduce blood sugar levels and yet you never feel as if you are compromising on a lifestyle too much, then that really is probably the best diet in the world.
The Fast Diet
The diet process is called the “The Fast Diet”and you can read more about this book from the previous link
Dr Michael Mosley is the Doctor and his story is amazing. He has written a book (which has now been enhanced with recipe books, etc) in association with his colleague Mimi Spencer which has literally changed my life. If your journey to date has seen you yo-yo diet with great weight loss, but no permanence in keeping it off, then by reading this page and giving it a go yourself could be the first time in your life you will be able to lose weight and keep it off. Also, if you are a type 2 diabetic (or borderline diabetic) then I would be amazed if this whole regime did not result in a positive impact on your life, like it has on mine.
Dont think this process is a walk in the park. It still requires an element of discipline, but it is the simplest and easiest process in the world, and you will actually wonder how on earth this can actually work, but believe me when I say, it does. Everyone, I’ve referred this diet to has lost weight as well, almost without trying.