Every diabetic (or friend of a diabetic) has heard this conversation before:
“Oh, I’m a diabetic.”
“OMG, really?! Does that mean you like, can’t eat cake and stuff?”
This answer is no, technically we can eat cake. And the thing is, why is that the biggest problem people talk about with diabetes?
If you’ve grown up with juvenile Type 1 diabetes, chances are you are used to eating the way you do—so it’s not even a huge problem. The truth is, not being able to eat certain foods or portions of foods is the least stressful of all the diabetes struggles. If it were just that, it would be a walk in the park.
Let’s go over a few things that people don’t actually talk about when it comes to diabetes.
What you Will Learn
It would be insulting to compare diabetes to cancer or any other serious chronic illness. But there’s no denying that while the day-to-day complications of diabetes are quite manageable, the long-term effects are daunting.
Consistently high sugars can result in long-term complications such as kidney failure, loss of eyesight, feet or limb amputation, liver failure, etc. I’m going to be blunt and say a couple of these are mostly drawn out dying processes, which is hard to face.
You get one bad, high sugar, and you’re like “well, there goes my feet” or “enjoy the view now, because pretty soon you won’t be able to see it”.
That might be a little irrational, but as a diabetic, sometimes you can’t help but think it.
As a diabetic, you have an arsenal of equipment; syringes, lancets, strips, glucometer, and more. For a certain percentage of diabetics, they will also be pump users.
The pump is a significant advancement for the world of diabetes—it mainly serves as a technological pancreas with the right settings.
With great progress comes—well, awkwardness, I suppose. Anyone that has worn a pump knows that it can make day-to-day activities just a little inconvenient.
Take swimming for example. The initial models of pumps were not waterproof, which meant you could never go in the water with it—and you better lock it up somewhere safe otherwise you’ve just lost thousands of dollars of equipment if it’s not covered by your insurance.
What about in the bedroom? Every other night you’re going “oh—just let me pause this striptease, I have to disconnect my pump so it’s not in the way.” Now that doesn’t kill the mood.
Or you just leave it on, and it does get in the way. Not to mention, the infusion sites taped to your skin often get torn off rolling in the sheets, or simply while sleeping.
It’s a small price to pay for a great piece of technology, and for those who have worn it for a long time, it probably doesn’t bother them most of the time. But there’s always a moment or a day here and there where you wish you didn’t have to have it.
Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas, which regulates your blood sugars. The external use of it, like any other drug, has its side effects.
The first of them is weight gain. While the direct correlation or causation between diabetes and weight gain is still heavily debated, it is known that high insulin intake makes patients more prone to gaining weight.
Some patients manipulate their insulin intake and developed diabulimia, an eating disorder where insulin is reduced to make it easier to lose weight. This is extremely detrimental to their health as it causes badly controlled sugars, which, as we mentioned above, has dire long-term effects.
Because diabetics’ bodies have a hard time turning glucose (what’s in your food) into energy, which is what natural healthy bodies should do, it’s common for diabetics to constantly find themselves hungry. I know what you’re going to say—everyone’s hungry all the time.
But this is an actual hunger. Besides the ongoing sense of lacking “filling”, hypoglycemia (low blood sugars) cause an intense, raging hunger as well.
There’s more to diabetes than just the fact that you have to control your diet. This is not to say that when someone tells you they’re diabetic, you should say “OMG, really? How do you feel about potentially losing your eyesight?” But it’s better to be aware and know the full story of what a diabetic might actually be going through, instead of what you hear on the internet.
Jose Leon is a Reiki Master Teacher and Registered Massage Therapist based in Vancouver, BC. He has over 16 years of experience as an educator and practitioner of energy healing and healthy lifestyle living. Jose currently runs Reiki sessions and classes at his own practice. Blog Link.
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