July 4, 2013

Where Will You Learn About Diabetes?

Part 1 of 2 parts

This is the topic for this blog. Where will you learn about diabetes?

This is not an easy topic as there is too much poor information on the internet. I will cover what I consider good to excellent information and cover some areas that people may not agree with me. Note: I am not a follower of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), or now the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) because of some of the activities and levels of diabetes care they advocate. Too me they are allowing too much margin for harm in the guidelines they promote. I do cover them in some blogs, just because I feel it is necessary and to glean the good information that happens to appear from time to time. Plus, it is important to know some of what they do and what everyone is following because they set the official guidelines that doctors are supposed to follow, although I have found a few that do not adhere to them 100 percent.

Granted, I have my own biases and have my own agenda and you will know where so I will not try to deceive you or hide this from you. I do attempt to present both sides allowing you then to decide for yourself which direction or information you want to follow.

I will start with this blog that I wrote early on and it still has value for me. It is a list of books in my library and should be good reading for everyone. There are some other excellent books not on my list. When people like David Mendosa review them, I quite often add them to my library. There are some excellent books available, but there is also a multitude of mediocre and poor books.

Some of the poorest books aimed at people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are books with the term diabetic in the title. Many are diabetic cookbooks and these are a very poor investment and I don't care who they are published by. The recipes are often very poor and loaded with high levels of carbohydrates. In addition many of the recipes are not common foods you and I would eat and a few have very difficult to find ingredients. I know because I purchased four of these and could not use them. They ended up in the landfill.

Internet sources are often difficult to distinguish as being great, good, fair, or poor. And then there are too many that are trash and promoting snake oil. Presently there is not a cure for diabetes. Even though there are many people that are able to avoid medications or get off of medications and live a healthy life, if they go back to prior bad habits and don't take care of themselves, type 2 diabetes will return. It is amazing the numbers of these people there are and they will attempt to convince you they are cured. I am happy they are able to manage their diabetes with a healthy meal plan and exercise, but they are not cured.

Before I continue with internet sources of information, there is another topic that needs to be covered.  I really believe this and at almost 10 full years with diabetes, they have helped me even more. They are five things that apply immediately after diagnosis, but I have found they apply later as well. I am adding a sixth item as it has helped me with the other five and especially in the battle with depression and diabetes burnout.

Develop and keep a positive attitude. This is a key for me and helped me through several minor depression periods and especially the burnout last year.

Forget about the past. This can be invaluable when diagnosed. Hanging onto the past or trying to base what you do now on the past, will normally cause problems for you. A diagnosis of diabetes requires learning new skills and starting new habits that will foster excellent diabetes management. Plus, the past can't be changed.

Be careful to not over do things and stay away from extreme changes. This is sage advice although many people do need to lose weight. It is wiser to carefully plan for this and then implement a weight loss program. Doing this will help prevent the period of discouragement when you hit the weight loss plateau and have to make adjustments to restart losing weight. This also applies to other changes like exercise. It is better to consult your doctor and make sure there are no medical reasons that will stop an exercise regimen.

Realize that it is not your fault. Yes, there many variables and as to which triggered the onset of diabetes may be impossible to determine. Genetics could be the only reason, yet there could always be other factors that you had no control over. So stop kicking yourself and learn to deal with the diabetes.

Above everything, relax and don't panic. Please relax. I know that this is not what many people do and by letting panic and stress take over, you are only making your diabetes that much more difficult to manage. Learn that stress is bad for diabetes and can make excellent management more difficult. Take time to find ways to reduce stress and know what works for you to keep it to a minimum.

Be prepared to accept different treatment options. This is an area where your doctor may have some excellent suggestions based on your recent history. Some doctors do abdicate their responsibility for whatever reason, so be prepared.

Depending on your blood glucose at diagnosis, you may want to consider starting on insulin and after getting control of your diabetes then going to oral medications and then to no medications. Or if your diabetes is caught early, starting on oral medications and then moving to no medications if possible. A lot will depend on other medical conditions and your ability to control your weight with nutrition and exercise.

Just remember that others have been down this road before you and speak from experience. These are rules that most people want to ignore for some unknown reason. Granted the diagnosis is a shock to most individuals, and this will take over for some.

Overall, 15% of people with type 2 diabetes don't take any medication (managing blood glucose levels with nutrition and exercise alone), and 57% take oral medications alone, without injecting drugs like insulin. Sixteen percent of people with type 2 diabetes take insulin only, and 12% use a combination of insulin and oral medication.

I will take up internet sites for education in the next part.

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