When I was pregnant with my fourth child I had gestational diabetes and while it did go away after the pregnancy I was told it would likely return when I reached my forties. Unfortunately it wasn't even that long because in addition I have polycystic kidney disease and the two are rather intertwined. So I've been struggling with both since my son was 3 or 4 and he is now 11...about 7 years!! I hope my struggles will encourage and inspire you to do and be better as well! (Trust me, I KNOW it is DIFFICULT!!)
Living With Type 2 Diabetes
This page is just to share my trials and triumphs in dealing with my diabetes (in addition to other issues).
Tips to HELP with Diabetes
Eat 6 small meals a day-eating at regular times helps your body control blood glucose levels.
Limit sugars and sweets (sugar, pop, jam, honey, desserts, candies)-the more you eat the higher your sugars will be.
Limit high fat foods(fried, chips, pastries)-high fat foods may cause weight gain. A healthy weight helps with glucose control and is better for your heart.
Eat more high fibre foods (whole grains, lentils, dried beans and peas, brown rice, veggies and fruits)-may help you feel full and lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Thirsty? Drink WATER-pop and juice raise glucose levels.
Add physical activity to your life-regular activity will improve your blood glucose control.
Breakfast: 1 starch, 1 milk, 1 protein, 1 fat, tea or coffee
Lunch: 2 starch, 2 milk, 1-2 protein, 1 fat, extras
Supper: 2 starch, 2 fruit/veggie, 3 protein, 1 fat, extras
AM/PM Snack: 1 starch, OR 1 fruit/veggie, OR 1 milk
FOLLOW a BALANCED MEAL PLAN
Eat MORE veggies-high in nutrients, low in calories.
Choose starchy foods at every meal-starchy foods break down into glucose which your body needs for energy.
Include fish, lean meats, low-fat cheeses, eggs or vegetarian protein choices.
Have a glass of milk and a piece of fruit to complete your meal.
HANDY PORTION GUIDE:
Fruits/Grains and Starches: choose amount the size of your fist
Vegetables: choose as much as you can hold in both hands
Meat and Alternatives: choose an amount the size of the palm of your hand and as thick as your little finger
Fat: limit to an amount the size of the tip of your thumb
Milk and Alternatives: drink up to 8 oz. of low-fat milk with a meal
Take CARE of Your FEET!
Diabetes affects the circulation and immune systems, which impairs the body's ability to heal itself. Over time nerves become damaged and a diabetic can't feel a foot injury like a blister or cut. They can become infected and lead to serious complications.
Daily FOOT Care:
Assemble a foot care kit containing:
nail clippers, nail file, lotion, a pumice stone and a non-breakable hand mirror
- Wash feet in warm water, using mild soap. (don't soak as this can dry your skin)
- While feet are still wet use pumice stone to keep calluses under control.
- Dry feet carefully, especially between toes.
- Check feet to make sure they have no cuts, cracks, blisters etc.
- Clean cuts or scratches with mild soap and water, and cover with a dry dressing.
- Trim toenails straight across and file any sharp edges. (don't cut too short)
- Apply unperfumed lotion to heels and soles. Wipe off excess lotion. (don't put between your toes, as excessive moisture can promote infection)
- Wear fresh clean socks and well-fitting shoes every day.
DO's and DON'Ts
DO wear well-fitting shoes.
DO wear socks at night if your feet get cold.
DO elevate your feet when you sit.
DO wiggle toes and ankles around several times a day to improve blood flow.
DO exercise regularly to improve circulation.
DO inspect feet daily.
DON'T wear high heels, pointed-toe shoes, sandals (open toe or open heel) or worn-out shoes.
DON'T wear anything tight around your legs (socks or knee highs).
DON'T ever go barefoot. EVEN inside the house! Buy indoor shoes or slippers!
DON'T put hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet.
DON'T cross your legs for long periods of time.
DON'T smoke. (decreases circulation and healing and increases risk of amputation).
DON'T have pedicures by non-healthcare professionals.
WHEN TO SEE YOUR Dr.
IF you have swelling, warmth, redness or pain in your legs or feet.
IF you have corns, calluses, in-grown toenails, warts or slivers. DON'T treat by yourself.
When you see Dr. have your feet checked once a year and at every diabetic clinic visit.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!!!
- Build time for exercise into your daily routine.
- Try to be active every day.
- Walk whenever you can.
- Start slowly and gradually increase the amount of effort.
- Make family activities (swimming or skating) instead of tv or movies.
- Try NEW things. (dance, ride a bike)
- DO something you LIKE.
- Have a support network.
- Set small goals and celebrate when you reach them! (healthy rewards)
- Maintain a healthy weight.
IF you have been inactive for a long time discuss with doctor before starting exercise programs other than walking.
Make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
Wear your MedicAlert bracelet.
Listen to your body. Talk to doctor if you are short of breath or have chest pain.
Monitor sugars before, during and after to see how exercise affects your levels.
Carry LifeSavers or glucose tablets in case you have a low.
How MUCH is enough?
GOAL: at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week (spread out over 3 non-consecutive days)
IF you have been inactive a long time start SMALL...with 5 or 10 minutes per da and gradually build up to your goal.
YOU can also do multiple short exercise sessions daily like 10 minutes each time broken up through the day for the same effect.
Aerobic Exercises: brisk walking, running, swimming, dancing, hockey, skiiing
Trials and Tribulations
of MY issues with Type 2 Diabetes
Managing a meal plan is somewhat difficult because I also have gout and kidney issues which leave a very limited allowed list BUT I definitely keep trying to get it right!
I HAVE a diabetic bag I carry with me everywhere that includes LifeSavers, hand lotion, lip balm, snacks and usually a bottle of water...and of course, my insulin. (there are probably other items as well but I can't think of what else right now)
I find that I don't want sweets as often as before so giving them up isn't a big issue but i DO crave salty things ALL the time which are not good for me, my blood pressure or my kidneys!!
I struggle with drinking enough. I hurt my kidneys and exacerbate my gout issues by not staying sufficiently hydrated and I'm WORKING on that issue DAILY!
I EAT 6 times a day because it is easier. In between snacks are usually only a piece of fruit or an individual package of goldfish crackers or something similar or salad or a veggie tray.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are my most substantial meals and I try to work healthy meals into them as often as I can. Sometimes illness or exhaustion leads me to EASY choices which are not always also GOOD ones.
Every day is another NEW DAY to get it right!
The Fight of My Life
Trying to express in a positive way but sometimes the frustration gets me down.
Crunchings and Munchings
A blog where I play with recipes, menus and meal plans and try to find the perfect balance of healthy meals!
Sucks to Be ME
Obviously this is a ranting, venting blog where I hate and spew frustration or perhaps morbidly plan for death.