Struggling with Type II Diabetes
Feb 27, 2023

James Moffitt
Core Spirit member since Feb 27, 2023
Reading time 25 min.

Dexcom receiver

If you are struggling with Type II Diabetes then you know what the image is all about. This is the receiver for my Dexcom 6 transmitter. It tells me what my blood sugar readings are every 5 minutes. When it comes to managing Type II diabetes you really need something like this device. Before I used Dexcom 6 I had to prick my finger multiple times per day. Typically I would check my blood sugar readings in the morning when I woke up (fasting) and then before each meal. While that method is better than nothing the updated readings from the Dexcom 6 device are much better. It will give you an idea of what you can or cannot eat. Depending on our health insurance the cost will be well worth it. Dexcom 6 is one of the more expensive blood sugar monitors so there is one that is more cost-effective called Free Libre.

Managing your diabetes is critical to your long-term health plan. I was in denial for several years. One of my blood sugar readings was in the 500 range. My PCP told me that I had better get that treated. So, about 2 years ago I kicked myself out of denial and had some blood work done. At that time I was pre-diabetic. Because I did not take this seriously I then became a type II Diabetic.

What happens if you do not manage your diabetes you ask. You are at risk for heart disease. Diabetes can damage the retinas in your eyes and damage your eyesight. You can lose your feet. Your kidney function can start to fail as well. As I write this my kidney function stage is 3 out of 5. Stage 5 renal failure is a life-threatening event. That means you will have to be placed on dialysis. I am currently trying to reverse these kidney readings.

Type II diabetes is not something to play around with. Changing your diet and getting more exercise are important. Visiting a nutritionist and endocrinologist will help as well. Depending on your treatment plan you may have to take an insulin shot daily and weekly. I am currently taking Levemir once per day and Ozempic once per week. Insulin helps your body to manage the sugar imbalance in your bloodstream. For whatever reason, your body can no longer process the sugar in your body.

You may not know this but sugar is addictive. You crave sugar and sugary things. My Achilles heel with regard to sugar is chocolate and banana cream pie. I know that I should not eat it period however, I still find myself craving it and eating it. Moderation is the key. Stopping eating those things you love won't happen overnight. Stopping cold turkey is going to be almost impossible for most. So, you start taking baby steps to remove sugar from your diet.

Soda pop is also one of those things I have had to moderate. I used to drink 4 to 6 sodas per day. Now I only drink (1) 12 oz can per day. Instead of drinking a soda during lunch I will take 2 to 3 sips for lunch and then cap the can and put it into the fridge or my lunch container to take home. Having zero soda is much better but if you are taking baby steps try moderation. Soda pop and sweet tea are dangerous. When I drink either one of those drinks I can watch my blood sugar go through the roof. Instead of drinking soda, I have increased how much water I consume. Drinking water is good for your body. I have increased my water consumption to around 64 oz per day. I believe you are supposed to drink 8 glasses of water per day. Coffee, beer or alcohol is not a substitute for water folks. LOL

If you start reading food labels you will be amazed at how much sugar and carbs are in food. BTW carbs convert to sugar if you do not get exercise and burn them off. My favorite exercise is walking. I can go for a walk and watch my blood sugars start to decrease. My walking goal is 6k steps per day. We already walk during our daily routine so all you have to do is consciously decide what your goal is and start making progress to reach that goal. On most days I reach that goal and more. Walking is an excellent exercise for your heart health as well. The more exercise you get the more calories you will burn.

Remember that your motto should be “Progress not perfection”. I picked up this phrase in one of the Equalizer movies with Denzel Washington. In one of the movies, he was helping a co-worker lose weight so he could lose enough weight to qualify to become a security officer. In the movie, the co-worker was encouraged to stop eating fatty potato chips. Remember, baby steps. Start reducing the things you know you should not eat. Ice cream, white rice, pasta, candy, pies, etc. Basically, if the food tastes good it is bad for you. Your nutritionist will teach you what is allowed and what is not.

Reducing your blood sugar levels will require a major shift in diet and exercise levels. Exercise is great but your diet is more important. You can work out at the gym multiple times per day but if your diet is horrible then you are defeating your goal of reducing your blood sugar. Not only will you reducing your blood sugar but you will also find yourself losing weight. A good weight loss goal is 1 lb per week. In 52 weeks you will have lost 52 lbs. At one point I was up to 388 lbs. I was miserable. I could barely keep up with my daily routine. Now I am down to 320. I have lost 2 inches in my waist. I have more energy than I ever did. My goal is to get down to around 250 so I still have some work to do.

One baby step you can take is to educate yourself on what to buy or not buy at the grocery store. It is said to stay away from the middle isles of the grocery store where the processed foods are. Stay in the outer fringes of the store where the fruits and vegetables are located. Stay away from fruit and eat more veggies. If you do not have bad food items at home you won't be tempted to eat them.

The bottom line is that with some help you can do this. I am 61 years old so I am no spring chicken. You do not have to do this alone. There are support groups both online and offline that can help you in this journey. If you are married or have a significant other then talk to them and see if they will be part of that support system.

If you are struggling with diabetes what have you found that works in reducing your sugar levels? I would love to hear your success stories or struggles in the comments below.

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