So you have the Diabetes.
Well hello there little partner, I see you’ve gone and got yourself a little bit of the Big D.
Are you confused about what that does and what it all means? Well buckle up, small friend, cause have I got the educational tour for YOU!
Let’s talk about Type 2 first.
She’s still a D, but she’s not necessarily the worst kind to have. Type 2 has frequently been referred to as the ‘adult onset’ diabetes and in more current (and cruel) trends the ‘fat people disease’. Yes. People can be mean. Especially when they only have about a quarter clue about anything.
The sad truth is, however, that about 90% of people (which now increasingly includes kids and teens) with the Type 2 Diabetes ARE overweight and sedentary. The happier truth is that it generally does not require insulin injections for its management, and pills are enough. That’s because your pancreas haven’t fully lost their mind and are still producing insulin, it just needs a little help managing and processing that magical hormone.
And why is Insulin important? Because. It’s magic. True story. Seriously, insulin is what allows your body to break down blood sugar (not just ‘chocolate’ sugar, food sugar; all food is broken down into some kind, caliber or quantity of sugar. ALL food. ALL.) It’s how your body manages energy levels, metabolism, weight loss/gain and a buncha other stuff. It’s a pretty big deal, and most people make this magic without blinking.
You, little buddy, if what you really have is Type 2, are still on this insulin-production train. You’re hanging on to the last wagon, bumping belly first down the tracks, but you’re on it! Your body is still making insulin! And while it’s not promised to all Type 2ers- some have had success ‘reversing’ the signs of Diabetes with diet and weight management. Either way, you’re definitely going to have to change how you eat and how you view activity and fitness, EVEN IF YOU’RE ALREADY THIN. Your body is trying to let you know that right now, you and Carbs are just two different people, wanting two different things, and it might be time to cool things off. You might want to listen.
Cheer up though. For you, at least there are no needles and THAT’s good news!
Oh dear…what’s that you say? You DO need needles? Then, my friend, you appear to have fetched down a case of the ole Type 1.
Type 1 is a very different kind of Diabetes, and it can indeed be a bit of a doozy. Because, you see, while Type 2 still manufactures its own insulin (befuddled and mismanaged as it may be) Type 1 does not. The only insulin a Type 1 has is whatever gets in through the sharp, unforgiving point of a needle. I know. Fun, right?
What’s that? How does Type 1 happen? Well The Science is still not quite sure how any of the Ds happen, but best as they reckon it’s like this:
Type 1 diabetes (also known as insulin-dependent diabetes) is coded into your system. Then it just lurks in your genes until it’s activated like some B-movie monster, by some virus or other environmental factor.
THEN the fun stuff really kicks off: D-Zilla rampages through your body causing your own immune system to go crazy and start killing off its OWN insulin production cells. When the dust settles, what we’re left with is a very sad pancreas who can no longer make lovely insulin, or even regulate it very well. It’s like scoring a winning goal, but an own goal. In the final match. At the World Cup. People die for that stuff. And left untreated, Diabetes can kill and this is especially true of Type 1.
So we inject insulin, because, as you now know: insulin is magic.
Seriously, insulin’s a pretty big deal, and while most people make this magic without blinking (even Type 2s), we have to very carefully counteract our food with our dosages. Too little, hello sugar spike uselessness. Too much, hello sugar crash coma. So we count carbs and inject, every meal, all day long.
The thing is, friend, Type 1 can frequently get diagnosed as Type 2 at first, as your body can still manufacture some level of insulin. Then as your insulin production slows then shuts down entirely, the only insulin in your body (needed to control blood glucose levels and to help manage fat storage and processing) is whatever you inject. Every single time you eat. No pills or powders. Just needles.
Ain’t it a hoot.
Listen, I know sometimes you can feel like a zoo animal, with people peering at you testing your blood sugar, and watching you inject your insulin and checking everything you eat or drink. It gets easier. Soon the sting of the needles will barely register, and carb counting will be second nature. Your body warnings will get louder, earlier, giving you more than enough time to resolve whatever needs fixing. You’ll breathe easier, smile brighter and walk stronger than you might think possible at this time.
Really, little buddy. I know it’s hard now, but one day, out of the blue sky you’ll find that you’re jes fine. And life is, of all things, sweet.