I have just been given the shock diagnosis of having Type 2 diabetes. It has come out of the blue and has really shocked me. I don’t know why though as I have all the risk factors. I’m overweight. I have PCOS and my diet has been pretty rubbish until recently. However, I didn’t think I had any of the symptoms. Having researched since my diagnosis I actually had most of them but didn’t associate them with diabetes.
I’ve learnt that type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by measuring a chemical in your blood called HbA1c. A level of over 48 is considered to be diabetic. Mine was 55. It has been the wake up call I needed, although I don’t think my GP is overly worried. I was told over a routine telephone consultation which was three weeks after they sent me a letter to make it. My first appointment with the diabetes nurse is a month away. The irony of it is the fact that I went to the GP for a follow up to a broken foot as I needed a GP referral to the physio. She asked to do the blood test purely because I’m obese. I am so glad that she did!
What are the symptoms?
Type 2 diabetes has a lot of different symptoms.
- Weight loss is one of them. Unfortunately I haven’t experienced that one.
- Excessive Thirst – I had this. I have days where I just can’t seem to quench my thirst no matter how much water I drink. I now know it’s linked to high blood glucose levels.
- Excessive Peeing – This was probably my biggest symptom. I knew it was bad when I couldn’t manage the journey home from work without needing the toilet (it’s less than 30 minutes). I thought I just had a weak bladder because I’ve never been able to hold it, although it had got a lot worse recently.
- Exhaustion. This was pretty bad too. I ignored it because I assumed it was linked to changing jobs. I now work a lot more hours and it is a lot more physically active. Maybe it was a combination of both but there were definitely days when I couldn’t stay awake after 8:30pm.
What can be done to control the symptoms?
Thankfully there is loads that you can do to control Type 2 diabetes. It isn’t a pretty illness and can cause some serious complications so it’s really important to get it under control. For most people the first step is diet and exercise. This is probably what I am going to be made to do because my levels aren’t drastically high. Exercise alone is one of the best ways known to lower blood glucose levels because the body needs the glucose in it for extra energy.
One thing that surprised me is that there is no such thing as a diabetes diet. It’s just healthy eating, in a way that is recommended for everybody. That has reassured me, and now I’m going to get focused on being as healthy as I can, so hopefully I can reverse my diabetes and get as healthy as possible.