Award winning S. Epatha Merkerson, Television, film and stage actress, brings a new order to her diabetes management: Get to Your Goals Program, which encourages people with type 2 diabetes to know their A1C, set a goal and take action.
There's a lot of focus on weight loss as of late; not only in the diabetic community, but in the world in general. New ads for gyms and products claiming fast weight loss come out daily, women feel pressured to lose pregnancy weight within minutes from birthing their children, thin models are being airbrushed until they are nearly unrecognizable and diets are being undertaken without people understanding how/why/if it's really going to be effective. Some of my own friends are chronically doing near-starvation diets to shed weight. People seem to be focused on getting the fat off, but unless long term habits are improved, it's not going to stay off. It's great to fight the obesity epidemic, but we can't allow ourselves to go to the other extreme. Carrying excess weight isn't a good thing, but I think we're losing focus on the importance of health versus aesthetics.
Many people go through times when hopelessness takes them hostage. Drudgery and hardship engulf them on a daily basis. Suicidal thoughts start creeping in. The only relief they can imagine is ending their life, quickly. They feel they can no longer bear their imprisonment. Then their mind drifts to family and friends, and to the pain their suicide may cause. The question becomes, should they continue to live in pain and hopelessness? Or do they commit suicide and create unbearable pain for their loved ones?
While new cases of type 2 diabetes are rising rapidly, recent research shows that complications from the disease are on the decline. Research compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that over a 20-year period, rates of the five major complications associated with diabetes - heart attack, stroke, end-stage kidney failure, lower limb amputation and deaths from hyperglycemia - all saw drastic declines.
Endocrinologists are in a funny position when it comes to people with diabetes. We spend so much time with our diseases that we don't really need them to manage things on a daily basis, but we can't write our prescriptions on our own.
When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I recall the numerous comments that people blurted out in an attempt to make me feel better about my situation. But the truth was that I just needed to be treated like everyone else. I was in the midst of a confusing, depressing, and life-altering diagnosis. The last thing I needed was a pat on the back that felt more like a slap in the face.
When I think about my greatest diabetes-related fear, the first thing that comes to mind isn't complications. It's health benefits. It may seem funny that my fear of health problems is second to my concerns about health insurance, but without coverage my good health would be close to impossible to maintain.
An estimated 34 million Americans will be on the road during Labor Day weekend, many of them with type 2 diabetes. Road travel can interfere with blood sugar management and lead to low blood sugar, which can cause serious complications, such as loss of consciousness, if not treated quickly.
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