Carol Normadi is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Northern California who is co-founder of Beyond Hunger, Inc., a group dedicated to helping people overcome obsessive concerns with food. She has co-authored two books on the topic of food obsessions: "It's Not About Food: Ending Your Obsession With Food and Weight" (Putnam, 1998) and "Over It: A Teen's Guide to Getting Beyond Food and Weight" (New World Library 2001).
When doctors hand out a diagnosis of diabetes, I wish they'd give you a list of tips that can make life happier living with the illness. After my diagnosis, I felt ashamed of my diabetes, ashamed of my inability to control it with diet and exercise even though I literally worked out every single day for nine months straight. I skipped nearly all carbohydrates and didn't eat meat at the time, so all I ate was nuts, cheese, eggs, and vegetables. The doctor didn't put me on insulin right away because I was eighteen, and she wasn't sure if I had type 1 or type 2. But nothing I did was working. It was soon apparent that I was type 1 and that insulin injections were unavoidable. I had no idea that it wasn't my fault. I felt hopeless, hungry, exhausted, and alone.
Imagine if you could keep diabetes at bay for another three or four years with lifestyle changes. Would you change what you ate? Would you commit to an exercise program, maintain a food journal, and join a support group? Imagine if you could take these simple steps and save money. How quickly would you say "Sign me up"?
Being a rookie driver on the fast-paced IndyCar racing circuit is pressure enough for any 26-year-old. But for Charlie Kimball, one of four wheel men on businessman Chip Ganassi's IndyCar race team, there's the added need to manage type 1 diabetes while roaring around the track at speeds that often exceed 200 miles per hour.
It's that time of year again: flu season. I never thought much about getting a flu shot until fourteen years ago, when I ended up in the emergency room with the flu and a staggering blood sugar of over 800 mg/dL. I had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a few years before and had never discussed a sick day plan with my doctor. But during this experience, I discovered that diabetes and the flu get along about as well as a house cat and a junkyard dog.
When people are diagnosed with diabetes, things can seem pretty overwhelming. In a short time, they have to absorb a daunting amount of information and start making significant decisions about the way they live their lives.
When diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was eighteen years old, scared, and confused. Although bone thin, I was older than the usual juvenile diabetic, so the doctor didn't know if I had type 1 or type 2 diabetes. At first, the doctor gave me pills to lower my blood sugar. I avoided carbohydrates and threw myself into exercise, then watched helplessly as the numbers on my blood sugar meter continued to rise.
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