I have diabetes – now what?

So you have been diagnosed with diabetes, but what comes next?

In my case it was an appointment with a diabetic nurse, who explained a load of stuff to me about the condition and whatI would need to do in order to manage it. 

Firstly, I would be starting a course of medication to try and bring my blood sugar levels down as mine were quite high when we tested it. (13 mmol – my upper limit before I have a hyper is about 13.3 – more on this later.)

Because the medicine is rather effective, I would need to ensure I ate something every 4 hours maximum, otherwise I risked my levels dropping too low and having a hypo. (Again, more on this later.)

Thirdly, cut right down on alcohol consumption. As stated in a previous post, I was drinking way too much, so although it might be a difficult process, it was a very necessary one. 

Fourth, I needed to change not only when I ate, but what I ate too. Now considering I was already vegan, this added an extra layer of complication to my dietary needs. Just FYI, it is possible to be a vegan and eat unhealthily – chips (fries,) are vegan. So are crisps, (chips,). So is coke and most fizzy drinks. So is pizza if you leave off the cheese. Certain Chinese takeaway food… You get the idea. Guess what I used to eat most of the time?

So most of that stuff has to be a very occasional treat, (I haven’t had any of that stuff since diagnosis, apart from a Diet Coke, which should be ok as it uses sweeteners.)

Also the nurse advised me to give up anything starchy – potatoes, white rice/pasta/bread. Anything deep fried, anything covered in sugar. 

Now I make sure I eat a low GI diet, starting with a decent breakfast, usually a low GI cereal with some mixed nuts (unsalted) and soy yoghurt, then a mid morning snack of more nuts or a cold pressed fruit bar, a light lunch, an afternoon snack and then a decent evening meal, again of mostly vegetables, with whole grain brown rice or lentil pasta etc. 

Also to keep hydrated I drink water throughout the day, along with some tea. 

Type 2 diabetes can be mostly or wholly managed by diet and some exercise – but always get advice from a medical professional before making large lifestyle changes. 

Take care of yourselves. 

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