John: 'Monitoring my numbers helps me manage'
I was diagnosed 13 years ago. I was overweight. Then I began to lose weight and was passing a lot of water. I do feel I brought diabetes on myself. My diet was terrible. I still remember the night before my diagnosis: I sat down and had two sugary doughnuts and a can of cola as a snack.
I’m managing excellently now with diet, exercise and medication. I minimise sugary and starchy food and I’m currently losing weight, which is what I want to do. Porridge every day. A fair amount of fruit. Natural fats. I like baking and still bake pastries for my family. I just eat a smaller quantity of them. I haven’t lost the love for sugary or fatty foods. It’s just my head telling me not to.
I walk two miles to work and two miles back again. It means I hit my target of 13,500 steps on my app. I am running 10Ks too (I’ve figured out a 10K route around my house). I also do a weekly military bootcamp.
My GP sent me on a diabetes awareness course where they emphasised our blood sugar targets on the HbA1c test (see page 26). I’m an accountant and perhaps it’s a geeky, bloke thing but the numbers are important for me. Following them keeps me in the zone. I monitor my HbA1c closely. I used to do Weight Watchers, I respond to that discipline.
A while back, my practice nurse gave me a good telling off when my sugars started to go up. She threatened to take me off a particularly costly drug that helped to manage my sugars if I didn’t keep my side of the bargain. That sort of message works with me.
So far I’ve had a clean MOT for all the complications but I am acting aggressively now while I am still fit and able. Currently my sugars are at pre-diabetic levels and I want to retain this plateau or even get it better.
My advice to the newly-diagnosed would be not to panic but to be proactive. Talk to your GP. Ask questions. They will help you if you show you want to tackle it.
|This article reflects the experience of the individual. It is not health information from the Men's Health Forum under the terms of the NHS England Information Standard.|
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