And in the beginning there is shock and fear when you are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus. http://www.idf.org/israel-diabetes-association

What! I have diabetes? How did I get it? Is it hereditary? Is it a virus? So many questions that now require answers.

Does this mean I have to stay away from sugar forever? Do I have to give up all my favorite foods? Am I going to have to stab myself many times a day, for the rest of my life?

These are the first thoughts that many people think of when they hear those four little words. You have type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

Diabetes in Hebrew is called sukeret and on the English web site of the Israel Diabetic Association we can find some of the answers to these questions and many facts about diabetes. Some of the facts are scary but necessary to know. http://www.sukeret.co.il/en/enTitles.asp?info_id=26760

The Israel Diabetic Association has a symbol on many foods that are safe for diabetics to eat. A small red and white Magen David with Hebrew letters aleph, yud, lamed. In English it says Israel Diabetic Association.

The most important fact we learn is that we are not alone. The amount of people diagnosed with diabetes is mind boggling. In the United States, approximately 21 million Americans have been diagnosed and millions more are undiagnosed.

Here in Israel, almost 400,000 Israelis have diabetes and the estimated number of undiagnosed people with diabetes is 200,000. This makes a lot of people with this disease.

The truth is as opposed to many other illnesses, diabetes can be controlled. Proper nutrition, close and individualized follow-up, physical activity and an appropriate drug regiment can prevent complications and offer people with diabetes a good quality of life.

Would you believe not enough sleep will cause your blood sugar to rise? If you don’t sleep enough at night, a short nap in the afternoon is a wonderful way to catch up on some missing sleep.

When I was diagnosed some time ago, after a couple of days of moping and feeling sorry for myself, I decided diabetes was just one more thing on my plate and that I needed to take charge! I did hours of research on diabetes. I checked out the diabetic associations of the Israeli, American, Canadian and British Associations. I read and reread information on diabetes, learned about the G.I. index [glycemic index] and what symptoms I should be aware of to speak about to my doctor.

I wrote about my war with diabetes on my blog Miriam’s Words http://miriamswords.blogspot.com/2009_06_07_archive.html  and on a diabetic newsletter blog. This was excellent therapy for me.

There are many diabetic support groups both on line and through community health clinics.

The internet is full of information, just be careful to take your information from reliable sites. There are loads of ‘quacks’ out there who want to sell you everything from A to Z and promise if you take their medicine or buy their products you will be cured of diabetes.

My rule of thumb…if the advertisement or information sounds too good to be true… take it with a grain of salt.

Just remember: being diagnosed with diabetes type 2 is scary at first…..but if you follow your doctor’s instructions, it isn’t a death sentence and it doesn’t have to control you.

During the past eighteen months, I have been free of all diabetic symptoms and medication. My glucose level is excellent and my diabetes is in complete control.

If you want to chat about diabetes, drop me a note in the comment box.

Thank-you for reading my posting. Feel free to comment and please share.

Miriam

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