One disease affecting women from all walks of life
Diabetes touched me through my mother. She was diagnosed roughly three years ago, and we immediately set an action plan. Thankfully, she controlled her insulin through diet alone during the whole time. But, unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t so lucky. My mum’s diabetes led to pancreatic cancer, and she passed away in 2021 after battling the disease for six months. From a healthy & athletic person’s perspective, I could see that my mum’s many years as a coeliac were partly to blame. Most of the ingredients within these foods she ate for years contained added sugar — even more than non-gluten-free items. But it wasn’t only the processed products she ate — it’s lifestyle-based. I begged my mum to watch her nutritional intake for many years, and she only really listened after her diabetes diagnosis. She began eating breakfast later, having dinner earlier, and eliminating sugar and most carb-heavy foods. It was similar to fasting — but not quite as intense. In 12 months, she lost 14kg, and things looked up until she was diagnosed with cancer. Although this is just one situation I’m bringing to your awareness, I feel compelled to share it because it might encourage others to start a healthier lifestyle, prevent disease and perhaps a future cancer diagnosis. Something quite common in men and women today is diabetes. It can lead to all sorts of health problems. We are not all blessed with the ability to change our lifestyle and combat diabetes — but most of us can. And if that’s one thing you can do — why not take the initiative and begin today. Should you experience any of the following symptoms — see your doctor immediately.
One: Going to the bathroom more often, accompanied by thirst
If you drink a lot of water (which I recommend), constantly peeing is nothing to worry about. That insatiable thirst, accompanied by several bathroom trips, is the problem. Usually, your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through the kidneys. When you have diabetes, your blood sugar shoots up, and your kidneys struggle to bring it back in. That causes more urine to accumulate and increases your thirst because of the loss of fluids. If you have regular blood sugar, your body reabsorbs glucose that passes through the kidneys. Over time, this might weaken the kidneys — especially if it’s combined with high blood pressure.
Two: Extreme fatigue and quite possibly hunger
Our bodies convert the food we eat into glucose, which our cells use for energy. Cells need insulin to take in that glucose. When the body does not make enough insulin, those cells become insulin resistant — therefore, the glucose can’t make it inside, and we become sluggish. Typically, our bodies respond to this by increasing hunger and conserving energy. Unfortunately, this is a significant cause of weight gain, which doesn’t help diabetes. Further down the line, it can increase your chances of developing obesity.
Three: Dry and cracked mouth
All that constant peeing leaves us with less moisture protection for other things — such as our mouth and skin. That can cause itchiness due to the drying of the skin. We might also experience dehydration and cracking on the lips.
Four: It might compromise your vision
Blurred vision is not uncommon because of the changing fluid levels. In addition, the lenses in your eyes may swell up, making it harder for you to focus.
Four easy ways to set you on the right path away from diabetes:
One: Weight train will help make your cells insulin sensitive so that the food you eat is used rather than stored. Two: Eliminate all processed foods — you don’t need them, and while I might hear you over the internet growling at me, it will be the best thing you will ever do for your health. Three: Make your food — know what is going into your food, ensuring there are no chemicals or additives. Plus, you will always have an awareness of portion sizes. Four: Fasting — WARNING: If you have diabetes and are on medication, please don’t use this technique unless you speak to your doctor. I used a modified version of fasting on mum, which helped her regulate her appetite and burn body fat. As a result, she also had more energy. So, although it didn’t save her from cancer, perhaps it prolonged her life just a little longer so I could enjoy her loving company.
Whilst these symptoms may be extensive, it’s best to monitor your susceptibility. A family history of diabetes could increase your chances of developing it too. It’s something you must keep a watchful eye on. Although you may be able to bypass diabetes and other diseases with food and lifestyle changes, most people seem to make the necessary changes when the damage has already been done. This was the case for my mother. If I could go back in time and make her more aware of the internal damage she was creating, things would have been different now. Maybe she would have lived a bit longer. As much as I would love to go back and increase my awareness of diabetes, I can only use the journey I’ve travelled to help bring awareness to you and your loved ones. As women, we are busy looking after everyone else at the expense of our health. So, if you see any of these symptoms appear — go to your doctor immediately and start implementing a simple action plan. I have supplied you with some simple steps to get you going. Food and physical activity will help you rise above disease. All it takes is making a conscious decision today. I hope you make the best choice for yourself.
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