Often Individuals are not motivated to get control of diabetes until after a major event. But you don’t have to wait for a crisis. It’s possible to take control of your healthy lifestyle habits and diabetes right now.
Why do we change our habits?
Everyone is different. Often, we wait until there is a major event or wake up call that creates a sense of urgency.
For example, I spoke to a man in his mid 40’s who had just been hospitalized for pneumonia and new-onset type 2 diabetes. His blood sugars were near 400. He was worrying about nerve damage in his feet. His big toe was discolored and sore.
He was hospitalized for 6 days and sent home on antibiotics, insulin, and metformin. His blood sugar was better, but he could not stand his medications. Metformin caused nausea, vomiting, and a terrible metallic taste in his mouth. At times, his insulin injections dropped his blood sugar so low he felt shaky, on the edge of passing out. He and is family were stressed.
He decision was clear. He was not going to live like this the rest of his life.
Create a vision of the future
This individual had already seen what diabetic can do to people. Some of his relatives experienced amputations. Others died prematurely from complications.
As he thought about them, he paused and reflected on his life prior to getting sick. For years, he worked long hours, making money, but failing to properly rest. Fast foods were his routine and he steadily gaining weight.
He imagined how different his future could be if he did something different. Anxious to getting back to work to support his wife and kids, he decided to take control of his food and lifestyle.
As his health coach, I educated him on what the research studies shows. Low -fat, whole food plant-based nutrition and lifestyle changes are scientifically proven to prevent and reverse diabetes [Ref 1]. Lifestyle medicine refers to eating and lifestyle habits that are proven to allow the body to heal itself of chronic diseases [Ref 2]
This man decided his goal was changing his eating habits and creating some work life balance. He began enjoying plenty of fruits and vegetables and getting more rest. Remarkably, his nutrition and lifestyle changes allowed him to recover fully from diabetes. He reached a normal blood sugar and came off the insulin and metformin. Furthermore, his toe completely healed, he felt like he was getting a second chance.
Deal with the root cause of the problem
Poor genetics is not the main cause of diabetes. One of the biggest mistakes is assuming your family history seals your fate. It’s possible to take control of your health, even if your family history is worrisome.
Medical research shows the Standard American Diet and lifestyle (SAD) causes weight and chronic diseases like diabetes. Animal products and processed foods are high-fat, low-nutrient foods, which cause insulin resistance. This means the body does not respond properly to the insulin hormone.
Other major factors include:
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Poor sleep
Do more than “control” your blood sugar
For people with type 2 diabetes, medication stabilizes the crises and controls the blood sugar to a certain extent, but it’s not the best long-term solution. Medicine artificially lowers the blood sugar without addressing the root cause of chronic disease—your food and lifestyle habits [Ref 3].
The good news is there is no need to wait for a major event. Start today by create a vision of your likely future that inspires you to change now. Realize that you have the power to adopt eating and lifestyle habits that turn your life around.
Success Story Disclaimer: Individual results may vary. Past performances do not guarantee future results. Exact results and experiences will be unique to each individual.
Ref 1. Trapp CB, Barnard ND. Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes. Curr Diab Rep 2010 Apr;10(2):152-8.
Ref 2. G. J Egger. A F Binns, S.R. Rossner. The emergence of lifestyle medicine as a structured approach for management of chronic disease. Med J Aust. 2009; 190(3):143-145.
Ref 3. Hyman MA, Ornish D, Roizen M. Lifestyle medicine: Treating the causes of disease. Altern Ther Health Med 2009; 15(6):12-14.
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
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