Let’s hope you’re not all tired of me sharing my personal experiences, as I’m going to tell you another.

This is about my older brother who at 49 yrs has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes earlier this year.

As a child and adolescent my brother struggled with weight (having parents & grandparents who love their italian food). He never enjoyed sports and was a lover of desserts. Still to this day he would rather watch TV than be doing anything physical.

As he is an engineer, his job is often sitting at a desk, using a computer, so over the years he’s weight has risen to 130kg. With a combination of a lack of exercise, a sedentary job and poor food choices, he has developed type 2 diabetes.

He could not understand how this could have happened. Over the years his medical check ups always showed everything within the normal range, blood pressure, blood tests, etc. and I warned him that your body cannot sustain this abuse forever, but he replied “I’ll be fine”.

I thought his G.P. was very clever in how she approached the situation. She knew giving him a long list of changes in his life, that would help his condition, he would not abide by them. Instead she made him modify his life style, one step at a time so that hopefully he will stick to them.

The first step was looking at everything he drank and reading the sugar contents, as he only ever drank soft drinks, cordial or juice, never water.

The next step was cutting down his bread intake, from 6 to 2 slices of bread per day, (wholemeal, multigrain) and when he was hungry instead of snacking on toast or a bagel with spreads, have a hand full of nuts, a hard boiled egg, or a piece of cheese with apple.

With only those three changes he has lost 14kgs.

“Suprise” it worked.

Now my brother’s sugar levels have stabilised, but also with the help of oral medication.

The next step is to introduce exercising, maybe walking 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week. He feels so much better, more energy and likes the comments he receives about the weight he has lost which is encouraging him to lose more. He has been told, it can be reversed if he keeps on this path.

Studies have shown that once a person is on insulin injections, it is impossible to reverse.

So I hope my story will inspire some of you who may be like my brother and thought “I’ll be right mate” or you’ve been told your last test was on the borderline of developing diabetes, that you’ll stop and think and look at what you can change. Just start with small steps, that you will follow through with and make it a part of your lifestyle.

Try to increase physical activities, make sure it’s an activity that you enjoy doing – swimming, walking, cycling etc. make sure you include some resistant training, as muscle mass helps use up insulin in your body.

Dietary changes – look at you sugar intake daily (read food labels).

Portion control: eat small meals regularly so don’t skip meals as it will affect your blood sugar levels (1). Have a good look at your carbohydrate intake, cut down bread, pasta, rice etc (all the starchy carbs).

Diabetes can creep up on you just as the years do and it is smart to be conscious of this and prevent it taking hold.

I hope I have made you more aware of the simple changes in your life that you can achieve so you won’t become complacent with your health.

 

Lucy Corradi