You need to exercise more and lose weight — and that includes you

Written by By Leigh Dickinson, CNN

You’d think that if a woman’s body craves sugar, she would drink a lot of sugar to combat the symptoms.

And yet, women — and some men — do the opposite. Studies suggest that some may be struggling with high blood sugar as well as insulin resistance , which is linked to type 1 diabetes .

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I can remember being very overweight at 23, weighing 150 pounds with a BMI in the ‘danger zone’ of 30 to 40. It’s when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, at 27 years old, that it started for me.

I was sleeping in my office to save money, and when I finally did go out to eat a protein shake, I ate double and double when I got home, and then an hour later I had to go to the bathroom.

Doctors told me I should have been eating healthily or using insulin, but I didn’t care because I could control what I ate, and the insulin would control my blood sugar levels.

I didn’t feel like I was poor, or lazy. I just thought everything was normal, and eating sugar was natural — I didn’t think I should worry, as the doctor was just giving me advice.

It’s when I remember walking into my 6am call in my first week as an adult nurse practitioner at New York Hospital Queens, and was looked at as if I was dumb. But I wasn’t struggling to go to the bathroom because of my diabetes.

“Bingeing” on sugary snacks has been linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes , but it seems that kind of eating just prior to insulin doses has been proven to be a good thing.

The worst pains are when you need it.”

In 2001, at the beginning of my Type 1 diabetes journey, I asked a friend to help put me on the right track. She helped me start losing weight and rehydrating through more water.

“You need to learn how to use insulin correctly,” she told me. “It’s the bad decision-making and binge eating that puts you at risk.”

And for people like me, “bingeing” on sugary snacks has been linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, even when other risk factors are taken into account.

Type 1 diabetes sufferers need one shot, and three to five injections a day in order to keep the blood sugar levels steady. The best way to control the blood sugar levels is to use insulin regularly to pump in at daily intervals, and as a last resort, to have injections two to four times a day if necessary.

Although it can take years to get out of type 1 diabetes, my type 1 diabetes has improved over the last decade. The worst pains are when you need it, and the less hard work, the better.

And because it’s been easier to use insulin in the last decade, I’ve been able to control my blood sugar levels without the use of a glucose meter, and keep my blood sugar levels in a healthy range without relying on the pumps that count and monitor my levels.

So, how do you lose weight and not become diabetic? The simple answer is that it depends on what type of diabetes you have, and what your weight is.

It doesn’t mean that all the weight loss and exercise is useless. It’s just that without the needle and pumps, losing weight is a bit more difficult.

When I was much heavier, I was overweight for more than five years at the start of my diabetes journey.

It’s kind of like having a new kidney. You don’t lose it overnight, and it takes weeks to grow. You may never get it back.

By today, I’m still not totally independent. I still need someone to feed me, and I still have to go to the bathroom. Diabetes is a drain on one’s life, and one’s brain, and blood.

But by staying positive, and by managing your diabetes in a smart way, you don’t have to worry. It’s scary, but it’s manageable, and you can go your whole life without diabetes.

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