Caveat: This is a laypersons understanding of research done over the course of a few months. Please check with your medical advisor before making changes to your regimine!
It runs in my family, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when I was diagnosed -- but it was a major life event anyway. So, of course, I told everyone about it for a while.
What did surprise me was the two most prominent reactions:
“Diabetes? Oh, my God! That’s awful! You poor dear!”
“Diabetes? Yeah, so? No big deal.”
The more I studied about diabetes, the more I came to realize how accurate both reactions are.
Well managed, diabetes is an inconvenience but not much more.
Poorly managed diabetes can be a deadly illness that takes out one life system after another. Depending on how badly managed it is, death can come quickly or slowly, but often it’s grisly going.
Soon after I was diagnosed, a casual aquaintance of mine, who might have been a poster child for unmanaged diabetes, died. He had spent the previous decade or more angrily refusing to acknowledge his health problems. He lived on junk food and went on periodic "twinkie binges" in response to depression.
Over the ten years before his death, he developed heart disease, he lost the sight in both eyes and had to have one eye removed because of infection, and he lost both legs just below the knee to gangrene. Toward the end, he became the constant companion of a kidney dialysis machine.
I decided, on the day I was diagnosed, that I had no intention of living my life in that state of snowballing decay. I went out and researched every aspect of diabetes to learn as much as I could about how to control my health rather than being controlled by it.
This essay is the fruits of my labour. I hope it helps you, too. Good luck in your research.