Welcome back! I hope my last post inspired you to take a look at your numbers and see where you fall on the blood glucose continuum. If you haven’t seen Pre-Pre-Diabetes Part 1 you can read it here.
So perhaps you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. In accordance with the standards of practice, you most likely would have been referred to a dietitian or the American Diabetes Association for dietary guidelines. And faithfully following these guidelines, including eating whole grains, lean meats, starchy vegetables and non-fat milk and yogurt will almost guarantee that you will develop diabetes.
Or perhaps you were curious, like I was, picked up a glucose monitor and tested your blood only to find that you weren’t spending as much of the day under that 85mg/dl as you would like. Remember, 126mg/dl is the diagnostic value for type 2 diabetes, 100-125mg/dl is considered pre-diabetes, but research has shown that levels below 85mg/dl correlated to the best long term health. Now what do? Research!
I started reading everything I could find on the causes and management of elevated blood glucose levels. Ironically, the massive amounts of information available in print and on line make sorting through all of it the real challenge. What I found, boiled down to two schools of thought: The entrenched, ever repeated American Diabetic Association dogma and “alternative” health sites. This dichotomy left me feeling stuck. I could play it safe and follow a standard of care, blindly, which meant ignoring so much of what I had already learned– so much of what was starting to make practical sense to me.
Or I could “go it on my own”, and take full responsibility for my health. I didn’t want to manage a disease, I wanted to be really healthy for a long time. And although this take-charge option appealed to me, I couldn’t help but feel a bit hesitant. What if I made a mistake? How would I be judged if I needed medical care at some point? The real irony being that, in my experience, people are judged less for their poor health decisions like smoking than they are for choosing a nontraditional healing path. I also wondered if I would have the energy to take control of my health and deal with family and friends who choose differently? A support system can be really critical. And on top of it all, I’d spent years as a nurse in the traditional medical system, those entrenched ideas don’t die easily! I had encouraged low-fat, low sodium diets and tried and struggled with them myself. I realized I couldn’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. I had to take the leap.
I took control of my health and haven’t looked back. I learned exactly what causes my blood sugar to rise and how to maintain consistant levels. I learned exactly what causes my body to store fat and to burn it. And most importantly, I learned that there wasn’t some secret formula out there that I could read or buy. The secret formula was unique to my body. Optimal health is not one-size-fits-all.
Discovering your own optimal health formula is the critical piece missing from so many programs. We may all start out with similar body function and chemistry, but through years of living, each of us develops our own imbalances and subsequent health issues. That’s why the Doctor-approved, best selling diet and exercise plan that works so well for your sister or your friend may not do a thing for you and may even be harmful.
Choosing differently is the only way to get a different result.
I work with three types of people: Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, who don’t want to spend the rest of their lives on medication. Those, like myself who had a suspicion that they may have something going on metabolically and people who have tried diligently to lose weight, aren’t able and somewhat fearfully wonder if something more is going on in their bodies.
If you are reading this and thinking, this all sounds so familiar! Let’s talk. You don’t have to figure this out on your own. You don’t have to end up with a diagnosis. You don’t have to spend years doing research to learn that there are other options when it comes to reclaiming your health. This is an opportunity to take charge and turn your health around. I’d love to share the journey with you.