Don’t Freak Out! 10 Things to Know If You’ve Been Diagnosed with Type 2

1. No, It Probably Isn’t a Mistake

When first diagnosed, many people find it difficult to believe. They think it must be a terrible mistake, believing that perhaps another test is needed or thinking maybe it will just go away. This is a very natural response to the shock of receiving the diagnosis. Unfortunately, it is very likely that your diagnosis is real and diabetes is here to stay. You’re now part of the very large and growing club of people with diabetes – a club, we understand, that you would prefer not to join!

 2. The Good News Is, This Isn’t Your Grandmother’s Diabetes

With 21st century technology and care, we now know you can live a long and healthy life with diabetes. The diagnosis of diabetes is NOT a death sentence. Terrible outcomes, like blindness, amputations and kidney problems, are largely preventable. Thanks to modern medicine, people developing diabetes today have an excellent chance of living long, healthy lives, free from serious complications. With good care and attention, you can be one of those people.

Here are a few things you can do right now to set yourself up for success:

Get on a Diabetes Warranty Program

Just like you take your car in for regular tune-ups, we recommend you include the following as part of your “regular health maintenance” program:

  • Have an A1C test (at least twice a year) to measure your average blood sugar levels over the previous 2-3 months
  • Get a yearly dilated eye exam from an eye specialist who is knowledgeable about diabetic eye disease
  • Get a yearly kidney function test
  • Keep a close eye on your feet, especially if you have neuropathy or a lack of sensation, and have your provider inspect them at least once a year (more if you have neuropathy).
  • Have your blood pressure checked every time you see your provider, and your cholesterol checked annually (more frequently if your levels are high).
  • See your dentist twice per year for regular cleanings and prevent tooth and gum disease by brushing and flossing every day, not just one week before you go to the dentist!

Learn all you can about diabetes…knowledge is power!

Attend one of our in-person conferences (click here for the 2018 schedule!), explore our online video library here, check out our extensive blog archives here or grab a copy of Dr. Edelman’s 5th edition of Taking Control of Your Diabetes by calling our office at 800-998-2693.

3. Diabetes Is Not Your Fault

Don’t blame yourself for developing type 2 diabetes, and don’t let anyone else blame you either. It is not caused by laziness or a lack of will power. Eating sweets didn’t do it. Type 2 diabetes is a genetic disease. And when you have these genes, certain factors – like being overweight – can trigger it. More and more people are becoming heavier and developing type 2 diabetes because most jobs now require little physical activity, life is more stressful, and too many foods tempt us that are high in calories, large in size and much too convenient. Your genes and the environment are the major culprits, but that doesn’t mean you are now helpless to protect your health. So read on!

4. Ignoring It Won’t Make It Disappear

You can’t feel diabetes when it is out of control, so you may think you don’t need to worry about it. But diabetes ignored and left unmanaged can cause damage to your body. Yes, odds are good that you can live a long, healthy life with diabetes, but only if you are working to control it now, not sometime later. So see your doctor regularly, take all of your medications, stay active, and learn more about the foods you eat. For your health, get involved in your own diabetes care.

5. Knowing Your Numbers Should be Your First Step

To manage diabetes, there are so many things you will be advised to do and change. No wonder it can feel so overwhelming. You can’t do everything at once, so where should you start? Begin by making sure the critical diabetes tests are being done and that you, not just your doctor, know the results.

After all, you can’t know what to do differently if you don’t first know how you’re doing. At the very least, find out about your blood pressure, cholesterol and A1c numbers. You need to know what your numbers mean and what you and your doctor can do to get, or keep, those numbers in a safe range.

Check out the videos below for more info:

What Should My Target Blood Pressure Be?

What’s an A1c and Why Is It Important?

What the Heck is a Lipid Panel?

Goals for each test will vary for everyone individually, and will depend on your current health and your health history, so be sure to discuss your results and your personal goals with your healthcare provider.

6. No, You Won’t Be Limited to Eating Nuts, Twigs and Birdseed!

You can still eat your favorite foods, just not all at once. Boring diets are no longer necessary and there is no need to deprive yourself. However, attention to the size of your meals is critical. You will also need to learn more about the contents of the food you typically eat (carbs, fat and calories), which foods you should eat more or less of, and how those foods affect your blood glucose and overall health.

Here are a few recipes and resources to explore:

Chef Robert Lewis, the Happy Diabetic Chef

Diabetes Daily

Diabetes Strong

Diabetes Self Management Magazine

Diabetic Foodie

7. Not Taking Your Prescribed Medications Is a Dangerous Thing to Do

From the first day of a diagnosis, most people require medications to keep diabetes in check and maintain good health. Many people worry that taking medications might be bad for their health as well as too costly. Yes, there are diabetes medications that have negative side effects, but these are typically outweighed by the positive benefits to your long-term health. To stay healthy, your goal shouldn’t be to take fewer medications, but to make sure your numbers (A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol) are in a safe range. Talk about the pros and cons of medications with your doctor, and ask about other options, especially if they are too bothersome or expensive. Then you can make an informed decision.

8. Protecting Your Heart Should Be Your First Concern

Heart disease is the major health concern for people with type 2 diabetes. Attention to lowering the risk for heart problems is the main reason why people with diabetes are living longer than ever. According to scientific studies, the most important areas to address, in order of importance, are smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol, A1c, and fitness. Talk to your doctor about your risk and what you can do.

9. Focus on Developing a Healthier Lifestyle, Not Weight Loss

Increasing your fitness and choosing healthier foods (for example, more fruits and vegetables, smaller portions, and less saturated fats) will have a bigger impact on your diabetes and heart health than losing weight. This is good news, since weight loss can be frustrating and difficult. Of course, exercising more and making smarter food choices may lead to a lower weight over time. But keep the focus on improving your health, not just improving your weight.

10. Don’t Do Diabetes Alone

Life with diabetes is just easier when you have people in your life cheering you on. Good diabetes care takes attention and effort, and you may at times feel overwhelmed, discouraged, isolated or even burned out. Your motivation can be sapped by the stresses of daily life or even problems with depression, which are common in people with diabetes. To protect yourself, make sure you identify at least one person in your life who will support you and your efforts to manage diabetes. It could be anyone: a family member, good friend, trusted healthcare professional, or support group. Also, find a doctor you really trust, can be honest with, and feel is on your side. Living well with diabetes is always easier when someone you like and respect is cheering for you.

Here are a few ways you can involve people you love, or find new friends in the DOC (diabetes online community) who totally get you:

Finding Support When You Have Diabetes Burnout

The Online Diabetes Community

With all of the information, medications and resources we have today, people with diabetes have an excellent chance of avoiding serious complications and can live a long, healthy, and happy life!

 

From the Behavioral Diabetes Institute and TCOYD

55 Comments
  1. Avatar

    Very educational. Love all the helpful information. Keep up the good work. Thank you for all of your help and support.

  2. Avatar

    Looks like a good forum/ site. I need more info on early dawn syndrome.Day numbers are easily manageable, only problem is a.m. numbers.Some Drs. don’t worry about 7.5 for an hr. And a half, others panic. Who can give me some advice.

  3. Both my maternal grandparents where diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and were on Insulin jabs.
    They didn’t have the best of diets which I assumed was the cause of it as they got older. It was a wake up call which made both of them clean up their diets. They are both no longer around but they lived to a ripe old age so it’s definitely a medical condition that can be managed.

  4. Avatar

    My husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a few years ago. Some might say that it’s a death sentence but he did a total overhaul of his unhealthy lifestyle after this. Otherwise his heavy drinking and smoking habits would have a much more adverse effect on his health than diabetes.

  5. Avatar

    All good things to live by.
    I had an accident last year that was kind of a blessing in disguise. I shattered my ankle during hurricane Irma and was incapacitated for nearly 6 months. I’ve only now begun to exercise again on the elliptical in the mornings.
    In any case, before he accident, my A1C was 10.5, and my last trip to the doctor showed it to be 5.6. (Type 2 but take insulin to control)
    I’ve largely been able to control the blood sugar by changing my diet, from a rather carb rich (Spaghetti Monday’s etc) to making homemade soups high in fiber and vegetables with only a small amount of pasta’s or rice as a complement rather than a staple. I’ve also lost 30lbs eating this way.
    I won’t say it’s not without challenges, especially after getting back to work and having bagels brought in once a week, but by bringing in food and avoiding offerings, I’ve been able to keep the blood sugar in check. So, while I didn’t really believe it before, I now know you can control this disease, and live a healthier life.

    • Avatar

      Way to go, John! Thank you for your comment and congratulations on the A1c and all the positive changes you are making!

      • Avatar

        I’m scared. I’m alone. You’re giving me hope. Thank you.

        • Avatar

          With everything else I have “wrong” with me, how can I handle this one too? I’m scared.

          • Hi Mobella,
            There are so many people who feel the way you do. Developing type 2 diabetes is just “one more damned thing” that now has to be dealt with—another chronic condition, or life stress or something. Ugh. It can feel like too much. And it can be pretty scary. The one good thing about diabetes, unlike so many other chronic illnesses, is that you actually can do something about it (thus, the name of this organization!). With good care and effort, odds are pretty good you can do well and live a long and healthy life. Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you! First step: make sure you find a good doctor or healthcare professional who can help you to put together a doable plan of action. We’re rooting for you!

        • Avatar

          Hi Mobella,
          Here is another resource for you that will hopefully ease some of your fears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x24AbWnjVa8&list=PLC0D808A1CAEFBE8B&index=64&t=10s

    • do you have to eat alot less in amounts of foods,,,my daughter was diagnosed with type 2 and she says she is always hungary,, i am trying to find out info about what you can eat, how much and also get some recipes

      • Avatar

        Hi Christine,
        We have a lot of great recipes on our blog and there are lots of wonderful food bloggers out there, but you and your daughter may want to visit with a dietitian for recommendations and advice specifically suited to her needs.

  6. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 3 years back. The main concern found was unhealthy lifestyle. I took great care after as I left drinking and smoking habits.

    Thanks for sharing such an inspirational post.

  7. Avatar

    This was very helpful. I just got diagnosed last week and I was devastated at first. However I’m so glad I was able to find out why I had not been feeling well in the last few months. I am starting to realize that this is a lifetime journey towards being healthy. I know that not all days will be good days, but I think I’m the long run I will be more healthier. My husband already had diabetes so that helped me deal with the diagnosis. I believe when we work together we both can defeat this disease, instead of letting it defeat us.

  8. Avatar

    I was diagnosed with type 2 a month ago. The doctor told me she was shocked, and I was also. Told my family we were going to be making a lot of changes, and with their support we have all been eating healthy, working out and losing some weight. I have a husband with type 1 and have always been aware of counting his carbs and not having sugar around, but kids and I would have ice cream when he wasn’t home, or eat fast food that no one should eat. Now I worry for our kids, having 2 parents with diabetes. I did feel like this diagnoses was my fault. No history of diabetes in my family. At age 46 I have some belly fat, but didn’t worry I was at risk for diabetes ever. Now my motto is nothing tastes better than healthy feels! I have more energy, as we all do. Support is very important. Friends have let me down and even family saying it’s probably a mistake or they can’t eat with me anymore. Yes, I have drastically changed my ways. I want to be around for my kids for a long time. Make your home a safe place, food wise. Cleaning out pantry and fridge, only bring in healthy options. Great low carb, sugar free items- but read labels. Veggies and lean meats. I am never hungry. Cutting out bad food initially wasn’t too hard- fear motivates you rapidly. But now not even craving bad stuff happily. Taking meds, testing blood, drinking water, and sleeping enough. It isn’t anything too difficult we just have to do it. The numbers on the glucose monitor and scale are motivational. So many great recipes online. My son who is 17 said he loves trying all the new foods! I see this lifestyle change as positive for my family. For anyone newly diagnosed you are not alone, and you can make good choices and take control of your health! My daughter and husband have people at work offering them sweets regularly. I say tell them keep it away from me!! We live in a society with garbage food everywhere. So many type 2 diabetics. We have power to change things, by not spending our money on junk/fast food. Rice, potatoes, pasta and bread aren’t your friends either. I did find whole wheat flax seed tortillas at Sam’s Club that have only 4 net carbs! I am cooking all our meals, packing lunches. Amazing what a month can do. Wish I’d gone for a checkup before being diagnosed, caught it at prediabetic. Can’t change that now. Keep at it, everyone. Take care of you and your families.

    • Avatar

      Very well said, Sharon! Thank you so much for sharing your story and for all of your great suggestions on what has worked well for you and your family!

      • Avatar

        I have no medical insurance now. Back in February of this year my old Dr told me I was prediabetic. I’m afraid to say I’m sure I have it now. My feet hurt and just not feeling well. So when is it too late to go to the Dr? I’m worried. I probably need medicine right away. I’ve already started to eat healthier and now doing portion control

        • Avatar

          I also can’t afford blood test and care for it. Any suggestions?

        • Avatar

          Hi Kim,

          First of all, good for you for taking some positive steps for your health! If you would like to check to see how your blood sugar is doing, you can purchase an inexpensive glucose meter from Walmart and test your blood sugar before and after eating. As far as medical treatment, you may want to check with your local government agency to inquire about free clinics in your area. You can also check with the ADA (diabetes.org) to see if they have a local chapter near you and can offer additional resources.

  9. Avatar

    HELPFULL WE ARE SO GREATFULL,IT WAS NOT EASY FOR MY SISTER TO ADMIT BUT THIS INFORMATION REALY HELP ME TO MAKE HER UNDERSTAND

    • Avatar

      I wake up with numb feet quite often. Is this a sign of type 2 diabetes?

      • Numbness all the time in both feet may be a sign of neuropathy which may be associated with diabetes, but if it occurs when you wake up and goes away, the answer is no.

  10. Avatar

    Good day.
    I’m having Erection Dis functional and my eyes do not see properly lately. I also sweat when I’m sleeping especially in summer. Does that mean I might be diabetic?

    • Avatar

      Our recommendation is that you see a good internist – it’s a very complicated group of symptoms.

  11. Avatar

    Just got a high glucose reading, going to the doc tomorrow but i’ve been freaking out thinking really bad stuff, sticking myself with needles, having leg amputated. But reading your piece has really calmed me down. Thank you so much, my friend….and, honestly, i do look forward to a new diet and more exercise even tho i’m 70

    • Hi Ron,
      Getting a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes and taking care of it will lead to a longer and healthier life than if you were not diagnosed. Diabetes may save your life!

  12. It’s good to know we should probably check my wife’s feet at least once per year so we can avoid neuropathy and other complications. My wife was recently diagnosed and is concerned about all the ways that it could affect her life especially since her feet already have problems. We’ll have to talk with our doctor about how to keep her body in good condition and whether he’d recommend any podiatrist that can help monitor there in particular.

  13. Avatar

    Don’t worry its not too bad here just follow this list if million things you have to do. I am told I am pre-diabetes. I’d honestly just rather admit its my time to go then to live in with a daily grind needle pricks, doctors appointments, and dried out grilled chicken. Sorry if this is a negative response in a place of positivity but its my honest feelings.

    • Oh my gosh, you are way off base! Pre-diabetes is really just a very good wake up call to improve your lifestyle, which includes regular exercise and eating a healthy diet where you can stick to your own personal and ethnic preferences. Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes may help you live a longer and healthier life. Time to party!

    • Avatar

      I feel th3 same!

    • Avatar

      I like this response. It’s realistic and how you feel. Thank you for sharing. Not everyone is a Pollyanna about this stuff.

  14. Avatar

    67 and recently diagnosed (January 16, 2020) with Type 2 Diabetes (368 count). No symptoms. New to the area and went to the doc to establish a PCP. Emptied pantry and now eating all good low carb foods; however, my numbers are all over the place. This morning was 191 – have been as low as 109. Several times out of curiosity I’ve done 3-4 readings in a row and they’re all different. Now I don’t trust the results. I even tested the new vial of test strips with control solution and they fell within range, so am very confused and discouraged. Any suggestions?

  15. Avatar

    correction – original reading 336, not 368. From 17 tests, my average to date is 179. HELP!!

    • Your blood sugar level bouncing around is totally normal. 109-191 is a pretty good range, however, an average of 179 is a little too high. Typically we try to have the average blood sugar down to 155, which equates to an A1c of about 7%. Glucose meters are known to be slightly inaccurate so it’s always important to wash and dry your hands before testing. You would love the Freestyle Libre Flash CGM, which is fairly affordable. It may be time to start a diabetes medication at a low dose in addition to your lifestyle efforts.

  16. Avatar

    Last week and my blood sugar was 132. It was not a total fast though. I am so horrified that I might be type 2. I will be going in very soon for a fasting blood sugar test and I am scared to death. Waiting for results always unhinges me.

    • If I were you, I would go buy a glucose meter (or borrow one) and check your blood sugars two hours after a large meal, and test first thing in the morning a few times. Normal is less than 100 in the morning, and less than 140 two hours after eating any meal. Please do not freak out if it’s a little bit above as these meters aren’t that accurate. You will know if you have early diabetes or not. If you are diagnosed with type 2, it may be the best thing that’s happened to you for your health, as you will start paying more attention to your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight, exercise and diet, all things that you will help you live a longer and healthier life.

  17. Avatar

    I have been on insulin for a little less than1 year. My A1c started at 14. I exercise on a regular basis by walking 2-3 time per day andI changed my diet.I visited my Dr to learn I lost 22 lbs and A1c is 8. However after all being said. I haven’t felt good lately. Had a couple of bloating issues and legs pains which scares me a great deal. Please any one felt leg pain like ThisI so what did you do.

  18. Avatar

    Article is really awesome!

  19. Avatar

    Thank you for the great reading material! I’ve been diabetic type 2 for a few years. I do well. I worry. I get fed up. I get hungry for junk. Always learning and always trying. Walking my dogs 🐕 helps me keep positive! Good luck to everyone 💓 💜 🤎🖤🤍

  20. Avatar

    I am 46 and got my normal blood done at my yearly check up. The blood work came back with a glucose level of 162 and an A1C number of 162. I looked online and thought it was just prediabetes because I’ve been pretty lazy since the virus caused me to work from home but when I saw my physician’s assistant she said I was diabetes and put me on medication. Are are my numbers that serious that I have full-blown diabetes or is it more like prediabetes. I’m devastated at the diagnosis and really worried. I want to be around for my two children and I know what I need to do and cut out. But are my numbers that bad?

    • Avatar

      Sorry A1C was 6.3

      • Do not worry. By definition you are on the cusp, but always a good time to jump on things with getting your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels under control, and getting plenty of exercise. Use this “diagnosis of early type 2″ or pre-diabetes as an opportunity to live a longer and healthier life!

  21. Avatar

    My 15 year old had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes almost two years ago. She’s overweight (BMI of 28). She loves eating white jasmine rice, rice cakes, rice milk/mylk, white breads- especially bagels, mashed potatoes made with russet potatoes and rice milk (homemade), cornflakes, Instant oat porridges, pasta made from corn, fruit juices, etc. She’s been finding it impossible to avoid these foods and has been sticking to eating them. She’s allergic to dairy, eggs, meats, fish, shellfish, and peanuts. She won’t eat hardly any vegetables (other than russet potato baked or mashed or french fries)claiming all the others “never fill her up.” Ye she can have three bowls of the white jasmine rice, an hour later three baked russet potatoes, another hour or so it’s 2-4 bagels and so on. The two times I attempted not having these foods at home she went on a hunger strike at home and at friends/other family houses would eat them there, one friend would bring her a bag of bagels to school for her since her mother worked for a bread bakery and always had extra. I’m not able to get her a dietitian/nutritionist, and the medical team can’t help much if she’s resisting anything but these foods. She’s already had several ER visits and her vision is getting reduced and her nerves are showing signs of damage.

    She cries constantly. She wants to live a long and healthy live but says “it’s too hard giving up all her favorite foods.” She also says it’s her fault and I am constantly reminding her it isn’t. I do know, that I am at fault as she’s always been overweight and has been eating these foods since she was 4. I don’t know what else to do.

    • Hello, and thank you for your detailed and honest note. As a registered dietitian/ diabetes care and education specialist and mother of 3 young adults, I empathize with your worries, fears and concerns about your daughter and her health.

      Even without diabetes in the picture, the teen years are challenging and difficult. Body changes, hormonal fluctuations and social/cultural pressures to fit in can be overwhelming. We do know that using fear of health issues typically doesn’t motivate teens to change habits and restriction of any foods can lead to rebellion and often overeating/stress eating and even being very dissociated with hunger/fullness signals and in some cases eating disorders. It is normal for adolescent girls to be very concerned with body changes at this age; also BMI must be put into context appropriately (weight is a pull of gravity; we must consider body composition such as lean body mass, hydration as well as fat tissue which increased at this age in young women).

      Also, us moms feel guilty about everything! Please don’t blame yourself either; this is not your fault. Body shape, size, environmental influences, genetics are also powerful influences. You are doing the very best you can.

      The “black and white”, “all or nothing”, “good and bad” foods culture is actually quite harmful. Eating food should be a positive, relaxing and satisfying experience for anyone, diabetes or not. Preferred, enjoyable food can fit in to a healthful eating plan. This is where meeting with a registered dietitian/diabetes educator who also works with eating disorders/disordered eating can help a great deal and restore a positive relationship with food for sustainable health, not only in the numbers and medical status but so that through life your daughter can be resilient, strong and more easily adapt to the changes we all go through.

      Reviewing her medications with her endocrinologist/primary care MD would also be important, as there may be some options that can also be supportive of both diabetes management and healthful weight. Discussing limits on screen time, sleep habits, stress management options and social media influences.

      Seeking assistance from a mental health professional can be invaluable and I have seen this in my practice do wonders for my teen and other patients. Her sadness is very important and real, and you need support as well to help her through this.

      Unfortunately weight shaming and stigma is a very strong part of our culture and health care. I see first hand the damage it does. We can meet health goals in a weight neutral way without causing more shame and guilt which is not medicine.

      I am happy to assist with contacts in your area if you would like and recommended books that address this issue from highly respected colleagues. One in particular is The Intuitive Eating Workbook for Teens by Elyse Resch MS RDN. Excellent resource. I am happy to give you more resources if you would like to contact me directly at jbaker9@gmail.com
      Thank you for your note.

      Janice Baker, MBA, RD, CDE, CNSC, BC-ADM
      Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist
      Certified Diabetes Educator
      Certified Nutrition Support Clinician
      Board Certified -Advanced Diabetes Management
      Office (858)675-3179

    • Avatar

      Hi Julia,
      Janice Baker is a wonderful dietitian and diabetes care and support specialist who has been affiliated with TCOYD for many many years. She is currently working with clients virtually through her clinic, and will soon be offering online classes and support groups if you are interested. Take good care and we hope you and your daughter find good support and assistance for what you are going through.

  22. Avatar

    I have four kids, two of which have type 2 diabetes. My oldest was diagnosed with type 2 at 8 years old and is now 19 with a BMI of 50 and her weight is centered mostly in the stomach. She just doesn’t want to stop having sodas, white potatoes, white breads sugary cereals, sugary treats mostly cookies, doughnuts, snack cakes, large cakes, cupcakes, ice cream and pies. She says because they are vegan she doesn’t need a limit. She is constantly trying to avoid taking medication and needs to be monitored to ensure she actually took them, and never exercises or gets up unless for bathroom or getting more food. My second oldest was diagnosed with type 2 at 10 years old, she is now 13 and is at a healthy weight range, on the higher end. My 13 year old drinks a whole lot of fruit juice (no added sugars), her doctors don’t seem concerned about it, as her blood sugar continues to soar rapidly. All she will consume is fruit juice and white rice, that’s it. After looking into it at least 600+ of her carbs are from fruit juice, and almost 600 in natural occurring sugars and over 2000 of her calories. She’s been to the hospital numerous times and is now on insulin along with medication. She will not drink plain water, and I have tried may alternatives to the juice and she says she doesn’t like any of them and five days ago flat out told me she won’t stop wanting them and that I had to respect that as she locks herself in her room and cries. I am not able to get a nutritional professional for them or a therapist. I’m really lost. I truly have failed my two daughters.

    • Thank you for your question. Your concerns are certainly very valid and important. As a registered dietitian/nutritionist and diabetes education specialist as well as a mother of 3, I empathize with your stress and worry about your children’s health and well-being. It’s so common to feel guilty and failure as a parent for many reasons. You deserve and need support. If there are obstacles to working directly with a dietitian with experience in diabetes and a therapist, I can recommend some resources for you that may help.

      Many registered dietitians and diabetes educators, including myself, are now providing individual medical nutrition therapy and diet counseling online which may be an option. https://www.diabeteseducator.org/living-with-diabetes is also a resource link to find diabetes programs in your area.

      As the parent and the responsible party in your family, it’s important to consider what is referred to as the “division of responsibility” when it comes to food and eating. If you are the one responsible for bringing food and beverages into your home, you are able to decide what those choices are. Many factors influence this, including budget, food access and security, cultural preferences, food storage and cooking/shopping time and skills. There is no one perfect way to eat, but a pattern of regular meals and snacks, as opposed to chaotic eating patterns, with a variety of healthful food choices, (which do not need to be complicated or costly!) which includes water or milk for most beverages will be supportive of health. “Fun food” or “play food” (as opposed to the negative term of “junk food”) can be incorporated as well in a healthful part of the diet. As we have learned over and over, restriction and food shaming often leads to overeating and a dysfunctional relationship with food.

      Household rules, which are also important for everyone’s safety and well-being, include not just what food is available to choose (as you decide what you bring into your home), but also how food is eaten. I most often recommend food be consumed in 1 or 2 areas of the home, specifically designated for eating such as a dining room and/or kitchen table, and not in front of television, computers, or in bedrooms. Eating in a distracted way is like texting while driving, which can dysregulate normal signals of fullness and true hunger.

      Two excellent resources that I highly recommend :
      https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/resources-and-links-for-the-public/

      The Intuitive Eating Workbook for Teens by Elyse Resch RDN
      https://www.amazon.com/Intuitive-Eating-Workbook-Teens-Relationship/dp/1684031443/ref=sr_1_2?crid=BPQ31E5YO8XH&dchild=1&keywords=intuitive+eating+workbook+for+teens&qid=1596212149&sprefix=intuitive+eating+work%2Caps%2C878&sr=8-2

      All of the above is much easier said than done. There are often many more influences on food and eating choices than is obvious to most healthcare providers. Your concerns do deserve further medical, nutrition and psychological support especially in this incredibly overwhelming time of isolation and health concerns for all.

      Your children are likely very interested in feeling well and being accepted, but trying to motivate by fear and shame does not work. Your adult daughter may be possibly most helped with a referral to a program or resources that work with eating disorders or disordered eating, as dieting and restricting can do further harm which can escalate problems. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ is another resource that may be helpful.

      Thank you for your question. I wish you and your family health, safety and healing.

    • We are truly sorry to hear about this, and understand how difficult this must be on the family. Ultimately medications will be needed to keep blood sugar levels in check, but it will take a combination of nutritional therapy and also potentially working with a behavioral psychologist to tease out issues around food, and how to help your kids choose healthy options. This wont be easy and will take work as there is no quick fix for this problem. It will also take a family approach to meals and selecting healthy options for the entire family. I would start with asking for a referral to a behavioral psychologist that can help in this area.

  23. Avatar

    Great post! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  24. Avatar

    I was diagnose with type 2 at 13 years old. Before the diagnosis I would have 6 cans of mountain dew and 4 cans of pepsi. For food it was a box of donuts 2x a week, cake cupcake cookies and brownies every day and the only times i really got fruit like apples and cherries were in pies same with pumpkin and sweet potato. i had a lot of potatoes but in french fries and esp mashed potatoes with pretty much any thing I would eat. the only other vegetables my dad had at home were peas and corn. After diagnosed my dad didnt make a big deal since my mom and her family were all obese and most had type 2. he told me that I was bound and destined to get it and not much could be done and that I should just live my life the same as before. he also said well at least you are not eating animal products, so you are healthy, and would pretty much tell me not to worry about the type 2 since I was meant to have it and it would not affect me that much and to just embrace life with things that I enjoy, and he ended up getting me a box of donuts that day and made a vegan cake at home which I ended up eating both. Somethings have changed in my diet but not alot. I lost my mom at 15 because her diabetes wasnt controlled. I’m now 18, 19 in November and as I been typing this I had a 20oz bottle of sunkist and a 20oz bottle of fanta already. I still live at home, weigh 485 pounds, and have some nerve damage already, many er visits starting from age 13 to this year, and all I find myself doing most days is eating and sitting around all day until I go to bed. I dont have any other family to go to and no friends either. I cant drive but attempted a test in January and was told I was too big for any of the vehicles and some other person there also for a test had told me as I was leaving ‘you dont need to drive and to just walk to the buffet since I clearly need the exercise. I just really want to live a long life and have only the healthier foods but am finding it hard to do all by myself. my dad doesnt take me to the doctor or regular appts, only once I have another emergency. I find with my size and to top it off my autism its hard for me to talk, and cant go into an interview alone because of how sucky my social skills are & therapy sadly isnt a option since insurance doesnt cover it and its expensive. What can I do? I am just really confused and feel pretty dumb that I dont know what to do.

    • Hi Jessenia,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much during your youth including the incredible losses and difficulties you have faced. But just that you are writing us means that you are looking for hope and help. Your size is not an indicator of your value and worth. Being that you are now an adult, there are opportunities to make small, simple changes that over time will make a very big difference.

      Malnutrition can happen at any body size. This is more common than most realize. There is no perfect way of eating and many things impact our food choices and access to food.

      A few ideas to start with:

      As much as possible, hydrate with water. This helps blood sugar control and keeps your blood flowing well.

      Eating regular meals – even just a sandwich and fruit – at any meal of the day is simple and inexpensive.

      Typical exercise such as walking may be a challenge, but increasing movement throughout the day can also help you feel better and improve blood sugar control.

      If possible, limit screen time to 2 hours/day, increase listening to music, hobbies and crafts – this really does make a difference.

      For the most part, try to keep a regular sleep schedule of at least 7 to 9 hours/ night.

      If you can see a physician and ask for a referral to a registered dietitian/diabetes educator, this may be covered by insurance. Many such as myself are seeing patients virtually now, so you don’t even have to leave your home, which may make this easier.

      I work with many young people and we know you have great power and potential to make changes. Our job is not to tell you what to do, but to help you make the best choices in your reality. Our job is to respect you as a valuable and worthy person and to encourage you along the way. Please let us know if we can assist with finding a registered dietitian/diabetes educator to work with.

  25. Avatar

    I came to this site and read this article to feel better, now I just feel worse. This is horrible and terrifying and my numbers aren’t even that bad yet.

Leave a Reply