Life with Diabetes
My body doesn't tolerate abuse. It demands the right food and proper exercise. I always knew this intellectually, but my body proved it to me in 1993 when I started experiencing dizzy spells and general malaise.
I suspected a blood sugar problem as my father died of complications of adult-onset diabetes. A test strip confirmed my suspicions, instantly turning black under a stream of my urine. I set up an appointment with a physician and immediately changed my eating and exercise habits -- low-starch, low fat foods coupled with a more active lifestyle. For two weeks, my urine continued to show the presence of glucose. But my changed eating and exercise habits were rewarded: I was able to bring my blood sugar level back into normal range.
Diabetes has continued to discipline my health habits. I now weigh 130 pounds compared to 180 pounds five years ago. Cholesterol as well as blood sugar levels have fallen. I take no medication. My continuing therapy includes walking and a relatively low-fat diet. I walk two to six miles a day when weather permits. I adhere to a largely meatless diet emphasizing non-starchy vegetables, fish, and occasional poultry. Rarely do I eat red meat. My major nutritional vice is red wine (which, I confess, I sometimes consume to excess), but even that is supposed to have some health benefits, researchers say.
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