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  • Writer's pictureJanice Gill

Beating Type 2 Diabetes

Across the rooftops of Riga, Latvia.
Riga, Latvia from Hotel. Photo by Janice Gill.

In May of 2017, my husband and I took a short break in Riga, Latvia. I'd recently had some blood tests done, suspecting I may have type 2 diabetes.

The doctor phoned with the results while we were away to let me know my suspicions were correct. I took the photo above shortly after receiving the news from a glass-floored balcony near the top of our hotel.

The bleak weather suited my mood. I didn't know which scared me most, standing on a balcony made of glass or the thought of coping with diabetes. My Nan had died from complications caused by diabetes, and I knew some of the conditions that can result from poorly maintained blood sugar levels.

I determined to read as much as I could about living with diabetes and keeping my blood sugar level in a safe zone. Understanding the condition changed my attitude towards it, and I knew I could fight back.

Me wearing a multicoloured crochet lace cardigan, black jeans and Newrock boots.
Me modeling a cardigan I crocheted. Photo by Dave Gill

The first thing I did, was cut out as much sugar as possible in my diet. Out went chocolate, doughnuts, cakes and alcohol. I slashed the amount of carbs I was consuming and replaced them with veggies, pulses, nuts and berries.

After a week, my new eating style had a side benefit. I no longer suffered from the IBS symptoms that had plagued my daily life since I was a teenager. I now know I have SIBO, the symptoms of which are identical to IBS but which are caused by sugar. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say.

This made sticking to my sugar-free regime a whole lot easier. I lost over 2 stones in weight in about 6 months, and by the time my health check came around, my blood sugars had returned to a near-normal (very slightly elevated) level.

I also found that my visceral fat levels had markedly dropped. This is the fat that forms deep in the body and wraps around your internal organs. Losing this fat helped lower my blood pressure; with these advantages, I was never going to return to my old ways with food.

selection of fruit laid out in segments of a circle - kiwi, blueberries. white currants raspberries
Fruit Mandala by Janice Gill

I've put on some weight since my lowest of 10st 7lbs, mostly due to a more sedentary life. Before Covid, I worked with Autistic adults and with one in particular who liked to walk for miles each day. I no longer have that job, and I need to find alternative means of getting the same level of exercise. Getting out with my camera helps, but spending a lot of time writing doesn't.

After 6 years, my blood sugars are relatively stable. Some people would say I've reversed my diabetes, but I know if I return to a high-carb diet, my blood sugars will revert to a high level.

Now, with six grandchildren and another two on the way, I'm more determined than ever to keep healthy so that I can spend quality time with them and see them grow up.

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2 comentários

Alice Gerard
Alice Gerard
14 de jul. de 2023

Congratulations on your healthy diet and your weight loss. That is wonderful news, and I am so happy that you're focusing so much on your health!!!


Angel Lewis
Angel Lewis
14 de jul. de 2023

Thank you for sharing this and allowing us to celebrate this win with you.

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