Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Family, friends, work, and money may be the important things for people when things are going well. Next thing you know... Life sends you a curve ball; and while these are still very important to you, they aren't the priority. Most of us have a time in our lives when our health begins to suffer. This is when you become aware of two really important things. You can’t see them immediately. You can feel it if you pay very close attention to your body. One is the way food makes you feel. The more important one for diabetics is the way medicine makes you feel.
There are so many meditations out there for type two diabetics. I really worry when I hear about the side effects. The TV commercials rattle them off really fast at the end of an ad. It makes them seem like a grocery list or a checklist of things to do. It seems normal; but it's not!
Let's take a look at a few of the ugly side effects...
There may be an increased risk of ketoacidosis. This is when your body doesn’t have insulin to process carbohydrates but needs energy. The liver starts using fat for energy. This sounds really good; but the byproduct is ketones. These ketones are acidic and mess up your body's chemistry leading to possible hospitalization and even death. Symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, frequent urination, excessive thirst, confusion, tiredness, trouble breathing, and fruity breath. If you suspect you are experiencing ketoacidosis, seek medical attention immediately.
People with severe kidney problems can’t use some of these medications. Diabetic nephropathy occurs over time when blood sugar isn't managed well. Symptoms are worsening blood pressure, fatigue, persistent itching, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, confusion, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath, increased need to urinate, protein in the urine, reduced need for insulin or diabetic medication, swelling of the feet, hands, ankles, and/or eyes. Many diabetics end up with weekly dialysis treatments due to kidney problems. Some medications dehydrate the body even more and can add a strain to the kidneys.
Genital yeast infections called candidiasis are another symptom. Yeast loves the acidity in sugar. It is logical that we suffer from yeast infections, if we have uncontrolled blood sugar. When blood sugar spikes, the yeast found in your body overgrows, especially in the vaginal area. We must not leave them untreated or we may end up with worse health problems. Mild infections can be treated with over-the-counter topical treatments or prescriptions used for 7 days. If it lasts longer, please seek medical attention.
You may become dehydrated which causes you to feel lightheaded or dizzy. Please stay well hydrated on a regular basis just to lower blood sugar levels.
You may have an allergic reaction including: rash, tenderness, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Pancreatitis is another risk. Chronic inflammation can damage pancreatic cells. The pancreas becomes unable to produce insulin and glucagon to regulate blood sugar. This is due to elevated levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in the blood. There are several possible causes of pancreatitis. A few are food choices, alcohol consumption, gallstones, a blocked bile duct, and smoking. Chronic pancreatitis can cause pain in the upper part of the abdomen. Having hypertriglyceridemia, high triglycerides, may lead to bloating, stomach cramps, flatulence, and foul-smelling stool because of difficulty digesting food. Many people may have developed pancreatogenic diabetes, type 3c, from this chronic impairment of blood sugar regulation.
Sources: "Diabetic ketoacidosis - Symptoms and Causes"
Mayo Clinic 11/11/2020
"Diabetic Nephropathy (kidney disease)"
Mayo Clinic 10/19/2021
"Can Diabetes Cause Vaginal Yeast Infections"
"The Best (and Worst) Foods for Pancreatitis Pain"
Cleveland Clinic 03/23/2020
The purpose of the warnings is not to normalize them. The drug companies are actually educating us. We really do have to pay attention. Over time, we may get used to some of these side effects and even ignore them. Please don't ignore them! Go visit your doctor, preferably an endocrinologist.
Please make sure you discuss any diabetic medications along with all the possible side effects. We really need to understand what the symptoms of the side effect might be. Make sure you remind your doctor of all the medications you are taking. A huge concern can be drug interactions between different medications.
As we age, our bodies change. We tend to make or be able to process fewer vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Regular labs ordered by your doctor to see what is going on in your body are extremely important as well! The most important thing is to pay close attention to your body every day for not just the aches and pains but also the super days. Being curious about one fantastic day's exercise, sleep, hydration, stress management, food choices, vitamin and mineral intake and medication may lead to many more!
I try to assist with food choices by providing recipe ideas to help control your blood sugar. The main ingredient in this week's recipe is a good source of fiber that helps with that. Fiber also aids in digestive health by preventing constipation and inflammatory bowel disease. The fiber also aids in weight loss, helping to scrub the intestinal walls. It promotes a feeling of fullness that can prevent eating in excess. This super vegetable has only 25 calories per cup; so, no worries if you want to enjoy another helping.
It is an excellent source of antioxidants to protect cells from free radicals and inflammation. The choline in this food may even help prevent neurological disorders like dementia and Alzheimer's. It has almost every vitamin and mineral we need. The high quantity of vitamin C may boost immune health. Cruciferous vegetables like the cauliflower in this recipe have also been shown to have cancer fighting properties. Diets high in these vegetables have also been shown to be linked with lower risk of heart disease.
Source: "The Top 8 Health Benefits of Cauliflower"
3 cups cauliflower
1 tbs butter, avocado plant based
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, Daiya cashew
1/2 tsp chives, minced
salt and pepper to taste