Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?
Most of us can still remember those words of admonishment from our mothers years ago. And many of us berate our kids with that phrase now.
When what we do is bad — when we violate the Golden Rule — the innate sense of shame that all normal people have can lead us back to ethical behavior. This normal human emotion can bring us to maturity in our actions.
But many of us are ashamed of who we are or the diseases we have. We feel shame about the physical condition of our bodies.
Many of us who have diabetes are more in tune with our minds than our bodies. We are “not athletic.” Many of us will frankly acknowledge that we are “into our heads.”
Now its clear that we can’t have a good head on our shoulders without having good shoulders and all. Our diabetic body will give us a diabetic mind — if we let it. And when we control our diabetes, not only our bodies but also our brains work better.
A diabetic body has high blood glucose. When we succeed in bringing our blood glucose level down to normal, our bodies aren’t diabetic any more. When our diabetes is controlled, it may not be cured, but it’s certainly in such remission that no tests would show that it’s diabetic.
You need to help me a lot with this one.
All of you who read my articles here are motivated to control your diabetes. Almost all of you have a positive motivation. I doubt if many of you have a primarily negative motivation based on fear of the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes. Negative motivations just don’t keep us doing what we need to do for long.
What are your positive motivations? What do you tell people you know who have diabetes to encourage them to tame it?
Those of us who have diabetes pay a physical cost for it that we know all too well. But many of us aren’t aware of the social cost that we pay for being overweight, which usually accompanies our diabetes.
Fat prejudice is even more subtle than our society’s racial and gender biases and those against and gays and lesbians. Our most recent prejudice, of course, is that against those of the Muslim faith from the Middle East, and that prejudice is anything but subtle. Now, however, social scientists know how to measure fat prejudice.
Vitamin D testing has been in the news lately. But the mainstream press covered only the bad news. You would have to read the medical press to learn about better choices.
The country’s largest medical laboratory, Quest Diagnostics, just sent out thousands of letter to doctors who ordered Vitamin D tests for their patients. The letters say that results of their Vitamin D tests during the past two years are “questionable.” Quest’s screw up could mean that thousands of people aren’t taking vitamin D supplements when they should.
Testing our levels of vitamin D has surged recently because of studies suggesting that too little can raise the risk of all sorts of complications. More and more recent studies link a vitamin D deficiency to diabetes. Other studies link it to bone weakness, cancer, heart attacks, and other illnesses.
A study in the January issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is the first one ever to examine how walking by itself can help us keep the weight off for the long term. Since almost all of us with type 2 diabetes struggle with our weight, this is a key part of controlling it.
Walking may or may not be more beneficial for us that other forms of physical activity. That’s not what the study was about. Rather, for most people walking is the least expensive and most readily available way to get the exercise that we all need.
The study monitored almost 5,000 men and women for 15 years. Walking works.