Getting a type 2 diabetes (T2D) diagnosis may be overwhelming, scary and result in many questions like is my life over? But the reply is: it doesn’t need to be.
Most individuals with T2D can still live a blissful, long adventurous life, identical to Nalini Ravindranath does! Beyond Type 2 spoke with Nalini about her diagnosis, how diabetes changes with age and the way she continues to go on adventures with diabetes.
What Nalini wants you to know
- Have a team of doctors who really communicate with one another, including to care to your mental health.
- When happening adventures, tell any person where you’re going, make sure that that person knows that you just’re diabetic and keep something in your backpack or your wallet that lets people know that you just are diabetic in case of an emergency.
- Don’t be afraid to try whatever movement you need to try!
Read more of the interview below. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
BT2: When were you diagnosed?
Nalini: I used to be diagnosed in 2016. I actually have a robust family history of diabetes, so once I began experiencing symptoms, I feel I type of knew what it was.
I used to be extremely drained. In the course of the workday I’d get so sleepy that I’d need to go into the toilet and take a fast nap to return back and sit at my desk and work—otherwise, I’d go to sleep.
I’d come home from work and I can be so exhausted that I needed to take a nap before I could make dinner. In fact, frequent running to the restroom was the second big symptom that I had. I occasionally would get some excessive thirst, but that wasn’t consistent.
I actually had been diagnosed with hypertension just a few months before my official diabetes diagnosis. It got here about from a routine like doctor’s visit, which then was your blood pressure is so high you gotta go to the emergency room.
They did routine blood work in my follow up appointment, so my official diabetes diagnosis got here through this online portal. It was ‘your sugar levels are at like 250, this officially puts you within the diabetes category’.
It was probably the most impersonal method to get such a devastating diagnosis.
What support did you get after your diagnosis?
Eventually I did go see the doctor, but there wasn’t a complete range of support after my initial diagnosis. They were like ‘don’t eat carbs, don’t eat sugar and drop extra pounds’.
The idea was that I wasn’t super energetic—though I’m a giant hiker. This diagnosis got here on the heels of me mountain climbing your complete Appalachian trail. They didn’t know that about me.
The support I received was kind of based on just numbers and visually what they saw.
I feel within the medical community there shouldn’t be enough awareness about how how much of managing diabetes is absolutely emotional too. It’s not only the physical a part of it. General practitioners inform you very basic information after the diagnosis, and for a variety of people it’s not as easy as ‘stop eating’.
You didn’t get diabetes since you ate an excessive amount of sugar—there was like a complete lot of chemistry that was happening.
Did you make lifestyle changes after your diagnosis?
I did make a variety of lifestyle changes, but I’d say really unhealthy lifestyle changes. My food became my obsession. I feel I used to be probably on the borderline of disordered eating. My belief was that I got this disease because I didn’t have enough self-control, so I used to be going to administer it by testing how much self-control I could have.
I used to be placed on Metformin, and was having so many GI issues that I wasn’t really keeping a ton of food. I wasn’t getting a ton of nutrition and shedding pounds. Providers were like ‘congratulations, you’ve lost all this weight and that’s why your sugar levels have improved’. When in point of fact, that was not the case.
When my body adjusted to the Metformin, my weight kind of got here back and it became about maintaining weight reduction—that I wasn’t doing something right.
It was also learning about my very own body. I needed to be really intentional about finding medical care that made me a participatory person, versus being told what should occur to me.
Why is diabetes one other adventure?
I got my diagnosis after ending my hike through the Appalachian trail—I compare managing diabetes to that. At first your body’s attempting to get used to all the things, then it’s learning about your individual body and what is true for you.
The disease morphs. As time has gone on, it shows it up in a different way. I’m getting older, I’m premenopausal and what worked for me five years ago shouldn’t be working for me straight away. I actually have to figure that out again.
I can’t push myself straight away to go mountain climbing on a regular basis. The journey a part of this disease in some ways is like once I was mountain climbing. I had to essentially concentrate to my body, really listen and really know my body.
How do you safely hike together with your diabetes?
Like living with diabetes usually, you’ve got to have a plan.
I actually have to fastidiously take into consideration what I eat before I’m going mountain climbing. What do I actually have with me while I’m mountain climbing? What do I actually have to have within the automotive once I’m done mountain climbing?
I’m fortunate that I get to do most of my mountain climbing with my partner now. He knows that I actually have diabetes and knows the signs of when my sugar levels are getting out of balance. It’s nice to have any person who can walk with you in that journey.
Tell any person where you’re going, make sure that that person knows that you just’re diabetic and keep something in your backpack or your wallet that lets people know that you just are diabetic in case of an emergency.
How can others lead an adventurous life with type 2 diabetes?
Movement is vital for managing diabetes and I would like to also caveat that you just don’t need to do something adventurous to administer diabetes. But in case you discover a movement that you just enjoy, there’s no reason to love limit yourself. You only need to take some extra precautions.
Don’t be afraid to try whatever you need to try. I just turned 43 this yr and I’m still discovering recent energetic sports that I would like to explore.
Editor’s Note: This content was made possible with support from Lilly, an energetic partner of Beyond Type 2 on the time of publication.