Everything You Need To Know About Your Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects over 4 million people in the UK alone. Sometimes, people don’t even realize they have diabetes until they have a hypo, and they visit their GP to find out what’s going on. Sometimes they’re visiting their GP for other reasons and their diabetes shows up in a blood test.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Lack of energy

Feeling dizzy

Excessive thirst

Increased urination, especially at night

Blurry vision

Recurring illnesses

Scrapes, cuts or spots that take longer than normal to heal

Feeling hungry all of the time

How is diabetes diagnosed?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s wise to go and speak to your GP, who will arrange an hBa1c blood test for you. This will measure the glucose in your blood, and when your results come in, your Doctor will be able to confirm whether or not you have diabetes.

Depending on how high your blood sugar levels are, the Doctor will also be able to determine whether you have type 1 or type 2. This needs to be confirmed to determine whether or not you will have to take medication, inject insulin, or have a massive change in lifestyle.

If you GP is recommending that you change your diet and lifestyle, then it’s likely that you have pre-diabetes. Ask your Doctor to confirm this. If it is the case, you have a chance of reversing it and living your life free of the disease.

Will I have to change my lifestyle?

In short, yes. Even if you are put on medication for your diabetes, you will need to make some changes to your lifestyle. Swapping fizzy drinks for juices and water and cutting out food that has a high sugar content would be a good place to start.

If you choose to ignore the chance to change your lifestyle choices, you could find yourself having regular hypos. In some cases, they can be life threatening.

You can also expect to visit your Doctor every six months or so. This is because you will be invited in to check your blood sugar level and then have a consultation with either your Doctor or a trained nurse to talk through your results. They can then decide whether you need to change your dose of medication. They will also give you advice on how you can improve the current state of your diabetes.

Who gets diabetes?

Anyone can get the disease. Having diabetes is a scary thought for anyone, and unfortunately, many of us will get the disease at some point in our lives. Normally though, people tend to get the disease after the age of 45. There are some circumstances that could mean you will get it earlier in life. These are:

Overweight

Pregnant (gestational diabetes)

It’s hereditary in some families

If you have high blood pressure and low good cholesterol, this can turn into diabetes too.

What else can I expect?

You will also be invited once a year to have your eyes screened at your closest retinopathy center. This is because diabetes is known for damaging the retina in your eyes, which can lead to the loss of your sight. Attending these appointments are essential, and shouldn’t be something that you just shrug off.

You can also expect to receive letters in the post inviting you to attend sessions aimed at supporting people with diabetes. Although these aren’t essential, it’s a good idea to attend at least one to see if you take any useful information away.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent getting diabetes?

Luckily, there are some things that you can do to help prevent you from getting the disease. These are:

Eating healthy

Maintaining a healthy weight for your height (BMI)

Ensuring that you’re getting enough good cholesterol

Reducing the amount of sugar you consume

Regularly exercising

Diabetes doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds, as long as you take care of yourself (even if you have the disease), then you can still lead a very long life.

 

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Just because depression isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Depression is something that the majority of us will suffer with at some point in our lives. Whether we realize it or not. It comes in different ways for all of us. Some of us just think we’re feeling a little low. Some of us feel like life isn’t worth living anymore.

My experience.

When I first went in about my mental health, the Doctor wasn’t sure whether I was confusing depression with anxiety. Now I look back on it, maybe at the time I was, but I’ve definitely had an element of depression.

I battled for a very long time with my mental health, and I was stubborn enough to not accept the help and let the Doctor prescribe me medication. I was scared I’d be on it for life and become addicted.

A colleague of mine at the time managed to convince me to try it because I’d got to the point where I was nervous about even answering the phone. I was pushing everyone that cares about me away by not talking about my feelings because I felt like it’d just be a burden on them. They did everything I did, worked hard, looked after the children etc. So why couldn’t I do that?

My plan of action.

I finally took the plunge and went to the Doctor asking for medication. I was already on propranolol for my anxiety but that didn’t touch my mood. When I finally gave in I just sat there and sobbed, rambling onto the Doctor about everything that’s built up for me. I felt stupid. So many people in the world are going through so much worse than I am.

I did, however, feel better for just letting it out. The Doctor prescribed me a low dose of sertraline, as what I was feeling clearly wasn’t just my anxiety.

I went back after 2 weeks for a review of my mood. To be honest, in that short space of time I didn’t really see an improvement, apart from the fact that it had helped my anxiety issues slightly!

Within a month of that, I felt like a totally new person. I was no longer crying every day or breaking down over the smallest of things. My patience had improved when it comes to Dinky and his challenging behaviors. Most importantly, I was actually able to smile again.

How do I get a diagnosis for depression?

It’s not something that the Doctor will just diagnose straight away, especially if you’ve not had any past history of mental health. The Doctor will likely prescribe you some antidepressants and ask you come back after a few weeks to check your mood. The Doctor may even refer you to see a mental health worker if you really don’t want to take medication for your depression.

I’m not saying medication is the way forward to cure depression because it isn’t the case for some people. I’m just saying it helped me and still is. I hope to come off of my medication soon.

If you feel like you may be suffering from depression, please go and see your Doctor. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. In fact, it means the opposite. You’ve got the strength to go and tell someone that actually, you’re really not doing okay and need some help. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because depression isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Useful links

Here are some links to find out more about depression, take a mood test, and how you can get the best help for you.

Moodzone

NHS Choices

How To Cope With Anxiety

Please remember that you’re never alone in this. I believe that you can get through this.

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How To Cope With A Newly Discovered Food Intolerance

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A food intolerance can really put a dampener on your fun. The discomfort and bloating can have a significant effect on your quality of life, and some people find that they have to stop eating some of their favourite foods as a result. A food intolerance is generally caused by your body developing a difficulty when it comes to digesting certain types of food, and can even cause irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. While it isn’t an allergy and isn’t fatal, it does take some special care to manage the symptoms.

 

Start to explore dietary alternatives

With a food intolerance, it’s recommended to try to remove that food from your diet almost completely, at least to start with. This means you might want to find some alternatives, especially if your intolerance is a prolific food type, such as lactose or gluten. Supermarkets and cafes are starting to really get on board with alternative foods these days, so there’s never been a better time to discover an intolerance (if there was ever a good time). You never know, paying more attention to your diet could even have some positive effects on your wellbeing. Explore your local supermarket “free from” shelves, and give your local hippy cafes a visit to find some of their smart alternative ideas. If you’re a keen cook, finding alternatives for your home cooking is a new way to experiment with undiscovered ingredients or world cuisines.

 

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Give your digestion a helping hand

Food intolerances can really take their toll on your digestive system, and you will probably experience some bloating and discomfort as a result, particularly if you’re also suffering from IBS. Using dietary supplements and probiotics can really give your digestion a boost and reduce some of the symptoms of flare-ups. The best probiotics for IBS can also work to help reduce symptoms of food intolerances, such as the gas, bloating, and pain, and just help to put your mind at ease. Even if you can’t cure it, treating the symptoms will give you some relief.

 

Don’t cut the food out altogether

It may come as a surprise, but once you’ve gone through the elimination process to discover once and for all which foodstuff is actually causing your problems, it is often recommended that you reintroduce that food to your diet, in tiny measurements. In some cases, this will enable your body to rebuild a tolerance to the food, so in time you’ll be able to go back to eating it in normal quantities again. This approach should only be undertaken very slowly and gently. Be sure to listen to your body, and not push it beyond comfortable limits – you could end up setting yourself back even further.
Dealing with a newly discovered food intolerance can be tricky, especially if it’s a foodstuff which is prolific, such as lactose or gluten. The symptoms such as discomfort and bloating which occur when you accidentally eat some can be alleviated by supplements and treatments, but avoidance is obviously the most successful means by which you can avoid flare-ups. Just remember, it’s not a death sentence, nor is it necessarily permanent.

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Big news in the Miss Pork Pie Household!

I am super excited to be able to share with you all the news that I have taken the leap and decided to become a full-time blogger! It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, but never thought I’d achieve, at least not for a while anyway.

It all came about because I have been really struggling to find childcare for Dinky over the summer holidays. There are plenty of people that could and would help me but I just couldn’t expect them to have him 5 days a week for the whole 6 week period. I really struggled to pull it together last summer holidays, and even on just the half term holidays I sometimes only just scraped it together.

So I went into work and asked if I could reduce my hours so that I’d be able to work in the afternoons when Dinky could go to my parent’s for a few hours. It seemed like the perfect plan. Unfortunately, my employers couldn’t offer me the hours I was after, so understandably I was told to keep my hours or resign. It really hit me hard, to be honest, I felt stupid because I’d assumed that everything would work out okay. Now though I was faced with a decision to either beg for childcare from my friends and family or to leave my job that I’d worked hard at for two years.

Dinky always comes first, that’s a given but if I can’t provide for him and support and earn money alongside Mr. Pie’s wage then what use is it being at home? So that’s where I decided to jump in feet first and become a full-time blogger. I’ve been blogging as a hobby for three years now and more recently than not my views have started rocketing, and I’ve been offered work from various brands. I’ve had to turn a few away because of working full time but I know that once I’m at it full time I can take on so much more.

I have also recently started taking on some freelance writing jobs for various people/companies, which I plan on continuing once I have finished my current job.

I am really looking forward to beginning this journey into becoming self-employed. I am going to be doing vlogs on mental health, beauty, and parenting. I also have many other ideas in the pipeline, but for now, I’d love to hear any ideas that could help me get going or even share your stories on how you became a full-time blogger.

 

Much love xx

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#YoudNeverBelieve

I am so excited and proud to announce that I have taken part in #YoudNeverBelieve.

What is #YoudNeverBelieve I hear you say?
Well, I do have some super informative links to share with you but I will tell you a little bit right now.

#YoudNeverBelieve is a campaign to show teenagers that you are never truly alone. Feeling low and helpless is one of the worst things anyone can experience and I’m super proud to be backing this cause to encourage young girls to speak out if they are feeling anything but happy. In this video, myself and a bunch of awesome bloggers confessed some of the things we felt when we were teenagers, and possibly some of us may still feel this way.

We want to create a support network for anyone struggling and the amazing Ella Stearn is the brainbox we all need to thank for this! Please please pleeeeease back this cause because #mentalhealth is SO important.
#YoudNeverBelieve that I used to be scared to go to school.

Watch the video here:


Anyone who knows me will know I am really passionate about mental health. Having an autistic son and battling anxiety, depression and panic disorder myself really fuels me to help others. As soon as I read about this campaign I knew I had to get involved.

Here is where the magic is happening, please donate to this amazing cause – #YoudNeverBelieve

Oh, and one last thing. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. There is always someone out there. Don’t suffer alone.

Much love xxx
Photo credit to the beautiful Amy Thompson xx

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Dinky got glasses!

Last year at parents evening, Dinky’s teacher recommended that we take him to get his eyes tested as she had noticed his depth perception was off. She also pointed out that he has got a bit of a squint in his left eye.

Suddenly all of Dinky’s falls, bumps and spillage made more sense. I thought he may have just been a bit of a clumsy child (I know that I certainly was!).

So I took him to see an optician who immediately referred him to see an opthalmologist at the hospital, where they would dilate his eyes to make sure they can diagnose and treat accurately.

I’ve got to be fair to my boy, he was an absolute angel when they administered the drops. He sat nicely by me in the waiting room and didn’t complain even once.

The opthalmologist confirmed that the squint in his left eye was the reason for his depth perception troubles and probably the majority of any bumps and falls. We were advised that if the glasses don’t correct the squint then he may need a patch over the good eye. She wrote a prescription to take to an optician and away we went.

As you can see, Dinky is thrilled to have glasses like Mummy and Daddy do! I’m so proud of how brave he was during the whole procedure, as he gets frightened with the new and unknown. 

Hopefully these glasses can correct his squint and he can continue amazing me like he always does!

Does anyone else’s child/children have a squint? Or even yourself? I’d love to hear and read your stories! Leave links in the comment section!
Much love xx

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The Worst Things I’ve Been Told As A Parent

Everyone has their own little ways of soothing, disciplining and in general just dealing with their child, and normally I say each to their own, but here are some of the most ridiculous things I’ve been told to do as a parent!

-If your baby bites you, bite them back-
I’m sorry but fuck off, if your baby is biting you, they are probably teething. Plus, I think taking a chunk out of your baby is classed as child abuse. Even if your child does it, and knows exactly what they’re doing, you still don’t bite your child.

-Sleep when your baby sleeps-
Oh Ok then, so who’s coming to do all of the housework whilst we are tucked up dreaming away? No one that’s who, now get your head out of your arse.

-Reward bad behavior with a cuddle-
Ok, so those exact words were not said to me, more in action form. Zak was being naughty once and after ignoring everything I said, they took it upon themselves to give him a big cuddle and kisses. Tell me where the logic is in that one.

-Babies who have a dummy are more settled-
Not once did Zak have a dummy and still sleeps through the night, and he has done from the age of about 8 weeks. So no, babies with dummies are not necessarily more settled. Dummies are the parent’s preference, but personally, I feel like dummies are sometimes (not always) used to just keep their child quiet when they can’t be bothered.

-Stick some whiskey in their bottle-
No, no, no, no, no and guess what? NO. Alcohol is poisonous to adults, hence us getting “drunk”, and you want me to give my child an alcoholic drink that is quite strong for fully grown adults? Yeah, don’t come near my child.

What bad advice have you been given?

Much love xx
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My Anxiety – Let’s get honest

Anxiety kicks in at the completely wrong time!! It’s taking me a lot of bravery to post this, as it is a very personal matter of mine. I find it embarrassing, and most of all, I feel like it shows I am weak, but I have had enough of feeling like this now and I need to get it out there! Maybe some of you will relate to this!

I’ve suffered with anxiety for years now, but it’s getting progressively worse. It all started off with my emetephobia (fear of vomiting). My anxiety would only flare up if I felt sick. Then when I’d not long had dinky, we moved to a house, and it got really bad, I don’t know whether it was the fact motherhood and the fact I now had a tiny precious being to look after had finally sunk in, or whether it was something else, all I know is, I dreaded being alone, especially at night.

After me and Dinky’s Dad split, I was referred by my doctor to cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) to work past it. The therapist identified the key behaviours I was displaying when I felt anxious which were:

-Chewing gum
-Sipping ice cold water
-Excessively deep breathing
-Getting away from the situation I was in (for example, if I was out and I had an anxiety attack, I’d go home, because it felt safer)

    She then suggested that every week I try and cut out each of these methods, to challenge myself, using those techniques may have temporarily got rid of my anxiety, but the next time I had an attack it felt worse. She explained to me that anxiety will only get so bad, and then you will calm down, and if you could ride out the worst of it, you will feel better in the long run, and as time goes on the length of the attack would become shorter. She also told me to ask myself every time I felt anxious “what’s the worst that could happen?”. When I thought about it that way I couldn’t give an answer, all I could say was something bad, so I used that technique every time I felt anxious. The first week I decided to stop myself escaping the situation, which, if I’m honest I found quite easy as that was always my last resort. The next week I cut out the water and the deep breathing, which I found a challenge because that week I had one of the worst attacks I’ve ever had, I spent the whole night trying to ride it out, and my therapist was right, it did go, and in the end I was fine. So the next week I confidently stopped chewing gum altogether, and every week from there on I felt stronger and more able to deal with it. I can honestly say after the 6 sessions I felt like a new person. She also recommended I use self help sites and the best place to start is www.nhs.uk

    It never went away but I knew how to deal with it, and now, nearly 2 years on its back, and with a vengeance. It mostly occurs at night, and the slightest thing sets me off. I still use the calming techniques, but they don’t really help anymore, I can’t help but feel like something terrible is going to happen, my heart races, I feel sick (which is awful especially when dealing with emetephobia), I shake, I feel faint and I sob my heart out. Mr pie is amazing at dealing with me, he tries to take my mind off it and most of the time it subsides pretty quickly, but there’s the odd times where I feel like I need to just get out, go somewhere, anywhere. I’ve started feeling like I’m pushing the closest people to me away, because I hate being seen that vulnerable, I like to show that I’m a strong person, and I loathe the thought of people pitying me.

    So on a Thursday my boy goes to his Dad’s and me and Mr pie go to the pub in the evening and chill (everyone deserves a break right?!). Normally I’m absolutely fine and I relax easily, but tonight for some reason I’m struggling to be here, I’m trying to fight it and keep my mind off it. Weirdly writing this post has calmed me down. I’m sure you’re all thinking “why not do what you did before?” – my answer is, I don’t know, it somehow feels harder this time.

    Even though I know anxiety is a common illness to suffer with, I feel like I’m the only one who ever feels this way. Am I being crazy? They say it’s a battle that can’t be won, but I’m determined to because I’m so sick of being like this.

    I’m really interested to hear from anyone who suffers with anxiety like I do, I’d love to hear any tips because honestly, I feel so alone.

    Much love xxx

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