When I first met my friend Peggy, she had just come out of a diabetic coma. She was rushed to the hospital. When she woke up she was blind. This was frightening to both her, and her family. At the time, Peggy did not know whether the blindness was temporary or permanent. She feared becoming a burden to her family.
Peggy told me that diabetes ran in her family, but she had not been aware of the signs to watch out for. It was the thirst, she said. The thirst was always distressing, and ever present. For years, she said, she would feel “funny” after eating something sweet. The signs were there, as they are for most of us when we are coming down with a condition. But, we either don’t recognize them, we ignore them, or we just don’t believe it could happen to us.
Peggy does not know it, but she was an inspiration to me. Little did I know that spending time with her was a period of “training” for myself. Later, when I came down with my own auto-immune disease Peggy was the person who came to mind.
I had known people who had diabetes, I mean, don’t we all? Diabetes is so prevalent in our society that it is afflicting millions of us. The bad news is that diabetes is becoming epidemic. The good news is that because it is so prevalent their is a lot of research, time, and attention given, by scientists to come up with some answers. It is now possible to monitor children, especially those prone by genetics, to spot the development of the disease years before it manifests itself.
At first Peggy was dependent upon insulin. But, she was determined that she was going to beat this disease using all natural means, if it were possible. Peggy and I started going to the gym to work out. Once a week we would go to lunch, and Peggy always ordered a lot of vegetables. She studied, and learned how to eat properly. She wanted to feel better. She did not want to rely on insulin, if she didn’t have to.
It was not very long and Peggy did not have to rely on insulin. She succeeded at controlling this disease just by diet, and exercise alone.
Of course, I thought, and many people think…”Well, yeah but that’s boring to not eat what you want, never eating sweets is no way to live. She won’t be able to stick to it.” But, she did. I paid attention. We talked about it a lot. I watched. Peggy ate her vegetables and she enjoyed them! It seemed to me like she enjoyed her vegetables as much as I would, oh say, a piece of Lemon Meringue pie…
Of course, at the time I was Super woman and I didn’t think any disease would ever afflict me. But I remember the moment when I thought to myself, “If I ever get a disease I am going to eat like Peggy, and I am going to love it!” For some reason that moment was branded upon my memory. From that time on, I started eating my vegetables and enjoying them too. I think I was practicing for my future date with disease.
I am not suggesting that everyone can, or should go off of their insulin. I am saying that for some people it is possible. For many people, diet, exercise, and losing weight is the key to controlling diabetes. I could not believe how quickly the pounds rolled off of Peggy. Every time I saw her she had lost more weight.
Dietary fiber plays a role in controlling diabetes. The form of fiber which is most helpful is the water-soluble fiber. Some of these foods are: peas, bran, oats, legumes, and pectin, a form of fiber found in fruit. For a more complete list I refer people to www.healthyfoodreference.com.
After tracking the health histories of almost 26,000 Seventh Day Adventists over a period of 21 years researchers from the University of Minnesota, school of public health concluded that the groups diet of low-red meat, no alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco, played a role in this religious groups low diabetic levels.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease. The immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and knocks them out of commission. So the sugar which is suppose to feed the body, and give it energy is instead bouncing around in the blood vessels doing damage.
Type 2 diabetes is not an auto-immune disease. in this case the pancreas still continues to produce insulin, but the body’s cells have a hard time receiving the sugar which is delivered to them.
If your body’s fuel-delivery system is interrupted by this not so sweet disease, their are ways, like Peggy to help yourself. You can comfort yourself, like I do, that Scientists are working around the clock to figure out just what has gone wrong, and they are trying to fix it. As for the rest of it, it is up to you. Diet, exercise, controlling blood pressure, getting enough sleep, be vitamin conscious, maintain a good mental attitude, and controlling your weight can go a long way in staying young, fit, and healthy.
So, even though my friend Peggy picked up this not so sweet disease, it wasn’t the end for her, and it doesn’t have to be for you either. We live, we learn, and we share. Peggy, by sharing with me those many years ago, helped me to recognize what I needed to do for my own Auto-immune disease. We can inspire people by the positive way in which we handle these difficult situations. You never know who might be watching, but someone always is.
It is often said that we come into contact with those people who can help us, and we them. No matter how temporary a friendship might be, that person can always teach us something. Could it be that our inner selves, the place where our t-cells and b-cells reside have a “say” in who we associate with, by pumping out chemicals which attract us to certain people? The more I read, the more I am beginning to think so. So pay attention, the people who you attract in your life could be there, like Peggy was for me, for a deeper reason than just socializing. If this is true, relationships take on even greater meaning in the bigger scheme of our life on planet earth.
Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Michaud & Feinstein “Fighting Disease”
Written by permission of Peggy.