I was not what one would call "out of shape" when I was diagnosed. Well, I guess I really was, but it would be a bit different than most might think. I used to compete in powerlifting meets. So I was a pretty strong guy, and I thought I was in shape. I had other hobbies, and did some bike riding.
So my Type 2 snuck up on me, or at least as far as I was concerned it did. At this point, I can't really remember any early warning signs. Not too long before I was diagnosed, my family and I went to Boston and my mother was watching me constantly drink water. She (who was diabetic) correctly told me that I was. I didn't want to hear it. In any case, in the following weeks, I started feeling really bad and had to pee constantly.
What I'm searching for is some knowledge of early warning signs. My son, who is 26, is not that much overweight, but he has been a sugar junkie for most of his life. We know that eating sugar is bad, but what we don't have is any sort of direction that will give the individual a physical early warning sign that they are pre-diabetic. No urgency to get to the doctor and get tested constantly as for say, breast cancer or colon cancer. No public awareness campaign to tell people that if they feel like this or that, it could be a sign. It's sort of a hushed bit of knowledge that the first warning sign is you're way overweight. And since you being overweight is despicable, you shouldn't want to be overweight for more than just the fact you may have Type 2. Well, I wasn't way overweight, and quite a few people I know weren't way overweight, and even if you are way overweight, it doesn't make you worth less as a human being.
People with diabetes need to find our voice. Type 2 in many cases is a preventable disease. Sometimes, it may not be, but there are some simple things that make it way more preventable than the rise in the last few years would make one think. First, people need to know that no matter how good shape you think you might be in, the prevalence of processed sugar in everything we eat puts everyone at risk. The older you get, the less active you get, the more at risk you become. People need to know what the warning signs are. There is no public service campaign that lets people know what the warning signs of Type 2 are. People walk around for years with the disease. That's one of the things that makes it so damaging.
Finally, there needs to be an overall effort to ensure that Type 2 is not the result of being obese. Certainly there is more obesity in the country, just like there is an increase in the prevalence of Type 2, but in order for the country and individuals to take action, it MUST be emphasized that these things can be mutually exclusive, and that the rise in Type 2 is because of the rise in sugar and high fructose corn syrup in almost everything we eat. If there was a large public service campaign about how older people are at great risk for Type 2 given the increase of sugar and carbs in all processed food, and that older people are at greater risk due to the fact they are less active and suffer from certain maladies that make them less active such as arthritis, then I believe the general public would look at Type 2 in a very different light. Tell me what you think.