Besides researching and writing articles for my website while also maintaining corresponce with many of our readers, I am also a full time trucker who transports and delivers industrial and construction supplies for a large nationwide company – got to keep the bills paid and I need the health insurance. As a part of my job, I sometimes have had to operate with a co-driver when my route was going to exceed a 14 hour work day. Running as a team is usually not a problem since one driver is normally asleep in the bunk while the other works their shift. But then, sometimes running as a team is the real pits. I am happy to say that I am now on a dedicated solo route where my work days are only about 11 to 12 hours. In case you are wondering – yes, I am a very busy man!
A while back I had a new driver going out on the road with me on a route that would have us on the road about 19 hours before returning to our hub. I met the driver on our loading dock, and suggested we stroll down to the break room to get a cup of coffee and get a little acquainted before venturing out on the open road together. As I was filling my coffee cup I watched as my new co-driver strolled over to the vending machines. He then began plopping money into the machines and loading his pockets with several snacks like cookies, powder sugar donuts, chips and a couple of soda pops. My assumption was that he had not brought a lunch box to eat from while on the road. However, once we settled into the my truck, I noticed he had brought food for the road. “What a chow hound” I could not help to think. Of course this was not really a surprise since he was a considerably obese driver.
Now, you might be thinking it is none of my business how another eats. I would respectfully disagree if so!
Being as this was my assigned route at the time, I had it already mapped out to where my co-driver and I would switch our duty statuses. I would drive and deliver freight through the first 8 hours, about 450 miles, and unload our freight at the biggest of our stops. After all, this was my designated route and responsibility. At the end of my eight hours on duty, we switched.
Once my new co-driver got behind the wheel, he immediately began eating the contents of his lunch box. His snacks were already gone – this should be none of my business how he eats…
I told him where on the map he could get us to in 8 hours in order for us to switch status once again, and I would finish driving us back for the final leg of the route. All he had to do was drive and make two very short stops. There should be nothing difficult about getting to the destination as I had already run over 100,000 miles on this route. This was a routine run for me. I climbed into the sleeper berth, set my alarm to get up in 7.5 hours, pulled the curtains closed to block out all light, laid down and went fast asleep. To my dismay, when I got up we were not anywhere close to the destination I wanted him to reach and there was fast food trash on the floor of my cab. To my dismay is actually not an accurate word for how I felt. I was actually pretty pissed, This guy had consumed all of his snacks, he had eaten all the food in his lunch box, and then parked our semi with a 53 foot trailer somewhere where he could run into a fast food joint to buy more food, and we were about one and a half hours behind where we should have been. I directed him to pull into a roadside service area where we could use the restroom and switch up our duty statuses. I was out of the cab for maybe 5 minutes at best, and sat and waited about another 15 minutes before he climbed into the passenger seat with another bag full of fast food. Two quarter pound cheese burgers, large fries, large Coke and a chocolate chip cookie to be exact. As I turned to read him the riot act for putting us so far behind, I watched as he pulled up the sleeve of his shirt and passed his smart phone over a device attached to his arm. I asked him what he was doing and he informed me that was how he tracks his blood sugar levels in order to manage his diabetes! The problem with this is instead of truly managing his diabetes, he has learned to hack his way through in order to continue eating all the high carbohydrate junk food he wants. The effects of diabetes can be mitigated through a diet where the intake of carbohydrates is controlled. You should never try to control it through eating all the carbs you want with the thought that all you have to do is take a pill or two or three to keep you straight. A huge part of managing type 2 diabetes is developing a healthy diet. You need to eat nutritionally sound foods that help you be healthy instead of calorie dense, low nutrition foods. You cannot just take as much Metformin as you want to justify eating like crap. In fact, under certain conditions, too much metformin can cause lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are severe and quick to appear, and usually occur when other health problems not related to the medicine are present and are very severe, such as a heart attack or kidney failure. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include abdominal or stomach discomfort, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fast or shallow breathing, a general feeling of discomfort, severe muscle pain or cramping, and unusual sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness. Why would any thinking person believe they can take large doses of this medication in a day and then get behind the wheel of a semi truck is beyond me. They are not only risking their own lives, but that of others on the road.
Metformin can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Low blood sugar must be treated before it causes you to pass out. It can also cause Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise much. High and low blood sugar can be very serious conditions. Low blood sugar must be treated right away.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can have quite detrimental effects on your health and well being. You cannot be cavalier in managing it as a hack to continue eating too many carbohydrates. In the worst cases, diabetes can kill you. Each week diabetes causes thousands of complications like stroke, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and heart failure. Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease. In fact, two out of three people with diabetes will die from cardiovascular-related episodes, such as a heart attack or stroke.
It is not enough to think you can just control your diabetes through medication, you must get your nutritional habits under control too. People with type 2 diabetes typically have enough insulin when they’re first diagnosed. The insulin just isn’t working properly. This means the insulin doesn’t cause their cells to absorb glucose from food. Eventually the pancreas may stop producing enough insulin, so they will need injections.
In America, about 25 % of our population are now prediabetic.
Those with prediabetes often produce enough insulin, but the cells of the body are resistant to it. This means the sugar can’t move from the blood into the cells. Over time, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. This can cause you to progress from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes, yet many will not take this condition serious until they have to. Type 2 diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages when you’re feeling fine. The long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually, and they can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of the potential complications of diabetes include:
- Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis).
- Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Eventually, you may lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs.Damage to the nerves that control digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, erectile dysfunction may be an issue.
- Kidney damage. Diabetes can sometimes lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
- Eye damage. Diabetes increases the risk of serious eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma, and may damage the blood vessels of the retina, potentially leading to blindness.
- Slow healing. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections, which may heal poorly. Severe damage might require toe, foot or leg amputation.
- Hearing impairment. Hearing problems are more common in people with diabetes.
- Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
- Sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is common in people with type 2 diabetes. Obesity may be the main contributing factor to both conditions. Treating sleep apnea may lower your blood pressure and make you feel more rested, but it’s not clear whether it helps improve blood sugar control.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetes seems to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, though it’s not clear why. The worse your blood sugar control, the greater the risk appears to be.
Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent type 2 diabetes, and that’s true even if you have diabetes in your family. If you’ve already received a diagnosis of diabetes, you can use healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent complications. If you have prediabetes, lifestyle changes can slow or stop the progression to diabetes. A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Eating healthy foods. Choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Getting active. Aim for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity — or 15 to 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity — on most days. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride a bike. Swim laps. If you can’t fit in a long workout, spread your activity throughout the day.
- Losing weight. If you’re overweight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
- Avoiding being sedentary for long periods. Sitting still for long periods can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get up every 30 minutes and move around for at least a few minutes.
Take your type 2 diabetes serious, your kids are watching you!
There’s a growing type 2 diabetes problem in our young people. But parents can help turn the tide with healthy changes that are good for the whole family. Until recently, young children and teens almost never got type 2 diabetes, which is why it used to be called adult-onset diabetes. Now, about one-third of American youth are overweight, a problem closely related to the increase in kids with type 2 diabetes, some as young as 10 years old.
Let’s do our part in turning this around…