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Living the Sweet Life

What you don't know can hurt you

By Judey Kalchik Published 22 days ago Updated 22 days ago 4 min read
Top Story - November 2023

You know , it’s not really true what they say. I’ve heard that “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” But it’s not true, not true at all. And I’ll throw in a bonus: Ignorance is NOT bliss, either!

Especially when it comes to your health. Especially when it’s type 2 diabetes. Since it is National Diabetes Awareness Month, here are

Three Things That May Surprise You about Type 2 Diabetes.

1) You Likely Know Several People With Type 2 Diabetes

It is estimated that two out of every five Americans will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Not everyone in that 40% of Americans will be aware that they have it, though! In fact, over 25% of people with diabetes don’t know they have it!

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop slowly, and some people don’t notice them at all. Body changes due to aging can mimic symptoms of type 2 diabetes, which include:

  • Urinate often, especially getting up in the night to pee
  • Get thirsty often
  • Have blurry vision
  • Numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Felling more and more tired
  • Skin is very dry
  • Get sick from infections more often
  • Heal slowly

2) What Happens During Childhood Sets the Body’s Fat Cells for Life

Food high in calories, fat, and sugar that were eaten in childhood set the number of fat cells a person takes with them into adulthood. Adult fat cells die off at a rate of 8% a year and are replaced, maintaining the number that was established during childhood.

Basically: children and young adults up to age 20 gain weight by growing more fat cells. Adults gain weight by making their fat cells fatter, and lose weight by burning the fat stored in those cells. Find out more here:

3) Having Diabetes More Than Doubles the Risk of Developing Depression

When my doctor told me that my blood sugar was high, she told me that she had diagnosed me as a diabetic. No longer were my numbers indicative of prediabetes. Now I was labeled a diabetic. (She has since kinda walked back on that, but...)

I lost it. Totally and completely. It’s my fault. I am a failure. I am… well- right down the rabbit hole of blame, shame, and depression. And there I stayed, at least in my spirit, for a while as I came to grips with things.

Then I started to educate myself. And as I did my depression turned slowly into determination as I learned. I found out that:

  • I had an emotionally and physically stressful childhood. I’ve always turned to books to hide, learn, disappear. While I value that choice, I have not coped with stress through healthy activity.
  • Pasta, rice, bread, jello, milk: all turn to sugar, and all were economical ways for my parents to feed our family of five children. I was a plump child, and although I slimmed for a time as a teenager I had created the plethora of fat cells that I took into adulthood.
  • The constant stress hormones that flooded my body from infancy through my 50’s kept my body flooded with cortisol, which slows metabolism and can lead to weight gain, metabolic disease… and type 2 diabetes.
  • It is possible to halt and even reverse the progression of the disease. As I read more about it I found a study at the University of Michigan that is exploring the impact of different diets in increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood sugar. After several months of surveys, measurements, blood sugar monitoring, and interviews; I was accepted into the study and assigned to the low carb group. This 12 month study includes regular weekly Zoom meetings, workbooks, surveys, and blood tests. I stuck with it and now 20 months later my blood sugar is in the high-normal zone.


88 million Americans have prediabetes with elevated blood glucose levels, even though they may not be aware of it. More than 34 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, although 25% of them have no idea that they do!

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease with no cure, however lifestyle changes like achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, reducing visceral fat, following a healthy diet, and reducing inflammation in your body can manage and possibly reverse the disease.

There is information, support groups, studies, blogs, medical professionals, and online communities that can help you learn about type 2 diabetes and keep you motivated as you make lifestyle changes.

Together we can help people with type 2 diabetes move through the blame and shame by spreading diabetes awareness, not just in November, but always.


Your comments and subscriptions are always appreciated!

  • Is this something that you've battled?
  • How do you get over the depression of 'bad news'?
  • How do you reward yourself when the traditional sweeties are no longer an option?

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About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

And please follow me on Threads, too!

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Comments (19)

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  • Caroline Jane20 days ago

    Lots of information here that I did not know! Really insightful. Great article. Sounds like you have a great handle on all of this. Hope all is going well. ❤

  • Leslie Writes20 days ago

    Important topic! My dad has type 2 diabetes. I grew up on many of the same foods you mentioned here and my daughter favors those foods as well. You’ve given me a lot to think about here. Thank you for writing this article and I wish you well on maintaining your health. It seems like you are taking the right steps 💖

  • Mr Ahsan20 days ago

    The journey from despair to determination, coupled with the emphasis on lifestyle changes and the importance of community support, makes this a touching and educational read that can resonate with many facing similar health challenges. Congrats on top ❤️

  • Babs Iverson21 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!! Definitely educational and informative. Loved it!!!💕❤️❤️

  • Tom Baker21 days ago

    I developed type-2 diabetes from being given Risperdal and Invega by the monsters of the "mental health" industries. I make no apologies for that statement. They're frauds, quacks, and litle better than murderers in my estimation. Actually no better. I also developed deformities that had to be corected with plastic surgery and am now also scarred for life. The "doctors"? One of them basically told me "Suck it up, buttercup. Life is rough." They take no responsibility for what they do, for the lives they destroy. None whatsoever. My laughable settlement from the Big Pharma gangsters added insult to injury. Now I have heart disease, caused by type-two diabetes, which led to me having to have a stent placement in the Widowmaker artery, to keep me from having a massive heart attack and dropping dead. (Which could still happen easily enough.) It will be a beautiful day when they finally abolish the fraud quackery that is "psychiatry," a totalitarian cult that pimps for Big Pharma, enforces the government's extra-judicial edicts (basically the mental homes siphon off the overflow from America's overcrowded prisons and jails), and destroys countless lives, all the while justifying this with the "chemical imbalance" THEORY of mental illness, which has never been proven. (And even if it were true, would not justify fifty different "medications" for the same illness.) So no, no shame or guilt. Just anger at lies and damn lies, which is all these people know. And THAT'S why I'm slowly dying. Best regards. Read less

  • Rasma Raisters21 days ago

    Very necessary, informative, and bringing awareness to a most terrible disease that makes sugar the enemy. Wish I had some warning signs back in 2017. My husband had never complained about anything and both of us never got ill at all for a long time, Then suddenly he had a spiked fever and terrible shakes. We put it down to a sudden virus and he would get over it. When things appeared to go the wrong way my stepdaughter and I took him to the emergency room. We waited a whole day and finally left at 10 PM to await what the doctor had to say knowing he was going to be admitted. That was on a Wednesday on Thursday during a procedure he died. I never saw him again, His body had suffered from undiagnosed sugar diabetes. To this day I am not even sure if it was the diabetes that he died from or the procedure the doctor performed but I gave away all the white sugar we had at home and I have not bought a package of sugar since,

  • Cathy holmes21 days ago

    Great educational article. Congrats on the TS

  • Kendall Defoe 21 days ago

    I do not have it, but I know family and friends who do. Thank you for this. People need to pay much more attention to their health in the West.

  • KJ Aartila21 days ago

    This is such important information. Thank you for sharing!

  • Mariann Carroll21 days ago

    I agree. Knowledge is definitely power. Doctors now a days try to avoid diagnosis especially if the illness is not causing havoc in one’s life.

  • Grz Colm21 days ago

    A great topic! Many people in my family line have had it, probably a likelihood I will get it some day. Thanks for sharing this Judey! ☺️👏

  • Not only do I know people, I was diagnosed with it. This is a great subject to cover.

  • Just diagnosed in January of this year. Had a checkup today & my A1C is down to 6.3 (from 11.1 in January). Lifelong sufferer from clinical depression. Diabetes has not helped. I've lost 30 pounds since January but have been plateaued there for quite a while now. Blood sugar only rarely goes out of range now, & then only briefly. As to how I treat myself, I remind myself that I really don't want to eat but that I'll need a snack at a given time.

  • I have a history of diabetes in my family. My grandmother is a Type 2 and so is my mother. I have seen my mother struggle to manage her diet and weight, and I have seen my grandmother cut out absolutely everything her doctor told her was “bad” without replacing it with healthy options, she never eats breakfast, and her blood sugar is all over the place often. It’s scary. Now, at 29, trying to get myself regulated hormonally and otherwise, I see the detriments it can cause and I’m doing as much as I can so I’m not on more medication than I can reasonably handle.

  • Several people including "friends" have insulted me for having this, this is an excellent informative piece Judey and probably a Top Story , or it should be

  • JBaz22 days ago

    Been there. And it affects people in a variety of way I don’t drink pop add sugars or care for sweets yet there is sugars in everything. The part about fat cells designated in childhood is scary

  • J. S. Wade22 days ago

    Intriguing piece Judey. Didn’t know the childhood development aspect. I was skin and bones growing up, maybe I will continue to be okay. The difficulty now for family’s now is Protein is very expensive and leads me to believe this blight will grow worse before better. Great article and needed article. 😎 Scott

  • Jay Kantor22 days ago

    Dear Mrs. 'j' ~ So sorry you deal with this. As was once said, "A Second on the Lip~Lifetime on the Hip"...But, as I recently viewed via our resurgence of Black & White Sitcoms, The HoneyMooners - Jackie Gleason - "How Sweet it is."   Thank you, as always, for your meaningful articles - I had no idea this was so prevalent. 'j'

  • Hannah Moore22 days ago

    Interesting and informative, thank you. Really underscores the importance of supporting families to provide healthy eating for their children.

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