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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Diabetes: Part Two.

I want to thank all of you who left comments on my last post. The facts are frightening and cannot be any clearer: Our quality of life is directly related to the food we ingest, the stress we face, and the amount of exercise we engage in.

Some genetics is involved as well; but we are still in charge of what we do everyday. My ancestors lived simpler lives, some past their eighties and with all their faculties intact, but they had opposite problems: lack of food, too much physical exercise, no chance of relief in their work situation. Those good old days were not so good.

Now we have an abundance of food, availability of work with little or no physical stress, and opportunities for recreation and pharmaceuticals that cure many diseases that used to kill us in childhood.

With all this, we make strange choices. We are smart and well read, and can definitely beat the odds if we realized the consequences of our choices. Remember when we all began to do self breast analysis? That small change, understanding that we are in charge of our own health, has saved us possible problems. If I feel anything unusual, I'm telling.

Medical education is not part of school curricula. We offer a semester or two of general health information squeezed with the physical education curriculum. We can't afford to offer anatomy, physiology and other medical primers.

I am part of the local school board that creates policies and curriculum offerings. We have begun to cut programs to manage our budget. We are not expending moneys we don't have. Yet, more than ever before, we need broad-based and iron-clad policies for all disease control , policies that should be funded at state and national levels, and that reach down and are part of the curriculum at all grade levels.

And for you men reading this, diabetes causes many physiological changes, among which is e.d. We don't need pills to fight the effect of diseases. We need education and pharmaceuticals to fight the occurrence in the first place.

32 comments:

Gran said...

I have to constantly remind myself that I can eat very well without stuffing the refrigerator full of food. It's a matter of balancing food, exercise, rest, etc. Take care.

PurestGreen said...

"Medical education is not part of school curricula." There is so much in that small statement. What a difference it would have made to my relationship with food and exercise, if the approach of prevention was embraced (and funded!).

Really enjoying your blog. Good luck on your journey to better health. (I just returned from my second "raw food" potluck. Great fun and worth looking into if there is such a group near you).

Sniffles and Smiles said...

So, very true!!! Hear! Hear! Bravo! Great post! ~Janine

potsoc said...

Yes prevention is way better than cure. However, if caught early, diabetes can be and is controled. As for E.D., it is annoying...but it can be circumvented. It does require getting used to but varying the techniques can bring back the fun, that and patience because it is a bit longer to achieve results. But then we are retired so where is the hurry.

Man of Roma said...

Dear Rosaria,

I'm starting to have problems with food too. I like bread and white pizza too much and eat both a bit before every meal. Some beer in the late evening, and wine for dinner. I grew these habits since I retired (or sort of.) Starting to grow a belly because of this and pasta. Something is changing, and food becoming more important. I have to watch out a bit. Long walks though help me. Plus I live in a house on fourth floor with no elevator, which is a good exercise too. My belly hurts a bit and my trousers are now too tight.

Here also school doesn't teach how to eat properly. Italians do not eat too badly, but traditional wisdom is not enough.

Good luck for your health and your hubby's, dear Rosaria.

Susan said...

You are inspiring me to watch what I eat better - it's a terrible way to get through to me (sorry you have to have it) - but your writing is effective. Thanks.

Beth said...

You say it so well. While we are well-read and more educated, we don't always make *smart* choices. I've been guilty of not eating then eating chips or candy to get me through but always with the promise that I'll do better.

Sometimes people DO learn lessons from others. Now I am going to do better.

I'm thinking about you and your husband.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

After I retired I joined a gym in our little town and a month later Gerald joined as well. He is even better at going than I am. At least 3 times a week we go for a workout that lasts about 1 1/2 hours.
The woman who owns the gym planned an exercise routine for us. There are 3 different routines that we use. Some involve the use of machines, but others are free weights.
Gerald swears this has improved his golf game by improving his eye-hand coordination. We're in Dallas now for a 2-day golf tournament that got rained out today. As I write he is in the hotel gym working out in preparation for tomorrows show. At 71 years of age I think he is amazing!

Natalie said...

We have healthy eating programs in Australian schools, in order to tackle obesity in children. The canteen only stocks low fat,low sugar,low salt options.
They study nutrition and health, exercise everyday, sport on Fridays, dance and other activities offered at lunch break as well. There is a constantly manned sports shed,full of balls ropes etc. We also have a Heart Foundation sponsored skipping team, who tour around and perform at other schools. How cool is that? :D

Woman in a Window said...

OH my, a lot of it comes down to choice, even after the education. I KNOW i shouldn't eat fries for lunch and then a half pound of fudge, but I do. (oh, not so much lately, but oh, how i have.) I'm smart enough to know better, but dumb enough to choose badly.

I'm afraid there are a lot of us idiots out there, although more education certainly couldn't hurt us. (Disclaimer**iambynowaysuggestingyouareinthecompanyofmeandotheridiots! You'retoosmart!)

Kristin said...

I don't know what happened - my last physical, a high school reunion, stress - something must have triggered it - and a year ago, I totally changed my diet and exercise. I joined a new CSA, started packing my lunches, started walking to and from work everyday. Volunteering more. Living more.

I have lost 40 pounds. I walk more than 6 miles a day and I'm happy. Honestly happy. (The walking's good for the mind and the soul as well as the body.)

I wish I'd known what to do sooner. Maybe I did. I wish it sank in.

Pyzahn said...

Have you read the book about "The Blue Zones"? I've been watching the series on the Today Show.

Blue Zones occur in about 7 locations across the world where people live very long healthy lives. Most common determining factors include a Mediterranean diet, active lifestyle, friends/family and happy outlook.

Good luck with your board work -- it's a good thing that you're doing.

Fire Byrd said...

What amazed me recently with all the hospital trips was the number of obese medical staff, doctors and nurses. So if they don't take care of themselves and they are taught this, then what hope for the rest of us.
I feel strongly that most people eat so thoughtlessly, or are eating their feelings that until we address the emotional affect of food in this western world of plenty then no-one works through what they are doing and increasingly few people stop. Or we have the other extreme of 'stars' and since no normal person can afford the life style of the superskinny then as people fail to be so thin they give up caring.
ooops seem to have gone off on a rant, maybe I should make a post instead of taking your space up!!!
xx

Shadow said...

so true, many of our ailments we contribute to ourselves. which again, makes it easier to rectify...

Ribbon said...

Mind Body & Spirit are one.
No one functions properly without the other.

It's simple yet we all often complicate it for ourselves and I don't know the answer to that question as to why we do that.

Best wishes for taking back control of your life...

Ribbon

Renee said...

Can you believe it, I just as I was going to ask you figured out e.d. Duhhh.

I know that sweets aren't good for me and I can not put one down if I see it. Crazy.

I'm betting on you and your husband and that you both will be in better shape within a year.

Love Renee xoxo

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I've just read both posts and I'm so sorry to hear your news. And you are so right, education is critical in all this.
I guess we just become so conditioned to not really watching what we eat and to losing "balance" that when illness sneaks up on us, it inevitably takes us by surprise. But I am a firm believer that pretty much any illness can be overcome - but it brings with it an enormous amount of commitment and personal work.
You take really good care of yourself.

lakeviewer said...

Hi folks. I am excited and impressed by the thoughtful responses. We are all going to get these diseases if we do nothing.

Those of you in the 30's and 40's, our children with children, don't make the same mistakes we made. Get informed, and care for yourselves and your children. Take an inventory of your habits. Treat yourselves as the beautiful machine/creation you are and fill up with the best fuel you can.

Now, somebody else should talk about the other diseases we are stuck with in this century. Go ahead, I'm in prime listening mode.

Thank you for stopping by.

Bogey said...

I'm already anticipating this disease sometime in the future as there is history of it in my family. And you are absolutly correct, when we are younger, we do not think of coming down with this or any other disease. Our diets, and I use the term loosely, are almost non-existant. So much for a trip out to Dairy Queen later. And if I'm not careful, I will be able to give myself breast examinations. A good reminder to me to visit my doctor more than once a decade.

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm sorry to hear your diagnosis but glad to read that you are ready and determined to meet this challenge.

I know many people who have diabetes and have controlled it with moderate exercise and by eating real food.

Many healing thoughts and good energy headed in your direction.

Aging is SO humbling! Isn't it? It is for me.

Sujatha said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences. There is so much 'schooling' right here. The very best to you and your husband.

valeria said...

School could play a bigger role in our lives and Medical Education should be teached from the beginning. I think it would make a big difference...

Hilary said...

So sorry for the diagnosis but glad you have the smarts and determination to make the best of it with what you know. And thank you for sharing this wake-up call. It's certainly a little more than just food for thought.

karen said...

Education is certainly important, especially when combined with families living a healthier life to set a good example for their youngsters! Good for you, you've got us all thinking healthy thoughts! x

Kikit said...

Sadly, I'm not very particular with my food intake. I just eat what I want and I know that's a problem. It's nice to read a blog that promotes good health. Thanks Rosaria. :)

Lola said...

Rosaria,
I forgot to say this on my last comment on Part 1: please GET THIS BOOK = The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. It says a lot on the way America eats. I think you'd find it interesting and quite educating too.

I'm glad the biscotti (with sugar substitute) were tasty. That's the reason why I blog.

Ciao cara, thank you for sharing this.

The Things We Carried said...

Ugh, this is a serious disease we have become numbed to hearing of and we need to listen. Thanks for posting this!

Polly said...

I've missed your last post because I've been away from blogs. I'm really sorry for your illness, you are very brave about it.

I think that medical education can be pretty useless until the trouble hits us, only then we start to pay attention. And only then we realise how fragile we are.

Thank you for this post.

Debbie said...

This a great series and it is very interesting to hear what you are involved in.

marc aurel said...

Thanks for the heads up. It comes just at the time when I have been writing about my own gluttony.
For a short time, when I was a young man, I lived hungry every day. That experience was the kind of luxury of learning most of us here just don't get. We are too well fed for our own good.
I have to laugh: word verification is "gates".

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Very wise words, dear Rosaria... And I am intelligent and understand what I should and should not eat, but that does not stop me from over-imbibing... What is the trigger for us, the plenty that is available to us at every turn and corner? Or, as someone has said, and as I understand in my own case, 'feeding our feelings'?

You are, as always, very right, that education and starting young is the answer... Our SureStart Children's Centre programmes in England have this aim in mind - Early learning about healthy eating and living, for tots and families... It will take some time to understand all the impacts of this work, but even if we are facing a change in political leadership (which I dread...), I hope we can continue this work in our small isle...

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