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Type 2 diabetes has changed my life - for the better

Jay, a volunteer with Type 2 Together, was motivated to make some lifestyle changes when he was diagnosed with the condition. Now he wants to help other people in a similar situation.

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Jay wanted to make some big changes.

My name is Jay. Back in September of 2014 I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had been feeling poorly for such a long time and I was overweight and very unfit.

At 35 years old, I weighed in at almost 20 stone and I’m only 5ft 8″. I also drank a lot of alcohol and smoked about 20 cigarettes on a daily basis.

I was on medication for blood pressure, anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, cholesterol and acid reflux. 

My blood sugar levels were reading 83 after the doctor sent me for a blood test and I was prescribed Gliclazide 80mg. The doctor refused to prescribe me Metformin as my liver wasn’t functioning properly at this point.I went into denial about all of my health problems almost instantly. I carried on drinking and eating stuff that wasn’t doing me any good. Christmas came by and before I knew it, February was here and I was feeling worse than ever.One morning I woke up and decided that enough was enough. I wanted to change my whole lifestyle in a big way and I wanted to live! It was the 18th February 2015. I threw away my cigarettes. I poured the drink down the sink and I put myself on a low carb diet. I decided that I was going to be on a very strict low carb diet for a period of two months so that I could take control of my blood sugar levels. I was actually pretty successful at doing this. I went for a review with my diabetes nurse in May and my level had dropped to 33. I was no longer classed as being on the diabetic scale! I was taken off Gliclazide and I also managed to take myself off my medication for cholesterol, depression, anxiety and acid reflux. My cholesterol was reading as normal and my liver had completely repaired itself. As a result of my liver functioning normally, my doctor prescribed me the Metformin that he refused to previously when my liver wasn’t functioning normally. The biggest thing of all was that I was also weighing in at 16 stone so I had lost about four stone at that point.I was so proud of myself but I now wanted to go further. I decided that I wanted to now start to vary my diet more by introducing fewer carbs into the equation. I also decided that I wanted to get physically fit so I began by starting to walk every day for about four miles at a time, at a brisk pace. I did this for about a month before deciding to buy a decent bike; this made me turn things up a notch. I began cycling every day for a distance of around nine miles each time.I am currently weighing in at 13 stone 8 lbs and I feel incredible! I have lost seven stone so far and I have taken myself off almost every medication that I was on for years, including lithium for major depression. I feel fit and healthy for the first time ever. The best thing that has ever happened to me is getting a diagnosis of diabetes. It has changed my life.My family and friends are very supportive. My Mother is also Type 2 diabetic. My wife is very supportive, to the point where she has even lost a considerable amount of weight by dieting with me. My two children are very clued up about diabetes and the nutritional value of all types of food.I am now about to start facilitating groups forDiabetes UK Type 2 Together and I’m really excited about it. All I want to do now is educate others about how to turn their lives around like I have. I have gone from strength to strength throughout my journey living with diabetes and I really do believe that I can make a difference to other people’s lives.

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