Control Your Type 2 Diabetes When SHTF
by Scott M., SurvivalBlog
Type 1 diabetes is where you don’t produce any or very limited insulin and have to be on insulin for your lifetime. Type 1 is found almost exclusively in children.
Type 2 is primarily in adults, but it can be found in all ages. Some symptoms of concern that should raise the suspicion of diabetes include constant hunger, extreme thirst, unexplained weight loss, sores or scratches on the skin that either fail to heal or take a prolonged healing time, excessive urination, dry mouth, itchy skin, blurred vision and repeated or difficult to treat yeast infections (either in men or women), difficulty with coordination or train of thought. Having any or a number of these symptoms does not absolutely mean you have diabetes, but it is concerning enough that you should seek testing with your physician to determine whether you have it or not.
Remember: The earlier diabetes is found the easier it can be to treat and the risk for damage to your body is decreased.
“Getting control” is medical language for keeping your blood sugar between 80-110 mg/dl (normal range for non-diabetics and optimal range we diabetics aspire to). This is accomplished by controlling your intake of carbohydrates/sugar, exercise to open receptors in your muscles to help metabolize the carbohydrates/sugars you ingest, maintaining or losing weight, cutting back on stress, checking your blood sugar both before and after meals and managing your medications with the help of your physician.
One of the motivating factors is that in a post-SHTF world the availability of insulin in any form will be minimal to non-existent (not to mention that insulin has a rather short shelf life and must be refrigerated).
First, control the intake of carbohydrates/sugar. This is not just cutting back on candy/cakes and sweets. Carbohydrates and sugar are found in so much of the food we eat. Simple sugars can be restricted more easily than complex carbohydrates.
Next is regular exercise. This has to be an aerobic exercise where your target heart rate while exercising (220 minus your age) is multiplied by 60-70%. This heart rate is maintained at a minimum of 30 minutes 4-5 times per week.
Make sure you have your doctor’s approval to start an exercise program and remember you have to gradually build tolerance to the program as going from being sedentary to tolerating that level of exercise takes time. A fast walk will work just as well as jogging but with a great deal less stress on the joints, muscles and tissues. And remember the more you stress on your body the greater the chance of down time due to injury and the resultant loss of conditioning.
Serious About Weight Loss
Next is weight loss or maintaining weight. Losing weight is merely using more calories (such as though exercise or activity level) than you ingest. Remember it takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound (and an excess of 3,500 calories to gain a pound). The dietician is a great resource to help you define your ideal body weight and to help you reach your weight goals.
A good rule of thumb for ideal weight in women is 100 pounds for the first five feet of height and five pounds for every inch beyond that. For men it’s 106 pounds for the first five feet and six pounds for every inch beyond that. So, for a six foot tall man, 106+(12×6) =178 pounds.
That is based on a medium frame size. This is usually determined by reaching around your wrist with the opposite hands middle finger and thumb. If the thumb and middle finger just touch that is a medium frame. If they overlap by an inch or so that is a small frame and a 10% reduction is taken from the height based weight calculation. If the thumb and middle finger fail to touch by approximately an inch a 10% addition is added to the height based weight calculation.
Another goal is to cut back on stress. If you have a stressful job or lifestyle you need to ask yourself if your health is worth that promotion or if that new phone/car/house/keeping up with the Jones’s is really worth losing your vision or toes or possibly having a heart attack or stroke. All are potential consequences of poorly controlled diabetes. Taking a step back and deciding what really is important to you and your family will not only lengthen your life but can also make your life more fulfilling.
Stockpiling Oral Meds
Stockpiling oral medications can be achieved in a number of ways. First, let your physician know you are concerned with having access to your meds should the supply chain be disrupted. Some of your medications can be ordered in twice the strength than you are taking and broken in half. This simple method will effectively double your supply.
Another method, if your physician is willing, is to have your meds ordered through your usual pharmacy supplier (such as express scripts) and also have your physician write for the same medication in generic that you can take to Wal-Mart and buy with cash (not using your medication coverage as they will not let you double up the same medication for the same time frame).
Another is through mail order from reputable pharmacies in Canada or Mexico–again if your physician is willing to write extra scripts.
And finally, you can go into Mexico and buy your scripts without having to ask physician to write double scripts. Keep in mind you can only do this with non-narcotic medications.
Once you have the extra medications leave them in their bottles and add a desiccant and oxygen absorption packets and then place them in a vacuum pack bag and put in your freezer. This method should allow the medication to last for years as you will be protecting it from the two greatest enemies to medicine; heat and oxidation.
Make sure you rotate the older medication with the newly acquired. The methods listed in this section can be used for any medication you are on with the exception of narcotics and controlled medications.
Finally, I would like to recommend some great reference sites: AAFP.org (American Academy of Family Practice), WebMD.com, mayoclinic.org, clevelandclinic.org, hopkinsmedicine.org, and NIH.gov (National Institutes of Health).
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