Controlling my diabetes for my family

minute read
February 13, 2023
A type 2 diabetic Indian mother holding her child.
Note: Image for illustration only. It does not show the author of this story. Photo credit - Ritesh Arya.

My name is Khadija, and 10 years ago I was suffering from shakes, body pain and weakness.

Discussing my problems with my sister, who had the same symptoms, she advised me to see a doctor.

The doctor conducted a blood sugar test and found my blood sugar level was 350mg/dL (it should be less than 100 while fasting and less than 140 after) – This is when I was diagnosed with diabetes.

Causes of my diabetes

The reason my blood glucose level was high is very common – I used to eat sugar-rich foods and was overweight (I weighed 80kg).

I belong to a rich family, and there were 2 servers in my house. I wasn’t interested in studies (I only graduated from school) and got married at 25.

I also wasn’t interested in working out or exercising and used to sit for long periods.

This caused my body to change, increasing in fat and insulin resistance (as well as multiple other problems). This led to my type 2 diabetes.

Pregnancy and miscarriage

When I was 30, I got pregnant. But after 2 months, I suffered a miscarriage.

This was very traumatic for me and depressing. Asian societies aren’t supportive of women, and my mother-in-law pressured me to conceive. I took regular medication to encourage pregnancy and this contributed to my weight problems.

My husband was very supportive, but the rest of society was harsh.

In this condition, my body started demanding food rich in sugar. I was also very lazy and had a sedentary lifestyle (a common factor for type 2 diabetes).

Very upset, I started to receive counselling.

Getting healthy

To improve my condition, I adopted a healthy diet plan and began an exercise program. Healthy eating and increased physical activity helped me burn my body’s fat and carbs and decrease my insulin resistance. This reduced the diabetes-related problems I was facing and lowered my future risk.

Encouraged, I hired a fitness trainer and had regular training sessions. I walked for 30 minutes every morning and had sessions with my trainer in the evening.

I also paid more attention to my medicine, taking it regularly and appropriately.

And I started avoiding soft drinks, rice, potatoes, chocolates and meat – Except when I felt tired or was shivering or sweating (my doctor advised me to eat something sweet when this happened).

After a year of healthy eating, doing regular workouts and taking medication appropriately, I managed to lower my body fat.

2nd pregnancy

Soon after I started trying to get my health back on track, I got pregnant again – I’m now the healthy mother of a baby girl.

During my pregnancy, I was regularly examined by a team of doctors and gave birth to my daughter naturally (I didn’t have a caesarian).

Because I was pregnant while my diabetes was not well controlled, I had a lot of symptoms, and my baby’s blood glucose level was high. My baby was ‘overfed’ – Her weight and growth were too high.

Because my baby was large, I was very uncomfortable during the last few months of my pregnancy and had problems during delivery – I suffered, and my baby suffered a lot as well.

I was aware of the risks my diabetes would place on my baby and me, and I knew that any effort I could make would increase my chances of having a live, healthy baby. The more I controlled my blood glucose level, the lower my chances of having a still or premature birth.

I tried to control my blood glucose level during my pregnancy, knowing it would save my baby and me – She was my first priority.

My diabetes was not well controlled, but it got better.

Final thoughts

My sedentary lifestyle was a key factor in my diabetes. But now I’m following a healthy lifestyle, and have a happy life with my family.

And if I can follow a healthy lifestyle, you can too.

I’m already teaching my daughter about fitness, how to live healthily, and to smile!

Graphic of a female profile picture.

Khadija is a housewife and type 2 diabetic. She hopes that by sharing her story, she’s able to motivate young women suffering from diabetes.

Editor's note: The opinions and experiences reflected in stories from the diabetic community belong to the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of InDiabetes.

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