"We are young."
That's our generation's excuse every time we decide to go YOLO. It's good to be carefree, but there is a very thin line between carefree and careless. That's what I learned two years ago when I was diagnosed with 'Type 2 diabetes'.
Growing up, I had a really high metabolism and I never had to worry about gaining weight, which meant I could eat everything, I looked younger than my age, and of course, exercise was off the list.
Our body can bear much more than we think it can, but like everyone who has been taken for granted, the body too will stop supporting us if treated disrespectfully. While my body needed to rest, my mind chose to live in denial. Finally, after years of over-stressing my body with a regular pattern of unhealthy eating habits, at the age of 26, my body stopped responding how I wanted it to.
How I Discovered I Had Type 2 Diabetes
It started with me feeling sudden pangs of pain around my rib cage all through the day, accompanied with being tired and hungry all the time. I would pop a painkiller and continue stepping out with my friends for a few drinks on a regular basis.
With each passing day, I felt weaker, but I ignored every sign that clearly said that my body needed medical attention.
That’s when I realised that I need to address this issue. So, I finally went back to my hometown. That turned out to be the most eye-opening sabbatical of my life.
Home, Discovery, and a Long Road to Recovery
I had a fever all the time when I got back home, and paracetamol couldn't do the job. My mother dragged me to get a blood test. The reports came in, and they were not what I expected.
I had an enlarged liver, Eosinophilia (this was a term I heard for the first time), a major deficiency of Vitamin B12, and unsurprisingly, type 2 diabetes.
It was like a domino effect, where every careless action led to some new disease. The root cause of all? An unhealthy lifestyle.
For almost a month I could barely walk without support, and I had to cut out a lot of things from my diet, from rice to red meat, you name it.
With the shift in purchasing power and technology, the way we live our lives had changed. Lifestyle diseases like diabetes are not just a result of unhealthy food habits.
With more availability of resources and being convinced about having no time to spare, millennials have become prey to some extremely uncommon diseases for their age group.
A flu or a bad stomach can be managed with the help of proper treatment and medication, but lifestyle diseases can be prevented if a healthy, active lifestyle is followed. And if you’re wondering - Yes, type 2 diabetes can be reversed. At least in my case, I managed to reverse it.
I finally started paying attention to my health after a few painful jolts of reality.
With the regular intake of healthy food, my body soon grew comfortable with it, and with a few baby steps, I started with very basic exercises....which eventually turned into a one-hour ritual.
After 6 months of following a healthy diet that included 5 meals a day, regular exercise, and adequate amount of sleep, I was finally ready to hit the road again. This time, it was the one that led to self love and I was healthier than I’d ever been. Those 6 months, there was not a single drop of alcohol, and I banished junk food entirely.
Even the smallest changes matter. Today, two years since I was diagnosed, I can say that with complete faith.
The word ‘diabetes’ can instill a fear in many as the first thing that pops in our head is the requirement of insulin intake. I was lucky that I got diagnosed right on time as it helped me recover easily.
Slow and steady, but I did recover. It was an accomplishment as I never thought I could function without any medical attention ever again.
Your body needs care and affection. Just because I learned it the hard way doesn’t mean everyone has to go through that road. It might sound cheesy but your body is the home to your soul, and if you don’t take care of it, where is the soul to reside?