My grandmother has had Type 2 ("adult onset") Diabetes for the last 20ish years. She was first diagnosed with it in her late forties/early fifties. She has never taken insulin, but doctors have been nagging her to start taking insulin for the last several years, but she refuses. She's had lots of heart issues, and no one knows if it's because of her unchecked Diabetes or not, but I'd venture to guess that if she had taken better care of herself and had taken insulin when needed, that maybe she could have avoided at least some of her heart issues. About 5 years ago, she had triple bypass surgery, had a pacemaker put in, and had a pig's valve put it to replace one of her own heart valves. She is currently fairly healthy, but sees numerous doctors who monitor her often. My grandmother is 70 years old.
My mother is 52 years old and just got diagnosed with Diabetes. She has much more access to educational literature, knowledgeable doctors, and exercise that my grandmother did not have much access to back in the 80's when she first got diagnosed. So my mother and grandmother have become a team, trying to fight this disease together with modern warfare: meeting with a dietician, counting carbs, learning all they can about Diabetes and how to eat the right foods, and keeping online food journals on sites like Livestrong.com and SparkPeople.com.
So now about me. Diabetes is heading right for me. I am apparently genetically predisposed to it, and if I do not make a drastic effort to avoid it, it will happen to me too. So that is why I have been eating healthy, exercising, and taking time to de-stress for the last couple of years. I have vowed to myself that I will do everything in my power to avoid getting Diabetes. If I make all the right lifestyle choices and I still get Diabetes someday, then at least I will know that I did everything I could to prevent it. And maybe, even if I do eventually get it because of my genes, then maybe I won't get it when I'm near 50 like my mother & grandmother, but perhaps I can stall it until I'm 60 or 70.
Most physicians and dietitians agree that Diabetes can be altogether prevented or at least put off for years with the right lifestyle: eating a 'controlled' carb, healthy diet with lean meats & lots of fruits and veggies, and exercising at least a few days a week. Go easy on all sugars, especially refined white sugars, and avoid any processed foods. Rest, relax, unwind, play, destress, and sleep at least 8 hours a night. Maintain a healthy weight. Get lots of antioxidants and nutrients in food, like drinking green tea.
I do most all of these things, I will continue to do them, in order to prevent one more member of my family from getting Diabetes. I will beat this thing, and hopefully be an inspiration to others in the process. I will do it for my mother & grandmother. I will do it for my husband. I will do it for my future children. But most of all, I will do it for me.