Success With Diabetes: Jackie James
Hi my name is Jackie, and since September of 1998 I have been diagnosed with Non-insulin dependent Type 2 diabetes. My original symptoms presented over a short period of time; weight loss, vision problems and extreme thrust. I have always been a larger guy, but I never realized how my weight might be negatively affecting my health until I ended up in the hospital. 3 days in an ICU was enough to convince me that my health was not something I could be passive about anymore.
I have learned that having diabetes is not a death sentence, but an opportunity to learn more about how my body works best. For the past 11 years I have continued to battle with my weight and keeping my blood sugars under control. Consistent exercise along with a proper drug regiment has given me the success I have needed in achieving and staying in balance.
As a minority I can see the rise of diabetes among African Americans. Our silence and fears about diabetes continues to put more people, both young and old at risk of death. My hope is that as I talk about my illness it will help others feel free to confront their own lifestyle issues.
Jackie has a BS degree in Theology and works for Southern Adventist University as Associate Director of Enrollment Services. Every year he travels to numerous cities throughout the United States, connecting with young people, as he helps them make important life decisions. He has enjoyed fishing since his early childhood years in Southern Miami; and he enjoys racket ball, hiking, staying active, cooking, and trying new recipes that he learns from cooking shows. Jackie is a friend to many, and loved by all!
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is a genetic hereditary disease which is prevalent in most societies. The disease, however, does not always progress to outright diabetes, when individuals commit to lifestyle changes, early on, that help prevent its development. When caloric intake increases, and caloric expenditure decreases, the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes increases dramatically. Type 2 Diabetes was once called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, or maturity onset diabetes. It is now simply called Type 2 diabetes mellitus, or T2DM. Use of the term “non-insulin-dependent diabetes” contributed to a great deal of confusion because many individuals with Type 2 diabetes actually require the use of insulin by injection in order to control their diabetes. In addition, the use of age-related terminology is no longer helpful because of the dramatic increase in incidence of Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents.
People with Type 2 diabetes are not insulin deficient in the early progression of their disease. In fact, in the beginning they actually make enormous amounts of insulin (a condition called hyperinsulinemia) in order to compensate for the insulin resistance that is characteristic of Type 2 diabetes. With time they often develop a relative insulin deficiency that requires them to take insulin, because their pancreas becomes fatigued in trying to make enough insulin to meet the excessive demands of insulin resistance.
The need for use of insulin by injection does not indicate failure on the part of an individual with Type 2 diabetes. And, in fact, the need for insulin by injection can sometimes be reversed if the person is willing to utilize insulin for a long enough period of time to give their pancreas time to regenerate, while they focus on life style changes that help decrease resistance to insulin.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 % of diabetes in the United States.
Diabetes is often associated with a group of characteristics that contribute to insulin resistance, commonly referred to as metabolic syndrome, or syndrome X. These characteristics include obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose or “sugar” levels, and high triglyceride levels. Most experts define metabolic syndrome as the presence of 3 or more of the following:
Obesity (especially in the abdominal area)
Waist measurement > 38” to 41” (94 to 102 cm) in Men
Waist measurement > 32” (80 cm) in Women
Fasting blood glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dl (5.6 to7 mmol/L)
Blood Pressure > 130/85, or need for medication
Triglycerides > 150 to 180 mg/dl (1.7 mmol/L)
Low fasting HDL:
< 40 mg/dl (1mmol/L) in Men, or need for medication
< 50 mg/dl (1.3 mmol/L) in Women, or need for medication
Factors which may increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome:
Body Mass Index (BMI) > 25
Menopause (in women)
High carbohydrate diet
Lack of physical activity
Family history of diabetes or metabolic syndrome
Health risks associated with metabolic syndrome include diabetes, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, angina (chest pain), and stroke.
Reference: UpToDate for Patients: Metabolic Syndrome Overview
What is Diabetes? Novo
Type 2 Diabetes: NIH Medline Plus
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: UpToDate for Patients
Metabolic Syndrome: NIH Medline Plus
Metabolic Syndrome Overview: UpToDate for Patients