Diabetes impacts more than 30 million people in the US according to the National Institute of Health, and sometimes, managing it can seem like a huge challenge. So, today, let’s meet a woman who successfully kept her diabetes under control for more than 50 years and find out what she says is the key to living healthy.
Kathy Pinaccio first started experiencing diabetes symptoms when she was 15 years old. – I would get up in the middle of the night and drink soda because I was dying of thirst, urinating constantly, and I was emaciated looking,so my mother one day said you’re gonna go to the doctor and get checked. That lead to a diagnosis of type one diabetes. – Diabetes is a very common condition that very basically is a problem with the body being unable to accurately manage glucose. Type one diabetes is literally where you have absolute insulin insufficiency, the bodydoesn’t make enough insulin cause the pancreas is not working. The body attacks the pancreas so the insulin producing cells are destroyed. The glucose gets very high, it causes excessive urination, excessive thirst, weightloss, blurry vision. – I was terrified at 15, I thought if I ate a candy bar, I would die that day.
Kathy immediately set her sights on taking care of herself. The first step was getting set up with insulin and a routine that involved regularly checking her blood sugar. – Take your insulin at the same time, try to eat at the same time. But I do check my blood four times a day. I check it before every meal. – In general, you wanna get insulin to control both the mealtime sugars, and the sugar for the rest of the day in between. That usually takes two different types of insulin. Kathy learned how to watch for the signs of low or high blood sugar, and manage her medications accordingly. – I can tell when my blood sugar is starting to fall. You’re a little bit confused mentally, and you get sweaty. If it get too high, then you are very thirsty. She also had to begin tracking her meals. – You’ll find out what contains carbs.
There’s, I’m an avid reader on the back of any label. It’s a habit you make yourself get into. It is thinking about what you’re taking in, looking at how many carbs are in a given food, and then she’ll dose adjust, and
hat’s what makes her so successful. You know what you’re gonna eat, and what you’re gonna do, and then you adjust the dose. – [Announcer] Next came setting aside time for regular exercise in her day. – I think walking is the best exercise for anybody. – It’s usually about 30 minutes everyday that’s helping with glucose utilizaion, it’s helping with muscle tone, it’s helping with weight maintenance. Finally, Kathy says staying in close contact with her doctor and being honest with him has ensured that she remains on track. We see Kathy every three to four months, and we’ll talk about where her sugars have been. – That to me is the most important thing. Have a doctor that will listen to you, and advise you. Kathy hopes other diabetics will follow in her footsteps, and use these same steps to keep themselves healthy. – Can’t let it stop you, go out and have fun.
She’s a great example, 55 years later, she’s doesn’t have any complications that we can tell, that’s great. am living the good life, I am, I am lucky to be 70 years old and an healthy diabetic and living a good life. I am.