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A gold justice scale holds high fat foods (avocado, shrimp, fries, eggs, and salmon) on one side while the other side holds a variety of pills.

Managing Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes

I have been living with hypertension (high blood pressure) since 2001. I had been able to manage it with maintenance medications and exercise. I had stopped eating pork completely but I still had that love for salt so that was a little challenge for me. I would know if I had too much because I would get the occasional headache but that was about it. Though I loved salt I did not overdo it.

Type 2 diabetes and hypertension

So now let’s fast forward to when I visited my new doctor in late 2014. I was a little embarrassed at 37 having hypertension but I was in for an awakening. I found out that I now had high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes as well. This did scare me. So now instead of low to no salt now I have low to no sugar, low to no carbs and low to no fats. To me it was more like “low to no life” because this would mean “low to no food” and I love food. How was I now gonna be able to find food with no sodium, no carbs, no sugar, no fats, no nothing? I was going crazy about how I was going to be able to balance all of this. I went 13 years on trying to be careful of only my sodium intake, to so much more management and it was, and at times still is, difficult. Well, that is to me at least. I feel like I really can’t eat anything but air at times.

Unhealthy choices

Now a salad is not a salad anymore. My type of salad would be loaded with about 10 percent of healthy, 90 percent of unhealthy which meant 100 percent of good (intentions) and bad (outcome) at the same time. How was that even possible? Well I will tell you how this is my friend… My initial thought was good but after a little this and a little that got added it became an unhealthy meal and a very bad choice. There I admitted it. I knew it was bad but I didn’t stop. Before I got to the salad bar I would have my mind made up. I would tell myself this will be a healthy salad this time. But when I got there and saw the toppings and said ok just a little of this one, and a little of that one, and slowly the lettuce disappeared and that was all she wrote. You know how someone says I’m gonna have a salad for lunch and you could actually see the salad, well yeah that was not my salad. When someone looks at your salad and say…what are you eating? At that moment you realize you are NOT eating a salad. You are eating any and everything that will come from those unhealthy eating habits. In my case, that was high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. So that is how I got here.

Managing hypertension and type 2 diabetes

But now I have been finding ways to manage. Though it’s not easy. As a matter of fact it’s harder some days because I sometimes get exhausted just trying to figure out what to eat. If I don’t meal prep I get stuck but eventually, I will find something.

And if that wasn’t enough, here you go… Medications, ugh. We all know that they are not free. I am taking 8 different pills a day but some are multiple times a day so in total, I have to take 11 a day. Yes, you read that correctly – 11 a day. I am 41 and I feel like pills take up much of my day. That is a challenge when I don’t have an appetite to snack or eat to take so many pills. The side effects of some also add a challenge when managing multiple illnesses. So management has been a little hard but over time it has gotten better and I am sure it will continue to get better. I have recently joined the gym and hopefully, that will help with management as well and I am hopeful that it will allow me to illuminate some of the medications with the advice of my medical providers. One day at a time is all I can do and I will continue to fight for a healthier me. Beautifully Fighting.

Do you find that managing multiple illnesses is a big challenge? If so, how do you deal with the challenges? I would love to know how you manage your type 2 plus other conditions.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • stac
    1 week ago

    Thanks for the article Erica. I also am adjusting my lifestyle to manage type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, it is such a challenge! Your article was motivating.

  • Erica Franklin moderator author
    1 week ago

    Hey @stac, You are so welcome. I know that some days it gets to be a bit much but I know that tomorrow will be better and we can only take it one day at a time. We will get through this. Enjoy the rest of your beautiful day.

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Very good article Erica!!!! I know about the high cholesterol bit. Have had that for many years. Would get it down and then back it would come again. On meds for that as well along with the blood pressure ones. Have you tried using spices and herbs with foods when getting rid of the salt? That’s what I reverted to. When I was first diagnosed the dietitian told me that Mrs Dash would become my best friend. Turns out he was right. Now wife will use that for fixing food and also when getting things ready for grilling. I really love using that and haven’t missed salt at all. In fact can now tell when foods have salt in them, even a small amount. Wish you the best in what you are trying.

  • Erica Franklin moderator author
    1 week ago

    Hello @riddler I hope all is well with you. I have not tried any herbs or spices. I have cut out salt a lot. I have not tried Mrs Dash. I am looking for something that can take the place. I will try out the Mrs Dash. Thank you so much for that information. ~ Erica, Community Moderator

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    1 week ago

    That was one thing that the dietitian stressed to me. Said I needed to cut the salt way down if not totally get rid of it if possible. So was a big help to find the different ‘blends’ of it as well. I have a few different ones now and each time I go shopping I’ll check to see what new ones they have on the shelf. Check the store brands as well. Sometimes you’ll find something that will be the same just cheaper. Will get two bennies for the price of one at that rate when you do. 😉

  • Erica Franklin moderator author
    1 week ago

    @riddler I did not know that either. It’s true when they say you learn something everyday. I will go to my local store in the morning. Again thank you. ~ Erica, Community Moderator

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    1 week ago

    You’re welcome. I use that on my eggs etc as well and they have a number of different types of it as well.

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