More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes. There are three different types that individuals may suffer from. In all instances, diabetes is how your body responds to insulin: either your body cannot use the insulin in the way that it should or your body does not make enough of it.
Type 1 diabetes is when your body does not make insulin like it should. This is often hereditary, and non-reversible. In Type 2 diabetes, your body cannot use insulin in a productive way. This is the more common of the two, and can be diagnosed at any age. Type 2 diabetes is preventable and can be reversed by adopting healthy lifestyle factors. Gestational diabetes occurs in women who are pregnant. There are certain health concerns for both mother and baby with gestational diabetes, but often goes away after baby is born.
When your body begins to not respond to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. Too much sugar in your blood puts stress on our other organs, such as our heart and kidneys. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, and the number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult blindness. Taking control of your health by managing your condition is crucial for the highest quality health outcomes!
Our team of providers are thrilled to work with you to tailor a treatment plan to fit your needs. Medication may be necessary, but in many cases, diabetes can be controlled through necessary lifestyle changes. Our team of providers all have the common goal to prevent and delay the complications of diabetes, to ensure that you’re able to live a healthy and joyful life serving God.
The Spiritual Aspects of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention: Temperance, Fortitude, and Mortification
In particular, Type 2 diabetes treatment and prevention largely involves the abstaining from foods that are high in carbohydrates (sugars). As we know, these foods are extremely delicious, highly rewarding in terms of pleasure, and unfortunately habit-forming (soda, chocolate, fast food, etc.).
The cardinal virtue of temperance asks of us that we abstain from things that bring pleasure in order to bring balance, bind passions, and most of all, abstain from sin.
The cardinal virtue of fortitude plays a role, as the treatment and prevention of diabetes almost always involves exercise. Exercise can be difficult. As a Catholic, we perform these duties in the face of danger or peril. Type 2 diabetes doesn’t necessarily pose a danger to our salvation, but one cannot neglect the body that has been given to us by God. Excluding vanity and pride, one must care for the body and ensure that we are performing our duties for all stages of life. Dr. Reyes Cuevas provides an example below:
“Let’s take myself, a 38 year-old man with a family to care for. If I become diabetic, refuse to care for my disease, and then die young – what impact will that have on the spiritual direction of my family? I would be placing my wife in a situation of extreme suffering and possibly placing her and my children’s salvation in peril. I could even argue that the virtue of justice makes it absolutely mandatory that I do all possible to take care of my disease with all my strength. If one has a disease that kills, and knows the means to treat it, is it not extremely neglectful to fail to do so?”
One must truly die to the flesh with type 2 diabetes, as in the state of mortification. By avoiding those things that bring short-lived, and ultimately deadly pleasure, we ensure and restore our health. When we are able to apply mortification to things such as food and leisure, we are then ultimately able to apply mortification to things that are sinful and bring death to the soul. As Catholics, the most important part of our lives is the salvation of our soul.