Insulin pump to regulate Type 1 diabetes. (Alden Chadwick/Flickr/CC license)

How does a Hardhead Diabetic™ (HHD™) age gracefully? The knee-jerk reaction is – they won’t! This article’s goal is to submit reasons for HOPE to the contrary. The reigning belief is diabetics displaying “hardheaded” tendencies are destined to succumb to the worst sect of diabetic complications – dialysis, blindness and limb loss. Most HHDs™ can age gracefully; devoid of significant complications. How is this possible if they stubbornly refuse to do right?

The image of an HHD must first be corrected. We (including me – a self-professed HHD for 25 years) are not “hardheaded” in the traditional sense. Our perceived hardheadedness about diabetes is a societal misinterpretation of our information processing procedure. Comprehension of this fact by the diabetic’s support system engages successful conversation with the diabetic, advancing tighter diabetes control. There are several factors that drive the Hardhead personality type in general. Here we will touch on the top two.

Rica Rich
Rica Rich

First, Hardheads rarely respond to insistence. If they do, it will be temporary. The more you force on us, the faster we recoil. Time is needed to analyze and draw our own conclusions. Unfortunately, concerned loved-ones rarely extend us the opportunity to arrive at concrete decisions. Second, fear does not motivate us. That does not translate “fearless.” It means our internal compass for change is guided by reasonable, information driven suppositions. Hyperbolic statements roll off us like water from a duck. Quantitative, demonstrative information to be pondered and examined allows space to evaluate and arrive at permanent change.

Protocols for diabetes management have been steeped in fear-based instruction since inception. You are risking a foot amputation if you keep eating candy! This approach is understandable. Rationale says why wouldn’t you stop eating something if it means the loss of a body part? Quadrupled incidence of diabetes over the last 40 years, coupled with increased medical expenditure for diabetic complications treatment, say otherwise. HHDs can be convinced to maintain good diabetes control, if the message is delivered correctly. The time to change the narrative to this personality type has arrived?

Example: Linda drinks 16 ounces of orange juice every morning. Her doctor scolds, “Your sugars are too high. Keep this up, your future holds dialysis.”

Linda’s internal response, “Everything I like spikes my sugar. At least orange juice has vitamins and is healthy. It’s been five years; my kidneys are fine.”

Effective approach: “Orange juice is a liquid; a concentrated form of fruit. 1. Fruit has a high density of natural sugar; 2. Concentrated, you multiply your intake; and 3. Liquid does not have to break down in your body. It goes directly to your bloodstream; immediately spiking your sugar. Which is why during a sugar low, orange juice is often given to diabetics. Within minutes you feel better.”

One and two are quantitative. Three is demonstrative. The entirety can be evaluated for accuracy and is not directed by disconcerting claims. Linda’s final step, evaluate and verify. Her most likely conclusion – no more orange juice.

Diabetic Food Combing™ (DFC™), eating different food groups together to prevent rapid, prolonged blood sugar spikes, is a road map back to the carefree days of eating, minus the constant worry of diabetic complications. Much of today’s food is made with processed corn. Additionally, uncontrolled blood sugars create sugar cravings. Result: a struggle with diabetes control. Learning DFC™ restores lost freedom, removes ambiguity and solidifies the joy of eating.

Eating low glucose producing foods with high glucose producing foods is essentially Diabetic Food Combing™. There are no recipes, numbers to record, portions to weigh or selected menu items. Consistently eat foods together in eyeball portions using the guidelines of DFC and be amazed at your sugar levels. After a 16-ounce bowl of high glucose producing mixed fresh fruit DFC with foods like low glucose producing celery and cabbage, my sugar reads in the 90’s mg/dl! My HbA1C decreased 1.5 points the first 3 months I used DFC.

With energy, great blood sugar control and sustained joy when eating, it’s inevitable you will AGE GRACEFULLY!

Rica Rich has 29 years of experience in business management and sales. While owning and operating her own organization in the financial services field; she oversaw the critical medical care of multiple family members for 15 years. This provided her with an extensive background and understanding of medicine and medical procedures. Ms. Rich could not resist adding this cause to her demanding schedule in order to answer her calling — to serve the diabetic community and help overcome diabetic complications.

Was this article helpful? Let us know. Your positive feedback means future articles. Detailed information on everything discussed is available in our book Hardhead Diabetic In A Nutshell. Visit us at

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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