ENTERTAINMENT

Dr. Phil Opens Up About Living With Type 2 Diabetes For 25 Years

More than 25 years ago, Dr. Phil went to his doctor for a thorough physical -- and came back with life-changing news.

"I was having a lot of energy fluctuations. Everybody bonks, when you just run out of gas, but it was happening to me a lot. I thought, this is just not right," he recalls.

The doctor, Dr. Phil says, came back with both good news and bad news: "Bad news is you've got a disease, type 2 diabetes. The good news is that it's manageable. You can't cure it, but it's manageable."

Dr. Phil, 65, has been successfully managing it ever since, and has now partnered with AstraZeneca in hopes of helping the more than 28 million Americans who are living with type 2 diabetes get educated and feel empowered to take control of the disease by making necessary changes to their lifestyle. Another 86 million people in America are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

"This is one of those diseases that has a stigma. There are a lot of people that feel guilty if they have type 2 diabetes. There's a lot of shame that goes with it, because people think if you’ve got the disease it’s because you’ve been lazy, you haven’t eaten right," Dr. Phil explains. "Some of those factors can aggravate the condition if you have the disease, but you're genetically predisposed to this. The truth is that the stigma is really grounded in a lack of information."

When Dr. Phil got the diagnosis in his 40s, the first thought he had was "Let's get on it." He wanted to immediately be proactive by getting educated, changing his lifestyle with diet and exercise, and managing his stress levels and sleep. More than 25 years later, those words still hold true as he helps bring awareness to AstraZeneca's "On It" Movement, a campaign that begins with Dr. Phil's 6 Rules To Get ON IT.

"This is not something where you can really bear down for two weeks and get this under control," he explains. "You've got to create a new normal, a new lifestyle."

He continues, "You've got to get educated, because every time you make a choice, there's a consequence. You’ve got to replace bad habits ... The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline and accountability. If you’re going to set a goal, when are you going to get there and what steps are you going to take to achieve them? Some people have a hard time getting the initiative on their own. That's why the 'On It' Movement is so important."

Take action to manage your diabetes with Dr. Phil’s 6 Rules To Get ON IT.

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