Television host Dr. Phil McGraw is not only launching a new program to support those who suffer from type two diabetes, he's opening up about is own 25-year struggle with the disease.
Dr. Phil told the Daily Mail Online he was diagnosed after experiencing swings in energy levels and periods of light-headedness, saying, "I was actually relieved to know what was going on – particularly when they said it was manageable. I was just glad it was something I could do something about."
McGraw explained his diagnosis is due to a genetic predisposition and he wants to help others with diabetes stop feeling guilty about the condition.
He explained, "On both sides of my family, I had people who did have diabetes and were all type two, adult onset and they were morbidly obese, so I was totally predisposed to it."
In an effort to combat the disease, McGraw has teamed with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to launch the On It campaign.
The goal of the program is to help those who have diabetes learn ways to manage the disease through lifestyle changes. It also aims to help prevent those without diabetes from developing the condition.
For McGraw, lifestyle changes meant eating several small meals throughout the day, regular exercise and personal training sessions, and playing tennis six or seven days a week.
He says simple things like taking a walk after a meal, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and cutting down on sugar can help people avoid developing diabetes.
"You’ve got to have a plan because you can’t do this by willpower alone," he explained. "You’ve got to recognize that this is my new normal, I’ve got to stick to this."