Living With Diabetes
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And while there is no cure for diabetes, it is possible to manage this condition and live a full and healthy life. It’s important to know steps you can minimize your risks and the effects of the illness.
Here are some tips to help you live better with diabetes.
Educate Yourself on Living with Diabetes
Most diabetics either have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. There is a third type called gestational diabetes that can affect pregnant women, but it usually goes away once the baby is born. With type 1 diabetes, your body fails to produce enough insulin to process the glucose in your blood. People are born with this condition, although the cause remains unknown.
Type 2 diabetes develops later in life and is characterized by the body’s inability to respond to insulin properly. This is the most common form of diabetes and is often caused by excessive body weight and a lack of exercise.
Your doctor will diagnose what form of diabetes you have and help develop a management plan . Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin regularly, while type 2 diabetics may be able to manage the condition through proper diet and exercise.
Developing a Management Plan
Despite what some people may believe, there is no one way to manage diabetes that works for everyone. Although you can expect to be on a relatively strict meal plan that is high in fiber and low in sugar and fat, you should still have a diet that works for you and fits your lifestyle. Your doctor will be able to help develop a meal plan that works for you. Living with diabetes is at times difficult, but your doctor is there to help you with a management plan.
With that being said, there are certain foods that you should probably avoid if you’re diabetic. This includes foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fats, sugar, and sodium. Regular soda and juice should be substituted with water. Diet soda are an option in moderation, but such sugar-free drinks and foods aren’t necessarily better for you. They’re often made with sugar alcohols in the case of Sorbitol and Xylitol that can have other adverse health effects.
Depending on the type of diabetes you have and how severe it is, you may need to take medication or regular insulin injections. Once again, this is not the case for all diabetics living with diabetes, so pay attention to what your doctor prescribes for you.
Staying physically active will help keep your blood sugar down and help you manage your diabetes. You should try to be active more often than not when living with diabetes, but start slow. For example, start with ten-minute walks three times a day to build up your fitness and strength. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program to keep you at your target weight.
Watch Your Feet
A high blood sugar can damage the nerves in your feet, causing you to ignore cuts, blisters, and other seemingly minor injuries. These can easily become infected, so check for them daily even if you cannot feel them.
Finally, make sure you keep your stress level down while living with diabetes. Your blood sugar can raise your blood sugar and cause complications, so make sure you have a way to relax when you feel too stressed out. Listen to music, go for walks or find a fun hobby. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel depressed or too anxious.
You may also want to read: Preventative Medicine