Four Lifestyle Tips For Living With Diabetes

Diabetes icon

Diabetes icon

International diabetes symbol (Photo credit: wikipedia)

Here we look at four simple tips to make living with diabetes more manageable, especially if you’ve just recently been diagnosed.

Living with diabetes requires constant care. When you’re a patient, you must be aware of how your body reacts to food, exercise, moments of rest and moments of stress; you’re monitoring and listening to your body for indicators that you may need to take insulin or eat a light, healthy meal.

There are many things you can do to help manage your diabetes, from dietary changes to stress reduction, but it’s important to find what works best for you. Consulting your doctor is always integral to finding the best treatment options for you, including the right kind of device to help monitor your blood sugar levels and whether or not you need additional prescription medications.

Nonetheless, there are some care essentials everyone should know, especially if they have only recently been diagnosed with diabetes.  Here are four things to know as you begin your path toward wellness:

1. Food is not the enemy: Often, people feel that if they have been diagnosed with diabetes, they must completely cut out any “bad” foods from their diet. While it is absolutely true that you need to be wiser with how and what you eat, there is no need to treat food like it is a villain – food is necessary for survival! Instead, start by changing your relationship to food. If you tend to eat takeout, learn to cook more.

There are many magazines and blogs that provide plenty of recipes and advice. You can even learn to make diabetes-friendly desserts and holiday cookies – just remember that even the healthiest treats should be eaten in moderation.

2. Diabetes affects the whole body, so care must be all-around: Diabetes does not just affect your blood sugar, but rather it can impact your skin, your eyes and even your mouth. Daily care, as simple as brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, can help avoid complications and improve your overall wellness.

3. Be sure to check your blood sugar regularly: It’s important to always keep tabs on your body’s glucose levels. Whether you choose to use a more traditional “finger-prick” test or a continuous glucose monitor solution, it’s best to keep tabs on the way food, rest and exercise affect blood sugar. In some ways, a continuous monitor can be more effective when trying to keep track of how certain activities and food items affect you on the inside.

A continuous monitor, which is inserted just underneath the skin and can be left without complications for seven days, communicates with a digital device if your glucose levels rise or drop.

4. Even light exercise can help you manage your diabetes: You don’t need to be a marathon runner or a weight lifter, but getting your body moving and your blood pumping is important to improving your overall wellness. Exercise can help you lower your cholesterol, lose weight, increase energy levels and benefit your mental health by helping you relax and combat depression.Living with diabetes may not be easy, but understanding your body inside and out will make all the difference when trying to control blood sugar levels.

Author:

Karin is a diabetes educator and advocate who thinks it’s important for people to understand the changes, big and small, that can positively impact their diabetes management. Aids such as continuous glucose monitors, along with careful attention to the signals the body is giving, can make a big difference.

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