How to manage your diabetes and remain healthy for life
Your diabetic condition need not impact you physically, and you still have every opportunity to live a long, wholesome life.
True, diabetes might make staying fit and well a little bit tougher for you. If you devote yourself to the task of managing your condition, though, you will be sure to make everything a lot easier for yourself.
To find out what you need to do to manage your condition and remain healthy for life as a person with diabetes, be sure to read on.
Step 1: Understand diabetes
You can’t seek to manage your diabetes if you don’t actually understand what it is. Before you move forward with your quest to stay healthy, you need to study the condition and truly get to grips with what it is and what it does.
First and foremost, you need to understand that there are three main types of diabetes and that each of them brings about their own specific problems. These three types and the challenges they cause are:
• Type 1 diabetes — This stops your body from making insulin and, ultimately, generating energy.
• Type 2 diabetes — This common form of the condition makes it difficult for your body to make and/or use insulin.
• Gestational diabetes — Commonly brought about by pregnancy; this strand of the condition goes once the baby is born. It does, however, significantly increase the chances of both mother and baby suffering from a permanent form of diabetes later in life.
Step 2: Know your healthcare team
During the initial stages of your condition, you are going to need to rely on your diabetic healthcare team. Knowing who forms this team is essential that you know who you can turn to when you’re in need of assistance. This team is comprised of:
• Your diabetes doctor
• Your diabetes educator
• A dietician
• An eye doctor
• A foot doctor
• A mental health nurse
• A pharmacist
• A dentist
It’s important to point out, however, that YOU are the most important member of your healthcare team. The professionals listed above will provide you with extensive amounts of support, but ultimately it comes down to you and what you do to manage your condition day in, day out.
Step 3: Take it seriously
You aren’t going to manage your diabetes or stay healthy as a diabetic if you don’t take your condition seriously. This means that you have to follow all the guidelines imposed on you by the doctor that is treating you, and that you have to make the right health choices at the right times. Importantly, this means not eating any more sugary foods if your sugar levels are already a little high at any point.
By taking your condition seriously, you will stand to reap the following benefits:
• You’ll feel more energized
• You’ll be less thirsty
• You won’t have to pass urine as often
• You’ll heal better
• You will fend off skin and bladder and infections more often
• You’ll lower your risk of suffering a heart attack and/or stroke
• You’ll avoid eye problems that have the potential to blind you
• You’ll avoid nerve damage (and the painful tingling sensation that it causes)
Step 4: Know your ABCs
You know the alphabet, but do you know your diabetes ABCs? It’s crucial that you do, as it could just save your life.
Here are the ABCs you need to remember at all costs:
A — A1C test
This is a test that measures your blood sugar level and allows you to keep track of your condition.
B — Blood pressure
You need to control your blood pressure and keep it below a specific millimeter of mercury (typically 140/90mmHg).
C — Cholesterol
Avoiding bad cholesterol (LDL) is pivotal because it can lead to heart attacks and strokes. As a person with diabetes, you are more at risk than most when it comes to these problems.
Step 5: Eat well
Managing your condition will keep you alive, but it won’t necessarily keep you healthy. Just like everybody else, you have to make a conscious effort to get and stay healthy. Unfortunately, however, your diabetes will throw a number of curveballs your way in this instance, one of the biggest being the way you react to certain foods.
Controlling your blood sugar and trying to eat healthily at the same time is never easy. Throw in the fact that you’re too busy to cook up wholesome meals, and everything becomes a whole lot harder. Fortunately, however, there are diabetes meal delivery services that meet ADA guidelines, meaning it is now possible to have healthy, diabetes-friendly meals dropped straight to your door. This makes eating well as a person with diabetes a lot easier!
Take the above advice, and you’ll be sure to live a long and healthy life no matter what type of diabetes you suffer with.