Diabetes, can you learn to live with it healthily?

Diabetes is a complex and challenging chronic condition.

People with type 1 diabetes usually develop diabetes in childhood or as teenagers. Older people are particularly likely to develop type 2 diabetes due to hereditary factors, weight concerns or because of the body’s ability to manage carbohydrates. 

To live a healthy life with diabetes, focus on making these key changes;

  • Create and follow a treatment plan. Team up with your healthcare professionals, including a diabetes educator, to support your medical, nutritional and physical treatment.
  • Eat healthily. It is crucial in the management of your diabetes to eat healthily, the food you consume affects your blood sugar. Vegetables, low carbohydrate fruit, and whole grains are preferred. Although no food is restricted, it is suggested that foods high in sugar and fat be limited. 
  • Eat smaller meals. Your body metabolizes carbohydrates by turning them into sugar. Eating smaller meals throughout the day helps to keep your sugar levels consistent from meal to meal. 
  • Get moving! Even small increases in physical activity can help you control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and can help preserve your ability to live independently. Consult with your doctor to create an activity plan that increases your activity levels that result in your sweating and breathing a little heavier than normal. 
  • Check your vitals! Monitor your health closely by visits to your doctor twice a year. Get an annual eye exam and monitor your extremities for nerve damage and circulatory problems.
  • Be mindful. Use chanting,  yoga, meditation, and other mindful practices to manage the stress in your life. Increased stress causes blood sugar levels to rise and aides in resistance to healthy eating and exercising.
  • Quit smoking! Smoking increases the chances of contracting diabetic-related health problems like stroke, heart, kidney, eye, and blood vessel disease. Suffering from diabetes also increases your risk of nerve damage and foot problems. To optimize a healthy lifestyle, work with your doctor to quit smoking. 
  • Imbibe in moderation. Alcohol can make your blood sugar spike either too high or too low. The American Diabetes Association recommends women drink no more than one alcoholic beverage a day and no more than two per day for men. 
  • Weight management. Losing even 5 to 10 pounds can make your diabetes easier to treat. 

Although there is no cure for diabetes, the disease can be managed successfully. To learn more about living life well with diabetes, read 26 Tips for Easier Living with Diabetes by Amy Jordan.

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