After the initial shock of being diagnosed with diabetes is over and you get yourself together, the next important step is to learn how to live with diabetes. Diabetes can’t be cured. It is a life-long disease, which you need to adapt to. Living with diabetes is possible and if you know how to manage your diabetes, your life will not be very different from the lives of non-diabetics. Actually because of diabetes, you will learn how to live a healthier life!
The first step in managing diabetes (both Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes) is to learn to monitor your blood sugar level. This is done with fingerprick blood tests and urine tests. Regular visits to the doctor are also necessary, in order to have a health check and avoid any complications. Visiting a doctor once a year is OK, if you don’t have complaints and going to the doctor once in a quarter is even better.
Insulin pumps are a more advanced way of both monitoring and correcting the blood sugar level but if your diabetes is not acute, you will hardly need a pump permanently. Insulin pumps are more applicable for management of Type 1 diabetes.
You can monitor your blood sugar level daily or at intervals (as specified by your doctor) to see if the new dietary adjustments are giving effect or simply to watch out for any sharp increase or decrease of the blood sugar level. If there is something worrying, communicate it immediately with your doctor. Communicating with your doctor must become a habit of yours!
When you go to a doctor, one of the most important things that he or she can do for you is to advice you on the necessary dietary adjustments. Diet is crucial for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Diet adjustments include both when you eat and what you eat. Eating three times a day and having snacks between the meals is better than eating once or twice a day only.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, saturated fats and sugars are to be avoided. Sugar intake must be cut off. This includes not only sugar itself but also all products that contain sugar. In some cases even artificial sweeteners are to be avoided because they also affect blood sugar levels badly.
Instead of sugar and fats, concentrate on high fiber foods (wholemeal bread, brown rice) oat bran, grapefruit, broccoli and other foods that are known for their positive effect on blood sugar levels. Diabetes diets is a science in its own and can’t be described in few words only.
Exercise is the next step to keep your diabetes under control. 30 minutes of exercising, two or three times a week is a good start.
In many cases of Type 2 Diabetes diet and exercise are enough. However, for more severe cases of Type 2 and all cases of Type 1 Diabetes diet and exercising alone are not enough. For Type 2 Diabetes medication is also necessary and it is best if you make your daily schedule adjustments, so you can take your medication always at the same time because this is the most effective approach.
Diabetes can be a reason for depression, so if you feel moody, you may also want to discuss it with your doctor. You will be less depressed, if you surround yourself with positive people. Making friends with fellow diabetics also helps, provided that they are not pessimistic but are people who are in charge of their lives and have not given up. Support and understanding from friends and family is especially crucial in your fight with diabetes.
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