Are you one of the 537 million adults living with diabetes? If so, you understand how essential it is to live in a way that supports your body’s need for balance.
But this doesn’t always come easy. You may find yourself struggling to find what works for you and make it work consistently.
If this sounds familiar, keep reading. We’re going to give you a guide on living well with diabetes. We’ll cover everything you need to know.
Understand Your Diabetes Diagnosis
Understanding your diabetes diagnosis is key to managing your condition. This way you can address any complications that may result from it. So below, we’ve written down the different types of diabetes to help you better understand your condition.
Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing enough insulin, which is critical in helping regulate your glucose levels. Since there is no insulin produced, the body cannot convert the glucose in foods into energy.
It is not caused by lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of physical activity. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. And its symptoms include excessive thirst and hunger, fatigue, weight loss, and slow-healing sores.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is often referred to as “adult-onset diabetes”. It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or when the cells are resistant to the produced insulin.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urinary infections, and fatigue. People with prediabetes, obesity, and those that lead an inactive lifestyle are more at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. This happens due to changes in the mother’s hormones, which can affect the body’s ability to process sugar. It resolves after childbirth, women who have it are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Understand Treatment Options
There are different treatment options that you can take when it comes to overcoming your diabetes. Some of them are down below:
Oral medications help regulate how much glucose is produced, released, and absorbed by the body to maintain healthy levels. Most types of oral medications are in pill form. These include Sulfonylureas, Thiazolidinediones, and Dopamine Receptor Agonists.
These medications are taken daily, a few times a day, or even just once a week depending on the type and dose prescribed. You can also take certain types of diabetes medications alone. Or you can take them in combination with other types of drugs to help reduce insulin production and balance glucose levels in the body.
The type of oral medication prescribed will depend on a person’s blood glucose levels. Doctors will also look at their lifestyle, eating habits, goals, and other factors.
Insulin is a hormone that enables cells to use the glucose in the bloodstream for energy. You can administer it through daily injections or an insulin pump or pen. Different types of insulin are available to meet the specific needs of individuals.
People take short-acting insulin to match the release of glucose from food. While some take long-acting insulin to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Some insulin therapy options require multiple daily doses, while others only require one or two injections per day. People with diabetes also have the option of using an insulin pump. This is an electronic device that continuously dispenses insulin throughout the day.
Bariatric surgery is a form of weight-loss treatment for managing type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese adults. This procedure involves altering the stomach size, and reducing the amount of food the patient can eat.
Bariatric surgery operations help patients shed excess body mass and improve insulin sensitivity. These operations can also decrease cholesterol levels and have a long-term effect on glycemic control. It is attractive to diabetic patients because it doesn’t require the use of traditional diabetes medications.
Homeopathy and acupuncture are two popular therapies for diabetes. Homeopathy uses small doses of remedies with natural ingredients to assist the body’s healing. Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese medicine where very thin needles are inserted into the body.
Eat Healthy Foods
One of the lifestyle changes that you have to do when diagnosed with diabetes is to eat healthy foods. This is because healthy foods help in your blood sugar management. So you must stick to a diabetes diet with a well-balanced meal plan that includes the following:
Lean proteins are an important source of B vitamins, which play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. They contain less fat, sodium, and cholesterol, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. They are also a good source of essential fatty acids that help reduce bad cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Good sources of lean proteins include fish, poultry (without skin), and eggs. Just remember that eating the right amounts of protein is important, as too much can affect blood sugar levels.
Low-Fat Dairy Foods
Low-fat dairy foods are an excellent choice for individuals with diabetes. They provide essential nutrients while limiting saturated and trans fats and limiting cholesterol.
Low-fat dairy foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese are a source of protein and provide carbohydrates for energy. Additionally, foods like cottage cheese and yogurt are high in probiotics and B vitamins. These stimulate insulin production and can help manage blood sugar levels.
Complex carbohydrates include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fruits and vegetables provide plenty of essential nutrients and fiber that the body needs to function. Whole grains offer complex carbohydrates and fiber, which may help improve the way the body responds to sugar in the blood.
Eating plenty of legumes, nuts, seeds, and beans is also beneficial. They contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein, which can help with blood sugar control.
Exercise regularly is an important part of living well with diabetes. It can help to maintain a healthy weight, lower blood glucose levels, and reduce the risk of long-term diabetes complications. Regular physical activity also improves overall health, boosts energy levels, and reduces stress.
You need to stay active while monitoring blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercise. A good guideline is to work out at least 150 minutes per week, either in short increments throughout the day or as longer workouts a few times per week.
Examples of diabetes-friendly activities you can try include walking, jogging, biking, and swimming. Yoga and tai chi are also other forms of gentle exercise to look at. Just remember that it’s important to talk to a doctor from clinics like https://smilesmed.com/ before starting a new exercise plan for safety.
Cope With Emotional Challenges
Living with diabetes carries a range of emotional challenges, from stress and anxiety to sadness and anger. So it is important to be aware of and address these emotional challenges to live well with diabetes.
First, you need to develop an effective stress management plan. Take deep breaths, meditate, exercise, and connect with supportive friends and family.
Then talk to a counselor about how you are feeling. They will be able to talk you through whatever you are feeling and help you mentally cope with the reality of your illness.
Make sure to take care of yourself. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that make you happy. Your diabetes does not have to paralyze or pause the life that you have built for yourself.
Living with diabetes does not mean that your emotional struggles have to go unchecked. With the right strategies, you can learn to manage your emotions and live well with diabetes.
Find Support From Other Diabetics
Living well with diabetes means finding support from other diabetics. There are many support groups and organizations around the world, from online forums to in-person meetings. These groups provide a platform for those living with diabetes to share their experience and gain knowledge from others.
Connecting with other diabetics ensures you aren’t tackling their diagnosis alone. With a strong support system, you can gain more insight into how to manage your diabetes. You can learn to rely on others to check in and offer assistance.
Additionally, these support networks often provide information about new treatments. Members of the group can offer helpful tips and other relevant health topics. These connections can make all the difference in achieving and sustaining your personal goals.
Follow Our Guide to Living Well With Diabetes
Living well with diabetes is achievable. With proper monitoring, medications, and management, you can live a long, healthy, and happy life. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor and healthcare team to craft an effective and achievable treatment plan.
With a good plan, diabetes no longer needs to be a barrier to living a full and meaningful life. Take the first step today and start working towards healthy living with diabetes!
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