You know, when I was diagnosed with diabetes, I thought that dealing with it would be difficult…one of the most difficult things in the world. Since then, I have come to realize that it really isn’t that hard at all. There are just a few key things that you have to remember and stick to. Here is a quick look at some of them.
Make Healthy Choices
This is a major part of dealing with Type 2 diabetes. When you learn more about this disease, you will be more motivated to make healthy choices and stick to your plan of treatment.
Have a Healthy Diet
You will need to have a balanced diet. This includes managing the amount of carbohydrates that you eat and spreading them out throughout the day.
There are dietary guidelines that are helpful to everyone when it comes to making healthy eating habits. These are especially important for people who suffer from diabetes.
- Make the change from the saturated fats that are not healthy to the healthier, unsaturated fats.
- Stay away from foods that consist of trans fats.
- Lower your salt intake.
- Take care when it comes to alcohol. I found out that drinking alcohol can affect my blood sugar. It can even lead to things like issues with blood pressure, cholesterol, nerve damage and even weight. Diabetic men should set themselves a limit of 2 drinks daily, according to my doctor.
I didn’t choose to join a gym to get healthier and more fit. There are a lot of things that you can do without having to pay for a gym membership. Think riding a bike, walking or jogging, playing tennis, swimming and even vacuuming!
Testing Your Glucose Levels
This is a critical part of managing your diabetes. It is also something that gets very old, very quickly. Seriously, who wants to stick their finger and draw blood three times a day or more? I know I don’t. I also know that if I don’t do this, my sugar could get way out of control without my knowledge and this could lead to serious consequences including a trip to the hospital and even death.
According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association), blood sugar levels should be at:
- 70 – 130 before eating
- Under 180 2 hours after eating
They do make something called a CGM, or continuous glucose monitor. This is a device that checks your sugar in 5 minute intervals 24 hours a day. If your levels get too high or too low, it will sound an alarm.
Aside from checking your sugar regularly, you need to keep a record of it. Now, you can write this down if you like, but I have found that it is much easier to just take my meter to my doctor. See, your meter will have a record of each time you checked your sugar, the time and date. The only things that might be different if you write it down would be to note if you checked before or after a meal, and some meters will even ask you this and record it for you.
Take Your Medicine
I take pills, which I would imagine are a lot better than taking shots. That doesn’t mean that I don’t need to take them all the time though. I need to remember to take my medicine on time every day and I also need to know how to deal with issues like low blood sugar when they arise.
Believe me when I say that managing diabetes isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Sometimes I get the feeling like it is all just too much. There are also times when I just don’t feel like checking my sugar…lots of times.
People say that it is normal to feel down and even angry when you suffer from a disease that will last a lifetime. You might have a hard time adjusting to it and staying motivated. I have found that it helps if I only think of dealing with one thing at a time, one day at a time. I do the best I can and have come to terms with the fact that I am not perfect and will make mistakes.
I have also found that my most important asset is my support team. They include my family, my friends, my doctors and even a spiritual advisor on occasion. They are there to talk me through things and help me when I need it.
Not everyone has the benefit of family though. Whether you do or not, there are also diabetes support groups all across the country that you can join. There are even some online.
When you break things down like this, it doesn’t seem as if living with diabetes needs to be so hard.