If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, you must be overwhelmed with the plethora of information that you have to take in and bewildered by things you have to do. You should be aware that diabetes is incurable, but it can be managed. People, who take care of their health, even though they are diabetic, can live a long, healthy and fruitful life.
At the same time, people who do not take care and do not keep their disease under control are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems (heart attack and stroke) and can also suffer from a number of diabetes related conditions that can be quite scary, leading to amputation, blindness or even premature death. That is why it is crucial that if you have diabetes you make the necessary lifestyle changes. Here are 7 steps that will help you take care of your diabetes.
- Treatment – whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you must take the necessary medicines in the right doses and combinations or the insulin injections as prescribed by the doctor. You may have to adhere to a scheduled time for this. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you may well initially be able to control your diabetes with diet and exercise and perhaps minimal medication. In fact, if you are pre-diabetic, you may even be able to reverse your condition. But as the disease is progressive, you have to aware that you may have to increase the dose of medicines if required or even have to go on insulin injections if the body stops making insulin completely.
- Monitoring – regular blood tests are extremely important. These are now easy to do at home with the blood sugar testing kits available. You may need to do tests daily in the beginning and once your sugar is under control you may be able to do the tests on a weekly basis. Additionally, you should follow medical advice regarding other tests to be done at labs.
- Diet – eat foods that have a low glycemic index so that your blood sugar does not spike. Avoid refined and fast foods, processed foods, junk foods and alcohol. Reduce your intake of simple carbs and fats and eat nutritious good quality foods as prescribed for a diabetic. Eat more high fiber foods and foods that are rich in antioxidants.
- Reduce your health risks – diabetes affects different organs of the body, so it is important to opt for regular feet, eyes, dental, blood pressure, kidney, nerves, lipid and cholesterol exams. These may involve tests or simply taking care of these aspects of your health or going for check-ups.
- Exercise – regular exercise is vital for a diabetic. It helps burn up calories and also keeps you fit, reduces cholesterol and blood pressure levels and keeps all the organs healthy.
- Stress reduction – high stress levels actually aggravate diabetes, so it is important to adopt some stress reduction activities. You can try meditation, yoga, mindful breathing or biofeedback.
- Mental health and coping skills – just because you have diabetes, you should not let it rule your life. It is important that you develop coping skills to stay on top of the disease and also keep mentally alert and not give in to depression.
If you adopt the right strategies, you can manage your blood sugar and your diabetes. These 7 steps will surely help you take care of your diabetes.
What do you do to stay on top of your diabetes?