here’s no doubt that diabetes is a serious illness, but being diagnosed with it doesn’t mean your lifestyle has to suffer. There are plenty of ways of minimizing the symptoms and effects of diabetes and many charities and support groups have shared great coping techniques that let sufferers deal with the illness better. You can still live a wonderfully full life with diabetes, no different to how your friends and colleagues live, all you need to do is make sure you lead a healthy lifestyle and manage your insulin well. Here are our top 10 tips for coping with diabetes.
1. Learn Everything You Need To Know
Diabetes is best managed if you have some education of the disease and how to manage it effectively. It’s a good idea to learn what causes the symptoms of diabetes, so you know exactly what the purpose of your insulin needle is. This base knowledge will help you understand why changes in your diet will help you, as well as certain changes to your lifestyle.
2. Seek a support group
You might find a local group of diabetics who support each other at your community centre or health centre. By meeting other diabetics you can share coping tips, diet plans and just generally chat to someone who understands the issues you need to deal with. If you’re too busy to meet up, why not try contributing to an online forum instead?
3. Understand what the numbers mean
As a diabetic you will be regularly checking your blood sugar levels, so it’s important that you’re aware of what is a dangerous number, what can be self-medicated, and what is a normal range.
4. Exercise regularly
It’s important to keep your body in top, healthy condition when you have diabetes. You don’t need to be athlete-fit, but staying active regularly will be very beneficial and help you lose weight. Even if you only try something low impact like swimming or yoga, you will feel the benefits over time.
5. Think balance, not limits
Some diabetes sites might tell you to cut carbohydrates and sweets completely out of your diet, but you can enjoy everything within limits. Keep your diet balanced and full of healthy foods, just consider swapping some carbs like white bread and pasta for wholegrain alternatives, as they release energy slowly.
6. Eat fibre and wholegrain
Diabetics are just as susceptible to binging on snacks as anyone else, so make sure you keep wholegrain and high fibre snacks about like porridge, apples, nuts, and dried fruit. These release energy slowly and are low GI.
7. Keep Calm
Stress can contribute to increased blood sugar levels, so make sure you read up on some stress coping methods like breathing techniques and gentle exercise. It’s a good idea to reserve some me-time in the day, especially if you have a busy job or family life.
8. Regular doctors appointments
It’s important to spot any problems or changes that arise in your diabetes early, as this makes them much more treatable. Book in with your doctor for a regular check-up, and they’ll be able to spot anything untoward.
9. Know what to do in an emergency
Ensure you know what to do if you have an emergency situation related to diabetes, and make sure those close to you or around you know what to do too, this will give you peace of mind to know that people are confident in the procedure.
10. Use an insulin management system
Little organisers like NeedleBay will help you to keep up to date with your insulin injections and medication. Organisers like these can ensure you never accidently take a double dose, or forget to take an injection, and it will also store your needles safely.
This guest post was contributed by Holly Powell on behalf of Needlebayfollow, supplier of products for those who suffer with diabetes.