Regardless of what age you are diagnosed with diabetes or which of the two types you have, it helps to have some coping strategies. Living with diabetes can be challenging, but it certainly need not keep you down. Here are some practical steps for living with diabetes.
You have tried everything to get your blood glucose level under control. You have changed diets, joined a gym, or maybe even changed your insulin regimen. However, you still cannot get your sugar under control.
Any diabetic can control their blood sugar levels by following these tips.
What Is Diabetes?
There are three 3 main types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes – This type of diabetes occurs when your body does not make insulin. A person needs insulin to take the sugar from the foods and turn it i to energy. Type 1 diabetes is the type of diabetes that children get. However, we are seeing more and more children gets Type 2 diabetes. When children get Type 1 it is 99% of the time a lifestyle disease.
Type 2 Diabetes – Type 2 diabetes is mainly a lifestyle disease. Some people control their type 2 diabetes with medications and insulin. Some people control their diabetes with diet. Diet is the preferable way.
Gestational Diabetes- This is the type of diabetes that pregnant women get. Some times the diabetes will go away, and sometimes it will not. Women get this type of diabetes probably because of the demands of the growing baby.
Connecting with Others
One of the most helpful things you can do is get to be a part of the diabetes community in your area. You’ll learn you’re not alone; you’ll probably pick up valuable information, tips, and literature, and you’ll learn about upcoming events, retreats, and camps.
This can be helpful for children who want to fit in with a peer group but aren’t sure how or if others will accept them, or for adults who feel isolated in their condition. It helps a lot just to know there are others who understand what it’s like.
Diabetes must be taken seriously.
Why Should You Take Care of Your Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious disease. Diabetes is the main cause of amputations, blindness, and neuropathy. You will less chance of developing the following disorders:
- A heart attack or stroke
- Blindness due to retinopathy
- Neuropathy that manifests as numbness, tingling, and pain
- Kidney failure requiring dialysis
- Teeth and gum problems
- Increased rare of developing heart disease
Here Are Some Interventions That Can Help You Manage Your Diabetes
Hemoglobin A1C Levels
Every diabetic must know what their HbA1C level is. The A1C level measures the amount of glucose for the last 3 months. A normal A1c should be under 6. For a known diabetic, the acceptable A1C level is under 7.
As a nurse, I have seen A1C levels as high as 13-15. These are clearly people whose diabetes is out of control. These are also the people who will have complications from their diabetes.
If you are unable to get aHbA1c done or your insurance does not cover it, Life Extension has an A1c test that you can purchase.
Managing Your Blood Pressure
I could write a book about blood pressure. Blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for developing heart disease. Diabetes comes in at a close second.
Therefore, you can see how when diabetes and high blood pressure is out of control, this is a perfect storm to cause injury to your body.
There are new blood pressure guidelines. Amazon has some very reasonable deals on blood pressure machines.
Form a Group
If you don’t have a local support group for diabetics, consider forming one. Members can meet at your house or at a local venue, and you can set up social networking or a website to keep in touch. You can plan outings, gatherings, meetings, and so forth, and keep your group informed about events.
While regular visits to your physician are important, diabetics ultimately have to be responsible for their own daily care. You have to learn to take your own blood sugar and administer your own insulin, and only you know when something feels “off.” It’s up to you to implement an exercise regimen and eat the right foods. Learning this basic truth – you are responsible for managing your diabetes – can take some of the stress out of living with this condition.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
For those with Type II diabetes or for parents of children who have Type I, it can be tempting to get caught up in the self-blame game. The development of Type II diabetes may in fact be linked to certain lifestyle choices, but it’s not necessarily so; and even if it is, you have to move forward and into a healthy lifestyle.
Parents whose child or children have Type I may blame themselves – mothers may worry about something they did while pregnant, or obsess over letting their child eat a lot of sugar before the diagnosis. None of these blames are necessarily even true! It wastes time and energy to worry, so focus on moving forward and getting the most out of life from here on out. This may be the beginning of an opportunity for self-improvement and self-control.
Have a Plan
Having a plan can help you stay in control in a given situation, and get the most out of parties and holidays. Decide ahead of time how you will handle holiday and party treats so you don’t have to think on your feet each time you’re offered a goody.
Who Can You Consult For Your Diabetes?
These are the specialist who can help you manage your diabetes. They are the following:
- A nutritionist
- A foot doctor ( podiatrist)
- An Endocrinologist ( a diabetes doctor)
- Nurse to help you understand your medications
- A social worker if you need help with physical or mental needs
- A Pharmacist to answer questions about your medications
Diabetes is a serious disorder. However, with these tips and hacks, you can live a good life with diabetes. Just make sure you follow your diet.
My name is Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I am passionate about cardiac care and heart disease. I also want this blog to be an educational tool that people can refer to for traditional and alternative treatment. I will blog on heart disorders such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high cholesterol.
I received my Nursing degree from Baltimore Community College.
I went on to receive my Masters in Nursing from Walden University
I have worked for almost 30 years in Critical Care with a focus on heart health. I am an advocate of preventive healthcare.