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A diabetes diagnosis can come with many lifestyle changes – including many unwanted sacrifices. However, it doesn’t have to all be doom and gloom. By taking the right approaches to diabetes management, you can make this condition much easier to live with. Below are just a few tips for living with diabetes.
Have fun with healthy foods
In order to manage diabetes, you’ll need to make sure that there isn’t too much sugar, fat, salt and carbs in your diet. This means cutting out most junk food and consuming more healthy meals. The mistake many people with diabetes make is choosing healthy meals that are boring. This increases the desire to give in to junk food. Believe it or not, healthy meals can be made exciting (and they don’t have to be difficult to prepare either). Check out these fun diabetic meal recipes as an example.
Explore ways to stay active
Physical activity makes your body more sensitive to insulin, which is important for helping you to manage diabetes. However, you don’t have to do hardcore gym workouts or go jogging every morning rain or shine to get your fix of physical activity. In fact, 20 to 25 minutes per day of moderate exercise is usually all you need to manage diabetes. There are many easy ways that you can fit this exercise into your day from swimming to climbing stairs. The key to motivating yourself to exercise is to find a physical activity that you enjoy doing regularly and that fits in with your lifestyle. Walking a dog, gardening, dancing, playing with kids and doing housework are all things that can get you active without even feeling like exercise.
Watch your alcohol intake
Sadly, alcohol can interfere with insulin sensitivity and cause issues like very low blood sugar levels. If you love to drink, you may have to learn to cut down. Learning to savour alcoholic drinks or trying low-alcoholic drinks is recommended. You don’t have to give up alcohol completely.
Engage in stress-relieving activities
Hormones released when stressed can cause blood sugar levels to rise. While you may not always be able to avoid stress, it’s important to find ways to relieve stress to help manage your diabetes. Many diabetic people take up activities like dance, yoga or tai chi to reduce stress (these can also be a source of physical activity). Meditation, listening to music and taking hot baths are other great ways to unwind after a stressful day.
Keep injections hygienic
If you need to take insulin injections to manage your diabetes, make sure that you keep injections hygienic. Always clean the area you are injecting into and clean your hands. This can reduce the risk of infections.
Automate your insulin injections
Did you know that it’s possible to automate insulin injections? There are devices that can monitor your blood sugar levels and inject you with insulin when necessary. These wearable devices reduce the need for manual blood sugar tests and insulin injections so that you can more easily go about your day without disruption.
Know when to see your doctor
There are all kinds of complications that can come with diabetes that are important to look out for. In some cases, it could be vital that you see a doctor quickly to prevent these issues from getting worse. A few times when you should see your doctor include:
- If your vision has become blurry
- If you’re experiencing loss of feeling in certain parts of your body
- If you’re getting foot sores and infections
- If you’re experiencing unusual skin changes
- If you’ve been feeling very dizzy or more tired than usual