The importance of learning that living well with Diabetes can make a difference is key in prevention and maintenance
After a diabetes diagnosis, the first concern for most people is how this prognosis will change the quality of their lives. While it is true that there are many components to diabetes and some of the risk factors may be out of your control, many have proven that living well with diabetes is entirely possible. What most people with diabetes eventually come to learn is that the lifestyle changes necessary for living well with diabetes such as learning about your condition, managing diabetes with diet, exercising and paying special attention to any problematic areas are what health conscious people without diabetes routinely do to maintain optimum health.
The important thing to keep in mind is that living well with diabetes is a process that usually becomes more effortless overtime. The following simple tips for diabetes are designed to help you build confidence in your ability to manage your condition effectively and enjoy a full and satisfying life.
Five Tips for Living Well with Diabetes
- Education is key. Learning about the type of diabetes that you have is important to understanding what steps you need to take to control the disease and improve your health and well-being. Talk to your health-care providers about your particular type of diabetes. Your doctor can provide you with valuable information about your blood sugar levels how and when to test or take insulin, what your targets should be and how to use the results to manage your diabetes. Beyond talking to your doctor, it is extremely helpful to read books or explore online diabetic communities and forums where you can ask questions and connect with others who share your concerns. Many are able to answer questions and provide important insights that often help to simplify living with diabetes based on experience as well as expertise. However, always check with your health care provider before making any major changes to your diabetic health care routine.
- Establish a support system. Living well with diabetes is easier if you have a strong support system. This usually entail being open about the lifestyle changes that you will need to make as well as discussing how these changes will affect the people in your life. Working together with family and friends can make it much easier to make mealtime adjustments or to incorporate physical activity into your current lifestyle.
- Be proactive about your diabetes management plan. Whether you have had diabetes for years or are newly diagnosed, the primary responsibility for managing your diabetes will ultimately rest with you. Be aware that managing diabetes is about creating a workable plan that may entail understanding your genetics, personality, cultural and religious beliefs, dietary needs versus preferences and your current physical condition. The most important goal is to design a diabetic management plan that works and is sustainable for you. Whether weight is an issue or not, a diabetic management plan usually include changes in diet, physical activity, strategies for coping with the emotional component of diabetes as well as ways to monitor and control blood cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels. It is also important to pay attention to what works and what doesn’t and be amenable to adjusting the plan if necessary.
- Develop a skin care routine. High blood glucose levels can cause the body to lose fluids and increase susceptibility to skin problems. A diabetic skin care routine should include steps that prevent skin irritation that weaken and break down the skin’s barrier such as:
- Taking warm rather than hot showers
- Replacing harsh soaps with gentler cleansers
- Moisturizing skin regularly with appropriate creams and lotions
- Ensuring that all areas of the skin is thoroughly dry after a bath or shower
- Using a humidifier during cold weather
Every diabetic skincare routine should also pay special attention to the feet. Wearing comfortable shoes and keeping feet clean, dry and moisturized can help to reduce the risk of injury.
- Routine check-ups are important to prevent diabetes complications. Making it a regular part of your health care routine to see a primary health care physician, optician and dentist at least once a year is another important tip to prevent complications or address issues that may develop as a result of a diabetic condition.
Although millions of people have diabetes, every individual need to develop their own unique system of care. Gradually implementing and habituating healthy lifestyle shifts in diet, exercise, stress control and routine medical care that works for you can help you to achieve the goal of living well with diabetes.