Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes can be a worrying time for anybody. After getting diagnosed, you might be concerned about the potential of causing further damage to your health, or having to miss out on some of your favorite treats. The good news is that both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be managed well with the right lifestyle choices, new habits, and professional medical support. A diagnosis of diabetes does not have to be as worrying as it might first sound, with several things that you can do to stay on top of your condition, manage it well, and live a healthy, satisfying life. If you have received a diagnosis of diabetes, here are some of the main things that you can do to stay in control.
Dealing with Your New Diagnosis
Diabetes is often misunderstood, and it’s all too common for people who are diagnosed with this condition to blame themselves. However, while it is true that your diet and lifestyle can be a contributing factor to Type 2 diabetes, making positive changes can also help to reverse it. And, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can be hereditary and are often down to genetics, meaning that even if you have made the effort to be healthy so far, you could still develop this condition.
Getting diagnosed with diabetes might come as a shock to some, but accepting the diagnosis and the changes that it is going to bring in your life in the future is the first step to getting back in control and managing it well. You may find managing your condition easier if you take some time to research it and develop a solid understanding of the type of diabetes that you have been diagnosed with, the symptoms, any medication that you have been prescribed to manage it, and your own blood sugar levels.
Make Diabetes Management a Priority
Diabetes is commonly characterized as resistance to your body’s naturally-produced insulin. Some people with diabetes will produce less insulin than their body needs. As a result, having this condition typically means that you are at a higher risk of health complications and conditions including heart disease and stroke, which is why it’s so important to make sure that managing your condition becomes a priority in your life. This might mean taking more time to plan your meals, fitting exercise into your vacations, or checking out the menu at restaurants before choosing where to eat.
In addition, diabetes can often lead to other health problems like nerve damage to the feet, which can pose major health threats. If you are dealing with this symptom, contact Harford Lower Extremity Specialists to get in control of managing it and reduce the risk of injury. HLES are specialists in diabetic foot care and can help with any foot-related issues that might be caused by your diabetes including swelling, redness, skin issues, toenail problems, abrasions, and more.
Set New Health Goals
After being diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to consider how it is going to impact your future health and how this might affect your health goals. Setting some new goals for your health is important, since being diagnosed means that you will usually have to pay more attention than usual to certain aspects of your health and lifestyle choices including your diet, exercise, stress management, and more. You will get advice from your doctor in terms of the plan that you should put together to help you achieve the best goals for your health and what they should be. Often, managing diabetes does not always mean making huge changes to your health and lifestyle; instead, it’s about taking smaller steps that will help you get in control of the condition such as adding more fiber to your diet or eating more leafy green vegetables with every meal. Smaller health goals are usually easier for you to work towards as they are less intimidating.
Rethink Your Diet
Many people believe that the severity of diabetes is directly related to the amount of sugar that you eat, but this is not strictly true. Sugary foods are not the only type of food that can impact your insulin levels; it can be affected by anything in your diet that could impact insulin production including foods that are high in carbohydrates. Even if you’ve made the effort to cut out the cake, chocolate, and candy from your diet, if you’re eating a lot of bread, pasta and potatoes, it could still be a problem. It might be worth working with a nutritionist to put together a diet plan that will work well for you and is filled with lean proteins, healthy fats, fresh vegetables, and vitamin-rich foods. Reducing carbs in your diet is often essential for managing diabetes, so it’s a good idea to get into a regular habit of checking the ingredients and nutritional information for everything that you eat.
Move More Often
Working out is more important than ever for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, but the good news is that you don’t have to become a fitness freak to see the positive benefits. In fact, committing to at least thirty minutes of gentle exercise that you enjoy each day can have a massively positive impact on your health. Getting out for a walk, trying Zumba, swimming, or cycling are all ideal ways to exercise if you have diabetes, making it easier for you to manage your condition and get on top of your health. Aside from managing diabetic symptoms, you will also notice several further benefits of daily exercise including weight loss, more energy, reduced stress levels, better sleep and much more.
Monitor Yourself Regularly
Holding yourself accountable and always being aware of what is going on in your body is key to successfully managing any health condition, particularly when it comes to managing diabetes. There are many resources that you can take advantage of to help you actively monitor your condition on a regular basis and stay up to date with your own body. Glucometers, for example, is an ideal way to monitor your vital signs and blood sugar levels, helping you make the best decisions for your body and health based on what you know at the moment rather than simply guessing.
After a diagnosis of diabetes, self-monitoring is a very healthy and useful habit to developing. Testing your blood sugar levels and vitals before and after exercise, eating a meal, and in other situations will help you to gain a better awareness of how your condition responds to certain stimuli and triggers, allowing you to make better future decisions with this information in mind. And, monitoring your health will also make it easier for you to set achievable goals based on your readings and give you something clear and concrete to work towards.
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be worrying and sometimes frightening, but the good news is that this condition can be easier than you might realize to manage with the help of your doctor and a change to your lifestyle habits and choices. Getting an understanding of your condition and utilizing the various resources available will help you stay in control and manage your symptoms so that you can live a happy and healthy life.