How To Deal with Diabetes

You will have to deal with many things when you are diagnosed with diabetes. This includes your emotions, your diet, your exercise program, your insulin and monitoring your blood glucose levels.

  1. Food. 

    One of the most important things you will have to do to deal with diabetes is to learn how to make good food choices. This includes knowing when to eat, how much to eat, what to eat and even how to prepare foods correctly. When you learn how to do these things, you will be in the driver's seat and you will be able to adjust your food intake based upon your blood glucose levels.  

All diabetics should keep a food diary. This will help you see how your body responds to certain foods and food quantities. Everything you eat should be put into the food diary, even snacks and drinks. You should include the times you eat, as well as your blood sugar levels before and after eating.

  • Learn what a serving or portion truly is and do not exceed that amount.
  • Try to eat your meals and snacks at the same time every day.
  • Try to eat the same amount or portions of food each day.
  • Purchase a diabetic cook book or go online to locate free diabetic recipes.
  • Do not skip meals!
  • Try new foods. Variety is the spice of life. If you limit yourself to only a few foods you are more likely to fall off of the wagon.
  • When choosing foods, pick ones that are high in fiber. This includes grains, beans, vegetables and fruits.
  • Avoid foods that have a high sodium content.
  • Plan ahead and purchase foods you need to have on hand. This will keep you from snacking on something you shouldn't be eating.
  • Use your blood glucose records and your food diary to evaluate your food plan. By using this information you will see if there are any adjustments that need to be made in your diet.
  • Set target goals for yourself. Choose a blood glucose target range that you want to work toward and achieve it.

  • Exercise. 

    Get active! Getting up and simply walking to the mailbox and back is a good start for someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise helps to lower high blood glucose levels and it also relieves mental stress. Diabetics are encouraged to exercise daily. If you are a diabetic you should find an exercise you like which you can easily do on a daily basis. 

  • Insulin. 

    A diabetic cannot go without insulin. Insulin is necessary to control diabetes. Missing a dose of insulin can cause a diabetic to become ill or die. Diabetics must carry insulin with them at all times. Friends and family members of diabetics should be educated about diabetes and learn how to give insulin shots in the event that the diabetic is unconscious and needs an insulin shot.   

  • Blood Glucose Monitoring. 

    Blood glucose monitoring is very important to a diabetic. The blood glucose meter is an invaluable tool for diabetics. Diabetics should check their sugar levels 3-5 times per day -- before and after meals. Many diabetics will check their blood glucose level after exercise, as well. Diabetics should have their meters with them at all times. If they were to have a reaction someone could test their blood sugar level to see if it is too low or too high.

  • Emotions. 

    Keep in mind that receiving a diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming. Many people think they will never be able to give themselves shots or properly monitor their blood glucose levels. The good news is this feeling will lessen as time passes. Talking over your concerns with your doctor, and other diabetics, can go far in helping you overcome your fears. 

    It is normal to feel a wide range of emotions when you first get diagnosed with diabetes. You may feel denial, sadness, confusion, anger, embarrassment and even jealousy directed at someone who does not have to cope with diabetes. Try to talk about your emotions with someone you trust. Try to give your feelings names. It may be difficult to open up your feelings, but it is the best way to lighten the load you may be feeling. 

    If you are having a difficult time dealing with your diabetes emotionally, you may want to find a support group in your hometown. If there is not one available, or if you feel uncomfortable with face-to-face interactions, you can find many diabetes support groups on the Internet.

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