Guide to Diabetes Self-Management

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What if diabetes didn’t have to change your quality of life?

Whether you were diagnosed with diabetes years ago or only recently, it’s easy to imagine that diabetes will control your entire life. But you can change all of this with the right diabetes self management.

Want to manage your own diabetes better? Keep reading to discover our complete guide!

Diabetes Self Management Begins With Self Care

Our guide is here to make diabetes self management so much easier for you. And proper self management begins with proper self care.

Part of this care is staying active and sticking to a healthy diet, which we’ll dive more into later in the guide. And another part is getting your prescriptions filled at the proper times and taking all of your medicine as directed by your doctor. That may sound basic, but many issues diabetics face begin with deviating from their recommended medicine schedule.

It’s important to attend regular health visits and wear medicinal identification gear when you travel. Furthermore, you need to monitor your blood glucose level regularly and understand what the numbers mean in terms of your health.

Finally, you should know that a diabetes diagnosis may change the way you view yourself and your life. Reach out to your friends, family, and mental healthcare professionals in order to make sure that your diabetes does not lead to depression or other major issues.

 

Asking the Right Questions

Be honest – what does an average session with your physician look like? If they reflect on this question, most patients simply sit back and nod their heads at whatever the doctor is saying.

But when you are managing your diabetes, it is important to ask questions of your different physicians. Furthermore, you need to know the right questions to ask.

One good question is where you can learn more about diabetes. The internet is filled with information, and not all of it is accurate. But your doctor can guide you to the right resources to help you learn more.

It’s also good to ask how your different friends and family can help you manage your diabetes and help you maintain a more active lifestyle. They are likely willing to help, but many patients and their extended support network don’t know how to get started.

Finally, it’s very important to ask about the “fine print” in terms of what your insurance covers, how much everything will cost, and what your options are if you cannot pay for everything all at once. The last thing you want to worry about while managing diabetes is dealing with a surprise bill!

Carrying the Right Gear

When you get right down to it, most aspects of diabetes management are pretty straightforward. But one of the best things you can do is have the right gear on you, especially when you are out of the house.

This gear includes your glucose meter, strips, and treatment for low blood sugar. And you should have a bracelet or other form of identification that tells others that you are a diabetic.

When traveling, there are extra precautions you must take. You should have a list of your medicine, with notes on when to take each item. And you should keep insulin and medication with you so there is no risk of these things getting lost.

Don’t forget to pack extra medicine and food with you in the event of delays and other schedule changes. And make sure you have a list of your doctors and their phone numbers in the event of an emergency.

What To Do When Sick

So far, our guide focuses on getting you through a typical day. But what about days when you are sick? 

We recommend checking to see if you have a fever right away. And try to keep clear liquids with sugar on hand (everything from soda to popsicles can work).

You should have separate medicine set aside to help you deal with issues like fever and nausea. And as an added safety precaution, check your blood sugar more often throughout the day.

Staying Active

One of the very best things you can do for your diabetes management is to maintain an active lifestyle. But what does that mean for your daily life?

First of all, we recommend consulting with your physician before attempting the strenuous activity. And your physician can also let you know if your intended exercise regimen is too intense or not intense enough.

If possible, you should try to get 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. Additionally, you should engage in strength exercises at least twice a week.

Sticking to this exercise regimen will make you healthier and happier, and all while making your diabetes easier to manage.

 

Stress and Diabetes

Stress plays a major role in diabetes. If you already have diabetes, your health may suffer due to the stress you experience. And if you don’t already have diabetes, there is a chance that stress could cause it!

Recent research has revealed a potential link between stress and Type 2 diabetes. This is because stress hormones may actually prevent insulin-producing cells in your pancreas from working right and limit how much insulin your body produces.

That can lead to type 2 diabetes. And if you are a “stress eater,” then packing on extra pounds due to stress you are experiencing may also cause type 2 diabetes.

Stress is also a factor if you already have diabetes. You might get hypo anxiety or simply feel overwhelmed due to having to manage so many things as a part of your condition. And a recent study discovered that stress hormones may lead to higher blood sugar levels.

Different Types of Stress and Your Diabetes

There are multiple types of stress that you may be experiencing. And these different types of stress have different effects on your diabetes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, mental stress may increase blood glucose levels. And if you have type 1 diabetes, mental stress could potentially lower or increase your blood glucose.

You may also experience physical stress. This may increase your blood sugar no matter what kind of diabetes you have. And your body may have the same reaction when you are sick or injured. 

Dealing With Stress

Obviously, stress can be a scary factor when it comes to diabetes. Fortunately, there are multiple ways you can deal with this stress.

Make sure you get enough sleep each night. And try to establish a regular exercise routine, as this can fight stress and also keep your body healthy.

It’s important to schedule some relaxation time for yourself each day so you don’t stress yourself by working too hard. And finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to your support network whenever you are feeling frightened or overwhelmed, and don’t be ashamed if you need to turn to therapy.

Different Solutions for Different Types of Stress

The above suggestions can help with general feelings of stress. But once you isolate what kind of stress you are experiencing, you can try out some very specific solutions.

For example, taking up yoga or other regular exercise is a great way to deal with physical stress. If you are experiencing emotional stress, try to isolate yourself for at least five minutes and breathe deeply. During this time, placing your hand on your belly while you breathe may help you calm down.

Stress from family or work basically has the same solution: setting proper limits. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to stressful family events. And at work, talk to your supervisor if you are feeling overwhelmed before things get worse.

What Next?

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