Diabetes management means you take care of your medications, manage your weight and find ways to live with pain. Add in doctor visits and keeping up with new treatments. Is it too much?
You do not want diabetes to take over your life, but just living with it can make this happen.
You are probably using a glucose monitor at least once a day. You are taking medications, which may include insulin shots.
New habits of healthy eating and exercise are a challenge. You have to deal with pain and other complications. There are also financial struggles.
Then they tell you to watch out for chronic stress. How do you do all of this?
If you feel overwhelmed, here are some tips and advice I found helpful. Things really changed when I realized that managing type 2 diabetes was up to me.
It was a wake up call. If I did not manage diabetes, it would take my life.
Your diabetic doctor may see you once every three months. That is not often enough for him to take care of your diabetes.
At every visit, I must tell my doctor what my appointment is for. I also have to remind her of my medications and history.
If your doctor orders blood tests, it is up to you to follow through. They ask about eye tests, but you are the one who knows whether you actually get them done every year.
Visits to the ophthalmologist, podiatrist and dentist are your responsibility. It is all part of diabetes management.
Type 2 diabetes has no outward symptoms for a long time. You could neglect blood sugar control for weeks or months without obvious problems at first. Daily testing is up to you.
Paying for your medications and keeping track of insurance changes is up to you too. If you run out of something or stop taking a medication, who will know?
If you cannot afford medications, your doctor or pharmacist can help. But you must talk to them. You cannot let your diabetes management slide because of the cost.
To help me with managing meds, I use a weekly pill reminder. It has AM and PM boxes for every day of the week. Without it I would lose track.
You decide to stay on your diabetic diet. Nobody else can do it. But you have to decide every day.
With habits to unlearn and new tastes to form, you need to give yourself some time. But the returns from good diabetic eating habits are huge.
The American Diabetic Association has advice for portion sizes that will help.
The glycemic index is another place to get good advice on what affects your blood sugar the most out of all the carbs you eat.
Daily exercise has been tough because I wanted to avoid pain. But there are compelling reasons to push past those diabetic complications and get active.
There are so many benefits to exercise beyond helping with diabetes. Endorphins make you feel better, kicking away depression. Alzheimer dementia is slowed and reversed.
If pain is a problem, distract yourself with a video or music. It keeps the boredom away too.
Diabetic neuropathy is improved by walking or swimming. Find a
way to use the large muscles in your back and legs, something you enjoy. It has to be what you want to do, or you will not continue.
Our high stress lives have been linked to everything that is wrong with us, including diabetes.
So the American Diabetic Association says diabetes management has to include avoiding chronic stress.
How on earth can a type 2 diabetic manage stress? The smallest event can change the course of diabetes. It was Lyme disease that put me on insulin.
My dad had diabetes and heart disease, but the thing that killed him was hepatitis B. Things happen that you do not expect because you cannot manage everything.
Thinking you have to be in control will bring on chronic stress. What do you do about it? For me the answer is that God loves us, so He is the one in charge of my diabetic journey.
The choice to trust Him lowers stress for me. The truth is, it is not the things that happen to us that make us who we are. It is our choices.
Type 2 diabetics have problems with sleep, which only makes diabetes worse. Check out the page on sleep to get some help.
Women going through menopause while managing diabetes have two problems, both of which add to stress. The page on menopause is full of ideas for dealing with it.
I was plagued with foot pain for years, but after insulin was started, the pain has faded. Getting on insulin does help peripheral neuropathy by improving control of blood sugar.
Tight control of blood glucose levels keeps diabetic neuropathy
from getting worse. This is why using your blood glucose monitor every day helps. So does getting your
checked every three months.
Neuropathic pain gives you a good reason to eat antioxidant rich foods. Superfoods make diabetes management easier by improving the complications.
A simple thing like low vitamin D can cause pain. A dose of sunshine is the easiest way to fix that. For more ideas go to the page on leg and foot pain.
If neuropathy is plaguing you, there is some help for you here.
Diabetes management includes asking for help when you know you need it.
Diabetes management is a daily reality. But if you are doing it well, diabetes will not take over your life. You can spend your time on the things that really matter to you.
For me there are grandchildren to play with, a fantasy series to write, and new friends to meet. Manage your diabetes, and you can pour your life into the people and things that you love.
[Go back to the top]Go to the home page for a diabetic life from diabetes management.
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