Once you have received a diagnosis of diabetes, you will need to start learning how to control the disease. It is only by controlling the illness that you can enjoy your life without some of the life-threatening complications that can accompany diabetes when left untreated. While a diagnosis of diabetes can be daunting, knowledge and a determination to take control are important to live successfully with the disease. This will make it necessary to educate yourself about the illness.
Controlling diabetes demands a change in lifestyle habits. Primarily, the diabetic must practice eating a healthy diet suitable for a diabetic, exercise regularly, and take their medication as prescribed by their health-care practitioner. One of the biggest changes someone with diabetes must face concerns the food they eat. You must now plan each meal carefully, looking at serving sizes, type of food, and cooking methods. The diabetic should eat a well-balanced diet consisting of foods from the main food groups:
- Starch / carbohydrates
- Meat / fish
- Dairy – yogurt and milk
Diet plays an important – possibly the most important – role in controlling diabetes. It is necessary that the diabetic and his or her caregiver be aware of dietary needs, since this can have an impact on your blood glucose levels. The amount of food you eat at each meal will be dependent on your particular caloric intake needs. Setting up a routine so that meals and medicines are taken at the same time each day diminishes the likelihood of missed meals and or medication.
Keeping fit and exercising has been proven to play a role in controlling blood sugar levels and the overall health of the diabetic. In addition, if you are overweight, a dangerous state for the diabetic, exercise will help you shed pounds, thus reducing the risks posed by the diseases.
Other lifestyle changes
Other lifestyle changes necessary to maintain good health include controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition, reducing your stress will lead to a healthier you. If you smoke, it is advisable that you stop smoking as it increases the risk of complications from the disease. The diabetic should also have their eyes checked at least annually because of other health issues arising from the condition. Foot care is also important as poor blood circulation frequently leads to amputations. However, if you pay attention to changes and minor cuts, you can save yourself lots of heartache.
Ultimately, the only way to have control over your health and diabetes is to know what causes the disease and how to prevent the development of major complications. It is important that you get help to make meal plans and develop an exercise routine suited for your lifestyle. Joining groups comprised of fellow diabetics and their loved ones is a good source of information. Groups also help make the emotional challenges of dealing with the disease easier to handle. Pricking your finger to test your sugar level may be difficult at first but will become easier with time and loved ones can also assist with this task.