How to Lead a Good Life When You're Diabetic: 6 Simple Tips for Living With Diabetes by 30Seconds Health
Living with diabetes is a major life adjustment, especially for those who develop it later in life and have to make big lifestyle changes to support their health. More than 34 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, with one in five not even knowing they have it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., but you can lead a good life with diabetes. From dietary restrictions to daily medicine and monitoring, there are a lot of steps to take to make sure you can lead a happy life and keep yourself healthy.
So how do you begin? What kinds of things are important to stay in good condition? There are many resources out there that can help you, but here are a few easy tips to help you lead a good life with diabetes:
1. Switch Up (Some) of Your Wardrobe
When making a decision to have a better life with diabetes, comfort should always play a role. There are companies that manufacture products that are directly targeted at diabetics – particularly socks and shoes – to help you feel more comfortable.
Diabetic footwear is often softer, roomier and offers better support than your average pair of shoes. A study found that about six out of 10 people with diabetes wear the wrong size shoes, so do your homework when purchasing therapeutic shoes. Compression socks are a good addition to a pair of diabetic shoes. They make it easier to travel and promote regular circulation in your legs and feet, which can often decrease with the onset of diabetes.
Consider getting some loungewear, too. You can use it to hang out around the house or when you go out for exercise. Either way, comfort never hurts.
2. Get Lots of Exercise
According to the American Diabetes Association, exercise is one of the most important parts of staying healthy, especially with this condition. For diabetic individuals in particular, regular exercise helps cells become more sensitive to insulin, making treatment more effective. Not to mention, staying fit helps you feel and look better, diabetes or not!
If you aren’t someone who exercises regularly now, start slow. A 20-minute walk around your neighborhood is a great place to start, and it’s a good habit to get into as well. Spending some time outdoors is never a bad idea, and you can include others in your walks.
You can stick with walking or work your way up to more rigorous exercise, but make sure to know your limits and don’t push yourself too far.
3. Find Stress Relievers
Some people like meditation, while others enjoy gardening, yoga, puzzles or something entirely their own. Whatever it may be, find something that soothes you when you feel stressed.
Too much stress is not good for anyone, but it is particularly dangerous for those with diabetes because it affects blood sugar levels. It can also make you forget simple things to take care of yourself, like medicine or checking your blood sugar. In short, find something that relaxes you – and use it!
4. Cut Down On Carbs
Carbohydrates turn into sugar, which is a big risk for diabetics. When thinking about the dietary changes you need to make, consider incorporating whole grains, vegetables and fruits into your daily routine.
Consider staying away from dairy and look for lean meats, which can help cut down your carbs. You should also try to keep your carb intake consistent, so your body may adjust more easily and adapt when it needs to.
5. Cut Down on Drinking
Even if you are not a heavy alcohol drinker, you may still need to cut back. Many experts recommend that women only have one glass a day and men should have no more than two. Alcohol of any kind can make it difficult to control blood sugar levels and could put you at higher risk.
If you are going to drink, plan ahead. Check your blood sugar before you drink and do what you can to avoid highs or lows. Sweet drinks can have more carbs, so consider that as well.
6. Reconsider Your Hygiene Routine
One common issue associated with diabetes is dry or itchy skin, because body fluid levels may be lower than they should be. Showering or bathing too often may actually make this worse.
One thing to try is cutting down your daily showers to showering every other day, and try investing in some good moisturizer to help your skin feel better.
Don’t worry about not feeling clean. Lower body fluid levels mean you sweat less, so unless you are out in naturally dirty environments, you won’t feel too icky at the end of the day.
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be scary. Learning to live with it can feel even scarier. However, with the right tips and tools, and a lot of support from friends and family, you can live a happy and fulfilling life.
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.