You have just realized that you have diabetes. Most likely the news is shocking, even though you have heard it suggested in passing by your health care team while they were trying to uncover what has been making you feel so unwell. But it was never a real concern in your mind; after all, it is the type of thing that happens to other people.
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Now that you have a confirmed diagnosis, however, it is time to take stock of what this means for you in both the short and long term. Read on for five important tips to help you through the initial reactions.
1. Don’t panic
Take a deep breath and just let the idea marinate. If possible, arrange for a follow up meeting with your doctor within a few days, to give you the time to just take in the information and do a little research on your own. It is difficult to take in any information when you are in a state of shock and trying to accurately recall a long and detailed discussion right now will only contribute to your anxiety. Bring along a spouse, partner, friend or trusted caregiver to take notes and help you ask the questions that are most important to you.
2. Resolve your immediate concerns
Your doctor will most likely have you begin a regimen of controlled diet and medication to bring your blood glucose levels to a safe range. Once you have balanced your system and have begun to adapt to a healthier lifestyle of prescribed exercise and monitoring your blood levels, you will be allowed more freedom in your food and activity choices. The initial learning curve will feel very steep, but don’t let that scare you, learning anything new can take a little while.
3. Exercise Can Lower and Raise Blood Sugar
Exercise can both lower and raise blood sugar levels. Most aerobic exercises, like running, speed up the heart rate and cause more blood sugar to be used for energy. However, activities like competitive sports can cause a release in adrenalin which hampers the effects and production of insulin. Each of these cases can be very serious.
For example, if you have taken insulin to lower your blood sugar after a meal and then you complete an aerobic exercise routine, your sugar may drop too low. On the other hand, if you skip an insulin dose because you are going for a run and your body produces adrenaline because of a friendly competition, you may have blood sugar levels that are too high. You should discuss this with your doctor for suggestions on how to properly manage your blood sugar levels.
4. Research and education
Now that you have a little perspective, you can ask your doctor for some referrals to diabetes support groups. Visit several and find one that best suits your needs. Being able to discuss the little challenges and victories with people who have been there already will go a long way to keeping you healthy and you may just learn a neat trick or two. The more you can learn about diabetes, the more you will feel in control of your own life.
5. High fiber foods
If you are diabetic, lentils are one of the best foods. A lentil soup every day will give you magnesium and protein to keep you going. There are many benefits to having lentils, but they are not the only high-fiber foods you eat. Other high-fiber foods include cereals, oats, and more.
6. Injury Risks
If you participate in dangerous activities like mountain climbing or motorcycle jumping, you will be putting yourself at risk for injury. In this situation, it can often take people with diabetes longer to heal. This should be considered before completing any activity.
You should also consider the condition of your extremities. If you frequently experience numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, you may need to pay close attention to them. This is especially true if you will be hiking or climbing in snowy or cold conditions. Many people with diabetes suffer frostbite without ever feeling a thing. While these can seem like scary risks, you should consider that even people without diabetes can suffer from injury or illness from activities.
It is an excellent form of protein and it is a type of food that you can eat as many times as you like as it does not have any negative effect on your blood glucose level.
8. Is The Exercise Worth The Risk?
Exercise and being active is actually one of the most important aspects of controlling blood sugar. People with type two diabetes can often lower their blood sugar levels to normal by losing just a few pounds and living a healthy lifestyle.
For this reason, exercise on a daily basis for at least 60 minutes is recommended by most physicians. Many studies have shown that exercise can be the best medicine for people with diabetes. Many people are able to keep the complications, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, at bay as well.
The natural treatment for these diseases is also a healthy diet and exercise program. The majority of people who become very ill or die from diabetes do so because of the development of additional complications. In order to live a long healthy life while having diabetes, you should implement exercise as part of your normal routine.
9. Blood Sugar Levels
When a person has diabetes, it is important that they monitor their blood sugar levels and take appropriate measures to ensure that those levels remain the same. Before meals, blood sugar levels should be between 90 and 130 and after meals, below 180. If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to monitor your blood sugar levels several times a day. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out how often you should do this.