Coping With Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin. In the past three decades, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels. Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself.

For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival.

How to cope with diabetes if you are already diagnosed

  • Stress can raise your blood sugar. You can ease stress by deep breathing, gardening, taking a walk, meditating, working on your hobby, or listening to your favorite music.
  • If you feel down (depressed), ask for help. Getting to see mental health counselor, joining a support group, talking to friends, or family member who will listen to your concerns may help you feel better.

Eat well.

  • Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team especially the dietician
  • Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Eat foods with more fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.
  • Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, bread and cereals, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
  • Drink water instead of juice and regular soda.
  • When eating a meal, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a lean protein, such as beans, or chicken or turkey without the skin, and one quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

Be active.

  • Set a goal to be more active most days of the week. Start slow by taking 10 minute walks, 3 times a day.
  • Twice a week, work to increase your muscle strength. Use stretch bands, do yoga, heavy gardening (digging and planting with tools), or try push-ups.
  • Stay at or get to a healthy weight by using your meal plan and moving more.

Know what to do every day.

  • Take your medicines for diabetes and any other health problems even when you feel good. Ask your doctor if you need aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you cannot afford your medicines or if you have any side effects.
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your health care team right away about any sores that do not go away.
  • Brush your teeth and floss every day to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.
  • Stop smoking. If need be, ask for help to quit.
  • Keep track of your blood sugar level
  • Be sure to talk about it with your health care team.
  • Check your blood pressure if your doctor advises and keep a record of it and your blood sugars

SOURCE – NHS, WHO

 

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