Living With Diabetes – Practical Steps

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Regardless of what age you are diagnosed with diabetes or which of the two types you have, it helps to have some coping strategies. Living with diabetes can be challenging, but it certainly need not keep you down. There is no absolute cure for diabetes yet. There are hopes to cure diabetes naturally. In the meantime, here are some practical steps for living with diabetes and how to cure diabetes naturally.

Connecting with Others

One of the most helpful things you can do is get to be a part of the diabetes community in your area. You’ll learn you’re not alone; you’ll probably pick up valuable information, tips, and literature, and you’ll learn about upcoming events, retreats, and camps.

This can be helpful for children who want to fit in with a peer group but aren’t sure how or if others will accept them, or for adults who feel isolated in their condition. It helps a lot just to know there are others who understand what it’s like.

Form a Group

If you don’t have a local support group for diabetics, consider forming one. Members can meet at your house or at a local venue, and you can set up social networking or a website to keep in touch. You can plan outings, gatherings, meetings, and so forth, and keep your group informed about events.

Take Control

While regular visits to your physician are important, diabetics ultimately have to be responsible for their own daily care. You have to learn to take your own blood sugar and administer your own insulin, and only you know when something feels “off.” It’s up to you to implement an exercise regimen and eat the right foods. Learning this basic truth – you are responsible for managing your diabetes – can take some of the stress out of living with this condition.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

For those with Type II diabetes or for parents of children who have Type I, it can be tempting to get caught up in the self-blame game. The development of Type II diabetes may in fact be linked to certain lifestyle choices, but it’s not necessarily so; and even if it is, you have to move forward and into a healthy lifestyle.

Parents whose child or children have Type I may blame themselves – mothers may worry about something they did while pregnant, or obsess over letting their child eat a lot of sugar before the diagnosis. None of these blames are necessarily even true! It wastes time and energy to worry, so focus on moving forward and getting the most out of life from here on out. This may be the beginning of an opportunity for self-improvement and self-control.

Have a Plan

Having a plan can help you stay in control in a given situation, and get the most out of parties and holidays. Decide ahead of time how you will handle holiday and party treats so you don’t have to think on your feet each time you’re offered a goody.

Managing Diabetes with Diet and Exercise – Top Tips

Generally speaking, Type II diabetes is the version of this disease that can be managed with diet and exercise. However, for those with Type I, these healthy lifestyle tips may help relieve symptoms and enhance management of the condition. Here are some tips for managing diabetes with diet and exercise.

The Right Carbs

Carbs, or carbohydrates, have been on the “bad” list lately. But not unlike fat, there are good and bad carbs, especially when it comes to diabetes management. Generally speaking, carbs to avoid might include the following:

  • White sugar
  • White flour
  • White rice
  • Fruit juices
  • De-germed cornmeal

Carbs to emphasize might include these foods:

  • Whole fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Brown rice
  • Whole cornmeal

Proteins and Carbs

Combining proteins and carbs at meals and snacks can help prevent blood sugar spikes. Examples include:

  • Whole grain bread with unsweetened nut butter
  • Whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese
  • Lean turkey breast in a whole wheat pita
  • Brown rice and beans
  • “Party mix” made from whole grain cereal, peanuts, and pretzels
  • Apple slices with peanut butter
  • Brown rice and broiled salmon
  • Whole wheat macaroni and cheese (made with low-fat cheese and skim milk)

Fats

While keeping your weight at a healthy level is important for managing your diabetes, eating the right kind of fat has its place. In moderation, these healthy fats can help lower cholesterol and provide other health benefits. Healthy fats can be found in:

  • Fish (especially salmon and Arctic char)
  • Avocados
  • Almonds
  • Olive, safflower, and canola oils

It’s a good idea to avoid saturated fats and trans fats (hydrogenated fats). Saturated fats are fats like butter and shortening that are solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated fats were once liquid fats (sometimes healthy ones) that were artificially solidified using hydrogen. Trans or hydrogenated fats are found in some types of peanut butter and in margarine, and in the ingredient lists of countless packaged foods.

Exercise

To manage your diabetes, exercise is considered by experts to be essential. Interestingly, strength training has been shown to be especially beneficial to diabetics, producing results that, in some instances, rival medication. Aerobic exercise is also helpful; it gets the heart rate up and burns calories.

The important thing is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day for a minimum of five days a week. This helps keep your weight in check (vital for diabetics and pre-diabetics) and may even reduce stress. Stress has been implicated in the development of diabetes symptoms.

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