When you know the best approach to a healthy life, living with diabetes becomes simple and non-challenging to you.
Firstly, you need to understand that you are the most important member of your health care team. Accepting your health status, and being ready to make major adjustments are the first steps to living healthy with diabetes.
Accept Your Health Status
I have worked with a patient who gradually slipped into depression with her diagnosis because she refused to accept the new her. You may be questioning your fate and the universe, why you should suffer diabetes, but I want you to remember that you are not alone in this journey.
Many people, both young and old, are living with diabetes, and being negative or feeling depressed will rather complicate issues for you than be of any help. You have to brace up, be positive, and decide to take your health into your own hands.
Take Your Medicines
The drugs prescribed for you are meant to help your body make use of the sugar from the foods you eat. Some of them help to protect your organs, nerves, and other systems in your body from the damaging effects of high blood sugar. Understanding the needs for these drugs will help you take them religiously, even when you feel well.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Often
Do you have a glucometer at home? It is time to get one for yourself so you can be able to monitor your blood sugar at any point in time. The fasting blood sugar (FBS) is checked after 8-10 hours without food, usually in the morning. While the random blood sugar test is done 2 hours after a meal. The ideal values in well-controlled diabetes are FBS of 130mg/dl and random blood sugar that is less than 180mg/dl.
There is a need to monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well if you are living with diabetes. This will help you detect any changes in your body that could lead to complications early enough, and have them taken care of. Do not forget to keep records of your test as they will be needed by your caregivers for reviews.
Communicate With Your Health Care Team
Your family, doctor, pharmacist, dietician, eye doctor, mental health counselor, and many other health professionals all make up a team of health care with you in the middle. Always keep your routine appointments with them. Discuss your progress, challenges, and possible ways to achieve a good quality of life with diabetes. Always ask for help when you feel overwhelmed.
Make Healthy Food Choices
Create a meal plan from foods that are low in calory and unhealthy fats. Eat more vegetables and fiber-rich foods that will not cause a spike in your blood sugar. You can choose your meals from this article on healthy Nigerian foods for diabetics.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
The importance of weight management in diabetes can not be overemphasized. Many health complications like heart disease, are associated with overweight in diabetes mellitus.
In addition, losing weight has been shown to improve blood sugar control for patients who are overweight or obese. Maintaining a healthy weight also offer other benefits such as:
- Improved sexual function
- Good physical capability
- Enhance mobility
- Improve quality of life.
Be More Active Every Day
It is important to engage in daily physical activities where your muscles are active in a way to increases your energy expenditure. Plan a continuous body movement rather than sitting at a place for a long period of time.
Understand How Serious Diabetes Is
Oftentimes, people tend to make diabetes appear less serious with such statements as; “my blood sugar is just a little bit high” or “let me live my life for today, God will not allow anything to happen to me”
No, you have to understand that diabetes is a very serious disorder that can affect your organs badly. The good news is, you can manage it effectively to avoid most of the diabetes complications discussed here.
Generally, I see diabetes as a wake-up call to a healthy lifestyle. If you put all the points discussed in this article into practice, there is no doubt you are going to enjoy a healthy life even with the challenge of diabetes mellitus.