Diabetes is a difficult diagnosis to get. If you have diabetes, no matter which kind, you’re going to have to learn how to manage it for the rest of your life. If you don’t, you’re facing loss of limbs, blindness or even death.
Fortunately, many have succeeded before you, so you can manage it, too. First, ask your doctor what steps to take to keep your diabetes in check. She will be able to set up a plan for you to keep your blood sugar level and your body healthy.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease in which your body can’t regulate its blood sugar on its own. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by an insulin deficiency, and type 2 causes insulin resistance.
A diabetic diet is one of the best ways to help manage your disease. It doesn’t mean just avoiding sugar -- everything you eat can affect your diet. Carbohydrates, which include white bread, sugar, rice and potatoes, can raise your blood sugar, while non-starchy vegetables, fruits and protein will help keep your blood sugar stable.
Diabetics should also be aware of their cholesterol intake because people with diabetes are at much higher risk for heart disease. Trans fats and saturated fats can increase your cholesterol, which causes heart disease. Adding more “good” fats to your diet, such as Omega 3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats, can help lower your cholesterol.
Exercise is another key priority for diabetics. Exercise helps keep your blood sugar down as well as your weight, which will help your body regulate its own insulin. You don’t have to go to a gym to get exercise, though. There are ways to exercise at home without breaking the bank.
Choose an area of your home where you’d like to exercise: It’s best if there’s a good amount of room on the floor. Invest in some home fitness equipment, such as a yoga mat, dumbbells, resistance bands, a bosu balance trainer and a suspension trainer. These items are not very expensive, and you can buy them one at a time until you have your own home gym. You might consider putting up a mirror, too. You may not want to look at yourself all day, but a mirror will help you see if you’re doing the exercises correctly.
You can get your cardio by getting some fitness dvds and popping them into the DVD player -- you do actually have to do the exercise. If you want more variety, you can subscribe to an online yoga class.
If you need help monitoring your blood sugar, you can get some gadgets and apps that help you track it, as well as communicate with your doctor. You can allow your doctor to see your results and give you advice on how to regulate your disease better. There are already systems that track your blood sugar with a patch on your skin that measures glucose in your sweat. Scientists are in the process of creating a smart contact lens that tracks glucose in your tears, and a sensor placed under your skin that does the same.
The most important thing to remember is that even if you have ignored your diabetes in the past, you can always start again. Learning to live with diabetes is a process that will last for the rest of your life. And the better you get at managing it, the longer and healthier that life will be.
Check out more by Paige at www.learnfit.org