Category Archives for Diabetic Manual

diabetes-diagnosis

Staying Positive After Being Diagnosed with Diabetes

diabetes-diagnosisA positive attitude can bring benefits and rewards to so many areas of life, work, relationships and health. That includes when you’re diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Your mental approach will have a big say in how well you manage your condition.

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a huge shock for some people. For others, it may be something of a relief to finally know what has been causing them health difficulties. But in either case, life has been changed forever and challenges lie ahead.

Learning to stay positive after a diabetes diagnosis can be the greatest challenge of all, but also the most worthwhile. Your brain is incredibly powerful and positivity can affect how much or little control your disease has over you.

Work Through Grief

It is OK to go through the stages of grief. In fact, if you want to stay positive long after your diabetes diagnosis, it’s essential that you do. Those stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. If you get stuck on one of the first four, you won’t reach acceptance.

Grieving is a process. We tend to think of it as negative – it sure isn’t fun – but working through it completely brings growth and the opportunity to move forward.

The depression stage can be the hardest to work through. Indeed, diabetes can have a profound effect on mental health. It’s easy to be caught in repetitive anxious or negative thoughts.

Please see a mental health professional who can help you work through grief until you come to accept your disease. There is no prescribed timeframe for each stage of grief – everyone is different – but know that you can get through it. Diabetes is not a death sentence.

You’re Among Friends

When you’re diagnosed, you may feel as though you’re on an island, alone. But you’re not. In fact, everyone around you wants to help you. That is a wonderfully positive and supportive thing. Accept some help.

Also remember, over 30 million of your fellow Americans have type 2 diabetes and 1.5 million have type 1. They’ll be glad to help you, advise you, and share their experience. Get involved in groups, both online and in person, so you can feel tangible support from others and see that life can still be lived to the fullest.

Find a Proven Program

Adopting a dietary support plan that is proven to assist people with diabetes will go a long way toward reducing your stress and boosting your confidence for the future. Amid all the confusion and unknown factors as you adjust to your diagnosis, a clear plan for the foods you will eat and the diabetic supplements you will take can be a steadying influence.

If you try to do it all yourself, the information you take in can be quite overwhelming, which will affect your mental health. You’re going to read up on foods to avoid and how they affect you. Then you’ll research the foods you should eat each day. Your head may spin. Thinking about how to implement your new diet can cause plenty of stress. Plus you may grieve for a while about the foods you love that you can’t eat any more. Or you may have to break an addiction to sugar and go through the unwell, negative, and even depressive sensations that can bring.

You need a routine, a schedule, a meal plan. In short, you need a diabetic support plan.

Set Obtainable Goals

If you want to stay positive after a diabetes diagnosis then you need to have milestones. Those milestones will be about eating the right foods each meal, weaning yourself off sugar, creating an exercise routine, hitting your blood sugar numbers, changing your weight, and much more. Create goals you can reach and lay them out in increments. Set yourself up to succeed, not fail. After you reach one goal, praise yourself, and set another. Seeing signs of success is vital to a good attitude.

Partnerships Matter

Having a trusted few people beside you can help ease the anguish and anxiety you may be feeling. Close social interaction and physical touch are vital for your mental and physical wellbeing, so do your best to maintain and strengthen your bonds with your partner, your family, and your friends. Pushing them away or withdrawing into isolation will affect you negatively.

Build trusting partnerships with your medical professionals. They will get to know you intimately and point you towards many resources, educational courses, support groups, and technological advances, so find comfort in trusting them. Their knowledge, professionalism and practical help can be very reassuring.

One Day at a Time

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming. Seeing a positive outcome can seem impossible at first. Indeed, some days you will not be happy and may even want to give up. So, like we said above about setting attainable goals, once you have your plans and programs in place, take each day as it comes, in isolation. Work through each task in the moment. Don’t look far ahead. Just do what you can to appreciate being in the here and now. If you can get through this moment, you can handle the next one, too.

We recognize that staying positive after being diagnosed with diabetes can be a great challenge. We trust this guide can help you on your new journey. So can many people. Learn from those who have been where you are and from those who have lived with diabetes for a long time. Learn from your physicians and advisors. A long and fulfilling life can lie ahead.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Diabetic Manual and a clickable link back to this page.

diabetic-exercise

Seven Exercise Tips If You Have Type 2 Diabetes

diabetic-exerciseFor many people with type 2 diabetes, being diagnosed with the disease is a kick start to the healthier life they wished they’d pursued earlier.

Exercise is a key component of staving off the worst effects of T2D because it can provide the body with a way to balance blood sugar and insulin levels. But what kinds of exercise? And how often?

Here are some helpful exercise tips for type 2 diabetes so you can do the right things to manage your condition.

Create a Routine

The clock and the calendar will become your allies in managing type 2 diabetes. You need a routine. Treat your exercise regimen the same as you do your meal and supplement plan and your medication schedule. Sticking to a routine provides a much greater chance of successfully managing T2D than a haphazard approach.

30-minute Workouts

Speaking of routine, dedicate 30 minutes every single day to simply raising your resting heartbeat. You don’t have to blaze through extended challenges like P90X. Many type 2 sufferers are overweight, in fair to poor health, have other complications, and thus aren’t ideally suited to long and exhausting workouts. But a walk or a gentle bike ride for half an hour each day is very beneficial. 30 minutes is doable, even more so if your wellbeing depends on it. If the clock or your stamina cause you problems at first, split the 30 minutes into two shorter segments.

Aerobic Exercise

One of the absolute best exercise tips for type 2 diabetes is to engage in some aerobic activity – like walking. Walking is the cornerstone exercise for T2D. Now, aerobic exercise is defined as activity that will “stimulate and strengthen the heart and lungs, thereby improving the body’s utilization of oxygen” (dictionary.com). You need to establish with your doctor what exercise to do and how to approach it, depending on how much/little glucose you need to burn or how you need your body to use insulin. Good aerobic exercises include walking/hiking, swimming, water aerobics, cycling, yoga, dance classes, boxing, and martial arts.

Walk Before You Run

Go easy when you start. There’s no need to bust yourself on day one. Whether you’re getting outside on a trail or using a treadmill at home, just set a moderate pace that brings your heartrate 30 beats per minute above resting. Over time, as your fitness improves and you bring your daily blood sugar under control, you can increase your pace and distance. Aim for steady improvement rather than exhaustion.

Remember to eat appropriately (no carb loading) and stay hydrated.

Build Up to Strength Training

If you can, incorporate some strength training, preferably supervised. (It’s unwise for a diabetic to go hard with weights while alone. Or anyone, really.) Strength training is enormously beneficial for all people, especially in later years. It’s good for bone integrity, improved mobility, better metabolism, increased immunity, and heart health. (Remember heart disease is a major risk and potential complication from diabetes.) For T2D, being stronger can enable you to lose weight, respond to insulin better, and improve how your body utilizes blood sugar.

Tai Chi

If you live anywhere near a park, you may have seen a tai chi class. While this ancient eastern art is not aerobic in nature, it can be very beneficial for type 2 diabetes. Tai chi’s slow and methodical routine of moves not only provides a good level of fitness and balance, it’s an excellent way to relieve stress.

The Small Things

Our final exercise tip for dealing with type 2 diabetes is twofold: do the small things and stay positive. Take the stairs, walk or ride to the shops, take a parking space an extra 150 feet away from the front door, and so on to increase your activity levels. Then praise yourself for doing these, along with your daily exercise, and tell yourself how good and alive you feel. All of these small things accumulate and help build pride and positivity about what you’re doing.

Those are simple exercise tips if you have type 2 diabetes. Remember to talk to your doctor, follow your medication plan, and adhere to a proven regimen of diabetic diet and supplements. You can improve your health and fitness, and thus your daily life with diabetes.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Diabetic Manual and a clickable link back to this page.

diabetes-vision

Diabetes and Your Eyesight – A Guide to Help You

diabetes-visionDiabetes is one of America’s leading causes of eye disease and blindness, especially in those who have had diabetes for some years and are older. There are several eye problems that can result from diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy (DR), cataracts, glaucoma, and macular edema.

But if you have diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) or are diagnosed as pre-diabetic, instead of complicated terminology, sometimes you need simple, helpful, and even hopeful information. So, here is the good news:

  1. This simple guide can be your helpful reference and information link about diabetes and your eyesight.
  2. With proper care, attention, and a diabetic support program to manage your blood sugar, you can avoid severe vision loss or blindness.

Early Detection is Key

Detecting diabetes before it has a chance to progress is crucial in managing the disease.

Blurred vision can often be the first warning sign of diabetes, either type 1 or type 2. That blurred vision can be caused by excessively high blood sugar. Sudden blurriness needs to be examined by your doctor and also an eye specialist. Think of your ophthalmologist as your frontline defense against diabetes and for your eyesight. If you notice any negative changes in your vision, make an appointment immediately. That includes experiencing blurred or double vision and feeling pain or pressure in your eyes.

Diabetics Must Have Regular Eye Tests

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you simply must schedule eye tests regularly, like every six months. Furthermore, if anything in your vision changes, get tested again. Your eyes are a window to your diabetes as well as your soul.

What About Eye Floaters?

‘Floaters’ are little spots that float around in your vision as you move your eyes. They are very common. There are some misconceptions and misinformation – pardon the pun – floating around about them.

Floaters in a non-diabetic person are not dangerous and not an indication of any problem.

But for someone with diabetes, any change to eye floaters should be checked by an ophthalmologist. Worsening floaters could potentially be a sign of diabetic eye disease or, in severe cases, bleeding in the eye. Only an expert can be sure.

Serious Diabetic Eye Disease

  • Diabetic retinopathy (DR) means the retina has been damaged and is a serious threat to eyesight. It is the leading cause of diabetic vision loss, even in working age people.
  • Diabetic macula edema is a consequence of DR. The macula area of the retina swells and the prolonged pressure distorts the eye, causing degeneration and blindness.
  • Cataracts are clouded growths over of the lens of the eye. They are two to five times more likely in diabetic adults.
  • Glaucoma is a disease that places high pressure inside the eye and on the optic nerve. Diabetic adults have double the risk of developing glaucoma.

The Hope: A Diabetic Program for Healthy Blood Sugar and Eyesight

The good news is that stabilizing your blood sugar at a healthy level can help blurred or distorted vision return to normal. Preventing glucose from spiking in your blood and blood vessels will ease stress on the lens, retina and macula.

The even better news is that it is not has hard as you think to manage nutrition for your diabetes and eyesight. Save yourself a years-long learning curve and take advantage of the extensively researched expertise behind a diabetic life support program to manage your meal plans. Such a program will show you how to maintain your blood sugar through a nutritious and delicious diet and supplements that are low in sugar, high in antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory.

More Things You Can Do

There are other helpful things you can do to manage your diabetes and its effects on your eyesight:

  • Get daily aerobic exercise.
  • Regularly monitor your blood sugar numbers.
  • Take any medicine you’re prescribed. Take it as instructed by your physician.
  • Use anti-inflammatory nutritional supplements specially created to support diabetic conditions. (Regular supplements will not help.)
  • No smoking. Diabetes and eye disease become much greater concerns if you smoke, because it weakens the immune system while increasing cravings and blood pressure.
  • Eliminate alcohol.
  • Look after your blood pressure, particularly by doing all the things above. High blood pressure increases the risk of diabetic eye disease.

So, while diabetes presents a significant threat to your eyesight, be encouraged that you can take control and prevent those threats from causing damage. Be vigilant, take any eyesight changes seriously, and look after yourself by following a diabetic support program that will take the guesswork out of your approach to managing your disease. Your eyes will thank you.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Diabetic Manual and a clickable link back to this page.