If you have diabetes, you’re not alone. An estimated 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes. But even though it’s such a common disease, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding about it. The most important thing to remember is that with proper treatment, you can live a full and healthy life. Here are 25 tips to help you live a healthier life with diabetes.
Change your mindset
When it comes to managing diabetes, it’s important to have the right mindset. Change the way you look at it as a challenge or an opportunity. Figure out how you can use the limitations of diabetes to your advantage.
For example, it’s an opportunity to learn to eat healthier, exercise more, and become a more educated and proactive person. You may have to cut back on sweets and fatty foods, but it’s an opportunity to try new recipes and cuisines and explore new ways of cooking.
It’s also an opportunity to get to know yourself better and understand what triggers your blood sugar levels to spike. As you become more aware of your body, you’ll be better equipped to manage it. Living with diabetes isn’t a burden; it’s an opportunity to take control of your health.
Set your intention
Once you’ve changed your mindset, you need to set an intention. This can help you stay motivated and dedicated to living a healthier lifestyle. Set a goal for yourself and be clear about what you want to achieve. Identify what steps you can take to reach your goals and make a plan to get there.
For instance, if you want to start exercising more, make a plan to go to the gym or take a walk 3 times a week. You can also set intention to reduce your carb intake to help regulate your blood sugar levels.
Your intention can be anything you want it to be. It’s important to be realistic and keep track of your progress. You can use a journal to track your food, exercise, and blood sugar levels. Make sure to write down your successes and challenges to stay motivated.
Set small and achievable goals
When you’re changing your lifestyle, it’s important to set SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bounded. This acronym is a reminder to focus on achievable objectives that you can realistically accomplish.
For instance, instead of setting a goal to “lose weight”, it’s better to set a goal to “lose 5 pounds in 6 weeks”. Setting concrete goals can help keep you motivated and encourage you to reach your goals.
Break down your long-term goal into smaller, more achievable pieces. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week, rather than instantly aiming to lose 10 pounds in one month. It’s also important to set timeframes for your goals. If it’s too easy, then give yourself a challenge to reach your goal by a certain time.
Eat healthy and nutritious foods
When it comes to managing diabetes, the food choices you make are important. Instead of eating processed and packaged foods, stick to whole, plant-based meals that are high in fiber and nutrients.
These healthy diets can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of health problems. Here are five tips to help you make healthier and more nutritious food choices:
1. Consume lean proteins, such as fish, eggs, and lean meat.
2. Choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbs, like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
3. Mix up your meals with healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds.
4. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats.
5. Choose raw, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
Keep a food journal
When it comes to managing diabetes, staying on track with your diet and nutrition is crucial. One of the best ways to do this is by keeping a food journal.
A food journal is a written record of what you eat and drink on a daily basis. Recording this information can help you create healthy habits, track nutrition, and make better food choices. It can also help you identify certain foods that might be harming your health and spike your blood sugar levels.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating a food journal:
1. Write down the type of food consumed, exactly how it was prepared, and any condiments added.
2. Be specific with portions and measurements.
3. Record when, where, and why you ate.
4. Take note of how you felt before and after eating.
5. Take pictures of your meals to include in the journal.
6. Track if your blood sugar levels rise or fall after you eat.
7. Review and reflect on your food journal entries.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for people with diabetes as it helps to restore energy and assists in the body’s ability to heal and repair itself. People with diabetes need to make sure that they are getting enough restful sleep as it helps to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce stress.
To help you get a good night’s sleep, here are seven tips:
1. Stick to a sleep schedule – Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
2. Keep the bedroom dark – If you can’t darken the room completely invest in a good pair of eye masks.
3. Reduce blue light exposure – Avoid watching TV or looking at your phone or tablet several hours before bedtime.
4. Limit naps – While napping can help you catch up on sleep, frequent napping can disrupt regular sleeping patterns.
5. Exercise – Regular exercise can help your body relax in the evenings and prepare it for sleep.
6. Unwind after dinner – Create a consistent nightly ritual that helps your body wind down like reading or taking a warm bath.
7. Monitor your caffeine intake – Avoid consuming caffeine within 6 hours of your bedtime.
Exercising regularly is one of the best ways for people with diabetes to manage their condition. Exercise helps to lower your blood sugar levels, reduce stress, and improve your overall sense of well-being.
For people with diabetes, it is recommended to aim for 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise most days of the week. However, it is best to talk with your doctor or certified diabetes educator to determine what type of exercise is best for you.
Here are some tips to help make sure you stick to a regular exercise regimen:
1. Find an enjoyable activity – Choose activities that are enjoyable so that they don’t seem like a chore.
2. Start small – Start with shorter, less challenging activities and build up over time to maintain motivation.
3. Involve friends and family – Find a workout buddy or join a local gym and enroll in classes with friends and family.
4. Mix it up – Variety is key! Don’t get stuck in a rut – try new activities or different ways of doing activities.
5. Track progress – By measuring your improvement in different activities, you can monitor your progress and keep it interesting.
6. Consider an app – Use an app like the Diabetes Tracker to set goals, measure results, and track changes in blood glucose levels.
7. Reward yourself – Reward yourself for your accomplishments and celebrate successes.
8. Know what to expect – Try
Manage your stress levels
High levels of stress can lead to erratic blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous for people with diabetes. It is important to learn how to manage stress and create a coping plan.
1. Mindfulness – Mindfulness helps to slow down the body’s response to stress. Practicing meditation, guided relaxation, and/or yoga can help relieve stress.
2. Exercise – Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Find enjoyable activities that you can do and stick with a regimen.
3. Eat Well – Eating a nutritious diet will help you to keep your blood sugar levels stable and reduce stress.
4. Get Enough Sleep – Quality sleep is essential for reducing stress and regulating blood sugar levels. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
5. Get Support – Talking to family, friends, and/or a health care provider can help you to manage stress levels.
6. Practice Positive Thinking – Positive thinking can help shift your perspective and your stress levels. Try to focus on solutions instead of problems.
7. Take Time for Yourself – Set aside time for yourself to relax and recharge.
8. Connect with Others – Connecting with people is a great way to help with stress. Talk to friends and family, join a support group, or even connect online.
9. Try a New Hobby – Take up a new hobby or activity to help give yourself a new perspective.
Check your blood sugar regularly
Checking your blood sugar regularly can help you stay on top of your diabetes. You will have an accurate record of your sugar levels and be able to identify any patterns or trends in your diabetes that may arise.
1. Use a Glucose Meter – A glucose meter is a small device that allows you to monitor and measure your blood sugar. Simply prick your finger and the meter will quickly give you your glucose reading.
2. Track Your Results – By tracking your results in a diary, you can quickly see any changes in your sugar levels. Note any changes in diet and activity levels to identify the cause of any irregularities.
3. Visit Your Doctor – Visit your doctor regularly to ensure that your diabetes is under control and that your blood sugar levels are where they should be.
4. Set Up A Schedule – Set a schedule for checking your blood sugar levels. Aim to check your levels at least two times a day to be able to accurately monitor your diabetes.
By checking your blood sugar regularly, you will be able to identify any issues that may be occurring with your diabetes and take the necessary steps to keep your levels in check. In doing so, you will be able to live a healthier life with diabetes.
Have a support system
Having a support system with diabetes can be a great help. Having people to talk to and turn to when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed can be a real lifesaver. A support system can also be used to help change unhealthy behaviors and keep you motivated. Here are a few tips for creating a successful support system:
1. Find people who are knowledgeable about diabetes and have experience caring for a person with diabetes. Whether these people are family or friends, make sure they have a good understanding of the disease.
2. Look for people who are patient, understanding, and nonjudgmental. From your doctors and family to your friends and caregivers, having someone to rely on and talk to is invaluable.
3. Join support groups and online forums. There are many online forums and support groups for people living with diabetes. It can be a great way to connect with others and get advice, support, and comfort.
4. Make sure you have access to resources such as diabetes educators, nutritionists, mental health professionals, and other health care providers. Having access to these resources will help you better manage your diabetes and live a healthier life.
By creating a supportive system, you can take your diabetes management to the next level and enjoy better overall health.
12. Be prepared for emergencies
When you have diabetes, being prepared for emergencies is essential. Having supplies on hand in case of an emergency, such as a power outage, is important to help you stay safe and manage your diabetes. Here are some tips on how to be prepared in the event of an emergency:
1. Have a Diabetes Emergency Kit – Fill a bag with supplies like diabetes testing supplies, glucose tablets, and snacks. Be sure to include a list of your health conditions, medications, allergies to medications, and other pertinent health information.
2. Have a List of Emergency Contacts – Make sure you have a list of emergency contacts you can reach out to in case of an emergency. Include your doctors, family, friends, and other people who can help you during an emergency situation.
3. Make a Plan and Include an Evacuation Route – Have an emergency plan in place and make sure you know your evacuation route in case of a disaster. Make sure your family and friends know the plan as well.
4. Have an Alternative Source of Power – If you use a device such as an insulin pump or a glucometer, make sure you have an alternative source of power, such as batteries or a charger, in case of a power outage.
By being prepared for emergencies, you can help ensure your safety so you can live a healthier life with diabetes.
13. Know your medications
It is essential that people living with diabetes know the medications they are taking and the potential side effects. If a medication is not working or the side effects are too severe, the doctor should be notified immediately. Here are some tips to help you understand your medications:
1. Ask Your Doctor Questions – Be sure to ask your doctor questions about all of your medications, and make sure you understand the answers.
2. Keep a Written List of Medications – Make sure you keep a running list of all your medications, dosage amounts, and times taken, and share the list with family and friends.
3. Read the Medicine Labels – Read the medicine labels before taking a medication so you know if it is the right one for you and what the side effects may be.
4. Get a Printout from Your Doctor – Make sure to get a printout from your doctor before starting a new medication. This printout will have all the information about the medication and its side effects.
By understanding and following these tips, you can help ensure that you are taking the right medications and be as healthy as possible.
14. Take your medications as prescribed
It is important to take your medications as prescribed. This means that you need to take the exact dosages prescribed by your doctor as well as follow their instructions on when to take the medications. Not following the doctor’s instructions can reduce the effectiveness of the medications.
Here are some tips to help you take your medications as prescribed:
1. Always Keep a List of Your Medications – Keep a written list of all your medications, including the dosage and time taken. This list should be updated when your medications are changed.
2. Set a Reminder – Set reminders for yourself for when you need to take your medication. This could be a ringtone on your phone or a daily alarm.
3. Use a Pillbox – Place your pills in a pillbox each week. This will help to ensure that you are taking the right medications at the right time.
4. Ask Someone to Help – Ask a family member or friend to help you remember to take your medications.
By understanding and following these tips, you can help ensure that you are taking your medications as prescribed and as effectively as possible.
15. Follow up with your doctor
15. Follow up with your doctor
Once you have begun taking your medications as prescribed and following your doctor’s advice, it’s important to follow-up with your doctor regularly. Regular check-ups are important for keeping track of your medical condition, as well as for adjusting your medications if needed.
Here are some tips for following up with your doctor:
1. Schedule Appointments in Advance – Book your follow-up appointments in advance. This way, you will not forget and you can also plan your medications around your appointments.
2. Follow Up Via Phone – Not all appointments need to be done in person. You can also follow-up with your doctor via phone or video call.
3. Keep Records – Keep a record of all your doctor visits, lab tests, and vital signs. This will help your doctor monitor your condition and adjust your medications appropriately.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you and your doctor are monitoring your condition properly. This will help you to live a healthier life with diabetes.
16. Educate yourself about diabetes
Living a healthy life when you have diabetes requires a good understanding of diabetes and how it affects your body. Taking the time to educate yourself about diabetes can help you better manage your condition and stay healthy. Here are some tips to help you educate yourself about diabetes:
1. Read Books – There are many helpful books on the subject of diabetes that can help you better understand the condition and what it means to live with diabetes.
2. Visit Websites – There are many websites dedicated to educating the public about diabetes. Visit them often to stay abreast of the latest developments in diabetes care and management.
3. Attend Education Sessions – If available, attend diabetes education sessions to expand your knowledge and learn more about diabetes and its effects.
4. Have Regular Checkups – Make sure to have regular visits with your doctor who can answer any questions you may have and provide you with important information about diabetes and your specific condition.
By taking the time to educate yourself about diabetes, you will be better equipped to manage the condition and remain healthy.
17. Live a wholesome life
Having a whole-body approach to eating and health is important for blood sugar control for those with diabetes. This kind of lifestyle does not only focus on the foods that you eat and the exercise you do, but also focuses on all aspects of life, such as stress management and getting enough rest.
Here are some tips to live a wholesome life with diabetes:
1. Create a Meal Plan – Creating a meal plan will help you to create healthy eating habits and make sure that you are getting the right kind of food for your diabetes management.
2. Move More – Aim to be active at least thirty minutes a day. This can mean a brisk walk or jog around your neighborhood, or taking part in a low-impact class such as yoga or tai chi.
3. Manage Stress – Learn how to relax and accept criticism. Stress only exacerbates diabetes symptoms, so it is important to take time for yourself and relax.
4. Find Support – Having a support team on your diabetes journey can help you to stay motivated and on track. This can include your family, friends, online diabetes forums, or professional help.
By making these lifestyle changes and following your doctor’s advice, you can continue to stay healthy and live a happier, more balanced life.
18. Find a
Find a Diabetes Care Team
A strong diabetes care team is essential for managing diabetes. It should include healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, dietitians, diabetes educators, and more. Your diabetes care team should be able to provide you with all the support and guidance you need to help you manage your health successfully.
Furthermore, be sure to stay informed and educated on the latest diabetes research and advancements — your self-care and quality of life depends on it. Keeping up with the latest research can help you make informed decisions about managing and treating your diabetes, and helps you be empowered to become a better participant in your own health.
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