A diagnosis of diabetes can be frightening. You may have dozens of questions about what to expect. Managing diabetes effectively is not only possible; it’s something millions of people do every day of their lives, although it takes some adjustment. Your first step should always be to talk to your healthcare team to manage the specifics of your condition. The following tips may help with some of those questions.
How Serious is Diabetes?
The good news is that diabetes management has come a long way from when your grandparents were diagnosed. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a serious condition – it is serious, and it can have implications on your life if you don’t work to maintain it. It can also lead to some life-threatening medical problems such as kidney disease.
Can I Live a Normal Life with Diabetes?
It’s undoubtedly going to be a bit different type of life, but there is no reason it can’t be just as fulfilling. In short, diabetes management may require some changes to your diet and lifestyle. It may mean getting more exercise, taking daily medications, and undergoing regular testing, but these are all things you can do easily, and you’ll feel better once you adjust.
What Are Some Things I Can Do to Help Manage My Diabetes?
Start with a frank conversation with your doctor. Discuss your case’s severity and the types of medications or other treatments he or she recommends.
Here are some things you may need to know:
- Monitor your glucose level. Most often, patients need to do this using a blood glucose monitor. It provides a near-instant reading of your blood sugar levels. Write them down to track their day-to-day levels.
- You’ll need an annual dilated eye exam to ensure your eyes remain healthy and any problems are caught early on. Diabetes can affect eye health and lead to swelling in critical components of the eye.
- Carefully monitor your foot health. For some, that might mean wearing compression stockings if recommended by a doctor. These help improve blood flow in the lower extremities. Diabetes can put you at risk for poor circulation and nerve damage in your feet.
- See a podiatrist if you have problems with your feet. You may also need a medical professional to do simple things like trim your toenails.
At the same time, you want to be conscious of other potential medical issues such as high blood pressure. You may beD able to monitor your blood pressure at home with a blood pressure cuff.
Living with Diabetes Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated.
You can do a few things every day to make life less complicated. You’ll need to keep all of your supplies in a safe place. That includes the blood sugar monitor, test strips, and lancets you’ll need to check your sugars each day.
Next, consider updating your diet. Try diabetic-friendly recipes and get some exercise.
Most importantly, if you notice changes in how you feel physically, or you have any swelling or sores on your feet or legs, reach out to your healthcare provider for immediate help.