How to Live with Diabetes

Three Main Types of Diabetes?

·       Your body does not make insulin. This is a problem because you need insulin to take the sugar (glucose) from the foods you eat and turn it into energy for your body. You need to take insulin every day to live. Your body does not make or use insulin well. You may need to take pills or insulin to help control your diabetes. This is most common type of diabetes. Some women get this kind of diabetes when they are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born. But even if it goes away, these women and their children have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in life.

Take Diabetes Seriously

You may have heard people say they have their “sugar is a little high.” These words suggest that diabetes is not a serious disease. That is not correct. Diabetes is serious, but you can learn to manage it. People with diabetes need to make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, move more every day, and take their medicine even when they feel good. It’s a lot to do.

How Take Care of Your Diabetes

Taking care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel good today and in the future. When your blood sugar  is close to normal, you are likely to:

ü  have more energy

ü  be less tired and thirsty

ü  have fewer skin or bladder infections

ü  heal better

ü  need to pass urine less often

You will also have less chance of having health problems caused by diabetes such as 

  •   kidney problems that can cause your kidneys to stop working
  •   teeth and gum problems
  •   heart attack or stroke
  • eye problems that can lead to trouble seeing or going blind
  •   pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands and feet, also called nerve damage.

 How to Live with Diabetes?

It is common to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry when you are living with diabetes. You may know the steps you should take to stay healthy, but have trouble sticking with your plan over time. This section has tips on how to cope with your diabetes, eat well, and be active.

Cope With Your Diabetes

Stress can raise your blood sugar. Learn ways to lower your stress. Try deep breathing, gardening, taking a walk, meditating, working on your hobby, or listening to your favorite music. Ask for help if you feel down. A mental health counselor, support group, member of the clergy, friend, or family member who will listen to your concerns may help you feel bette

Eat Well

  • Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, bread and cereals, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
  • Drink water instead of juice and regular soda.
  • Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team.
  • Eat foods with more fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.
  • Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
  • When eating a meal, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a lean protein, such as beans, or chicken or turkey without the skin, and one quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta

To be Active

·           Set a goal to be more active most days of the week. Start slow by taking 10 minutes walks, 3 times a day  Stay at or get to a healthy weight by using your meal plan and moving more  Twice a week, work to increase your muscle strength. Use stretch bands, do yoga, heavy gardening or try push-ups.

What to do Daily?

Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your health care team right away about any sores that do not go away
  • Take your medicines for diabetes and any other health problems even when you feel good. Ask your doctor if you need aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you cannot afford your medicines or if you have any side effects.
  • Stop smoking.

  • Brush your teeth and floss every day to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.
  • Keep track of your blood sugar. You may want to check it one or more times a day. Use the card at the back of this booklet to keep a record of your blood sugar numbers. Be sure to talk about it with your health care team.
  • Check your blood pressure if your doctor advises and keep a record of it.

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