When it comes to successfully managing diabetes, the choices you make on a daily basis will impact your quality of life. These tips can help you live happier and healthier.
- Join a support group
Who knows more about how diabetes affects your life than someone else with diabetes? Talk about things that make your life easier, and learn what helps others. Having a bad day? Call a diabetes buddy from your group to help you get through it. Knowing that you're doing the same for someone else is a great mood booster, too.
- Reduce stress
A little yoga goes a long way. So does walking, meditation, listening to music, watching a funny movie or reading a good book. Stress can raise your blood pressure and cause you to overeat, lose sleep and miss medication or testing times.
- Join a gym
With the negative effect excess weight can have on those with diabetes, it could only help to sign up now. Before you go: Check with your doctor about how strenuous your exercise plan should be. When you go: Team up with a trainer to learn how to use the equipment and which exercises will help you the most.
If gym membership doesn't fit your budget, try an at-home exercise plan after talking with your healthcare team.
- Know yourself from head to toe
Diabetes results in a greater number of lower-leg amputations than any other condition. It also can lead to vision problems, such as diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness. Kidney problems (nephropathy) and nerve conditions (neuropathy) also are common in those with diabetes. So start making appointments now to see your foot doctor, eye doctor and, if necessary, your nephrologist and neurologist throughout the year.
- Make a date
With your primary care physician (PCP) and certified diabetes educator (CDE), that is. Regular appointments with your doctor and CDE can help you monitor your condition. Try to prepare questions for your PCP in advance of your appointment, and feel free to bring a pen and pad into the exam room to take notes.