9. Take Advice and Act on It
No one likes to be scolded for a less than perfect diet, exercise plan or general lifestyle, but the experts really do have your wellbeing at heart. The only person who can really help you is you.
Take charge of your health, then you can take pride in your achievements, whether that’s weight-loss, fitness or an overall improved blood glucose level.
10. Knowledge Is Power
Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to significant health issues or even an early death. Yes it’s frightening, but face your fears and find out about your condition.
There are lots of healthcare resources like this website where you can find out about the condition, what complications can occur and how to limit or even prevent complications. Or speak to your doctor about specific symptoms that have been worrying you.
11. Work as Part of a Team
Successful management of diabetes can involve a multi-disciplinary approach. When you are first diagnosed this can seem daunting.
You might be asked to see a dietician, podiatrist, eye specialists, a diabetes nurse and even maybe a clinical psychologist. These experts may be based together in hospitals or clinics, or you might have to travel to each one separately.
See yourself as a member of that team and work with the experts to achieve the best results.
12. You Are What You Eat
This is particularly true when you have diabetes. Every mouthful counts.
Thankfully the old regime of denying all treats and the need to purchase specialist “diabetic” foods has been proved to be unnecessary. Although stores still stock foods labelled “diabetic” there is no need to pay inflated prices.
Many people actually believe the sugar substitutes they contain carry their own health risks.
Just spread less jelly on your toast, or only have it occasionally. Enjoy regular candy — but not every night in front of the TV while washing it down with gallons of sugary soda!
General advice nowadays is the same for diabetics as it is for the rest of the population: eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables – which goes for staying in and eating out with diabetes.
13. Beware of Miracle Cures
There has been a lot of talk in the media about low-carb diets, extremely low-calorie diets, dietary supplements and other products that claim to cure diabetes.
While it’s true that some people with pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes can reverse the trend towards full-blown type 2 diabetes with lifestyle and dietary changes, mostly the best you can aim for is long-term blood glucose readings as near to the normal range as possible.
This is best achieved by following the advice in point five with the help of your diabetes management team. I am going to go out on a limb and state here and now that I am certain that popping a pill that claims to have 30 types of vegetables stuffed in it will not cure your diabetes (although the healthy eating plan these companies suggest might go some way to lowering your HBa1C if you previously existed on burgers and fries).
14. Run, Fat Boy, Run
This is the title of one of my favorite British movies, not an insult to my readers. In the movie, slacker Dennis (played by Simon Pegg) takes up running in a bid to prove to himself, his friends and his ex-fiancée that he is not just a waste of a good skin.
In good movie fashion, he beats all expectations and (spoiler alert!) wins back the girl. So what’s my point here?
Simply that everyone can make improvements to their fitness. Total couch potato? Take the steps at the mall instead of the elevator. Get off the bus one stop earlier than you need and walk the extra distance.
15. Share the Secret
Many people feel embarrassed about being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. With the media often perpetuating the notion that it’s a disease affecting fat lazy people who deserve their fate, it’s understandable why you might not want to share your diagnosis, especially if you are carrying a few extra pounds.
Instead of treating it like a dirty secret, use your position to educate those around you. It will also mean you don’t have to wince when your friend offers their beautiful frosted homemade cake — you can compliment her on it and ask for just a tiny taste instead of the giant slab you are being handed.
So there we have it — some simple steps to successful management of your diabetes. They might seem small changes, but if you make them you might enjoy a healthier, happier you.