Live long with diabetes

Practical advice for taking charge of diabetes and not letting it take control of you.

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  • Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been a diabetic for some time, you will eventually recover from the fright and then get upset. No need for either. We have the tools to control the disease, as well as an advanced knowledge of how to treat it. The key is that you understand you are in control. There are plenty of trusted organizations around the globe to include the International Diabetes Foundation, World Diabetes Foundation, and, more than likely, in your country as well.

  • Ways to get your life back:

  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself

  • Move on with your life.

  • Learn how to count carbs

  • Work with your clinician or dietician to see how many you can consume daily. Find out what carbohydrate counting is. This is especially important if you are Type 1 (insulin dependent) but also significant if you are Type 2.

  • Get recipes you and your family can be happy with

  • There are a lot of places on the web where you can get great recipes for free. Lack of sugar doesn’t mean lack of taste these days. It will be good for you, and your family. We found some by Paula Deen, as well as DiabeticLivingOnline; and there are plenty more if you do a search.

  • Be attentive in monitoring your blood glucose

  • The tighter the control, the less likely it is you will have serious complications. But do not go crazy over every slight rise.

  • Use reliable sources for information

  • Ignore stories from well-meaning but poorly informed family and friends; anecdotes are not facts! Check out this website for diabetic myths. There are online magazines, but make sure the writers are medical people and not just patients with stories to tell. Diabetes informationis also freely sent by most insurance companies and makers of diabetic supplies.

  • Exercise regularly

  • It will help control your blood sugar as well as improve your mental outlook (not to mention how great you will look!)

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  • If you require injectables to treat your diabetes, there are ways to make your life more flexible and comfortable:

  • Insulin Pumps

  • These are actually for those on immediate acting insulin, not the other types of injectable medications. The devices are easy to use and give the user considerable flexibility with what and when they eat. Diabetic children’s glucose levels are significantly easier to control with a pump. While the pump itself, as well as the supplies, is costly, many insurance companies cover the cost. For more detailed descriptions, and unbiased comparisons, check out diabetes.net.

  • Do not reject medication because a needle is involved

  • The medication that requires injections is among the most advanced available and will most likely prolong your life span and quality. “Being afraid” is not a valid reason to reject treatment. Get over it.

  • Insulin Cooler

  • Whether traveling or when the lights go out along with the fridge, having one of these simple devices is a small investment with big rewards. There is a relatively new type that does not require ice. You merely saturate an inner pad with cold water and it will keep your insulin at safe levels for a few days. Check out the manufacturer, Frio.

  • Change your shoes frequently

  • Blisters and calluses are harder to avoid and heal in diabetics. The longer you wear your shoes, the more likely you are to get a foot wound.

  • Wear sunglasses

  • Diabetics, especially living in higher elevations, are at increased risk for cataracts,among other eye maladies. Seeing an eye doctor regularly can keep you from going blind.

  • A diabetes diagnosis doesn't mean an end to an enjoyable life. Follow these tips to improve your quality of life, even with diabetes.

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Corie Richter is a resident of upstate NY. She is a published author, healthcare and educational writer who enjoys ancient history, is involved with scouting and community volunteer work.

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