Despite the fact that diabetes has a positive outlook, learning this diagnostic can be quite devastating, especially if along with the treatment you also have to implement certain lifestyle changes that turn you into a whole new person.
Type II diabetes, in particular, is quite tricky from this point of view, as more and more physicians believe that medical treatments alone are not enough to manage the disease and that the best outlook can only be obtained by making lifestyle changes. This prospect doesn’t sound exciting, but, if you have been diagnosed with type II diabetes recently, you should know that you can see significant improvements by taking things slowly and making one change at a time. Moreover, you shouldn’t see these lifestyle changes as sacrifices, but as improvements that will increase your wellbeing in every way.
One of the biggest misconceptions that people have about type II diabetes is that it can only be controlled through diet, when in fact stress is also a major factor. How does that work? When you are in a stressful situation, this makes your blood sugar levels go up, and that is always bad for diabetes. Besides, being stressed causes anxiety and could make you forget to take or medicine. If you are a stress eater, this could make you neglect your diet and eat carbs and sweets. So, the first thing you should do is avoid stressful situations. When you feel that things are becoming overwhelming at work or home, consider yoga, meditation exercises and taking a walk.
Watch your carbs
Sugar is public enemy number one when dealing with diabetes, but it’s not the only thing you should avoid eating. Carbohydrates can be just as harmful because they turn into sugar when broken down, so foods like white flour, pasta and potatoes shouldn’t be a major part of your diet. Speaking of diet, if your doctor recommends you to lose weight, don’t attempt to do that by following a crazy untested diet, because that could do more harm than good. Instead, try to stay balanced, do not starve yourself and follow only a nutritionist’s advice.
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Diabetes does not make you bedridden and does not prevent you from exercising. On the contrary, doctors say that the more active you try to be, the better. A minimum of 30 minutes of sports every day brings blood sugar levels down, help you lose extra pounds and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Remember, you don’t have to take on an intense sport. Even something light, such as jogging, riding a bike or walking your dog counts!
Give up smoking
Diabetes makes you susceptible to other serious diseases, including heart disease, strokes and nerve damage, so, if you keep on smoking, you are adding even more to that risk. Although quitting smoking is never easy, it is an effort that you have to make in order to increase your outlook and prevent complications.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/home/index.html. Date accessed: November 2017
Stress and diabetes mellitus, Diabetes Care. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1425110. Date accessed: November 2017
American Diabetes Association. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/suppl_1/s89. Date accessed: November 2017