If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there is no doubt that you have a lot of questions and concerns. Knowing that you have a chronic condition can be very unsettling. While it’s true that there is no cure for diabetes and that your life does change after receiving this type of diagnosis, rest assured that you can still live a happy, healthy, and very productive life.
What’s the key to ensuring you live a happy and healthy life with type 1 diabetes? Here are some tips and tricks that can help you maneuver through your diagnoses and effectively manage it.
Learn All There is to Know About Type 1 Diabetes
First and foremost, you should make sure that you learn everything that you possibly can about type 1 diabetes.
With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas, the organ responsible for creating and releasing insulin, does not produce the hormone. Insulin helps regulate blood glucose levels, ensuring that it stays in a healthy range. After eating, the pancreas is supposed to release insulin, which tells the body to absorb sugar from the blood and store it so that it can be used for energy. In those who have type 1 diabetes, this does not happen. Your health care professional will certainly provide you with detailed information about this condition. Make sure you pay attention to what your doctor says so that you are fully aware of your condition.
Become Familiar with the Potential Issues
It’s important that you know what potential issues are associated with having type 1 diabetes.
High blood glucose levels can impact all of the tissues and organs within your body. Potential problems associated with type 1 diabetes include:
- Diabetic retinopathy and other diseases that affect the eyes
- Diabetic neuropathy and other forms of nerve damage
- Diabetic nephropathy, as well as other diseases that affect the kidneys
- Cardiovascular issues, such as stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease
Knowing the possible problems and being aware of the warning signs that are associated with these problems can help to ensure you receive prompt medical treatment in the event that you experience any symptoms of a problem.
Eat a Well Balanced Diet
There are certain foods that you should cut back on or completely eliminate from your diet if you have type 1 diabetes. Foods that are high in sugars and simple carbohydrates should be avoided as much as possible, as they can send your blood sugar spiraling out of control.
Healthy food choices for someone with type 1 diabetes include foods that contain healthy fats, such as nuts; protein, such as lean meats, beans, and dairy products; whole grains, including brown rice and oats; and an array of colorful vegetables, like broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, and red cabbage.
Speak to your doctor or a dietician to find out which food choices are the best for you.
Eat More Often
You may want to consider eating more frequently throughout the day. Instead of eating just three large meals, you might want to start eating several smaller meals throughout the day. This will help to regulate your blood glucose levels and make them easier to manage. Again, speak to your doctor or a dietician to find out how often you should be eating throughout the day.
Be Smart About Being Active
Physical activity is beneficial for anyone, but it’s particularly beneficial for diabetics. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and better maintain a healthy weight. It also helps to maintain your blood glucose levels, as well as bring your blood pressure level down.
While adapting a regular exercise regiment into your life is important, you do need to make sure that you keep a watchful eye on your blood glucose levels. That’s because physical activity can cause your levels to rise or fall. Be aware of signs that indicate your blood sugar is falling or spiking while you’re exercising.
Many Things Impact Your Blood Sugar Levels
The foods you eat and the amount of physical activity you partake in will definitely impact your blood glucose levels; however, they aren’t the only things that will affect them.
High levels of stress and not receiving an adequate amount of sleep can also impact your blood sugar levels, making them increase or decrease. Knowing what affects your blood sugar can help you steer clear of things that can impact it.
See Your Doctor Regularly
It’s important to see your doctor on a regular basis, including your general practitioner as well as any specialists that you might be seeing.
Medical professionals will provide you with valuable insight into your condition. They will also help you monitor it, and provide you with tips for monitoring it on your own. Of course, your doctor will also be able to check your condition and determine if any changes to treatment need to be made, and will provide you with the medications that are needed to maintain your blood sugar levels.
It can be extremely helpful to speak with other people that have also been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It will give you an opportunity to share your experiences, vent, and learn more about the condition and how to handle it.
Ask your healthcare provider to recommend groups, attend seminars, or ask family and friends that you know who also have the condition for advice and support.
Keep Your Chin Up
Just because you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it doesn’t mean that every aspect of your life has to change. You can still live a very fulfilling life and accomplish so many great things. Keep your chin up and know that your diagnosis does not define you. So many people with type 1 diabetes have accomplished so much.