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Help For Diabetics

Part 2 of 2 - Living and Support

Living with Diabetes
Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes you will need to learn to live with your "new normal". This means learning how to manage your diabetes, what you can do to help alleviate symptoms, and finding resources and care.

Type 2 Diabetes

In Type 2 Diabetes prevention and management is a big deal. This can be as simple as eating healthier, becoming more physically active and losing a few pounds. Making these changes now can help you avoid serious health complications later.

Physical Activity is a huge benefit. It can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar and boost your sensitivity to insulin which helps keep your blood sugar in normal range.

Eating more fiber can help reduce your diabetes risk and improve your blood sugar control. It also lower your risk of heart disease and promotes weight loss by making you feel more full.

Choosing whole grains reduces your risk of diabetes and helps maintain blood sugar levels. At least half your grains need to come from whole grains.

Losing weight can help prevent your diabetes from getting worse and every pound lost helps improve your health.

In addition to lifestyle changes you will also be expected to check your blood glucose levels. Your doctor will help you select a meter that will work for you. Meters work by testing a small amount of blood for glucose. This typically comes from a small prick on your finger. Checking your blood glucose will let you know how food, activity and medicine affect your blood glucose.

It can also help you make sure your blood glucose isn't too high or too low. Doctors typically recommend you keep a log book of your blood glucose numbers. This log book can help you and your doctor make decisions regarding your food, activity and medications. Your doctor will tell you when to check your blood glucose levels and what your target numbers are. Typically numbers should be checked before a meal or two hours after a meal.

Type 1 Diabetes

You've been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. What do you do now? Type 1 diabetes management consists of blood glucose control, insulin management, exercise, nutrition and support.

Medication is almost certain in type 1 diabetes because your pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin. This means you may require multiple daily injections via an insulin pin or an insulin pump.

Monitoring your blood glucose levels is also very important because you will need to know how much insulin to administer. Checking your blood glucose levels is done the same way as an individual with Type 2 Diabetes.

Exercise for an individual with Type 1 diabetes is a key component of proper care just like an individual with Type 2 diabetes.

Nutrition is a very important part of a diabetic's life. You will need to know how different foods affect your blood glucose and will need to develop solid meal plans as part of your daily routine.

Support for Diabetics
Emotional support plays a key role in diabetes care. It is important for you to connect with others living with diabetes. Those individuals will understand the daily routine of counting carbs, testing blood glucose and dealing with highs and lows. Finding people who understand and relate to what you're going through is important. You can find these support groups in your local community or online.

A diabetes diagnosis may seem like an overwhelming burden. But it doesn't have to be. Diabetes requires balancing nutrition, exercise and proper blood glucose levels. With proper education and hard work you can learn the techniques needed to manage a healthy life. Living with diabetes is difficult but with proper care it can become just a small part of your story, not a prison sentence.