Diabetes is a disease that affects thousands of people. Despite how widespread it is in America, we are no closer to a cure. Tragically, many people die or lose function in their bodies due to diabetes each year. Still more allow their diabetes to hold them back and avoid certain situations because of their disease.
The good news is that diabetes is treatable. If you are conscientious and careful about how you treat your diabetes, whether it’s type one or type two, you can have a long, fulfilling life without negative side effects.
Talking About Food
Too many people understand diabetes as a disease that limits what you can and can’t eat, forcing you to cut the “fun stuff” out of your diet. Sugar-free soda and no cake… What kind of life is that?
The truth is that diabetes doesn’t limit what you can eat at all. If you medicate yourself properly and eat in moderation, you can have anything you want. The real problem is not the diabetes, but the fact that in America, excess is seen as the only path to satisfaction. By following a different model of what satisfies – eating to taste a delicious flavor rather than to stuff yourself, for example – anyone, not just diabetics, can become more healthy.
Whether or not you are diabetic, you might be surprised by the new appreciation for food this approach gives you. Thinking about what you eat and enjoying every bite is a rewarding experience.
This is similar to the previous point – just because you’re diabetic doesn’t mean you can’t exercise, it just means that you have to take care and be conscientious about how you do it. These two disciplines can go hand in hand.
If you have diabetes and plan on exercising, always be ready for the possibility that you will become hypoglycemic. This means having something sugary on hand, whether it is a piece of candy, a glucose tablet, or a sports drink.
Treat hypoglycemia as soon as possible, and check your blood sugar frequently when exercising. If you are feeling the effects of hypoglycemia, your blood sugar may already be dangerously low.
Understand Your Insulin
This is one of the most important things to understand about managing your diabetes! Insulin is the “treatment” for diabetes, but there are many specifics to learn about how it works. Too much insulin can quickly make you hypoglycemic, which can be deadly, while forgetting your dosage will have the opposite effect, which can be equally dangerous.
Be sure to find out what kind of insulin you are using – there are several different types – and how quickly it will take effect after entering your system.
If someone you love has diabetes, learn the symptoms of hypoglycemia (also known as insulin shock). You could end up saving their life.
Diabetes is a very treatable disease. If you are mindful of your health, keep track of what you eat, and medicate yourself properly, you have nothing to worry about.
Technology has made incredible strides in the last twenty years to make treating diabetes easier and less painful. The invention of the insulin pump was revolutionary, and is just one way we are closer to a real cure.