10 Tips For Coping With Diabetes
Nov 20, · Living with diabetes requires a lot of work. It means visiting the doctor regularly, monitoring blood sugar levels daily, diligently taking medications, exercising regularly, and watching what you eat every day. No doubt, a diabetes diagnosis can be . Here are some ways to cope: Never stop learning. Your diabetes management may change as your body changes over time. Treatment for diabetes may also need adjusting. Stay current. Attend a diabetes class. Research treatment developments via the Internet. Talk to your health care team. Ask them for a recommendation. Share with loved ones.
Managing diabetes can be hard. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed. Having diabetes means that you need to check your blood sugar levels often, make healthy food choices, be physically active, remember to take your medicine, and make other good decisions about your health several times a day. In addition, you may also worry about having low or high blood sugar levels, the costs of your medicines, and developing diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease or nerve damage.
When all of this feels like too much to deal with, you may have something called diabetes distress. This is when all the worry, frustration, anger, and burnout makes it hard for you to take care of yourself and keep up with the daily demands of diabetes.
The good news is that there fiabetes things you can do to cope with diabetes and manage stress. Here are 10 tips that can help. Tell your family, friends, and health care providers. They can help you get the support you need. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link.
Section Navigation. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Syndicate. Minus Related Pages. Having diabetes can be overwhelming at times. Pay attention to your feelings. Almost everyone feels frustrated or stressed from time to time. Dealing with diabetes can add to these feelings and make you feel overwhelmed. Having these feelings for more than a how to cope with diabetes or two may signal that you need help coping with your diabetes so that you can feel better.
Talk with your health care providers about your feelings. They can help you problem-solve your concerns about diabetes. They may also suggest that you speak with other health care providers to get help. Talk to your health care providers about negative reactions other people may have about your diabetes. Your health care providers can help you manage feelings of being judged by others because you have diabetes. It is important not to feel that you have to hide how to make the best paper aeroplane in the world diabetes from other people.
Ask if help is available for the costs of diabetes medicines and supplies. If you are worried about the cost of your medicines, talk with your pharmacist and other health care providers. They may know about government or other programs that can assist people with costs.
You can also check with community health centers to see if they know about programs that help people get insulin, diabetes medicines, and supplies test trips, syringes, etc. Talk with your family and friends. Tell those closest to you how you feel about having diabetes.
Just telling others how you feel helps to relieve some of the stress. However, sometimes the people around you may add to your stress. Let them know how and when howw need them to help you. Allow loved ones to help you take care of your diabetes. Those closest to you can help you in several ways.
They can remind you to take your medicines, help monitor your blood sugar levels, join you howw being physically active, and prepare healthy meals. They can also learn more about diabetes and go with you when you visit your doctor. Ask your loved ones to help with your diabetes in ways that are useful to you. Talk to other people with diabetes. Other people with diabetes understand some of the things you are going through. Ask them how they aith with their fo and what works for them.
They can help you feel less lonely and overwhelmed. Ask your health care providers about diabetes support groups in your community or online. Do one thing at a time. When you think about everything you need to do to manage your diabetes, it can be overwhelming.
To deal with diabetes distress, make a list of all of the tasks you have to do to take care of yourself each day. Try to work on each task separately, one at a time. Pace yourself. As you work on your goals, like increasing physical activity, take it slowly. Your goal may be to walk 10 minutes, three times a day each day of the week, but you can start by walking two times a day or every other day.
Take time to hoe things you enjoy. Give diaebtes a break! Set aside time in your day to do something wiht really love; it could be calling a friend, playing a game with your children or grandchildren, or working on a fun project. Find out about activities near you that you can do with a friend. To receive updates about diabetes topics, enter your email address: Email Address.
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Dec 01, · If you're the main caregiver for someone with diabetes, you can do even more: Remind them to check their blood sugar levels on time. Help to make and get to . Aug 13, · You could learn more about how diabetes affects them and how you can be the most helpful. Give them time in the daily schedule so they can manage their diabetes—check blood sugar, make healthy food, take a walk. Avoid blame. Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, but being overweight is just one of several factors involved. Accept the Challenge A shift in your thinking may help you feel better and move forward. “Think of managing diabetes and improving your overall health as a tremendous challenge with a huge upside,”.
If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact — not to be solved, but to be coped with over time. When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness such as diabetes, you must face the fact that there is no cure. Despite the millions of dollars spent in research to better understand diabetes and the ongoing advances in treatment options for it, a person with diabetes has to realize that it will accompany him for the rest of his life.
Among chronic diseases, diabetes is unique in the amount of time and attention it requires of the person who has it to remain healthy. It is therefore no surprise that taking care of yourself may feel difficult or challenging at times. Much of what you do to keep your blood glucose, blood pressure , and blood cholesterol levels in the near-normal range is aimed at preventing long-term complications.
Keeping your blood glucose level in your target range, in particular, can help you feel more energetic and alert, enabling you to participate in and enjoy the other parts of your life. So how do you carry out the tasks of eating right, getting physical activity, monitoring your blood glucose level, and taking any prescribed medicines every day for the rest of your life without getting overwhelmed?
Here are some tips:. Knowledge is power. The health-care professionals who help you manage your diabetes can provide a lot of the information you need.
Meeting with a dietitian, for example, can help you learn how your food choices affect your health and how to plan healthy meals.
A certified diabetes educator can help you learn about blood glucose monitoring, taking medicines, and much more. In addition to talking with health-care professionals, reading up-to-date books, magazines, and Web pages can help to keep you informed in many areas of diabetes care.
Experience is also a wonderful teacher. The more you carry out the various parts of your diabetes care regimen, the better you will get to know your body and how to take care of it. You will also learn from experience how best to fit your diabetes care tasks into your life and when to seek help from others. Planning is key.
Having a daily routine — with fairly regular mealtimes, activities, and bedtime — can make diabetes management easier; you can pretty much do the same thing every day. When you break from your usual routine, however, keeping your diabetes in control will require more planning.
Activities such as vigorous exercise, eating out, staying out later than usual, drinking alcohol, etc. Your health-care providers and your experiences will help you determine what adjustments in your diabetes plan may be necessary for different activities. Keeping written notes on how you altered your routine — and how well those alterations worked — can make planning for the next time easier.
Over time, you may develop specific plans for activities you enjoy occasionally or frequently, such as taking a weekly dance class or spending a day hiking. Certain events or circumstances require special planning. Sick days and traveling are two that affect just about everyone at some time. Life transitions such as going away to college or planning a pregnancy are also common. Once again, acquiring knowledge and having a plan are key for coping successfully with such stressors.
Sick days. Getting sick with a cold, the flu, or some other common ailment is inevitable. And because even a common cold can affect blood glucose levels, everyone with diabetes should have a written sick-day plan that spells out how to care for their diabetes while sick.
Travel tends to involve all kinds of changes that can affect diabetes control: changes in time zone, activity level, daily routine, food choices, stress level, and more. While it may be impossible to predict exactly how a trip will affect your diabetes, knowing that it can makes it that much more important to plan ahead and make sure you have extra diabetes supplies with you when you travel. Life transitions.
Your diabetes care team can help — with specific instructions or information, or with referrals to other health-care providers, if necessary. They may have suggestions for making the transition go more smoothly or advice about what to look out for in your diabetes control. Part of that is having regular medical appointments, which can be stressful in itself since appointments require planning, time, and money. Ideally, though, if you stay on top of getting the checkups and screening tests that are recommended, your medical visits will remain minor stresses instead of major ones.
Health-care visits. People with diabetes are generally advised to see the medical professional who provides most of their diabetes care two to four times a year.
This might be a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. The information and care that you receive should help you focus on your personal diabetes health needs, determine if changes need to be made to better meet those needs, and also give you some feedback on how well your self-care efforts are paying off.
People with diabetes are also advised to have an annual eye exam and to have professional dental cleanings and exams regularly. Meeting with a diabetes educator on a regular basis can be helpful for answering questions related to your diabetes care and for learning to problem-solve any issues that have come up. Changing your regimen. Every year, new devices for diabetes care are developed, and periodically, new drugs are released.
Would any of them improve your control or make managing your diabetes easier? Your doctor and diabetes educator can help you stay informed about new technology and medicines and advise you on whether any of them might be helpful for you. But even if this is not the case, you may be interested in trying something new if it promises less discomfort, more convenience, or better control.
Specialist care. For example, you may need to see a cardiologist if you develop heart problems or a nephrologist if you develop kidney problems, and visits to these specialists may become a regular part of your care. Developing diabetes complications or other serious health problems has emotional as well as physical effects. How you address them will depend on your personal preferences and resources, but it may include talking with a trusted friend or counselor or seeking out a mental health-care professional for therapy.
One of the medical professionals who cares for your physical health may be able to recommend a therapist for you. Being diagnosed with diabetes in the first place often brings up feelings of shock, fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness. And at any time along the way, diabetes may sometimes cause feelings of resentment, annoyance, anxiety, anger, etc.
Such feelings may be triggered by having trouble keeping your blood glucose level in range. They may come up when diabetes or its care interferes with some other part of your life. And it may be possible to change your lifestyle or environment so that you experience negative emotions less frequently. Here are some ideas on how to do that: Put yourself first.
You may spend a lot of time taking care of the other people in your life, and you may enjoy doing it much of the time. Sometimes putting yourself first means asking others to do so, too. For example, there may be times when you need to ask your family members to change their plans to accommodate your needs.
Keep in mind that your family members will ultimately benefit too from the healthier choices you make. You might also practice formulating your requests privately so you feel more comfortable making them. Or you may want to enlist the help of a friend or therapist in learning to be assertive about your needs.
Ask for help. Asking for and accepting help is an important part of coping with chronic illness. The members of your diabetes care team are among those who can provide both practical help and emotional support as you make the effort to cope with your diabetes. Your family and friends can help, too, although they may need you to tell them how. If the stress of coping with chronic illness becomes more than you can deal with on your own, or you think you might be depressed, ask your physician to refer you to a mental health specialist.
Meeting regularly with a mental health professional gives you the chance to express yourself without being judged, to feel understood, and to learn how to better cope with the challenges you face. Seek out others with diabetes. Knowing that there are other people dealing with the same feelings and frustrations that you have can be a big help, and a good way to connect to other people who have diabetes is through a support group.
Support groups can provide information, allow for personal contact, and offer a way to compare experiences and share problem-solving skills with others who live day-to-day with diabetes. Most formal support groups are coordinated by a health-care professional and attended by people with diabetes and sometimes their family members or friends.
They may meet in a clinic or hospital meeting room, church, YMCA, community center, or some other public setting. Online forums and message boards are another option for seeking support. Online groups have the appeal of being available at any time and from virtually any place. Most forums and boards have a moderator, to maintain certain standards and keep out disruptive users, but they may not have the involvement of a health-care professional.
To locate local, in-person, support groups, talk with your diabetes care team, and look for announcements in local newspapers or other outlets for community information, such as local radio stations. You can also try calling your local health department or clinics or hospitals in your area to see if they have a support group that is close to you. Also check with your local chapter of the ADA; call for contact information.
Use relaxation techniques. Meditating , praying in a meditative fashion, or practicing the Relaxation Response can all lower your overall stress level. Other techniques and activities can have a similar effect: Aerobic exercise, yoga, tai chi, visualization or guided imagery, massage, and other mind-body techniques, when done regularly, can provide a regular dose of stress relief. Click here to learn more about controlling your stress level.
You have likes and dislikes, talents, interests, and activities you enjoy. Part of coping with diabetes over a lifetime may be recognizing that it is only a part of your life. So when the going gets tough, congratulate yourself for all of the efforts you make to take care of your diabetes, and remind yourself that there is much more to you than diabetes. Also in this article: Controlling Your Stress Level Your Diabetes Care Team Type 1 diabetes may be a physiological condition, but it comes with an emotional impact that should never be underestimated….
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Like staying healthy with diabetes, staying mentally fit is another important step for your overall well-being…. Learn More. Sign up for Free. Skip to content Advertisement.