According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. And with 1.4 million new cases diagnosed each year, it’s a public health problem that has in recent years become an epidemic. For those who live with diabetes on a daily basis, many aspects of their lives can dramatically change. Checking blood sugar levels several times per day, eating a much healthier diet, and taking insulin shots or other medications all become part of the daily routine. However, while this all sounds very complicated, the good news is that there are many ways living with diabetes can be greatly simplified. If you or a family member have diabetes, here are five ways that are guaranteed to make day-to-day living much easier.
Have a Support System
Because diabetes can take a toll on many aspects of one’s life, it’s important to have a strong support network to lean on from time to time. While it’s always good to have in-person support, more and more people are turning to online sites to meet others who share their problems. One site that has become popular this year is UpWell, a one-stop-shop that brings together various services, tools, and education focusing on chronic conditions such as diabetes. Offering such aspects as personalized support from wellness coaches, prescription services to ensure a person’s medications are filled on time, menu guides, fitness routines, and much more, this site is one online resource that helps solve numerous problems.
Keep a Food Diary
For people who have trouble keeping track of what they eat, a food diary can prove to be very helpful. Along with keeping track of what foods are eaten, the food diary can also show what triggers poor dietary habits. For example, many diabetics may make poor eating choices when they are emotionally upset or tired at the end of the day. By being able to recognize the signs of trouble, they will be able to make much better choices and manage their condition much more effectively.
Drink More Water
One of the simplest things you can do to make living with diabetes much easier, drinking water can keep you hydrated, which can be a key factor in ensuring your kidneys also stay healthy. If you prefer, you can also include tea, coffee, mineral water, and other low-calorie drinks in your diet. By consuming between 6-8 cups of these fluids daily, you’ll not only stay hydrated, but also have more energy and keep your weight in check.
Along with eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of the right fluids, getting enough exercise is also a great way to make living with diabetes much simpler. While this may sound difficult considering people’s busy personal and work schedules, it’s actually easier than you may think. Needing only 20-30 minutes several times per week, this can be achieved in numerous ways. Whether it’s taking a walk on your lunch break, riding a bike around the neighborhood with your kids, or playing golf or tennis with your friends on the weekend, making exercise a priority will pay off in many great ways.
Take Medications as Directed
Whether you’re on insulin, taking other medications, or a combination of these, making sure you follow your doctor’s instructions for taking your medications is vital to your overall health. If you find yourself skipping doses of medication, you are putting your health at risk. Rather than risk dangerous health complications, be sure to talk with your doctor if you have any questions regarding dosages, side effects, or other concerns about your medication regimen. For example, if you’re taking certain vitamins, herbs, or other natural supplements, be sure to let your doctor know so that you won’t risk having any unexpected drug interactions.
By incorporating these and other steps into your day-to-day living, you’ll find it much easier to live with diabetes. While this chronic disease may affect your life in numerous ways, it by no means should keep you from doing virtually anything you wish. Whether it’s properly taking your medications or getting plenty of exercise, taking the necessary steps to simplify your life with diabetes will pay off for many years to come.