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5 Ways to Simplify Life with Diabetes

5 Ways to Simplify Life with Diabetes

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.

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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.

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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.

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Exercise Regularly

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.

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Last Updated on February 12, 2019

12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

I’m a hypochondriac. Always have been since I was a child. One of my biggest fears as an adult is getting breast cancer. I visited my gynecologist a few months ago and asked what I could do to help prevent getting breast cancer. You know what she said? Nothing. According to this recommended OB/GYN doctor, besides regular check-ups to see if I already had breast cancer, there was nothing I could do to prevent a cancer that impacts 1 in 8 U.S. women.

BS.

After heavily researching breast cancer, I found out that I was making quite a few mistakes with my everyday activities. Here are 12 things that may cause breast cancer that you should avoid.

Buying Deodorant Without Checking the Label

I actually have a good friend who is more of a hypochondriac than I am, so I went to her with my concerns about breast cancer. She took me into the bathroom and thrust her deodorant at me. While at first I was confused and slightly offended, she explained that I should start using a different deodorant because the mass-produced ones at the store have ingredients (ie aluminum –based compounds) I can’t afford to put under my armpits and so close to my breasts. Luckily, she had an extra Tom’s natural deodorant to give me.

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There might not be any “conclusive” research that links antiperspirants to breast cancer but better safe than sorry.

Using Chemical Hair Dye

I know so many people who dye their hair every few months using the cheap boxed dyes you can buy at the store. Sure, it can be fun but it’s like playing Russian Roulette because the dyes you use most likely contain carcinogens. The National Cancer Institute even warns against the practice of just picking out a hair dye willy-nilly. So the next time you do it, go to a health foods market and find the most naturally-based hair dye you can.

Smoking

Regarding my visit to the gynecologist, she did come back after our conversation a few minutes later and asked if I smoked or drank a lot of alcohol. I said no (I don’t think any true hypochondriac can do either of those things). “You’ll be fine then,” she said. But she forgot about second-hand smoke, which can be just as dangerous. Now, I won’t go near anyone if they’re lighting up, including my BFF’s boyfriend. He can get as mad as he wants; my health is more important!

Wearing the Wrong Bra Size

When an organization devoted to protecting women against breast cancer suggests you get fitted with the right bra, you take notice. Bras that are too small or big might pose a risk because they just aren’t supportive on the breast tissue or if they are too tight they will cut off drainage of the lymph fluid. Hey, it was a great excuse to head to Victoria’s Secret to get measured.

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If I had my choice though, I would go all-natural and join the bra burners of the 60s (however, my mom was a bra burner, so that might make it a little awkward).

Using Chemical Household Cleaners

If the cabinet under your kitchen sink looks like most, there are enough chemicals to make all sorts of crazy things. And yes, as you and I suspected, those chemicals are REALLY bad. Not only are they connected with breast cancer, they are connected with other kinds of cancers, as well as chronic conditions like migraines, allergies and more. So from now on, clean with vinegar, baking soda and other materials that aren’t going to give you a medical nightmare.

Using Mothballs

When I was a little kid, I learned to use mothballs. They actually remind me of my grandmother, bless her heart. Little did I know that they are filled with chemicals that have been connected with breast cancer development. Looks like I’ll be looking for an alternative, like cedar chips. Sorry, Grammy!

Putting Non-Organic Make-Up on My Face

I won’t tell you the foundation I use, but I will tell you that after I read the ingredients, I promptly threw it away. It was chock full of all sorts of nasty things like parabens, which have been found en masse in tissue samples that came from breast cancer patients. I can still wear make-up, though. A trip to my local whole foods store was all it took to come up with organic-based, paraben-free cover-up.

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Neglecting My Physical Health

In my research, I discovered losing weight is a good way to ward off breast cancer since there have been indications of a link between being overweight and being diagnosed with this type of cancer. That’s all the motivation I need to get off the couch and head to the gym.

Drinking Alcohol

Like I mentioned above, alcohol has never been my drink of choice but basically everyone else I know highly enjoys their beer. Yet alcohol is super problematic if you want to avoid breast cancer, liver cancer and heart cancer. In a global study, over 21 percent of alcohol related deaths were because of cancer. I’m hoping for a soon-to-be revolution that swaps alcohol for tea (healthier and less expensive) when it comes to social drinking. Tea time anyone?

De-Odorizing My House With Air Fresheners

I love a clean-smelling house and car, but the air fresheners I’ve been using contain phthalates, a type of plasticizing chemical. Phthalates have been found in air fresheners because they help create a long-lasting fragrance. Unfortunately, that fragrance could be deadly. Looks like I’ll be boiling some water, cinnamon sticks and cloves on the stovetop to make my house smell really amazing!

Storing Everything in Plastic Containers

I have a habit of collecting those plastic containers. Whenever I get a coupon for them, I just go hog-wild and buy a bunch. But they have a connection to breast cancer, which I didn’t know before. It’s especially bad when you use them to reheat food in the microwave. I’m going to suck it up, throw them out and use glass containers instead.

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Buying the Wrong Food

I figured that pesticides were trouble from the get-go, and I was right. They get into your foods and, in some cases, seem to foster an environment where cancerous cells feel compelled to grow within the organs and tissues, including the breasts. It’s one more reason to buy from local farmers, as long as they don’t use pesticides. You’ll have to ask them, by the way; most local food market stands don’t have signs up about the whole pesticides topic.

While everyone still makes fun of me for being a hypochondriac, I know in my heart that I’m actually just protecting myself, and maybe educating some people on the health dangers that lurk in everyday items. My wellbeing is worth being the butt of a few jokes. Yours is, too.

Featured photo credit: NA via istockphoto.com

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