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The Challenges and Rewards of Managing Diabetes

By Holly McCarthy

Last Update: January 29, 2009

Many people don't understand how diabetes works, and therefore look at it as some sort of insurmountable task. Anyone who has worked hard to deal with their diabetes will tell you that it is hard, but it is not insurmountable; by no means is diabetes impossible to deal with or control. There are certainly some challenges associated with living with diabetes, but if a proper regimen of diet, exercise, and regular testing is followed, diabetes can be managed for years with very little complication.

Diet
The first thing you need to do is speak with a physician and listen to what he or she tells you. They may recommend that you speak with a dietitian, so you should probably do that. Rather than looking at things in a negative light, look at it as an opportunity to learn how to take care of your body. You wouldn't put diesel in a car that runs on unleaded, would you? Think about you dietary changes in that context, and it should be a little easier.

Weight Loss
If you are told that you need to work on losing some weight, listen to the doctors. There is no reason to go into denial and do the opposite of what they tell you to do. Diabetes is manageable if you take the necessary steps and precautions.

Exercise
Regular exercise is good for everyone. Following a regular exercise regimen, as directed by a doctor, can help your body work to help your diabetic symptoms. Something as simple as walking after a meal can help bring down blood glucose levels and assist in circulating blood to the extremities.

Testing
The condition requires that you monitor your blood sugar levels closely. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, you may wish to keep a log and share the data with your doctor at each visit. Testing is quick, easy, and you get used to the pin pricks after a little while.

Stress
Stress can work to exacerbate your condition, just like any other aspect of life, so work to manage stress and always talk to your doctor if you experience any changes. This is something that we can all work through if given the proper time and tools.

Complications
Diabetics are usually aware of the complications that can arise when the disease isn't managed well. Problems with feet and eyes especially need to be reported to your physician as soon as you notice them; don't stand idly by and wait for them to go away. Being proactive can make a huge difference in the ultimate outcome.

Diabetes is something that can be managed with the right information, health regimen, and health care. Living a happy and healthy life is easy once the proper tools are in place for successful management of the condition.


This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of nursing schools. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com.

    David Mendosa is a freelance journalist and consultant specializing in diabetes and lives in Boulder, Colorado. When he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in February 1994, he began to write entirely about that condition. His articles and columns have appeared in many of the major diabetes magazines and websites. His own website, David Mendosa’s Diabetes Directory, established in 1995, was one of the first and is now one of the largest with that focus. Every month he also publishes an online newsletter called “Diabetes Update.” Twice weekly he writes for his blog at http://blogs.healthcentral.com/diabetes/david-mendosa. He is the author of Losing Weight with Your Diabetes Medication: How Byetta and Other Drugs Can Help You Lose More Weight than You Ever Thought Possible (New York: Perseus Books, February 2008) and a co-author of What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up...And Down? (second American edition in July 2006, and other publishers in the U.K., Australia, Italy, and Taiwan).


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