You’ve been to the doctor, and you have just been diagnosed with diabetes.  One part of you is relieved that you have finally found the reason behind some of the symptoms you experience.  But another part of you may be scared, upset or even angry.  These feelings are completely normal, and as your doctor will tell you, it won’t take long for you to settle into a routine that can help you live a healthier and even longer life.  Checking your blood glucose, taking medication, and coming to understand the symptoms of hypoglycemia are all ways to control diabetes.  But, like millions of other Americans, your thoughts will quickly turn to ways to improve your lifestyle and health so that you can reduce the need for drugs and even possibly send your condition into remission.

We have all been beaten around the head with studies and research about the benefits of regular physical activity.  When you have diabetes, you will no doubt be given a few lectures on getting fitter and becoming more active in general.  This is because when you use your body more, it lowers your blood glucose levels as well as improves your body’s ability to use insulin over time.  Doing more activity need not be daunting – you don’t necessarily have to join a fitness centre.  Just make a small effort each day to do some form of exercise such as walking up the stairs (instead of taking the elevator), or take a walk around your neighbourhood.  If you have kids, get them off the couch and take them to the park to kick a ball around.  The more enjoyable the activity, the more likely you will do it on a regular basis.  Exercise is a great mood enhancer, and being active has the added advantage that you will start to lose weight and may even start to feel more positive about yourself and your circumstances.

Diabetic Diet PyramidIn terms of your diet, your doctor will probably provide you with a guide on the foods to avoid and the foods to stock up on.  For many people with diabetes they have to follow a regime of eating small meals regularly, and it can be handy to have planned a diabetes diet for each week in advance so you are never caught without something healthy to eat.  Everyone’s dietary requirements are different depending on a number of factors such as age, weight and sex, and if you are having trouble planning meals that will help to control your diabetes then you could consider visiting a nutritionist to develop a diet that suits you.  There are also a number of resources from reputable national diabetes centres on the internet that can help.

It is a great feeling knowing that you can control something in your life, and coming to realise that something like diabetes doesn’t really have to slow you down.  If you make sensible choices and make the recommended changes in your lifestyle, you might find that you come out of the whole experience healthier and happier.  Don’t let diabetes control you!

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