Last month, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. To put it mildly, I was somewhat distressed. Thoughts kept swirling in my head. What am I going to have to give up? How hard is this going to be to manage? Can I still live a happy life? In the following weeks, I've realized that I can still live a productive, happy, healthy life. While it isn't always this simple, doing these ten things will help you on your way to that goal.
1. Count your carbs
This is fundamental to being a diabetic. YOU HAVE TO COUNT YOUR CARBS!! Carbs are the main thing that will raise your blood sugar, so keeping track of them is imperative to staying alive. Get into the habit of looking at nutrition labels. They could keep you out of the hospital.
2. Get some exercise
Physical activity is a great way of keeping your blood sugar down. Don't worry, you don't have to run a mile every day. Simply taking a ten-minute walk every day should be more than enough.
3. Find ways to destress
Stress and mental health can actually adversely affect your blood sugar, so being able to relax yourself is a key part of managing your diabetes. Find ways to relax and destress, not only for your own mental health, but also your physical health.
4. Lay off the alcohol
Alcohol WILL mess with your blood sugar. The only sure fire way to manage alcohol and diabetes is to stop drinking altogether. Drink at your own risk, but that's just my two cents on the issue.
5. Use The Latest Technology
New medications and technologies are coming out all the time. From more accurate readers to attachable sensors to new types of insulin, treatment and management of diabetes is getting easier all the time, so keep up with the latest advancements so that you can figure out if they might work for you.
6. Stay in contact with your doctors
Your endocrinologist, your dietician, or even your psychologist. Stay in touch with these people. Give them regular updates on your condition, and don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any difficulties or concerns about your blood sugar. They are there to help you, so take advantage.
7. Pay attention to your mental health
I had depression before I even had diabetes, so managing my mental health has always been a concern of mine. If you have a mental illness such as anxiety, depression, BPD, or whatever, go and see a therapist and explore the options that you can take to help yourself. As I said earlier, your mental health is a big factor in managing your diabetes, so take whatever steps you need to take to feel better and manage your mental illness.
8. Never stop educating yourself
Just like technology, scientific journals and findings are being updated all the time. Stay up to date on the new information that comes out, as that information may help you better manage your diabetes.
9. Be patient
It may take weeks, or even months to figure out just how to manage your blood sugar. Even with all the effort and technology in the world, sometimes it will still be wonky, but don't get discouraged. You can figure out how to manage this, and it is worth your time and effort to do so.
10. Talk to people
I've been so fortunate to have such supportive friends and family to help me through this major change in my life. It's so easy to feel like you're alone in your struggle, but you're not. There are peer connection networks and organizations where you can talk to other diabetics about how you're feeling.
And remember, your friends and family are always there to support you, want to help you and love you. If you feel alone, you are not alone, and you can get through this. You will get through this.