A diabetes diagnosis is life-changing. Most diabetics and the parents of diabetic children know exactly where they were and what was going on when they discovered the conditions. Discovering that you or someone you love is diabetic is a big deal. The symptoms and situations around the diagnosis can vary widely in severity, but in all cases, people know that life will never be the same. Diabetes becomes part of your identity. Managing the condition is a lifelong process that requires continual discipline. Thankfully, the medical industry dedicates a lot of resources and time to make things better for patients and their families. Just in the last several years, there have been meaningful developments in how diabetes is treated and managed.
If you’ve recently learned that you, a friend, or someone in your family is diabetic, the best thing you can do is to learn about diabetes, how it’s managed, and what to expect. The faster you can react to diabetic issues, the better the patient’s quality of life will be living with diabetes. Here are some things you need to know about diabetes management.
Learning Everything About Blood Sugar Levels
Keeping blood sugar levels in proper ranges is a massive challenge to new diabetics and the people helping them manage their condition. You have to learn so much about how certain foods, drinks, and activities impact your sugar levels and what to do when things swing too widely in one direction.
One of the biggest adjustments for new diabetics is the changes that have to happen with diet. There will be foods that you loved that are now off-limits. The type of foods you eat, like those very high in sugar, for example, matter a great deal. In addition, quantities and when you eat certain foods will have to be monitored more closely. Even certain combinations of food, though fine when eaten separately, can trigger damaging symptoms that need to be avoided.
Staying Balanced is Key
Most meals, whenever possible, need to be well-balanced to help your body process what you are feeding it. Make meals a good mix of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and starches. Pay extra attention to how many carbohydrates you are consuming and how they affect your blood sugar levels. Over time, you’ll learn about how certain foods trigger spikes in sugar levels.
Balancing the food you eat with how much insulin you take will require a constant process of refinement. If you eat too little, your insulin may be too high, and cause your blood sugar levels to crash. Conversely, too much food in proportion to your insulin intake will trigger a sugar spike. The key is to stay balanced.
Meet Regularly with Your Doctor
Once you find out that you or someone close to you has diabetes, you’ll need to choose a doctor who specializes in helping people with diabetes management. Don’t settle with your medical care if at all possible. You’ll need to remember that you will be meeting with them for years. This isn’t just a one-time visit to the doctor. You will develop a relationship with them and will look to them for constant support and to help you know how things like new diabetes treatment methods and technology can improve your quality of life.
Get online and read reviews. Meet with several physicians and talk to friends about who they like. Find a doctor you are comfortable with and start the process of building a communication bridge between you and their medical office.
Get Support from Others Dealing with Diabetes Management
With diabetes, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone. It’s not something most people are familiar with, and you’re going to get strange looks and a lot of questions whenever you take out a syringe or your pump pokes out of your clothing. Luckily, there are now more ways than ever to meet with other diabetic people and their families. Social media groups are thriving, where there is a constant exchange of ideas, stories, and expressions of support for people struggling.
Support groups are also a wonderful place to learn about what’s new in the diabetes medical sphere and what sort of new developments are on the horizon. This is an important function of support groups because communication from industry to medical offices to patients can be slow, at times.
Oxytocin is a good example of this. Oxytocin is a peptide that is a single protein with two natural functions. One of its functions is as a blood-borne hormone that is effective with diabetes management in tests done on mice. In clinical tests, the mice that received Oxytocin saw reductions in total fat mass and it boosted their insulin sensitivity.
Technology Is Your Friend
Talk to diabetics from an older generation, and you’ll learn just how far the treatment of diabetes and diabetes management has come. There is now more technology than ever, and it integrates rather seamlessly into your everyday life. Things like constant blood sugar monitors are available with accompanying mobile applications that make reading your sugar levels and knowing how much insulin you need simple. No more constant finger pricking or testing with blood strips. Pumps are better and have more features every year, giving hopes about potential treatments and management methods down the road.
There are websites, blogs, newsletters, and other resources you can use to stay on top of the latest in diabetes management. You can even sign up to take part in trials to help push things further.
Getting a diabetes diagnosis can be very challenging. However, as you learn to live with diabetes and manage its symptoms, you are capable of just as much as you were before. To make treatment easier, stay in shape, avoid bad foods, keep hydrated, and be prepared so you’re never left dealing with symptoms without medicine or other support you need. Above all, diabetes management will likely change many times throughout your life, so you need to be sensitive to what your body is telling you and take the advice of trusted medical professionals to find the best management plan for you.