We all know at least one person with diabetes. It is not a secret that diabetes affects a lot of people in many different ways. Whether you are caring for someone who has it or you, yourself, were diagnosed, managing the disease can take over your life. There are strategies, however, you can use to help make the lifestyle adjustments that often become necessary as a result of diabetes much easier.
Here are a few recommendations from healthcare professionals and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). First, learn all that you can about the disease. There are great cookbooks, websites and resources, available to help you learn how to manage diabetes. Two, make it a family affair. If a loved one or family member has been diagnosed, the entire family can jump in and assist by adopting a better diet and active lifestyle. Three, set small, realistic goals. Making small changes over time can work much better than trying to make huge changes all at once. Four, find support. There are lots of support groups out there, and it’s always good to know that you’re not alone.
Diabetes Forecast magazine reports that couples with diabetes who work out together, attend management courses, and join support groups or communities have an easier time managing life with diabetes. Additionally, you can participate in fundraiser events like Tour de Cure, a national cycling event presented by the American Diabetes Association. Not only can you learn more about diabetes and sweat a little but also, you can support the research needed to find a cure.
If you are caring for someone with diabetes, you may also have to help them cope with depression or diabetes distress. Research shows one in four people who have been diagnosed with diabetes
will experience depression in his or her lifetime. According to a 2014 study published in Current Diabetes Reports, depression can arise in patients who miss medical appointments, have a poor diet and do not exercise, and pay less attention to medication and monitoring glucose levels. Researchers also noted that those who do not suffer from depression can experience diabetes burnout, which comes from feelings of frustration connected to long-term self-care.
If you, a friend, family member or significant other is diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to seek help, communicate, and find ways to maintain a positive attitude. The ADA suggests that focusing on one goal a day can help to elevate the pressure of managing this disease. So, remember to take your time and decide what is best for you.