Nobody would ever choose to live with diabetes. It’s a challenging and complex disease. But the fact is… many of us are living with it. According to The Diabetes Association, approximately 25 percent of Americans over 60 have the disease.
It’s absolute normal to be frightened by diabetes. The disease can lead to serious health problems. But, as daunting as diabetes can be, it’s a manageable disease.It is possible to live a normal, enjoyable life with diabetes. It takes effort, determination, and resolve, of course... and it takes daily attention and daily steps.
Here are some tips from folks in their “seasoned” years living well with diabetes.
Make healthy choices. Think about how the things you do and decisions you make impact your health and your disease. Eat foods recommended by your doctor and steer clear of those you are told to avoid. Do not skip meals or go too long without eating. Stay well hydrated. Keep your body as active as possible through age-appropriate activities. Check your blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercising. Be conscious about staying at a proper weight.
Stay informed. Learn everything there is to know about diabetes. Keep abreast of progress made in the treatment of the disease. The more you know about diabetes the better you’ll be able to deal with having the disease.
Stay organized. Good organization can help you feel less fearful about living with diabetes and more in control of the disease. Keep detailed records that are easy to access and update. Keep your supplies together in a convenient spot.
Wear a diabetes identification bracelet. There may be an instance when you are having a medical emergency but are unable to communicate. That’s why wearing a diabetes ID bracelet - or something else that lets people know you have the disease - is essential and a potentially life-saving step. Even an emergency medical professional may not realize right away that you are diabetic.
See your doctor regularly. It’s crucial to have all tests necessary to stay on top of diabetes and manage it appropriately. Not only is it important to have tests specific to diabetes, it’s also important to be tested for health problems associated with the disease. Follow your doctor’s recommendations and instructions, and always use medications as directed.
Know problem signs. The symptoms of a blood sugar issue can vary from person to person, but your doctor can help you figure out the signs to look out for in your own particular situation. Symptoms could include lightheadedness, feeling clammy or sweaty, confusion or disorientation, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, dizziness, or a host of other issues. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms, check your blood glucose immediately and follow your doctor's instructions
Check your feet. Take some time each day to give your feet a thorough going over. Look for any discoloration, breaks in the skin, sores, blisters, calluses, etc. It may be helpful to do the check at the same time each day as part of your daily routine so you don’t forget.
Monitor consistently. It is vital that your blood sugar levels remain within your target range, which means you must keep track of your levels so you will know when they are too high or too low. By monitoring on a regular basis, you can treat problem fluctuations immediately. Doing so will help you feel your best and prevent serious health issues.