Being sick is something all of us do not want to experience. But there are some kinds of diseases that we have to live with once acquired, and we can’t do anything but accept it. Yes, it may be a bummer because the things we can do become limited. That’s just life. However, we can choose how to respond to it and still live a happy and positive life despite life’s imperfections.
One example is living with diabetes. Diabetes has three types: (1) Type 1 diabetes means the body is unable to create insulin. That is where the problem comes in since insulin is required to transform the sugar from foods we eat to energy for the body. Thus, in order to live, we need to take insulin; (2) Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. Having this type means the body does not use or create insulin well. To solve this, taking insulin or pills can be helpful to control diabetes; (3) Gestational diabetes is common in women who are pregnant. It often goes away after giving birth. However, the women who have had this type may have a bigger chance of getting diabetes later in life, even their children.
To those who already know they have diabetes, whatever type it may be, it is normal to feel mad or sad about it. It may be difficult to follow the steps in order to live healthy despite the disease but surely it will become easier over time. Here are some tips that may be beneficial:
Manage diabetes well. Stress is a big factor in raising blood sugar. That is why it is important to know how to lower down stress. Deep breathing, meditating, gardening, working on a hobby, taking a walk, or listening to favorite music are some ways to feel less stressful. If you are feeling down, ask for help. Going to a family member or friend, support group, mental health counselor, or clergy member who will listen to problems or concerns can be a way to feel better.
Be and stay active. It does not have to be immediate and drastic. One may start slow by just walking for 10 minutes three times a day. What is important is to set a goal to become more active most of the time every week. And then, work in increasing muscle strength twice a week. Do yoga, push-ups, heavy gardening, or use stretch bands. Also, use a meal plan to get to or stay at a healthy weight. This may include taking in supplements that can help control one’s sugar. Some recommend taking in natural supplements like Fucoxanthin since it has an anti-diabetes effect. Fucoxanthin supplements contain brown seaweed extracts—the type you find in wakame and hijiki—and help promote DHA formation. DHA is the omega-3 fatty acid that fish oil contains which is believed to increase insulin, decrease bad cholesterol, and enhance triglycerides.
Learn to eat well. One can ask help from a health care team to make a diabetes meal plan. Choose foods that are lower in sugar, salt, calories, and saturated and trans fat. Instead, eat those with more fiber like bread, crackers, pasta, rice, or whole grain cereals. Look for healthier options. You may substitute table sugar with yacon syrup, for example, as science shows that it contains an amazingly low sugar and calorie content.
Having diabetes is not the end of the world yet. It may be a sad truth, but life will only continue to be miserable if one does not take action. Do something about it and live happily!