The risk of developing complications can be reduced by:
- Keeping track of your blood glucose
- Eating a healthy diet
- Thirty minutes of daily exercise
- Taking your diabetes medications as prescribed
- Having a support person(s) who understands diabetes
At the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center, our team of diabetes educators can help you develop the skills you need to manage the care of your diabetes.
Physical Activity and Diabetes
Physical activity aids in diabetes care and should be part of any person's diabetes care plan. Exercise benefits blood sugar, stress management, and cardiovascular health.
Exercise utilizes glucose (blood sugar). This aids in improving your blood sugar and improving your A1C. The A1C is a test that is the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Red blood cells live for approximately three months so the test reflects an average of what a person's blood sugars levels have been.
Consistent exercise can help you to lose weight. If you have diabetes and are overweight, losing around 7 percent of your body weight can help lower blood sugar. Losing weight seems to clear a path for sugar to move from your blood to your cells. If you are already at your ideal weight, losing more weight will not help you control blood sugar.
Adjusting to Having Diabetes
You need support when you first learn you have diabetes. Think about how you could use help and then ask for that kind of support. Such as inviting a spouse, friend or family member on a visit with your diabetes doctor (endocrinologist) or diabetes educator. Your family and friends can listen to you and encourage you to take care of your diabetes.
If you feel overwhelmed or depressed about having diabetes, you may act
in ways that don't help you stay healthy. For example, you may
reduce the frequency of blood testing or taking insulin. If this is occurs, it's time to reach out and get support.
To address the diagnosis of diabetes, talk with a psychologist or a social worker. Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center has behavioral health specialist to talk with patients and families.You can also discuss your reactions with your diabetes doctor (endocrinologist) or family doctor. If you feel withdrawn several weeks or months after finding out you have diabetes, it may be time to seek help from a trained mental health provider.
Social Support and Diabetes
Diabetes is a family affair. A person with diabetes will do better each day and in the long run if they manage their diabetes properly. If you or someone in your family has diabetes, try to learn as much as you can about it through trusted sources such as the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a Certified Diabetes Educator or endocrinologist. This will help you to understand and support yourself or your family member more fully.
You can also form a partnership with your doctor and the members of your health care team. Join organizations like the American Diabetes Association (ADA) or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to learn more about diabetes, including new research and treatments.
If your child has diabetes, find out what the local chapters of ADA or JDRF offer in your community. See if they offer a mentor program, where your child can get to know another child with diabetes. Connect your child with other children who have diabetes through camp, online support and local family groups.