You probably are one of three million Americans with Type I Diabetes. If you’re not, then understanding this condition can help you maintain optimal health and grasp what could happen if you didn’t take care of yourself.
Managing disease is challenging, but not if you are in the know. There are various interesting things you need to start paying attention to, some smart tips and shortcuts, but most importantly, you should activate the will and power to go on and beat the heck out of diabetes.
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#1 – Always Have a Source of Sugar on Hand
You will almost never think about sugar when it comes to a diabetic diet. Yet, every person with diabetes should carry treats on them at all times. You may put some Snickers in your glove compartments, caramel candies in your purses, and an occasional bottle of orange juice in hand, well, anything that includes quick-acting carbohydrates.
These fast-sugar foods deliver glucose into the bloodstream in as little as 5 minutes and are a great help during low-blood sugar emergencies, one of the common symptoms of diabetes.
Whether you’re diabetic or not, it’s wise to always have some food handy because you never know when your blood sugar is going to drop or you’re going to feel faint.
#2 – Your Eyes Can be Open Windows to Your Health
Surprisingly, your eyes can show signs of over 30 conditions, and optometrists are usually the first to catch symptoms of potential diseases! You should make sure to get a comprehensive eye exam once every year because retinopathy is a common condition in diabetics that can lead to blindness.
Also, pay close attention to your eyes so you can tell when something is unusual between your doctor visits. Watch for signs such as a thin white or grey ring around the edge of the cornea, which can indicate high cholesterol, bulging eyes, which show overactive thyroid, or cloudy eyes, which can signal cataracts.
#3 – Listen to Your Body
Your body communicates with you on a daily basis through stimulus responses. It’s important to have body awareness and notice these responses; how your body reacts to food, exercise, and environmental conditions.
When certain people experience low blood sugar, their eyelids droop, their personality gets louder, and their reflexes are slower. In fact, everyone has telltale signs that indicate something strange is going on in their body, and if you could detect them early enough, you can avoid emergencies and complications.
#4 – Store Your Medications Properly
Many diabetics, especially those with Type I diabetes, are insulin dependent. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and is responsible for regulating blood glucose levels; and since Type I diabetics don’t produce this hormone, they need to inject it into their bodies.
Insulin can stay at room temperature for up to one week, but one of the things your pharmacists will probably never tell you is that it’s best to store it in the refrigerator because the extreme change in temperature can impact its efficacy.
In fact, proper storage is vital for any medicine. The tiniest change in moisture, air, light, and heat has the potential to damage the medicine, and also to make it harmful due to change in its chemistry. For instance, when aspirin reacts with moisture it turns into a different chemical.
And you wouldn’t want to intoxicate yourself to treat a simple headache.
#5 – Know Your Family Medical History
Diabetes can come at any age, and before that point, you may not even be aware of the disease’s presence in your family until you suddenly learn that you have an older cousin with Type I diabetes. But it’s too late.
That’s why knowing your family history doesn’t necessarily prevent you from developing conditions and diseases, but it makes you more aware of your risks and the precautions you may need to take. It’s really important to ask your family members about their health and do your homework about all known family diagnoses, such as diabetes, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s.
#6 – Take Care of Your Feet and Hands
Your feet carry you through life and your hands are always active, which also means they’re constantly exposed to dirt, germs, and rough substances. If neglected, you could cause yourself serious health problems.
It sounds very obvious, but it is crucial to wash and moisturize your hands and feet on a regular basis as well as to treat cuts instantly and properly. The cleaner they are, the less likely they can get infections.
Although infections don’t necessarily cause disease, they do put little to too much stress on your immune system and can lead to general malaise, fever, and headaches. And in case you have a condition, your body is already having a hard time fighting infections.
#7 – Get Out of Your Comfy Chair
It doesn’t matter how old you are because a fitness regimen of your mother, for example, can be much better than yours (which is something you should both laugh and cry about.)
If you tend to be lazy, you should forget about waiting for somebody who would motivate you or yell at you to exercise. The will and desire to lead a healthier lifestyle should come from within, or else, it won’t last.
Hop on the treadmill or elliptical and exercise for an hour almost every day at the time that suits you best. Set goals that encourage you to succeed! Remember that higher activity levels have been shown to lower health risks. Exercise helps to reduce body fat, insulin resistance, and blood pressure, which can lead to eye problems, kidney failure, and heart attacks.
#8 – You Determine Your Health
Picture someone sitting on the closed toilet, gathering skin on their thigh before lowering an insulin-filled syringe to inject it. The process is quite fascinating. People with diabetes should also check blood sugar levels every day.
The most important thing you need to focus on is that as much as your health can feel out of your control, you can still determine it. You can take control of your health by your level of investment, how much time you’re willing to put into research and taking care of your body.
I’m not sure if someone healthy would appreciate their own health as much as they’ll do if they saw what it takes for a diabetic, for example, to stay healthy.