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Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar

If you feel like it's taking over your life, it can help to write down your strengths — and the stuff you love. Who are you?

Diabetes and Emotions

Are you a reader, a hockey player, a music lover, a math whiz, a spelling champ? Diabetes is really only a small part of who you are. Keep track of your dreams and hopes, and find time for the people and things you enjoy. Stick to the plan.

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Many people with diabetes get sick of dealing with it once in a while. And sometimes people who have learned to manage their illness feel so healthy and strong that they wonder whether they need to keep following their diabetes management plan.

But skipping medicines, veering off the meal plan, or not checking your blood sugar can have disastrous results. If you feel like throwing in the towel, talk to your doctor. Together you can find solutions that fit your life and help you stay healthy too. Take your time. Your feelings about diabetes will change over time — today you might feel worried about the future and different from your friends, but next year you might wonder why you were so upset. As you learn to manage diabetes on your own and take a more active role in your health , you may find it's a little easier dealing with the ups and downs.

Diabetes: Dealing With Feelings (for Teens) - KidsHealth

Just as you can get emotional about your diabetes, so can parents and other family members. Seeing a parent get upset can be hard. It can help to remind yourself that the diabetes is not your fault, nor is it your parents' fault. Just as you feel upset from time to time, it's natural for your parents to feel that way too. When a parent or other family member is worried, it may show up in strange ways. For example, a parent may get angry at a doctor. Or your mom or dad may constantly ask how you feel, whether you're eating right, and whether you've taken your medicine.

Sure, you understand that they are doing this because they love you.

10 Tips for Coping with Diabetes Distress

But it can help to explain how this makes you feel. Find a good time to talk about it calmly and openly. Sometimes family counseling or joining a family support group can help families work through the emotional ups and downs of dealing with diabetes. You may envy a brother or sister who doesn't have diabetes, but your sibling may feel envious of you because of the extra attention you're getting.

Again, it can help to talk about this openly — and recognize that your sibling's feelings might show up in strange ways, such as anger at you. In her day-to-day life, she thinks about diabetes every few minutes.

Effect on patients

From the moment she opens her eyes in the morning until she closes her eyes at night, there are hundreds of small decisions she needs to make to keep herself safe. There is a "variable to everything that you do -- how to get dressed, how far is the drive," she said. If people with Type 1 diabetes don't use newer technologies, like an insulin pump or a continuous glucose monitor, they may need to inject themselves with insulin four to eight times a day and check finger-sticks at least six to eight times a day.

Sometimes, they need to check more. They must always be aware of how their body feels when blood sugar level is too high or too low. If it's too high, some people describe feeling anxious, a stomachache, very thirsty or not themselves. If it's too low, which can be very dangerous, they may feel a headache, tremors, heart palpitations, confused, slur speech or even be unresponsive.

Speaking of insulin, diabetes is one of the most expensive chronic conditions -- insulin prices has tripled in the past 15 years. People have been known to ration their insulin, which can be deadly for someone with T1DM. There are generic versions, or alternative types of insulin, as well as patient-assistance programs, which can help to decrease the cost of insulin. The Endocrine Society and other physician and patient advocacy groups are calling on the government to pursue initiatives on insulin affordability. Technology in diabetes is evolving at the fastest pace in history and working to improve the lives of people with T1DM.

There are insulin pumps that can automatically decrease the amount of insulin you get if your blood sugar numbers are too low or heading low. There are continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs, which sense your blood sugar levels every five minutes without requiring a finger-stick prick. And now, there are systems whereby the CGM can communicate with the insulin pump in a "hybrid closed-loop system.

We are so close, and yet so far. Even the most advanced systems on the market now still require human input. If the blood sugar is too low or too high, the sensors or pumps will beep, and ask for a confirmatory finger-stick test. Machines can experience technical errors or malfunction, however; tubing may kink or get clogged, the sensor or pump can fall off or the battery may run out. Sparling, the blogger, said she has "hope for a cure," but "I have to live today. There are many famous and successful athletes and professionals with T1DM who never let their disease define their careers.

Have empathy. Be positive, not critical and judgmental. There are some good, reliable online resources and meetings for people with T1DM and their family and friends. Here are some trusted organizations for whose living with Type 1 diabetes:.

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Every ml of cola has 4. Reduce your added sweetener intake to not more than 2 teaspoons per day, and opt for low-calorie natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup. Pure maple syrup is lower in calories than honey and contains manganese, which could also lower insulin resistance. Focus on complex high-fibre foods like oats, ragi, bajra, brown or black rice, and low-fat poultry preparations. Include seafood like Indian salmon rawas and mackerel twice a week. Have g of cooked leafy greens daily; snack on 2 tablespoons of almonds or pumpkin seeds.

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Have small amounts of herbs and spices like methi fenugreek seeds and cinnamon powder. Collectively, all these help in increasing insulin sensitivity how responsive your cells are to insulin , as long as you follow a healthy lifestyle. If you are vegetarian, you may need to increase the intake of foods that are fortified with vitamin D, iron and vitamin B12, like fortified juices and whole-grain cereals.

Exercise routines must include aerobic exercises, which help decrease insulin resistance, improve circulation and lower blood glucose levels, as well as strength or resistance training with weights, which lowers body fat and helps build muscle, in turn increasing insulin sensitivity.

Include pilates and tai chi once or twice a week for improved flexibility and mobility.