It is estimated that around 350 million individuals worldwide have been diagnosed with diabetes. While millions of others may be walking around undiagnosed as one in every two diabetic adults are usually unaware of their diagnosis.
As diabetes is usually linked to those with excess weight, lack of exercise, and unhealthy eating habits; many who have been diagnosed worry that they would have to make drastic changes in order to lead a normal life. The word ‘diabetes’ to them may invoke the image of restrictions, lifestyle changes, excessive control, loss of freedom, deprivation, medication, sadness, and many more. However, that is not the case. Many individuals who have diabetes need only to start with some tiny changes in order to see vast differences in their blood sugar level.
Why should you change?
Although having diabetes may necessitate certain lifestyle adjustments to control blood sugar levels, it is more important for a person with diabetes to open up to changes before diving into changes. It would be a good preparatory act to ask yourself ‘Why’ should I change my habits and what would happen if I did change them?
1. Better organ health
Having a good blood sugar level can help to protect your organs and lower the risks of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.
2. Better physical health
Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) can cause more hunger or thirst than usual, excessive urination, tiredness and lethargy, frequent infections and blurred vision. While hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can cause sweating, hunger, shaking, dry mouth, dizziness, a feeling of weakness and headache. With good blood sugar control, these symptoms can be alleviated and prevented from occurring.
3. Better emotional health
Excessive low blood sugar reading can cause anxiety and confusion in some individuals while the excessively high level of blood sugar can sometimes worsen depressive symptoms. A healthy eating plan that helps to control your blood sugar levels will help in fostering positive emotions and thus, fostering a healthier and happier you.
How do I keep a positive outlook?
Diabetes has undoubtedly affected a person’s emotional well-being. It was found that persons with diabetes were susceptible to negative emotions due to the frustration of managing their condition. But the truth is nothing can take away your happiness unless you allow it to. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘None can make you feel inferior without your consent’. If you look at diabetes as something that is going to debilitate your life and steal your joy, your whole outlook on life will be of frustration.
However if instead, you chose to view your condition as a motivation for you to be healthier and reach an even better version of yourself, you will discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed. You will also start taking control of your emotions and learn to view this condition as a blessing rather than a curse.
It might help to ponder upon the following after being diagnosed:
- now you have a bigger reason to start taking control of your health
- now you are more careful of what you eat for which your waistline will also thank you
- now you can start taking exercising even more seriously and you will also reap the benefits everytime you look in the mirror and see a healthier you
- you are more mindful of your lifestyle habits which starts to not only improve your blood sugar levels but also helps your overall health
- you appreciate every moment and every person in your life even more as you start to value your health and life more
There are also various myths running in the minds of persons with diabetes that should be addressed:
It’s time to make the change
Now that you have explored some of the Whys, the Myths and the Facts involved in changing your habits, we have now arrived at the Magical question of, “Are you willing and ready to change?”- If you have answered ‘Yes’ to this, think about a few things in your lifestyle that you are willing to change and slowly change this thought into action.
Being diagnosed with diabetes may seem like a world of never-ending restrictions. However, the good news is making even a tiny step of change will cause a huge impact on your health. And remember the food you eat and the physical activity you choose to do is just as important as how you feel. If you’re not happy with a certain eating plan or fitness routine, seek help on getting new ideas to tailor them to your health status and most importantly, satisfied yourself physically and emotionally. Are you ready to turn your situation into a blessing and have the intention to take action?