A wise person once said, “I’ve never been healthier since I got sick with diabetes.” Diabetes forces you to examine your eating and exercise habits and tunes you into your body’s signal and response system. It requires a commitment to regular preventative care and for some is a great motivator for positive health changes like losing excess weight and quitting smoking.
Good diabetes management also becomes a lifestyle choice. Seemingly simple tasks like eating meals, going for a walk or bike ride, driving your car, and going away for the weekend will take extra preparation and planning. Daily routines like work and school start to pose new challenges, and special occasions may seem particularly hard to deal with. Even the change of seasons can mean changes in your diabetes control. And to complicate matters further, age and gender can make good control a moving target — kids, adults, and seniors all face unique treatment needs and obstacles.
It’s not surprising, then, that many people living with diabetes also face emotional and psychological issues such as depression and denial. Coping with the demands of a chronic disease is hard, and often discouraging, work. The good news is that it’s hard work that pays off — even minor lifestyle improvements, such as adding 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine, pay off big by lowering your blood glucose levels and significantly slashing your risk of diabetic complications.