coping with diabetes
Coping with diabetes is an ongoing process. It can wear you down mentally, emotionally, and physically, so, it is normal to feel discouraged sometimes. Thatís why itís important to realize that you need to manage, and cope with, your diabetes one day at a time. Each small step is movement along the pathway to success, and those small steps DO add up. Here are some tips on coping with diabetes.

Coping With Diabetes

There is no way that a disease such as diabetes is going to be easy to cope with, but coping with diabetes typically involves an array of pretty specific physical treatments, and personal psychological adjustments. Not only are medicines commonly part of the coping process, but, lifestyle changes will almost certainly have to be a part of the coping process.

A potentially deadly condition, diabetes can affect the kidneys, eyes as well as other vital organs and systems. The kidneys may perform their filtering function less efficiently, and vision may become less sharp, just to mention a couple. The good news is that all those physical circumstances can be managed through careful diet, exercise, supplements, and (if needed) medicines.

Beyond the physical treatments, however, coping with the disease and its effects involves another dimension, one which is less easy to quantify and treat, and one which has its own physical and mental consequences.

Stress from being concerned about the dangers and effects of diabetes can become both cause and consequence.

Stress, categorized by one researcher as "the most dangerous risk factor", weakens the immune system, which in turn reduces the body's ability to ward off infections, colds, inflamations, and many major illnesses, including some cancers. Those are just some of the possible complications of the stress of coping with diabetes.

The bad news, if that was not enough bad news, is that those issues may, in turn, lead to even more stress as the ability of the body to function well is reduced. Thus, a vicious cycle is established.

Breaking into that cycle requires a broad approach using more than one diabetes management techniques. Keeping the body as healthy as possible in the first place will minimize the effects of stress. Keeping the right attitude will help reduce the odds of the effects occurring in the first place.

That's not easy, you can be sure.

Accepting, however, that management of diabetes, and its effects, is going to always be a long term proposition, often lasting a lifetime, is the first step to coping with diabetes.

Without a doubt, careful monitoring of blood glucose levels is a basic and essential factor in the process of coping with diabetes. Controlling that level...through diet, exercise, and (if necessary) medication...is vital. Taking charge of the situation helps reduce the physical strain on body systems which helps reduce the worry associated with diabetes. To take control and stay in control, blood sugar monitoring and management will need to become a daily routine, one as common as brushing your teeth.

As with so many things, knowledge can help motivate the patient to engage in what is probably going to be a lifetime practice. Being fully aware of the possible complications, and the near certainty of them occurring if nothing is done, can provide an incentive to take action. Again, knowing what your body can and will do can help you control both the potentially harmful physical effects and your attitude about them, i.e. stress.

But, as we all well know, knowledge alone doesn't necessarily lead to the right course of action. A personal commitment of the will is essential.

It obviously takes courage to control diabetes and lead a normal life with the disease. That kind of courage, sadly, is larger in some ways than the type which is required for emergencies. Long term personal commitments to meeting daily challenges requires a sort of patience and fortitude that is usually tougher to call up day-after-day than that needed for a one-time event.

It is an inescapable fact that that kind of commitment doesn't happen simply by wishing for it. Few, faced with such a situation, can simply will themselves onto the right path. Success in coping with diabetes, and many other difficult problems, starts by facing small challenges and overcoming them...building strength and a base of successes. A minor dietary change here, the adoption of a single brief exercise routine three times a week there... With time, the actions can become wider...more dietary changes...longer term, more exercise routines carried out every day can help reduce not only the stress associated with diabetes, but the threat of the condition itself.

By the way, at this point, I recommend reading One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer.

As you conquer those small problems a little bit at a time, you will gain the confidence that you can tackle larger ones and this confidence can last over a lifetime. In time, for most people, managing diabetes becomes a routine not much more difficult than doing an average school or work assignment. It adds a few more things to the list of daily challenges the diabetic needs to meet and solve in order to get the daily, and lifetime, rewards which come from coping with diabetes.

Coping with Diabetes
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Page Updated 7:06 AM Saturday 9/26/2015