It is not unusual for someone who has been taught the basics of diabetes to forget or ignore healthy self-care. Senior moments or favorite desserts or traditional holiday treats can challenge the will of any well-intentioned person dealing with diabetes. This is normal.
With this disease, the body is not able to maintain a stabilized blood glucose level on its own. Unwanted and often horrible complications of diabetes occur with very high or very low blood sugars. By the way, blood sugar and blood glucose are different terms for the same thing.
It is vital to exercise almost daily; to control the amount and kinds of foods and beverages eaten, and to check blood sugar on a regular schedule. The idea of doing this 24/7 for the remaining of days can be stressful and overwhelming.
No one can be perfect all the time. Some folks operate on an “all or nothing” basis. If they can’t do everything right; nothing is done. This kind of thinking will eventually, spell trouble.
There are trillions of cells in a human body, even though they have many different functions, the cells all have one thing in common. They all need a source of energy to work properly. Blood glucose is the gasoline for the body. An imbalance of blood sugar levels and the use of insulin can cause the cells to malfunction.
When the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the insulin produced is not used properly by the trillions of body cells, glucose levels fluctuate to dangerous levels. Consistency is the key to preventing complications related to this condition.
Glasses and hearing aids are necessary for adequate eyesight and hearing. Many people cannot function without one or the other or both. A person’s diabetic pancreas is not 20-20. Yet, some people deny that there is even a problem. Without diabetes self-care the body cannot function appropriately. Diabetes requires a corrective lifestyle.
Managing diabetes often takes an adjustment of the daily routine when blood sugars become erratic. Following a meal plan of eating the same number of carbohydrates at the same time of day is vital. Long walks and challenging muscles with weights at least four times a week use blood sugars and insulin consistently.
Mental and emotional stress affects blood sugars too. This stress cannot only increase the risk of complications but also eat away at confidence. Fear of continuing with daily self-care along with other life changes increases stress. Blood glucose levels dictate the quality of life.
Just realizing the annual cost of diabetes and its complications can bring a person with diabetes back to self-care. Money spent on this diabetes can equal ten times more than an adult without this disease. The more consistent the blood glucose levels, the less expensive it will be.
Relapses and slip-ups are normal and expected. No one can be perfect every day. Compare diabetes self-care to wearing glasses or hearing aids; exercise, consistent food choices and reduced stress can make life easier.
Bobbie Randall is a registered, licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator in Wooster, Ohio. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.