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Work Your Body, Work Your Mind

It took me a long time to admit that I wasn’t successfully coping with my depression and anxiety on my own. It took even longer to come up with a plan to fight back against my own...

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Our Managing Diabetes Experts

Dr. Sheri Colberg-Ochs

Dr. Sheri Colberg-Ochs

Exercise physiologist, dLife.com contributor and author

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Dr. Alan L. Rubin

Dr. Alan L. Rubin

Endocrinologist and author of Diabetes for Dummies

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Dr. Nieca Goldberg

Dr. Nieca Goldberg

Physician and spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s...

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Top 5 Things to Do

If your mind is swirling with thoughts of daily blood tests and boring food, then you have a way outdated concept of what it takes to manage your diabetes. Here are the five most important things to remember as you learn to handle your condition. 

1. Go to a diabetes educator.

Your teachers had it right when they said knowledge is power. The more you know about your disease, the more likely you are to be successful at managing it. Seek out a diabetes educator who will be able to provide you with specialized knowledge about your disease. Find an educator in your area through the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

2. Assemble a healthcare team.

A general practitioner is not the only medical professional a diabetic should have on hand. Proper diabetes management requires a dentist, podiatrist, registered dietitian and eye doctor. All of these professionals are vital to making sure you lead a healthy life with diabetes, and will guide you as you learn to check your blood-glucose levels and administer insulin if necessary.

3. Live a healthy lifestyle.

Along with your medication and daily blood-glucose checks, your doctor should be writing you a prescription for regular exercise and a healthy, low-sugar diet. These lifestyle changes can go a long way toward managing your diabetes.

4. Keep your sex life spicy.

Diabetes can take a toll on a couple’s relationship and sex life as a result of stress and symptoms of the disease. Diabetes sex expert Janis Roszler, author of Sex and Diabetes: For Him and For Her, says aromatherapy couples massages and communication games can help keep a diabetic’s sex life on track.

5. Stay positive and laugh a little!

It’s tough, but a healthy mental attitude will help make some of the difficult aspects of diabetes, like administering insulin and checking your blood sugar, that much easier. Lean on your healthcare team, friends and family members for support. And why not laugh a little? Diabetes expert Theresa Garnero says laughing can actually help to lower glucose and change your views on the disease.  Go have a tickle fest or watch a funny movie! Diabetes isn't as bad as you thought it would be!

Posted: 8/18/08

Being diagnosed with diabetes has made me go through great changes that are not all happy and wonderful. Change is the hardest thing we humans do. The little bitty portions of food, the avoidance of items like sugar filled soda (I gave away a case of it, Dr. Brown's, the good stuff) and paying attention to doing exercise on a daily basis (and I hate it with every fiber of my being) and pricking my finger to test my blood sugar in the morning and after eating is positively nasty.