Your Advice Concerning Diabetes (What do you have to give?)

By MAYS Latest Reply 2011-03-29 07:23:51 -0500
Started 2011-01-11 08:24:32 -0600

Based on what you have experienced, what you have seen, and what you know about diabetes, what advice would you give other diabetics, and care givers?

Always consult with your Diabetes Medical Team concerning your diabetes care!


71 replies

tabby9146 2011-03-29 07:23:51 -0500 Report

Try to eat as many non-processed foods as possible, everything it seems that comes in a box of package is -processed or nearly everything. Do not things with trans fats, (those partially hydrogenated oils) try not to eat much red meat, more of a plant based diet is really the best thing, after my two years of research, I keep seeing this over and over, and in some of the diabetes books. I have read that if possible, an hour of exercise a day, not all at once, broken up in segments (it all counts) is ideal. But at least 30 minutes of exercise a day does improve so much! It is very hard for me not to eat procsesed foods, I eat mostly veggies and trying to get more fruit, I've cut down on many things, I avoid rice, white potatoes, no white bread, and certain things. Where I live I can't eat a total organic diet. There just isn't all that much organic food available.
When diabetics are able to eat right most of the time, just think of all the benefits of that, and how most non-diabetics do not eat right, they are out there thnking they are just fine eating mostly what they want, they don't think about heart disease and things like that. I am sure that I am healthier than most that I am close to (they don't have this disease) and I even seem to have more energy than the average person my age. HAd it not been for this diagnosis, I would not be so meticulous about what I eat, and I may not have started exercising daily again. So in a way, there was a positive side of it to me.Try to focus on the good things in your life, the things you have. Try to think positive, that really does help.

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2011-01-17 16:00:36 -0600 Report

Diabetes is such a learning process. My advice…

1. Deal with it. It's easier to manage it than not. I've never had to go to the emergency room for my diabetes. I have a friend who works as a nurse and says that she sees what she calls "Frequent Fliers" because they are in so often with DKA. I don't want my diabetes to rule my life in that way! If I take care of it, I don't have to.

2. Keep learning. I met with a dietitian for the first time since I was diagnosed (more than 15 years ago) and learned that balancing my protein with my carbs made for better control. My A1c's are now down in the mid 6's with this small change.

3. Enjoy life to it's fullest. What else can you do?

jayabee52 2011-01-20 12:35:55 -0600 Report

what else can you do? Be miserable, but that's not much fun, and makes your life "nasty, brutish and short" ( a snippet from something I read somewhere and it just popped into my mind)

jayabee52 2011-01-17 09:13:10 -0600 Report

I have been pondering what advice I wold give concerning, but it is general advice about living life no matter what condition (or no condition) you might have :

You might think that it's all over for you. You might feel like your live is "circling the drain", that your life is done and you can "stick a fork in it". (yeah, I know, I am mixing metaphors).


I had been divorced out of a 25 year marriage. I was semi comatose for 6 days on my bedroom floor due to needing hemodialysis. I thought my life was over, and considered just giving up and stopping dialysis and letting the disease "take me". I chose not to follow that course of action (or would it be inaction) because it would be a bad example to my 3 sons if I gave up on life. But by continuing on dialysis, I gained so many more blessings. It doesn't happen often, but after 10 months of dialysis my kidneys started working well enough that I no longer needed it to live. (To be sure my renal function is impaired and I have to watch what I eat and drink to maintain what little renal function I have) I felt that after being divorced out of a 25 yr marriage, and having no work and being so sick that NO ONE would love me again. And all the evidence in my social life told me that. But incredibly someone DID begin to love me and I loved her. She also thought her life would end alone, that she couldn't trust men (2 engagements, and one fella who couldn't commit to her). She contacted me online (she was more than 500 mi away when we met online) and despite many speedbumps along the way we began to love one another. I moved there and we married. That was a profoundly satisfying relationship and I have learned much and hve been blessed much from it. We met online in early Nov 2007. She passed away suddenly in mid July 2010. I know my life was blessed beyond my ability to express it in human words from knowing her. She told me much the same about me coming into her life.

Now she is gone, I continue to grieve her loss from my life, but I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON LIFE. Perhaps God will allow me another blessing like "Jem"to me personally, and perhaps not. But I have been and continue to be blessed beyond measure because I didn't give up on life.

So even if you feel your life is "circling the drain", don't give up on life. As caliko remarked on another discussion, "Eternity can wait" (Thanks for that insight, caliko, I don't think I would have come up with that on my own - at least not in my own words)


Roy531 2011-01-14 10:23:29 -0600 Report

Educate yourself on diabetes, when I was dianosed I went to every web site I could find to get information about diabetes, carb counting, what to eat not to eat. There is a wealth of information out there all you have to do is look for it.
Nobody else is going to take care of it for you, so it is up to you.

MAYS 2011-01-17 11:34:25 -0600 Report

I agree 100%.
You must look at the most important reason to do this, YOU!

tabby9146 2011-03-29 07:15:56 -0500 Report

If there is anyone out here who isn't really trying hard, and you just can't gt yourserlf to do what you need to do, do it for your kids (if you have them) if not for yourself, every change you make, will help.

PetiePal 2011-01-13 10:38:14 -0600 Report

"Strike early, strike often." The sooner you make a change the better off you'll be. You need to OWN your Diabetes so it doesn't even have a chance to own you!

"Being Diagnosed Is The Best Thing That Could Happen. No…Really!" Chances are you were likely prediabetic for some time. Or perhaps you had no idea at all! Either way the fact that you know means you can take active steps and become educated to battling the disease. Again the sooner you strike the better your life will be.

"Diabetes Really Isn't Your 'Fault." I went through a LARGE period of blaming myself in the beginning. I should have seen these signs, I should have known. I should have I should have I should have. I should have just shut up and stop beating myself and gotten down to the real meat and potatoes and start learning and dealing with it. I may have done some things to tax my system and become a diabetic EARLIER, but it was likely an inevitability with my genetics etc. Once I kind of accepted this it got easier to begin to deal with it all.

"Absorb As Much Information As Possible" Don't go insane but for me I figured KNOWLEDGE IS POWER (thanks 80s School House Rock!) so I set out immediately buying 3-4 books, reading up on websites, getting enrolled in a local Diabetic class my hospital teaches.

"Find Support. Even If You Think You Don't Need It" It's amazing how tough some of us try to act and that we think support means we're weakling sissies. I found a local support group that meets monthly, Diabetic Class enrollment at my local hospitals Diabetes Center, an IRC chat group to support me AND Diabetic Connect! I spoke with my father about it, confided in my gf and friends. I didn't think I needed it but bearing the weight all by myself made me more stressed out that I realized. I didn't actively feel it physically but it was taking a mental toll.

"You Can Get Meters For Free :D" My father gave me my first OneTouch UltraMini tester that he had as a spare before I was officially diagnosed. My Diabetic Doctor gave me an Ultra2 and a Ultra Mini. They then gave me 2 more minis, another Smart AND OneTouch themselves sent me another Mini. I have one anywhere I'd need to test, office, 2 at home, one for travel one for the car etc. Always ask your doctor or the company themselves, you'd be surprised how much money you can save and that they're usually more than accommodating in helping YOU out.

Vanilla Jean
Vanilla Jean 2011-01-13 09:28:01 -0600 Report

I have been a diabetic for over twenty years, and found out: Make sure you take care of your feet, skin, hair and nails. Drink plenty of water, get at least 8 hrs of sleep. Do not obsess about your problem make life what you want it to be. Eat healthy, walk 30 mins. a day, and just love life. God gave us this one body, and faith to go with it.( Prayer helps too! )Take your doctor's advice, relax, take your medication, test your blood sugar three to four times a day and Pray.

ivonalvarez 2011-01-13 10:42:36 -0600 Report

What do you mean by take care of your hair? I wash it and brush it. Is there anything else I need to do to my hair? My feet have been dry I always put lotion on my feet more than once a day especially at night time I put lotion on them then I put socks on and I keep them on till morning but lately they keep getting dry. As for prayers yes you are right it does help.

Vanilla Jean
Vanilla Jean 2011-01-14 23:22:17 -0600 Report

What I mean is to wash , condition, and brush it often. The healthier it is the less you have to worry about it coming out. one of the Insulins I took caused me to loose some hair. Good for you about your feet. I do the same thing at night: but you also have to check for sores. That is dangerous for us. If they become too dry warm up some Vaseline and put that on with your socks at night. I Pray often, and it keeps me going. There are more important things to think about like family, friends, and LIFE.

jayabee52 2011-01-15 01:21:40 -0600 Report

My podiatrist told me I had some fungus on my tonails. He didn't prescribe a antifungal, but suggested that I grease my toenails & toes with Vicks Vaporub. haven't tried it yet but plan to.

MAYS 2011-01-17 15:17:38 -0600 Report

That's interesting (Vicks Vaporub).
I have to do some research into this one, did the doctor say how long you should do this, or what you should expect as a result of doing this?
Photographic documentation of this would be invaluable, and interesting.

jayabee52 2011-01-18 10:01:48 -0600 Report

Until it goes away. I think he intenended for it to go away. I haven't actually ried this, but perhaps I should. I think I will start it once I get into my new apartment next weekend. I hadn't done it because I was concerned with the mess.

MAYS 2011-01-17 15:20:03 -0600 Report

Did this work?
It's interesting to know of this, how long did, or does it take to see results?

GabbyPA 2011-01-18 14:11:18 -0600 Report

I did my soak after a surgery removed an ingrown nail that was also infected with fungus. So this was a preventative.

My toe nails are fungus free and I had the nail removed about 3 years ago. So yep, I would say it works. I go to the big warehouse stores where you can get two big bottles of the nasty tasting kind....I use that only for my feet.

MAYS 2011-01-17 11:47:03 -0600 Report

Most anti fungal medications can be bad for your liver, due to it's filtering capabilities.
Research this very carefully, and be safe!

Elrond 2011-01-14 04:14:59 -0600 Report

What hair? My bald spot was getting so large, I decided to beat it at it's own game and extended it all the way to my neckline.

MewElla 2011-01-12 08:15:33 -0600 Report

Diabetes never takes a day off from its relentless journey and neither do I in my diet and excercise. I want to be strong and healthy and I know this is up to me, the Dr's can't do it for me.

re1ndeer 2011-01-12 06:31:37 -0600 Report

Listen to your doctor. See a CDE learn all you can. Don't give up someone will always come along to give advice. Take your time learning everything new. It will be an adjustment, you can always come to this site for help.

ivonalvarez 2011-01-13 10:48:55 -0600 Report

Sorry for the stupid question but what is a CDE? Ive had diabetes for about 3 yrs but I dont know much about it.

CaliKo 2011-01-13 11:10:00 -0600 Report

Certified Diabetes Educator. They are often dieticians or other health care professionals first and teach classes for the newly diagnosed to learn how to manage diabetics or refresher courses for those that want to learn the latest news. Sometimes you can make appointments for one-on-one sessions, too.

Vanilla Jean
Vanilla Jean 2011-01-17 14:38:03 -0600 Report

Thank you so much, it is great to have others that know what I am going through: because sometimes well meaning people say things that make you feel dumb.

Vanilla Jean
Vanilla Jean 2011-01-19 12:57:29 -0600 Report

I like that reply, I think I'll use that sometimes. I am glad to finally find people that can find humor instead of gloom. Life is too short, and God needs positive people. Whatever storm comes our way, we need to thank God and leave the work to him. This way we can dream, have hope, and enjoy life. We may have diabetes: but it doesn't have us.

Brenda_B 2011-01-12 01:08:43 -0600 Report

Test, test, test! It doesn't matter if someone, doctor, nutritionist, someone who wrote a book, tells you can this much of that, or can't eat this, etc. It is only what YOUR body tells you that counts. Test before eating one serving of something test in 1 hr, then in 2 hrs. It takes a bit of work but figure out how YOUR body reacts to different foods. Then you what you can eat and what you should avoid or … lol… if is something you HAVE to have… only have very little portions of things that raise you BS.

Kirla 2011-01-11 19:36:23 -0600 Report

I always recommend drinking lots of water. Eat lots of low carb vegetables. Test before and after you eat and cut back or eliminate high carb starchy foods to help control blood sugar spikes.

2011-01-11 18:07:41 -0600 Report

As a type 1 for over 38 years, you have to wrap your brain around it and come to grips with it. You can live a normal life with diabetes if you don't let it get you down. PLAN PLAN PLAN… fail to plan, plan to fail. Always be prepared with your meds and snacks. Communicate with your doctor(s) and nutritionist.

jeffrey9127 2011-01-11 12:42:37 -0600 Report

Hello Mays. I would tell someone with Diabetes to do the best that they can do everyday with eating right, exercising, and watching their BS levels. And when you don't do your best, don't beat yourself up, decide that tomorrow you will try your best again. Keep a positive attitude and laugh!

Argarcia9206 2011-01-11 11:40:49 -0600 Report

In my opinion, you need to have a sense of humor concerning your situation. It helps in so many ways and on so many levels. Those that do not have a sense of humor, at least in my experience, do not seem to live very long or if they do live; they do not enjoy life as they should. God has given you a challenge, and that is the word for it. "Challenge" not any negative connotation that people (notice who I said there) give it.

For a good site to see diabetes humor, especially videos, go to

Argarcia9206 2011-01-11 13:02:53 -0600 Report

Heres a good diabetes joke: My 9-year old diabetic daughter and her 6-year old non-d sister were having a discussion about flies. They were arguing whether or not flies had meat. If they did not have meat, they did not have protein; therefore, they were a free food.

CaliKo 2011-01-11 11:52:52 -0600 Report

Hah. I've bookmarked this to go back to when I have more time. Thanks!

CaliKo 2011-01-11 10:58:03 -0600 Report

There's so many good answers to this question. I would suggest to add exercise to one's daily routine, and also to take up cooking as a hobby. So much easier to control carbs when you craft the meals yourself.

GabbyPA 2011-01-11 10:22:18 -0600 Report

Never forget to have FUN! Diabetes is a chronic illness that can lead to depression if we let it. Turn it around and look at the positive things diabetes offers us such as better eating and exercise habits. It is hard, but we still have to have fun in our life. Diabetes doesn't stop that unless we let it.

MAYS 2011-01-11 08:28:48 -0600 Report

My advice is this, learn as much as you can about diabetes.
Give your decided upon treatment a reasonable chance to work, don't give up!
You can do it, but you must put forth the effort honestly, and continuosly!