Receiving a major medical diagnosis is life-changing, and it means you need to make certain adjustments to your overall lifestyle. Once your physician has confirmed that you are diabetic, take these steps to improve your quality of life.
1. Review your health insurance plan
Diabetes may involve expensive treatments or medications. Diabetic Living suggests taking a close look at your policy to see if it is appropriate for your health situation. Investigate to see if your insurance covers diabetes self-management education and support, or if it will pay for you to see a registered dietitian for medical nutrition therapy. Be sure to find out if you are responsible for meeting a deductible for any of these services. Diabetic Living notes that Medicare Part B, in addition to many private plans, covers diabetes education classes accredited by The American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association.
Check to see how many of your diabetes tools and medications will be paid for, as well as what your co-payment will be for various appointments. Since diabetes affects every facet of your health, make sure to find out if your plan includes specialists like podiatrists, dentists and eye doctors.
2. Get moving
If you have led a mostly sedentary lifestyle until now, it is very important that you start becoming more physically active. Getting moving can help you to lose weight, which will benefit all aspects of your health. For example, when you are exercising, your body begins to use insulin more efficiently. Joining a gym and routinely working out is a great idea, but there are plenty of smaller ways to bring movement into your daily routine.
Prevention magazine suggests taking the stairs as often as possible. If you work or live on the 20th floor of a building, catch the lift on the 5th floor instead of in the lobby. Get off the bus a couple of stops early to get some more walking into your day, or park your car in the lot farthest away from where you need to be. Ideally, you should aim for 30 minutes of exercise five days per week. Prevention notes that increased physical activity may be able to reduce medication dependency in people with Type 2 diabetes.
3. Develop a meal plan
The dietary restrictions involved with diabetes care can seem overwhelming, especially if you are not used to limiting your intake of certain foods. To start on the path to a diabetes-friendly diet, Diabetic Living suggests writing down everything you eat in a journal. This will get you to think about what you are putting in your mouth, instead of just eating anything to satisfy your hunger. Test your blood sugar after your meals and document how different foods affect your body.
Diabetic Living recommends that you should identify your favorite foods and try to find healthy alternatives, so that you do not feel limited in your selection. Figure out what portion sizes are appropriate for you, as well as how many carbohydrates and how much sodium you can include in your plan without sacrificing your wellbeing.