It is estimated that around 350 million individuals worldwide have diabetes. However, millions of others may be undiagnosed as one in every two diabetic adults is usually unaware of their condition.
As diabetes is usually linked to those who are overweight, lack exercise and have unhealthy eating habits; many who have been diagnosed worry that they will have to make drastic changes in order to lead a normal life.
To them, the word “diabetes” may invoke the idea of restrictions, lifestyle changes, excessive control, loss of freedom, deprivation, medication, sadness and more.
However, this is not the case. Many individuals with diabetes need only make small changes in order to see vast improvements in their blood sugar level.
Why should you change?
Although having diabetes may necessitate certain lifestyle changes to control blood sugar levels, it is more important for a person with diabetes open up to the idea of change before diving into it.
It may be best to ask yourself “Why” you should change your habits and “What” would happen if you did.
1. Better organ health
Having a good blood sugar level can help protect your organs and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems and nerve problems.
2. Better physical health
Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) can cause more hunger or thirst than usual, excessive urination, tiredness and lethargy, frequent infections and blurred vision.
Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) meanwhile, can cause sweating, hunger, shaking, dry mouth, dizziness, weakness and headaches.
With good blood sugar control, these symptoms can be alleviated or prevented from occurring altogether.
3. Better emotional health
Excessively low blood sugar readings can cause anxiety and confusion in some individuals while excessively high levels of blood sugar can sometimes worsen depressive symptoms.
A healthy eating plan that helps control your blood sugar levels will help in fostering positive emotions and thus, a healthier and happier you.
How to keep a positive outlook
Diabetes can affect a person’s emotional well-being. Studies have shown those with diabetes are susceptible to negative emotions due to the frustration of managing their condition.
Truth is, nothing can strip away your happiness unless you allow it to. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “None can make you feel inferior without your consent”.
If you look at diabetes as something that is life-debilitating and will steal your joy, your whole outlook on life will be that of frustration.
If instead you choose to view your condition as a motivation to be healthier and reach an even better version of yourself, you will discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed.
You will also start taking control of your emotions and learn to view diabetes as a blessing rather than a curse.
It might help you ponder upon the following:
• Now you have a better reason to start taking control of your health.
• Now you can be more careful of what you eat for which your waistline will also thank you.
• Now you can take exercising more seriously. You will also reap the benefits every time you look in the mirror and see a healthier you.
• You will be more mindful of lifestyle habits that not only improve your blood sugar levels but also your overall health.
• You will appreciate every moment and every person in your life even more as you start to value your health and life more.
Are you willing and ready to change?
If you answer “Yes”, figure out what about your lifestyle you are willing to change and slowly change this thought into action.
Being diagnosed with diabetes may seem like a world of never-ending restrictions.
However, the good news is that even a tiny change makes a huge impact on your health.
And remember the food you eat and the physical activity you choose is just as important as how you feel.
If you’re not happy with a certain eating plan or fitness routine, seek help on getting new ideas to tailor these to your health status and most importantly, satisfy yourself physically and emotionally.
This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com and was written in collaboration with Naluri. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.