Adjusting to Life With Diabetes

Learning you have diabetes can come as a shock. When you have this condition, you have too much sugar (glucose) in your blood. 

Your cells use glucose for energy, so it may not seem like a problem to have high levels in your body. However, having consistently high blood sugar can actually damage specific parts of your body, including your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. 

Dr. Rohit Dwivedi and our team at Sonoran Endocrinology help people with endocrine disorders lead rich and fulfilling lives while living with chronic conditions like diabetes. Here are just a few ways Dr. Dwivedi helps the people in our care adjust to life with a blood sugar disorder.

Understanding diabetes

When facing a diabetes diagnosis, it’s essential to understand that it’s a chronic condition without a cure. However, depending on the type you have, the disease can be well-managed so that it goes into remission, so to speak — meaning your blood sugar returns to normal levels. 

If blood sugar remains normal without use of medications for at least one year, it’s considered complete remission. But, even if you maintain healthy blood sugar levels for 20 years, doctors still consider your diabetes in prolonged remission, not cured.

Because of the chronic nature of diabetes, you should approach your diagnosis as a condition requiring lifelong attention. That includes seeing Dr. Dwivedi regularly to ensure your blood sugar levels stay as stable as possible. You should also modify your lifestyle with your glucose in mind.

Learning to live with diabetes

Dr. Dwivedi understands that diabetes can feel overwhelming. To help you make changes that will last a lifetime, he recommends taking these steps to help you adjust to your diagnosis. 

Learn about your condition

You know what they say — knowledge is power! And that goes for living with diabetes too. When you learn as much as you can about diabetes, you can dispel myths, empower yourself, save time and money, and avoid serious health complications in the long run.

As part of the learning process, Dr. Dwivedi also recommends keeping a food and glucose log to better understand your blood sugar levels and how they react to what you eat.

Make a plan

Dr. Dwivedi can help you outline the best course of treatment based on your condition, overall health, and blood sugar levels. Diabetes management plans vary from person to person. Still, they often include tips for weight loss, dietary modifications, medication or insulin to control your sugar levels, and how often to visit your health care provider.

Assess your diet

Glucose comes from food, so you have to pay careful attention to your diet when managing your blood sugar. This includes eating:

You should also avoid foods high in sugar and refined carbs, limit alcohol and caffeine, and stay hydrated with water or unsweetened decaf tea throughout the day.

Watch your weight

Being overweight puts you at risk of prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. And, if you carry those extra pounds around your middle, it increases your chances of heart disease and stroke, too.

Fortunately, losing as little as 5-10% of your body weight not only improves your health and well-being, but it also makes blood sugar levels easier to manage. In fact, changing your diet and losing weight can even put prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes in remission.

Move your body

Most of us know we should get more exercise, but if you have diabetes, it’s even more important.

Physical activity does more than help with weight management; it also changes how your body uses blood sugar. That means, with regular exercise, your body needs less insulin to use the glucose in your system.

Dr. Dwivedi makes personalized suggestions on a case-by-case basis, but he usually recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. On average, adults should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week — like brisk walking — or 75 minutes of a vigorous exercise, like running. It’s also important to include two or more days of strength training each week.

Most importantly, remember you’re not alone. If you have diabetes, Dr. Dwivedi can help you adjust to your condition and keep your blood sugar under control.

Find help for your blood sugar disorder by scheduling an appointment at one of our convenient Sonoran Endocrinology locations in Surprise, Gilbert, Lake Havasu City, or Prescott, Arizona.

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