Stress can cause some people to become ill. And when you have diabetes, stress can significantly affect your ability to control the disease. If you are under stress, you may skip meals or forget to take your medication, which will affect your blood sugar level.
Although you can't completely remove stress from your life, there are several ways you can reduce it. And by learning to better cope with stress, you can help keep your diabetes under control. Here are some tips:
Two years ago, when Jennifer Auyer's father died at age 64 from complications related to type 2 diabetes, she faced a turning point in her own struggle with the disease.
Her father's diabetes had led to heart disease, a quadruple bypass, a foot amputation, and vision problems, among other serious health troubles. "It was a really painful experience, for him and for all of us," says Auyer, 40, of Nashua, N.H.
Four years ago, she, too, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, shortly after giving birth...
When things seem to be going wrong, it's always easier to see the bad instead of the good. Find something good in each important area of your life: work, family, friends, and health. Thinking about the good can help you get through the bad times.
Be Nice to Yourself
What are your talents, abilities, and goals? Are you expecting too much from yourself? Don't expect more of yourself than you have or are able to give.
Accept What You Cannot Change
For those stressful situations or problems that cannot be changed, develop a simple plan of action. Ask yourself the following questions:
"Will this be important two years from now?"
"Do I have control over this situation?"
"Can I change my situation?"
Talk to Someone About Your Stressors
Don't keep everything bottled up inside. If you don't want to talk with a family member or close friend, there are counselors and clergy trained to provide support and insight. Ask your doctor for recommendations if you would like to see a psychologist or counselor.
Exercise to Lower Stress
The benefits of exercise in reducing stress are well known. Exercise gives you a feeling of well-being and may relieve symptoms of stress.
Practice Relaxation Skills
Practice muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, or visualization. Ask your health care provider for information and available programs.
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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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