7 Little Ways to Care for Your Diabetes

Whether you are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with it for years, you can make small changes to your life that could potentially turn your life around. You could come off the insulin injections, you could stop taking tons of medications, you could potentially reverse your diabetes.

Be warned, it will not happen right away. You will need to have patience and persevere. You need to set your goals, keep them in your heart the entire time. It will be hard. You will feel devastated and tired and frustrated, but you can do this. My favorite quote from wherever I had heard it, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

1. Lose (Just A Little) Weight

As your body gains weight, it can have more difficulty regulating blood sugar levels with the insulin your body naturally produces. This leads to insulin resistance, your pancreas will produce more and more insulin to move the sugar from your blood into your cells. But it will become less effective and can cause damage to your pancreas.

Insulin promotes fat storage and weight gain. It causes an infinite cycle of weight gain, insulin resistance, more insulin production, more weight gain. But modest weight loss, 5 to 10% of your body weight, can lead to huge improvements. Just a 7% loss can improve insulin sensitivity by 57%!

2. Water Down Blood Sugar

The more dehydrated you are, the more concentrated the sugars in your blood become. Those who drink less than 16 ounces of water per day have a higher risk of developing elevated blood sugar levels compared with those who drank more. You can drink water, herbal tea, and milk. Coffee should be limited to three cups a day, caffeine can dehydrate you.

3. Try Exercise Snacking

Instead of doing 30 consecutive minutes of exercising, try to spread the physical activity throughout the day. Maybe three 10-minute walks throughout the day. Research suggests that these bite-size bits of activity can help control blood sugar better than one longer workout.

Don’t forget to do various types of exercise, like aerobics and strength training. Adults naturally lose 8% of their muscle mass every 10 years between ages 40 and 70, diabetes can double that. Try spending 10 minutes a day building strength by using weights, resistance bands, or body weight moves.Another 10 minutes doing aerobic activity such as fast walking, swimming, jogging, etc. Then another 10 minutes of stretching, which will improve joint movement and reduce chances of injury.

Walking as much as possible throughout the day matters!

4. Muscle Up With Protein

Protein is important for maintaining muscle and stimulating several hormones that contribute to blood sugar regulation. Focus on fish, white-meat chicken, plant-based sources, and lean cuts of beef. Make sure you’re eating protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

5. Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

People with diabetes, obesity or both are at increased risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19. Research suggests that COVID can worsen diabetes by causing damage to the pancreas and system-wide inflammation that increases insulin resistance.

Even if you get COVID after having been vaccinated, it should indirectly result in less COVID impact for preexisting diabetes. You can get a milder case of COVID with the vaccine. Also don’t forget to stay up to date with your other vaccines as well.

6. Don’t Focus On Sugar

After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for the first time, people often go to extremes, like drastically limiting carbs. But too few carbs can lead to fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and dangerously low blood sugar. Women should aim for 30-45 grams per meal and men should get 60-75 grams.

Proper nutrition is so important after a diabetes diagnosis, meaning consulting with a registered dietician or certified diabetes care and education specialist is very important.

7. Let The Meds Come As Needed

It’s common for people who are trying to their diabetes to feel like failures if they can’t get off their medications. Even if you do manage to come off your medications, medications could still play an important role in your life, like insulin. Don’t feel defeated by the amount of medications you have, hopefully one day, you’ll knock them out. You can do this!


References

AARP Magazine, Dec 2021/Jan 2022

Season Three: Episode Seven

FEBRUARY 27, 2022

So far this nothing to report. I have a PCP appointment next week to refill my prescriptions and then an eye appointment later in March to check my visual field.

I have noticed my left eye’s periphery is starting to decrease but I’m still able to see okay. My left eye is definitely my concern as I notice my eyesight getting blurrier as time goes on. I’ve had to depend on my glasses more and more now when they used to be when I drive at night, now I need them during the day too.

My eye pressure has been elevated for the last couple of years and I’m sure that has to do with my diabetes. I have to get my diabetes under better control so the pressure in my eye hopefully can go down without the need of prescription eye drops.

Let’s see what else is there? I have a WordPress blog goal! I want to reach 300 followers with WordPress or email. Hopefully if I reach that goal, I’ll be able to set up a Patreon that way I have the ability to create even more content and reach even more people. I’d love to offer exclusive things to my patrons, including the freedom to choose what you want to read about as well as vote what sticker designs come next and I would love to send you folks stickers every month. Something to think about.

I have a 2022 reading goal of 50 books. Not going to lie, I think I’m going to reach that goal way before the end of the year. I read ten books in January and almost ten in February. I forgot how much I love sitting on my bed and reading a really awesome book. Of course, I also forgot about how it feels to come across BAD books. Like this one I just finished. I’m not even going to bother doing a review on the blog for it, it’s so bad.

My weight loss goal is to make it to 150 pounds by the end of the year. So far the first two months haven’t gone the way I want. I gained some weight, but this week I was able to get down to what I started at at the beginning of the year. So hopefully it keeps going down.

I’m on my last pen of Ozempic from my old insurance. I don’t think my new one covers Ozempic as far as I know. I still hate needles. Not looking forward to insulin that’s for sure.

I’m thinking I want to add something else to my physical activity besides just walking. I’m thinking about skateboarding. I like the idea of cruising down the road. My sisters used to have skateboards in school and they hardly used it so I’d go out and try them out. I didn’t know much and stayed on flat roads for safety reasons especially since I didn’t have a helmet or anything because I didn’t like their heads. But it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do since then.

The days are getting hotter in Hawaii and the nights are also getting warmer. I’m going to have to put away the thick blankets and sweatpants pajamas now. It’s going to be a hot summer.

Otherwise that’s pretty much it. I don’t think there will be much to report next week. Tuesday is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or in Hawaii, Malasada Day! My husband and I will be in Kona on Tuesday so I’m looking forward to getting malasadas from somewhere. Thursday is World Book Day and I will celebrate by reading. Check out my Twitter to see what I’m currently reading.

Hope you all had a great February and I hope you all have a BETTER March. Mahalo! 🌺

Season Two: Episode Two

JANUARY 10, 2021

I had my eye doctor appointment this past week. Turns out my eyes are okay. Thank goodness. I was a little worried when I took an eye test that gauged my peripheral vision. I could hardly see most of the lines with my left eye, but my doctor said I was nearly perfect which was good considering it was my first time doing that test. Though I do remember when I was a kid, I did something like it at my pediatrician’s doctor office. Gosh that was a memory from a million years ago, I still remember how the doctor office looked it never changed, and it actually still hasn’t changed to this day. The same doctor is there still practicing.

My gynecologist is the same doctor that delivered my sisters and I. It’s pretty crazy living in a small town. Hardly anything changes here, but when you really look, everything has changed.

I am currently making changes to my life. I think it’s been pretty positive so far. I have consciously made the decision to eat less rice. Before I would eat rice every meal of the day, but now it’s only once or twice a day, mostly once though. As I write this on Sunday night, I had a fruit salad for dinner because I had a pretty heavy breakfast, medium lunch, and I just didn’t feel like eating a lot for dinner so we went and got fruits. I wanted apples, but I ended up eating the fruit salad instead tonight.

This morning, I was the lightest I’ve been since May 2020. I weighed in at 207.9lbs. I’ve been plateaued at 212 for a long time and I’m really glad that cutting out rice has really made me feel lighter and less bloated. Sometimes I’m weak and eat a bunch of rice, but now I feel awful afterwards and completely regret it, so I’m learning a little at a time. I’m getting there.

I still haven’t contacted my endocrinologist. I’m going to get a raise at my job, so maybe that’ll be able to help pay for the second insulin, but really, I don’t think I can afford it. Oh and my pharmacist gave me a different needle from the one I’ve had and I HATE IT. It says it’s the same length as my other needle but that is a bull lie, it looks so much longer! When I inserted the needle in my thigh, I felt the whole thing and it kind of felt like it popped something when the whole needle went in, I don’t know how else to describe it. When I was injecting the insulin, I could feel every single click of the plunger as each unit went in and I HATED THAT MOST. It’s not been a good experience.

I’m working and studying to get my securities license. I’m trying to really work on my business and it’s going to be a long road, but I have to keep reminding myself why I’m doing it. The studying is like learning a whole new language but I’m excited about it.

My blood sugar still hasn’t been in range all that much lately, but I’m getting there. I wish I wasn’t diabetic. I wish I could have a child and a house of our own. I wish I wasn’t fat and I had an actual butt. Wishing can only get you so far. You have to put in the work and make your wishes come true. You can shout your wishes to the Universe, but YOU have to meet the Universe halfway. I’m trying to meet the Universe halfway and it’s a lot of work, but I have so much to fight for. I have to fight for it, no matter what.

Lifestyle Change vs. Diet

I’m sure you’ve heard both terms being thrown around a lot, but do you know the difference?

Diet has two definitions:
1. the kinds of food that a person habitually eats.
2. a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.

Which one do you hear more of? I’m forever hearing on the tv about commercials of miracle diets for weight loss. Diets don’t work. Why? Because diets are meant to be temporary. A diet consists of temporarily changing your eating habits to promote a certain outcome, like weight loss, before returning to your previous eating habits.

Now lifestyle changes are where it’s at. A lifestyle change consists of adopting healthy overall habits that promote long-term weight control and health. A diet focuses on food intake whereas lifestyle changes your diet with other factors that affect your weight and health, like exercise. In other words, a diet is a temporary solution and lifestyle changes are healthy habits for life.

What kind of lifestyle changes can diabetics make?

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, like brisk walking, water aerobics, hiking, or using a manual lawn mower.
  • Cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Eat more fruits and veggies.
  • Get rid of junk food and snack on more nutritious foods.
  • Replace refined carbohydrates with wholegrain foods.
  • Reduce amount of saturated fats.
  • Choose lean meats over processed meats.
  • Apply stress management techniques in your life.

Did you know that stress can really mess your body up? Stress hormones can increase blood pressure, slow down your digestion, and can make blood glucose control difficult. Reducing stress can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, and anxiety.

In my opinion, I never use the word “diet” unless describing something like diabetes diet, even then I don’t mention it often. Why? Because “diet” is a dirty word. I’m not looking for a temporary change, I’m looking to change my life. Your intentions are everything. If you only intend to diet, you are only looking for temporary. Speak it into existence and tell the Universe you are changing your life for the better.

Do you want to know more about a diabetes diet though? Here’s what I have found for you and for myself.

Healthy Carbohydrates:
– fruits
– veggies
– whole grains
– legumes
– low-fat dairy products
Fiber-rich Foods:
– veggies
– fruits
– nuts
– legumes
– whole grains
Heart Healthy Fish:
– salmon
– tuna
– mackerel
– sardines
Good Fats:
– avocados
– nuts
– canola, olive, and peanut oils

When you’re looking for things to eat, remember to avoid these foods:

  • fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury
  • high-fat dairy products
  • coconut oil
  • processed foods high in trans fats
  • high-fat animal proteins

You should aim for no more than 200mg of Cholesterol and less than 2300mg of sodium per day.

Diabetes management is a lifestyle change. We have to create new, healthier habits for our lives to better manage our diabetes. We can do this! Change your life for the better and not for the temporary.


References

Healthy Eating
Diabetes UK
Mayo Clinic


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The Journey: Episode Fourteen

JUNE 14, 2020

I’ve been getting pretty frustrated lately with my blood sugar. No matter how high I go with the insulin injection my blood sugar doesn’t seem to change. It doesn’t go up and it doesn’t go down. I’m not sure what’s wrong. Maybe it’s my diet, maybe I’m not doing enough with diet. Maybe I need to go on a low carb diet. Or maybe it’s because I need to exercise more. Maybe I need to do more cardio or more strength training. Maybe I need to do more.

I’m seriously considering upping my insulin from 75 units to 80 units. The only thing is my insulin pens hold about 300 units each which means at 75 units I can get four injections from each pen. If I go up to 80 units I won’t be able to make four injections per pen and that means spending more money for insulin. That’s so frustrating.

The Facebook group I joined shares a lot of low carb recipes and I think I should try some of them as well as change my diet and lifestyle to be more low carb, high healthy fat and protein. That means carb counting and dissecting food labels at the grocery stores now and being mindful of high carb snacks and food. Which means learning about the glycemic index and which foods are okay and not.

I plan to take on a 30-day challenge which will involve going low carb. Here are the rules:

  • No food high in refined sugars – candy, ice cream, soda, energy drinks, etc.
  • No fast food
  • No white bread or pasta – only whole grains
  • No alcohol (that’s not a problem for me)
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Drink more water – about 130 ounces
  • Add more fruits and veggies

I was thinking of doing the 30-day challenge in July but I think I might have to do it sooner than that, which is fine, because it’s just 30 days no matter when they are. I’m not sure if I’m going to do a single post detailing everything or if I’m going to post every day or maybe just once a week with a daily log. Maybe I’ll do that one. One post per week on a specified day with each of that week’s days on it. I think that would be a good way to document my challenge.

I think I’ll start next week Sunday and post on Saturday until the last two days. Well I guess I’m going to go on this journey and share it with you folks to help you on your own journey. If you want to go on this challenge with me feel free to join me!