Life with diabetes

by Mark Benson on September 15, 2012

Life with diabetes

There is no doubt that being diagnosed with diabetes can be a life changing event for many people but the fact is that the situation is controllable and there are millions of people around the world who continue to live a “normal” life. Diabetes does not have to change your life, it does not have to change your aspirations and it does not have to change your hopes for the future. Life with diabetes will be what you make it although there are a number of factors to take into consideration to ensure that you enjoy the best standard of living possible.

Coming to terms with diabetes

There is no doubt that the first challenge when confronted with diabetes, whether Type II or type I diabetes, is to “get your head around it”. There is advice out there, the doctors are readily available and there are many different forums and websites which will answer your specific concerns and questions. You are not alone, there is no need to suffer alone and whether indeed you join in the relevant diabetes forums is up to you, but there is advice from people who have been there, done it and continue to wear the T-shirt.

So, once you have come to terms with diabetes what other major factors do you need to take into consideration?

Regular exercise

Time and time again experts push for regular exercise for those suffering from diabetes because quite simply this will maintain your weight at an ideal level and does directly impact upon your blood sugar levels. This is perhaps the first “natural” port of call when diagnosed with diabetes because literally it is up to you how much exercise you do and how determined you are. It is also worth noting that regular exercise is good for your body as a whole and can be very beneficial for your physical as well as mental well-being. We often forget that fresh air, time away from the stresses and strains of everyday life and a change of environment can and do have a significant impact upon our overall well-being.

Smoking and alcohol

These are two issues which will likely be major considerations for many people who have been diagnosed with diabetes or themselves feel they are potentially at risk in the future of developing the condition. Unfortunately for those who like a cigarette or a cigar, smoking is not recommended for those suffering from diabetes because it can cause damage to your blood vessels. Aside from the fact that this is already a major concern for diabetics there seems to be no sense in increasing this danger?

Those who like a tipple may be pleased to know that drinking alcohol in moderation and under certain conditions does not necessarily have an impact upon your diabetic condition or your overall health. Experts believe that you should not drink on an empty stomach because of the risk of hypoglycaemia and you must also realise that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and other associated medical conditions.

Healthy diet

Many people automatically assume that there is a specific one size fits all diet for diabetics when in reality this is not the case. Aside from the need to cut down on sugar and other similar elements which will impact upon the condition the only real overriding requirement is to eat healthily, eat in moderation and eat regularly. Fruit, vegetables, low-fat and high-fibre foods are not only helpful for those with diabetes but they also assist with a general well-being and better health. Over the last few years there has also been a significant discussion regarding the amount of salt in our diets because this is known to contribute to high blood pressure which can bring on heart attacks and strokes.

Blood pressure

There is no doubt that over the last few years the pace of life has increased, stresses and strains of work do have an impact upon our health and blood sugar levels and blood pressure is obviously at the forefront of the thoughts of many diabetics. Expert advice suggests that those with diabetes should have a blood pressure level below 130/80 and they should obviously keep a very close eye on their blood sugar levels to ensure they are “safe”.

We all know that our blood pressure can impact upon many areas of our everyday life and indeed our overall health. We all know, on the whole, what types of food we should be eating and what volumes are safe for our overall well-being. However, seeing this information down in writing can bring it all home to us and prove very beneficial in the long run.

Risk of diabetes

As we have touched on time and time again, there are various elements of our everyday life which can increase or decrease the risk of developing diabetes. Some of these risks are hereditary, some of these risks are associated with our everyday life and the fact is that there is enough research out there for us all to be aware of those factors associated with our diet, our general health and our general well-being.

There is no doubt that over the years diabetes type II has become more commonplace and indeed the number of people developing the condition is set to mushroom in the years ahead. There is help out there, there is advice but above all there are a number of research notes which very clearly highlight what we ourselves can do about our chances of developing this potentially debilitating condition in the future.


While there is no doubt that many of the factors and the advice listed above are “commonsense”, how many of us actually adhere to these factors in our everyday life? We all know the risks of what we eat, we all know the risks of reduced exercise but how many of us actually change our lives to take these into account?

Diabetes is on the surface a potentially fatal condition, it can change your life but the reality is that it does not have to change your life and it does not have to be fatal. There are ways and means of reducing the impact of the condition, there are ways and means of enjoying a traditional lifestyle and we all need to appreciate these and put them into action.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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