MANILA, Philippines — Managing diabetes requires vigilant efforts, from monitoring blood sugar and taking medications to choosing healthy foods and exercising. It can be a daily challenge that often leaves people with diabetes feeling overwhelmed and stressed by the constant demands of managing their condition.
Although there are a number of factors that people with diabetes need to consider on a daily basis, nutrition is a key area that can help them take control of their health and have a positive impact on their lives.
Surf the emotional waves
People with diabetes can experience an emotional journey as they navigate their condition. This journey begins when they first hear their diagnosis. Learning that they have diabetes can generate a whirlwind of emotions of sadness or denial that they have the condition of guilt or shame that they may have done this to themselves to feel alone in the struggle.
Diabetes is a complex disease that requires daily self-management. People with diabetes need to continually reflect on their condition and plan ahead. They should regularly monitor their blood sugar levels and make sure their numbers are neither too high nor too low. They need to learn how to eat healthy, such as counting carbohydrates, developing meal plans and reading food nutrition labels.
They also need to find ways to be active, as exercise can help them manage their blood sugar levels and have a positive impact on their overall health. This constant management and daily decisions required can be overwhelming.
Along their journey, people with diabetes can also experience feelings of failure and frustration. For example, they may feel like they’ve failed if they ate foods that spiked their blood sugar or if they forgot to eat and their blood sugar dropped. . They may feel frustrated that they don’t have the freedom to eat the foods they want or that they constantly have to think about their diabetes multiple times a day.
Additionally, people with diabetes are learning that when their condition is not taken care of, it can lead to more serious health complications such as stroke, kidney disease, eye damage or blindness and complications in the eyes. feet, which can add additional pressure and stress.
For all of these reasons, quality of life may be diminished in people with diabetes. In fact, one study showed that 4 out of 5 adults with type 2 diabetes said their quality of life suffered because of their condition.1 This is why diabetes is linked to negative impacts on work life, health status, family life, sex life, eating habits and future prospects.2
While blood sugar management is important, maintaining or improving quality of life is essential to well-being. Research shows that following a nutritional food plan is associated with improved quality of life in people with diabetes, including self-confidence and freedom to eat and drink.3
By learning the role of diet and nutrition in diabetes management, individuals can empower themselves to improve their food freedom.
Talking to a healthcare professional, such as a dietitian nutritionist or taking a diabetes nutrition course at their hospital or healthcare provider can help people with diabetes understand that eating healthy does not necessarily mean sacrificing good health. food.
It can be as simple as making healthy food swaps or building healthy habits. For example, using brown rice instead of white rice, drinking water instead of soda, or simply reducing portion sizes.
Glucerna, as part of a lifestyle intervention, has been shown to help manage blood sugar and give people with diabetes the freedom to replace meals or snacks to satisfy hunger.4
People with diabetes can also learn and adopt healthy coping skills to manage the impact of their condition. For example, being active can be doubly beneficial in helping people manage their blood sugar and improve their mood.5
While people with diabetes experience a wide variety of emotions in their journey to manage their condition, making positive lifestyle choices such as healthy eating and exercise can help manage diabetes, improve mood and improve their quality of life.
1. Wang HF, Yeh MC. Qual Life Res. 2013;22(3):577-584.
2. Papazafiropoulou AK, et al. BMC Resolution Notes. 2015;8:786.
3. Alcubierre N, et al. Health quality of life outcomes. 2016;14:1-6.
4. Devit, et al. Clinical Nutrition Week. 2014.A68.
5. Chekroud SR, et al. Lancet Psychiatry. 2018;5:739-746.
ASC reference number A079P072722GS