Getting a diagnosis of diabetes can be scary. I remember when my doctor told me that I was “pre-diabetic” – my blood sugar hadn’t hit the diabetes threshold, but it was getting there – and I faced the prospect of disability and early death if I didn’t cut back on sugar, booze, and lounging-around time. As Terry Sheridan said to Lara Croft, “Talk about taking the fun out of life!” It’s not surprising that if you talk to doctors and nurses who care for diabetics, their biggest complaint is how many patients don’t comply with the treatment program.
But don’t let that be you! Here are some tips for getting through what the Centers for Disease Control call “diabetes distress.”
Know You’re Not Alone
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in America, and it’s growing. According to the CDC, more than 30 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes; that’s three times as many as 20 years ago, and another 84 million have pre-diabetes. But unless you happen to catch someone shooting up insulin, you can’t tell just by looking at them. And a lot of diabetics don’t want to talk about it, because they’re afraid of being judged. After all, Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes – which accounts for about 90 percent of the cases – is something we basically brought on ourselves. But if you’re willing to break the silence, you’ll discover you have companions on your journey and can support each other.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Lack of sleep messes with your insulin levels and can make your diabetes worse; plus it can aggravate related problems like obesity and heart disease. Getting plenty of rest can also lift your mood and make you feel more able to tackle the challenges of managing diabetes. So while there is a persistent attitude that sleep is something you can sacrifice for things that seem more important, like work, family commitments, or the next episode, the current consensus in the medical world is that sleep is necessary for good health.
Sometimes, though, even if you have enough time to sleep, you can find it difficult to go under. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might try a natural supplement to help you relax. There are alternative sleep aids that combine natural ingredients to promote a better night’s sleep.
Give Yourself Time to Get Used to Exercising
We’ve all heard the sermons about how we should exercise, and those of us with diabetes or prediabetes have probably heard them more than most. And it’s true that exercise is good for diabetes, and for practically everything else as well. But we also tend to be middle-aged and overweight, leading to problems like joint pain and heart arrhythmias that make exercise more difficult than it is for the spring chickens.
The good news is, every bit of activity helps – walking, housework, gardening, you name it. If you’ve been totally sedentary, start with a 10-minute walk around the block. Or if going outside isn’t feasible, find something indoors to do, like that repair project you’ve been putting off. And whatever you do, don’t push yourself through real pain. You could just end up injuring yourself and thus forced to be even more sedentary than you started (as I can tell you from experience).
Consider Vaping, If You Smoke
Your doctor probably told you to quit, but easier said than done, right? But some people have found that switching to a vape helps them ease off of cigarettes. It preserves the physical ritual of smoking, which many smokers find calming all by itself. If you like the sensation of vaping, you can ease off the nicotine and replace it with something else.
If you got here because you were looking for information about CBD and diabetes, you may be wondering: does CBD have any direct effect? While some promising studies are indicating that CBD might tackle diabetes directly, so far they’ve only used rodents, and rodents are not people. Still, the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which CBD acts upon, is connected with so many bodily functions, such as the immune system, the digestive system, hormones and so on, that it’s clearly vital to your overall health and well-being to keep it in balance.
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