Living With Diabetes

How to live life with Diabetes?

  • Eat well-
    • Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team.
    • Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
    • Eat foods with more fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.
    • Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, bread and cereals, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
    • Drink water instead of juice and regular soda
    • When eating a meal, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a lean protein, such as beans, or chicken or turkey without the skin, and one quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
  • Get active and maintain a healthy weight –
    • Set a goal to be more active most days of the week. Start slow by taking 10 minute walks, 3 times a day.
    • Twice a week, work to increase your muscle strength. Use stretch bands, do yoga, heavy gardening (digging and planting with tools), or try push-ups.
    • Stay at or get to a healthy weight by using your meal plan and moving more.
    • Manage your ABCs (A1C, Blood pressure, Cholesterol) (Mentioned in Treatment section)

How do I manage my sick days with Diabetes?

Illness can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate rapidly and can lead to extreme high or low blood sugars.

In order to prevent this from happening, there are important steps you can take:

  • Monitor your blood sugar frequently, as often as every hour
  • Continue your diabetes medication as usual; if you are unable to eat, contact doctor for instructions on the dose to take
  • Drink at least one glass of fluid every hour; if your sugar levels are high drink water; if the blood sugars are low, you may need to drink sugar-based liquids.
  • If you are repeatedly vomiting, speak to your doctor immediately, or go to the nearest Emergency Care Center
  • If you have Type 1 diabetes, check the urine for ketones every time you void; if ketones are “medium or large” call your doctor or go to the nearest Emergency Care Center.

Things to follow while on the job

Many people can manage their diabetes without it affecting their work. However, it is important for employers to be aware of the risks for employees with diabetes. Some employees (especially those with type 2 diabetes) may struggle with undertaking shift work as changes to the timing of medication and diet can affect their sugar levels.

People with diabetes should carry “I am Diabetic Card” or medical ID all the time to tackle in case of any emergency

Things to remember while driving

  • First, if you take insulin or medications called sulfonylureas or meglitinides to manage your diabetes, your blood sugar might go to low, called hypoglycemia. That can make it hard for you to concentrate on the road and react to what’s going on around you. You might not be able to see clearly, and you could pass out behind the wheel.
  • Second, over time diabetes can cause other health problems that can affect your driving. Nerve damage in your legs and feet can make it hard for you to feel the pedals. Diabetes can also hurt your vision by damaging blood vessels in your eyes or making you more likely to get cataracts.

Before you drive, check the following:

Carry some snacks like glucose tablets or gel, regular soda (not diet), and juice boxes or snack bars that won’t go bad if you leave them in the car. Carry your blood glucose meter. You might have to check your blood sugar along the way specially if you are taking a long drive. Keep your medical ID or “I am Diabetic Card” handy. If there’s an emergency, police and helpers need to know that you have diabetes.

You must check your eyes regularly if you or your job involves continuous and more frequent driving

On the Road :

The important thing about being on the road is not to have your blood sugar dip too low. Pull over and check your levels if you start feeling the following symptoms:

  • A headache
  • Feeling Shaky or jumpy
  • Sweaty
  • Hungry
  • Like you can’t see straight
  • Sleepy
  • Dizzy, lightheaded, or confused
  • Irritable or cranky
  • Weak

If your blood sugar is low, have a snack with fast-acting carbohydrates. Wait 15 minutes and check again. If it’s still not high enough, repeat the process again Don’t drive again until your blood sugar is in a normal range.

Being a diabetic, can I travel?

Traveling with diabetes can be comfortable and safe as long as you plan carefully. Good planning includes talking to your doctor and doing a little research before leaving, careful packing, and knowing about airport security.

Before leaving on your trip:

  • Talk to your doctor about your travel plans.
  • If you're on insulin, ask about getting a prescription for a glucagon kit.
  • Make sure your vaccinations, your immunization record and your written health record are up to date, especially if traveling abroad.
  • Plan to wear a medical ID bracelet that states you have diabetes.
  • Take a copy of your immunization record and health record if needed.
  • Make sure that all medications and diabetes supplies you carry have their prescription labels on them. If you use a daily or weekly medication reminder pack, take the original prescription labels with you.
  • Refill any prescriptions that may expire during your travel.

If you're traveling by plane:

  • Bring enough supplies and medications to last longer than the length of your trip. You'll need extras if you have travel delays or lose some supplies.
  • Keep supplies, including insulin, in a carry-on bag.
  • Bring healthy food, such as fruit and nuts, to help prevent low blood sugar in case you miss a meal. Bring treatment for low blood sugar.
  • Get up and move every hour or so during the flight to prevent blood clots.

During the trip:

  • Monitor your blood glucose more often than you usually do.
  • Stay as close to your usual schedule as much as possible. Change the time settings on your pump if needed.
  • Look for healthy meal options when possible, such as salads with chicken, fruit, yogurt and sandwiches.

If I am going to need a dialysis then why should I care about my blood sugar?

If you are under dialysis you have a greater chance of becoming hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar). This reason makes it further more important to check your current blood sugar levels.

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