Self-care for People With Type 2 Diabetes
Last updated: January 2022
Kindness toward ourselves is a modern phenomenon that has come about as we increasingly value self-care and introspection. We can thank our culture for this newfound respect for the individual. This trend offers us to lead our lives with more consideration when it comes time to look after ourselves.
Self-care tips from a personal perspective
As for me, I am a type 2 diabetic, so keeping myself on a management routine is self-care. From what I eat to how much sugar I consume and when I exercise, I share some self-care tips that I've learned to manage my diabetes.
Determine how to manage your blood sugar levels
For those with type 2 diabetes, checking blood sugar levels is necessary for self-care. I check my blood sugar levels multiple times a day: once in the morning, before and after eating, and then once at night. This helps me to manage my diabetes better and keep myself on track.
A few months ago, I started using a continuous glucose monitor that helps me keep track of and monitor my blood sugar levels and diet. The best part is that this monitor comes with a downloadable app that offers a summarized layout of my target ranges, glucose patterns, and goals.
Learn which foods help or hurt you
Do you eat foods high in protein? Are your favorite snacks full of sugars? When learning self-care as a person with diabetes, it's essential to understand your body's limits when it comes to what you're eating. Like many people with diabetes, you may think that all the foods containing sugar are bad for your health. But did you know there's a difference between natural and added sugars?
When diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, the first thing I learned is how much easier it will be to manage my blood glucose levels if I avoid high-sugar snacks like soda or cake. Instead, I consume healthy proteins, vegetables (especially leafy greens), or fruit juice without pulp.
Exercise: great for the body and for controlling diabetes
When you engage in moderate to high-intensity exercise, your muscles take glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream and turn it into energy. So suffice to say, one of my favorite hobbies is working out! Whether it's football season and I'm using the treadmill at home to prepare for this weekend's games (because my snacking through commercial breaks is a real situation), working out helps me keep my blood sugar levels under control.
Now, if you're someone who doesn't like going to the gym or exercising, there are plenty of other ways to stay active. For example, a few times a week, a brisk 15-30 minute walk or yoga practice can be beneficial in regulating glucose levels.
Keep a food journal
Another way to help manage your diabetes is to keep a food journal. Keeping a food journal can be instrumental in your diabetes management. When I first started taking care of myself, it seemed overwhelming and hard to keep up with all the different diet plans—keeping track on paper (and sometimes through an app) of what I ate made life so much easier.
Using this tracking system also helped me stay accountable! There's nothing more satisfying than checking things off my food tracker list or seeing those green bars pop onto my screen each day after a healthy meal. It really makes being kinder towards yourself just that much more rewarding!
Self care is for everyone
Self-care is important for everyone, not just those living with diabetes. By taking some time for yourself each day and implementing some of these self-care tips, you can help make managing your diabetes a little bit easier. And remember, it's okay to ask for help–whether it's from friends, family, or a healthcare professional. We're all in this together!
How often do you find yourself craving sweet snacks?