Don’t Let Diabetes Get You Down A common misconception about diabetes is that being diagnosed with the disease means your life will be turned upside down. While diabetes does necessitate some lifestyle adjustments, you can live an enjoyable and fulfilling life simply by adhering to a healthy lifestyle.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly use or produce insulin, a hormone that turns sugar and starches into energy. Type 2 diabetes — characterized by insulin deficiency and resistance — is the most common form of the disease diagnosed in Americans.
“I tell individuals with diabetes that managing the disease means following some of the good health lessons they learned while young, such as eating well-balanced meals and exercising,” says Anita Hurtado, R.N., C.D.E., diabetes self-management education coordinator and cardiac rehabilitation therapy coordinator for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman. “People usually feel better when they hear simple things can improve their lives.”
Consider the following tips from Hurtado to help yourself or a loved one face diabetes with confidence:
• Limit the amount of starches consumed each day.
• Exercise at least 20 minutes per day, five days a week, but be sure to get a physician’s
approval prior to beginning a workout regimen.
• Get plenty of rest each day, as stress can affect the body’s response to insulin.
Texas Health Kaufman offers a free diabetes support group on the third Saturday of every month that allows individuals with diabetes to share their stories and draw encouragement from others. The hospital also offers a four-month, ADA-recognized program that covers different topics relating to management of the disease.
For more information about diabetes programs at Texas Health Kaufman, call 972-932-5252.