Living Well With Diabetes

Diabetes can be an overwhelming experience both physically and mentally. It is common to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry when you are living with diabetes. You may know the steps you should take to stay healthy, but have trouble sticking with your plan over time.  That’s why it is so important to manage your diabetes every day.  Below are tips on how to cope with your diabetes, eat well, and be active:

  • Reduce your level of stress – Too much stress can cause a rise in your blood sugar. Try deep breathing, gardening, taking a walk, meditating, working on a hobby, or listening to your favorite music. Ask for help if you feel down. A mental health counselor, support group, member of the clergy, friend, or family member who will listen to your concerns may help you feel better.
  • Eat well – Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team that has food choices that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt and higher in fiber. 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.
  • Be active – Set a goal to be more active most days of the week. Start slow by taking 10-minute walks, three 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.
  • Find a diabetes education class – Take classes to learn more about living with diabetes. There may be a diabetes self-management education (DSME) class in your area that can introduce you to new tools and give you support with managing your diabetes. To find a class, check with your health care team, hospital, or the DHEC office in your area. You can also search online.

To learn more about your risk for diabetes, click here to take an online risk assessment.  For more information on how to prevent or manage diabetes in SC, please email ndpp@dhec.sc.gov or call 803-898-1934 to speak with someone in DHEC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division.

 Additional Resources to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes

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