Couple Beating Diabetes
A few years ago my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. I’ve often wondered if perhaps there was more we could have done to prevent its onset. Here is what I do know. To win the battle against diabetes you must first acknowledge it as a threat and make prevention, a team effort. This is not a solo fight and as my husband had to realize, you cannot do it alone. You need the knowledge of your medical providers and the support of your family. Don’t shut down; let the people who love you, help.
Control the self-indulging. There were times when my husband would go into denial, eating and drinking whatever he wanted disregarding the calories, sugar or fat content. He exercised seven days a week as a counter measure and this kept his weight down but exercise alone doesn’t prevent diabetes from developing.
You must consistently say no to bad eating habits and unhealthy foods that give diabetes the fuel it needs to evolve. Replace those counterproductive habits with ones that will help. Take note of a few tips:
- Drink more water and eat 5 or 6 small meals per day.
- Reduce your meal portions; divide large meals into two. Eat half now, half later.
- Limit or eliminate prepackaged and canned foods. They have too much sodium.
- Add fresh fruits, vegetables and more protein to your diet. Protein bars and shakes make great meal replacements.
- Cut back on the sweet stuff and the alcohol. Everything that tastes good isn’t good for you.
Manage the stress in your life. Everyday life can even be stressful, but unmanaged stress will cause mental distractions and undesirable changes in your body that can increase blood glucose levels. Excess levels of glucose for long periods of time will lead to more serious health problems that you don’t want. You must find ways to release the stress and relax. We exercise and get plenty of sleep!
Exercise is an essential part of our daily routine. When my husband exercises his glucose numbers are significantly lower because his muscles are using the glucose for energy. He has also gotten better about going to sleep earlier and getting enough rest. This keeps him from over exertion, feel fatigued. Exercise and sleep are helping him prevent further insulin deficiencies and diabetes related complications. Take Nike’s advice and “Just Do It!” As a wife who’s spouse is dealing with diabetes, I know from experience that the team approach is the best approach.
I believe you can prevent diabetes and avoid becoming a victim if you work at it. We are! For us, diabetes is the enemy and my husband and I are fighting it because his life is worth preserving; and we intend to grow old together. For additional information about diabetes prevention visit the Diabetes Public Health Resource website.
Wanda H. Wilks is Associate Editor for healthyblackmen.org. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Health Care Management. Ms. Wilks is the founder of a Project Management Consulting practice and experienced in information technology, healthcare insurance; training, writing and public speaking.