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Living Well with Diabetes Gets Easier with One Key Step

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, it can feel like a whirlwind. New numbers to think about. Medical terms to become familiar with. Changes to make, tests to take—In time, you will find that staying on top of your blood sugar becomes part of your daily routine. You will learn how your body reacts to different kinds of food and even what kind of exercise you enjoy most to keep your muscles strong and ready to burn sugar. You may even find that diabetes can actually help you and your entire family get healthier than ever before.

Living well with diabetes is certainly possible, but it only gets easier once you take one key step: Accepting your diabetes diagnosis.

You have diabetes.

It is not fun to hear it, but it is something we have to get out of the way right now: You have diabetes. What emotions does that cause in you? Take a moment to allow all of your feelings to come to the surface—maybe you feel guilt, or fear, or even anger. Whatever it is you feel, acknowledge that emotion. There is nothing wrong with your natural response to your diagnosis.

Right now, your job is not to worry about everything that may come in the future. It is to feel those emotions and accept that diabetes is here, and it is real. As odd as it might sound, take this as an opportunity to embrace your emotions, to really let them in. Take a deep breath. Now tell yourself: It is going to be okay.

Diabetes is not a death sentence.

When we say it is going to be okay, we mean it. Not to diminish the responsibility of managing diabetes, it is going to be tough at times. But diabetes is not a death sentence. This is not the end of your life. Around the world, 8.5% of the population lives every day with diabetes.1 It is a lot of work. And diabetes might have some big demands, but you are still in control of your life, and you can take simple steps to ensure you can live a long and healthy life.

Diabetes is an opportunity.

Diabetes does not have to be all doom and gloom. In fact, you may find as you meet others with the disease that it is common to speak to people who live with diabetes and not see it as a burden, but rather as an opportunity. Living well with diabetes for the most part looks very similar to living well without diabetes. Anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life has to make good decisions every day to eat well, to exercise, and to listen to what their body is telling them.

Today, you have an opportunity to build that kind of routine into your daily life as a natural part of managing diabetes. Start taking small steps today to make healthier food choices and find opportunities to work short bursts of physical activity into your routine. No matter what your lifestyle looked like before your diagnosis, you now have a reason to live well and be healthier than you ever have before.

Have you read the Family Field Guide to Living with Diabetes yet?

Download today for more ideas about how your family can live healthier lives every day!

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1 “Diabetes.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 15 Nov. 2017, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes. Accessed October 23, 2018

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