Diabetes management: restoring quality of life

Manila, Philippines – Managing diabetes requires vigilant efforts from monitoring blood sugar and taking medications to making healthy food choices and being active. It can be a daily challenge that often causes people with diabetes to feel exhausted and stressed due to the constant demands of managing their condition.

While there are a number of factors that diabetics must take into account on a daily basis, nutrition is a key area that can help them take control of their health and make a positive impact on their lives.

Emotional surfing

People with diabetes can experience an emotional journey as they navigate their condition. That journey begins when they first hear their diagnosis. Knowing they have diabetes can generate a vortex of feelings of sadness or denial that they have a state of guilt or shame because they may have done it themselves to feel that they are alone in the struggle.

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Diabetes is a complex condition that requires daily self-management. People with diabetes should constantly think about their condition and plan for the future. They should monitor their blood sugar regularly and make sure their numbers are not too high or too low. They have to learn about healthy eating such as how to count carbohydrates, make meal plans, and how to read food nutrition labels.

They should also find ways to get active, as exercise can help them manage their blood sugar and positively affect overall health. This constant management and the day-to-day decisions required can be overwhelming.

Throughout their journey, diabetics may also experience feelings of failure and frustration. For example, they may feel like they are failing if they eat a food that causes the blood sugar level to rise or if they forget to eat and the blood sugar level drops. They may feel frustrated about not having the freedom to eat the foods they want or having to constantly think about their diabetes several times a day.

Furthermore, people with diabetes learn that when their condition is not managed, it can lead to more serious health complications such as stroke, kidney disease, eye damage or blindness, and foot complications, which can add stress and pressure.

For all these reasons, the quality of life in people with diabetes can deteriorate. In fact, a study showed that 4 out of 5 adults with type 2 diabetes said their quality of life is affected by their condition.1 This is why diabetes is associated with negative effects on work life, health status, family life, sexual life, eating habits, and future prospects.2

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Diabetes management: restoring quality of life

Glucerna, as part of a lifestyle intervention, has been shown to help control blood glucose and give diabetic patients the freedom to substitute meals or snacks to satisfy their hunger.
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While controlling blood sugar is important, maintaining or improving quality of life is essential to health. Research shows that following a nutritional nutritional plan is associated with improved quality of life in people with diabetes, including self-confidence and the freedom to eat and drink.3

By learning about the role of food and nutrition in managing diabetes, individuals can help empower themselves to improve their food freedom.

Talking with a health care professional, such as a registered dietitian or taking diabetes nutrition classes through a hospital or health care provider, can help people with diabetes learn that eating healthy does not necessarily mean sacrificing good food.

It can be as simple as making healthy food swaps or building healthy habits. For example, use brown rice instead of white rice, drink water instead of soda, or reduce portion sizes.

Glucerna, as part of a lifestyle intervention, has been shown to help control blood glucose and give diabetic patients the freedom to substitute meals or snacks to satisfy their hunger.4

People with diabetes can also learn and adopt healthy coping skills to manage the impact of their condition. For example, being active can be doubly beneficial in helping people manage their blood sugar levels and help improve people’s moods.5

While people with diabetes experience a variety of emotions in their journey to manage their condition, making positive lifestyle choices such as eating healthy and exercising can help manage diabetes, boost mood, and improve their quality of life.

Notes:

1. Wang HF, Yeh MC. Quality of life precision. 2013; 22 (3): 577-584.
2. Papazafiropoulou AK, et al. BMC Res notes. 2015; 8: 786.
3. Alcubierre N, et al. Healthy Living Outcomes. 2016; 14: 1-6.
4. Devitt et al. Therapeutic Nutrition Week. 2014a 68.
5. Chekroud SR et al. Lancet Psychiatry. 2018; 5: 739-746.

ASC Reference No. A079P072722GS