There are over 9 million people worldwide that have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, many living normal lifestyles, proving that diabetes doesn’t have to change the course of a person’s life. Knowing that you are not alone and there are support groups and help in Newcastle when times get challenging can be a support and benefit to individuals who are living with diabetes. So, the question is, how does diabetes effect your life? Well, let’s look at what the quality of life looks like for an individual living with diabetes.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes
According to Diabetes Australia, the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known. It can be genetic, there is no cure, and it is an immune response.
Type 2 diabetes
Individuals living with type 2 diabetes have an insulin resistance. Their bodies still produce inulin however it is not used effectively in their systems.
You may experience some or all the symptoms listed below, and they may develop quickly, and on the flip side you might not have any symptoms and only become aware due to further complications.
Common symptoms for type diabetes are:
- Being excessively thirsty
- Passing more urine
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Always feeling hungry
- Having cuts that heal slowly
- Itching, skin infections
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Mood swings
- Feeling dizzy
- Leg cramps
Left untreated or managed ineffectively, the symptoms can lead to potential and life threatening complications. If you are experiencing in any of these symptoms talk to a medical professional. Type 1 diabetes can is not preventable; however lifestyle choices have been proven to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How does diabetes affect my body, mood, and happiness?
Looking at your lifestyle, from what you eat to how your exercise, stay healthy and fit is important in your overall wellbeing, especially for those with diabetes. When diabetes is not correctly controlled, an increase in the level of blood sugar can cause damage to your eyes, heart, nervous system, and kidneys. Regular screening and on-going education is important to decrease future complications and health problems.
Management and Care
Type 1 diabetes is managed with insulin, either through a pump or injections. Because this is a life-threatening condition daily management is required.
Type 2 diabetes is controlled through healthy eating, exercise, weight loss, and possible medications such as insulin.
Exercise and fitness
We all know that exercise is good for our bodies and mental health, this is even more true for a person with diabetes. Introducing exercise to your life can help you maintain a healthy body weight, lower your blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety. More importantly, it will allow the insulin to work better, and improve the management of your diabetes.
Book your self into some local classes, meeting new people and get your body moving. You should aim for around 30 minutes of moderate daily activities.
Keeping your bodies glucose levels is a balancing act between the food you have eaten, daily activities and medication. Keeping your blood sugars within target range 24 hours a day will prevent future complications. There is no set menu for non-diabetics and diabetics – everyone can enjoy the same well balanced diet. Educating yourself on foods that may affect your glucose levels will allow you to react and adjust insulin when required.
Foods you should avoid or monitoring amount you eat could include breads, pastas other refined flour foods, flavoured yogurt, or processed goods such as sweetened cereals. Avoiding food that spike your blood sugar levels and increase the insulin resistance can keep you healthy.
A common sexual health issue raised by individuals with type 2 diabetes is a decrease in their sex drive. It can cause frustrations when this is something you have not previously suffered with prior to developing diabetes. There can be side effects from certain medications causing issues with testosterone levels in men and hormonal changes in women. Seek with your GP regarding hormonal replacement therapies for both men and women if you are experiencing any issues.
Moods and Stress levels
When your blood sugar starts to fall you may find yourself feeling unwell, and poor management of your glucose levels can provide negative effects on your moods. Regular testing of your sugars levels allows you to control and adjust your levels to find a safe and balanced base for you. Low and high blood sugar levels can make you feel, tired, shaky, nervous angry and confused. If you are struggling with large fluctuations daily, seek advice from your health practitioner. At times living with diabetes can be challenging but speaking with a health care professional can allow you to live your best life.
The future with diabetes
If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be feeling an overwhelming feeling of stress, it is important to know that you are not alone. There is additional support out there for you when you need it, speak with your GP about support and management plans. Here at ConnectAbility Australia, we provide family counselling to help children deal with distress and provide coping solutions to improve their daily life.
If you would like to arrange a meeting on how we can best support you, contact us on 02 49621000. We provide a safe space to talk about anything you like, from mental health issues to problems at school, our team is here to help. Diabetes knows no bounds, and you can really achieve anything with a support community behind you.