Staying healthy can be a challenge, especially for those living with diabetes. Everyone can encounter conflicts trying to find the right balance of healthy habits, such as exercise, eating well, and even keeping your teeth and gums clean. From stress to self-care, life can be up and down when you’re living with diabetes.
These seven tips from Dr. Natalie Strand, Season 17 winner of The Amazing Race who lives with diabetes herself, can help you stay healthy and lead a balanced life while managing your diabetes.
Communicate with your care team. Make sure you connect with your nurse educator, endocrinologist, and dietician. Reach out to them with your questions as they can often help you implement subtle changes to avoid completely overhauling your lifestyle and routine because of diabetes.
Get involved. Gather a local group together to fundraise, vent, or just network with each other. Groups such as Diabetes Sisters, JDRF, TuDiabetes and BeyondType1 offer ways to connect with others living with diabetes either in person or on social media. Connecting with the diabetes community can be a powerful way to help ease the burden of living with the disease.
Keep doing what you love. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up doing what you love. Make efforts to continue participating in sports, travel, and other hobbies, even if there’s a learning curve to adapting with diabetes at first.
Maintain good oral health. People living with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Colgate Total toothpaste is FDA-approved to help reverse and prevent gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.
Get into a routine. Find a routine that works and stick with it so you don’t have to make new decisions each day. Anything that can ease the mental burden of diabetes can help. For example, set a consistent time each year for your annual visits: eye doctor, endocrinologist, renewing prescriptions, etc. Picking the same time every year can help ensure you don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Make self-care a priority. It can be difficult to keep diabetes care at the forefront, as it can be boring and exhausting and can fade into the background. Remind yourself that one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to stay healthy. Use your family as motivation to exercise daily, eat better-for-you foods, and maintain a healthy weight.
Manage stress. Diabetes can be a big stressor. Add jobs, kids, and relationships, and it can become overwhelming. Find an easy and effective tool for stress relief and practice it often. Even 5-10 minutes of daily guided meditation can have a big impact on stress management. FF
For more information on how to lead a balanced life while living with diabetes, visit www.OralHealthandDiabetes.com.