Diagnosed with Diabetes
When you were diagnosed with diabetes you would have been told, that through good management of your condition you will avoid developing diabetic complications later in life. But the reality is, that unfortunately no-one can say that you are guaranteed never to develop Diabetic Complications, no matter how good your control is. The key is to minimise your risk, and the sooner you start to do this the better your chances.
There are many factors that can influence your chances of developing Diabetic Complications, the first being where you are starting from.
How long did you have diabetes before diagnosis?
And the answer is usually – don’t know. For type 2 diabetics this could be many years. For type 1’s, this is usually a much shorter time but can still be more than 1 year. The longer you had the condition before diagnosis the more damage is already done.
Some people will develop complications much sooner than others and this is purely down to your genetic makeup.
So for diabetics who have had diabetes for the exact same length of time, and who have the exact same poor diabetes control, complications could be years away for some, while for others it could be just around the corner. So its important to understand not everyone is starting from the same point.
Regardless of where you started from (which you will most likely never know anyway), the important thing is to focus on stabilising your condition and not letting your health deteriorate any further. So unfortunately I am not saying too much different to what you were told by your doctors when you were diagnosed. Rather I am reinforcing that point. You must take the necessary steps to improve your diabetes and blood sugar control.
The road to success has no shortcuts
Doctors will prescribe you medication and monitor your progress and that’s the easy part. This alone will definitely not save you from Diabetic Complications. The rest is up to you. You need to change to a lifestyle that can co-exist with diabetes. No-one is going to do this for you. It requires work and effort and there are no easy answers. In my opinion this is your only true option. Sorry for being blunt, but this is the stark truth.
There are many ways to improve your diabetes management, but the first and often biggest stumbling block is our own perceptions. You have an idea of who you perceive yourself to be, and introducing any change quite often threatens this idea, so you tell yourself you cant do it for any list of reasons – its safer that way. If we tell ourselves we cant do something then we wont. Simply being brave enough to change this inner narrative can be the first step forward.
Making changes requires planning and commitment, but once you eventually get there you will never look back. Knowing you are doing the right thing, looking after yourself, giving your body the care it needs and deserves will all go to improving your health, mood and happiness.
The next step..?
Your HbA1c is a guide to how well you managed your blood sugars over the previous few months. So read the article “8 ways to lower your HbA1c“, as lowering your HbA1c will help lower your risk of Diabetic Complications. There are many great articles throughout the internet and books on improving your diabetes, so you will need to do some research and take action. Alternatively we also provide a step by step course to improving your diabetes management, covering diet, planning, healing, exercise and much more, so have a look at our Inspired Steps course.
What If I already have Complications..?
If you have not improved your diabetes management since complications developed then you need to take action urgently. The quicker you do the better chance you have of things not getting worse. With very good management some people even claim to have reversed some of their complications. So don’t let it get worse, take steps now.
Be kind to yourself
The last point I would make is don’t beat yourself up when things are going poorly. Lifestyle changes are tough to make and diabetes is a difficult condition to manage. The important thing is to keep trying, don’t give up and stick to your plan. Again everyone’s genetic makeup is different, and for some people diabetes is much easier to control than for others. So if your having a bad day or week, put it behind you and start afresh. Don’t give yourself a hard time about it.