How to live a happy life with diabetes

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Diabetes affects the lives of 1 in 10 American people. Among them, 90 to 95 percent of all people with diabetes are living with the type 2 form of the illness. Type 2 diabetes impacts people who are not able to make enough insulin, or they cannot effectively use what they do make. In people with type 1 diabetes, they do not produce any insulin at all. Both forms of diabetes can predispose the affected person to a multitude of risks. These side effects are often what makes living with diabetes so difficult. As a result, sometimes people with diabetes find it hard to be happy and live a fulfilling life. They often feel they are being held back by their illness, but there are ways around this.

Get Moving

For the large percent of the diabetic population that is living with type 2 diabetes, their weight contributes significantly to the cause. Shedding pounds isn’t just a matter of good health or boosting self-esteem to these people. It can actually turn their diagnosis around. Yes indeed, type 2 diabetes can be reversed through weight loss. Making sure to incorporate regular spurts of cardio activity into each day can significantly impact both the illness and the individual. Aside from attempts to rid oneself of type 2 diabetes, individuals with either type will benefit from exercise. Increases in movement boost serotonin levels while also releasing endorphins that make us happy. Regular exercise is part of the battle toward losing weight and keeping it off, but it’s not the only issue.

Eat Right

While switching up our diet is almost always guaranteed to help us lose weight, it can be beneficial in other ways, too. For instance, what we feed our bodies is reflected not only in the size of pants we put on but the way we feel. Processed food and simple carbohydrates will often leave us feeling depleted and lacking energy. Along with those feelings come depression and a general feeling of lethargy. Synthetic ingredients like food dyes can contribute to anxiety and racing thoughts. When we feed our bodies quality nutrition, they pay it forward. Whole foods, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits, and vegetables will satisfy cravings. They will keep blood sugar more stable so that diabetes doesn’t kick into high gear and wear us out with side effects. They will nourish the body and make it easier to lose weight. They will provide the energy needed to get up and work out every day. A quality diet is crucial to improving the outcome and diabetes while also improving our mood.

Going Deeper

Of course, the secret to finding happiness while living with diabetes goes above and beyond just diet and exercise. Obviously, the disease isn’t reversible for everyone. Sometimes, being a support person for others with diabetes can make us feel like we are giving back. Feeling like we have a purpose makes it easier to live with this disease. For others, it might be helpful to seek out a support person of their own to lean on, such as a therapist or pastor. Regardless of the channel by which help travels, asking for it is sometimes necessary. Exploring different avenues for therapy, such as dialectical behavioral therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, may help individuals to change their eating patterns and get more motivated to work out. Connecting with spiritual advisors and church clergy might fulfill deeper needs and provide answers about their illness that many people with diabetes long for.

Cite this page: Danielle Bosley, "How to live a happy life with diabetes," in, January 30, 2017, (accessed August 11, 2022).