Life with Diabetes and the challenges it presents to us 

Favio Forte

Multivitamins for glucose control for diabetics

12.90

Favio Forte

Multivitamins for glucose control for diabetics
Covers the increased daily needs of vitamins and minerals for overall care for people with diabetes and supports the regulation of the blood sugar levels.

12.90

For the author: I am Ivana Lazarova, 27 years old. I consider myself a positive person who pursues her dreams while enjoying every step along the way. I have been diabetic since the age of 9, but that has never stopped me from relentlessly pursuing my dreams and fully embracing life. I graduated in “History and Philosophy” from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski,” won an Erasmus program, worked on a brigade in America, solo hiked the entire Camino with insulin in my backpack, and completed the Vitosha 100 marathon. Now, I am graduating as a master’s in psychology. 

Diabetes is a challenge! It is not a frightening, life-stopping diagnosis! I love to speak openly about it and the emotions I experience, partly because of it. It’s not easy, but I strongly believe that trials are given to people who can overcome them! 

The journey of life itself is much like to running an obstacle course. Some obstacles can be easy to overcome, while others are more complex and diverse. When you are diagnosed with “diabetes,” you are challenged to be resilient in the face of many obstacles! You become different, but different in terms of discipline, willpower, and courage! You learn to live with diabetes and to manage it. 

What is diabetes and what is it like?  

Diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the pancreas does not produce the necessary amount of insulin to convert the food you eat into energy. This requires the use of insulin through injections (insulin pen/insulin pump or other forms of diabetes medication).  

There are two types of diabetes – type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, since it is often diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, and type 2 diabetes, which can develop later in life and is directly related to lifestyle factors (exercise, diet, weight, etc.). 

In today’s article, we will explore the challenges that diabetics face every day. I will be sharing from my personal experience as I have been living with diabetes for 18 years.  

I was diagnosed in 2005 when I was nine years old. After the initial stress for the entire family, there isn’t much time for wandering. No matter how difficult it is, you have to find the strength to cope. Daily life requires you to be responsible for yourself! Over the years, diabetes has challenged me, taught me to be responsible for my health, to be physically active, and to eat healthily. With the help of my main doctor, family, and friends, I have become better and better at coping. The more stressful moments I encounter in my daily life are those in which, despite all the effort to exercise, eat correctly, and fine-tune my insulin dose, my blood sugar seems to remain high. 

We must not forget the significant impact of stress, negative emotions, and everyday tension on blood sugar control. Knowing that everything is under your control is as reassuring as it is stressful. Stressful because sometimes, with high blood sugar, there is a strong likelihood that a vicious circle of dark moods and negative thoughts may spin like a centrifuge. In my childhood, I felt extremely guilty for having poor control of my glycosylated hemoglobin (an examination that reflects blood sugar control). Guilt often accompanies the diabetes diagnosis, but ultimately, to make a change for the better, we must focus on the present moment, accept reality as it is, and act “here and now.” Things are what they are, and it is in our hands to improve our current condition. Diabetes cannot in any way stop us from being active, enjoying life, and being full-fledged individuals. 

Diabetes and Sports  

Physical activity is an extremely important element in achieving good blood sugar control. Daily walks, visits to the gym, or other types of exercise, such as dancing, are all ways to maintain blood sugar, overall health, vitality, and well-being. It’s important to consider insulin levels and food intake before engaging in active sports to avoid high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). It’s a good idea for every diabetic to always carry something sweet (dried fruits, a sugar packet, or another sweet treat) to counteract low blood sugar levels in a timely manner, which can be extremely dangerous.  

On the other hand, in the long run, high blood sugar or poor diabetes control can lead to various complications. Regular physical activity balances blood sugar levels and improves not only physical but also emotional well-being. I dare say that regular physical activity is diabetes’ best friend, and I state this as someone who has walked the long Camino de Santiago and completed a hundred-kilometer race on Vitosha Mountain, during which my blood sugar did not exceed 5.0 mmol/l. The “Camino” challenge is possible even with insulin when you summon the willpower not to give up, despite the fatigue that undoubtedly accompanies you. 

Diabetes and Nutrition  

Balanced, healthy eating, including moderate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, is the foundation on which we regulate blood sugar levels. Consuming leafy green vegetables, rich in fiber, helps balance blood sugar levels. It is advisable to use olive oil in preparing salads and dishes, avoid high glycemic index foods, and emphasize foods with a low glycemic index, which do not lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. It is also advisable to limit alcohol consumption and drink about 1.5-2 liters of water per day. Smoking is a risk factor for diabetes, as it also raises blood sugar levels and can lead to unwanted complications in the future. Diabetics must monitor their health with regular blood tests and medical check-ups. Nowadays, there are many advancements in diabetes control, such as continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps that accurately deliver the necessary insulin. 

Diabetes and Daily Challenges  

We must not forget that, in addition to being diabetics, we are human beings with our emotions, experiences, work, and commitments. I say this to emphasize that very often the daily challenges we must face can affect our blood sugar levels. It is important to take the necessary rest to recharge and recover our strength. 

In conclusion, I would like to send my message to all of us, diabetics, and it sounds like this: let’s not be afraid of the diagnosis, let’s speak openly about how we feel. Yes, it sounds scary at first, but diabetes is an opportunity for a more responsible and healthier way of life. There is a beautiful thought that trials are sent to the brave, and if we adopt this perspective, we will give ourselves courage. 

Let’s follow the path of self-discovery and inner peace. Let’s not forget to rest and relieve ourselves from the daily stress. Let’s not forget to move and enjoy nature! What better time than autumn to go into the mountains with our loved ones and enjoy the enchanting colors of nature? 

Let’s approach ourselves with love and understanding! Yes, there are moments when diabetes requires a lot of effort and patience, but it’s better to consider it as a friend rather than an enemy because we will live with it one way or another. With diabetes, one can live successfully if we learn to manage it and do not allow it to overpower us. 

Author: Ivana Lazarova 

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