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When you receive a diagnosis of diabetes and hear about the new medications and changes you need to take and make, you may start thinking of yourself as a “patient” or “ill person”, exiled from the world of ordinary, “well” people.

But actually, good quality of life – defined as your ability to enjoy normal activities, together with a sense of vitality, well-being and feeling in control – is perfectly achievable. It’s largely in your hands: it’s all a question of taking care of yourself along with your diabetes.

It’s important to understand the negatives of poorly controlled diabetes, namely serious health complications. But it’s more effective to focus on the positives of managing your diabetes well i.e. many good years to spend with family and friends, working on projects close to your heart, and enjoying your favourite past-times.

USE THESE TIPS FOR A MOTIVATION BOOST:

  • Diabetes management is holistic – it’s about several vital aspects working together for you as a whole, healthy person. You may already know the diabetes “4 M’s”: Medication (taking tablets or insulin as prescribed), Monitoring (testing blood sugar regularly), Meal planning (healthy diet), Motion (regular exercise).

 

  • Research shows that treatment adherence, particularly medication adherence (taking your medication exactly according to your doctor’s instructions) is the most important element of diabetes management in terms of living a long, healthy life. But monitoring blood sugar and following a healthy lifestyle matter too, so don’t neglect them.

 

  • Mind should be added as the fifth “M”! Your mental health is another crucial element of maintaining quality of life overall. Good diabetes management leads to better quality of life, and a calm, upbeat mindset helps you cope with the demands of diabetes management – creating a positive feedback loop. So be aware of your mood and stress levels. If you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, reach out to friends, family and support groups, and consider asking your primary doctor for a referral to a therapist.

 

  • Consider mindfulness meditation – mental training practice that teaches you to calm yourself and focus on “the now”, acknowledging your thoughts and emotions without judgment. It’s a particularly effective technique if you’re feeling overwhelmed regarding your diabetes management, and can help nudge towards a more positive mindset. As well as improved psychological health, mindfulness has been clinically linked with improved blood sugar control.
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Cherry, K. What is mindfulness meditation? Verywell Mind. 2022.

Link: https://www.verywellmind.com/mindfulness-meditation-88369

Diabetes UK. Ways of improving your quality of life if you have diabetes. 2015. Link:

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/blog/2015/12/5-ways-of-improving-your-quality-of-life-if-you-have-diabetes/

Kim, Y et al. Effect of medication adherence on long-term all-cause-mortality and hospitalization for cardiovascular disease in 65,067 newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients. Nature. 2018.

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-30740-y

Wahyuni, Y. Improving The Quality of Life of Patients with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 with Treatment Adherence. Media Keperawatan Indonesia. 2021.

Link: https://jurnal.unimus.ac.id/index.php/MKI/article/view/7581

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