Firstly, I wanted to say that it is important to be aware of the long-term diabetic complications that can be caused by persistent hyperglycaemia. BUT, constantly worrying about this is only going to make you stressed, miserable and can even be majorly contributing to hyperglycaemia!
So, if you regularly worry about getting long-term complications, keep reading for my tips and advice on how to stop worrying about getting diabetic complications!
Reduce your stress load
You might just be stressed due to worrying about complications that diabetes can cause, however from my experience, I only start to worry about this when there are other big stress factors in my life.
When people are stressed, it starts with one large stress factor, followed by smaller factors that add up to create an overwhelming feeling.
Having a high stress load can have a massive impact on your health, from interrupting sleep, causing binge eating, or no eating at all, not to mention the impact stress can have on glucose levels.
My point is – we must look at ways to decrease your stress load!
My advice is to get pen and paper, and create a list of all of the factors that are currently causing you stress, no matter how big or small the factor feels.
Next, go through this list and write next to it one little thing you can do to relieve this stress factor. For example, if you have a headache, drink a glass of fresh water.
Once you have ticked off the ‘smaller stressors’, I guarantee you will feel less daunted.
When it comes to complications that surrounds diabetes, I want you to think of what you can do right now. So if you have hyperglycaemia and it’s making you worried, firstly drink a glass of fresh water, secondly grab your diabetic kit and do a form of low -impact exercise, such as a walk if you can. Clear your head and your sugars will begin to come back down into range.
Another point I wanted to make is that if your hyperglycaemia is out of your control, i.e. you’re ill, do not be hard on yourself! Again, do what you can, and remember that a small phase where you have high glucose levels does not automatically mean you will get long-term complications.
Take a holistic look at your lifestyle
Here I don’t just mean looking at your diet and exercise, I mean looking at all of the individual parts that contribute to health and happiness.
- Water intake (fresh, filtered water)
- How you feel about yourself
- Toxin load
- Fresh air and sunlight
- Getting movement in
- A diet rich in whole foods
All of these factors contribute towards your health and well-being.
So by focussing on factors such as making you sure you get adequate sleep and water, taking time to be outside, moving your body and fuelling with whole foods, I guarantee you will feel more positive about yourself and your life.
Furthermore, all of these factors decrease the likelihood of getting long-term diabetic complications! So prioritise self-care, it is not selfish! It is a necessity!
Get advanced technology!
I know it can be hard to get the latest tech due to financial circumstances or enormous waiting lists in healthcare systems, but I really encourage everyone living with diabetes to try a sensor, at least!
My advice is to start with a flash glucose monitor, because they are small and easy to use. I use the FreeStyle Libre sensor and I have never felt better about my sugar levels and living with diabetes! This piece of technology has helped me to achieve my lowest HbA1c and has allowed me to look at what factors influence my sugar levels the most.
I also wanted to say to people who might be worried and embarrassed about wearing a sensor, that the benefits you could see mentally and physically will soon take more importance. At first I was terrified to get a sensor because people would know I have Type 1 diabetes just from looking at me. But I soon realised that my health is WAY more important than a couple of people who might make negative comments about my diabetes. People are actually really interested and often have very positive things to say!
Using the Freestyle Libre has truly changed my perspective about living with diabetes and has really helped me to stop worrying about short-term and long-term complications of diabetes. So please give more advanced technology a try if you get the opportunity, it could change your life the same way it changed mine!
It’s ok not to be ok!
No matter who you are or what your situation is, sometimes it is ok not to be ok!
If you’re super stressed and your mind keeps slipping back to worrying about the complications that surround diabetes, the first step is to accept that you are stressed and worried.
The next step is to vent. Vent to whoever you want, even write it down and then throw it away! A problem shared is a problem halved, it will make you feel so much lighter and less worried about complications!
Next, you need to help yourself. This can be by looking holistically at your lifestyle, talking to your diabetes team, or seeking extra help by consulting a nutritionist or well-being coach for example.
And if you think you have no one to talk to, always remember I am here, I understand what you are going through (or I will do my best to). My messages are open so please utilise this if you need or want to!
Thank you so much for reading my tips on how to stop worrying about getting diabetic complications! Subscribe for more content and follow me on Instagram!
If you liked this blog be sure to read Is stress making your glucose levels impossible to control? and How to set sustainable goals for yourself!