Long life with diabetes? Don't forget: Stay positive

DIABETES CARE|Nov.12, 2018


Do you remember life before diabetes?

If it's been years since you were diagnosed, it may be hard to recall what it was like before the daily concern about diabetes nutrition, healthy glucose levels and care management. Over time, it can be a challenge to stay positive, especially after a setback. It's a life-long commitment to keep your diabetes in check day in and day out, and it's natural to find managing your health taxing.

While it's nearly impossible to keep negative thoughts away all the time, there are simple daily strategies you can take to help maintain an overall positive mindset and live a happy, fulfilling life.

1. Celebrate the Small Stuff

Your journey with diabetes may seem long. Focusing on victories in the small moments will enable positive progress.

For example, set a goal to test your blood sugar as recommended by your healthcare provider for just one day. When you achieve it, give yourself credit. Build on that success by aiming to do it again tomorrow. Better yet, work with your healthcare provider to find easier ways to maintain healthy glucose levels, such as with continuous glucose monitoring.

2. Simplify Self-Management

While the need to manage your condition isn't going to disappear, you can make it easier by keeping up with the latest advances in diabetes care. Monitoring your glucose levels and charting your progress is an essential part of diabetes nutrition, but it can take a lot of time and energy. Fortunately, life-changing technologies can simplify diabetes self-management.

For example, the FreeStyle Libre system1 is a continuous glucose monitoring system. It eliminates the need for fingersticks and automatically measures and records glucose readings for up to 10 days in the U.S. Discuss with your healthcare provider if an update to your management routine or technology would be a good option for you.

3. Give Your Eating Plan a Tune-Up

Devote some time to diabetes nutrition, by taking a look at the foods you eat each day. If you're bored eating the same things, change up your eating plan to make mealtimes exciting again.

Try modifying recipes you love to make them diabetes-friendly or researching new recipes to try. To keep things interesting, use different seasonings.

Another idea: Snack smarter. Snacks are a great opportunity to fit in a serving of fruits or vegetables and add a variety of textures to your diet. Options may include quinoa and blueberry salad or a sweet potato you can bake and top with cinnamon or use to make your own baked potato chips. Unsalted nuts are another excellent choice. Remember to consider portion sizes so you can keep your blood glucose levels on track.

For great on-the-go snack options, grab a Glucerna shake or snack bar. They have protein, vitamins and minerals. But most importantly, Glucerna shakes and bars have CARBSTEADY®, unique blends of slow-release carbohydrates that help minimize blood sugar spikes.

4. Reframe Negative Thoughts

Be conscious of your thoughts. Whenever you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, turn it into a positive statement. Here are a few examples:

  • If you're thinking, "I can't do this anymore," reframe as, "I am strong. I can do this!"
  • Rather than, "I ate a huge piece of cake at the party. I've blown it again," tell yourself, "Okay, so I didn't quite follow my eating plan today, but I eat so much better than I used to. I can easily get back on track at my next meal."
  • Replace, "I'm tired of fighting diabetes," with "I'm working to live my best, fullest life possible."

Don't beat yourself up for not being perfect. Positive self-talk can have an amazing effect on your perspective.

5. Do the Things You Love

Find something that makes you happy and set aside time every day to do it, even just for 15 minutes. Your activity may be walking your dog, meditating, painting, playing a musical instrument or reading a book. Whatever it is that brings you joy, put yourself on the priority list by setting aside time for it every day. Taking this time for your enjoyment will go a long way to helping you think positively and live a balanced, healthy life.

6. Focus on What You Can Control

It's easy to fall into the habit of worrying constantly about the things you can't control. Try to keep things in perspective by reminding yourself that diabetes care is just one part of your life; you're in control of your actions, not the diabetes. Focus on what you can control, such as your eating plan, exercise and decisions about healthcare providers and treatments. Remind yourself that each positive action helps lower your risk of problems in the future.

7. Connect With Others

No matter how long you've had diabetes, it's never too late to reap the positive benefits of connecting with others going through a similar journey. More than 30 million Americans live with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many people out there understand what you're experiencing and can help you feel less alone.

Try connecting with other people who have diabetes — people who "get it" — for encouragement and motivation. You can find support groups online or through your healthcare provider or local hospital.

It's important to keep in mind that you are not your diabetes. While actively managing your condition is crucial to your physical health, you can take care of your emotional health by keeping in touch with all the important aspects of your life, such as family, friends, hobbies and work.


1Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings, when you suspect readings may be inaccurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.

Indications and Important Safety Information

The FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring system is a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device indicated for replacing blood glucose testing and detecting trends and tracking patterns aiding in the detection of episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, facilitating both acute and long-term therapy adjustments in persons (age 18 and older) with diabetes. The system is intended for single patient use and requires a prescription.


CONTRAINDICATIONS: Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment.


WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS: Do not ignore symptoms that may be due to low or high blood glucose, hypoglycemic unawareness, or dehydration. Check sensor glucose readings with a blood glucose meter when Check Blood Glucose symbol appears, when symptoms do not match system readings, or when readings are suspected to be inaccurate. The FreeStyle Libre system does not have alarms unless the sensor is scanned, and the system contains small parts that may be dangerous if swallowed. The FreeStyle Libre system is not approved for pregnant women, persons on dialysis, or critically-ill population. Sensor placement is not approved for sites other than the back of the arm and standard precautions for transmission of blood borne pathogens should be taken. The built-in blood glucose meter is not for use on dehydrated, hypotensive, in shock, hyperglycemic-hyperosmolar state, with or without ketosis, neonates, critically-ill patients, or for diagnosis or screening of diabetes. Review all product information before use or contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit www.freestylelibre.us for detailed indications for use and safety information.