Social life, playing sports, eating out, financial assistance for diabetics.

How to have a social life with diabetes?

Diabetes may have some effect on most people’s social life. Many can learn to manage it so that diabetes would not affect their ability to eat out or in social gatherings. Most people can and should have smaller portions and be a little more careful to avoid processed carbs and sauces. Most sauces are high in sugar, salt, and fat. For those people with diabetes who eat out occasionally, diabetes is easier to manage.  I would recommend trying to glucose more at home.  This will give you as a diabetic more power for eating healthy and making better choices.  Another important fact to remember is to limit the alcohol intake.  This can be difficult at times when you go out with friends.  Like everything in life is responsible and accountable for yourself will help prevent consuming excessive amounts of carbs and alcohol when you are outing in social settings. Next, we will talk about family support, playing sports, and eating out as well as financial assistance.

Get your family’s support to help manage diabetes.

Your family and friends are essential in helping you manage your diabetes.  You will need to keep them in the loop.  You will need to also teach them why healthy foods are also better for them.  In the end, your family members carry similar genes which makes them susceptible to develop diabetes if they do not have it already.  You can take your spouse or your children with you for diabetes education sessions or you can watch my SugarMD YouTube videos together with them to have education for the entire family.  You can ask for support from your family for them to remind you to take your medications and be mindful when you are eating. Let’s move out to financial assistance programs, playing sports, and eating out.

How to get Financial assistance and patient assistance for medication costs for diabetes

Diabetes management can be very expensive. The average cost of health care for a person with diabetes is $17,000 a year.  With co-pays and high deductibles in today’s environment patients is end up paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket as well.  That is another reason said I have developed Dr. Ergin’s sugar MD advanced glucose support.  On the other hand, many of you will still need other medications possibly as time goes on.

Many people who have diabetes will need help paying for their medications and medical bills at some point. You can seek financial aid through pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs which can be very generous for many people, also look for age from government or private healthcare plans or even local or state programs.  They may help you pay for diabetic medications and supplies. After that hopefully, you can still save some money for an occasional social outing and eating out. Here are some tips for that.

Eating out tips for patients with diabetes

More Americans than ever are eating out at least once a week nowadays.  Many more almost 8 out every day.

Since you cannot control how the food is prepared you need to be prepared to ask questions and plan ahead.  Check the menu before you go.  Make sure there is food that will taste good and also be good for you and your diabetes.  If there are too many tempting food items you may want to choose another place to eat.

With practice and good monitoring skills, you as an individual with diabetes will also know which foods are good and which ones are a total no for you.  Portion control can be difficult at a restaurant.  Ordering one plate and sharing with someone is a great way of portion control and preventing waste.

Drinking a good size glass of water when you arrive at a restaurant can fill you and prevent you from overeating.  Eating a small snack that is healthy such as nuts or a carbohydrate with high fiber content can help reduce your appetite before you go out.  This will reduce the risk of binge eating or overindulgence.

As you know, fat content in the food definitely raises your blood sugar more than just carbohydrates alone.  When you order protein make sure you order grilled or baked instead of fried.

Always ask for healthy sides such as veggies instead of rice and potato.

Ordering sauces on the side can help you control the calories and carbs that are typically added on top of the dish.

How about playing sports?

Playing Sports tips for diabetics.

Patients with diabetes can play sports just like anyone else. They just have to pay attention to a few things to avoid low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugars (hyperglycemia).
Mild to moderate-intensity exercise tends to reduce blood sugar slowly, on the other hand, intense exercise can spike your blood sugars temporarily during the exercise especially in insulin-deficient type I diabetic individuals. Also, both moderate and intense exercise can cause low blood sugars after 24 hours after exercise took place.

Here a couple of precautions to avoid problems while playing sports or exercising with diabetes:

• Test your blood sugar before the activity, during the activity, and the following hours every 4-6 hours.

If you are doing this activity repeatedly you will know your body’s response and he will not have to check too many times by knowing what to do to avoid blood glucose excursion.

• You may have to adjust your insulin on the day you are playing sport or exercising more than usual.

For example, you may have to reduce your basal insulin anywhere from 20% up to 50% depending on the activity level and your body’s response.

• If you are on mealtime insulin you may prefer to skip the mealtime insulin before you start exercise unless your blood sugar is very high, to begin with, such as above 250 mg/dl.

If your blood sugars are so high likely this you may want to correct the high blood sugar with adequate insulin, otherwise, your blood sugar may continue to rise especially with intense activity level which typically happens while playing sports. If you are not playing sports, you can try to reduce your blood sugar that is high by activities such as brisk walking.

• If you are on sulfonylurea agents such as glipizide, glyburide, glimepiride, or if you already have taken bolus(mealtime) insulin and your blood sugars are below 150 mg/dL you may want to have a snack prior to starting exercise.

Having a carb snack with low-fat content can help raise your blood sugar when you feel or detect that your blood sugars are low.

• Having a continuous glucose monitoring device such as Dexcom or libre can be very helpful to continuously monitor blood sugars during the activity.

You need to understand how to interpret and analyze your glucose monitoring system.

For individuals who are wearing insulin pumps, they may need to suspend or reduce insulin delivery by 50% or more during the exercise. They may need to reduce the basal insulin delivery in the device by 20 to 30% up to 24 hours following the activity.

AHMET ERGIN, MD, FACE, CDCES, ECNU
ENDOCRINOLOGIST

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