Diabetes makes the body less responsive to insulin, the hormone that helps it process carbohydrates and regulate glucose levels. This can lead to high blood glucose or hyperglycemia, resulting in severe complications like nerve damage, heart disease, and eye disease.
Therefore, taking precautions to control diabetes and keep your blood glucose as normal as possible is essential. Here are seven tips for people with diabetes of all ages to improve their disease control.
Why is Diabetics a Serious Health Concern?
Diabetes is a significant health concern in the United States, especially given that it's been rapidly increasing over the last decade. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), as of 2012, there were more than 25 million children and adults with type 2 diabetes in America, with an additional 79 million individuals having pre-diabetes and another 79 million undiagnosed people at risk for developing diabetes (American Diabetes Association). Given these high numbers, people with diabetes must take action to avoid further complications by improving their disease control.
Diabetes is a condition that plagues many people's lives today, and you must do what you can to keep your diabetes under control. But, if you follow these ten tips, there's no reason your diabetes should be out of control, regardless of your age or health situation.
Visit Your Doctor and Get a Blood Sugar Test
Visit your doctor and get a blood sugar test to know where you stand and what you need to do. Knowing your numbers can make all the difference in treatment and lifestyle adjustments. A doctor will also guide you about a healthy diet.
Without guidance from an expert, you cannot handle your diabetics, no matter at what level you are. That is why we would recommend at the start of this write-up that you visit your doctor regularly.
Eat Foods Recommended by Your Doctor
Healthy food is essential for people with diabetes as it can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss. Healthy eating will also decrease the risk of other complications such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Below are some tips on how you can incorporate more healthy food into your diet:
- Eat at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruits a day and try the Diabetes Plate Method
- Drink eight glasses of water each day
- Cut down on red meat and replace it with poultry, fish, or vegetarian protein sources such as beans, tofu, lentils, and eggs
- Include foods rich in soluble fiber like oats, barley, and flax seed in your diet, which will help slow digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels
- Try to follow a Mediterranean diet
- Stay Active with a Healthy Life Routine
You can manage your diabetes with the correct information and support. First, keep your blood sugar levels in control with regular exercise. Exercise can help you feel better about yourself, lose weight (if needed), and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, improving your blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. You can also add other types of physical activity, like strength training or yoga, into your daily routine if you like!
If you have type 1 diabetes, always consult with your doctor before you start any high intensity exercise plan. Intense training can make it difficult to control your blood sugar levels, especially if you had high blood sugars prior exercising.
Never Miss Your Recommended Medication
It's easy to become lax with your diabetes control if you don't have any symptoms. But as soon as your blood sugar starts creeping up, it's time to take action. You could end up in the hospital or worse if it gets too high.
The good news is that taking care of diabetes is often as simple as making a few adjustments and taking your medications when needed. But, unfortunately, when they're not taken on schedule, our bodies can make more insulin than we need or release less insulin than we need if you have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
That imbalance causes higher levels of sugar (hyperglycemia) and ketones (ketosis) in the bloodstream. So don't get complacent: follow these seven tips to help keep your diabetes under control!
Maintain a Healthy Balance with Proper Daily Care
Diabetes is a severe disease, but it doesn't have to be complicated. If you take the time and effort, you can lead an everyday, healthy life with diabetes. Here are some tips that will help you maintain a healthy daily routine.
- Plan your day: Know what you need and when so that you're not constantly looking for things all day long.
- Set alarms on your phone or computer to remind yourself of what's coming up next and when it's time for certain activities. You can even add reminders in DiabTrend so you never miss your insulin / medication.
- Be careful about how much activity you do at once because this may cause fatigue or dehydration. Allow yourself plenty of rest in between activities.
- Eat meals throughout the day instead of one big meal at night because blood sugar levels increase after overeating. That can result in high blood sugar levels.
- Take care of your feet by wearing supportive shoes and ensuring they fit well-buy shoes that suit your feet shape (they should feel like a glove).
- If you work in a busy environment like a packaging company or any other job, take care of your hygiene regularly.
- Use an antifungal foot cream if needed since fungus thrives if you keep on shoes for long work hours. The cream helps prevent fungus from growing between the toes.
Maintain a Healthy Weight with Proper Check
Keep track of your weight at least once a week. This will let you know if you're staying within the range set by your doctor and also give you an idea of what's working and what's not when managing your diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for people with diabetes because it can help reduce the risk of developing complications. You should also try to keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range. Some medications, like metformin, may also make you gain weight. You may need to adjust your diet or take other steps to prevent that from happening.
Weighing yourself is one way to monitor your diabetes control. But don't obsess over the number on the scale. Another method could be calculating your BMI, but that can be misleading in some cases as well. Instead, look at your weight relative to your height and age. If you're overweight or obese, losing just 10% of that weight can determine how well your diabetes is controlled. Diet and exercise are essential to reaching this goal.
Drink Lots of Water
Though it may sound obvious, drinking lots and lots of water is an essential step in managing diabetes. This goes for all age groups. The easiest way to ensure you're getting enough water is to keep a glass on your desk or bed. Fill it up before you go to bed. Drink it when you wake up the next day or anytime when you feel thirsty. Aim for eight glasses of water per day, with more if possible.
Your diet and lifestyle can affect greatly how well you can handle diabetes. If you find it difficult to manage it by yourself, try to find professional help - for example a dietitian can help you plan your meals in advance. Try keeping a food diary in a diabetes management app prior to the first meeting so the healthcare professional can see your habits and create a meal plan that suits you.