A diabetes diagnosis can be quite upsetting. Cheer up! for diabetes is manageable. Fact of the matter is: It isn’t all that complicated to manage your diabetes. In fact, with a few simple steps and a positive attitude, you can lead a normal happy life without worry and keep your diabetes levels in check! We’ve listed below, 7 simple ways to maintain your diabetes and stay healthy! Take a look:
- Spot check your sugar
You will most likely have a set schedule arranged with your doctor to test your blood sugar. It could be at breakfast one day, lunch the next and so on. However, if you know that it is time to check your sugar, you are more likely to behave well during that particular time and pay more attention to maintaining your sugar levels and thereby ensure that the tests will show good results. It is best to spot check your sugar so that you are consciously aware that you have to maintain your health and take care of the activities you undertake throughout the day. In this way, you will also be able to pay better attention to your exercise and diet and not cheat on them.
2. Keep your weight in check
If you have to minimise the detrimental effects of diabetes on your lifestyle, the most important step is to lose weight. Research says that eight out of every ten patient of Type 2 diabetes is overweight. Hence, losing useless body fat, especially the fat around the belly, (the leading cause of diabetes) plays a key role in minimising the risk associated with the disease and keeping it under control. The most important step is to become physically active and avoid leading a sedentary lifestyle which might be affecting you in a negative way. You could opt out of driving, and instead choose to walk more often. You could also join a focus group with similar challenges and motivate yourself to get in shape.
3. Stay on a healthy diet
Your diet is a crucial component to successfully managing obesity and therefore keeping your diabetes in check. Living with diabetes definitely does not mean depriving yourself of a delicious meal, or forcing yourself to give up all of your favourite foods. However, structuring your diet in a way that helps your weight loss is extremely important.
You could stay low on foods that contain a lot of starch and stay away from beverages and carbonated drinks that can affect your weight as well as the glucose levels in your blood. Certain types of foods like white bread, pasta, fruit-flavoured yoghurt and foods containing trans- fat should be actively avoided if you have to control your diabetes.
4. Know your numbers
Along with conducting regular blood-sugar readings, it is also extremely important to pay proper attention to other numbers like your blood pressure levels and your cholesterol levels. These numbers will help you understand if your health is on track and also help you in understanding if you need to undertake any change in your lifestyle.
Some of the numbers which you need to pay attention to are :
- A1c, which measures the blood sugar levels over time. This should be done at least twice a year.
- Cholesterol levels, which should be tested at least every five years, but more often if you have trouble keeping your cholesterol levels under check and if you are taking preventive measures against them.
- Your blood pressure and weight, which will be checked every time you visit the doctor.
5. Keep track of the medications you use
Even if you are keeping track of the food and beverages you consume, it is also necessary to look into other aspects of your health like what kind of medications you consume, and make sure that your health is a top priority. Most of the drugs you use might be recommended by your physician, you should also research a bit on your own, and understand their side effects before you use them. Certain types of diabetes medications like Invokana, has some serious side effects that you should be aware of. Some of the side effects include: high levels of blood acids in diabetes patients, dizziness, light-headedness and a dry mouth.
6. Build a support team and be informed and empowered
If you have to battle this disease, you will be needing support from a number of people who are informed on the disease and the knowledge of an ideal lifestyle for people who suffer from Diabetes. Form a support team consisting of your doctor, nurse practitioner, diabetes educators, dieticians, nutritionists, endocrinologists and pharmacists. Even though having a great support team is very essential in controlling the health risks associated with diabetes, being empowered also goes a long way. Actively engage yourself in your lifestyle and stay informed. Ask questions and practice healthy habits.
7. Lower your stress levels
Higher stress levels makes your muscles prepare to fight or run away from danger, also known as ‘fight or flight’! When your insulin isn’t working properly, this process floods your blood with Glucose (sugar) to help it combat the situation at hand!
This can have very harmful effects on your body, and hence it is very necessary to lower stress levels actively.
Excessive stress also raises your blood pressure and increases your chances of heart disease. If you smoke to relieve your stress, you should consider quitting it immediately because it affects your lungs and narrows your blood vessels, and further prove detrimental to your health when you have a disease like diabetes. For efficient diabetes management, you can enroll in an efficient diabetes monitoring and management program. Also, there is increasing scientific evidence that there is a link between sleep apnea and diabetes. These days with a variety of convenient options, you can get your sleep study done for efficient management of sleep apnea.