Living with diabetes might be a daily challenges, but it’s a one that millions of people throughout the world face. When it comes to taking control of your health, whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have been managing it for years, there’s always opportunity for improvement.
Fortunately, you may live a fulfilling and healthy life while properly managing diabetes offered you have the right information, resources, and strategies.
Diabetes is a progressive disease that needs proper care. If left unmanaged, it can be a starting point for numerous other chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, cataracts, etc.
While genetics and age might play a role in the development of diabetes, it is strongly associated with lifestyle factors like stress levels, diet, and physical activity.
In this article, we will explore tips for managing diabetes and techniques that can help you manage diabetes better.
In This Article
Tips for Managing Diabetes
Here are a few tips to help you manage your diabetes properly.
1. Keep up with your Diabetic Medications
Medications are a necessary evil; most patients despise taking them. But your doctor prescribes them to keep your blood sugar levels under control. So, take your prescribed medications regularly for the best results.
For this to work, you must get your prescription timely, get counselling for proper diabetes care, and find solutions that make life with this uninvited condition easier.
2. Check your Blood Sugar Regularly and Keep a Record
The number of times you are supposed to check your blood glucose depends on your medications and the type of diabetes. For example, if you have type 1 diabetes, you might need to check your blood sugars multiple times a day.
With type 2 diabetes, you might need to check blood sugars before meals, after meals, and before bed. Ask your healthcare provider to help you devise a plan for monitoring your glucose levels and follow it religiously.
However, testing alone is not enough; you will also need to maintain a record. Regularly recording your blood glucose levels in a planner or diary will help you see the extensive pattern of your diabetes.
For instance, if you had a meal that spikes your blood glucose levels, you will be aware of the foods you must avoid to keep your levels in check. You’ll also know whether the medications you’re taking are working effectively or if you need to change them.
3. Manage your Stress
Studies prove your body responds to stress by releasing hormones like glucocorticoids and catecholamines. While these might not immediately affect your blood glucose levels, chronic stress can disturb the normal homeostasis of your body and lead to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.
You can reduce stress by incorporating stress management strategies into your life. You can add meditative sessions into your mornings, avoid excessive caffeine, and avoid stressful situations.
Dealing with stress related to diabetes can be challenging, but there are numerous support groups and online resources available to help you cope. By joining a community that deals with similar situations, you can feel less isolated and more supported in managing your condition.
Seeking therapy is also an option; a professional can provide you with coping mechanisms for your stress and a safe space to talk about your concerns.
4. Maintain Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle is a significant risk factor that increases the likelihood of getting and worsening diabetes. Therefore, if you are someone who spends most of their time sitting on the couch, it’s high time you put on your running shoes and get moving!
If you are not used to regular exercise, gradually incorporate it into your routine. Going for a walk for at least half an hour every morning is an excellent way to begin.
If your job involves sitting at a desk for long periods, take breaks and walk around to rejuvenate yourself. The recommended amount of physical activity to maintain good health is at least 150 minutes of any form of exercise every week. This can involve a brisk walk in the park, cardio at home, or hitting the gym to lift weights or all of them.
5. Stick to a Healthy Diet
Sticking to a diabetic diet does not mean you have to change your diet. You can start with simple dietary changes that you can stick to and make healthier nutritional choices.
Cut back on junk food and sodas. Consider shifting to a diet high in complex carbs, fiber-rich vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Cut back on sugar.
Changing your diet will make managing diabetes less challenging and prevent other chronic diseases. If you are stuck, consult your dietician to devise a nutrition plan that works best for you.
6. Follow up with your Doctor Regularly
Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires continuous monitoring and management, so scheduling regular appointments with your doctor is crucial. Furthermore, diabetes is linked to other health problems such as nerve damage, atherosclerosis, and kidney dysfunction.
Prioritizing your health over different tasks in your busy schedule is essential. Make sure to undergo regular screenings with blood tests, including hba1c, renal function tests, and complete lipid profiles, to detect these complications early.
7. Get a Diabetes Care Plan and Stick to it
As you get older, managing diabetes can become more challenging. It’s essential to seek the guidance of an endocrinologist who can help you identify any issues and find solutions.
An endocrinologist can work with you to develop a care plan that outlines your daily blood sugar targets, the appropriate medications to take, a plan for sick days, and goals to achieve through proper management.
Managing diabetes starts with your motivation to prevent the disease from progressing into debilitating outcomes. You must persevere in taking the necessary steps to change your lifestyle into a healthier one to reap long-term benefits.
- Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus
- Factors Associated with Long-Term Control of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus