To manage diabetes effectively, you need a major lifestyle change. These tips and advice can help you create a diabetes management plan.
Maintaining your ideal blood sugar level on a daily basis can be challenging if you’re suffering from diabetes. Various factors may affect your condition, so it’s important to follow a detailed diabetes management plan especially tailored for your unique case.
Continue reading below to learn about various methods, tips, and advice on managing diabetes.
The ABCs of diabetes
If you’re dealing with diabetes, there are three major things you have to check regularly: your blood glucose level, blood pressure, and cholesterol level. The diabetes ABCs serve as a reminder for you to monitor all these:
–A is for A1C test. The A1C test, also known as hemoglobin test or the HbA1c test, shows your average blood glucose level for the past three months. Diabetes patients must check with their doctor in setting the ideal level of blood glucose to maintain, although the normal range is 5.6% or lower, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
– B is for blood pressure. Around 25% of people with Type 1 diabetes and 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are prone to, or experience, high blood pressure. Thus, diabetes patients should regularly check their blood pressure to prevent further complications. Work with your healthcare provider to set an ideal blood pressure for you to maintain.
– C is for cholesterol. Diabetes tends to increase levels of good cholesterol in your body, while increasing bad cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in the body may lead to artery blockages or narrowing, which contributes to cardiovascular diseases. Checking your cholesterol levels can help you prevent heart complications caused by diabetes.
As a bonus, the “s” stands for “Stop Smoking.” Letting go of your smoking habits will also help keep your diabetes, blood pressure, and heart complications in check. For instance, non-smokers have better blood circulation, lower risk of heart diseases, and healthier lungs.
Following a Meal Plan
A big part of managing diabetes depends on your diet. Together with your health care team, work out a meal plan that’s best for your health and weight. Cut down fats and sugar, and eat food rich in fiber.
Common choices for patients with diabetes include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meat, non-fat dairy, and snacks low in sugar. Opting for water, instead of flavored or sweetened beverages, can also significantly help.
Working with a Team of Doctors
Diabetes is a complex disease. It often affects various body organs such as the kidneys, heart, and eyes. Thus, as you manage diabetes, it’s important to have a team of healthcare experts to help you out. Your team may include:
● diabetes specialist
● nutritionist and dietitian
● eye doctor
● nurse or caregiver
Keeping your friends and family close can also help you deal with the emotional and mental challenges that come with diabetes management. They can help you deal with feelings of frustration and stress and help motivate you on your weight management, diet, and exercise goals.
Managing Diabetes and Stress
If you’re stressed, you may find your blood sugar level rising. Stress triggers some hormones to be released in the body, causing a spike in blood sugar. Thus, becoming aware about what stresses you out and addressing them can help avoid fluctuations in your blood glucose.
Beat stress by meditating, engaging in your hobbies, and exercising. Also, spending quality time with your friends and loved ones can also improve your overall well-being and make you happier.
Establishing an Everyday Routine
Managing your diabetes requires major lifestyle changes. It can be overwhelming at first, but establishing a daily routine can help you manage it successfully — one day at a time.
* Make sure you understand and remember your doctor’s advice on medicine intake. Take your medicines for diabetes, blood pressure, and other associated conditions daily or as prescribed by your doctor. Tell your physician about any side effects you experience so they can provide alternative medication if necessary.
* Exercise and watch your diet daily. Engaging in a physical activity at least 30 minutes daily can do wonders in helping you maintain a healthy weight.
* If you’re a smoker, make a commitment to stop smoking. If you find it challenging to let go of this habit, seek a professional’s help or ask your family and friends for support.
* Check your skin for cuts, blisters, swelling, and other skin injuries. Tell your doctor right away if you have wounds that do not heal or are taking a long time to heal.
* Check your blood sugar level and blood pressure daily. Keep a record of your measurements so that you and your doctor can better track your condition.
Finally, learning as much as you can about diabetes can help you manage it better. Do your research and verify it with your doctor in order to establish an effective method to manage diabetes and stay healthy.