Diabetes, especially type 2, can be hard to manage. Not only are the complications related to it worrying, but they can also become fatal. To avoid that end, there are a number of things that you can do. Some of them are mentioned below.
- Lose weight if required
If you are overweight, then the risk of complications related to diabetes increases multifold. Shedding a little weight can go a long way of installing and avoiding the complications. Doing so can improve the blood fats and blood pressure while increasing the body’s efficiency of using insulin.
This means that losing weight can indirectly help you lower your blood sugar. You will also feel more energetic. To lose weight, aim to burn more calories than the amount you consume.
- Eat Carbs Carefully
While diabetes does not mean saying goodbye to carbs, it is important to control your intake. This means no mindless eating. Healthy carbohydrates like beans, vegetables, fruits (it is not about sweet, it is about the right amount of carbs), whole grains can help you in achieving the right balance. You can get a diet plan from a registered dietician if you have trouble figuring things out.
- Regular Exercise is a must
Depending on what your doctor recommends, you should pick an exercise for yourself. It could be walking, biking, dancing, aerobics, etc. This can reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications and lower cholesterol levels. It can also act as stress relief and can also help in keeping your weight down.
- Getting enough sleep
It is important to get enough sleep as too little or too much of it can increase food cravings and raise your appetite. This, in turn, can lead to weight gain thereby increasing the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. It is better to aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.
- Reduce the amount of salt in your diet
Most of the salt in a diet comes from processed foods. So, rather than looking for canned items, reach for fresh ingredients whenever possible. Salt increases the blood pressure and also the load on your kidneys. Depending on your age and the prognosis, your doctor can recommend a suitable range of salt intake.
In general, this range is below 2300 mg, but for high blood pressure patients and those above the age of 51, this salt limit can be much lower.
- Manage your stress
Learning stress management is important regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. But when you are a diabetic, stress can spike your blood sugar levels. Thus, it is important to learn a few coping techniques to get rid of any stress you have. Especially in the case of type 2 diabetes, meditation or yoga really help or you can visit here. Even a few breathing exercises can help.
- Meet up with your doctor regularly
The one thing that most diabetics underestimate is the importance of visiting a doctor regularly. See your doctor between 2 and 4 times a year and if needed, more. Get a yearly eye and kidney exam, with another one to check for the onset of neuropathy. It is also important to visit the dentist twice a year.
However, do make sure to tell all your doctors and healthcare providers that you have diabetes.
- Check your blood sugar every day
Another thing that many diabetics avoid doing is checking their glucose levels regularly. It can help you avoid many complications including nerve pain and sudden increase in sugar levels and more. You can refer to the doctor for any help in setting up a target range. Also, it is very important to check glucose levels before and after any type of physical exertion to keep yourself from getting hypoglycemic.
- Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking can decrease your blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing heart complications, kidney diseases, nerve damage and more. In fact, diabetics who smoke are twice as likely to die than those who don’t.
Diabetes is a permanent affliction, but proper management can go a long way in ensuring a long, healthy life. Also, by following the advice of your doctor, you can achieve a semblance of normalcy without compromising too much on foods and habits you enjoy.