Lifestyle Changes to Manage Diabetes
Managing diabetes starts with making lifestyle changes. It involves making healthy food choices, staying at a healthy weight, staying active every day, and taking the right medication. While it may seem like a lot of work, it is important in order to feel good today and in the future.1
Taking one’s health conditions seriously also reduces the risk of having further complications that can be caused by diabetes. This includes: heart conditions, eye problems, nerve damage, and even kidney problems.1
Once a diabetic stay on top of his health, he will be able to enjoy having more energy, feel less tired, heal better, and have less or no skin and bladder infections. 1
Aside from working closely with your doctor, these lifestyle changes will help manage diabetes. 2
Get your health care team to help you come up with a meal plan. Focus on eating only as much as your body needs and get plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Remember that carbohydrates turn into sugar, so watch your carb intake and make sure that the food you eat ranks low in the glycemic index. Slow-digesting carbohydrates in nutritional substitutions like Glucerna are scientifically designed for people with diabetes and can help achieve nutritional goals. 1 2 3
Before you start an exercise program, consult with a Healthcare Professional to see if it is suitable for you. Always keep a record of pre workout blood sugar so you can compare it to the post workout reading. All in all, anytime is a great time to get active and this does not require joining a gym. Walking, riding a bike, or playing active video games are all effective ways to stay active. Your goal should be 30 minutes of activity that makes you sweat. An active lifestyle helps you control your diabetes by bringing down your blood sugar. It also lowers your chances of getting a heart disease. Plus, it can help you lose extra pounds and ease stress. 2
Stay on top of your checkups
Talk to your health care team about how to manage your diabetes ABC which are your A1C, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol. This can help lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes problems. Getting a full eye exam each year and visiting a foot doctor for foot ulcers and nerve damage are a must. 2
Quit smoking and watch your alcohol.
Because diabetics are prone to health conditions like heart disease, eye problems, and kidney problems, one should quit smoking altogether because it increases one’s chance of getting such complications. Moreover, it would be easier to control one’s blood sugar if one doesn’t indulge in too much liquor. Alcohol can make your blood sugar go too high or too low. If you are in a situation where drinking is unavoidable, please check your blood sugar before you drink. Also take steps so that blood sugars do not drop too low or go up. 2
Yes, making major changes to dietary habits and lifestyle can be challenging for anyone. But it doesn’t have to be when you make an effort to prioritize health and stay focused on keeping your goals to stay fit.