Together with your physician, you can effectively manage Diabetes. This can be done by focusing on these six major changes to your lifestyle.
Eating healthy is quite important for a diabetic, this is because whatever you eat will have an effect on your blood glucose level. Although no food is exactly off-limits, you should eat just as much food as is needed by your body. Ensure that you get as much vegetable, whole grains and fruits as possible. lean meat and non-fat dairy should be your top choice while ensuring that you avoid foods that have high sugar content and are rich in fat. Also, always keep in mind that Carbohydrate breaks down into sugar, therefore, you should watch your carbohydrate intake as well. You should ensure you keep your carb intake at the same level for every meal especially if you are taking insulin or any other drug that has an effect on your blood sugar level.
- Exercise: For someone who lives a sedentary lifestyle before, now is the time to get active. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you subject yourself to a hectic regimen or start going to the gym. You should target getting at 30 minutes or more of activity that will make you breathe harder and sweat more. Being active will help use up excess sugar in your blood. It also reduces the possibility of getting a heart disease and might also help you drop some pounds as well.
- Get regular check-ups. You should pay a visit to your physician at least two times a year. Having Diabetes puts you at risk of getting a heart disease. Therefore, you must learn some basic figures like blood pressure, cholesterol, A1c (i.e. average blood sugar over 3 months) and learn how to keep track of them. In addition to these, you should also get an eye exam at least once a year and see a foot specialist that will check your foot for issues such as nerve damage and foot ulcers.
- Learn Stress Management. Stress leads to an increase in blood sugar level. Anxiety may also cause you to fail in managing your diabetes effectively. You might forget to eat right, exercise, or even forget to take your medicine. To avoid these, you should always look for ways to reduce stress such as yoga, deep breathing or any other exercise that helps you relax.
You can also try out these other tips to help you reduce stress and get better sleep in order to better manage diabetes.
Asides Yoda, you can practice deep breathing for a while before going to sleep. It promotes mindfulness and helps you to fall asleep faster.
Stay away from alcohol, Spicy foods and caffeine at night: taking any of these can adversely affect your sleep pattern. Sleep deprived people tend to crave high-sugar or high energy foods. These high energy foods can also induce weight gain over time.
Keep your sleep environment at a cool temperature: according to the The National Sleep Foundation, a warm room is harder to sleep in than a room that is cool.
Block out noise and light: noise and light make it harder to fall asleep which might lead to an increase in stress levels. The most popular culprits for sleep disruption is blue light especially the ones emitted from cell phones, and tablets. Thus you should ensure that you turn off your screen at least an hour before going to bed.
Establish a sleeping schedule: maintaining a regular and consistent sleep schedule is one of the best ways to teach your body to sleep by taking advantage of the internal circadian rhythm of your body.
- Quit smoking. Diabetics are more prone to health problems such as stroke, heart diseases, kidney disease, eye disease, foot problem, nerve damage among other. Smoking further increases the chances of coming down with any of these conditions which is why you should avoid it. You can consult your physician for tips on how to quit smoking.
- Monitor your alcohol. Too much liquor, beer, and wine can affect your blood glucose level. Thus if you are going to be drinking at all, you should ensure that you are not overdoing it. The American Diabetes Association recommends that women should take maximum of one drink per day and men should take a maximum of two.
Alcohol may cause your blood glucose level to spike or drop too low which is why you need to check your blood glucose level before you get a drink.
It is also recommended that those using insulin or any other diabetes drug should eat while they drink. Also, since some drinks such as wine coolers contain a high percentage of carbs, you must take them into consideration when counting your carbs.
Keep your body weight healthy
it is quite common for people that have type 2 diabetes to be overweight. Dropping some pounds is one way to keep your blood glucose level under control and feel better in the long run.
You should always monitor your Body Mass Index which is a function of your weight and height and measures your body fat. A healthy Body Mass Index is meant to be less than 25, recording a BMI more than this value means you have to speak to your doctor and learn things that can help you lose weight effectively.
To get started on your weight loss journey, you can set a goal of losing 7% of your body weight. For example, someone with a weight of 250 pounds would have a goal of losing 18 pounds initially. Even if you don’t hit your target immediately, losing weight, no matter how low the amount you have lost is will help to improve your overall health one way or the other, so you shouldn’t be discouraged. Losing weight effectively can be attained by maintaining a healthy diet and regularly exercising your body.
From a follow-up study, it was revealed that participants with type 2 diabetes showed some positive lifestyle changes in areas such as decreased length of time spent sitting down as well as increased cases of smoking cessation. However, other important factors such as body weight, MVPA, vegetables and fruit consumption did not show any changes.
Also, the positive lifestyle changes recorded were not connected to time since patients were diagnosed. Instead increase in body weight, decreased MVPA, quitting smoking was shown to become less likely to occur as the duration of diabetes increased. Thus, more intensive long-term support for diabetes management in addition to effective tools for monitoring lifestyle factors, setting goals, and establishing contact frequently may help maintain and achieve positive lifestyle changes for people that have been newly diagnosed with type2 diabetes.