A diabetes diagnosis is a life-changing event, but it doesn’t mean your life is over. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and live everyday lives. Diabetes will make your life more complicated, but you can live a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle if you follow certain things in your day to day life.
Whether you were diagnosed with pediatric diabetes or Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus as a child or have been recently diagnosed as pre diabetic or have been diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus type 2, you will have to make specific changes in your lifestyle if you want to live a long and healthy life. The good news is that you don’t have to go through diabetes alone. However, with the support of family, friends, and doctors, you can make the necessary changes to live with diabetes. Here are a few tips on living with diabetes.
Check Your Blood Sugar at Least Three Times Per Day
Technology has advanced quite a bit to make a living with diabetes easier, safer, and less time-consuming. From innovative and high-tech insulin pumps from companies like Tandem Diabetes to continuous glucose monitors, keeping on top of your blood sugar is easier than ever.
To keep your blood sugar under control, you have to test at least three times per day. Whether you use a finger stick, an insulin pump, or a continuous monitor, knowing what glucose levels thought the day is vital.
Cultivate Good Eating Habits
Proper nutrition is primary to controlling type-2 Diabetes Mellitus and pre diabetes. Good nutrition means lowering your intake of sugars and carbohydrates like sweets, rice, white bread, and other foods high in carbohydrates and sugar. You need to reduce your intake of processed foods which come in packaging. You will also have to cut back on alcohol, especially if you enjoy having a few drinks after work each day.
You need to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Amongst fruits, reduce intake of fruits which have high sugar content like Mangoes, Chickoo, Custard apple, dates and grapes. You can consume other fruits in moderation. Including water rich fruits like watermelon, and fruits like Guava is beneficial.
You need to include more vegetables as part of each and every meal. You can consume raw salad containing cucumber, little carrots, lettuce, etc before having your meal. Also make sure you take more curries containing vegetables or vegetable stir fry or vegetables in any form along with every meal.
You need to consume whole grain foods in your meals. It’s better to avoid all kinds of polished and refined foods like polished rice, refined flour, products made with refined flour if you have Diabetes. You can take foods made with whole wheat flour, brown rice, Millets as the main part of your meal.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Diabetes can lead to many other health conditions if left unchecked or poorly managed. Visit your doctor regularly to see if your eyes, kidneys, heart, or nerves in your extremities have suffered any damage due to high glucose levels. It would be best to visit your doctor every three to four months.
Your doctor might ask you to test for Blood sugar levels like FBS or fasting blood sugar, PLBS or Post Lunch blood sugar levels to see your blood sugar levels during that visit. He might also check HBA1C levels to see your blood sugar control during the past 3 months. You may also need to check your Cholesterol levels using a test called Lipid profile, which also need to be done every 3 months. You also need to get your kidney function checked using certain tests like Creatinine, BUN or Blood urea nitrogen, Urine analysis, Albumin Creatinine ratio.
Make Exercise a Daily Habit
If you have diabetes, you should make regular exercise a part of your daily lifestyle. For example, people with diabetes can significantly benefit from regular exercise because it can help naturally lower glucose levels and may help to reverse pre diabetes or type-2 diabetes in some people.
You can walk at least 30 minutes to 1 hour every day. You can go for other physical activities like swimming, jogging, cycling, etc. You can do Yoga as well. These physical activities helps to keep you fit, reduce the blood glucose levels as physical activities consume energy or glucose. Participating in any other form of Sport which involves physical activity is also good.
Reduce Stress levels
Modern day lifestyle is filled with many kinds of work pressures, stress at home due to family issues, etc. Stress is the reason behind development of several diseases and also behind aggravation of some diseases. Avoidance of stress is absolutely essential if you want to lead a healthier and happier life. You need to participate in stress reduction activities like Meditation, Yoga, Gardening, listening to music, etc to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Take Diabetes Seriously
Many people with diabetes have lost their eyesight, limbs, and their lives to diabetes because they refused to take the illness seriously. Diabetes is a severe condition that requires daily vigilance and a change in your lifestyle. You may feel that you don’t have to check your glucose levels three times a day or more or skip a dose of insulin or medication, but in the long run, you’re doing damage to your health, which will have devastating consequences.
Living with pre diabetes, pediatric diabetes, or type-2 Diabetes Mellitus means changing your life. However, a lifestyle change isn’t bad and can lead to improved health, a happier life, and an enhanced appearance.