10 Diabetes Health Tips

Diabetes is a health condition that can have a huge effect on your life, from what you eat to how you feel at any given time. Diabetes is characterized either by an excess production of insulin or the body’s lack of ability to make enough insulin, depending on which type of diabetes you have. Without the right amount of insulin, your body is unable to effectively manage your blood sugar levels.

If not managed properly, diabetes can result in a variety of unpleasant and painful medical problems and, in severe cases, even death. The good news is that most cases of diabetes can be easily managed with a combination of medications, regular screenings, and lifestyle changes. If you have diabetes and are looking for ways to improve your health, consider some of the following options. And, as always, be sure to discuss these suggestions with your family doctor before making any changes to your routine or lifestyle.

1. Lose some weight.

Individuals who are overweight often have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels. If you are overweight and have diabetes, your doctor and a nutritionist can help you figure out a plan for shedding those extra pounds.

2. Make better food choices.

Carbohydrates, especially simple carbs, are one of the biggest influencers on your blood sugar. Work with your doctor and nutritionist to manage the types of carbs you consume and when. Getting used to a healthier diet may be hard at first, but if you start thinking about food as fuel, you’ll soon understand why it’s important to get the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals your body needs to function.

3. Exercise regularly.

Movement has a lot of benefits to offer your body, including reducing blood pressure, helping you lose weight, and improving your mental state. Try to work in 30 minutes of exercise that increases your heart rate per day. Having trouble? Make it fun! If you don’t like running, don’t run! Choose a form of exercise you enjoy!

4. Don’t forget to check your blood sugar.

Most diabetics need to check their blood sugar levels at least twice a day to make sure it is in the range recommended by their doctor. Additionally, some diabetics choose to test their levels more frequently, including before and after meals, before and after exercising, first thing in the morning, or even if they just aren’t feeling quite right. And remember, keep a log of every test result should your doctor need to see it.

5. Ask your doctor about regular A1c tests.

These tests show your average blood sugar levels over the course of a few months and can be very valuable when fine-tuning a diabetic treatment plan. Check with your doctor about how often to have these tests done and when to schedule your next one.

6. Keep an eye on your blood pressure.

Diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease, and high blood pressure increases that even more. Checking your blood pressure regularly, along with refraining from things like tobacco and alcohol consumption, can help you keep your blood pressure down. Talk with your doctor about how to manage your blood pressure and what the ideal blood pressure is for your body.

7. Get more sleep.

A lack of sleep can make practically every part of your physical and mental health worse, so it’s crucial to get at least 7-8 hours per night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider asking your doctor about sleep medication or adjusting your existing treatment plan.

8. Try to reduce stress and depression.

Stress raises your blood pressure and your blood sugar, so you need to reduce it whenever possible. Find out what is causing you to feel stressed or depressed and talk with your doctor about how to cope. They may suggest things like meditation, yoga, anti-anxiety/anti-depression medications, or speaking to a mental health care professional.

9. Join a support group.

Having a group of people around you who understand what you’re going through can be incredibly beneficial, no matter what the situation is. There are plenty of diabetes support groups both online and in-person that can help you feel better.

10. Schedule regular checkups with your doctor.

This is one of the most important things you can do if you’re living with diabetes. You have to make sure you check in with your doctor regularly so they can monitor your condition. If you neglect to do so, it could lead to major complications like heart and kidney disease, nerve damage, or death.

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