Ways & How

how to manage your diabetes

how to manage your diabetes

As mentioned by the American Diabetes Association, around 8.6 million of Americans, mostly aged 60 and older, are suffering from diabetes. This disorder occurs when the body cells do not react to the amount of insulin released by the pancreas, or when the body is unable to produce a sufficient supply of insulin. When you have high blood sugar, you will experience frequent urination (polyuria), increased hunger (polyphagia), and increased thirst (polydipsia). In type 1 diabetes, the symptoms can progress rapidly, while in type 2 they can develop slowly. Since this chronic disease can increase the risk of contracting heart disease, you should know how to manage your diabetes. Diabetic patients normally have clogged arteries due to excessive sugar levels in their bloodstream. The fluctuating glucose levels can affect the overall health condition of every diabetic person. Here are the important factors you should remember in dealing with diabetes:

  1. Understand diabetes. The three types of diabetes are: type 1 (lack of insulin), type 2 (not enough insulin is produced or the insulin is not functioning well), and gestational diabetes (usually contracted during pregnancy).

    People afflicted with diabetes normally say that their sugar level is a little high which seems to suggest that there is nothing to worry about. That is not exactly correct because diabetes, irrespective of type, is a serious disorder. But anyone can learn how to manage it.

  2. Maintain a healthy diet. As mentioned in diabetes.webmed.com, “Seeing a dietitian every one or two years can be helpful if you have diabetes” in order to conceptualize a diet plan in accordance with your needs. It is true that many patients are able to avoid the long-term complications of this disorder just by eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, turkey, skinless chicken, dry peas, beans, cheese, low-fat milk, and skim milk. Indulge in fibrous foods like whole grain cereals, crackers, breads, pasta, and rice.

  3. Maintain a food diary. Having a good diet plan is one of the most basic things to do in managing your diabetes. To do this, design a food diary that will guide you as to what and how much to eat, how to prepare your foods, and when to eat. As you become the driver of your diet, your main target is to regulate your food intake based on the levels of your blood glucose. Record in your diary the way your body reacts to the foods you eat including drinks and snacks. Track your blood sugar levels before eating and a few minutes after eating.

  4. Stay physically active. Exercising at least 3 times a week for 45-60 minutes can greatly improve your blood sugar levels, relieves mental stress, helps reduce weight, enhances blood circulation, and reduces the risk of contracting heart problems. Taking a morning walk is good start for inactive people. Generally, any kind of cardiovascular activities is good, except if you are experiencing complications like retinopathy and neuropathy. In such a case, ask your doctor for the list of appropriate exercises. Most importantly, always check your blood sugar levels before beginning vigorous exercise.

  5. Modify your lifestyle. Basically, you have to stop smoking. Stay away from places that emit toxic particles and harmful gas. In as much as possible, get plenty of sleep. While resting, keep your mind calm. Resting is the time for your good cells to regenerate.

  6. Report signs of infections. Look at your feet from time to time for cracks, skin breakdown, and calluses. If you notice ulcerations, pus, redness, foul smell, black toes, and swelling ankles and feet, inform your doctor right away. Any of these signs is usually accompanied by fever or vomiting.

  7. Take your medications on time. Keep a list of your medications and indicate the time when you should take them. For type 1 diabetes, it is typically treated by taking synthetic insulin analogs or a combination of NPH and regular insulin. For type 2 diabetes, Metformin is usually recommended. In some cases, an increased dose of insulin is added while continuing with oral medication.

The risks of strokes, kidney problems, and blindness are increased if you are overweight. Be extra careful in treating cuts and wounds no matter how small. Sores and other similar injuries must also be treated properly to avoid infection. However, as long as you know how to manage your diabetes correctly, you can do away with any complications.


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