Being diagnosed with diabetes 1 or 2 stands to have a tremendous impact on one’s life. Everything from dietary choices to stress management to lifestyle alterations is affected by active diabetes. However, while living with diabetes can certainly be an adjustment, it needn’t turn your entire world upside down. For many people, this condition is manageable – provided, of course, you’re willing to unlearn certain unhealthy behaviors. Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have been living with the condition for years, the following tips are sure to come in handy.
Stay on Top of Medical Visits
When working to manage diabetes, it’s important to visit a number of medical professionals on a regular basis. For example, you’ll need to see your regular physician at least twice a year, as this will help you stay on top of your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. By extension, you should also make a point of regularly monitoring your blood glucose. Furthermore, in addition to getting a complete eye exam each year, you should be visiting a foot doctor to check for signs of nerve damage and foot ulcers, both of which are common side-effects of diabetes.
Exercise on a Consistent Basis
Regular exercise can prove beneficial to your health on a number of fronts. In addition to helping you shed excess pounds and reduce your risk of heart disease, physical fitness can be highly conducive to stress management. Additionally, by bringing down your blood sugar, exercise can help keep diabetes in check. So, if your lifestyle could stand to be a bit more active, there’s no time like the present to make physical fitness a priority.
It’s easy to see why so many of us are actively intimidated by the idea of regular exercise. After all, when most people think of exercise, they picture people pushing themselves to the point of absolute exhaustion. While intensive workouts are certainly a form of exercise, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week should be sufficient for meeting your fitness goals. As long as your preferred workout is facilitating a small sweat and making you breathe just a little harder than normal, you should be good. For some people, a half-hour walk after work can function as a suitable daily workout. Although engaging in physical fitness every day is ideal, don’t be afraid of taking one or two days off per week.
Watch What You Eat
While everyone should strive to maintain healthy eating habits, smart dietary choices are particularly important for people affected by diabetes. Since what you eat has a direct impact on your blood sugar, make a point of being mindful of the things you put into your body. For starters, limiting foods that are high in sugar and fat is absolutely imperative for diabetes sufferers. Eating a diet that’s rich in fruits, veggies and whole grains can be a boon to both your blood sugar and overall health.
It’s also important to closely monitor your carbohydrate intake, as carbs turn into sugar. With this in mind, make an effort to keep your carb intake consistent from meal to meal.
Prioritize Stress Management
Stress can facilitate a wide range of health problems, be they physical or psychological. However, diabetes sufferers should be particularly mindful of their stress levels, since stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise. As such, stress management should be among the foremost priorities for everyone living with diabetes. Among other things, getting your stress levels in check entails setting healthy boundaries at work and at home, practicing proven relaxation techniques, and seeking mental health assistance in the form of therapy and/or counseling.
To call living with active diabetes challenging would be an understatement. As is the case with many chronic conditions, diabetes often requires a number of concessions on the part of the individuals who suffer from it. While there’s no denying that diabetes can complicate your life, the condition is often manageable – especially when the proper precautions are taken. Going through life with diabetes may frustrate and inconvenience you from time to time, but there’s no reason this condition needs to take over your life. So, if workable diabetes management is what you’re after, but the previously discussed pointers to good use.