7 Diabetes Management Tips for Better Control
Effective diabetes management is essential if you want to live a long and healthy life. As diabetics, we should be constantly striving to achieve perfect blood sugar levels in order to minimize the risks of developing issues and complications.
7 Diabetes Management Tips
Apply these tips to your diabetes management regime for improvements on blood sugar levels, hBa1c and your overall health. Implementing these tips allowed me to lower my hBa1c, cholesterol, lose weight and be a healthier person.
1. Educate Yourself
Knowledge is power. Knowledge in my opinion is by far the best and most effective tool when it comes to managing diabetes. In my early 20s, I became somewhat obsessed with learning about diabetes, health, fitness and the link between these areas. Understand what diabetes is and how it affects the body. More importantly, understand how it affects your body. Each person is different and what works for one may not necessarily work for another.
Read as much material from accredited sources as possible. Ask your doctor and diabetes specialist nurse tons of questions and join diabetes communities or support groups. I have found that discussing issues with other persons living with diabetes helps tremendously. Doctors may have book knowledge and theory but diabetics have practical knowledge from experience.
2. Drink more water
There are many health benefits of drinking water. Staying hydrated:
- Increases Energy
- Promotes Weight Loss
- Flushes Out Toxins
- Improves Skin Complexion
- Maintains Regularity
- Boosts Immune System
- Natural Headache Remedy
- Prevents Cramps & Sprains
In addition, drinking water helps to rehydrate the blood when the body tries to remove excess glucose through urine as a result of hyperglycemia.
If you are dehydrated, the body may draw on other sources of available water, such as saliva and tears. If water access is limited, glucose may not be passed out through the urine, leading to further dehydration and prolonged hyperglycemia.
3. Eat less carbs
Carbohydrates are not the enemy! However, overdoing it on carbs can have negative effects both on your blood sugar and your body. As you know, when we consume carbohydrates the blood sugar rises and insulin is needed to regulate it. With high carb meals, there is a higher possibility of hyperglycemia occurring if not enough insulin is taken or if insulin doesn’t kick in quick enough.
With low carbohydrate diets especially, there are fewer blood sugar spikes hence fewer chances of hyperglycemia occurring. Studies have shown individuals with type 2 diabetes on carbohydrate restricted diets reduce and frequently eliminate medication and type 1 diabetics require less insulin. Decreasing your carbohydrate intake may also result in weight loss which is alway a plus (in most cases).
4. Eat more fiber
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. However, because the human body cannot digest it, fiber does not increase your blood sugar levels. In fact, if you are carbohydrate counting, you can subtract the grams of fiber from total carbohydrates of a food since it will not affect your blood sugar. Eating foods high in fiber will help you feel fuller, improve digestion, improve/increase bowel movements and slow down the rise in your blood sugar from food eaten. Read more information about the benefits and importance of fiber here.
5. Exercise more
This one is a given. There are loads of benefits derived from exercising regularly. When it comes to diabetes management, I’ve found that my blood sugar levels are great when I exercise at least 4 times per week. Most forms of exercise will lower your blood sugar levels. It also greatly improves your insulin sensitivity resulting in smaller insulin dosages over time. When I go 2 weeks or more without exercising, my blood sugar readings begin to rise and I become insulin resistant. As a result, I have to increase my insulin dosages. Creating an effective workout plan with both cardio and weight training will give you great results. Not only in your diabetes management but your physique and overall health as well.
6. Choose the medication that is best for you and your lifestyle
There are so many types of treatment options available today to persons living with diabetes. If you feel restricted by your current treatment plan or not getting the control you desire, talk to a diabetes specialist and also do your own research. There are several types of insulin, insulin pens, insulin pumps, glucose meters and continuous glucose monitors available today. You can definitely create a plan that offers flexibility for your lifestyle that also gives you great control over diabetes.
7. Strive for perfect blood sugar readings
Do not half ass your diabetes treatment. The decisions you make today will have an impact tomorrow. Therefore, give it your all and strive to be within range as often as possible (5 mmol/L to 8 mmol/L). Of course there will be times that diabetes will do its own thing no matter your efforts. Don’t let this deter you or stress you out. Keep putting in the work and it will pay off in the long run. Remember the end goal, a long, healthy, happy and complication free life.
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