Diabetes is a serious illness that affects millions of Americans. Type 2 Diabetes is a disease where your pancreas does not create enough insulin to break down sugars in the foods you consume. These sugars are then left in the blood stream instead of being converted to energy. High glucose levels can lead to heart disease, blindness, kidney problems and nerve damage. Learn how best to manage your diabetes to prevent these complications and continue to lead a healthy life.
1. Learn as much as your can about diabetes
Apart from getting information from your doctor, a number of books and online resources are available for your information. If you stay informed about resources and options available for you, you can be empowered about choosing the right management options for your lifestyle. You can find published research about new treatments for diabetes and information about how best to manage your disease by simply looking online or visiting your local book store.
2. Use a blood glucose meter to test your blood glucose levels regularly
You can purchase blood glucose meters at a pharmacy in order to keep track of your blood glucose levels. Speak with your doctor or an educator about how to properly test yourself first. This person can share with you the correct way to test yourself and provide you with tips on how to get the most accurate results from your test, how to monitor your blood glucose levels, how to properly clean the meter and how to test if it is accurate.
3. Healthy eating
Eating healthy foods that have a low glycemic index is an important step in living with diabetes. Avoid foods that have high fructose corn syrup or processed flour such as sugary drinks, white bread, white rice and other simple carbohydrates. Opt for healthier, whole grain products which require greater effort to break down. This will help your body properly digest the sugar in the foods you eat.
4. Exercise regularly
Exercise can effectively lower your blood glucose level within one hour. It also decreases your risk of heart disease and other illnesses associated with diabetes. Exercising will give you more energy and help you sleep better, while also lowering your stress level. Start by walking for 15-20 minutes at a moderate pace and increase your pace and length of exercise gradually.
5. Quit smoking
Aside from other unhealthy consequences of regular cigarette smoking, the chemicals contained in cigarettes attack your blood vessels and further prevent your body from breaking down sugars. This has profoundly negative effects on your bodies ability to use transport nutrients through the blood to your heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys, further complicating the long-term negative effects of diabetes.
6. Lower your cholesterol levels
Fat and cholesterol deposits can line up inside of your nerves preventing blood from flowing adequately to other parts of your body. This can lead to cardiovascular disease, which significantly complicates the effects of diabetes. To limit cholesterol, choose low-fat foods or foods that contain cholesterol-lowering unsaturated fats, such as fish, peanut, canola or olive oil.
7. Maintain proper oral hygiene
Diabetes patients are often surprised to find a link between diabetes and their teeth. If blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, it can lead to serious complications with your gums and potentially tooth loss. Ensure that you keep your blood glucose levels in check and also brush your teeth and floss regularly. This will help your gums and teeth stay healthy and strong despite diabetes.
Living a full and healthy life as a diabetic is possible with the proper care and lifestyle. Consistency is key. Keep up with your treatment regimen and stay informed and you can live long and well for years to come.