Let’s face it. Diabetes is no fun. Juggling between daily tasks and managing diabetes can be overwhelming. But this doesn’t mean you cannot live a normal life; it’s just about having to do a few things differently. When you have diabetes, your main focus is to always keep it under control.
Here are 9 simple tips simple you can do each day to help manage and control your diabetes.
1. Know your numbers
Being aware of your blood sugar numbers is extremely important. It should be as important as your social security number and online banking pin. Using continuous glucose monitoring systems can be great to keep tabs on your blood sugar levels. Identifying when it’s too high or too low gives you the potential to correct your blood sugar promptly. Close monitoring can also help you see patterns of how your blood sugar levels are shifting over time. This data can help you determine whether you might need to make some changes in your lifestyle.
2. Test regularly
If you’re using a CGM- Continuous Glucose Monitoring system, you should be testing your blood sugar with your finger sticks at least one to three times a day, depending on your medications. The most ideal time to test is considered to be after a meal. But testing alone is not enough. You have to make a note of your blood sugar numbers somewhere in order to recognize patterns that tell a story of your glucose patterns.
3. Don’t overlook your Blood pressure and cholesterol.
Since patients with diabetes are also at high risk for heart attack and strokes, you have to find ways to control your blood pressure and cholesterol. The ideal blood pressure is 120/70 mmHg, if you can stay close to that, that’s great, but anything above 140/90 mmHg means you have hypertension; 160/100 mmHg puts you in a dangerous spot. When it comes to your cholesterol, you need to avoid letting your LDL rise above 100. Women should look to keep their HDL above 60, while men should keep their HDL above 50.
4. Make better food choices.
Incorporating a healthy eating lifestyle and changing your habits for the better can be difficult, but if you do, it can make your diabetes management a lot easier. This does not mean you have to go all out and stop eating everything. Just begin with simple changes you can stick to, like eating more vegetables. As per the research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a good option for diabetes management is the Mediterranean diet. It is delicious and can even help you reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. If you want to know more about what kind of diet you should be following, book an appointment with our diabetes experts in Arizona at DrNewMed.
5. Exercise Regularly
Keep up, get up and move. Exercise offers you benefits that go beyond weight loss. It can help you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol while also helping you relax. Even if you manage to complete just 30 mins of exercise every day, you’ll find that you have a lot more energy.
6. Get better at managing stress.
There are many great stress management techniques out there, and learning how to use them effectively can be great news for you and that will help with your diabetes. You’re never going to get rid of stress completely, but the key is to find healthy outlets for it. Open up to your family and friends or support group about how you’re feeling. Exercise is another great stress management technique. It prompts your brain to release chemicals that make you feel better. The important thing is to have a positive attitude. Focus on what is good in your life more often. You may find that a lot of your stress will melt away. Be kind to yourself.
7. Stick to your meds
We get it. Everyone hates swallowing pills or doing injections or suppositories. Remember your doctor prescribes your medications for a reason. Your diabetes meds, in particular, are crucial. They can help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, or kidney disease by helping you keep all your numbers under control. This is especially significant as you get older. Diabetes is a progressive disease. The longer you have it the more treatment you’ll probably need to manage it. Taking medications consistently will give you the best results.
8. Schedule your regular checkups
Life moves fast, and we’re all busy, but not showing up for your appointments is a big no. When it comes to your health, you have to make time. You cannot just avoid taking care of your body; it’s not replaceable. As a diabetic, you’ll want to see your doctor at least three months at a minimum for things like kidney function tests. Regular screenings and lab work will give you a better understanding of the current state of your health and can help you manage your diabetes.
9. Get a care plan
Your body is going to change as you get older, which means you will have to find new ways to manage your diabetes constantly. Work with a doctor to identify problems and find solutions. Your care plan should include your daily blood sugar targets, your medication, why you’re taking them, your sick day plan, your goals of managing your diabetes, and so on. These things will differ from person to person, so make sure you consult your doctor.