Diabetes, also known as Diabetes Mellitus has turned out as the largest chronic disease of modern times that presently affects 387 million people worldwide. Some of the unmistakable symptoms of high blood sugar levels are increased thirst, frequent urination and increased hunger. This condition, if kept untreated can lead to serious health complications such as kidney failure, cardiovascular diseases, damaged vision, stroke, etc.
Type of Diabetes
Before moving on to the list of tips to stay healthy with diabetes, we must know about the various types of diabetes.
- Type 1 Diabetes- Caused due failure of the pancreas in producing enough insulin
- Type 2 Diabetes- Caused due to the body’s failure in using insulin efficiently
- Gestational Diabetes – Occurs in some women during pregnancy
10 Useful Tips for a Healthy Life with Type 2 Diabetes
Being detected with diabetes does not mean it is the end of the world. Developing some healthy habits and following a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in regulating Type 2 Diabetes.
Following a Healthy Diet
Diet plays a very significant role in treating and controlling Type 2 Diabetes. A diet for diabetes should be low in starch and fat and high in fibers, complex carbs, vitamins and some amount of protein. The diet must have low glycemic index foods such as whole grains along with lots of non-starchy vegetables, fruits, oily fishes, lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy.
Opting for medium intensity exercises for 30 minutes for at least 4 to 5 times every week not only helps in keeping the weight under check, but also promotes the body to use insulin more efficiently. In addition, it also helps in reducing body fat and burning calories, both of which are beneficial for keeping diabetes under control.
Taking Medications on Time
Being punctual about the timings of medications can help in keeping blood sugar levels under control. It is seen that many people don’t take their medication seriously. Taking medicines as prescribed by the physician in correct dosages and correct times (before or after the meals) is an effective way of managing type 2 diabetes.
Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels
Make a habit of using blood glucose monitor at home regularly can help you to understand how well the medications, diet and exercise are working towards your diabetes control goals. By keeping regular track of your blood sugar levels, you will be better prepared to manage the problem before things get out of hand.
Regular Foot Care
Those suffering for diabetes need to be especially careful about their foot care. High blood sugar level for a prolonged period damages the nerves of the foot and lead to foot complications such as foot ulcers, fungal infections, corns and even gangrene. Therefore, it is important to check your feet regularly for any cuts, bruises or sores. Cleaning feet with mild soap, using a special diabetic foot care cream and using diabetic socks and specially designed shoes is also recommended to take care of diabetic foot.
Keeping Weight Under Control
Excessive weight in the mid-section of the body is one of the causes of Type 2 Diabetes. Therefore, it is important to reduce excess weight and maintain normal body weight through regular workouts in order to avert heart attacks, save your vision and avoid amputations – some of the greatest risks associated with high blood glucose levels.
Give up Smoking
Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attacks, therefore, it is best to give up smoking which further add up to the risk of heart diseases. In addition, it is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. You can use nicotine replacement therapy in the form of nicotine gums to quit smoking.
Limit Alcohol Intake
People suffering from diabetes should limit their daily alcohol intake to 3 to 4 units for men and 2 to3 units for women and they should never consume alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol intake can either cause extremely high (hyperglycaemia) or extremely low (hypoglycaemia) blood sugar levels and it might also interfere with insulin treatment and correct blood glucose monitoring.
Staying away from Stress
It is important to manage and control stress with yoga, relaxing music and fun filled hobbies because stress has severe negative effects on diabetes. Stress hormones such as cortisol increases blood sugar levels, it promotes insulin resistance and leads to weight gain (especially belly weight) – all of which is harmful to people suffering from diabetes.
Regular tracking of blood glucose levels helps in preventing sudden rise or fall in blood glucose levels that is extremely harmful to people with diabetes. But it is crucial to know the signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia and ways to bring blood sugar levels under control so that you can deal with emergency situations more efficiently.
Having a healthy life with diabetes is not impossible, all you need to do is be a bit disciplined about your blood glucose monitoring and medications and follow a healthy lifestyle.