Diabetes is a chronic disease. You need to take several steps to manage the health condition in order to prevent it from worsening. Keeping your blood sugar levels in check helps you lower the risk of serious complications such as nerve damage, foot problems, and eye problems.
This World Diabetes Day (14th Nov), we are trying to raise awareness on diabetes management. Here we discuss 10 practical tips on living with type 2 Diabetes.
1) Get a complete health checkup done regularly
One of the most important steps to take in order to manage your diabetes and lower the risk of complications is to visit a doctor once in 3 months. Also, regularly get your physical exams, such as blood pressure tests, foot exam, eye test, and dental tests done. To control diabetes, managing your ABCs is important. Let’s discuss more on these ABCs –
- A1C or HBA1C test – this blood test gives you an idea of your average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. Check your HBA1C level at least 2 times a year
- Blood pressure – It’s often seen that people suffering from diabetes have high blood pressure (hypertension). Maintain your blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg
- Cholesterol – If you have diabetes, then you are at a high risk of developing high blood cholesterol. There are two major forms of cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein or LDL and high-density lipoprotein or HDL. LDL and triglyceride form bad cholesterol and HDL is good cholesterol. Keep your LDL levels to 100 mg/dL or less and triglycerides below 150 mg/dL and HDL above 40 to 50 mg/dL.
If these numbers aren’t in control, then you are at an increased risk of developing serious complications. If you live in or around Siliguri and want to consult an endocrinologist, visit The Department of Endocrinology at Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre. Our team includes expert endocrinologists and well-trained diabetes educators to provide state – of – the- art management of diabetes and other endocrinology related disorders. Know more about the department here https://www.neotiagetwelsiliguri.com/endocrinology/
2) Maintain a healthy body weight
Measure your weight regularly. If you are overweight, make lifestyle changes in consultation with your doctor to shed those extra kilos. Follow a healthy diet and stay physically active. Over here we discuss some tips to help you eat healthy:
- Include leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce.
- Nuts such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are good for health. Consult a dietician to learn the nut serving that’s healthy for you.
- Fatty fishes such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- You can drink low-fat milk, it’s loaded with calcium and Vitamin D.
3) Avoid relying totally on sugar-free food items
Although sugar-free food items contain less carbohydrates, but consuming them more raise your blood sugar levels.
4) Get proper sleep
Sleep-deprivation tends to increase your cravings for high-carb food items. And when you eat more carbs, you tend to gain weight which, in turn, increases the risk of blood glucose spikes. Make it a routine to get 7 to 8 hours of proper sleep every day.
5) Choose your beverages wisely
Stay away from soft drinks, fruit punches, packaged fruit drinks, and energy drinks. Instead, choose healthier beverage alternatives like vegetable juices and green tea.
6) Choose lower fat food
Limit your intake of products containing saturated and trans-fats like cakes, pastries, and cookies. Instead choose lower fat food items such as lean meat, low-fat yoghurt, and skimmed milk.
7) Stay physically active
Staying physically active is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy body weight. Include exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, playing outdoor sports, and swimming in your daily fitness routine.
8) Manage your stress
Managing your stress is another step to maintain your blood sugar at healthy levels and lower the risk of diabetes complications. Pursuing your hobbies, practicing yoga, spending time in nature, and meditating are some of the most effective ways to relieve stress.
9) Treat bumps and bruises
When you have diabetes, wounds tend to heal slowly. Therefore, it’s important to treat even minor cuts and injuries immediately to lower the risk of infection. Diabetes also increases the risk of feet problems; check your feet for redness, sores, and cuts every two days.
10) Talk to a doctor regarding birth control options
Birth control options that have estrogen can affect insulin absorption in your body. It’s a safe option to consult with a doctor and choose the birth control option that’s the safest for you.
Diabetes is a chronic condition, but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your life. With proper care and attention, you can prevent most of the problems and complications associated with the disease.