Lethargy, weight fluctuations, urine problems, nausea, respiratory issues and what not! Diabetes is a long-term condition associated with all these issues and more. This metabolic disorder is characterised by an increase in the blood sugar level and problems with insulin production or use. The bad news? It cannot be cured and if not treated properly, it can manifest into other grave conditions like strokes, glaucoma, cataract, hypertension and so on. The good news? It can be effectively managed by taking even the smallest of steps when it comes to your diet, exercise and medications. Here, we tell you how by listing the Top 10 Tips to Deal with Diabetes:
10. Do Not Skip Meals:
Skipping meals can raise your blood sugar to extreme levels. This is especially true for breakfast since the gap between night meals and morning meals is the maximum as compared to any other set of consecutive meals. In the absence of energy for the body from food, the liver begins to produce glucose to fuel the body, which increases the blood sugar level. It is, thus, imperative to have a mild carbohydrate serving for breakfast since it signals the liver to stop excess glucose production. Besides, skipping meals can also cause overeating to compensate and this can cause unnecessary weight gain. On the other hand, most diabetics take insulin producing medication and if they avoid a meal or two, there is a heightened risk of the blood sugar dropping.
9. Diabetes Bars and Shakes:
The market is full of specially prepared and medically recommended bars and shakes that are meant for diabetic individuals. For those who travel a lot or end up having no time for a proper meal, these bars and shakes serve as perfect meal replacements. Firstly, they are easy to consume and secondly, the calories they add to the body can be easily monitored. However, they must not be taken in addition to other meals lest they add to weight gain and blood sugar levels.
Many alcoholic drinks are known to lower blood sugar levels, though often erratically. It does not allow the liver to raise blood glucose. This is why it is important to consume it in moderation because it can cause hypoglycemia (especially if you take medication like sulfonylurea or insulin). However, if combined with high-sugar beverages or carbohydrate-laden food stuffs, the purpose may backfire. So apart from the fact that the effect of alcohol cannot be quantitatively monitored, an occasional drink or two (in moderation, of course) can go a long way in managing diabetes.
7. Green Tea:
Most of us have a beverage that we rely on every morning and evening. While tea and coffee are the most popular choices, green tea is preferred by those facing health issues and diabetics are no exceptions. Tea, coffee or artificially flaovured juices have an unanticipated amount of sugar and it is best to steer clear of these to avoid any complications. This is where green tea comes as the perfect replacement! It helps monitor calories, cut down on sugar and carbohydrates and contains disease-fighting polyphenols too.
Just a single spoon of vinegar can control the blood sugar level, especially when consumed right before a meal. It slows down carbohydrate digestion and holds the food in the digestive tract for a little longer, thus delaying the emptying of the stomach. Let’s face it, vinegar is not pleasant to drink directly but that does not mean that it cannot be benefitted from-just season your salad with it or saute your vegetables with it!
5. Medication Adjustment:
Diabetes management involves medication and the consumption of such medication is dynamic because of the nature of the condition. Many patients show symptoms of diabetes that are progressive, which means that the dosage and frequency of the medication has to be adjusted. However, it is important to monitor your diet properly because blood sugar fluctuations can be the result of short-term food mistakes too. For instance, you may have an increased level of blood sugar because of a heavy carbohydrate diet but that does not mean that there has been a change in the insulin production of your body. Basically, be careful of noticing even minor changes in your symptoms and do consult a doctor before you jump to conclusions regarding the nature of your health.
4. Sleep Well:
Erratic sleep patterns can wreak havoc for your hormones and lead to drastic changes in appetite, higher blood sugar and increased weight gain. A Netherlands research team concluded that just one night of sleep deprivation can affect insulin sensitivity by up to twenty five per cent! So it is advisable to find a sleep routine that works best for you and stick to it. Sleeping and waking up on time is imperative to maintain smooth and healthy body functioning. If you suffer from sleep problems, do visit a medical expert to help you get back on track.
It goes without saying that any kind of diet or healthy living pattern is incomplete without adequate and appropriate exercise. Since diabetes is primarily a metabolic disorder, metabolism boosting workouts are most recommended. When seen from the point of view of having a healthy sleep pattern too, exercise shuns inactivity and lethargy. Not indulging in exercise results in a vicious circle of health demotion. This is because inactivity results in poor quality of sleep, which in turn, makes a person too tired to be able to exercise.
2. Steer Clear of Stress:
Stress is a diabetic individual’s worst enemy as the stress hormones can raise his/her blood sugar. Since in the modern age diaspora, it is almost impossible to completely avoid stress, one must develop ways to keep it under control or manage it. This includes a variety of completely subjective activities. Be it gardening, singing, dancing, meditation, yoga or just taking a power nap, make sure that you know what will work for you. Whenever you start to feel baffled or even a tad bit low, just shift to doing things that will make that feeling go away!
1. Routine Care:
Part of monitoring your diabetic health involves regular check-ups, at least twice or thrice a year. Each time you visit your doctor, be sure to clarify any doubts you may have and compulsorily get your blood pressure, foot, weight and self-care plan checked and reviewed. Have your A1C test regularly, especially if the scales tip towards higher values. Also, annually, go for a dental, eye, cholesterol, blood and urine test to make sure that every organ is functioning properly. Keep in touch with your personal health care professionals in order to keep yourself updated regarding the latest technologies and treatments that emerge from research.
Remember that you are the most important member of your own health care team and ultimately, the responsibility of taking care of yourself lies with you. Loads of good quality information can be rendered to you from various reliable expert sources but if you do not put it to good use, it will not matter at all. This is why it is emphasised-it is you and you primarily that can make a difference to your own life. So do take diabetes as a challenge rather than a problem and you will definitely be able to deal with it effectively!