It might not be easy to keep your blood sugar levels within the range that your physician recommends you aim for. It is because many different factors may trigger changes in your blood sugar levels, which can often come as a surprise. Unfortunately, diabetes is a chronic condition affecting how your body processes sugar. It is important to manage diabetes effectively to avoid serious health complications, such as heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney disease. Thankfully, you can work with a diabetes specialist such as Dr. Kalpana Desai and follow the following tips for managing diabetes:
1. Eat a healthy diet
Maintaining a balanced diet is an essential component of diabetes management. Choose foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories, fat, and sugar. Emphasize getting enough fresh produce, healthy grains, and lean meats. Avoid processed and sugary foods.
2. Exercise regularly
By engaging in physical activity, you may better regulate your blood sugar levels and enhance your overall health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity weekly exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling. You can also incorporate strength training and flexibility exercises into your routine.
3. Take your medications as prescribed
If you have been prescribed medication to manage your diabetes, it is important to take it as directed. It includes insulin injections, oral medications, and other medications your doctor prescribes.
4. Monitor your blood sugar levels
Checking your blood sugar levels regularly can help you manage your diabetes and avoid complications. Your doctor will recommend how often you should check your blood sugar, but it is usually at least once a day.
5. See your healthcare provider regularly
Regular visits to your healthcare provider are an important part of managing diabetes. Your provider will check your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol and provide any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
6. Manage stress and get enough sleep
Stress can affect your blood sugar levels, so it is important to find healthy ways to manage stress. It could include activities such as yoga, meditation, or talking to a therapist. Likewise, getting enough sleep is important for overall health, including blood sugar control.
7. Don’t smoke
Smoking can increase your risk of serious health complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease and stroke. If you are a smoker, you must stop as quickly as possible. Your healthcare provider can provide resources and support to help you quit smoking.
8. Know the signs of high and low blood sugar
It is important to recognize the signs of high and low blood sugar so that you can take action to correct it. Signs of high blood sugar (also known as hyperglycemia) include feeling very thirsty, frequently urinating, tiredness, and having dry mouth and skin. Symptoms of low blood sugar (also known as hypoglycemia) include feeling hungry, shaky or dizzy, anxious or irritable, and sweating.
Following these tips can effectively manage your diabetes and reduce your risk of complications. Working with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that works for you is important. With the right management, you can live a healthy and active life with diabetes.