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Did you know that you can still live a long life despite having diabetes? We understand that living with diabetes is no easy feat, and you may be feeling helpless about your health. However, you can still live an incredible life by making lifestyle changes for diabetes.
Your doctor may have told you that you need to maintain a great diet and work out to manage your diabetes, and even though these two play a huge role in keeping the blood sugar levels in check, there’s so much more you can do.
You may overlook some of these things, but with time you’ll realize that they were the secret all along.
1. Clean Up Your Diet
When you have diabetes, everything you eat affects your blood sugar. Even though no foods are completely off-limits for you, you should make it a point to eat as much as your body needs and no more. To maintain good health, you need to concentrate on eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and the right supplements for diabetes.
Go with non-fat dairy products, lean meats, and healthy meals. In a nutshell, you should try to stay away from foods high in sugar and fats. Keep in mind that carbohydrates turn into sugar, so watch your intake. Beyond that, it’s important for you to keep it the same for all meals, especially if you take medications or insulin to control your blood sugar levels.
You should also get comfortable with tracking your diet. Whether you’re managing type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’ll help if you track your nutrient and carb intake. Tracking will help you stay on top of your blood sugar levels, and there are numerous apps that could help you with this.
2. Get off the Couch
A sedentary lifestyle may not be healthy for anyone, but it’s not ideal for people with diabetes. Movement is one of the most vital aspects of managing diabetes because it has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, which stabilizes blood sugar levels. If you haven’t been active, then it’s about time you started.
The best part is that you don’t necessarily have to join a gym or even do cross-training, though that would be okay as well. Walking, riding a bicycle, or even playing active video games also counts.
The goal here is to participate in activities that make you sweat and breathe harder than normal on most days of the week, even if for just half an hour. Staying active will help you control diabetes and bring down the blood sugar levels for you. Besides, it’s also important because it lowers your chances of getting other diseases, such as heart disease, and helps you manage both your weight and stress.
3. Try Everything You Can to Manage Stress
Dealing with diabetes may not be easy, but when your blood sugar levels are likely to go up when you’re stressed. It may also be challenging to manage your diabetes when you’re anxious. You’re likely to forget to workout, take your meds, or eat right. There are several ways you can manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, or hobbies that you love and enjoy doing.
4. Stop Smoking
We all know that smoking is dangerous to one’s health, and it may not be easy to quit, but when you have diabetes, your health depends on it. Diabetes increases your chance of getting other diseases such as kidney disease, eye disease, stroke, nerve damage, foot problems, and blood vessel disease, among others.
Your chances of getting one or more of these diseases will be higher if you continue to smoke. Smoking can interfere with the way you eat and the way you work out as well. There are several effective ways to quit smoking, and you can talk with your doctor about it.
5. Watch Your Alcohol Intake
You may still indulge yourself in some alcohol, but limiting yourself when you do it is one of the best lifestyle changes for diabetes you can make.
You see, controlling your blood sugar levels may be easier if you avoid getting too much liquor, beer, or wine. According to the American Diabetes Association, women should not have more than one drink per day, while men should not have more than two.
Depending on what you drink, alcohol could make your blood sugar level shoot up or drop too low. It helps to check your blood sugar levels before you drink, eat while drinking, and check the carb levels of your drinks, especially drinks like wine coolers.
6. Make Sleep a Priority
If you feel sluggish and tired, then you’re not getting enough sleep. You may also notice that during the day, you have more cravings, and when you do, you’re likely to grab an unhealthy snack like chips or sweets. When you get enough sleep, however, you’re likely to control your blood sugar levels a lot better.
You’ll be alert during the day and in a better mindset to manage and monitor your diabetes. To get enough sleep, you may try to avoid taking naps late in the day and going to be at the same time every day. This is one of the most active lifestyle changes for diabetes you can make, and you’ll soon realize it.
7. Take Extra Care of Your Skin
You see, when you have diabetes, you’re more susceptible to skin infections because the high levels of glucose in your blood impair your cells’ defense ability. Bacterial and fungal infections are harder to treat for people with diabetes, and cuts and bruises can turn into major issues, making it vital for you to take good care of your skin.
Use gentle cleansers and moisturize your skin to keep it hydrated at all times. This will help prevent cracks and ultimately prevent bacteria and germs from entering the skin through those cracks. Soothe your skin instead of scratching it and always prevent sweaty skin.
Beyond that, ensure you treat injuries as soon as they happen to avoid problems later on.
Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes: Everything You Needed to Know
These are some of the best lifestyle changes for diabetes, and once you adapt, you can be sure that you’ll lead a healthier life. Diabetes management may be tricky, and some of these things may be harder than others, but you’ll eventually get used to it and make it your lifestyle.
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