Worldwide, the incidence and prevalence of diabetes continue to rise in both children and adults. In the United States, almost one in every four people have diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic endocrine disorder in which the blood glucose level becomes higher than the normal level. It develops when the pancreas in the body does not produce enough insulin or alternatively, it occurs when the body is unable to use the produced insulin properly.
Diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2 are the two major types of diabetes. Normally, when we eat the food is broken down into glucose which gives the body the energy to function properly. But in order to use glucose as energy, the body makes insulin. When the body does not produce enough insulin or use it well, the cells of the body are unable to use the glucose as energy. As a result, the glucose stays in the blood and the blood glucose level rises.
Lack of insulin and insulin resistance mean that the glucose level is poorly controlled. It is important to keep the blood glucose level in control as uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves and cardiovascular disease.
Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed by balancing and bringing certain lifestyle changes. Certain changes can keep the blood glucose in the healthy range which can help prevent and delay diabetes complications. Here are some of the ways through which you can manage your diabetes.
1. Increase physical activity
Regular physical activity is considered to be a key to manage diabetes. Although physical activity offers numerous health benefits, it also provides benefits to individuals with diabetes. Being active is essential and plays a role in the management of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and pre-diabetes.
In diabetic patients, physical activity involves multiple physiological and psychological benefits. In patients having type 1 diabetes, it plays a role in physical and mental development. And in patients with type 2 diabetes, it improves insulin sensitivity and plasma glucose control. Regular physical activity affects the overall glycemic control through improved insulin sensitivity, lowered insulin requirements, and improved glucose tolerance. These health benefits contribute to a reduction in the risk of developing long term complications of diabetes such as diabetic neuropathies.
2. Eat healthy food
Healthy eating habit is one of the most important tools to manage diabetes as - what you eat and how much you eat has an impact on the blood glucose level. It is very well known that diet control is considered to be the basis for the treatment of diabetes.
For diabetic patients, it is important to avoid excessive caloric intake. As the amount of insulin required by the body is reduced, the metabolism of glucose and all the other substances process smoothly. Also, the need for nutrients increases in patients having diabetes. Therefore, the supply of nutrients to maintain a healthy body is important. Vitamins, nutrients, and minerals should be supplied in adequate amount.
3. Sleep Well
Sleep is a basic essential for life. It is important for the physical, mental and emotional well being. Sleep acts as a metabolic regulator and sleep deprivation can have harmful effects on the patient. sleep is important and crucial for everyone but it is extremely important for patients having type 2 diabetes. Getting enough sleep regulates the blood glucose level and improves insulin sensitivity.
Lack of sleep can be risky for patients having diabetes as sleep deprivation can worsen diabetes. People who don’t sleep properly are often found to have higher insulin resistance. Also, lack of sleep triggers the production of certain hormones such as cortisol which in turn results in increased weight. Increased weight is one of the risk factors for diabetes.
4. Reduce stress
Stress is a potential contributor to chronic hyperglycemia in diabetes. Hyperglycemia is a medical term used to describe a very high glucose level in the blood. Stress affects physical as well as the mental state of well being and its effects on the body can worsen diabetes. Stress stimulates the production of various hormones that can result in an elevated blood glucose level. Various studies have shown that stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis that leads to an increased release of glucocorticoids.
The best way to avoid stress is to prevent it. One of the best ways to cope with stress is to think positively. Negative thoughts often lead to negative results and negative results end up triggering stress. Try to find out positivity in every situation.
Surely, avoiding stress is not possible we all experience stress in our daily life and stress can result from any situation. But, steps can be taken to reduce stress such as try to catch yourself before you get angry or stressed out.
5. Check your sugar level regularly
Self-testing blood glucose level is the most important tool to manage the treatment of diabetes and preventing the complications associated with it. Your blood sugar numbers tell you how good your diabetes is being managed. Regular checkup of blood sugar can help you know what makes your numbers go up and down. Also, Try writing down your blood sugar level in order to keep a track of it.
6. Keep yourself hydrated
Drinking an adequate amount of water is important for overall health but it is immensely important for diabetic patients. It is the best choice of drink for diabetics as it contains no added sugar, carbohydrates or calories. Also, a dehydrated body is more likely to increase total caloric intake as it will make an individual eat more. Increased caloric intake is directly related to weight gain.
What To Avoid
High-fat cuts of meat
Excessive consumption of alcohol