Diabetes Management Guidelines: A Complete Guide to a Healthier Life
Just because diabetes is a chronic disorder doesn’t mean that it is a death sentence. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with the illness, rest assured that you can still lead a high-quality life. However, proper control and management of your diabetes through treatment is absolutely crucial to achieving this. Treatment consists of your medication, lifestyle choices and keeping tight control of any complications that may arise. Keeping your blood sugar level balanced and reducing any further complications is a key part of treatment. These are the factors that allow people with diabetes to lead a normal and functional daily life.
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus? Then read on for some important diabetes management guidelines you should follow to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
When we think diabetes, we often think that it is caused solely by over-consuming sugary foods or a combination of sugary and fatty foods. That is only one causative factor. There are several other elements that play a role in getting the illness.
Your lifestyle choices and your habits all play a part. For example, drinking, smoking, or a sedentary lifestyle combined with your diet can lead to diabetes. Genetics can also predispose you to diabetes.
Additionally, diabetes can be caused by various other existing illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, hormonal disorders, and pancreatitis.
Two Major Diabetes Management Guidelines
Proper control and monitoring of your daily habits, lifestyle choices and diet becomes vital. Once diagnosed with the disease, these lifestyle factors, in addition to medication prescribed by your doctor, can help normalize your insulin and blood sugar levels.
Here are some must-follow diabetes management guidelines:
Medication: Your Best Friend
For those diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, it is crucial that you take your insulin throughout the day as prescribed, be it before or after a meal. Whether using a needle, insulin pump, pen or other insulin delivery method, self-monitoring will help you to decide when to take your medication.
Given that people with Type 1 Diabetes are unable to produce any insulin at all, insulin replacement therapy is critical in order to allow the body to adequately absorb glucose and use it towards energy production.
For those with Type 2 Diabetes, it is a bit different. A combination of lifestyle choices including dietary regulations, consistent exercise and medication is key to managing your blood sugar levels. Most people with this form of diabetes take Metformin to help manage their disease. Newer categories of drugs, such as “SGLT-2 Inhibitors” (which includes Invokana and Jardiance) and “DPP-4 Inhibitors” (which includes Tradjenta) are also often used in combination with Metformin for treating those with Type 2 Diabetes.
Exercise: The Path to a Better Life
Exercise is a key factor in diabetes management as it can reverse the illness in the early stages. You can try doing thirty minutes of moderate exercise at least five times weekly. Exercise uses up spare glucose and makes muscles more insulin sensitive.
Exercise such as aerobics can aid weight control, reduce blood sugar levels and improve the use of insulin. You can try speed walking, cycling, dancing, and swimming.
Strength training exercises are also good. They improve muscle buildup, which in turn increases the amount of glucose that the body burns during rest. Some examples include weight lifting, squats, and even gardening.
In instances where there are excess ketones in the urine, you are to avoid exercising. This is an indication that the body is only burning fats and not glucose.
Right Dietary Decisions Equals Right Results
For most people with diabetes, moderation is key when it comes to diet. You can still enjoy your favorite foods, just in smaller portions. A balanced meal consumed in the recommended servings makes all the difference.
When it comes to vegetables both starchy and non-starchy vegetables can be eaten. Great choices are leafy green vegetables, green beans, and carrots.
Fruits can be tricky. It is best to avoid those with high sugar content such as watermelon. Some fruits that are better for diabetics are berries, apples, and oranges.
When it comes to grains, it is better to consume wholewheat or wholemeal bread, cereal, and pasta. These grains are great additions as well as oats, quinoa, and barley.
In order to have variety in your diet try eating low-fat, non-dairy or non-fat dairy products. Salmon, nuts, and avocado are wonderful too.
Avoid alcohol as much as possible. Fried, salty and sugary foods are high on the list of foods to avoid as well.
Habits Break or Make You
For people who are pre-diabetic or who already have the illness, you are advised to avoid smoking, especially tobacco.
When you smoke it increases the likelihood of heart disease and may cause early death or other complications. It also lessens your body’s ability to control your blood sugar level. Even e-cigarettes are best avoided if you have diabetes.
Hydration, Reduced Stress, and Quality Sleep
Drinking lots of water helps to balance your blood sugar levels. An additional benefit is that it helps the kidney to get rid of excess sugar via urination.
When you are stressed, it can increase your blood sugar levels. Stress produces glucagon and cortisol that raises blood sugar levels. Controlling stress particularly through exercise and relaxation will help you to keep healthy.
Lack of good quality sleep has an impact on both insulin sensitivity and blood sugar. It also increases cortisol levels. Loss of sleep not only affects metabolic hormones but also increases appetite and weight.
Right Steps Today for a Better, Healthier Tomorrow
While there is no cure for diabetes, effective treatment which is inclusive of good lifestyle choices and the right medication can lead to a healthy, happy you. Being diabetic is not a prison sentence, there are lots of diabetics who are leading normal lives.
What is important is to follow the steps outlined in these diabetes management guidelines. Eat a balanced diet, enjoy things in moderation, exercise, take your medication, and sleep well.
Staying hydrated and practicing good lifestyle choices will also make a world of difference. If you follow all these guidelines you will be well on your way to ensuring that you live a hassle-free life that is not debilitating due to your illness.
If you would like more tips on how to stay healthy, please contact us.