Diabetes Management — How Everyday Choices Affect Your Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people worldwide. For some, it’s developed through genes while for others, it’s a matter of consecutive lifestyle choices. If you have diabetes, understanding the role of diabetes management and diabetes treatment is significant.
Prior to the full establishment of the chronic disease, there’s a period known as “pre-diabetes” where the body’s sugar levels are high but not to a level where diabetes is fully distinguishable. For those who develop Type 1 diabetes, the body produces little to no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose (sugar) enter the cells that produce energy. Developing Type 1 diabetes begins as a child or teen but can also develop well into adulthood.
Type 2 diabetes patients tend to develop the disease from genes as well as lifestyle choices. Many people will struggle to maintain a healthy weight since insulin resistance causes the body to store extra fat, especially in the abdomen. You may also be more prone to developing Type 2 diabetes if you’re not physically active. The development begins with insulin resistance and high levels of blood glucose. Glucose comes from two main sources: your liver and food.
How to Prevent Diabetes
The moment pre-diabetes becomes evident is the moment to begin taking action! There are several lifestyle adjustments you can make to reduce your risk of fully developing the disease. For one, it’s important to introduce at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. The more active your lifestyle, the better. You can start small such as walking in the park or bike riding. Eating a balanced diet is also necessary as food plays a major role in diabetes prevention. You will want to avoid over-consuming carbohydrates and foods with refined sugar. Seeking professional guidance is your best defense in preventing diabetes.
Diabetes Management Options
Despite the medical attention on diabetes, there is still no cure. However, diabetes management is a viable option and an essential part of living with the disease. Upon being diagnosed, our doctor will provide you with personal recommendations based on your specific needs. It’s important to remember that managing your diabetes is not a one-time occurrence but rather components of everyday decisions.
The following are recommendations for managing your diabetes as well as treatments that may play a significant role in your overall health:
- Diet. What you consume plays a large role in managing diabetes. Eating a diet full of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and healthy fats will not only help manage your blood sugar levels but it also ensures you get the proper amount of insulin. Portion size also plays an important role as over consuming one food group can have a negative effect on your health. You’ll want to avoid foods and beverages with high fructose corn syrup or sucrose since they’re high in calories and low in nutrition. They also cause your blood sugar to rise quickly.
- Exercise. Physical activity is another vital aspect of a diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use glucose for energy. Daily exercise also supports your use of insulin. While our doctor can offer you specific recommendations based on your needs, it’s important to note that even light exercises such as household cleaning, gardening, and brisk walking have a positive effect on your blood sugar. The average recommendation is at least 30 minutes a day.
- Prescriptions. There are diabetes medications designed to lower your blood sugar and help manage insulin. Medication should always be prescribed by a doctor as medication and your own health all play a role in your body’s reaction.
- Foot Care. People with diabetes tend to suffer from complications with their feet since diabetes lowers the body’s ability to fight infections. If you suffer from complications in your feet, there are several treatments available that specifically target foot problems. Some of these include bathing feet in lukewarm water as well as applying lotions to keep your feet moist. Medical treatments such as antibiotics and therapy as directed by a podiatrist are also available.