Diabetes is a condition that is a major cause of health complications like stroke, nerve damage, foot problems causing amputations, heart disease, blindness and even kidney failure. It affects everyone from little kids as young as five years old to the elderly. However, it is a condition that can be controlled if the affected persons follow and adhere to the lifestyle methods that have been advocated by doctors worldwide. These lifestyle methods are a product of years and years of scientific research.
What exactly is diabetes? Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the blood sugars in the blood cannot be controlled by the insulin that our bodies naturally produce. This is because either the body cells don’t respond well to the insulin produced or the insulin produced is not enough for the body or in some cases both. There are three main signs that one is diabetic which are, increased thirst for water (polydipsia), frequent urination and increased hunger (polyphagia).
Diabetes is an untreatable condition but that does not mean a diabetic person’s life is over. The following are lifestyle methods that have been proven to make life easier for diabetic patients. If applied correctly, these changes in lifestyle will significantly improve their lives and avoid developing other health complications. It even gets much easier to control blood glucose levels.
- Healthy diet: Eating healthy is very important for diabetic patients. The first precaution is to watch the number of carbohydrates you consume because they eventually turn into sugars and that is what we’re trying to control in the blood. Take lots of vegetables, fruits, white lean meat (fish or chicken) over red meat, whole grains and cereals. Diabetic people should eat small portions but regularly throughout the day.
- Monitor blood glucose level: Monitoring blood glucose levels is very crucial in managing diabetes. It helps the patient have an easier time in deciding what type of diet to pick and most importantly the amount of carbohydrates to take. With the help of technology, it is very easy to acquire a glucose meter at fair prices everywhere worldwide. This device only requires a drop of your blood on a strip and within seconds you can know your blood sugar level and then decide on the necessary measures to take.
- Medication: Adhering to your doctor’s prescription is another important aspect when managing diabetes. Always use the specific medication prescribed to you and not what works for another diabetic patient.
- Exercise regularly: Being active could ease a lot of issues though it may seem like a hard task for some. Exercising regularly for at least 30 minutes, six days a week is important because that could tremendously lower your blood sugars. It is also a good way to keep your mind distracted from stress which is closely related to diabetic people. It is also a chance to avoid diabetic complications like heart disease.
- Blood Pressure: Go for regular checkups to monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure causes hypertension that leads further to diabetic complications like heart disease and ruining your blood vessels.
- Avoid Stress and Depression: Whenever a diabetic person has stress, it tends to increase the blood sugar levels uncontrollably. Stress and depression cause low appetite which is not a good thing for a diabetic person. It is advisable to exercise as we had earlier stated, and also to find things that you enjoy doing that in turn help in relieving your thoughts. New studies have also shown that medical Cannabis has helped some patients in relieving depression in diabetic patients, and also increasing their appetite.
- Smoking: If you are a smoker you might consider quitting the habit. Smoking increases your chances of getting high blood pressure which in turn ruins blood vessels.
- Foot Care: Diabetes has been a cause of amputations especially the feet. It is vital to do daily checks on your feet to spot anything strange. Two of the main things to look out for are swellings and cuts. In case you see any of these signs you need to see your doctor. It is important to keep your feet clean and don’t expose them to either extreme of heat or cold. Always wear comfortable shoes that allow easy blood flow to all parts of the feet. It is also advisable to wear shoes with small heels.
- Regular clinical checkups: Make a point of having regular clinical checkups for a couple of things like eyes, neurology, blood pressure, kidneys. This is important because, in case of diseases in these organs, they will be noticed earlier before it becomes complicated problem.
- Erectile dysfunction: Some of the diabetic men tend to experience problems having an erection. It is not something to be embarrassed about. Just have a discussion with your doctor about this as early as possible to come up with the most favorable solutions for you. It is something that can be rectified.
- Stay Informed: Staying informed is vital as science keeps coming up with newer and even better methods of controlling blood sugars. Join community groups online that follow up on the latest about diabetes. Again, the Internet has tones of information, always keep looking and when you find something new it is always important to share what you’ve learnt with your doctor to make an even easier approach of trying out new ideas.
Being diagnosed with diabetes is not the end of the road. Leading a normal life as a diabetic is very possible. All it requires is the patients’ commitment to living a healthy life. The bigger role to be played is not even medical but it’s more about the patient adapting to some changes. It is putting the effort into knowing how to control their blood sugars. Over time and with research, managing diabetes keeps getting easier. Expose yourself to vast materials about this condition while keeping in mind that every diabetic case is unique. Join support groups both in the real world and online and share experiences. While it may sound easier to live with diabetes it necessarily isn’t. Knowledge and commitment to adjusting lifestyle are paramount.