Diabetes is a chronic health condition impacting people’s blood sugar levels and how the body transforms food into energy. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 34.2 million people in the United States are estimated to be living with diabetes. However, only 26.9 million are formally diagnosed.
Here are some tips that you can use to manage your condition.
Keep Track of Your Blood Sugar Levels
Practice blood sugar self-monitoring. There are at-home test kits you can use to monitor your blood sugar levels.
All you need is to put a drop of your blood in a test strip and place it in the machine. When you monitor your blood sugar condition, you can have more informed decisions about your diet and routine for the day.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
The diet for people with diabetes can be quite strict. But the gist of it is that you need to reduce the amount of sugar, starch, trans fat, and processed food you consume.
All these things contribute to increasing your already high blood sugar levels. Nutritionists and primary care physicians suggest eating a balanced diet with fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains, and other food with low glycemic index values.
Regular exercise can help you manage your blood sugar levels. Your body becomes more sensitive to insulin when you work out.
Insulin is a hormone that your body releases to utilize blood sugar for energy. When your insulin levels are up, sugar levels remain at bay.
Learn More about Your Condition
You can even have a friend or family member learn with you. When you equip yourself with the knowledge now, managing your condition will be relatively easy in the long run.
Take Your Medication
You should also make sure you are following your medication plan. Keep in mind that you can use your medications and your diet program together to help manage your blood sugar levels.
Studies have shown that there is a link between stress and blood sugar levels. When you get stressed, blood sugar rises because your body releases glucagon and cortisol at a higher rate.
It’s integral to learn how to control your stress levels and relax. Try practicing good stress management techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.
Know the Signs of Hyperglycemia
As a patient with diabetes, your blood sugar tends to shift more drastically than most people. If your blood sugar level goes even higher, you can experience fatigue, frequent urination, blurred vision, nausea, and hunger.
Unmanaged high blood sugar levels can result in blood vessel damage, organ blood supply issues, and more. Remember to keep your medication at hand.
Know the Signs of Hypoglycemia
The blood sugar pendulum for a person with diabetes can swing to the other extreme—hypoglycemia. Signs of hypoglycemia include sweating, shakiness, tremors, paleness, and difficulty speaking, thinking, or walking.
Do not automatically assume that your blood sugar levels are high when you feel ill. Check your blood sugar with your test kit, take your medication when it is too high, and eat something sweet when it is too low.
Living with diabetes is a challenge, but it is necessary. When you properly manage your condition, there is almost nothing that you can do. Don’t forget to listen to your primary care doctor’s advice, eat healthy, stay active, and stay positive.
Aspen Medical Center is a respected medical clinic and urgent care center in Santa Fe, NM. We offer a wide range of medical services, from family urgent care to PCR tests, to keep you healthy and safe. Set an appointment today!