A number of individuals mistake their symptoms for some other condition and hence their diabetes remains undiagnosed for a long time.
Hence the first tip to managing diabetes once you become aware that you have been impacted is to NOT PANIC – Diabetes is a condition that can be managed well, provided you adhere to the advice provided by your health care provider.
All that is required from your side is the willingness to educate yourself about your condition, awareness of its complications and readiness to follow a strict dietary and lifestyle protocol. You may also need to take your medicines (whatever your healthcare provider recommends). You will also need to monitor your blood glucose levels at home – sometimes these may become dangerously low – when you do not eat at regular intervals or when you are using certain herbs along with prescription medication.
Your main focus should be on ensuring that your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are in control.
Here are some tips to manage your diabetes :
The first line of action here is to treat your type 2 diabetes is generally anti-diabetic medications, and/or oral or IV insulin administration. Generally, insulin therapy is prescribed for type 1 diabetes. However, it may be required for certain type 2 cases as well. You must monitor your blood sugar levels closely since type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and may need you to adjust your medications depending on your blood sugar level. All adjustments should be done under expert medical supervision.
However, only medicines will not be able to control your diabetes. There are several other attached conditions, which we will discuss further.
Regular examination of blood glucose levels:
If possible, you should monitor your blood glucose levels every day in order to ensure that everything is under control. Medications, stress, physical activity, other illnesses and the foods you eat can all impact your blood glucose levels. Some people avoid regular blood sugar testing. My suggestion is to consult with your health care provider on the frequency at which you will need to check.
Quality sleep is extremely important to effectively manage diabetes. Did you know that even a single night of sleep deficiency can reduce your sensitivity to insulin by almost 25%? Reduced sleep or insomnia can result in hormone fluctuations which in turn leads to an elevation in your blood glucose levels, leading to weight gain.
Physical or mental stress can aggravate your diabetes. The degree at which stress impacts your blood glucose levels varies from one person to another. Studies show that almost all kinds of stress lead to a blood sugar spike. You will read about some amazing stress management techniques in the later chapters of the book.
Smoking elevates your risk of diabetes. If you are a smoker, dealing with complications of diabetes becomes even more difficult. The reason for this is because smoking narrows your blood vessels, elevates your blood glucose levels and leads to inflammations. This also means that there is an increased threat of blood vessel damage, kidney damage, and foot and leg infections in smokers.
I should also warn you that most people put on weight once they quit smoking. The reason for this is their increased tendency to overeat in order to curb the desire for smoking. Be prepared to tackle this problem bravely by incorporating a healthy lifestyle and dietary choices.
Exercise not only has a multifold impact on controlling and even reversing your diabetes, but also helps in burning fat and maintaining an optimum weight. Practicing any kind of exercise for at least thirty minutes in a day can improve your insulin sensitivity, maintain your blood glucose level and even diminish your risk of developing heart diseases. Brisk walking, running, cycling, dancing, swimming and biking are some of the recommended exercises that can elevate your heart rate and control your diabetes.
Brushing properly and appropriate dental care:
The possibility of tooth decay increases in people impacted with diabetes. This is because in diabetes, the blood sugar level not only rises in your bloodstream, but also in your saliva. Since diabetes makes it difficult to fight infection, dealing with tooth decay can be extremely frustrating. Therefore, in order to maintain healthy gums and teeth, it is important to brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and visit your dentist regularly.
Give utmost importance to foot care:
Diabetics must always keep their feet dry and clean and nerve damage in extremities is the most common complication of diabetes. Wash your feet everyday with lukewarm water and inspect them carefully every day. Diabetic neuropathy may lead to numbness in your feet which will make your ability to feel calluses, sores, blisters, etc. very difficult. This is the reason careful foot examination is recommended. Always wear comfortable slippers and soft, clean socks to keep your feet safe.
Regular Health Check-ups:
It is important to go for routine check-ups regularly. This ensures that any complication is detected and treated at an early stage itself. Self-evaluation through regular monitoring of blood sugar, blood glucose, weight and foot evaluation are extremely necessary.
Your doctor may advise you to go for regular blood tests, including the A1C test. This is a blood marker that provides average blood sugar data for the past three months.
Alternative forms of treatment:
Before beginning with any alternative therapies, it is important to consult with your health care provider. Such treatments options are holistic and impact all parts of a person’s life. In some individuals, symptoms of diabetes can be treated through alternative therapies such as:
- Guided Imagery
- Massage Therapy
- Herbal Supplements for Diabetes
- Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
- Color, Music or Art Therapy
Herbal and Natural Therapies A number of herbs are known to help with blood sugar levels.