Last week we wrote 5 tips to living well with diabetes. If you missed the article you can view it by clicking here:
We have met thousands of individuals living with diabetes over the years. We are always asked several questions from some, and receive some great feedback from others. Here are some of our favorite tips for living well with diabetes.
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
In today’s fast food lifestyle, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy weight – and even harder to fight off the urge for a hamburger with large fries on the side. However, maintaining a healthy weight is an essential part of managing diabetes. Being overweight or obese can cause insulin sensitivity – making managing your blood sugars more difficult. It can also lead to increased blood pressure, higher risk of heart disease or stroke, and more susceptible to kidney disease. Losing weight, and maintaining a healthy weight will help to lower your risk of these health concerns and provide you with an abundance of health benefits, including more manageable blood sugars. If you plan to start losing weight, discuss with your healthcare professional and registered dietician on healthy ways to do it.
7. Sugar-Free Does Not Mean Carbohydrate and Calorie Free
One thing many people, especially newly diagnosed people with diabetes, misunderstand is that just because a label says “Sugar-Free”, it does not mean it is also free of carbohydrates and calories. A great example would be a serving of sugar-free pudding. One serving has 0 grams of sugar, however it still contains 6 grams of carbohydrates and 70 calories. This is most likely due to the milk used to make the pudding. Be sure to read all labels, paying close attention to the Total Carbohydrates and Total Calories listed on the nutritional facts label. If you aren’t sure how to read a label, talk with your healthcare professional or registered dietician. They will be able to help you become a master of reading food labels.
8. Exercise Often
Exercising plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Walking for as little as 30 minutes per day can be enough to help keep blood sugar levels in check throughout the day. It is also shown to help ease any joint or muscle pain, offer weight loss or weight management success, and help make your body become more sensitive to insulin. Some people may be nervous to start a regular exercise regime, thinking it could cause low blood sugar levels more frequently, but in fact, this is a rare occasion. If you don’t like walking, there are several other exercise options you could try: bicycling, swimming, jogging, yoga, and weight lifting are among a few. If you decide to start an exercise regime, talk with your healthcare professional before starting to discuss possible changes to your normal insulin treatment plan and meal plans.
9. Take Care of your Eyes and Feet
Diabetes can affect every major part of your body, including your eyes and feet. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause serious eye conditions such as retinopathy – bleeding in the back of the eye leading to blurry vision, scarring of the retina, and blindness. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cataracts and double vision, so a yearly eye exam is essential. Doctors specializing in diabetic eye conditions can detect eye problems early enough to start a treatment program. Taking care of your feet is just as important, too. People living with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing nerve damage, poor circulation, and infections. Check your feet, and check them often. Any small cut or scratch can quickly become infected. If you experience foot problems, or you find a cut or sore on your feet, be sure to make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Be sure to purchase comfortable, well-fitting shoes as well as wear comfortable socks or stockings to help cushion your foot inside your shoes. Wearing shoes that are uncomfortable or too small can lead to additional foot concerns.
10. Extra Monitoring During Pregnancy
Maintaining near normal blood sugar levels while pregnant can be a little tricky, but it is important to do your best to achieve this. Mothers with diabetes are at an increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect, or even a stillborn baby. Many of the problems that arise during pregnancy can be controlled or avoided by keeping a close eye on your blood sugar levels and maintaining a near normal blood sugar. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar range can also reduce the chances of your baby being abnormally large, which can cause additional hardships during delivery.
Do you have other tips that help you enjoy a healthy, save and balanced life with diabetes that you want to share?
Add a comment below.