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You might feel like diabetes is controlling your life. It’s a serious disease and can be difficult to manage. You probably know to check your blood sugar levels, but there is more you can do. Follow these important tips to take control of your diabetes.
Organized medical routines. By watching more than your insulin levels you can maintain better control of your diabetes.
● Get vaccinated. According to the experts at Mayo Clinic, high blood sugar can weaken your immune system. It’s especially important that you stay updated on your vaccines so that you don’t succumb to preventable illnesses.
● Stay on schedule. Make sure you take your medication on time every day. Some experts suggest setting a reminder on your digital calendar or setting an alarm on your phone. Use a pill organizer to help stay on track.
● Visit your physician. Keep your routine visits with your medical doctors.
● Tend your teeth. Diabetics can be more prone to gum infections. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss every day, and visit your dentist every six months.
You are what you eat (and drink). Keeping an eye on what you are consuming will help keep your diabetes in control.
● Meal planning. If you are struggling with making good choices at meals or in the grocery store, ask for help. A family member or friend can assist with some of the responsibilities.
● Food choice. When you fix your plate at a meal, fill half of it with vegetables and fruits. Then split the other half between a whole grain, such as brown rice or a multigrain bread, and a lean protein source, such as baked chicken or fish. According to some studies, certain foods may actually help lower your blood sugar. Here are a few choices:
● Cold water fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel)
● Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit)
● High-fiber foods (brown rice, vegetables, whole-grain pasta)
● Legumes (garbanzos, kidney beans, lentils)
● Green tea
● Greens (collard greens, kale, spinach)
● Dark chocolate
● Consume alcohol wisely. According to some experts, diabetics need to be very careful about consuming alcohol. Women especially need to take care when consuming alcoholic drinks, as alcohol breaks down slower in females than males. Here are some things you may not know about how alcohol interacts with diabetes:
● Your liver removes alcohol from your bloodstream, so when you consume alcohol your liver isn’t removing sugar as well. Test your blood sugar before consuming alcohol.
● Alcohol interacts with your diabetes medication.
● Food slows alcohol absorption so you should only drink with food in your stomach.
● Alcohol lowers your blood sugar so it’s important to test your blood after consuming alcohol. You can become hypoglycemic if you aren’t careful.
Overall lifestyle. Some of the choices you make in your day to day life can help you manage your diabetes well.
● Stay active. The experts at The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease recommend keeping active to help control your diabetes. Spend time building strength by gardening or doing yoga. Take a walk with your dog. Ten minutes spent moving a few days every week is a good start. Increase as it gets easier.
● Don’t smoke. Smoking increases several of the health complications associated with diabetes.
● Manage stress. The hormones your body produces when you are stressed can make your diabetes more difficult to control. Here are some ways to help manage stress better:
● Get enough sleep. Be consistent in your schedule and make sure you are getting sufficient sleep every night.
● Practice relaxation techniques. Take a few minutes every day for deep breathing or meditation.
● Let go of worry. Connect with friends and family, enjoy things that make you laugh, and don’t allow situations you can’t control upset you.
● Reach out. If you are having trouble managing stress, don’t try to do it alone. Enroll in a support group, talk with a therapist, connect with a pastor, or talk with a friend.
Maintain control. Living with diabetes is challenging, but by following these important guidelines you can manage this disease. Stay on top of your medical routines, watch what you eat and drink, and maintain a healthy overall lifestyle. These important tips can help you control your diabetes.