Diabetes is a disease that is caused due to an imbalance in your blood sugar levels. Refer to our article ‘Diabetes- a not-so-sweet disease’ to learn more about it. Diabetes, though considered as a chronic disease can be kept under control by making certain lifestyle changes. There are many things that affect your blood sugar levels, the key to managing diabetes is being aware of them and making those changes in your everyday life.
What to eat? How much to eat? How will it affect my blood sugar levels? These questions need answering before you draw up a dietary plan to manage diabetes. A well-balanced meal with fruits and vegetables having high fiber and low carbohydrates and fats should be preferred. Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels, therefore it is important to be aware of the measure of carbohydrates contained in your meal.
Keep away from sweetened beverages that are known to spike up blood sugar levels quickly.
Physical activity uses calories and enables the efficient use of insulin. This helps lower blood sugar levels. Have an exercise schedule that includes at least 30 minutes of activity. It is essential to coordinate your meal, medication and your exercise routine in order to maintain optimum blood sugar levels. Your doctor is the best person to help you with that. Check your blood sugar levels after and before exercising to detect any warning signs of low blood sugar.
The amount of intake of food should match your insulin dosage and the insulin should be administered on a timely basis. Any mismatch in this could result in hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, both of which could be life-threatening.
It is important to note that, any medicines that you may be taking for other conditions may affect your blood sugar levels. For that reason, it is important to inform your doctor about being a diabetic so medications are prescribed accordingly.
Quit Smoking and Alcohol
Having diabetes raises your risk of developing a number of health issues. Add smoking to diabetes and your risk of getting those health problems escalates.
Consumption of alcohol affects your blood sugar levels. Consult your doctor about whether you can drink alcohol and if so, how much. Choose alcoholic drinks that have fewer calories and carbohydrates. Also, include the number of calories consumed through alcohol in your daily calorie count. Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can decrease your blood sugar levels, therefore be sure to eat while you drink or drink after you eat.
The general rule is to limit your consumption of alcohol to 1 drink a day for women and men over 65 years of age. And 2 drinks a day for men less than 65 years of age.
Prolonged stress may cause a rise in your blood sugar level. It may also throw you off your routine you follow to manage diabetes. Learn ways to deal with stress through yoga, deep breathing, exercises etc.
As already mentioned before, having diabetes puts you at a higher risk of developing other diseases like blood pressure, heart diseases, and vision and nerve problems. Regular checkups, at least twice in a year can help you detect early signs of oncoming problems.
Testing and keeping a record of your blood sugar can help prevent long-term complications. Consult your doctor on how often you should do it.
At One Life, we have a diabetes care program that will help you understand the disease and help you manage it effectively so as to avoid complications. We have an in-house dietitian and facilities to pick up test samples from your house. Contact us on 1800 425 19999 for more information.