Diabetes is increasingly becoming one of the most common disease on earth. It has an estimated prevalence of 171 million observed in 2000 and it is postulated to rise to 366 million in the year 2030. Diabetes control is a challenge but controlling it is worth paying. If diabetes is not managed it can certainly lead to health complications and even death. Diabetes can be controlled by practicing simple habits. Here are seven habits you should try to control diabetes:
1. Exercise daily
Physical activities are important in controlling diabetes but getting started with the exercise regimen is not easy as people think. It calls for more effort and commitment. Doing exercises would make your muscles utilize more glucose in the blood stream to generate energy.
People who are insulin-resistant should do vigorous exercise so that they improve glucose absorption therefore lowering blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is known to increase your risk of getting diabetes. Daily physical activities can help to improve the function of insulin and also makes it to work effective.
One recent study shows that it is important to check your blood sugar levels before any vigorous exercise, keeping glucose tabs in case of low blood sugar is encouraged.
Physical activities such as swimming, brisk walking, cycling and gardening are the best. It is important to consult your doctor about a good exercise plan.
Take away: Daily physical activity enhances your body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps manage your blood sugar levels. Physical exercises increase glucose uptake by the body cells.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a well-balanced healthy food is the pillar of a health living. What you eat is of great essence and especially persons with diabetes since what you consume affects your blood sugar. You need to check on carb intake because carb are broken down to form glucose.
It is important to control your portion size and carbohydrate count in order to have full control of your blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should eat plenty of vegetables and fruits since they contain fiber that helps keep your blood sugar levels at healthy levels.
If you have diabetes you should also avoid sugar-sweetened beverages such as juice because they would cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Take away: Take a well-balanced food, check on your carb intake, take fruits and vegetables, control your portion size and carbohydrate count and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
3. Monitor your blood sugar
One of the main purpose of diabetes control is maintaining your blood sugar levels within a specified target range. The main thing is to balance your diabetes medicines, exercise, diet and lifestyle. Maintaining a desired blood glucose levels is you main defense against the risk of developing diabetes complications.
Diabetes self-monitoring comes in handy as it allows you to check your blood sugar levels as much as you want. To measure blood glucose levels you will need a glucose meter, test strip and a lancing device with lancets. Normal blood glucose levels are between 4.0–7.8mmol/L.
It is important to measure your blood sugar before and after every meal in order to ascertain the range of the blood sugar level. One study reported that individuals who monitor their blood sugar daily stand a higher chance of improving their ability to control diabetes and better quality of life compared to those who do not monitor their blood sugar levels.
Take away: Monitor your blood sugar levels daily and strive to maintain it within the normal range to avoid diabetes complications.
4. Trim your nails and check on your feet
Diabetes is known to interfere with circulation of blood to the feet which can easily cause infection. Trimming nails helps to avoid any unnecessary accident that would result into a bruise or a wound. Wounds in people with diabetes takes time to heal and can lead to a large ulcer which then become a focus of infection. When this happens it increases the chances of diabetic foot complications such as amputation.
Take away: Check your feet every day for cuts, sores and swellings and apply lotion recommended by your doctor to them. Make sure that you always wear comfortable shoes. It is a good idea to wear closed shoes in order to avoid cuts.
5. Control stress
People with diabetes are very sensitive to stress. It is imperative that you manage stress so that you take full control of your blood sugar levels. When you are stressed blood sugar levels rises because of secretion of glucagon, adrenaline and cortisol hormones. Stress makes you unable to take full control of diabetes.
Take away: Stress causes secretion of hormones which raises blood sugar levels. Relieve stress by doing exercises, meditation and relaxation.
6. Get enough sleep
It feels good to have enough and a quality sleep one for that matter. Sufficient and quality sleep helps maintain stable healthy blood sugar levels and weight gain. Enough sleep enables the body to heal and increase the secretion of body hormones and ability to metabolize glucose in the blood increasing insulin sensitivity there controlling diabetes.
Take away: It is a good idea to sleep enough but not excess since excess sleep can lead to increased appetite leading to increased weight gain.
7. Brush and floss your teeth
It is healthy to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once in a day. The importance of oral hygiene in people with diabetes cannot be underestimated.
Studies have proved a two-way relationship between periodontal diseases and diabetes. Diabetes lowers the body’s immunity making teeth and gums susceptible to infections. On the other hand, gum diseases have been shown to affect the glycemic control. Periodontitis which refers to the inflammation of the gums poses a great problem to the control of blood sugar levels. Brushing and flossing your teeth reduces the risk of infections.
Take away: Dental flossing helps to prevent germ disease which makes diabetes hard to control.