Newly diagnosed with diabetes? Tips to lower the risk of complications
Posted by admin | on July 14th, 2016 | category:
Being told that you have diabetes is not easy to handle. For a lot of people, this diagnosis can be completely unexpected and thus quite distressing. The amount of information available on this subject can be quite overwhelming without actually helping the cause. Statements such as ‘It’s a lifetime disease’ or ‘This can damage your organs’ can be further upsetting.
Firstly, we have to understand that diabetes (especially Type II) is largely affected by one’s lifestyle. In this condition, the body has trouble processing the insulin hormone which is responsible for supplying energy to cells. This causes sugar levels in the blood to increase thereby putting major organs such as heart, kidney and liver at risk.
So yes, while we do agree that diabetes is a serious ailment, we also believe proper care can help you manage it much better and reduce risk for complications. How, you ask? Well, let’s look important tips that people diagnosed with diabetes should work on.
Monitor your sugar levels: Generally it happens that a routine blood test such as fasting sugars or post lunch sugar levels are used as a base to diagnose for diabetes. While this does highlight an increase in blood sugar, it may be inconclusive. There may be several factors that could affect sugar levels at a specific time causing elevated levels. To avoid this, it is best to go get a haemoglobin A1c test (HbA1c) done which monitors average blood sugar levels for the past 3 months to accurately diagnose your condition. Also, be sure to routinely check your sugar levels at home, as advised by your doctor, to monitor any sudden changes.
Watch what you eat: Eating healthy and balanced meals are the first important step in managing and controlling diabetes. To start with, why not make a note of what your typical food routine is! Maintain a journal of what and when you eat for about a week. Review this with your doctor or nutritionist to know what changes can be made that fit within your current lifestyle. And foodies don’t panic – the changes are quite simple and adaptive to your lifestyle. Maybe you can use whole wheat instead of refined flour, add some salad to your diet, limit desserts and alcohol! Working on a health plan from the start can help you retain some of your favourite food in a healthy manner while limiting the risk for complications in the future.
Do not skip meals: It’s a health plan and not a diet – make this your mantra! This is very important for anyone with diabetes. Skipping meals or dieting can worsen diabetes as it causes massive spikes and fall in blood sugar levels. If you are taking diabetic medicines, skipping meals can lead to dizziness due to low blood sugar. Maintaining a healthy food plan through the day is best to keep your metabolism good and sugar levels normal.
Lose weight and exercise: Obesity is a major cause for diabetes, and we all know this. To aid insulin processing and limit complications for heart disease and cholesterol, exercise is a must. Make sure to get 30 mins a day to do whatever physical activity you enjoy (at least 5 days in a week). Incorporate cardio and strength training to keep your muscles and bones strong! Also, get more active through the day! Apart from your daily exercise, try and incorporate minor activities through the day. to do this: stand up and stretch every half hour from your desk, take your dog to the park, walk or cycle to the grocery store and use the stairs when possible. Every bit of activity helps boost metabolism and regulate sugar levels!
Take your medicines on time: In most cases, the diabetes diagnosis comes with a medicine to control insulin levels. It is essential to take this medicine as and when advised by the doctor. Skipping these tablets or taking them incorrectly can worsen blood sugar levels and lead to serious complications.
Don’t miss your screenings: With diabetes it is crucial to regularly test for any changes in sugar levels and check the impact of medication. Be sure to regularly get your tests and screenings done as recommended by the doctor. Any rise or fall in sugar levels should be countered instantly by changes in medicine, food or activity levels to prevent the condition from worsening. Glucometers are a boon to help to you in checking sugar and maintaining a log.
Finally, stay positive! A diabetes diagnosis is not the end of the world! There are millions of people living a good life with this condition around the world. Stress and worry will only worsen insulin absorption in the body. Also, it may lead to hypertension which causes additional stress on the heart. So live a healthy lifestyle, pay attention to your sugar levels and leave the worry behind. You can even opt for meditation as a calming and soothing effect against anxiety.