Diabetes is a chronic and among the most common non-communicable ailments. It occurs when the body experiences insulin resistance and impairment. Specifically, the pancreatic beta cells fail to generate adequate insulin that processes and regulates glucose levels.
This functional impairment leads to diabetes. Diabetes has many risk factors. For instance, unhealthy lifestyles and habits like no exercise, binge eating sugary foods, inadequate sleep, and unmanaged stress can promote one’s risk for diabetes. The consequences of unhealthy lifestyles worsen if you are already battling diabetes.
For instance, irritation, blurred vision, chronic kidney disease, oral health issues, nerve damage, heart health challenges, and hearing problems are some complications of uncontrolled, unmanaged, and advanced-stage diabetes.
In short, carelessness can push you to a life-threatening situation when your diabetes affects vital organ functions. It is more complicated than a mere elevated sugar level in your body. Thus do not take such a complex healthcare condition lightly.
The following sections explore habits and precautions to keep your diabetes under control.
1. Monitor signs and symptoms for complications
Pre-diabetes, diabetes, and other healthcare ailments exhibit several physical signs that help one notice and understand irregular changes in their bodies. For instance, unintended loss of weight, feeling too thirsty, increased appetite, blurred vision, and urinating too often are symptoms of type-I and type-II diabetes.
Burning under the palms of feet, reemerging infections, and delayed recovery from injuries are also signs of uncontrolled sugar levels and diabetes complications. In short, your body raises alarms with many telltale signs. But you can keep your diabetes under control if you pay attention to these raised flags. Thus check your feet and legs for wounds if you haven’t. If injuries and cuts take time to heal, consult your doctor for remedies.
2. Stay connected to a diabetologist
Diabetes management can be challenging without experts’ advice and assistance. Staying connected to a diabetologist is inevitable for diabetic patients, even if their condition is under control. For instance, the body’s response to diabetic medicines may not remain the same over time. So ongoing management strategies and therapies may not yield fruitful results.
Minor irregularities in your lifestyle can cause overwhelming drifts in your body’s processing capability and chemical equilibrium and raise your sugar level to a dangerous level. In such cases, prolonged negligence can also lead to several complications.
Regular communication with your doctor is the best way to do so. They can help you control your sugar level, cope with symptoms, and prevent complications. They will also modify medication if your blood glucose level remains elevated. Thus stay aware of your condition and upgrade your diabetes management strategies.
3. Minimize added sugar intake
Added sugar can lead to fatal consequences for diabetic patients. The reason is simple. Generally, it takes the body some time to release insulin and take glucose from the blood. The process is slow for diabetic patients. In such cases, added sugar intake can overshoot blood sugar levels to a dangerous level and further overwhelm insulin functions.
Sugary foods have little nutritional value and higher risk when your blood sugar level spikes instantly. And as a diabetic patient, you cannot afford constantly raised blood sugar levels. Thus forget about added sugar for the sake of your well-being.
At least minimize the amount if you cannot abandon sugary foods altogether. Try alternatives for added sugar to sweeten your food, such as honey, maple syrup, stevia, allulose, polyols, and dates.
4. Maintain a healthy dining routine
A diet routine is essential for diabetes patients to keep blood glucose at healthy levels. A regular dining routine helps your body process food, metabolize, absorb nutrients, and trigger hunger signals at regular intervals. Eating at short or longer intervals between conservative meals has the same effect. And an abrupt dining pattern and binge eating or depriving your body of an irregular dining pattern disturb its systematic food processing flow.
Your body may already be busy taking up glucose in the blood. And another batch of food supply in the meantime hampers insulin functions. Thus maintain a routine and follow a systematic and healthy dining pattern. Wait for the body’s natural hunger signals before munching voraciously.
Dividing your three-time meal plan to six times also helps the body process food and glucose metabolism without exceeding sugar levels.
5. Check the nutritional value of food
Consuming food based on nutritional value is crucial for diabetic patients. Unfortunately, they cannot enjoy whatever they want. Their food choices shorten as they must keep their sugar level under control. As a result, chocolates, cookies, cold drinks, juices, and other sweetened foods are all unhealthy options due to higher amounts of added sugar and lower nutritional value.
It is better to bypass these foods and fulfill the body’s nutritional and energy needs with healthy alternatives, such as homemade food, unsweetened bakery items, and sugar-free drinks. These foods raise sugar levels instantly, even if you consume a small portion. Thus check the nutritional value of your dietary choices before buying and consuming.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep has a healing effect on the body and mind. It is a natural remedy against healthcare complications, including pre-diabetes and diabetes. Sleep promotes healthy cognitive functions, prevents the overwhelming impact of stress on the brain’s functions, minimizes the unregulated production of stress hormones, and keeps the sugar level from rising.
Though sleep may not reverse diabetes altogether, it helps prevent complications. Adequate and quality sleep can help diabetic patients manage their diabetes without medications. Sleep counters the stress-raising cortisol hormone with melatonin and promotes chemical equilibrium in the body.
As opposed to it, sleep deprivation raises cortisol levels and blood glucose. Sleep deprivation is also responsible for insulin resistance, poor insulin sensitivity, higher oxidative stress, and inflammation, and all these factors affect glucose levels, glucose tolerance, and glucose metabolism.
In a nutshell, sleep and diabetes have an interconnected relationship. Less than 7 hours of sleep over a long period can worsen diabetes. Hence, allow your body and mind to rest for 8 to 9 hours every night.
7. Manage stress level
Since stress is one of the risk factors for type-2 diabetes, it can hamper the impact of treatment, medicines, and other non-medicinal habits to regulate insulin and glucose for diabetic patients as well. Specifically, stress hormone gives a false alarm to the body for more energy supply by raising cortisol and adrenaline hormones. Both raise glucose levels more than insulin can take up and utilize. Though diabetic patients have impaired insulin functions, insulin production is not zero.
But unmanaged stress can damage and halt the production of insulin-regulating beta cells altogether, leading to more complications. And stress hormones have the same effect on insulin resistance and impairment whether the body utilizes insulin from endogenous or exogenous sources, such as the pancreas and diabetes control meditations.
Thus stress management is crucial to keep your diabetes from worsening. One must identify stress-causing triggers and pursue healthy coping strategies to manage stress.
Maintaining diabetes is not impossible. Many people live a healthy life with chronic diabetes without facing severe complications. But diabetes management is crucial. Once you have a medically proven healthcare condition, ignoring signs and symptoms can be life-threatening.
Thus keep your health in check. Ensure regular monitoring of blood glucose levels, consultation with a doctor, and healthy habits to keep diabetes under control.