Living with Diabetes – How to Manage Your Health
A diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming – it will change your daily lifestyle and require you to adjust your habits. The good news is that knowing how to manage your diabetes is worth the work it takes. You’ll notice the impact it has on your health quickly and reap the benefits that come along with it.
Keep Your Diet in Check
Your diet is one of the biggest factors when it comes to managing your diabetes. Many people assume this just means limiting sugar intake, but there are a lot of things that come into play, like:
- Counting carbohydrates
- Measuring out the correct portion sizes
- Planning balanced meals with foods low in carbs and high in fiber
- Avoiding sugary drinks like soda
- Eating the right amount with medication
Physical activity is a good way to keep your blood sugar levels in check. However, exercising regularly is crucial in order to maintain the benefits. Attempt to work out for 150 minutes each week and find routines that work for you, whether it’s going to the gym or walking in your neighborhood. Your doctor can help you develop a personalized exercise plan that best meets your needs.
Reduce Stress Levels
When you are feeling anxious or stressed out, your body produces hormones that can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. A good way to determine how stress is impacting your body is to measure your stress level each time you take your blood sugar in order to identify any possible patterns. Once you’re seeing when and how stressors impact you, determine ways that you can relax – this might be through exercise, meditation, or another coping technique. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family members if you’re feeling overwhelmed by tasks at home or go to a therapist if you need help identifying ways to cope.
Know Your Targets
Being aware of what your numbers are – and what the goal is for each one – is the key to ensuring that the steps you’re taking are providing you with the needed benefits. This includes more than just your blood sugar levels. You should also keep an eye on your cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight.
If you’re looking to learn more, attend one of our Diabetes Self-Management Education Classes.