Managing Diabetes

Diabetes management can often be the difference between a healthy, happy, life and one riddled with pain, sickness and limited mobility. Knowing how to control diabetes should include different areas in one’s life, not just a few.

Diabetes management is dependent on aspects of your life such as diet, exercise and other important measures to take. For anyone diagnosed with diabetes, understanding how to live with diabetes starts with learning more about the disease.

Being able to manage diabetes can be simple for some and difficult for others. For example, there are many different foods to avoid with diabetes. Specifically, foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugars. Some living with diabetes may be able to avoid these foods, while others cannot seem to stay away. To learn more about ways to manage diabetes long term, continue reading below.

Basic Diabetes Management

When a person is diagnosed, he or she should begin the process of learning how to control diabetes the right way. However, before understanding how to manage diabetes, it is important to know all there is about the disease, as well as the type you have. There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes – The body does not make insulin, which is necessary in order to turn sugars from food into energy for the body.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – The most common type of diabetes. Persons with Type 2 do not make or use insulin well, and pills may be necessary in order to maintain control.
  • Gestational Diabetes – Can be diagnosed when certain women are pregnant. Oftentimes, it will go away after the child is born.

Once a person knows the type of diabetes that he or she has, it is a stepping-stone toward a more curated form of management. While some types of diabetes may require the assistance of a prescription medication, others may simply require necessary steps in order to learn how to stay in control. Management steps can include proper exercise, a well-balanced diet, checking blood sugar levels and more.

Why Learning How To Control Diabetes Is Important

Diabetes is nothing to take lightly. There are various diabetes treatment guidelines in place in order for those who have been diagnosed to live a healthy and happy life. Not taking diabetes seriously or not understanding how to manage diabetes can lead to serious health issues and even death. Controlling diabetes is not a simple task and may require a significant amount of effort from a person, as well as encouragement and support from his or her family. However, the benefits are worth it. When an individual controls his or her blood sugar levels, he or she will likely:

  • Have increased energy
  • Be less tired
  • Be less prone to a heart attack or stroke
  • Become less thirsty
  • Have less pain, tingling and numbness from nerve damage
  • Heal better when injured
  • Have fewer skin infections
  • Be less prone to eye problems and blindness
  • Have fewer teeth and gum problems

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Many people who are diagnosed with diabetes want to avoid the side effects and health issues by minimizing the disease. However, there are ways any person, no matter his or her age, can learn how to control diabetes, rather than letting the disease control him or her.

Foods to Avoid With Diabetes

A simple way to begin the journey of diabetes management is through diet. Being diagnosed with diabetes means that there will be foods to avoid in order to maintain optimum health. Eating the wrong foods with diabetes can raise blood sugar levels and insulin levels, which can be damaging to the body. Foods that are high in carbohydrates can be the most dangerous for those with diabetes, as too many can cause a huge spike in blood sugar levels, which can damage the body’s nerves and blood vessels, essentially leading to kidney disease, heart disease and more. The most common foods to avoid with diabetes include:

  • Sugary beverages
  • Frozen dinners
  • Muffins
  • French fries
  • White bread
  • Candy
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Sugary yogurt
  • Sweetened breakfast cereals
  • Cookies
  • Flavored coffee drinks
  • Cakes
  • Fruit juice
  • Packaged snack foods

Any foods that have high amounts of added sugars, carbohydrates, refined grains or trans fats should be avoided at all costs.

How To Control Diabetes

After maintaining a balanced diet and avoiding certain foods that can worsen diabetes, what else can be done? While it all starts with a proper diet, there are other ways in which an individual can learn to cope with diabetes long term. For example, maintaining stress is an important aspect of diabetes management. Stress can raise blood sugar levels, which can be problematic for those with diabetes. Rather than ignoring anxiety or stress, learn to manage it through deep breathing exercises, meditation, going for a walk or participating in a hobby. Keeping stress levels low can keep diabetes in check.

Being active is another way to manage diabetes. Setting activity goals each week can be a great way to incorporate daily exercise into a weekly routine. Start slow with just a brisk walk for 15 minutes each day. Increase the level of exercise as necessary and make sure to get the heart pumping. Make sure to incorporate exercises to strengthen muscles as well. Whether this is through personal hobbies, such as yoga, gardening or bike riding, or by frequenting the local gym or community center, staying active can be the perfect complement to an already balanced diet regimen.

Another critical aspect of managing diabetes is by knowing what to do on a regular basis to maintain health. Every day there are ways in which someone living with diabetes can make sure that he or she is in control. This can include taking daily medications as recommended, checking the body for any swelling, red spots, cuts or blisters, brushing and flossing multiple times a day and keeping track of blood sugar levels. Keeping a journal of blood sugar recordings throughout the day is necessary for controlling diabetes and being as informed as possible. Knowing how and when to test blood sugar is essential for an individual who wishes to manage his or her diabetes long term.

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