Looking for lifestyle tips for managing diabetes? Here are 6 from your friends at Better Health Kare!
The term “it takes a village” has often been used in the diabetes community when discussing ways to properly care for your health after a diagnosis, and with good reason. Because diabetes can affect so many areas of one’s life, it is crucial to stay on top of your health and lifestyle. And while it may seem overwhelming when you are first diagnosed with the disease, as you learn more about the role of medication and how lifestyle changes can positively impact blood sugar, you will become more comfortable. To help you make the most of out living with this health condition, here are 6 easy lifestyle tips for managing diabetes:
- Create a solid support team: Support is vital when dealing with a diagnosis. Your support group should include a mixture of friends/family members, health educators, physicians, etc. It isn’t uncommon for a diabetic patient to have a team of specialists such as a primary care physician for regular care, podiatrists and ophthalmologists if specific diabetes complication arise, and even a nutritionist or functional medicine doctor to help with dietary changes.
- Keep calm – It sounds simple, but being diagnosed with a condition can cause some people anxiety and stress. Yes, changes will most likely have to occur in areas of your life but you can still live a full life with diabetes. Staying positive is easier when you have a strong support team, but you can also reach out to other diabetes patients on online forums, support groups, etc. who can help you process the diagnosis and suggest which steps to take to move forward in a positive direction.
- Pay attention to oral care – Uncontrolled diabetes will lead to high glucose levels in the bloods, but are you aware that it can also raise glucose levels in your saliva? This can put you at greater risk for tooth decay and other dental issues, such as infections, gum disease, etc. Remember to brush at least twice a day, floss daily, stay on top of your medication regimen, and see your dentist regularly.
- Take care of your feet – You might wonder why people with diabetes often talk about their feet. For starters, diabetes can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) over time, and according to the American Diabetes Association, this will affect over half of patients at some point. Keeping blood sugar levels properly controlled can delay or prevent neuropathy. In addition, you want to take extra special care of your feet, keeping them clean and dry, and regularly inspecting for swelling, bruising, sores, cracks, etc. Your physician team can also give you additional tips for proper foot care.
- Stay active – One of the most important tips for diabetes control is physical activity. While exercise is beneficial and important for everyone, it is essential for someone with diabetes. Weight loss may help improve blood glucose levels, and increasing muscle mass can help your body use glucose better. If joining a gym doesn’t interest you, find some form of exercise that does such as dancing, walking, yoga, swimming, etc. Also, try to find a workout buddy – this can help motivate you and keep you on track when it comes to engaging in regular exercise.
- Keep a food diary – One of the most simple tips for diabetes is to pay attention to your diet and consider partnering with a nutritionist to learn how better food choices can improve blood sugar levels. Though it may sound tedious at first, keeping a daily food journal can help you notice patterns of eating habits, as well as showing you which foods should be swapped out for better choices. In addition, keep a handy list of best and worst foods for diabetics, and educate yourself on carbohydrates and how they impact your blood sugar levels.
With just a few simple lifestyle adjustments, you can keep your health at optimal levels with diabetes. To learn more lifestyle tips for managing diabetes, in addition to finding recipe and diet information, visit www.BetterHealthKare.com