Newly diagnosed with diabetes? We’ve got 4 daily diabetes care tips to help you stay healthy
If you or someone you love has been recently diagnosed with diabetes, you probably have some concerns about how your life will change. You are not alone, as more than 29 million Americans now have diabetes, and 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes. When you have diabetes the precautions you need to take to keep your blood glucose levels under control can seem a little overwhelming at first. You can still enjoy a rich full life; you will just need to make some accommodations in your lifestyle and eating habits. To make the adjustment a little easier, we have some tips on daily diabetes care that will help.
Always keep a fast-acting source of sugar with you
This advice sounds a bit backwards: since you have diabetes, you need to avoid sugar in your diet, but you should always keep sugar on hand. When you have diabetes, your blood sugar can unexpectedly drop at any time. You should always have a fast-acting source of glucose on hand for these low blood sugar emergencies. A bottle of orange juice or a candy bar will work in a pinch, or you can carry glucose tablets or a fast-acting glucose “shot” drink that easily fits in a purse or pocket.
Pay attention to your body
When you have diabetes, it is important to pay attention to what your body tells you. Developing body awareness is one of those simple tips for diabetes that can make a big difference in your overall health. The way you feel will let you know when your blood glucose levels begin to get out of the safety zone before you have more serious symptoms. Pay attention and learn your particular “tells” for low blood sugar: you may feel sweaty or shaky, feel irritable, or be louder than usual. Your reflexes may slow, and you may suddenly feel exhausted. Learning to interpret what your body tells you may take a little time, but it will go a long way towards keeping you safe and healthy.
Take care of your feet and hands
One facet of daily diabetes care that should never be overlooked is feet and hand care. Poor circulation and nerve damage are two diabetes complications that can make it difficult for you to notice cuts or sores on your feet and hands. Diabetes can also cause you to heal slowly so even small cuts can increase your chance of developing an infection that will compromise your health. Clean and moisturize your feet and hands every night and check for sores or blisters. Keep toenails trimmed and switch to soft, seamless socks to avoid pressure points.
Get off the couch and move! Did you know that managing diabetes with diet and exercise can reduce or even eliminate your need for insulin? The American Diabetes Association recommends getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Combining strength training, stretching, and aerobic exercise will keep your body healthy and strong, and can help prevent you from developing diabetes complications. This daily diabetes care tip makes it easier to manage your weight, improves your mood, and helps your body process insulin better. Regular exercise can also help you avoid developing many diabetes complications.
Managing your diabetes may initially seem overwhelming, but these daily diabetes care tips will quickly become part of your regular routine. Whether you have diabetes, prediabetes, or are simply want to be healthy and fit, investing just a little time each day to take care of yourself will help you avoid complications and enjoy a healthier life.