People suffering from diabetes have a lot to take care of. There are certain severe complications that can arise from diabetes. Here are a few pointers to Avoid Diabetes Complications
Lose the extra weight if you need to
Just because you are diabetic doesn’t necessarily mean that you are overweight, or obese. If you are overweight, consider losing some weight, shedding a few pounds can enhance your body's ability to use insulin. Cutting down on fat helps lower your blood sugar level and improves your blood pressure and level of blood fats. You will also have increased energy. The key to lose extra weight is to burn more calories than you eat.
Tip: Start cutting fat and calorie hubs from your diet, such as chips, fries, etc.
Choose Carbs wisely
Diabetes doesn't require you to cut down on the intake of carbs completely. Make sure you choose carbohydrates that provide steady energy, by breaking down slowly in the body. Choose whole grains, beans, nuts, and fresh vegetables and fruits. Yes, it is okay to eat fruits even though they are sweet. Maintaining diabetes is all about eating the right amounts of carbohydrates during every meal.
Tip: Consult a registered dietitian to help you learn how much of what all is right for you.
Lead an active life
A life full of physical activity is a life free from diseases. Pick anything you like – it could range from walking, dancing, biking, to simply marching at a place while you're speaking on the phone. Exercise for a half-hour a day; an increase it if you need to. Exercise helps you lower your cardiovascular risks, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels significantly. It also helps you keep your weight in control. Regular exercising also relieves you from stress and can help you cut back on your diabetes medication.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar levels everyday
You know that is very important to do so. Keeping a check on your blood glucose levels can significantly help you avoid complications arising from diabetes, like nerve pain. Regular checking can keep such problems from getting worse. Checking the blood sugar levels daily can also help you monitor how foods and physical activities affect you, or if the treatment plan chosen by you is working fine. Your doctor is the one who can help you set a target of glucose level range in your body. The closer you get to your target, the better you will feel.
Stress is no man’s friend. No, we are not being sexist; diabetes is not friendly towards both men and women alike. Stress can cause your blood glucose levels to rise, especially when you have diabetes. Reducing the physical or mental stresses you have can improve your condition significantly. Learn to deploy various exercises and coping techniques to deal with your stress. Resort to various relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation. These techniques may especially be effective if you suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Get sufficient sleep
Too much or too little sleep disrupts the body system. Irregular amounts of sleep can increase your appetite and cravings for high-carb foods. This in turn can lead to weight gain, thus increasing your risk for severe problems such as heart diseases. An approximate of seven or eight hours of sleep a night is what you need to function just right. In the case that you suffer from sleep apnea, treat it. Doing so can improve your sleep and lower your blood sugar levels significantly.
Salt is your biggest enemy
The second S after stress; salt is an enemy of those suffering from diabetes. Reducing the salt intake in your diet can help lower blood pressure and also protect your kidneys. As a matter of fact most of the salt in Americans' diets comes from processed foods. Avoid the use of convenience foods and resort to fresh ingredients instead. Season your food with herbs and spices instead of salt whenever you cook.
Tip: Adults at the age of 51 or older, and individuals suffering with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney diseases should reduce the intake of sodium to 1,500 mg a day – (less than half a teaspoon of salt in a day)
Heart Disease Risk and Diabetes
Heart disease can be a serious condition that can rise from diabetes complications. It is advised to keep a check on the risk by getting the following ABCs checked:
This is a measure of your average blood sugar control for the last 2-3 months. You may need to get it checked two or more times in a year. Consult your doctor regarding these ABCs.
Your goal to maintain your blood pressure should be : below 130/80 mm Hg.
Set a goal to maintain your cholesterol levels :
LDL below 100 mg/dl; HDL above 40 mg/dl; and triglycerides below 150 mg/dl.
Take Care of Bumps and Bruises
A person suffering from diabetes has an increased risk of infection. Diabetes slows the healing effect of the body hence, treat even simple cuts and scrapes quickly to avoid infections. Clean your wounds with care and use an antibiotic cream and sterile bandage to conceal it (if required). Visit your doctor if the bump or bruise is not better in a few days.
Tip: Check your feet every single day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness, or swelling. Moisturize your feet to prevent the occurrence of cracks.
Quit your habit to smoke
People suffering with diabetes who smoke are twice as likely to die a premature death than those who do not smoke. Quitting the habit of smoking helps your heart and lungs unburden, and function smoothly. Quitting smoking lowers your blood pressure and risk of problems like nerve damage, stroke, heart attack, and kidney diseases.
Tip: Consult your doctor to know about means to quit smoking.
Choose Super Foods, Don't Supersize
There's no single diabetes diet to resort to. But we are stating here a few basics to keep in mind:
- Enjoy super foods like berries, sweet potatoes, fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, and dark green, leafy vegetables.
- Check food labels before buying, avoid the ones that contain saturated fat and trans fats, and opt for mono and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil instead.
- Seek the advice of a registered dietitian for a personalized consultation.
Visit the doctor regularly
Visit your doctor for a minimum of two to four times a year. In the case that you take insulin or need help balancing your blood sugar levels, you may be required to see the doctor more often. It is advised to get a yearly physical and eye exam. Make sure to get screened for any eye, nerve, or kidney damage, and other complications as well. Visit a dentist twice a year.
Tip: Make sure you inform all your health care providers that you have diabetes.