Diabetes has affected more lives than people can imagine. While it is an unintended consequence of practically everyone’s everyday existence, the figures are staggering. According to the CDC, over 11% of the US population was diagnosed with diabetes (37.3 million people).
Living an unhealthy and stressful lifestyle is one of the leading reasons these numbers are so high. Although diabetes is likely to follow you for the entirety of your life, it can be managed, or even cured, with some major lifestyle adjustments. Below are five lifestyle changes you should consider when diagnosed with diabetes.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight, whether over or under, can cause great health problems. Cholesterol levels and excess body fat are major problems especially when diabetes is present. This is why it is important to maintain a healthy weight when diagnosed with diabetes.
For many, losing weight or gaining is much easier said than done. However, the two main causes of diabetes are obesity and inactivity. This can be a slow and gradual process but incorporating daily exercise into your routine will only help speed up the process. Start slow. Take a walk around the neighborhood after meals, or pick up a yoga class. Jumping back into an exercise routine can be intimidating, however, find something that not only gets your body moving but you enjoy.
A healthy, well-balanced diet is also essential for maintaining your weight and keeping your diabetes at bay. A healthy diet plan aids with blood sugar (glucose) control, weight managment, and controlling the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high blood fats. Furthermore, to understand why diet is so important, your body produces an unfavorable spike in blood glucose when you consume too many calories and fat.
2. Track Your Intake
Because diabetes goes hand in hand with what you consume, tracking your sugar and calorie intake is important. Make it a habit to check what you are eating and log it in a notebook or phone app. It will also become a habit that before you consume anything, you must first check your blood sugar levels.
It is extremely easy and quick to check your blood sugar levels with all the new diabetic supplies on the market. Before testing, hands should be washed and dried thoroughly prior to inserting a diabetic test strip into your meter. Use the lancet included with your test kit to prick the side of your fingertip. Squeeze your finger gently until a drop of blood develops. Touch the test strip’s edge to the drop of blood and hold it there and wait seconds for your reading to pop up on your monitor.
When you keep a log of everything you have eaten and the fluctuations in blood sugar levels throughout the day, you will begin to learn what affects you more so than other things. Only making you more knowledgeable of how your body responds to different foods and drinks.
3. Stop Drinking and Smoking
One of the greatest causes of type 2 diabetes is smoking. In fact, those who smoke cigarettes are 30–40 percent more likely than nonsmokers to develop type 2 diabetes. Smokers are also more likely to have difficulty with insulin doses and maintaining their illness.
Smoking makes diabetes more difficult to treat, regardless of the type of diabetes you have. If you have diabetes and smoke, you are more prone to develop major diabetes-related health complications, such as:
Drinking alcohol not only causes blood sugar levels to rise and fall but alcohol contains a large number of calories. This is not recommended to drink excessive amounts of alcohol because it becomes hard to manage blood sugar levels.
4. Reduce Stress
People with type 2 diabetes typically suffer a rise in blood glucose levels when they are under emotional stress. Type 1 diabetes patients may have a more variable response. This means they can have an increase or reduction in blood glucose levels. Blood sugar levels can also rise when you’re under physical strain. For example, when you’re sick or injured.
Stress is a natural occurrence, however, learning how to manage it will only help your mental and physical health. Take up meditation or yoga to calm yourself down in stressful situations.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Blood Sugar Levels
When first diagnosed with diabetes, getting use to checking your blood sugar levels on a regular basis can be challenging. However, this is a vital and constant routine check to quickly get familiar with. Checking your blood sugar levels when first diagnosed helps you get a better understanding of how your body reacts to different foods, drinks, and medications.
Summing it Up
Making these five lifestyle changes when diagnosed with diabetes can seem overwhelming. However, this is not a race and diabetes can be maintained with small steps towards a healthier lifestyle. There is always the possibility or treatment, controlling your diabetes, and remission.
For many people who no longer need to test their blood sugar or have unused and unexpired diabetic supplies, there is an option to make money from these important items. Test Strip Buyers will buy your test strips and supplies in exchange for cash. Don’t let these vital supplies collect dust on your shelf, sell them today!