Living with diabetes is challenging. It is not just a problem with your sugar levels; it affects almost every aspect of your health, physically and emotionally. When you have diabetes, one of the most important skills you should learn is how to manage your sugar level, and this article will help you do just that.
It is important you follow medical advice on the use of insulin or any other diabetes drugs, diet, and exercises.
Consistently monitor your sugar level
Checking your sugar level consistently will help you quickly learn to distinguish between low and high blood sugar levels, and this knowledge will help you manage your diabetes better. When you keep a track of your sugar levels, you will be able to tell if there is a trend. With your records, you can easily tell if the éclair you took for dessert made your sugar level spike.
Paying attention to these details, recognizing high and low sugar blood levels and changing your habits can help lead to a healthier life over time.
Learn how to deal with changes in sugar level
There are steps you can take to bring a high sugar level down. There are brands of insulin that work fast to lower your sugar level while others take a longer time. Keep a note of how fast your insulin medication works so that you will not end up using too much too quickly. You need to keep certain types of food close by to help you raise low blood sugar.
These quick-sugar foods contain about 15 grams of carbohydrate and will help you raise your sugar level back to the accepted norm. You need to check after 15 minutes though, to know if you have reached your accepted target. Doing this every 15 minutes or so (If your blood sugar remains low) will bring your blood sugar back to normal, and you can then eat your normal meals.
It is vital to keep up a daily exercise regime. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and this will increase your system’s sensitivity to insulin. Your cells will become able to use the available sugar in your blood better.
Keeping to a moderate routine of 30 minutes every day will have a larger effect than you know. It is important you drink plenty of water before, during and after your exercises. Your doctor or traveling nurse will be able to advise you on a correct routine to follow.
Watch your carbs
Eating too many carbs can make you have a problem with insulin function and raise your blood sugar level. Your body takes the carbs you eat and breaks it into glucose which then moves into your cells.
To control your carbs intake, try counting the carbs you consume or use a food exchange system (Taking food supplements in place of carbs). This also has the advantage of helping you plan your meals and further improve your sugar control.
A low carb diet will reduce blood sugar levels, prevent spikes in blood sugar and help you control blood sugar levels over time.
Increase your fiber consumption
Fiber intake promotes a gradual rise in blood sugar levels by slowing carbs digestion and sugar absorption. A high fiber diet can actively manage type 1 diabetes by improving blood sugar control and reducing the instances of low blood sugar. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are food rich in fiber and it is recommended that you take 14grams of fiber-rich food for every 1000 calories.
Drinking enough water in addition to preventing dehydration helps your kidney flush out excess blood sugar through urine. You might be tempted to take soft or sweetened drinks but ordinary water and non-caloric beverages are the best, sweetened drinks cause weight gain, increases blood sugar and increases the risk of diabetes also.
Control your stress
Stress can affect the level of your blood sugar. Glucagon and Cortisol are hormones that are secreted when a person is stressed; these hormones cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Constant exercises, relaxation, and meditation can significantly help you manage stress and reduce sugar blood levels. Studies have shown that some yoga activities and mind based stress reliever can correct insulin secretion condition in chronic diabetes patients.
Eat meals with a low Glycemic Index
The glycemic index was developed to help measure the body’s blood sugar response to a certain type of foods. Eating meals that contain a low glycemic index have been known to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetes type 1 and 2.
Eat meals rich in protein such as seafood, eggs, and meat. Also eat food such as oats, barley, lentils, beans, sweet potato and non-starchy vegetables, which are low in glycemic index and can help reduce long-term blood sugar levels.
Get enough rest
Not getting enough rest is bad for everyone, but it is even more dangerous for someone with diabetes. Poor sleep can result in bad sugar control. The quality of sleep you get makes a huge difference when it comes to improving your sugar blood level. Getting enough quality rest is important for your good health.
Poor sleeping habit, apart from being bad for your blood sugar levels, can also increase appetite which will result in weight gain. It is good advice to get in a sufficient amount of quality sleep every night because sleep deprivation will decrease the release of growth hormones and can increase cortisol levels. Both of these are important for sugar control.
Whether you have pre-diabetes, diabetes type 1 or diabetes type 2, a healthy lifestyle is the first step in properly managing it at home. It is necessary to first consult your doctor before you implement any change in lifestyle or routine to make sure that the change will be agreeable to your system.
Having said that, if you are diabetic or have problems with your blood sugar control, then you need to start doing something about it. Taking the steps in this article will be a start in the right direction.