06 Jul TIPS TO MANAGE DIABETES
Healthy eating is a cornerstone of healthy living — with or without diabetes. But if you have diabetes, you need to know how foods affect your blood sugar levels. It’s not only the type of food you eat but also how much you eat and the combinations of food types you eat.
- Learn about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes.
- Make every meal well-balanced.
- Coordinate your meals and medications.
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
Physical activity is another important part of your diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Regular physical activity also helps your body use insulin more efficiently.
These factors work together to lower your blood sugar level. The more strenuous your workout, the longer the effect lasts. But even light activities — such as housework, gardening or being on your feet for extended periods — can improve your blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan.
- Keep an exercise schedule.
- Check your blood sugar level.
- Stay hydrated. Be prepared.
- Adjust your diabetes treatment plan as needed.
Insulin and other diabetes medications are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone aren’t sufficient for managing diabetes. But the effectiveness of these medications depends on the timing and size of the dose. Medications you take for conditions other than diabetes also can affect your blood sugar levels.
- Store insulin properly.
- Report problems to your doctor.
- Be cautious with new medications.
The liver normally releases stored sugar to counteract falling blood sugar levels. But if your liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, your blood sugar level may not get the boost it needs from your liver. Alcohol can result in low blood sugar shortly after you drink it and for as many as 24 hours more.
- Get your doctor’s OK to drink alcohol.
- Don’t drink alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach.
- Choose your drinks carefully.
- Check your blood sugar level before bed.
If you’re stressed, the hormones your body produces in response to prolonged stress may cause a rise in your blood sugar level. Additionally, it may be harder to closely follow your usual diabetes management routine if you’re under a lot of extra pressure.
- Look for patterns. Log your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10 each time you log your blood sugar level. A pattern may soon emerge.
- Take control. Once you know how stress affects your blood sugar level, fight back.
- Get help. Learn new strategies for coping with stress.