Diabetes is a long term condition characterized by increased blood glucose levels. It is of two major types- Type 1 and Type 2. The third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women. When a person is diabetic, their body either does not produce enough insulin or the body cells do not respond to it well, which causes an imbalance in blood glucose levels.
While diabetes can be tricky to control at times, you do not have to give up on your life while you do so. It is important to know the basic diabetes control measures to make sure it does not take over your life. The following are some diabetes control measures to cope up with the condition.
Know it all
The very first step to controlling and managing your diabetes is to know about it. Gather all the information about diabetes in general, the key terms, the way it influences the body and its effects. You can attend free workshops, seminars, awareness programs which focus on diabetes, its causes and effects. You can also keep yourself informed by reading about it online. The National Diabetes Education Program does a good job of explaining the diabetes control measures.
Next is to become familiar with your own body, its metabolism, the kind of diabetes you are diagnosed with, your blood glucose and insulin levels, the foods which suit or do not suit you, and other such things.
Make a plan
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it does not mean that your life has stopped. Just make a plan to keep your diabetes in control with your doctor’s assistance and know how much physical exercise you are going to need, how many carbs you are supposed to eat, what portions of food are you supposed to have and at what time, which foods should you avoid, and other such things.
You can also join a support group which can help you find suitable diabetes control measures. Learn about the ABC of diabetes. ‘A’ stands for an A1c test, ‘B’ for Blood pressure and ‘C’ for cholesterol, your current levels of A1c test, blood pressure and cholesterol, and your target levels. Record all the numbers and keep them safe for future reference purposes.
Know what to do
It is common to be overwhelmed by the sudden changes you would require to make in your lifestyle to cope with diabetes. Being under constant stress and anxiety is not uncommon when that happens.
Stress can cause an increase in blood sugar. It is therefore important to know how you are going to cope with the stress. One should be aware of the leisure activities one likes to indulge in to combat increased stress levels.
A diabetes patient is required to make a lot of lifestyle changes such as keeping a check on their feet for cuts, blisters or swelling and their gums for dental issues. You might also need to plan the number of steps you take daily or the amount of water you drink. If you smoke, you will have to consider giving it up for your health.
It is not uncommon to get bogged down by all these efforts. But you should be aware of the people that can help you-nurses, doctors, and most importantly, your family. Commit to a healthy lifestyle with physical exercise, healthy food choices, and a stress-free environment to keep diabetes in check.
Go for regular health care checkups
There are many things you need to check when suffering from diabetes. While there are some tests which need to be done twice a year, like the A1c, some also need to be administered more frequently, preferably during each visit, like blood pressure check, foot check, and weight check.
Some tests like complete foot and dental exam to check teeth and gums, urine and a blood test to check for kidney problems are important to avoid further issues.
Keep yourself updated and stick to your plan
It is an excellent idea to keep a check on your sugar levels before and after having meals. This is called pre and post-prandial testing.
Keeping a check on the blood glucose levels will help you plan your meals better, and keep you informed about which foods increase your blood sugar levels abnormally high. It will also help you decide the right portion of foods for you.
While making a plan is a very important step towards keeping diabetes under control, it is completely useless if you are not able to keep up with it.
An easy way is to start slowly and build your way up. It is difficult to give up a lot of food items you love, but you can manage the cravings by substituting the sweets with healthier options and by cutting down on the portions you usually had. Consult your doctor before taking any diabetes control measures.