Five Ways to Manage Your Diabetes
Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes?
Diabetes affects your body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels. While there are differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, they are both chronic conditions that can lead to serious health complications. Your doctor may prescribe insulin or other medications depending on which type you have, but certain lifestyle changes can also help manage diabetes.
Here are five ways to reduce the impact of diabetes on your daily life.
1. Self-monitor Your Blood Sugar
Keep blood glucose levels in line through self-monitoring.
Your doctor can work with you to set a target, or a range of blood sugar levels you should try to stay within. Check your blood sugar regularly using a glucometer or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).
When you keep track of your blood sugar levels, you’ll be able to see what makes your numbers go up or down, such as certain foods or physical activities. You can then make more informed choices about your daily habits.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
Your diet is key to managing blood sugar.
Portion control can help you watch your calories. It’s important to keep an eye on carbohydrate and fiber intake, and to choose foods with a low glycemic index. Eat on a regular schedule, and stay hydrated.
Consider working with your doctor, dietician, or diabetes educator to create a meal plan so you can stay on track with regular, balanced meals.
3. Get Moving
Regular exercise can lead to reduced blood sugar levels.
The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking briskly, dancing, or playing sports. If your schedule makes it hard for you to set aside time for exercise, remember that chores such as cleaning the house or mowing the lawn count as physical activity, too.
Start small and work your way up. If you're not quite ready to run a 10K race, try taking a ten-minute walk. When you exercise, don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids, check your blood glucose levels before and after, and wear cotton socks with comfortable shoes.
4. Manage Stress
High stress levels can hinder your diabetes care. Stress is common for people who are managing a chronic illness such as diabetes.
Unfortunately, stress hormones can elevate your blood glucose levels. Stress can also indirectly affect diabetes management by influencing diet, exercise, and other parts of your self-care regimen.
Do you find yourself overeating or reaching for an extra glass of wine after a long day? Stress might be the culprit. Instead of vegging out, try one of the following:
Spend time with a good friend or family member
Make time to engage in one of your hobbies
Take a walk or do another form of exercise
Talk to a professional if you feel you need additional help
5. Work with Your Healthcare Team
Teamwork is essential to effective diabetes management. In addition to your primary care physician, your team might include other professionals such as an endocrinologist, dietician, diabetes educator, physical trainer, or a pharmacist.
No matter how many professionals are on your healthcare team, remember that you are the most important member. Pay close attention to your body, keep your doctors informed, and be honest about your symptoms.
How Can Hawthorne Help?
Here at Hawthorne, we excel at coordinating complex care. In addition to our skilled and friendly pharmacists, Hawthorne’s knowledgeable medical equipment specialists can assist you in choosing the right equipment for your needs, such as diabetic shoes, compression stockings, and mobility equipment.
Work with a local, patient-centered pharmacy that can guarantee the diligence and the know-how you need to stay healthy. Transfer your prescriptions to one of our locations throughout the Midlands or get in touch today.