Living With Diabetes
Diabetes is a common disease that affects many people in the Houston area. There is no cure for it, and you have to live with it forever once diagnosed. Even though it cannot be cured, proper diabetes care can surely help improve your overall health, lower blood sugar levels, and minimize your chances of suffering a stroke or heart attack. If you suffer from diabetes or are at risk, here are some lifestyle changes you’ll need to put into place in order to keep your diabetes under control and lead a healthy life.
If you have diabetes, it is very important to be careful what you eat, because some foods can have a negative effect on your blood sugar levels. Try to eat only as much as your body requires. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, do not eat all types of fruits, as some of them are high in natural sugar content (glucose) that should be avoided. Opt for lean meats and non-fat dairy. Limit eating foods that are rich in fat and sugar. Carbohydrates are converted into sugar, so do limit your carb intake.
If you do not regularly exercise, get in the habit now. You do not need to hit the gym everyday or practice strenuous exercises, even walking or yoga will prove very beneficial. If you have an active lifestyle, it will help keep your diabetes under control and minimize the risk of heart diseases and a litany of other health issues. Exercise also helps to ease stress which is a big factor in overall health. Plus, the bonus is that you’ll shed unwanted pounds in the process. Which leads to…
Make a Plan to Lose Weight
If you are overweight, then you have to lose the excess pounds that are making your body work overtime. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you control your blood sugar levels, as well as make you feel much better overall. Start simple by choosing healthier alternatives to your current diet (ex. water instead of cola) and write down a daily plan for a light exercise routine (ex. walk around the neighborhood) to burn calories and reinvigorate your body. It would also be wise to begin a food journal chronicling what you eat and when. This will allow you to see your bad eating habits on paper, which will make things “real.” At that point, your old unhealthy life is on record and you can’t run from it. Time to change it!
Regular Health Checkups
If you do not go for regular health checkups, start now. You should visit your doctor a minimum of twice a year when you’re healthy, but if you’re living with diabetes that number increases. Additionally, the older you get, the more frequent these checkups need to be. Diabetes increases your chances of heart disease. So, you need to be aware of your numbers, blood pressure, A1c (average blood sugar levels over 3 months) and cholesterol. Get your eye examined once every year as well. Do not take any minor ache or pain for granted, diabetes can cause a lot of damage if it goes unchecked.
When you are stressed there is an increase in your blood sugar levels, and if you are anxious, you will not possibly be able to manage your diabetes properly. You might not eat right, might forget to exercise or take the prescribed medications necessary such as insulin, which is vital to managing your diabetes. Control your stress through various methods including quiet time, soothing music, yoga, deep breathing, exercise and proper diet as mentioned above, or anything else that relaxes you and puts you at ease.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
If you avoid alcohol, it will be easier for you to keep your blood sugar levels under control. However, complete abstinence from it is not necessary, however intake must be limited. Most beers, wines and liquors contain a large amount of sugar content which can make your blood sugar levels spike which is very bad news for a diabetic. Choose your alcohol wisely and opt for “light” beers and drinks that contain lower sugar amounts. Also, be mindful of what you mix your alcohol with, because cocktail mixes are full of unhealthy sugars and carbs as well.
Diabetes increases risks of health problems like eye disease, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, nerve damage, foot problems, and blood vessel disease. If you smoke, then your chances of inviting these health problems increase further. Take suggestions from your doctor on how to quit right away.
Make the Change to a Healthier Lifestyle
If you suffer from diabetes or are at risk, these changes are absolutely necessary. Although easier said than done, the healthy tips above will ensure a healthier life and proper diabetes management.
If you have diabetes and need to speak with a doctor, or you have a family history of diabetes and wish to be tested, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Quoc Le at his office to schedule an appointment.
20207 Chasewood Park Dr #204,
Houston, Texas 77070