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Living With Diabetes: 7 Tips on How to Successfully Manage Diabetes

Living With Diabetes: 7 Tips on How to Successfully Manage Diabetes

Posted On: June 29, 2021

While diabetes can’t be cured, it can be controlled. Learn more with this guide featuring 7 tips on how to successfully manage diabetes.

In the United States, about 10.5% of the population, or 34.2 million people, had diabetes in 2018. The percentage is even higher when you look at Americans over the age of 65, for whom it is estimated that 27% has diabetes.

In 2017, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. It is possible that the number of deaths from diabetes is actually higher than reported, as studies have found that only a percentage of people with diabetes that passed away had it listed on their death certificates.

It is important to manage diabetes and you have this disease because it can both help you feel good today and in the future. When you learn how to manage diabetes, it can help you have more energy, heal better, and have fewer bladder or skin infections. On top of that, will make you less likely to have a number of different health problems that can be caused by diabetes.

If you’re living with diabetes, learning how to manage diabetes is important. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that causes high blood sugar. When a person has diabetes, it means that their body can’t effectively use the insulin it makes or it doesn’t make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that transports sugar from the blood to a person’s cells which can then be used for energy or stored.

If diabetes is left untreated, it can cause damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, or other organs.

There are a number of different types of diabetes. These are:

  • Type 1 diabetes: This is an autoimmune disease where cells in the pancreas are attacked and destroyed by the immune system
  • Type 2 diabetes: This occurs when an individual’s body becomes resistant to insulin and allows sugar to build up in the blood
  • Prediabetes: This is when a person has higher blood sugar than normal but their blood sugar isn’t high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes: This is when a pregnant woman experiences high blood sugar

For each of these kinds of diabetes, there are different causes, symptoms, and treatments. You can learn more about diabetes here.

Self-Monitoring

There are two different indicators that are important to measure as a part of managing diabetes. These are your levels of glycated hemoglobin and blood glucose. In order to measure your glycated hemoglobin, you need to take a blood test at a medical office, however, you can measure your own blood glucose at home.

It is recommended that people who use insulin check their blood glucose levels. How often you need to check these levels varies between people. However, doctors typically recommend that people monitor these levels before exercising, before and after meals, and at bedtime.

People who are not taking insulin who have diabetes should also check their blood glucose levels. This can give valuable information about how physical activity, dietary changes, and medication impact a person’s blood sugar levels.

In order to measure blood sugar levels, an individual needs a blood glucose meter. It is also possible to use a continuous glucose monitor, which automatically measures blood sugar levels every five minutes.

Your at-home blood glucose readings can also help your healthcare team, as they can use the readings to modify nutrition, medication, and self-management plans.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Whether or not you have diabetes, eating a healthy diet is a cornerstone of healthy living. However, for people who do have diabetes, it’s important to understand how food impacts your blood glucose levels. What is important is not just the type of food you eat but also the combinations of food types and how much you eat.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

When people are prediabetic or diabetic, it is important that they achieve and keep a way that is healthy for them. Some research has suggested that losing weight can help slow the rate at which prediabetes becomes diabetes, and can also help to manage type II diabetes.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is another essential part of a healthy lifestyle for all people. However, there are specific benefits of exercise that may particularly help with managing diabetes. These include:

  • Helping control blood sugar levels
  • Promoting weight loss
  • Reducing cardiovascular risk factors
  • Improving well-being

It also might help to reduce insulin resistance of the person exercises every day.

Additionally, it is also important to avoid sitting for too long during any one period of time. It can help to control blood sugar if you get up and walk around every 30 minutes when you’ve been sitting.

Take Your Medication Regularly

A number of things can happen if you do not take your medication as is prescribed by a doctor. These include:

  • Increased complications
  • Lower success rates in achieving targets
  • Increased overall health care costs
  • Increased likelihood of early mortality

There are a number of different reasons why someone might not adhere to the recommended medication regimen given to them by the doctor. No matter the reason, though, it is important to find a doctor that you respect and trust. When that occurs, it’s much more likely that you will find their advice and treatment plan to be something you agree with.

Quit Smoking

It is advised by the American Diabetes Association that people with diabetes or prediabetes should avoid tobacco products. People who have diabetes that also smoke tend to have higher risks of complications, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

Our Team at Norwood Medical Associates Can Help You Prevent, Treat, and Manage Diabetes

Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that diabetes is not a serious illness. However, this disease can lead to the application of limbs, blindness, and death.

That’s why we focus on helping people prevent diabetes through making healthy lifestyle choices. We are also here to help people manage diabetes so that they can lead the happiest, healthiest, most comfortable lives as possible.

If you’re struggling with diabetes, you want to have a doctor you can trust. Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our primary care doctor today.

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