14 Nov Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes
Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes
Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects the entire body. The body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels. The severity of the disease depends on the duration the patient has had the disease, and how uncontrolled the blood sugar has been. There are many causes that can determine someone’s risk factor of how prone they are to having diabetes. Some of these include:
- Excess Weight
- Diet High in Processed Food
- Age (Over the Age of 45)
- Family History of Diabetes
Even though there is no treatment for the disease and genetics plays a huge role in who’s at risk, it can be managed with some lifestyle changes. Here are five intervention options to alter your lifestyle to reduce your risk of diabetes and keep the disease from worsening:
1. Exercise Regularly
Since one risk factor of diabetes is excess weight, it is important to make sure one is at their optimal weight. It’s also important to make sure to stay active. Not only does physical activity keep the excess weight off, but it also helps with the body tissue’s sensitivity to excess sugar. This is a great lifestyle change to make, since studies have shown that this could be as effective as pharmacological options for keeping blood sugar under control.
2. Eat Healthy
Diet is so closely linked with our blood sugar levels, which makes it very important for diabetic patients to eat healthy. A diet high in fiber and low in carbohydrates is a good rule to follow. Carbohydrates turn into sugar in our bodies, so it’s good to watch the carb intake. Make sure to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.
3. Water as Primary Drink
Water should be the primary source of fluid intake for diabetic and prediabetic patients. Even though fruit is healthy, most juices have added sugar. That’s why it’s important to make sure you stay away from juices and sodas as they can increase sugar intake. Alcoholic drinks should also be avoided or consumed in moderation. Alcohol can spike or lower blood sugar dramatically, so if alcohol is consumed, it’s important to check blood sugar regularly.
4. Manage Stress
Stress and anxiety can affect our blood sugar. This can have a big effect on diabetic patients. It’s important to make sure you reduce stress levels. This can be easier said than done. This is important to keep in mind if you have made all other lifestyle changes, but your blood sugar is still not under control. If you’re currently under more stress than usual, consider breathing exercises, yoga, or taking on a new hobby to feel more relaxed.
5. Quit Smoking
As we all know by now smoking has detrimental effects on our health. Diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage. Smoking can increase the chances of these conditions even more. If you have tried to quit, but have been unsuccessful, consider talking to your family physician about other options for quitting.
These are only a few changes that can have tremendous results in decreasing your risk and managing diabetes. By making these changes, checking your blood sugar regularly, and seeing your primary care physician, as well as your optometrist, diabetes can be kept under control.