Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood sugar levels cause by the body’s inability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that helps transform the glucose (sugar) in our blood into energy.
Dubbed the “mother of all diseases”, diabetes causes organs to deteriorate over time which leads to complications that affect the diabetic’s quality of life – at times, these complications may even be life-threatening or fatal.
We’ve compiled eight ways to help you avoid complications by managing diabetes properly.
Monitor Blood Sugar Daily
What is measured is managed. Blood sugar monitoring is an essential part of your battle plan – it gives you and your physician the needed data to help keep your diabetes management plan on track, and to help you avoid complications. Your diet, medication, supplementation, and other important components of your treatment is hinged on blood sugar monitoring.
Mind What You Eat
One important part of your game plan to beat diabetes and avoid diabetes complications is a balanced diet that is tailored to your needs – and your taste. Many diabetics will find it difficult to stick to a healthy diet, much more create one that is just right for them.
This is where the advice of a nutritionist/dietician comes in handy, as well as meal delivery for diabetics services that help you plan and customize meals that suit your needs and schedule.
Regular exercise will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and may help your body increase its insulin sensitivity, thus helping you keep blood sugar levels manageable or even within normal limits.
Exercise and physical activity keeps your body and organs, particularly your bones and muscles in tip-top shape, therefore helping staving off complications brought about by diabetes. It will also help you manage stress levels, which is a contributory factor to blood sugar elevation.
Put a Premium on Sleep
Good quality sleep is an important part of your fight against diabetes. Sleep allows your body to rest, as well as repair itself on a cellular level. For a disease that attacks the organs over time, the regenerative benefits of a good sleeping habit is very important. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night is ideal to help avoid diabetes complications, such as heart disease.
Check Your ABCs
One serious complication of diabetes is heart disease. It would be wise to keep constant check on your ABCs to have a good grasp of your risk:
A1C level – your average blood sugar control for a period of two to three months. You may need to check this twice a year or more. Discuss goals with your physician for best results.
Blood pressure – a number below 140/80 mmHg is advisable.
Cholesterol – Ideal LDL levels for adults are less than 100 mg/dl, while HDL levels are ideally less than 40 mg/dl, with triglycerides at less than 150 mg/dl. Women tend to have higher HDL than men, so that means it may be appropriate to have a goal that is 10 mg/dl higher.
Smoking, alcoholism, and drug use will hasten the deterioration of your organs, and the best time to stop was yesterday. Help your body fight diabetes complications by removing the stress that vices impose unnecessarily on your lungs, liver, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and other organs. Reach out to a support group if you think you cannot do it alone.
Slash the Salt
A serious complication that diabetics may face is the malfunctioning of the kidneys. The risk for this complication is exacerbated by high amounts of sodium in one’s diet, which often comes from the consumption of processed foods.
High levels of sodium in your diet may also adversely affect blood pressure and thus contribute to the risk of heart disease. Switch to fresh ingredients and use herbs and spices to season your food instead of salt.
Watch Your Wounds
With diabetes, simple wounds and scratches are a cause for concern as infection risks are elevated, and healing is slower. In case you do get wounded or scratched, clean the area properly and apply an antibiotic cream or ointment.
You may also dress the wound with sterile bandages to prevent dirt from getting into it – a wound heals best when kept as clean as possible. If it doesn’t get better in a couple of days, visit your physician immediately.
Diabetes complications can be avoided – or at least reduced – if one pays close attention to what one consumes, and what one does. A switch to a healthier lifestyle greatly helps in reducing the risk of complications, as well as improving quality of life.
In trying any activity, diet change, supplement, or treatment, it is always best to follow your physician’s recommendations to ensure that whatever it is you’re trying is good for you.