1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, making it one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the nation. Managing diabetes is essential to prevent complications, such as heart disease, nerve damage, and retinopathy.
Thankfully, there are many diabetes management strategies that you can implement into your daily routine, including:
1. Eat a Balanced, Nutritious Diet.
Your diet is one of the most significant factors in your diabetes management plan. Aim to eat consistent, balanced meals that are low in sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods. This can help prevent fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Focus on non-starchy vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, as well as lean proteins and whole grains.
2. Exercise Consistently.
Exercise improves insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes, making it easier to manage blood sugar levels. If you don’t currently have an exercise routine, start slowly with low-impact exercise, like walking. Work up to strengthening exercises and more demanding aerobic exercises, like using an elliptical or swimming. The recommended minimum amount of exercise for people with diabetes is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.
3. Manage Your Stress Levels.
Stress can trigger blood sugar spikes. So, work on finding stress management strategies that work for you. Journaling, meditation, yoga, and speaking to a therapist are all effective stress management strategies.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption.
Drinking alcohol can lead to low blood sugar levels, as your liver must work to process the alcohol instead of releasing glucose to keep your blood sugar in balance. Therefore, abstaining from alcohol or drinking only in moderation can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
5. Attend All Regular Check-Ups.
Regular check-ups with your physician are essential to evaluate your blood sugar levels, check for signs of complications, and adjust your diabetes care, including medications, as needed. Additionally, make sure to visit all recommended eye and dental exams to protect your overall health.
6. Adjust Your Diabetes Care Accordingly.
Your diabetes care should adapt to changes throughout your life. Major life events and underlying health problems can impact how to best manage your diabetes.