How To Live With Diabetes Mellitus
Whether you are recently diagnosed with diabetes or looking for ways to improve your lifestyle, this article will help you out to navigate -ins and -outs of how to live a happy and healthy life with diabetes mellitus.
As you know, unfortunately there is no cure for diabetes yet, however, managing it - can certainly improve your chances of living longer and healthier. The most important thing to note, is that you are not alone in this battle, as millions of people around the world are already diagnosed with high blood sugar levels. And having this diagnosis is not the end of the world, it simply can be maintained. To get started, let's put some prospective on types of diabetes. There are currently 3 types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes (also called juvenile diabetes, a condition where pancreas produces little or no insulin, therefore most people with this type of diabetes are insulin dependent)
- Type 2 Diabetes (adult onset diabetes, with this type of diabetes, the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or it resists insulin)
- Gestational Diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
So now, you have a general idea what type of diabetes out there exist; let's see what can we do about it, in order to continue striving in this beautiful world! There are 3 main points for living healthy with diabetes, and these points are:
- Balancing the food
- Regular Exercise
- Medications (only if prescribed)
Let's start by balancing your food. Now, that you consciously know about your type of diabetes, you need to rethink your daily food intake in proportions. The main things to consider are quantity of carbohydrates in the meal, portions of the meal, your intake of vegetables etc. I'm putting a stress on carbohydrates (carbs in short), as carbs are the main contributors to the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood, as it can raise your glucose quicker than protein and fat. Next time you go shopping, pick a product and read a label on the back to get the nutrition information of the particular product. As you navigate through the nutrition information, there is a thing called Glycemic Index, and I'll teach you how to use it in your advantage.
In a simple word Glycemic Index - gives your information on slow acting "good carbs" vs fast acting "bad carbs". As WebMd points out, the following criteria is optimal for navigation.
- 55 or less = Low (good)
- 56-69 = Medium
- 70 or higher = High (bad)
As holidays looming our way, be careful on consuming alcohol, as it can raise or lower your blood sugar drastically. A comprehensive overview on alcohol and diabetes could be found here.
Once you get the hang of managing your diet with diabetes, you can move on to the next thing such as personal care. Living with diabetes, requires a great amount of attention to your personal well being, and it includes measuring your glucose levels continuously, also proper skin care and exercising regularly.
With diabetes, your skin might be dry or moist in certain areas. It's very important to use lotion in those areas, as extremely dry skin is permeable to crack. In highly moist areas such as armpits, toes and groins try to keep it dry, but not too dry. A basic skin care will help you on a long run. Many people with diabetes have problems with feet, if you are concerned about certain parts of your skin or your feet, please bring the concern to dermatologist or podiatrist, who can guide you on the next steps of your treatment.
Exercising is good for everyone, and having a diabetes you should especially pay attention to your routinely stretches and exercising. Exercising can decrease your blood glucose level and even on a long run lower your a1c (or glycosylated hemoglobin - an average glucose level over 2-3 months). Regular exercise can lower your blood glucose levels up to 24 hours or more, it depends on a person. By checking your blood before and after physical activity can give you a clear picture of how it benefits you. If you are hypoglycemic (low blood glucose level), insulin or carbohydrates should be adjusted according to your physical activity. Talk to your doctor if you believe you are at risk for hypoglycemia.
Do you need to see a professional doctor or specialist regarding your diabetes management? Feel free to contact us today and we will be happy to assist you with any questions you might have!