July 23, 2014

More Diabetes Management Tips Part 2

This is a continuation of the previous blog with five tips.

#6. Fight Everyday Stress With Activity. Living with diabetes can make you sad or unhappy at times. Stress not only affects your mood, but it can raise your blood glucose levels. Stress may cause you to make poor food choices and drink more alcohol. An easy way to feel better from everyday stress is to become active. Being active raises the levels of chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. If you don't want to exercise in a gym, join a sports team or take dance lessons to keep moving. Swimming is also another way to stay active.

#7. Exercise in Short Sessions, If Needed. Finding the time to exercise may be hard for some people. It can also be hard to keep going if you're not used to exercising for 30 minutes straight. The good news is you can spread your 30 minutes throughout the day. Three 10-minute walks are as good as 30 minutes at once. So don't hold out to exercise when you have a lot of time. Moderate physical activity (both strength building and cardio) will help you control your blood glucose, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce stress.

#8. Try Strength Workouts If You Are Able. All types of exercise can benefit people with diabetes. But training with weights or other resistance equipment may help you prevent muscle loss (lost muscle often leads to more fat). Several studies suggest strength training. Lifting weights, for example, improves your reaction to insulin and your glucose tolerance. Of course, regular strength training can also improve your muscle mass and help you lose weight, too.

#9. Check Your Feet Every Night. Use a hand mirror or ask someone to help you look for cuts, swelling, or color changes on your feet. Don't forget to look between your toes, too. If you see unhealed cuts or broken skin, call your doctor right away. Make foot care part of your daily routine. Wash and moisturize your feet and trim your toenails as needed. Talk to your doctor about treating corns or calluses. Have your doctor examine your feet during every appointment.

#10. Choose a Date to Quit Smoking. If you smoke, picking a date to quit gives you the chance to prepare for it. You may need help beating the mental and physical parts of nicotine addiction. Stop-smoking programs, support groups, and wellness centers can offer professional help. Whether you quit cold turkey or use other treatments to help you quit, having time to prepare for it may improve your chances of success. Choose what works for you and quit as soon as possible.

#11. Drink Alcohol Only With Food. Your doctor may say it's OK for you to have an occasional drink. Drink alcohol only when you can eat something along with it, because alcohol can cause low blood sugar. Also have some water handy in case you get thirsty. Even so, mixed drinks can raise your blood sugar if you use juice or a regular soda as your mixer. Women should drink no more than one alcoholic drink per day, and men no more than two a day. Or I would suggest stop alcohol consumption completely.

I have said this before, but it is worth repeating. Keep a positive attitude. This will serve you well.

If you have other things that help you manage diabetes, make use of them and don't forget them. Every person varies in their management and abilities to manage diabetes, but this should not deter you from managing your diabetes to the best of your abilities and seeking help from others, if needed. Your doctor may be one of these persons as well as your pharmacist.

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