Diabetes Management 101: Lifestyle And Daily Routine Can Have A Large Impact On Blood Sugar

Diabetes Management


Diabetes management is something that you need to be aware of. Know what can make your blood sugar level rise or fall and know how to control them.

The following are just a few of the many things that can change your blood sugar levels for better or worse. To keep them in check, you need to be prepared!

Food

Healthy eating is essential for healthy living and diabetes management, but people with diabetes need to know how different foods affect their blood sugar levels.

    • Carbohydrates are the key to many diabetes management plans. Carbohydrates often have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels. For people taking insulin at mealtimes, it’s necessary to know how much carbohydrate is in each meal to get the proper dose of insulin.
    • Make meal planning easier. Use a scale or measuring cups to ensure you’re eating enough but not too much of any food type and always have accurate carbohydrate counts ready when it’s time to plan your meals.
    • With so many delicious and healthy food choices, it can be hard to know what is best for your diet. To ensure you’re eating right, try consuming a mix of proteins like salmon or chicken with vegetables such as spinach or broccoli mixed in them at every meal! You’ll feel great about yourself when you fill up on the nutritious foods that will keep hunger away without depriving yourself of some comfort carbs.
    • To have a well-balanced diet plan for diabetes management, consider adding protein sources like fish and poultry into each meal. Add starches (like potatoes) and nutrient-rich produce items such as leafy greens – this way, you get all these essential nutrients while still being able to enjoy convenience ingredients too!
    • Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all carbohydrates that can stabilize your blood sugar levels. Keep fruits to a minimum intake or avoid altogether if you have diabetes because they contain natural sugars, spike insulin in the body. Vegetables should be eaten with every meal for an even balance of food types and fiber content. In contrast, whole grains should only make up one-third of what’s on your plate at any given time but will keep things like pasta nice and full without too many calories – don’t go overboard! Talk to your doctor about how much fruit is appropriate for people with diabetes, so there’s no confusion between good carbs versus bad ones.
    • Coordinating your diet and medications is paramount to the health of your body and diabetes management. Too little food in proportion may result in dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). It would help if you talked with diabetes professional about how best to manage mealtime while taking insulin, or other types of medication for that matter. On top of eating well-balanced meals, it’s also important not to overindulge when experiencing hyperglycemic episodes. Too much high glucose levels can cause oxidative damage as well as mental issues like anxiety and depression. Know what steps need to be taken before an event will help keep things under control!
    • Stay away from sugar-sweetened drinks because they are high in calories and offer little nutrition. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the quick rise of blood sugar means you’ll want to avoid them- especially if you have diabetes.
    • If you are experiencing a drop in blood sugar level. Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as juice and soda, can be used to treat quickly raise your blood sugar that has dropped too much.
Diabetes Management


Alcohol

Alcohol affects your liver, and if it’s busy metabolizing alcohol, then your blood sugar level may not get the boost you need.

  • If you have diabetes and your doctor says that it is okay, drink alcohol in moderation. Drinking too much can cause complications like nerve damage or eye disease so remember to take care of yourself.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as one drink a day for women and men over the age of 65. Those who are under this age limit can consume two drinks per day. A single drink equals 12 ounces or 5 ounces respectively, in wine or beer form; 1.5-ounces in distilled spirits form would also qualify as a standard unit that does not exceed the moderate range when consumed within given limits on an everyday basis.
  • It is not wise to drink after a long day with an empty stomach when diabetes and take insulin. Alcohol will lower your blood sugar quickly, so make sure to eat something before or while drinking alcohol.
  • Dry wines and light beers are the best options for those who want to drink and maintain a healthy diet. If mixed drinks are your preference, try sugar-free mixers such as club soda or seltzer, which won’t harm blood glucose levels.
  • Count your calories. Include the calories from alcohol in your count. Ask a doctor or dietitian how to incorporate calories and carbohydrates from alcohol into your diet plan.
  • Alcohol can cause your blood sugar levels to drop long after you’ve had your last drink, so it’s essential to check before going to sleep. If not within the safe range of 100-140 mg/dL (5.6 – 7.8 mmol/L), have a snack beforehand for optimal health and safety throughout the night.

Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the most important aspects of living a healthy life and diabetes management. Not only does it keep your body fit, but it also helps you use insulin more efficiently and can even increase how quickly food gets absorbed by muscles cells.

When we work out, our muscles burn up sugar (glucose), which has less space for diabetes-causing glucose in our bloodstream! Exercise not only increases fitness levels but the efficiency of managing sugars too!

By choosing to exercise, you can make diabetes management easier by controlling your blood sugar levels better. Some people stay active by doing housework or gardening for a few hours here and there each day to avoid becoming sedentary.

  • Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and active. Strive for about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity on most days of the week, or 150 minutes per week in general: this will give you less chance at heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc. Talk with your doctor first before starting any exercise routine!
  • When you’ve been inactive for a long time, your doctor may want to check your overall health before advising you which type of exercise is correct. They can recommend the best balance between aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities appropriate for someone in their situation.
  • The best time of day to exercise might not be the same as what you’re used to. Talk with your doctor about when is best for you and consider that to improve both your health and workout routine by being coordinated.
  • Knowing your numbers is one of the most important things you can do when engaging in a fitness routine and diabetes management. Talk to your medical advisor about what blood sugar levels are appropriate for you before starting an exercise program, and make sure they’re not low or high if possible.
  • Blood sugar levels are essential to monitoring if you have diabetes. Before, during, and after exercise, it is incredibly crucial that blood sugar be monitored closely because exercising can lower your blood glucose level even a day later! If this happens, symptoms such as feeling shaky or lightheaded may occur, so being aware ahead of time will help ensure safety.
  • If you use insulin and are concerned about a low blood sugar level, try to find the right balance between exercise and food. Remember that if your blood sugar is below 90 mg/dL (5.0 mmol/L) before exercising, it’s essential to have some snacks beforehand!
  • It would help if you stayed hydrated when you exercise. Drink plenty of fluids especially water while exercising because dehydration can affect your blood sugar levels, and that will cause a whole host of problems for the rest of the day.
  • Studies show that drinking more than two cups per hour during exercise is better at keeping one’s body from getting dehydrated- especially in hot weather where sweat may not evaporate as quickly.
  • Be prepared as part of your diabetes management for any eventuality with a small snack or glucose tablets. You never know when your blood sugar level will drop, so you might as well be ready! Always make sure to wear an identifying medical bracelet if anything happens during exercise where hypoglycemia may occur.
  • If you are on insulin, your doctor may need to adjust its dosage before and after exercising. You should also be very aware of blood sugar levels because sometimes delayed hypoglycemia can occur following intense activity. If you’ve increased your exercise routine, make sure that this has been communicated with a healthcare provider, so they know how much medication needs adjusting accordingly.
Diabetes Management

Sleep

Too little sleep make diabetes management more difficult because this causes an increase in hunger and appetite for high-calorie, carb foods. In addition, too little sleep will trigger stress hormones that tell your body to hang onto fat. Outsmart this problem by being physically active, which has been shown to help you fall asleep faster and have a more restful night of sleep. A relaxing nighttime routine can also give the zzzs needed and avoid screens one hour before bedtime, heavy meals, or alcohol close to bedtime. Also, make sure your bedroom is dark and cool to ease you into slumber.

Medication

If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, the doctor may recommend taking insulin and other medications to manage your blood sugar levels. However, depending on when these drugs are taken matters as well! If it is too late in the day or if someone takes an excessively large dose of medicine at night for their purposes of sleep, they risk lowering their blood sugars to dangerous lows overnight- which can lead them into a diabetic coma. It’s important not only what time but how much medication one eats so that there isn’t this problem.

  • When storing insulin, be sure to refrigerate it. Many people who have diabetes often overlook this because they think that their refrigerator is too packed with other things and don’t realize how important the storage space is in keeping medication like insulin fresh.
  • It’s important to talk with your doctor regarding you diabetes management if you’re worried about the dosage and timing of your diabetes medication. Your blood sugar level may need adjusting, or it could be a sign that there is something else going on in addition to the diabetes symptoms.
  • If you’re taking any new medication, it’s essential to be cautious as part of your diabetes management. If your doctor prescribes a drug for high blood pressure or cholesterol and the potential side-effects include increased glucose levels – ask them if that is something they were considered when prescribing this medicine.
  • Never take an unknown over-the-counter medication without first consulting a doctor. Sometimes the change in blood sugar level can be too much to bear, and you may need more intensive medical attention than just adjusting your current medications or diet.

Illness

Your body produces stress-related hormones that can help your body fight illness, but they also may raise blood sugar levels and complicate diabetes management. Changes in appetite or activity while sick could increase the risk of complications for people who already have diabetes.

  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Part of you diabetes management planning should be to create a sick-day plan with your health care team to avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure you take all of your prescribed medication as needed.
  • Diabetes is a condition in which your body can’t process sugar and causes high blood sugars. Diabetes affects those with insulin issues or other diabetes-related problems such as the inability to eat because of nausea, vomiting, etc. During times of illness, it’s essential to monitor your blood sugars frequently so that you don’t experience hypoglycemia while sick since this could be fatal for some people on medication like long-acting insulin!
  • The best advice for diabetes management is to simply not change anything. Stick with your regular meals, and keep a supply of easy-to-digest foods on hand like gelatin, crackers, or soup if you need them to help control blood sugar levels.
  • Drinking lots of water or other fluid that don’t have calories is a great way to stay hydrated. If you are taking insulin, it’s vital to drink sugar-sweetened beverages such as juice or sports drinks to keep your blood sugars levels from dropping too low and becoming hypoglycemic.

Menstruation and Menopause

Changes in hormone levels the week before and during menstruation can lead to significant changes in blood sugar levels and must be taken into your diabetes management considerations.

  • If you are a person with diabetes, be aware of any changes in your blood sugar readings. The hormone fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle may reveal patterns that predict when you’ll have an increased risk for highs and lows.
  • Diabetes medications can be adjusted to account for blood sugar variation. Doctors may also recommend adjusting your meal plan or activity level, but make sure you always consult with a health professional before making any changes.
  • Monitoring blood sugar levels more frequently is a good idea for anyone who’s experiencing menopause and trying to manage diabetes. Still, it can be incredibly confusing to discern the difference between symptoms of low blood sugar and those that are due to hormone changes associated with aging. If you’re on your period or haven’t eaten in a while when feeling faint from hunger, ask someone else if they also see signs of hypoglycemia.

Women with diabetes have the option of using most forms of birth control without worry. Some women, however, need to avoid oral contraceptives because they may raise blood sugar levels and lead to a more severe condition in some cases.

Stress

Prolonged stress can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, making it more challenging to follow a diabetes management routine.

  • Look for patterns. For example, if you use a stress scale from 1 to 10 each time you take your blood sugar reading, one pattern is that the number will be higher when your stress level is higher.
  • Fight back against stress. Once you know how it impacts your blood sugar levels, prioritize and learn relaxation techniques to fight the effects of chronic stress on your body. Avoid common sources of tension like work or family issues at home when possible. Use exercise as a way to release pent-up energy from these heightened moments not to affect your health over time.
  • Stress is a part of life, and it can be difficult to combat when we’re alone. Find someone who will help you through the tough times by doing things like identifying stressors, solving problems, or teaching coping skills.

The less you know about factors that influence your blood sugar level, the more they will fluctuate and make diabetes management more difficult. If this is becoming an issue for you, causing a lot of stress in your life or self-esteem issues, ask yourself what might be going on? The good news is that there are ways to prepare ahead, so these fluctuations don’t get too out of control!

The great news is you have the power to control your diabetes management.

Managing Diabetes Resources

Here are some diabetes management links to further assist with your diabetes planning.

Cleveland Clinic – Diabetes: Types, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Tests, Treatments & Prevention 
Diabetes Management – Diabetes happens when your body can’t take up sugar (glucose) into its cells to use as fuel. Too much glucose in your bloodstream can damage your body’s organs and tissues.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases –
Managing Diabetes
Diabetes management means managing blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Learn the steps you can take to meet your target goals and stay healthy.

Singapore Ministry of Health – Diabetes Management: Weight, Diet, Exercise and Medicine
Diabetes management – As a person with diabetes, it is very important for you to learn how to manage the condition well.   The main goal is to keep your blood glucose at an optimal level — neither too high nor too low.

Diabetes UK –
Managing Diabetes – Diabetes Management
Diabetes management can refer to dealing with short term events such as high and low blood sugar to controlling it over the long term such as by getting to grips with understanding the condition.

WebMD – 
Diabetes Management Tips and Preventing Complications
Simple diabetes management information. From tips on controlling blood sugar to diet and exercise, see fresh new ideas.

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