In a nutshell, the steps towards taking care of yourself once diagnosed with diabetes is something that you have heard a million times before. It goes a little something like this;
“You should take care of your diet and exercise regularly”
Easier said than done we all know, but the reality of it is that you don’t really have much of a choice. As a matter of fact, managing your diet and regular exercise may actually help maintain your blood sugar levels even more than any pills or potions out there.
Here are a few lifestyle changes that you can take in order to manage your diabetes.
Control Your Food!
As Malaysians, it is only normal for us to indulge in everything we lay our eyes on. This is not our fault as Malaysia is a food haven and to be brutally honest, who can say no to Nasi Lemak and Teh Tarik! Having said this, if you are diabetic, you will have to say goodbye, or at least cut down (drastically, that it) to such foods. Instead, enrich your diet with the likes of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meats, and low-fat dairy.
Focus on eating fruits and non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, and lettuce, and having smaller portions of starchy foods, meat, and dairy products.
To aid in this process of food selection, be cautious of foods that rank high on the Glycemic Index (GI), a system that ranks foods according to how they affect glucose levels. High-GI foods include white breads, white rice, and soda.
While you’re at it, cut down on fast foods as well. We all know that there is nothing good that comes out from the consumption of fast food other than temporary satisfaction. Fast foods are loaded with refined carbohydrates, trans-fats, and sodium, which can be especially unhealthy for people with type 2 diabetes.
As a society, we are all so conformed to our daily routine that even though we know the importance of exercise, we tend to forego it or dismiss the idea of it. Exercising is so important not just for diabetic patients but to everyone in general. However, if you are diabetic, exercising is vital as when you perform a physical activity, your muscle contractions push glucose out of your blood into your cells. This results in better blood sugar levels. In fact, without even losing a pound, exercise helps keep type 2 diabetes under control because of this muscle contraction scenario. It goes without saying that the more intense the exercise, the better. In one study of vigorous exercise and type 2 diabetes, women who walked quickly gained more protection from type 2 diabetes than those who walked at a more leisurely pace.
Shed the Pounds
Losing the extra pounds can improve blood sugar levels and help keep type 2 diabetes under control. You don’t have to lose a lot of weight to make a difference. If you already have type 2 diabetes, losing just 10 to 15 pounds can lower your glucose levels. The trick is just to get started. Get started on making a change and it will slowly be inculcated into a habit. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way towards a better diabetic management routine and towards a better you altogether.
Keep Stress at Bay
No one likes the feeling of being under stress. Apparently, stress is also an evident enemy of those with type 2 diabetes. Stress can make blood sugar levels harder to control. Therefore, try stress-relieving techniques to help prevent stress build-up. These techniques come in various forms and include yoga, meditation and listening to soothing music. As a bonus, stress relief may help you sleep better. This is important because studies show that not getting enough sleep can worsen type 2 diabetes. Sleeping less than six hours a night has also been found to contribute to impaired glucose tolerance, a condition that often precedes type 2 diabetes.
These steps would really help you out in your journey towards better management of type 2 diabetes. As mentioned earlier, the hardest part is always getting started and once you have, living healthily would do you so much good that you will probably regret not starting out earlier. Here’s a link to an article I found that I particularly find empowering and helpful at the same time.
So, how often do you do your blood test to see if your diabetes is under control? Don’t wait too long, think about yourself and also your loved ones. Check out your health status by grabbing our limited Health Screening Packages!
Any other tips you guys have in mind to counter Diabetes type 2? Do let us know in the comments section below!
A lost guy adopted by GetDoc and wish to grow with them. View all articles by Kay.