Being diagnosed with diabetes can be really hard to deal with, no matter how old you are. Your doctor may have prescribed medications and treatments to help manage your symptoms. However, making a few lifestyle changes can help you cope better with this chronic illness. Getting out of your comfort zone to make changes to your routine might seem like a bit of a hassle at first. But once you get used to the flow, nothing can stop you from living your best life!
6 Proven Tips to Help You Cope With Diabetes
Hustle is the name of the game today and diabetes has become a common medical condition. Thankfully, it is a medical condition that you can work on proactively to lead a stress-free life. Here are five simple and effective lifestyle changes that anyone can embrace to manage diabetes and increase their quality of life.
Who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep?! A regular sleep cycle can heal both your body and mind and help you stay more focused and active. Not getting enough sleep can make you crave more fatty foods, which can mess with your diet and make your blood sugar levels rise. Sleeping 7-8 hours a day can make all the difference when you’re trying to take better care of your health. It can help with weight loss and recovering muscle mass, which in turn increases your chances of managing your diabetes. You can also get help from a sleep expert if you have amnesia or any other condition that prevents you from getting your daily dose of rest. Once you get the proper amount of sleep, you can keep up with the rest of your lifestyle changes.
Diabetes and snoring can seem completely unrelated at first glance, but if you dig deeper, they’re more interlinked than you think. Scientists have found that snoring can either be a symptom or a causing factor of diabetes. A study by the American Journal of Epidemiology confirms that people who snore are twice as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. When you’re snoring, the airways are blocked and oxygen levels decrease, causing your body to release cortisol (stress hormones). This results in increased insulin resistance, causing diabetes. However, science has developed several smart technologies to help prevent snoring. You can try snoring solutions that are proven to work effectively and recommended by sleep coaches, such as a contact-free snoring aid to lessen snoring’s stress on the body.
Diet and Exercise
Having a proper meal plan can save you a lot of trouble when it comes to sticking to a diet. That and a bit of exercise can go a long way in helping you curb diabetes. If you love cooking, try including more healthy food in your daily meals, such as unsalted nuts, avocados, oily fish, olive oil, low-fat milk/cheese, and whole grains. It is also important to limit sugary foods, white flour, and starchy vegetables. A dietician can help you with a proper diet plan based on your age and body weight.
A good diet plan is incomplete without a proper exercise routine. A 30-minute workout session can help you lose the excess fat that makes diabetes symptoms worse. It regulates your blood sugar and reduces the build-up of excess sugar in your bloodstream. If you’re someone who isn’t used to exercising much, you can start with three 10-minute walks each day and move on to yoga, biking, or any other physical activity that gets your blood pumping.
Alcohol and Smoking
Improving your diet also involves holding off on smoking and drinking. As diabetes can make you prone to more serious conditions like heart disease and nerve damage, it would do you a world of good to completely quit or limit your interaction with alcohol and smoking. You can quit smoking using nicotine gums or other alternatives.
Alcohol can increase or decrease your blood sugar levels, so you need to make sure to check your blood sugar levels before drinking. According to the American Diabetes Association, men can have up to two drinks per day; and women up to one.
With diabetes, mental health often goes for a toss, so you need to cut out the stress and learn to chill. Stress and anxiety can make your blood sugar levels rise and ruin the efforts you put into your diet and exercise. Proper sleep can help manage stress. However, breathing exercises and meditation can help you kick back and relieve your mind of anxious thoughts. Finding a relaxing hobby or calming surroundings that help you unwind can be a great way to beat stress in your daily life. Also, just calling up a friend or listening to music you love can help lighten your mood.
If you are worried about having more serious problems, it is best to consult with a mental health specialist who can suggest therapy or medications to help with your stress levels.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. As for diabetes, it is necessary to get a health checkup done twice every year to ensure everything is in control. The common tests you should get done include a foot check, an eye exam, a cholesterol test, and a dental exam. Talk to your doctor about any changes in your health or sleep cycle, and discuss your lifestyle changes to see if anything can be improved. They can also help you with your nutrition plans and recommend physical activities that are more apt for you.
Let’s look at some quick, helpful pointers to get you going on your journey to cope with diabetes:
- Learning how to check your blood sugar levels from time to time can help maintain your diabetes symptoms.
- Limiting sugar from your diet might be hard at first; you can use artificial sweeteners to help you cut back on your sugar intake.
- Drinking lots of water each day will lessen your cravings for soda, alcohol, and other sugary drinks.
- Check with your health care providers and community health centers about programs that help you get cost-efficient insulin and other diabetes medications.
- Medicare covers diabetic shoes, so try a pair to keep your foot health in check.
- You can make use of diabetes self-management training (DSMT) to learn more about diabetes — DSMT is also covered by Medicare.
Never be hesitant to reach out and ask for help when you need it. You can always count on your friends and family for support when getting started with these lifestyle changes. Do not let diabetes get in the way of everything else you wish to do in life.