Your doctor will tell you about the importance of diabetes nutrition in your disease management, but what else can you do? Here are helpful tips for keeping your diabetes under control and maintaining healthy glucose levels.
1. Keep calm. Stress can cause your blood sugar to rise. Find activities you like that help you relax. Try taking a walk, listening to your favourite music or gardening.
2. Drink in moderation. Drinking alcohol can produce signs of low blood sugar. When you drink, your liver works to process the alcohol, which can mean it’s too busy to perform another important function: releasing stored sugar in response to low levels. Also, drinking alcohol can impair your ability to think clearly and make good treatment decisions.
3. Adjust for your stage of life. Hormone levels can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate. For example, a woman may need to adjust her medication, meal plan or exercise level for her menstrual cycle. Going through menopause? You may need to make more adjustments and check your blood glucose more often. Talk to your doctor to determine a plan that’s right for your body and its hormonal changes at different life stages.
4. Be aware that some medications may affect your diabetes. Some medications are sweetened, and others may affect healthy glucose levels in other ways.
5. Brush up on your oral hygiene. Diabetes puts you at greater risk for gum disease. That’s because people with diabetes have a lowered ability to fight infection from bacteria in the mouth.
6. Travel with a plan. Travelling can disrupt your normal routine, so be sure to plan ahead. Talk with your doctor about how to adjust and ensure you have medication to last while you’re away.
7. Sweeten it yourself. To give yourself more control, you can reduce sugar in your diet by adding your own sweeteners. Not only will you support your diabetes nutrition strategy, you’ll likely add less sugar, saving on calories and carbs.
8. Know your data. Continuous glucose monitoring is key to managing your diabetes care and helps you more quickly address when your body is high or low.
9. Follow your plan set with your doctor, even when you’re feeling good. You might be tempted to skip it. But you probably feel good because your plan is working.
With these simple tips, you’ll be in a better position to manage your diabetes every day.