Diabetes is a complicated condition, and if you have been diagnosed recently there is a lot that you need to know. Don’t be overwhelmed by the abundance of information available to you – we’ve created an easy to read top ten tips for dealing with the illness.
1. Do your own research – There is a lot of information to be found on the internet which will enable you to make smart choices based on your own condition and body. You are bound to find some conflicting articles, however it is important you are able to make informed choices from a variety of reputable sources.
2. Know your meds – Whilst we strongly encourage dietary and lifestyle changes as a first resort, it pays to know what medicine you need to stay healthy, and when you may require this medication. Insulin, for example, is a basic necessity for people with type 1 diabetes, and many people with type 2.
3. Know your ABCs. – These three letters stand for A1C, Blood pressure and Cholesterol.
A1C (your average blood glucose over a three-month period) should be tested at least twice a year, if not more, with a target figure of less than 7.
Blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg to reduce the heightened risk of heart attack and stroke for people with diabetes. Get your blood pressure checked every time you see a doctor.
Cholesterol tests are needed once a year or more. Aim for an LDL of less than 100 mg/dl and an HDL of more than 40 mg/dl for men and more than 50 mg/dl for women.
Keep your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol as close to normal as possible to keep your heart healthy.
4. Consistently monitor and test yourself – For example, the A1C test will provide you with a look into your blood glucose data and what changes may have taken place. Taken between 2-4 times per year, they can show you how your lifestyle & medication choices have affected you for the past few months.
5. Make the right food choices. – As you may have guessed already, eating healthily is imperative when you have diabetes, and it can have an enormous effect on the quality of your life. Perhaps even more importantly is reducing your risk of developing diabetes in the first place through pre-diabetes. People who have pre-diabetes often make poor food choices, sometimes without even knowing so.
As soon as you have been diagnosed with diabetes, however, you will want to clean up your diet. Reduce the amount of sugar you consume, and look into the dietary options available to you, such as low-carb diets. There are a plethora of diet plans which claim to reduce or even cure diabetes, the only one we would recommend, however, is The Diabetes Escape Plan.
6. Stay active. – Exercise is up there with diet when it comes to diabetes reduction. Ensuring you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day will go a long way in regulating your blood glucose and reducing risk of heart disease. You don’t have to be restricted to just running or cycling – try and find something you enjoy, that way you are more likely to stick with it.
7. Maintain a healthy weight. – There is a strong correlation between being overweight/obese and being diabetic. By bringing your weight down to an acceptable figure, you are much more likely to reduce the symptoms of diabetes and ensure you stay healthy in the long run. Of course, the above two tips are imperative to this.
8. Don’t get mixed up. – Diabetes is not only a complicated disease, it can also have complications with other diseases. Unstable blood glucose and lipid levels can also bring on a variety of other nasty ills – it is important that you manage diabetes correctly from the start to ensure you limit the chances of developing complications in your condition.
9. Speak to family members & friends. – It’s not easy having diabetes, the effects are not only physical but mental also. It is very important that you get support from the people around you and make sure they know the full extent of your condition and how to manage it properly. By having a team of people looking out for you, you will be both healthier and happier.
10. Keep up-to-date about diabetes. – As mentioned previously, there is a lot of information out there in books, on the internet and in the news about Diabetes. Zappo Health aims to keep you informed with the latest and most accredited news about Diabetes that will have a positive impact on your life.