Living with diabetes can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. When you understand your diabetes and treat your body right, you can live life to its fullest. Knowledge can give you power over your diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease caused by high blood glucose levels that occur because your body has difficulty producing and/or using insulin. There are 3 main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational. Causes of diabetes can be related to lifestyle habits or a genetic predisposition. The management of diabetes requires 4 main elements.
Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar needs to be carefully monitored. There are many different types of meters available that can help you measure your levels and keep an eye out for dangerous spikes or drops. Keep a log of your levels and bring it with you to the doctor to monitor your progress.
You may need medication prescribed by your doctor to help manage your diabetes. Insulin is the most commonly prescribed medication for diabetics. It comes in many different forms, including a syringe injection, pens, and pumps. Time your insulin intake with food intake and administer to the same location each time.
Eating a healthy diet is important for everyone, especially diabetics. Start by eating smaller portions of food more frequently. Cut fat and empty calories out of your diet by avoiding sweets, fried foods, whole dairy, butter/margarine, and salad dressings. Fill your plate with at least half fruits and vegetables. Fill up on whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products.
Staying in shape is essential for living a healthy life with diabetes. Exercise helps you control blood glucose, weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. If you are not very active, you can slowly build up to the ideal workout regimen. The recommendation is 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 days a week. You can go for a brisk walk, mow the lawn, dance, swim, or ride a bike. You can also join a gym, workout class, or exercise group to make exercise more fun and social. Remember to monitor your blood glucose levels to see how they are affected by exercise.
St. Petersburg General Hospital wants to help you live life to its fullest with diabetes. Learn more about managing your diabetes on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. Fadi Saba, MD (left), Board Certified in Internal Medicine, will present “Components of Comprehensive Care of Diabetes in Older Adults.” This free and informative event will be held at noon at Brentwood Senior Living. The address is 6280 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33707. Call Consult-a-Nurse at 1-888-741-5122 to RSVP and hold your spot for this great event!