Diabetes also known as diabetes mellitus is a collection of metabolic disorder where there are high blood sugar levels over a protracted period, either because of insufficient insulin production, or because the cells in the body does not react well with insulin.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is regarded as a metabolism disorder, metabolism describes how the body breaks down and makes use of digested food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is metabolically broken down into glucose, this glucose is a form of blood sugar and it’s the main source of energy for the body.
But this glucose can’t get into the body without insulin present, insulin allows our cell take in this glucose.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. When we eat our pancreas produce a sufficient amount of insulin, this insulin is responsible for moving the glucose present in the body into our blood cells, immediately the glucose enters into the cell, blood glucose level will automatically drop.
A person with diabetes has a problem where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, this happen for a different number of reason, either the body produces insufficient insulin, no insulin at all or the body cells doesn’t react properly with the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Symptoms of diabetes or high blood sugar level include –
1. Increased thirst
2. Abnormally frequent urination
3. Increased hunger level
Complications from Diabetes
Diabetes if left unattended will cause a whole lot of complications, like cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, stroke, eye damage and even foot ulcers.
That’s why it’s important as a diabetic to know major tips on how to manage your diabetes. This article will be talking about different tips to help you in managing diabetes.
Tips for Managing diabetes
Keeping your blood sugar level in the recommended level can be a hard experience, that’s because lots of factors make your blood sugar level to change, most times unexpectedly.
Diabetes management demands constant attention and awareness, know the factors that contribute to the rise or fall of your blood sugar level, then you will have a better knowledge of how to manage and control your diabetes. To manage your diabetes to a minimal level there a tips you have to follow, they include
- Food: The food you eat is one of the foundations of living a healthy life. But when you’re diabetic you begin to have knowledge of how the food you eat affects your blood sugar level. Thing to know about your food includes
- Learn about carbohydrate counting: A crucial part of diabetic’s management is to know how to count your carbohydrates. Carbohydrates foods often have the most effect on your blood sugar level, so it is very important to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food.
- Avoid sugar filled beverages: Sugar sweetened beverages are always high on calories and low on nutritional values. So it is best to avoid such drinks as it drastically raises the level of blood sugar, which is bad for people with diabetes.
- Make your meals and medication balanced: Plan your meal to have a good mixture of fats, starch, fruits, vegetables and protein. Pay attention mostly to your carbohydrates intake, as some are better than the others. Carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables contain fiber which helps keep down blood sugar level. Also coordinate your meals in good proportion to your medications. Too little food in proportion to your insulin medication may result in low blood sugar level, while too much food will result in high blood sugar level. So it’s paramount you learn how to coordinate your meal and medication.
- Exercise: Physical activities, grinding exercises and even light chores you do in the house or garden can help in diabetes management. When you exercise the muscles makes use of glucose as energy, and regular exercises helps the body makes use of insulin more effectively. All these exercises work together to reduce blood sugar level, and the more grueling your workout is the better the effect it has on the condition, less grueling exercises also have a good effect on the blood sugar level.
It’s important you talk to your doctor about the exercise plan appropriate for you, keep your exercise schedule to be in coordination with your meal and medication plan, and also check your blood sugar level before, during and after your exercises to measure your numbers and know if the exercise is effective in managing your diabetes level. Also drink a lot of water during your exercises because dehydration is known to affect blood sugar level.
- Medication: Medication like insulin is great in lowering blood sugar levels when exercise and dieting alone isn’t sufficient. But for these dosages to be more effective the size and dosages are very important. Thing to do during medication include
- Be cautious with new medications: When taking new medication, even for another condition, it is important you ascertain from your doctor how that medication will affect your blood sugar level, some drugs especially the liquid ones contain sweeteners which increases blood sugar level. So before taking over the counter drugs, enquire from your doctor how it will affect your blood sugar level.
- Store your insulin properly: Insulin that is not stored properly and exposed to harsh temperatures may not be effective, same goes for insulin that is past its expiration date.
- Report any medication related problems to your doctor: If during medication your blood sugar level drops too low or gets to high, you should report it immediately to your doctor so your medication can be adjusted to achieve the required effect.
- Quit smoking: Evicting this habit will help you in reducing your blood pressure, improves level of HDL which is a very great cholesterol, and improved your circulation. This will help you have a better control of your blood sugar.
- Avoid alcohol: If you must drink, reduce it to the barest minimum, and also avoid alcoholic drinks that have too much sugar content and this should be when your blood sugar level is very much controlled.