Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Those who have it know that managing diabetes can be a challenging task, but it is crucial to prevent complications and maintain good health.
This article is meant to remind you of five things that diabetics must do to manage their chronic condition and lead a healthy life.
1. Monitor blood sugar levels regularly
One of the most important things that diabetic people must do is monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. When people get used to their condition, they eventually undermine the significance of keeping an eye on their sugar levels, especially if they do not have any serious symptoms.
But monitoring is crucial. It helps patients keep track of their blood sugar levels and make adjustments to their diet, medication, or exercise routine accordingly. There are various devices available on the market, such as glucometers, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), and insulin pumps, that can help monitor blood sugar levels. Keeping track of blood sugar levels can help diabetic people manage their condition effectively and prevent various complications.
2. Maintain a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone but it is crucial for diabetic people. A healthy diet can help them control their blood sugar levels, manage their weight, and prevent complications. A balanced diet should include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, as guided by the doctor. Diabetic people should limit their intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and foods high in saturated and trans fats. It is essential to work with a registered dietitian to develop a personalised meal plan that meets the individual’s needs and preferences because each person’s weight and accompanying illnesses can differ.
3. Engage in regular physical activity
Regular physical activity is very important for diabetic people. Exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity, reduce the risk of heart disease, manage blood sugar levels, control weight, and improve overall health. Diabetic people should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, which is the generally recommended amount for everyone. If their trainer or doctor asks them to go more intense, they must opt for that.
This can include activities such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing. It is essential to consult a healthcare provider before starting an exercise programme, especially if there are any complications or limitations.
4. Take medication as prescribed
Diabetic patients are usually prescribed several medications to control their symptoms. Medications such as insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, and others can help control blood sugar levels, among other things. Diabetic people should take their medication as directed by their healthcare provider and not skip them. It is essential to inform the healthcare provider about any changes in medicines, including new medications or supplements.
5. Get regular checkups and screenings
Regular checkups and screenings are also equally vital. Diabetic patients should visit their healthcare provider at least every three to six months to monitor their blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney function, and other aspects of their health. Diabetic people should also get regular eye exams, foot exams, and dental exams to prevent complications such as diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, and gum disease.