Diabetes is a complex medical condition that is caused by insulin resistance or lack of insulin production. Symptoms of diabetes differ from person to person, but the most common ones include issues with weight management, increased urination, blurry vision, fatigue, issues with sleep, and dizziness.
There are three major forms of diabetes
- Type 1 – this form of diabetes when your body does not produce insulin due to the destruction or malfunction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. You will have to take regular injections to provide your body with exogenous insulin.
- Type 2 – this occurs when your body still produces insulin, but it does not respond to it. This is the most common type of diabetes and requires management through several dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as some medications.
- Gestational – this occurs during pregnancy and is usually resolved after birth. Those who suffer from gestational diabetes are more likely to suffer from diabetes later on in life.
Regardless of the type of diabetes that you are diagnosed with, it’s essential that you manage your condition properly. By doing so, you can manage your blood glucose levels, regulate your blood pressure, and reduce the health risks associated with diabetes.
Here are two of the most important steps that you should be taking to effectively manage your condition for optimal health.
Take Your Medications
Type 1 diabetics require regular injections to provide the necessary insulin for blood sugar control. Type 2 diabetics often require medications such as metformin to reduce the amount of glucose made by the liver and to enhance the effects of insulin.
It’s vital that you take these medications in accordance with your doctor’s advice to ensure they are as effective as possible. If you’re unsure of when to take your tablets or how to use your equipment, contact your healthcare practitioner for their expert advice.
If you are traveling, make sure you remember to take your medications. You must also ensure you are storing your insulin correctly to avoid changes in its chemical composition. You may need an insulin cooler and a specific case or holder to keep your insulin at the right temperature while you’re away.
Pay Attention to the Carbohydrates You Eat
Carbohydrates have the largest impact on your blood glucose levels, so it’s important that you make the right choices when choosing a carbohydrate for each meal. Focus on slow-releasing carbohydrates with a low glycemic index so they do not cause a huge spike in your blood sugar levels. Examples of healthy carbohydrate sources include whole grains (brown pasta, brown rice, buckwheat, and oats), pulses, and unsweetened yogurt.
Alongside your healthy grain-based carbohydrate sources, focus on consuming lots of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Not only do they provide essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), but they can make you feel fuller for longer, which can reduce your cravings for highly processed sugary snacks later in the day. They may also help to regulate your metabolism and blood sugar levels by providing natural sugars for your body.