Diabetes

14 September 2017

5 tips to control diabetes

Diabetes is not a death sentence. With these tips, you can control the condition and live your lifestyle to the fullest

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Managing diabetes is more than just taking medication. Some adjustments in your daily lifestyle can have a huge impact on your overall well-being.

In fact, for some people, this can be enough to control blood sugar without medication. But it's true that old habits die hard.

Here are easy ways to make meaningful changes.

1. Move

Regular exercise helps you lower blood glucose (sugar) as well as lose weight, according to the American Diabetes Association. Get active with fitness options you enjoy, like gardening, hiking or simply walking your dog. Set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals. Start with 10 minutes a day and build up to 30 over several weeks.

older women exercising

2. Change

Start with small adjustments when it comes to diet, too. Replace white bread and pasta with whole grains, eat fresh fruit instead of cake and cookies, and switch to no-fat dairy. If you're unsure which dietary changes will have the most impact, schedule a session with a certified diabetes educator who can map out a healthier eating approach for you.

woman eating healthy snacks

3. Relax

Also, make a serious effort to manage stress. Hormones that your body produces when stressed cause your liver to make more glucose. So, less stress means better control of blood sugar and an end to emotional eating. Yoga and tai chi are everyday exercises that ease stress, and deep breathing and meditation are relaxation techniques you can do anywhere.

woman doing yoga at home

4. Reach out

Finally, develop a support network. Whether in person or online, the other members of a support group can provide the motivation you need to follow through on your lifestyle makeover. And you, in turn, might provide the motivation for others.

women holding hands

5. Check your vitals

You can control your diabetes by being well educated about the condition. Go for regular checkups, monitor a change in your health, take your medication regularly and do regular blood sugar tests. These measures will ensure that your health is not neglected.

doctor doing blood sugar test

Change is rarely easy, but these steps will help today and may prevent diabetes complications in the future.

Image credits: iStock 

 

Ask the Expert

Diabetes expert

Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

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