Five Steps to Better Diabetes Control
Controlling blood sugar levels, for all diabetics, is a matter of life and death. Good control will provide a long, healthy, productive life. Poor control can lead to neuropathy, retinopathy, kidney failure and heart disease. Diabetes is a very serious, life threatening disease.
How can a diabetic make their life better, healthier, more risk free?
Here are the five steps to a better diabetic life from this author’s point of view:
Test your blood sugar regularly. Diabetics who are well controlled will often check their blood sugar once a day. Those diabetics who are less controlled (levels over 175) should check their sugar no less than twice per day (morning and night). Also have your overall level checked by your physician every three months. (This test is referred to as an HbA1c).
Diet / Nutrition
Diabetics should avoid refined sugars (regular sodas, candy, cake, pastries, etc.). These can be enjoyed, but should be enjoyed in moderation, in a very controlled diet. Fruits are recommended, in moderation, and should be substituted in the place of high fat / high sugar desserts. Never eat those items that have a high hypoglycemic index. (This is the rate in which the carbohydrate transfers into glucose in the blood). If you are unsure these statistics can be researched online, or you can speak with your doctor.
Dehydration and dry skin are common side effects of diabetes, and water should be consumed in healthy, large amounts. Keep your skin healthy, elastic, and hydrated.
Diabetics should exercise at least 3 times per week (for no less than 20 minutes). As with any new program or diet you should first speak with your doctor before beginning. Why exercise?
Exercise decreases your blood sugar levels, increases your metabolism, and increases your energy levels. Feeling tired is one of the most ignored symptoms of diabetes. Get on your feet and renew your energy, strength and health!
Proper Foot Care
Speaking of feet...this is a very touchy subject for most diabetics, literally. Neuropathy can cause severe pain in a diabetic’s feet, as well as the pain already caused by increased skin dryness, decrease of hydration in the skin and muscles, and decrease of movement, resulting in stiffness and swelling.
Check your feet EVERY day. Often times diabetics wait too late to report redness, swelling, or pain. Let your doctor know. A good remedy for the dryness is Hydrocerin lotion. This is available by prescription, so ask your doctor.
Always wear comfortable, cotton socks, with no visible seams. Diabetics should keep their shoes on when at all possible, even in doors, to avoid injury. Shoes should be comfortable, but not tight, with good support and “breathable”.