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Lifestyle changes for Diabetics

Updated on May 21, 2011

Diabetes is one of the major health problems that is impacting millions of people around the world and is in fact the fourth main cause of deaths relating to diseases worldwide.  Being inflicted with diabetes can bring with it multiple complications affecting  practically every organ in our body, from our eyes to our heart to our liver to our kidneys.   About 10-20% of diabetic sufferers succumbs to kidney failure especially in developed countries.

These are all very scary facts and therefore it is really crucial that we should all take heed and start to change our lifestyle to prevent getting diabetes.  Lifestyle changes definitely require commitment, effort and time.  So let us not just stay in our comfort zone and resists these crucial lifestyle changes.  Remember that health is wealth.  Life is short and we should try to make it a healthy, meaningful and happy one.

However in the event that you are already too late and are already suffering from diabetes, you should still try to prevent it from getting worse.  Just follow these simple lifestyle changes:

  • Heart healthy diet

    As mention above heart disease can bring complications to diabetes.   To reduce the risk of heart disease, start reducing intake of fried fatty foods and try to minimize your visits to fast food joints.  Eat more fruits and vegetables to increase consumption of fiber.  Opt for unsaturated fats such as omega-3 and omega-6.  You can find these good fatty acids in sardines, salmons, soya and green leafy vegetables.  However you need to take note that these unsaturated fats are only good for you if they are taken fresh and are not altered by heat which will bring more harm than good.

  • Stop smoking

    No matter what it takes, you have to stop smoking if you are already a chain smoker.  Smoking is a health hazard as it can cause damage to our blood vessels.  The combined effect of smoking and diabetes can increase your risk of getting heart disease.

  • Protect your feet

    Just a simple cut, blister or sore on your feet can bring about complication as it can lead to foot infections or foot ulcerations which can potentially require amputation.  Make sure you check  your feet daily and seek immediate medical treatment if you find an injury is really taking a very long time to heal.

  • Do not be a couch potato

    Do not sit in front of the television most of the time.  Get up often and exercise.  Take evening walks or climb stairs rather than use the elevator wherever possible.  However avoid exercises that are too strenuous though as it can be more harmful than good.  Exercising can help your body to better utilize insulin which will mean a much better controlled blood sugar level.  Exercising can also help to prevent obesity which is another very common risk factor for diabetes sufferers.

  • Check glucose level regularly

    You really need to know how to keep your blood sugar under control as high blood sugar is the main cause for all diabetic problems.  At the very minimum you should check at least once a day.  However, you may have to check more times within a day if you are pregnant or if you have any medication change.  If you are not too sure how often you need to check your glucose level, seek the advice of your physician.  If you can, monitor your blood sugar and the impact of your activities on your blood sugar level changes.

  • Protect your immune system

    High levels of glucose can lower your immune system therefore you need to check with your doctor about the latest immunisations and how you can best protect your immune system

  • Prevent gum infections

    Having diabetes increases your risk of getting gum infections therefore check both your gum and teeth everyday similar to your daily feet checks. Minimally you should brush and floss your teeth at least twice per day.  Also pay visits to your dentist 2 times a year.  Again just like your feet, consult your doctor if you notice bleedings or swellings of the gum.

Medical studies and analysis has proven that adopting a healthy lifestyle is equally as effective as taking medications for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.  Hence if you are a diabetic sufferer, start making changes to both your lifestyle and diet.  Do not hesitate any more if you are serious about wanting to avoid the complications of diabetes.


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      Bob 6 years ago

      Managing your blood sugar is a like trying to hit a moving target. The amount of sugar in your blood is always moving around because it is affected by factors like the food you eat, how much food you eat, your medication, your activity level, etc. Not surprisingly, exercise and a proper diet are key.