Do you know what ties celebrities like Tom Hanks, Larry King, Salma Hayek and Billie Jean King together? They all 'manage' diabetes. And very successfully at that. Look at their achievements in their respective fields and the kind of passion they have for their work and you would start to wonder, how they managed all this with Diabetes to worry about. Isn't it all too simple? Turns out, managing Diabetes is fairly easy after all.
“Managing Diabetes is not a science. It is an art”.
Step 1: Monitor your blood sugar levels
Key to managing your diabetes is to know where you stand as regards to your blood sugar levels. For that will determine your next course of action. Should it be under control, well and good. Should it reach critical levels, you will have to consult your doctor to bring the blood sugar levels under control.
There are many instruments out there in the market that help you monitor your blood sugar levels. Most instruments only require blood that oozes out from the hole, the size of a pin head. That's not going to hurt much, is it? The frequency of checks to be done daily, should be determined after due consultations with your doctor. However, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you do a check once every day. The prescribed levels for Fasting Blood Sugar (when you wake up just before your morning coffee) is 110 mg/dL. Similarly the post-meal blood sugar levels are recommended to not exceed 180 mg/dL. Anything beyond that is a reason to worry about and immediate preventive steps should be taken.
Step 2: Be alive and kicking
Diabetes manifests when the sugar(glucose) levels in your bloodstream increase beyond critical levels. That means if you can use up your blood sugar, then you should be able to manage Diabetes. The question is: What's the best way to use up your blood sugar levels? When it comes to Diabetes, scores of scientists and medical researchers agree on one thing - Exercise. A daily exercise regime is probably the best way to use up additional blood sugar levels that harm you and hence effectively manage diabetes. If you can manage at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, then nothing like it.
However, one note of caution. Every morning, before you exercise, make sure to check your blood sugar levels. If the sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL, have a carb rich healthy snack to up your blood sugar levels and prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Exercising with a low blood sugar is not advisable as you may faint while doing so.
Step 3: Stick to a healthy diet
You will also have to take a look at your daily diet and make sure it's enriched with all the right nutrients that don't contribute to additional blood sugar levels. When it comes to a prescribed diet to manage diabetes, don't rely on hearsay. Instead consult a qualified dietitian to advise you on the diet schedule and eating habits, designed to keep diabetes at bay. A balanced diet with the right amount of carbs helps you keep tabs on your blood sugar levels. A carb-rich diet is not recommended as carbohydrates turn to sugar in a couple of hours. Whereas, too little carbohydrates is also not desirable as it could lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). So always remember the amount of carbohydrates you consume. A balanced carbohydrate filled diet goes a long way in helping you manage diabetes the right way.
Needless to say that you must always take prescribed medicines on time along with keeping up with your doctor's appointments, while diligently following the aforementioned three steps to better manage your diabetes. Remember, Diabetes when better managed is hardly an obstacle to leading your life the way you want to. It is all about setting achievable goals as far as diet and exercise is concerned.