Diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, affects almost 21 million American children and adults. Many people are affected by diabetes and do not even know it. Diabetes can have severe effects on the human body if it is left unchecked. It can cause complications with a woman’s pregnancy, lead to heart attacks, or cause other severe medical complications, even death.
With no current cure for diabetes, researchers are working around the clock to ensure that those affected with the disease are properly diagnosed and receiving the most effective treatment possible. If you are afflicted with diabetes or you know someone who is, these helpful tips may allow you to better manage the diabetes and live a healthier life:
- Exercise frequently. Many people with type 2 diabetes lead an inactive lifestyle, which causes them to become resistant to insulin and unable to take advantage of the nutrients in the food they are ingesting. By engaging in a mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise, diabetes patients can increase their muscle mass and daily caloric burn, which in turn will help their body utilize food better.
- Quit smoking and reduce drinking alcohol. Smoking cigarettes and excessive alcohol intake are key contributors to heart disease, which is also a severe risk to those with diabetes. By cutting back on liquor and beer and kicking the smoking habit all together, you put yourself at far less of a risk for heart disease or heart attacks.
- Manage your diet. What you ingest is a crucial factor in how diabetes works in your body. Try to eat three healthy meals a day, without excessive sweets or fatty foods. Each meal should consist of an appropriate portion of carbohydrates to provide glucose, with foods rich in vitamins and minerals to supplement this. If you space your meals appropriately throughout the day, you will prevent going long periods without the required sugars your body needs.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels. A critical factor in managing diabetes effectively is being able to monitor the glucose levels in your blood. This is especially important after eating foods you don’t regularly eat or when taking new medication to see how it affects your glucose levels. Everyone’s body reacts differently to food and medications, so individual monitoring is extremely important.