How Diabetes Can Change Your Lifestyle
Oftentimes, by the time you are diagnosed with diabetes, you have had to make some changes to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. The following are ways in which diabetes can change your lifestyle and tips keep your body healthy.
- You should plan ahead: Because eating, medication, and rest are important to diabetic care, you should try to plan your days out in advance, especially if you are traveling. You may not always have access to healthy food (or any food at all), so you should always carry around something in case your blood sugar levels dip. Don’t forget to have the right amount of medication and plan for periods of rest.
- You need to change your diet: Avoid foods that are fried, high in sugar, high in fat, high in carbohydrates, and high in sodium. For example, nachos, juices, sodas, fast food, sweet desserts, donuts, and deep-fried Chinese foods. Do some research into healthier alternatives so that you do not feel like you are completely deprived.
- You must be mindful of blood sugar levels and medication: This is crucial to preventing diabetes-related complications. Immediate effects include feeling tired or overwhelmed when blood sugar levels are high, as well as feeling weak when levels are low. Forgetting medication can mean diabetic shock or hypoglycemia, which can have severe effects. Use phone alarms and educate friends and family to help you with reminding you to test blood sugar levels, as well as about symptoms of high or low blood sugar levels.
- You need to change your habits: Regular exercise can help control blood sugar levels and encourage your body to use insulin properly. Plan to engage in regular physical activity at least 3 times a week. Additionally, stop smoking as it can make nerve and circulatory related problems worse.
- You should track and manage stress: Stress can make your blood sugar spike, so keep track of triggers. Avoid them and learn to deal with them through breathing techniques, meditation, and activities like yoga.
- You should check in with your feet daily: Diabetes can affect other parts of the body, like the kidney and eyes. The feet, in particular can be affected by nerve damage (with loss of feeling sometimes even being the first sign of diabetes for some patients). See our podiatrist at the first sign of neuropathy or wound healing issues.
- You must get shoes that are protective, supportive, and comfortable: To prevent further foot issues, from slow-healing injuries and calluses to infected ulcers, it’s important that your feet are protected and supported. For some who are experiencing pain from nerve damage, custom orthotics may be necessary – and we can help!
Have issues with your feet due to diabetes? Here are some additional tips. For problems, consult with our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz, at Texas Foot Works. He will assess your feet and ankles to properly diagnose and treat any issue you may have. Make an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas), Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices!