Diabetes is a chronic disease that involves metabolic disorders which result in an abnormally high concentration of glucose (a type of blood sugar) in the blood if left untreated. Blood glucose is the main source of energy in your body and it comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps glucose from food turn into energy in your body.
Having Type 1 diabetes means that your body does not produce insulin. So, you need to take insulin every day to live. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well, so you may need to take insulin to control your diabetes.
Some women also develop Gestational diabetes when they are pregnant and that goes away when the baby is born (most of the time).
Having too much glucose in your blood can lead to different health problems such as kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke, diabetic neuropathy, eye disease, and other health issues.
While there is no cure for diabetes, you can take steps to manage diabetes and improve your health. Diabetes management involves your awareness of the factors that make your blood sugar level rise and fall and to know how to control these factors.
Learn More about Diabetes
An important part of diabetes management is to learn more about living with this chronic disease. Talk to your health provider, take classes to learn more about diabetes, or search online. You can also join a support group to share experiences and get support in coping with diabetes.
Manage Your Diet
A healthy diet is vital to healthy living in general. However, if you have diabetes, you need to know how certain types of food affect your blood sugar levels. Food diabetic management involves learning how to count carbohydrates in your food as carbohydrates have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels. Learn what portion size is appropriate for each type of food and measure your portions to ensure an accurate carbohydrate count. Also, make your meals well-balanced and pay attention to the types of carbohydrates you take. Coordinate the proportions of your food and diabetes medication to avoid hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar).
Your diabetes management plan should include exercise because regular physical activity helps your muscles to use glucose for energy and your body to use insulin more efficiently. However, discuss an exercise plan with your GP and keep an exercise schedule. Make sure to stay hydrated during exercise as dehydration can affect your blood sugar levels.
Stress can increase your blood sugar levels, so learn how to manage tension. Strategies such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, working on your hobby, reading, gardening, and spending time in nature may be useful in strengthening healthy stress responses and managing anxiety.