4 Effective Tips for Managing Diabetes

Diabetes—a condition characterized by high levels of blood sugar or blood glucose—is a major public health issue globally. Approximately 422 million people in the world are living with diabetes. This medical condition is directly responsible for 1.5 million fatalities worldwide each year.

Taking medicines and injections can help keep your blood glucose levels within a healthy range. But managing diabetes doesn’t end there. Lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity also play important roles. 

Here are some practical tips that can help you maintain better control over your blood sugar levels:

#1 Educate Yourself About Diabetes

There’s no better way to manage diabetes than educating yourself about the condition. Hence, take your time to learn about the basics of diabetes, including its causes, symptoms, and potential complications. Understanding how diabetes affects your body and daily life will allow you to make informed decisions about your health. 

There are a plethora of materials online. Consider browsing them. Some reliable sources include the American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Diabetes Education Program. 

Attending diabetes and education classes or support groups will help you gain practical tips and insights from experts and peers. You can clarify your concerns and deepen your understanding of the condition and treatment options by asking your doctor questions during medical appointments. 

Nutrition nurses also educate patients about diabetes, so you can consult them. These registered nurses stay up-to-date on the latest approaches to managing the condition. Their BSN degree, followed by nutrition nursing courses, equips them with the skills and knowledge required to help people manage diabetes. 

Further, nutrition nurses have to take the NCLEX exam. Baylor University explains that this exam assesses their clinical judgment and decision-making skills for safe and efficient nursing practice. 

The NCLEX exam, which used CAT to maximize efficiency in delivering test elements, now has a scoring element. NCLEX scoring determines whether a candidate meets or exceeds the established passing standard. They are allowed to practice only when their performance in the test meets the predetermined passing standard. 

This comprehensive evaluation ensures that nutrition nurses can provide quality care to patients with diabetes and other health conditions. Thus, they can educate you about diabetes and help you manage it effectively. 

#2 Lose Weight

Managing a healthy weight is important for diabetic patients. Excess weight, especially around the belly, contributes to insulin resistance. This makes it harder for the body to regulate blood sugar effectively. Losing weight will allow the insulin you inject or your body produces to work properly. 

Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to shed a lot of pounds. Reducing a modest amount—as little as 5% to 10% of your total weight—will help improve your health and overall well-being. 

Making gradual, sustainable changes to your everyday routine can help you lose weight. Aim to burn more calories than you consume. Engage in regular physical activity, such as jogging, brisk walking, or cycling, to burn calories. 

Exercising is also a great way to reach a healthy weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Be sure to perform simple resistance exercises like leg raises and squats daily. Also, reduce your intake of carbs and sugary foods. They will not only contribute to weight gain but also cause dangerous spikes in your blood sugar levels. 

#3 Eat More Fiber

Foods high in fiber are diabetic patients’ best friends. Fiber—a type of carbohydrate—can’t be broken down into sugar molecules. Rather, it passes through the body undigested. Fiber-rich foods don’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full, helping with weight loss. Consider adding them to your diet. 

Add fruits such as bananas, pears, and apples to your diet, for they are rich in fiber. Include non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach in lunch or dinner. 

Have a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and berries or avocado toast topped with chickpeas for breakfast. Choose quinoa or brown rice over white rice. Swap regular pasta with whole wheat pasta. 

Kidney beans are also high in fiber. Toss them into your favorite soup, salad, or entrée. 

#4 Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels Daily

Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is important for diabetic patients, especially those who take insulin. Checking blood glucose often will help you understand how your body responds to various factors like food, exercise, medication, and stress

A glucometer can help you check your blood sugar levels at home. Consider buying it. 

Consistency is key. Make it a habit to check your blood sugar at the same time every day. Also, make sure to maintain a record of the readings. 

Try measuring your blood glucose before and two hours after a meal or before and after your exercise session. If the glucose levels spike after the exercise, you can make changes in your exercise routine. Testing after a meal can help you understand which foods are causing a spike in your blood sugar levels. 

To sum things up, managing diabetes isn’t challenging. Making minor changes in your lifestyle, such as eating fiber-rich foods, shedding extra weight, and monitoring your blood glucose levels daily, can help you take control of your diabetes and improve your overall health and well-being. 

Bear in mind that diabetes management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Thus, work closely with your healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your goals. 

- - -