Since persistently high glucose levels can increase your vulnerability to serious health complications, it is imperative that you learn how to properly control your diabetic blood sugar levels. The first step in doing this is to consult your doctor to determine where your blood sugar levels should be throughout the day. If blood sugar levels are not properly taken care of, diabetics can be more susceptible to nerve damage, heart attack, kidney failure and gangrene. Here are some things that you can do daily to better manage your blood sugar levels.
1. Eat Healthy. Eating healthy is not about prohibiting yourself from eating the foods you love, it's about eating smart and feeling great. Not all diabetics have the same diet, so be sure to make an appointment with your local dietician to determine the right diet for you. If you don't have access to a dietician, think about joining a fitness center or Weight Watchers club. Make sure you are thinking about portion control, sticking with healthy carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables), cutting sweets out of your diet, and minimizing the amount of sodium you eat. Lastly, don't be too hard on yourself. Although having a healthy diet can take a lot of persistence, it is an important part of blood sugar control.
2. Exercise. This is essential for controlling blood sugar levels. A diabetic's body doesn't use insulin properly, so it needs exercise to improve glucose uptake and glucose sensitivity. The American Diabetes Association recommends that you get 30 minutes of cardio or aerobic activity at least five days a week. Not only does typical exercise count (running, spinning, yoga), any activity that increases your heart rate will also work towards your daily goal. This means that using the stairs instead of the elevator, playing with your kids, and daily dog-walking will all help you reap the benefits of exercise.
3. Watch what you drink. Some beverages make it easy for you to guzzle down hundreds of calories quickly. Soft drinks, coffee, and sweet ice tea add no real nutritional value to your diet. Choose to lighten up on the amount of carbs and calories by passing up these types of drinks at your favorite restaurant. Instead, go for a glass of water or consider adding a flavored health supplement powder to your juice or tea.
4. Reduce stress. Stress can often raise your blood sugar level, your heart rate and your blood pressure. Not only does stress affect your mental well-being, it can also impact your physical well-being. It is important to learn how to reduce stress as often as possible to stay healthy and happy. When your day gets tough, consider getting more sleep, taking deep breaths, spending time with your favorite hobby, or talking out your problems with a friend or family member.
If you are looking for more tips on how to control blood sugar levels, consult your physician or the American Diabetes Association website.