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Lifestyle Tips For Managing Your Diabetes

A diabetes diagnosis is life-changing. From more doctor visits to watching what you eat, diabetes affects nearly every part of your life. While this may sound daunting and even a bit scary, there are lifestyle tips and management strategies that can help you move your focus from surviving to thriving.

Luckily, our team here at Health Solutions are experts in diabetes care. We can help you learn how to manage your condition by offering nutritional and lifestyle counseling, weight loss programs, and insulin options so that you can get your diabetes under control. 

What is diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition caused by a lack of insulin production. If your body cannot produce insulin correctly, you will be unable to use the sugar in your blood for energy. Also called juvenile diabetes because it often begins during childhood, Type 1 diabetes is considered a genetic condition. 

Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease. It usually occurs in adulthood and can be caused by lifestyle factors such as overconsumption of sugar, poor diet, and lack of exercise. With Type 2 diabetes, your cells become insulin-resistant and can no longer process sugar correctly. 

Lastly, gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs primarily in pregnant women but usually resolves after birth. Regardless of your type of diabetes, a diabetes diagnosis generally requires regular monitoring of your blood sugar levels, and in some cases taking supplemental insulin. 

Managing your diabetes with lifestyle changes 

While your diagnosis might feel overwhelming, there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms, take control of your diabetes, and enjoy a healthy life. Here are just a few of the things you can do to help manage your diabetes. 

Dietary changes

Improving your diet is one of the most important factors in managing your diabetes. Anything you eat affects your blood sugar levels. That’s why portion control and healthy eating choices are so important. 

Try to reduce your excess carbohydrate and sugar intake to keep your blood sugar levels even. We recommend getting a good mixture of proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats on every plate. If you need help improving your diet, our doctors can help create a holistic nutrition plan for your unique needs. 

Stay active 

Staying active and keeping your heart rate up can help control your blood sugar levels naturally. It also has the added benefits of helping you lose weight and avoid complications like heart disease. 

Whether you prefer walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or practicing yoga or a sport, the most important thing is picking activities you enjoy and can do regularly. If you want support getting active, we can help create a tailored activity plan for you. 

Attend your appointments 

Diabetes is a life-long condition requiring regular check-ups and medical monitoring. If your diabetes is not properly controlled, you are at greater risk for diabetes-related issues such as nerve damage, foot problems, glaucoma, kidney disease, and gum disease. 

That’s why it’s important to make regular appointments with our team here at Health Solutions so we can check your cholesterol, blood sugar, and A1C levels to ensure your diabetes is well-managed. 

Relieve stress

We all know that stress and anxiety can harm your health, but did you know that it can actually spike your blood sugar levels as well? Even if you are eating well and staying active, these blood sugar spikes from stress can be incredibly damaging.

Stress-busting activities such as meditation, yoga, and mindfulness practices can help you stay balanced and reduce the negative impact of stress on your body. 

Stop smoking 

Diabetes increases your risk of developing health complications such as eye disease, blood vessel damage, nerve damage, heart disease, and stroke. Smoking also carries an increased risk of many of these conditions. 

If you are a smoker with diabetes, your risk for these conditions is doubled. Talk to our team if you’re ready to quit smoking for good. 

Reduce drinking

Beer, wine, and liquor can all be quite high in carbohydrates and sugars. These alcoholic drinks can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels and make it harder for you to manage your diabetes. 

While it’s not necessary to give up alcohol entirely, it is important to drink in moderation and monitor your blood sugar before, during, and after any alcohol consumption. 

Here at Health Solutions, we can help you make the lifestyle changes you need to manage your diabetes. We have four conveniently located offices in the greater Chicago area, including offices in Munster, Indiana, and Tinley Park, Rockford, and Olympia Fields, Illinois. Get in touch today with our online booking portal.

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