Diabetes needs a kind of adaptation during the whole life, therefore some behavioral and psychological adoptive mechanisms should be considered by the patient to prevent or delay the onset of complications. Otherwise, serious problems can happen to your health after many years.
The goal of self-control for diabetes is to stay as healthy as possible. Learning the following basic steps for managing the disease will keep complications of diabetes away. The steps include:
Blood sugar control. Self-monitoring your glucose levels allows you to check that you are within target values on a daily basis. Self-testing is done at home with a finger pick and glucose meter at specific times and frequencies as recommended by your endocrinologist.
Most insulin-treated patients monitor their blood glucose at least 4 times per day. Metformin-treated patients should check their blood glucose just once or twice daily. Some patients whose blood sugar is in control may check it only a few times a week.
Diet. When, what and how much you eat are very important factors in managing diabetes. Following a meal plan developed by your dietitian according to your individual needs will in many cases help you control diabetes.
Although, many people are afraid of restrictions, there are no foods that are prohibited in diet for diabetics. It is recommended to eat healthy including varied foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meat, poultry, fish, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, into your meal plan. But you should remember that carbohydrate foods and beverages with sugar can raise your blood glucose too high.
Exercise. Exercise is good for everyone, but physical activity for diabetics is especially important. It helps to lower blood sugar by making the body use insulin better. Besides, it improves blood flow, helps burn extra fat, boosts brain activity, helps deal with stress and improves mood.
Simple activity like walking, jogging or cycling is usually sufficient to improve your symptoms and even reduce the risk of developing the disease. In any case, it is necessary to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program to be sure that it is safe for you.
Finally, it is important to visit your doctor regularly – 3 or 4 times a year – to monitor your condition, undergo appropriate tests, make adjustments in medications and their dosage, and get education for you to better self-control and manage your diabetes.