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7 Simple Ways to Maintain Your Health (After a Diabetes Diagnosis)
Diabetes can be challenging to manage, even if you keep your sugars in check. From eating right to caring for your teeth, feet, and incorporating exercise into your routine, there’s a lot to cover. Here are six simple ways to move toward better health after a diabetes diagnosis, presented by the health experts at Diabetes Support Site.
Enjoy a Healthier Diet
Simple swaps and tasty recipes can make healthier, diabetic-friendly eating possible. In general, managing diabetes starts with monitoring (and understanding) your carbohydrate intake. You can even download diabetes apps that help track and report on your glucose levels.
If you take medication for your blood sugar, consuming fewer carbs can help you manage your dosing better. Choosing canned vegetables is an inexpensive and healthy way to create simple meals. For example, you can throw together a quick soup, black bean burgers, or a hearty chili with canned veggies.
Just Add Water
While what you eat matters, drinking enough water is also essential for managing diabetes. Staying hydrated is essential because adequate water intake can help balance blood sugar. Ensuring that your water is clean and palatable, however, can be a challenge—many water supplies contain bacteria and other contaminants. Especially if your city water has unsafe particles, you’ll want to use a water filtration system for purified and safe water.
Look After Your Eyes
It’s now more important than ever to visit your eye doctor regularly, at least once a year. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication from diabetes that causes various levels of vision loss. It’s so common that it’s the leading cause of vision loss among all working-age Australians. Other eye diseases associated with diabetes include glaucoma, diabetic macular oedema, and cataracts, all of which can cause serious vision loss and even blindness. Fortunately, 98 percent of vision loss caused by diabetes is treatable when detected early.
Care for Your Dental Health
Regular brushing is one way to protect your dental health. But seeing your dentist for frequent checkups to address cavities, gum disease, and any other dental issues is also prudent, explains Mayo Clinic. Taking care of cavities, treating symptoms of dry mouth, and keeping thrush at bay can help keep your blood sugar levels healthy, too. Brushing your teeth at least two times per day—gently but thoroughly—is another best practice for all people with diabetes.
Keep Your Feet Healthy
Many patients with diabetes wind up with severe foot problems. Diabetes puts you at a higher risk of foot problems, to begin with. In addition, out-of-control glucose numbers can make the issue worse, including leaving you open to infection, notes Bone & Joint. Since neuropathy, or the inability to feel your feet, can also occur, being careful is essential. Clean your feet carefully, inspect them each day for any injuries, and use comfortable, diabetic-specific shoes and socks for better comfort and circulation.
Take Care to Avoid Germs
Germs are a fact of daily life. But for people with diabetes, there is a higher risk of contracting illnesses, including the coronavirus. Research is not yet definitive, notes Healthline, but diabetic patients should take necessary precautions. Keep adequate medications, including insulin, on hand in case you’re unable to get to the pharmacy regularly. Be sure to wash your hands regularly, practice social distancing, and employ self-isolation whenever possible. If you do become ill, continuing to manage your diabetes is crucial while treating symptoms of COVID-19.
Remember that a clean home is a healthy home, so take time to keep your living space as clean as possible. This can start by ensuring each room is free of clutter, which can harbor not just dust but other harmful allergens like mold and mildew. Decluttering can make it easier to organize an area for your diabetic supplies, too.
Exercise Regularly for Best Results
Exercise is another aspect of healthy living with diabetes. Low-impact exercise is best, especially if you experience neuropathy, but keeping moving is a great way to balance glucose levels and prevent weight gain. Tracking your blood sugar is vital so that you don’t experience low events during or after exercise, of course. But activities like walking, cycling, swimming, and even yoga can be healthy and enjoyable for people with diabetes. When you’re working out, consider investing in a smartwatch to help you track your vitals.
Living with diabetes can feel intimidating and some days, nearly impossible, but keep in mind that you can turn to professionals for medical assistance. With the right medication and a few lifestyle changes, you can start seeing better glucose readings and even better health. Thanks to your good choices, you’re that much closer to a healthier post-diagnosis lifestyle.
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