By Jeremy Lim
If you have high blood sugar, you absolutely must alter your diet to manage the disease. It’s not optional. Sadly, many diabetics are non-compliant and choose to eat whatever they wish, to the detriment of their own health. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. If you care about your life, stick to your prescribed diet. But, also consider making these important lifestyle changes.
Some medications can negatively affect your blood sugar, so make sure you’re telling your doctor everything about your medical history and any drugs you’re taking. Even if you don’t think your drug has the side-effects that would account for odd glucose readings, mention it anyway. Some side-effects aren’t common, so they’re not listed as prominently.
Take It Easy With Caffeine
Caffeine affects diabetics differently than non-diabetics. And, even within the community of diabetics, not everyone reacts the same to it. Caffeine can raise blood sugar in some, especially if you tend to put sugar in your coffee. In others, it lowers blood sugar. When in doubt, test your blood. It will tell you everything you need to know.
Exercise is almost universally beneficial for diabetics, helping them to stabilize their blood sugar levels. In general, exercise will lower blood sugar, but you should always test before and after a workout, and watch the amount of insulin you take prior to heavy weightlifting or aerobics. Speaking of which, you should include both aerobics and weight-bearing activities in your exercise routine.
Illness Affect Blood Sugar Too
Getting sick can throw off normal blood sugar readings. Generally, illness raises blood sugar levels, but not always. So, don’t go pumping yourself full of insulin. Always check first and confirm. And, every illness can bring different blood sugar readings.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that stress can negatively affect blood sugar levels. Both physical and emotional stress can influence blood sugar. It can go in either direction, but that direction is usually up.
Reducing stress can also help keep your blood sugar under control, so try to find outlets for stress if you live a hectic lifestyle. Even going to a day spa once a month, getting regular massages, and chilling out with an epsom salt bath a few times a week can really help you manage your stress levels.
An infrared heat lamp can also be very calming, as can infrared saunas, hot tubs, and even regular sunbathing. Or, doing something as simple as reading or playing video games could do the trick. Experiment with different methods and find out what works best for you.
It’s more difficult to control your weight when you have diabetes. However, you should do everything you can to maintain a normal weight because excess body fat contributes to high or hard-to-control blood sugar levels. Usually, dietary changes will include maintaining a low-carb diet, while exercising should consist of both weight-bearing and aerobic fitness.
– Jeremy Lim has been involved in the family health field for some time now. When he gets some free time, he likes to sit down and write about his experiences in an effort to help others. For more information on blood glucose levels view the glucometer at OneTouch.