The group of diseases that makes up diabetes all revolve around insulin and blood sugar. Type 1 diabetics don’t produce insulin in their pancreas. Type 2 diabetics still produce insulin, but the cells in their bodies become resistant to its effects.
In both cases, blood sugar levels climb to levels that damage tissues throughout your body. This damage raises your risk of other chronic conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease, and you may be more susceptible to certain eye conditions, foot problems, or stroke.
Managing diabetes takes a team effort, and as an internal medicine practice, the team members at Wandisan-Rosete Medical Group are diabetes specialists, ready to help you help yourself. Here are some important tips to manage your self-care responsibilities.
1. Blood sugar levels are key
When it comes to diabetes, high blood sugar is the mechanism that causes the damage related to the condition. Uncontrolled diabetes — the state you’re in before diagnosis — affects internal organs, blood vessels, and nerve tissue, creating a cascading series of negative health effects. Limiting the damage and slowing the progress of this incurable disease means you need to constantly assess how all aspects of your life affect your blood sugar.
2. Glucose monitoring
The next step is knowing where your blood sugar is. For type 2 diabetics, this may mean occasional testing a few times per week to ensure your medication has glucose under control. Type 1 diabetics may need to test throughout the day to adjust their insulin injections. Your condition may be entirely different from other diabetics, so follow the advice of your primary diabetes physician for timing and frequency of glucose tests.
3. The right nutrition
Another aspect that varies between diabetics is the way certain foods affect blood sugar. In general, cut sources of sugar from your diet and reduce processed carbohydrates and starchy carbs like potatoes, rice, and wheat flour products. These all tend to convert quickly into blood sugar, spiking your levels. Whole grains and non-starchy vegetables delay blood sugar spikes by adding fiber, which slows sugar absorption in the digestive system. Self-care involves finding the foods that spike your blood sugar (and avoiding them) and those that keep glucose levels steady.
4. Elevated activity
Adding moderate activity, such as 30 minutes of extra walking daily, also helps keep your blood sugar on an even keel. Adding modest muscle workouts using resistance bands is another way to burn up blood sugar naturally.
5. Achieving healthy weight
Increased activity and a diabetes-friendly diet can help you achieve an optimal weight. Carrying extra pounds works against you in the battle to maintain stable blood sugar. Wandisan-Rosete Medical Group physicians are also weight loss specialists, so if your self-care efforts aren’t enough, they can help you out with medically assisted programs.
There’s much more to diabetes self-care, such as foot care, extra attention to your vision and oral care, and ending a nicotine issue once and for all. However, you’re ahead of the game if your blood sugar is under control. Contact Wandisan-Rosete Medical Group by phone at 209-226-4308, or online to schedule a consultation. Success takes a team, so start building yours by booking an appointment today.