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Lifestyle Tips for Managing Your Diabetes

Oct 04, 2022
Lifestyle Tips for Managing Your Diabetes
What you do at home matters when it comes to maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Here are some day-to-day things you can do to manage your diabetes and complement your medical care.

About 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes. This chronic condition has no cure, but can be managed to avoid complications that affect your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. 

At the practice of Saba Shabnam, MD in Grapevine, Texas, Dr. Shabnam offers the medical care and screenings necessary to make sure your diabetes is under control. However, what you do at home matters when it comes to maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Here are some lifestyle tips that Dr. Shabnam recommends to help you stay as healthy as possible with diabetes.

Your diet matters

Your diet has a major effect on your health, especially when you have diabetes. Every morsel you eat impacts your glucose, or blood sugar, levels. Focus on eating fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats. Low-fat dairy and lean proteins, like white-meat poultry, also support healthy blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates aren’t completely off limits, but know that those that are highly processed or full of sugar can have a serious impact on your blood sugar levels. Dr. Shabnam can help you determine how many carbs to consume each day and how to distribute them across your meals to help you avoid blood sugar spikes or crashes.

Get physical

Exercise is an essential part of your diabetes management plan. Regular activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently. Adding exercise doesn’t mean you have to live at the gym; pleasurable activities like walking your dog or going for a family bike ride support your goal to become more physical.

Exercising more can help you manage weight gain and ease stress, too. You might find it easier to sleep after an exercise session. Dr. Shabnam can help guide you as to what type of exercise is right for you and how to introduce it gradually. She can also help you adjust your insulin dosage according to your exercise habits. 

Be mindful of alcohol consumption

Alcohol isn’t off the table when you have diabetes, but you should be mindful of how much and when you consume it. Alcohol can lead to progression of diabetes complications like nerve damage and eye disease. Ask Dr. Shabnam if it’s OK for you to partake.

Stick to the recommendations for moderate alcohol consumption: no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. One drink is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard alcohol. Count your alcohol calories and know that fancy drinks with juices or soda can raise your blood sugar. 

Keep stress in check

Stress directly impacts your blood sugar levels. The greater stress you’re under, the higher your blood sugar levels. Stress also has a negative trickle-down effect, making it harder to eat right and find time to exercise. 

Being under stress can also cause you to become erratic in taking your medications and make it tempting to drink or smoke to calm yourself down. Dr. Shabnam can help you figure out stress management techniques, like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, to help you feel better each and every day. 

Stop smoking

If you do one thing, quit smoking. Smoking can make your diabetes complications worse, escalating your risk of developing heart disease, kidney problems, blood vessel disease, and foot problems. Smoking interferes with your ability to exercise, too. 

Dr. Shabnam is ready to help you kick your tobacco habit. Just ask.

Get the medical management you need to help keep tabs on your diabetes at the office of Saba Shabnam, MD. She’ll also support any lifestyle changes that help you prevent diabetes complications. Call today or use this website to book an appointment.