Over 34 million Americans suffer from diabetes, and 90% of those people have type 2, making it one of the most common health conditions in the United States. Diabetes is also one of the most overlooked, even by those who have been formally diagnosed. It’s the seventh leading cause of death, and many people don’t realize how bad their diabetes has become until they visit the doctor.
At Indus Healthcare, conveniently located in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Amit Paliwal provides chronic care management, including guidance on learning how to control diabetes by managing your blood sugar levels at home.
The consequences of ignoring diabetes
While those with type 1 diabetes have to regulate their blood sugar using insulin, those with type 2 might not even realize they have the condition. However, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can be just as dangerous as type 1, leading to serious health complications over time.
When left unmanaged, diabetes can increase your risk of:
- Vision loss
- Nerve damage
- Skin infections
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease and stroke
How to manage your condition better
A diabetes management plan is critical to taking back control over your blood sugar and your health.
What you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat
A healthy relationship with food is a necessary part of maintaining your health and managing your diabetes. Don’t think you have to stop eating everything you love. Portion control and paying attention to how different foods raise your blood sugar are what are most important. When planning meals:
- Adhere to portion control: halve the sandwich and add a side salad to cut down on carbs
- Balance your servings of fruits, vegetables, starches, and protein so your body has a steady source of fuel
- Coordinate your medications, taking your meds a little while before you eat so they can handle the sugars you add during your meal
- Count your carbs if necessary, but don’t obsess; testing your blood glucose is a better way to manage your diabetes
Start working out, especially after meals
You don’t have to begin a grueling workout routine, but just a brisk walk after eating will get your body in gear and help it burn off that sugar.
Know when illness is making things worse
A cold, the flu, a case of poison ivy, or even a menstrual period can make your blood sugar levels spike. So can steroid use. If you’re under the weather, be kind to your body. Eat small, frequent meals, try to stay active, test frequently, and don’t panic if your sugars are slightly elevated during times of stress like these.
Limit alcoholic drinks if necessary
All diabetics should check with their doctor to make sure it’s safe to drink. Alcohol can cause changes in your blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours after your last drink, and can also interact with certain diabetes medications, causing dangerous lows.
Take your meds regularly
Set an alarm on your phone or smartwatch to help you remember to take any medications at the same time every day. This includes diabetes meds and any other medications you take. Keeping medication levels in your body stable can do a lot to help you control your diabetes symptoms.
A doctor who knows the score
Dr. Paliwal gets to know your entire health history as a patient, so he can help you build a plan that works for you. To get in touch with the team at Indus Healthcare, call the location closest to you, or visit our contact page for more information.