To help mark Diabetes Week, we have some great advice from one of our health experts to help you manage type 2 diabetes.
Pack your plate with veg
Piling your plate with vegetables at every meal means you will be super-charging your diet with health-giving nutrients to protect your heart.
It will also help to keep your weight stable in the face of the fact that many diabetes medications can prompt weight gain.
Focus on eye health
Sight problems are one of the most common consequences of type 2 diabetes. This is because the disease causes swelling of the macula (part of the retina at the back of the eye), which can destroy sharp vision.
But by keeping blood sugar levels stable, never missing a routine eye check, and visiting your optician immediately if you notice any changes in your vision will help keep your eyes healthy.
Brush up on dental hygiene
Diabetes may leave you prone to gum infections.
Make sure you brush twice a day (most dentists recommend using an electric brush).
Also floss at least once a day, and keep up to date with routine check-ups (where possible).
Be more active
Exercise helps stabilise blood sugar levels and improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin. It is also the best way to ensure your weight doesn’t creep up.
Not only this, exercise also helps keep your blood pressure stable, which reduces your risk of other diabetes-related complications.
Aim to be active for at least 30 minutes every day.
Cut back on alcohol
If you’re taking medication to help control your diabetes, be aware that alcohol can drop blood sugar levels dangerously low.
This is because drinking forces your liver to stop regulating your blood sugar levels, and work instead to remove the alcohol from your blood.
Alcohol lowers your ability to resist cravings, too, so cutting back will have double-whammy health benefits.
Unfortunately, diabetes tends to get progressively worse the longer you have it, so it is a really good idea to make a point of taking responsibility for your own health and the progression of the disease.
Keep a detailed daily log of the medication you take, the food you’ve eaten (especially carbs), your activity levels, stress levels and any illness.
This should help you spot patterns that will contribute to better disease management over time.
For more health advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.
For more on Diabetes Week, click here.