Patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes must constantly keep control of their blood sugar levels through medication, proper diet, regular exercise and blood glucose, or blood sugar testing. However, with different kinds of stress and unhealthy factors contributing to one's lifestyle nowadays, it is important to be conscious of your health and make extra effort to maintain normal blood sugar levels even if you do not have diabetes. Here's how to do it:
- Maintain proper weight. Lose or gain weight according to what is appropriate for your height and age. This is a difficult challenge, especially if you have a metabolic problem. Proper diet and exercise are factors that will help you achieve just the right weight for you.
- Eat a balanced diet. If you want to control your blood glucose levels, depriving yourself of food is not the solution. What you need is to know what foods are good and bad for your body. While most people think that carbohydrates are bad, your body actually needs them for energy. Choose fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Fiber is actually a carbohydrate, but it does not increase your blood glucose. Limit your intake of sugary and processed foods and avoid binge eating.
- Exercise. Even with steady sugar levels, regular exercise is a must to help you achieve a healthy body and lifestyle. Physical activity helps regulate your levels and strengthen your cardiovascular system and other parts of your body. It also stabilizes metabolism and decreases body fats.
- Monitor glucose levels. This is highly important, especially to those who are already diagnosed with diabetes. Keeping track of your glucose levels can help you learn which factors are contributing to changes, whether it is your physical activity, food, medicines or stress. Typically, normal levels range from 70 to 150 mg. Below 70, you are at risk for hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are dizziness, nervousness, anxiety, weakness, difficulty in speaking, hunger, etc.
Beyond the standard range is hyperglycemia. Symptoms are shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and dry mouth, among others. If you are taking medications for diabetes, regular monitoring of your glucose levels will help you and your doctor determine your medication progress. A portable machine called a blood glucose meter can also be used at home so you can easily perform tests. It would be very helpful for you and your doctor if you make a chart to view changes in your test results.
If you have symptoms for hypo- or hyperglycemia, consult your doctor for diabetes testing, even if you think you have no blood sugar-related problems because no one in your family has been diagnosed with diabetes. Be conscious of your lifestyle because eating patterns greatly affect your condition.