This week I received the following question from http://foodpicker.org:
I just been diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors say I have uncontrollable diabetes any tips on how I can get my sugar level down?
A huge positive aspect of diabetes is that you can have control of the disease rather than it control you. By taking charge of your health you can prevent complications and improve your quality of life. You have the reins here, not the diabetes!
Uncontrolled sugar can cause damage to your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and lead to heart failure, so it is essential to get it controlled, and quickly. Fortunately, you can control your uncontrolled sugars. The first step is to evaluate your current lifestyle. Here are some tips to improve your glucose levels:
1. Limit carbohydrates per meal to 2-3 servings for women, 3-4 for men. Remember 15 grams is one serving. (See previous post on carbohydrate counting for more information)
2. Pick carbohydrates that are high in fiber, which does not raise your sugar and is good for your heart. This includes whole grain breads, cereals, brown rice, fruit, and vegetables.
3. Get moving. Taking a brisk walk will lower your levels if too high. Regular physical activity is important for keeping sugar levels low and losing excess weight. If you lose weight, you may see significant improvements in your overall symptoms.
4. Use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. This includes switching to diet soda, or sweetening your tea or coffee with Splenda, Equal, Stevia, or Sweet-n-low, your choice.
5. Read food labels. Becoming aware of what you eat, especially the carbohydrate and sugar contents, is a great way to make smart choices. Make sure you remember that the nutrition facts label indicates the content per serving size, which will be listed at the top.
6. Stay hydrated. Avoiding dehydration prevents glucose levels from becoming too concentrated. It also flushes your body of toxins, keeps the kidneys healthy, and improves skin appearance.
7. Take your prescribed medications as directed. Missing doses, or taking insulin incorrectly can be dangerous. Consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding your medications, and make it a habit to take them as scheduled.
8. Avoid excessive stress, if possible. In our busy lives this is definitely easier said than done, however mental stress will raise your sugar. Physical stress, such as an infection or other illness, will also raise your levels. This is why it is important not to wait too long before seeing your doctor if you become ill.
Making a big lifestyle change can be difficult, but you are worth it. Your health is precious, and by starting now to regain control of your blood glucose will dramatically effect the rest of your life for the better. Think also of the positive example you will set for others who are in your shoes by making these changes. You can do it!
Uncontrolled blood sugar is serious! Avoid these complications by taking control.