Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that requires you to be constantly monitoring your blood glucose levels. Not only does it require vigilant diabetes control, but it also requires a high level of planning and awareness about the condition. The longer period of time that you have been suffering from diabetes, the higher is the risk that you will end up experiencing the complications commonly associated with type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there are many options you can practice in order to prevent these complications. Let us take a look at some of these steps you should take for your future if you have type 2 diabetes that will prevent many of the common complications associated with type 2 diabetes.
Steps To Take For Your Future If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
The most important factor that is essential for managing your diabetes is to regularly exercise. Some form of regular physical activity is absolutely necessary to help manage your blood sugar levels. In fact, it does not have to any strenuous exercise. Any type of movement will help. So choose something that you will enjoy doing. Even walking for 10 to 20 minutes a day will be beneficial. The overall goal should be to get in at least half an hour of activity at least four to five times a week.
The best suggestion would be, to begin with, short walks. Even if you love to dance or jog, then doing those would be ideal. Half an hour of gardening will also be considered as an aerobic exercise.
When it comes to walking, if you walk for even 10 to 20 minutes after your meals, it will work wonders by lowering the post-prandial blood sugar, thus also helping with weight management. In fact, studies show that taking a simple 10-minute walk immediately after a meal is actually more effective at balancing your blood glucose levels as compared to a half an hour walk taken at any other time in the day.
Improve the Quality of Your Diet
One of the biggest changes you need to make to your lifestyle to manage diabetes is to overhaul your diet. If you do not know where to begin, then start by visiting a registered dietitian who can help you plan a diabetes-friendly diet plan.
According to the American Diabetes Association, eating a diet low in carbohydrates is ideal if you have diabetes. You should typically aim for including more fresh fruits and vegetables in your meal, along with whole grains and lean proteins. At the same time, avoid or restrict foods that will surely spike your blood sugar levels. Following these rules will help you lower your risk for any future complications from diabetes.
Some of the foods that you should include in your diet are:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and tuna
- Colorful fruits and vegetables, the more the variety of color, the better it will be
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Low-fat or nonfat dairy
- Whole grains
- Lean meat
Foods to restrict or cut out of your diet:
- White bread
- Regular pasta
- White rice
- Sugar beverages such as juice, soda, and sweet tea
- Sugar, including natural sugars like agave nectar, honey, and maple syrup, also brown sugar
- Pre-packaged snack foods
- Fried foods
- Dried fruits
- Foods high in salt content
- Ice cream and other sweets
If you are obese or overweight, then losing even a couple of pounds will lower your risk of developing future complications in diabetes. You will also find it easier to control your blood sugar levels if you lose a few pounds. Remember that as you age, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. However, it is not impossible to maintain a healthy weight.
If you visit a registered dietitian, then apart from helping you design a diet plan, they will also focus on your weight loss goals and help you achieve your target weight.
For example, making some simple changes to your diet by replacing sugary sodas for fresh lemon water will make a world of difference.
Watch Your Eyes
If you have diabetes, then you are at an increased risk of developing eye problems. This is why it is important that you have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist at least once every year. Even though you might think that your eyes are fine, the fact is that many of the early signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy do not lead to any noticeable visual changes or symptoms that you can catch on. It will only be an eye doctor who will be able to detect the early diabetic changes to your eyes because they can cause any substantial changes to your vision. So schedule that eye appointment at the earliest.
Look After Your Feet
Nerve damage combined with poor blood flow due to high levels of blood sugar can often cause foot ulcers in people having diabetes. In order to prevent this, you should always take proper care of your feet. Make sure that you keep checking your foot and toes, especially between your toes, for any signs of redness, blisters, or sores. You should also be wearing comfortable, well-fitted, and supportive shoes. Also, make sure to wear comfortable socks that allow your feet to breathe.
Keep Funds in Place for the Future
Everybody knows that healthcare is an expensive affair. Paying for the care of a chronic condition is proving to be incredibly challenging for many people. Consider this – nearly 70 percent of people who are over the age of 65 years are today are facing some or the other type of chronic disease as they age. Even with diabetes, you will eventually reach a point where you might be requiring assistance for your everyday chores and activities.
Long term care for chronic diseases can be provided at either an assisted living facility or at an old age home. So it is a good idea to keep saving some money from now on itself so that if required, you can pay for this type of care in the long run.
Keep in mind that most types of insurance do not cover this type of care for chronic diseases.
Get Rid of Your Unhealthy Habits
Smoking, heavy consumption of alcohol, drug abuse, and similar habits are only going to increase your risk of complications if you have diabetes. Heart disease would be the number one complication if you already have diabetes and are also having unhealthy habits such as smoking. Excessive consumption of alcohol will not only worsen your blood glucose levels, but it will also worsen your overall health. The sooner you get rid of these unhealthy habits, the better it will be for your future with diabetes.
The good thing is that you are not alone in your fight against diabetes. You have an entire diabetes care team which includes your family, friends, your doctor, and your entire healthcare team. However, it is ultimately you who is in charge of your health. By eating healthier, regularly exercising, losing weight, and making regular visits to your doctor, are all steps that will help you have an easier future when you have diabetes.