How to Control Diabetes and Complications of the Disease

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About Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where the body’s blood sugar levels are extremely high due to low insulin levels in the blood or the body’s inability to utilize insulin effectively. A person with untreated diabetes may experience frequent urination, increased hunger and increased thirst, which are quite often the first signs that the disease has manifested itself.

High blood sugar levels from uncontrolled diabetes predisposes affected individuals to develop several medical complications like vision problems, heart disease, problems with the nerves and circulation and kidney disease. Because of these, diabetic patients are often encouraged to learn how to control diabetes through simple lifestyle changes.

Diet

It is important that diabetic patients monitor their carbohydrate intake in order to control their blood sugar level. They should include foods which have low fat content and are high in dietary fibers such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Watching what they eat can also help them maintain or lose weight and thus prevent complications from setting in.

Controlling Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

Diabetes can cause damage in blood vessels. If patients have high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure as well, damage to the blood vessels can become worse and may increase their risk of succumbing to stroke, heart attack or other fatal conditions. This is why they need to control their cholesterol and blood pressure by regular exercise and proper nutrition. Several medications can help in controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, so consultation with the doctor is always advised.

Regular Exercise

Another way on how to control diabetes is to do regular exercise. Performing exercises can help lower blood sugar levels by speeding up the transport of glucose into the body’s cells. Regular exercise also helps people lose weight as well as maintain their ideal weight. By making the heart pump more efficiently, it also reduces the chances of cardiovascular complications. Aside from regulating the effects and preventing some of the more serious complications of diabetes, regular exercise can also improve muscle tone and circulation while reducing stress and the demands on the pancreas.

Medications and Monitoring

It is imperative that diabetic patients comply with the prescribed medications they are given in controlling their blood sugar levels. They also need to visit their doctor regularly for monitoring and evaluation of their response to medication and diabetes control. Having physical examinations also gives patients the reassurance that they are doing well in their diabetes control and that complications have not set in.

Other Ways of Preventing Complications

Controlling Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

Diabetes can cause damage in blood vessels. If patients have high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure as well, damage to the blood vessels can become worse and may increase their risk of succumbing to stroke, heart attack or other fatal conditions. This is why they need to control their cholesterol and blood pressure by regular exercise and proper nutrition. Several medications can help in controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, so consultation with the doctor is always advised.

Stop Smoking

Smoking increases the chances of patients to develop complications with their diabetes. These complications include heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and nerve damage. According to the American Diabetes Association, smoking triples the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes compared with those diabetics who do not smoke. .

Manage Stress

Stress has several effects on the body. It can make patients forget about their diabetic control routine. Stress hormones can also affect the body’s response to insulin. Some ways to manage stress is to have plenty of rest and sleep, prioritize daily activities and learn methods of relaxation.

Support Group

Patients with diabetes are also encouraged to do inform their friends and family about their condition. This way, they are effectively setting up a support group that will guide them and remind them of important things that they can or can’t do in terms of managing and controlling their diabetes. This support team must also involve a doctor, a nurse or a dietician for professional advice.

References

Mayo Clinic: Diabetes Care: 10 Ways to avoid Diabetes Complications

Mama’sHealth.com: Diabetes

American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Myths