Are you worried about the complications that diabetes might bring into your life? Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires careful management to prevent complications and maintain overall well-being. However, did you know making a few little lifestyle adjustments today may help you prevent potential major health issues associated with diabetes, such as damage to your nerves, kidneys, and heart?
We spoke to our expert Dr DP Singh, MD (Internal Medicine), Regency Superspeciality Hospital, who listed lifestyle tips you should follow to avoid diabetes complications.
As per the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, the estimates for 2019 indicated that around 77 million people in India had diabetes, and this number is projected to exceed 134 million by 2045. Alarmingly, approximately 57% of these individuals are still undiagnosed.
Tips To Follow To Avoid Diabetes Complications
Here are some expert-recommended tips you should try as it is never too late to start.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Dr Singh advises focusing on a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Also, limit the intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and high-calorie snacks. Along with this, you should also monitor portion sizes and practice mindful eating to avoid overeating.
Regular Physical Activity
People with diabetes should avoid living a sedentary lifestyle and switch to regular physical activity. This includes activities, such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling, for at least 150 minutes per week. You can even include strength training exercises at least twice a week to improve insulin sensitivity and manage blood sugar levels. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have complications or other health concerns.
Manage Weight Effectively
Dr Singh said, “Achieve and maintain a healthy weight to improve blood glucose control and reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications. Weight management should be a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity.”
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
You should regularly check blood glucose levels as advised by your healthcare provider. Don’t forget to keep a record of your readings and share them during follow-up visits to make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
Take Medications as Prescribed
Dr Singh instructed, “Adhere to your prescribed medications and insulin regimen, as per your healthcare provider's instructions. Please note not to change your medications without consulting your doctor.”
Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Intake
Smoking can worsen diabetes complications and increase the risk of heart disease. Seek support to quit smoking if needed. Also, limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels (if allowed by your doctor), as excessive alcohol can affect blood sugar levels and interact with diabetes medications.
Regular Medical Check-ups
Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor diabetes management and identify potential complications early. During these visits, feel free to discuss any concerns or symptoms you may have.
Did you know chronic stress can affect your blood sugar levels too? Hence, practice stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or engaging in hobbies and activities you enjoy.
Dr Singh advised, “Inspect your feet daily for any cuts, sores, or signs of infection. This is because diabetes can affect nerve function and blood circulation in the feet and lead to complications.” She also advised wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes and socks to prevent foot injuries.
You should keep yourself updated on the latest developments in diabetes management and lifestyle changes that can positively impact your health. By adopting these lifestyle tips and following medical advice, individuals with diabetes can significantly reduce the risk of complications and lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
This article contains information provided by a registered healthcare professional and is for educational purposes only. Hence, consult with your healthcare expert to develop a tailored plan to meet your specific needs.