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Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Better Diabetes Self-Management - Self Improvement

Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Better Diabetes Self-Management


There is no shortage of lifestyle changes you can implement to help better self-manage your diabetes. Evaluating your diet, being physically active, and learning how to cope with stress are just a few of the many healthy behaviors that can improve your quality of life with diabetes.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Better Diabetes Self-Management

Although diabetes is a serious condition that requires continued medical attention, the ability to effectively self-manage can further prevent or delay complications associated with the disease. The key to living a long and healthy life with diabetes involves a combination of changes to your lifestyle and behaviors that work in conjunction to help control your blood sugar levels. The following are healthy lifestyle changes that you might consider adopting to help better manage your diabetes successfully for a lifetime of good health.

Adopt A Healthy Diet Into Your Lifestyle

A well-balanced diet is a basic pillar of healthy living for everyone. But for those with diabetes, making healthy dietary choices is of particular importance because the foods you eat have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels.

You might not need to make any radical changes to your diet. But at the very least, it’s vital to monitor your carbohydrate intake. Try to reduce the number of refined carbs in your diet, such as white bread, pasta, rice, and desserts. These foods have a high glycemic index, which means they digest quickly and cause a swift rise in blood sugar.

On the other hand, complex carbs, such as whole grains and vegetables, are high in fiber, so they digest more slowly, allowing for more stable glucose levels. Changing your diet to manage your diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the foods you love. It means a greater focus on moderation and finding substitutions that suit your tastebuds and lifestyle.

Manage Your Weight to Manage Your Diabetes

Weight loss is one of the most sought-after lifestyle changes for many, but it holds significant importance for those who are diabetic. Being overweight can make it challenging to keep your blood sugar under control, especially if you carry your excess weight around your abdomen, as abdominal fat is closely linked to insulin resistance.

For that matter, insulin resistance, which is generally associated with type 2 diabetes, occurs when the body can’t use insulin properly or becomes resistant to it. When this happens, blood sugar can’t move into cells, and instead, builds up in the bloodstream. Eventually, the excess blood sugar is stored as body fat.

Fortunately, lifestyle interventions conducive to weight loss, like regular exercise, can help improve insulin sensitivity and maintain a healthy weight. Lastly, to better sustain your diabetes self-management efforts over the long run, it’s best to implement small changes at a time, like breaking up the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity into 30-minute increments a day for five days.

Strive For A Stress-Free Lifestyle

Stress has a cause and effect relationship with diabetes. On the one hand, stress can act as a contributing factor to diabetes based on how it impacts a person’s glucose levels. When you are experiencing stress, your body reacts by releasing more of the stress hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. Cortisol stimulates glucose production, which, in turn, can lead to elevated blood sugar levels.

Alternatively, the strain that accompanies a diabetes diagnosis, on the other hand, may cause some people to resort to unhealthy lifestyle choices as coping mechanisms. Smoking, heavy drinking, low levels of physical activity, and a poor diet are just some examples of unhealthy lifestyle factors that those under stress may turn to, which can result in further diabetes complications. Nobody is immune to stress, but you can mitigate its effects by taking a look at what areas of your life are causing you the most stress and making healthy lifestyle changes accordingly, such as practicing meditation or seeing a mental health professional.

Take All Diabetic Medications As Prescribed

Some people can manage their diabetes solely with healthy lifestyle changes, while others may require medications as an additional part of their treatment plan. Most notably, for instance, individuals with type 1 diabetes will need to receive supplementary insulin numerous times a day.

However, overseeing an insulin routine involves an array of factors including how you deliver insulin (e.g., syringe, pen, pump), how often you need insulin, where you inject your insulin, and how you time your insulin injections (e.g., with a meal). With so many moving parts, it’s understandable as to why taking medications correctly can be one of the most challenging parts of life with diabetes.

Let’s not forget that people with type 2 diabetes may also require prescriptions like oral medications in addition to or instead of insulin injections to help reduce and control their blood sugar. Fear not, though, for there are plenty of tricks and tips to better manage your diabetes medications, like pharmacy refill reminders, pill organizers, and more.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Better Diabetes Self-Management

Understanding, treating, and caring for a chronic disease like diabetes does not begin nor end in a doctor’s office. Rather, when we consider how unexpectedly and rapidly blood sugar levels can change, and how we as autonomous individuals determine our own behavior, we come to realize that making healthy lifestyle changes for diabetes is the best way to manage the disease.

1 Comment
  1. Flavio says

    In this site a healthy and healing lifestyle is explained, a good experience to practice to get to have great physical improvements, it is something that we should all do to extend our life

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