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Diabetes signs, lifestyle and diet

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Diabetes, whether it’s type 1, type 2 or gestational, is a condition that can cause problems if it’s not well controlled. The good news is that you can do things to help control it. Be aware of the diabetes signs advised by specialists. All you need is a good support team and some lifestyle and dietary guidelines to help you.

Spot the signs of uncontrolled diabetes

One of the most important factors in diagnosing and then managing your diabetes is knowing what symptoms and signs to look out for. These can warn you if your blood sugar or insulin levels aren’t where they should be, so you can make the necessary adjustments and get back on track. The below factors can be indications of diabetes, and should be discussed with your healthcare professional.

  • High blood sugar – this will let you know right away if your diabetes isn’t under control, so you can remedy the situation before symptoms set in.
  • Frequent thirst or Dry Mouth – when your blood sugar levels are too high, your body can have a hard time absorbing water. This can lead to dehydration and Dry Mouth symptoms.
  • Weight loss – if you’re eating more than usual and still losing weight, it could be an inability of your body to process the glucose it needs for energy.
  • Frequent urination – because your body’s not using glucose the way it should, it tries to rid itself of excess blood sugar by causing you to urinate more often.

Assemble your diabetes support team

Managing diabetes is a lifelong challenge and one that will be much easier if you have a good support system around you. Make sure you have a great medical team, which should include your doctor, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist and possibly even a dietitian. You should also enlist your friends and family. They can help spot signs of diabetes that you might not notice immediately.

Adopt a diabetes-conscious lifestyle

Staying healthy is important for everyone, but especially for those living with a condition like diabetes. To avoid potentially life-changing effects, such as heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, gum disease and loss of extremities, make sure you’re in control of your diabetes and not the other way around.

  • Monitor your blood sugar – your healthcare professional should let you know how often you must do this.
  • Take your medicines – this is important even if you’re feeling fine. Let your healthcare professional know if you have any side-effects.
  • Check your feet for cuts, sores or blisters – nerve damage could stop you from feeling problems that, if left untreated, could result in infection and even amputation.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene – diabetes can cause Dry Mouth and the resulting lack of saliva can endanger your teeth and gums.

Stick to a healthy diabetes diet

Whilst type 1 diabetes is hereditary, type 2 is linked to obesity. No matter the type of diabetes you have, you should stick to a healthy, low-sugar diet. Keep in mind that any new diet should be drawn up in consultation with a medical professional, such as your doctor or dietitian.

  • Drink water – diabetes can dehydrate you and water is healthier than other options.
  • Choice of foods – choices like whole grains and high-fiber foods will help your blood sugar levels stay stable.
  • Lookout for hidden sugars – sugar hides in ingredient lists, so read labels and look out for anything ending in “-ose” like fructose, dextrose or lactose.

Keeping your diabetes under control is manageable if you prioritize a long-term healthy diet and lifestyle change. Work with your health team to come up with a plan. Recruit your friends and family to help you and then get on with enjoying your life.

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