These 6 Tips Will Help Make Sure Diabetes Won't Hamper Your Longevity
7 minute read
It is a common misconception that when you have diabetes, the main concern is blood sugar. While it is very important to monitor daily sugar intake, there is more that needs to be on your radar.
Serious diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, and even cancer are a greater risk for those with diabetes. The good news is that there is much you can do to protect your health and increase longevity.
A diagnosis of diabetes is not a death sentence, although it a very serious condition that requires attention. Many people live full and happy lives with diabetes because they have made the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes.
By understanding the disease and following the tips below, you too can lower the risk for complications, improve your overall health, and live every day to the fullest.
1. It Starts With Diet
Most diabetics are aware of the necessity to watch blood sugar levels and avoid sugar-laden, processed, and high-starch foods. Beyond unbalanced blood sugar levels, a poor diet can lead to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, both of which increase your risk of heart disease.
There is already a known link between diabetes and heart disease, so it makes sense to address both with important dietary modifications.
Every meal should be a balance of protein, healthy fats, grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The more balanced your diet, the better your health will be. In fact, planning this out before going grocery shopping can make things much easier and less stressful.
Eliminating sodium and sugar will help to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure levels, protecting you from diabetic complications and heart disease. The key to longevity with diabetes is a balanced and nutritional diet.
2. Don’t Stop Moving
A lack of exercise has always been known to be a contributing factor to disease. Moderate exercise for between two and three hours a week is all you need to maintain good health.
If you are looking to lose weight, then you may want to increase the frequency of your workouts.
Exercising can include walking around the block (the 21-day walking challenge could help), cycling, swimming, and even gardening. It has also been shown that alternating cardio workouts with strength training ones helps strengthen muscles and enhance overall fitness.
3. Stay Calm, Stay Healthy
Elevated and prolonged periods of stress increase blood pressure as well as inflammation in your body. Inflammation is linked to serious diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. It also plays a role in the development of diabetes.
By lowering or managing stress levels, you can maintain healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels, thereby preventing more serious complications.
Type II diabetes in particular is an inflammatory-related disease. This means that changes in your immune system become altered and inflammation can spread. Inflammation causes insulin resistance and vice versa, so controlling stress and inflammation will help to keep blood glucose levels within healthy levels and lower your risk for disease.
Stress is a part of everyday life, but there are ways to deal with it. Regular yoga, meditation, and deep breathing practices are perfect for resting your body and mind.
4. Cut the Bad Habits
Diabetes and heavy alcohol consumption do not mix. Alcohol is not only full of sugar, but it damages the liver, which prevents it from effectively regulating blood sugar levels.
Alcohol has a lasting effect on blood glucose levels, keeping them low for up to twelve hours after your drink. If you are going to drink alcohol, it is recommended to drink in moderation, drink plenty of water, and never consume alcohol on an empty stomach.
| Related: Easy, Delicious Dinner Ideas for Diabetics |
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are vices we use to deal with stress and life in general. The problem is that both alcohol and tobacco are addictive and bad for your health.
Smoking is especially dangerous for those with diabetes and can substantially shorten your lifespan. The risk for heart disease in diabetics is much greater when they are also smokers, and quitting is the only way to promote overall well-being.
5. Stay Regular With Your Doctor
Even when you are feeling great, you should always keep regularly scheduled appointments with your doctor.
By regularly checking blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol, you can maintain optimal health levels.
Checkups help you identify problems sooner rather than later, so you can make the necessary changes to improve your health. You can manage diabetes and promote good health and longevity alone on a day-to-day basis.
For the long haul and best possible outcome, however, you need to keep your doctor in the loop.
6. Don’t Forget the Blood Sugar
While diabetes is linked to more serious concerns that eventually lead to premature death, you should never forget the role sugar plays. You should monitor blood sugar levels through the day and have your doctor check them regularly too.
| Related: Does Sugar Cause Diabetes? Fact vs. Fiction |
There are numerous reliable self-testing devices to do this and it doesn’t take much time. Considering it takes a few seconds to check and it can add years to your life, it is more than worth it.
By keeping tabs on your blood sugar levels, you can identify spikes or abnormalities that could be a sign of something more serious. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner it can be treated.
The Bottom Line
Diabetes is common and requires real life changes, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your life. While the risk for heart disease is greater among diabetics, there is plenty you can do to prevent this.
Risks for certain diseases are increased when you have diabetes, but with healthy lifestyle choices and habits, such as those discussed above, you can promote good health and live life to the fullest.