A Life with Diabetes: Changes You Can Make at Home

Category: Endocrine System.

Written by Noah Smith

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Diabetes is a condition that affects the way your body processes sugar and can cause considerable health problems. There are two main types: type 1 is developed at a young age, while type 2 is more preventable. Risk factors include “a family history of diabetes, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and high blood pressure,” states Care 2.  If you are one of the millions affected by this disease, it’s crucial that you take the time to properly care for yourself.

Here are some tips on making changes from the comfort of your own home.

Get in some workouts

Exercising regularly can vastly improve your blood sugar levels, help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and avoid long-term complications that can accompany diabetes. According to Diabetes.co.uk, working out can even help reduce insulin sensitivity in type 1 diabetics.

However, if exercising is something that is new to you, it’s important that you start slow. Instead of going to the gym, consider investing in a home gym by finding a room in your living area where you have plenty of space. Even if you don’t plan on having big machines, you’ll want a room to move your body and store any equipment. A yoga mat, for example, is a good way to stretch and or practice yoga which is a more low impact workout. You’ll also want to get some dumbbells and resistance bands to increase weight when practicing strength training. Life Fitness stresses the importance of utilizing a jump rope as well as it is a “workout that burns around 10 calories a minute, and it works many of your major muscle groups, including your legs, shoulders, and arms.” Overall, try and create a fun, entertaining space with good lighting, a tv, or music. Make it a place you want to be and spend time in, even if it’s for just 15 minutes a day

Adjust your diet

Being diabetic also means keeping an ever watchful eye on your diet. Stay away from processed foods, excess sugar, and consider a low carb diet. Also, try and eat smaller portions of food throughout the day. Portion control means not depriving yourself of all your favorite foods, but instead only giving into your cravings and indulgences within reason. Balanced, colorful meals should include fibrous veggies, lean meats, and healthy fats commonly found in nuts, olive oil, and avocados.

Be aware of the hidden (although natural) sugars in fruits and use substitutes like vanilla, cinnamon, and honey to sweeten things. Make sure you also read the labels and try to stay clear of alcohol as it is often packed with sugar. In order to reduce your cravings, slowly cut back on things like soda and make trade-offs with yourself. If you want dessert, perhaps have a carb free dinner.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by having to manage your diabetes. Therefore, you should set reasonable goals in achieving a healthy lifestyle. Take any medications prescribed to you and check your blood sugar often in order to monitor your health. It’s also important that you stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep when trying to control your diabetes as it will help you feel more energized.  If you take enough action now, you may be able to reduce your symptoms or even reverse your diagnosis.