7 Factors That Can Complicate Diabetes Management

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Keeping your blood sugar level within a recommended range can be difficult. This is because there are so many things that can cause your blood sugar level to spike or plummet, especially when you have diabetes, which puts you in danger. Knowing what could lead to the spike or the fall is critical so that you can minimise the chances of it happening.

Food

Food is critical for healthy living even when you do not have diabetes. It is important to remember that there is a direct relationship between what and how much you eat and your blood sugar level. Controlling your portions is very important as it helps prevent your blood sugar level from spiking. Additionally, different food combinations can affect your blood sugar level.

Having diabetes does not mean that you can no longer enjoy the foods you used to; it just means that you might not be able to eat as much as you used to, and have to take greater care to know what is in each food you consume.

The key to your management plan will be learning how to count your carbohydrates because carbs have the highest impact on blood sugar levels. Next, you need to ensure your meals are well-balanced. They should have fruit, vegetables, starches, fats and proteins in appropriate quantities.

Lastly, talk to your doctor about coordinating your medications with your meals. Too little food, when compared to your diabetes medication, can result in very low sugar levels while too much food and too little medication can lead to the opposite.

Illness

When you contract any disease, the body produces stress-related hormones. Although these hormones are meant to help you fight the illness, they can sometimes raise your blood sugar levels. This increased blood glucose level (hyperglycaemia) can make it extremely difficult to control your diabetes. Any changes in your activity level and appetite that may be caused by the illness can also complicate diabetes management.

Although there are lots of illnesses that can complicate the management of diabetes, it is worth keeping an eye on COVID-19 in the context of the world we are living in right now. Although diabetes does not increase your chances of contracting the coronavirus, it does increase your chances of getting seriously ill when you get infected.

If you have diabetes and are at risk of getting exposed to the coronavirus, it’s worth exploring diabetes life insurance from a company like I’m Insured. Although it may not seem like it, it is still possible to get insurance if you have diabetes. When getting diabetes life insurance, the insurance provider will ask a lot of questions about your condition including when you were diagnosed, if you have any other underlying medical issues and how your lifestyle looks like.

Sometimes, finding the right insurance provider can be challenging, and this is where I’m Insured can help you. I’m Insured will help you find the best life insurance quotes for policies like diabetes life insurance and critical illness cover. They can also help you find different types of insurance including business insurance and property insurance cover.

If you contract any illness, including COVID-19, talk to your doctor so they can help you plan ahead as well as help you plan your medication and illness management properly. The most important thing is to talk to them about balancing your new medications, your diabetes medication, your diet and activity level.

Water

It is a well-known fact that you lose a lot more water if you have diabetes. If you do not drink enough water to replace what you are losing, your blood sugar level can get dangerously high. When this happens, you need to go to the toilet more often to get rid of the excess glucose and you end up getting even more dehydrated.

To get enough water in your body, drink as much as you can, wherever you can. This includes even when you are not thirsty. Having a glass of water when you wake up and setting your phone to remind you to drink water every few hours are both good practices.

Stress

When we get stressed, our bodies release hormones to help us cope. Unfortunately, these same hormones can cause a spike in our blood sugar levels. Additionally, stress can make it harder to manage diabetes because your mind might be in too many places at once. If you think you are under too much pressure, try tracking your stress levels as you check your blood glucose levels.

If a pattern emerges, you need to find ways to manage stress. These can include relaxation techniques, exercise and proper sleep.

Sleep

When you do not get enough sleep, your body produces less insulin and you then have trouble utilising the glucose you already have in the bloodstream. To help your insulin work as it should, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep at night, Additionally, try to get to bed at the same time every night. This will help keep your internal clock working as it should because it also affects how well your body can control glucose levels.

Exercise

Exercise is another factor that affects your diabetes management plan. During exercise, the muscles use glucose as their main energy source. Physical activity also helps your body utilise insulin better. Both of these work together to help lower your blood glucose level.

If you do not have time to go to the gym, simple activities you do every day, such as cleaning, walking, taking the stairs instead of the lift, and gardening, can all help you utilise glucose.

When coming up with an exercise routine, it is always a good plan to talk to your doctor first. They will advise you on what types of exercise are best for you and at what times of the day are best for you to exercise. The latter will help you coordinate your exercise routine with your meals and medication for better blood glucose management.

Keep an eye on your glucose levels before, during and after exercising, especially if you are on insulin. This is so that you do not start or end up with a glucose level that is too low. Remember that exercise, especially if you are new to it, can lower your glucose levels for up to a day, so take things slowly and do not start too intensely. Also, listen to your body and take note of any signs of low glucose levels such as feeling weak, excessively tired, shaky, lightheaded, confused or anxious.

Always be prepared with water and some snacks. The water will help you stay hydrated while the snacks will help if your glucose levels fall too low.

Alcohol

The liver is responsible for releasing glucose as its levels fall in the body. But if your liver is metabolising alcohol, it may be too busy to give you a glucose boost when you need it. Additionally, glucose can cause a decrease in blood sugar levels as you drink and this can last for up to 24 hours.

Although alcohol is generally not recommended when you have diabetes, talking to your doctor will help you know when and when not to drink. If your diabetes has been under control for about 6-12 months, your doctor can okay an occasional drink.

Diabetes management is already hard enough and this is why it is important to know what could complicate your plans. Because everyone is different, it is recommended that you talk to a doctor before you make any changes or incorporate something new in your life such as exercising or a diet change.

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