If you’re a diabetic, there’s a lot more to looking after yourself and controlling the condition aside from simply watching your sugar intake and testing your insulin levels. We reveal five top tips to help you manage your diabetes – and they’re all incredibly easy, so you’ve got no reason not to adopt them into your daily routine!
1 Eat food at fixed hours
Spacing your meals evenly throughout the day – around every four to six hours – will help control your appetite and keep your blood glucose levels even; especially if you are on twice-daily insulin. Make sure you don’t skip breakfast, and keep an eye on your portion sizes, too.
2 Make sure you exercise
We all know that fitting in a regular work out is key to overall health and wellbeing, but if you’re diabetic, it’s even more essential that you make the time to do so. Moderate aerobic activity, for 30 minutes, five times a week, can help lower your blood glucose levels, and keeping workouts to a consistent schedule can help you manage and track them more easily. However, if you are an insulin user, carefully monitor your glucose during and after exercise to avoid unexpected lows.
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3 Make sure you have three proper meals
A 2002 New York Academy Of Sciences report stated that all-day snacking can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. ‘If you eat only three meals a day (even high-glycemic ones), your insulin levels have more time to even out,’ says Victor Zammit, head of cell biochemistry at Hannah Research Institute, Scotland.
4 Wear socks which aid circulation
Diabetes is a chronic illness that can require lifelong treatment and care. Too much glucose can cause poor blood flow in the body, and as a result many complications can occur, some of which affect the feet – it’s thought up to 10 per cent of diabetics develop foot ulcers. Not attending to diabetic foot care carefully and consistently can lead to amputation of the toes, feet – even the entire leg below the knee. Practicing good foot care, such as choosing appropriate socks that aid with circulation, is essential for preventing possible complications.
5 Drink lots of water
We all need to stay hydrated by drinking 8–10 glasses of fluid per day. Water is best, but milk, tea, coffee, herbal teas and some foods, particularly fruit and veg with a high water content (such as watermelon, strawberries, courgettes and tomatoes), all contribute to this total. And you don’t have to cut out alcohol altogether – just keep an eye on what you’re drinking and how much.
HJ Hall specialise in creating comfortable, fashionable, soft top socks to aid circulation in those with diabetes. Find out more at hj.co.uk.