I am very proud to introduce you to a new guest blogger, Lindsay Maynard. Her topic is not Fibromyalgia-specific, but it is possible to have FMS and diabetes. Furthermore, way-back-when I was in nursing school (When dinosaurs still roamed the earth--the big ones!) I concluded that everyone should eat the way a diabetic has to eat. I have not always LIVED that conviction, obviously, but it is one that I have come back to and am truly working diligently at LIVING now. I am honored to have Lindsay contributing to LIVING a fibroLIFE Blog.
~Meshea Crysup, Founder fibroLIFE
Lindsay Maynard loves cooking, biking and photography. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has twin girls. Her mission is aligned with that of Public Health Corps, which is to provide reputable and useful public information on health topics.
Healthy Habits to Keep Diabetes in Check
by Lindsay Maynard
Monitoring blood glucose levels is essential when it comes to managing diabetes. And, for some, insulin therapy is a critical element of their diabetes treatment plan. But there are some healthy habits and other factors to consider when trying to keep the chronic disease in check. Here are a few things to consider if you’re one of the 30.3 million Americans adults with diabetes.
Some carbohydrate-packed foods, such as sugary donuts and drinks, are easy to recognize, even though they aren’t always easy to resist. But it’s also important to read labels, get accurate carb counts, and measure out portions, especially for those newly diagnosed with diabetes.
Until you know how certain foods will impact your blood sugar levels, it’s critical to monitor your diet carefully and consult all food labels, even for those you might assume are low in carbohydrates. For instance, a savory sauce might be thickened with a simple carbohydrate like cornstarch or a whole grain bread could have a surprising amount of added sugar, throwing your carb count and diabetes management plan off for the day.
Stress, Sleep, and Other Factors
Most people focus on what they eat and drink when trying to manage their diabetes, but many other elements can have in impact on your blood glucose levels. For example, stress -- whether emotional or physical -- can cause blood sugar to rise.
In fact, intense exercise, can even cause an increase in stress -- and blood glucose, although most activity has the oppose effect of lowering blood sugar. Regular activity can also help you lose pounds or keep your weight in check, which research has shown can help lower glucose levels. Especially if you’ve been newly diagnosed with diabetes, you should work with your doctor when developing an activity plan that best suits your situation.
Sleep patterns can also change your insulin sensitivity, making you more resistant to the hormone and driving up blood sugar levels. So getting enough shut eye can help keep diabetes in check.
Drugs, Alcohol, and Diabetes
The liver provides your body with emergency supplies of glucose to boost your blood sugar if it drops too low, according to the American Diabetes Association. And drinking can cause dangerous drops in blood glucose because alcohol blocks the liver’s production of glucose. What’s more, the liver is charged with removing toxins like drugs and alcohol from the body, so if you are taking medications or other drugs, drinking can force your liver to work overtime and cause damage to your systems. Recreational drug use can also compromise your ability to control blood sugar levels by leading you to miss meals, overeat, or inadvertently skip insulin injections, among other possible effects.
That said, alcohol is legal for adults, and has even been shown to have some health benefits under certain circumstances. So if you do choose to drink alcohol, you should ask your doctor for advice. At least adhere to consumption guidelines that indicate women should not have more than one drink a day and men should have no more than two drinks a day. People with diabetes should also avoid drinking on a empty stomach or when their blood sugar is low. And those who take insulin might also need to decrease their dosages -- on the advice of a doctor -- since both alcohol and insulin can lower blood sugar and using both might cause your blood glucose levels to dip. Finally, be sure to balance out any alcohol consumption with drinking plenty of water. Since water has no added sugars, it’s the ideal option for staying hydrated and healthy.
If you feel as though you have a drug or alcohol problem, now is the time to ask for help. Many treatment facilities offer support outside of the mental aspect of addiction. Some even offer fitness programs and nutritional counseling to encourage physical wellness.
Controlling diabetes should revolve around more than just blood sugar medications and monitors. Keep these factors in mind when it comes to managing your condition with a healthy, holistic approach.
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