Diabetes Management: Lifestyle Management Disease

Medically Reviewed by DR. DAMANJIT DUGGAL October 13, 2023

Last updated on October 13th, 2023

Diabetes – is a condition that affects countless lives around the world. But don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed or have been doing diabetes management for a while, we’re here to guide you through it. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything around the management of diabetes mellitus. Whether it’s the lifestyle modifications involved in diabetes or the medications needed, we’ll discuss everything in this blog. So, let’s dive into the world of diabetes management. We’re here to help you understand the ins and outs and, most importantly, how to lead a healthy and fulfilling life despite this condition. Sounds good? Great! Let’s get started.

Read More: What Are The Top 10 Early Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes?

Management of Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes management can be a strenuous task and can get out of hand if done unprepared. Another massive problem with diabetes is that it affects many organs and vascular tissues of the body. So, high blood sugar management becomes a top priority. Along with blood sugar, you will also have to keep your BP (blood pressure) and cholesterol in control. These two are closely related to diabetes and should at all times be kept in the safe range. There are ABCs involved in effective type 2 diabetes management. These ABCs are essential and will control your sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Managing your ABCs will automatically lower the chances of heart ailments, strikes, and other diabetes-related complications.

Management of Diabetes Mellitus

A For A1c

The A1c or HbA1c test is the depiction of your average sugar levels in the last 3 months. The HbA1c level of diabetics is above 6.4% however, ideally, doctors recommend keeping HbA1c level below 7%. HbA1c level in the elderly is harder to bring down. Therefore, they require extra effort to maintain them at safe levels. Keeping HbA1c at the recommended level will greatly help with blood sugar management.

B For BP (Blood Pressure)

In the medical management of diabetes mellitus, it’s recommended to keep blood pressure under 140/90 mm Hg. However, there can be different BP ranges according to your body. Your doctor will help you in this regard.

C For Cholesterol

In the management of diabetes mellitus, not all cholesterol is bad for your body. There is LDL cholesterol, and there is HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol as it can clog arteries and other blood vessels. Moreover, an increase in bad cholesterol is also related to diabetic neuropathy. Both cause heavy damage to blood vessels and disrupt the blood flow, causing cardiovascular ailments. On the contrary, HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol and helps in reducing LDL cholesterol. Get in touch with a health expert to know suitable HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.

S For Stop Smoking

When following a diabetes management plan, there is no place for smoking. This is because smoking narrows blood vessels and also clogs them up in diabetics. All this causes disruption in the blood flow, making it tough for the heart to function. Switching to e-cigarettes and hookahs aren’t any better alternatives as they seem to damage your body, too.

Below are some steps that can really help in the medical management of diabetes mellitus. Quitting cigarettes will help you in many ways:

  • Lowers risk of heart attack, kidney disorder, stroke, nerve dysfunctions, diabetes eye, etc.
  • Improves your BP (Blood Pressure) and cholesterol levels
  • Improved blood flow
  • Increase in ability to stay more physically active.

When facing doubt about how to quit smoking. Call our national helpline, National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS) – 1800 112 356 (TOLL-FREE).

Keeping the above parameters, like BP, cholesterol, and HbA1c levels, in the recommended range will curb the onset of diabetes-related complications. Also, it will help you in the management of diabetes mellitus. You can also track the levels over months and discuss it with your diabetologist.

Read More: Top 10 Natural Remedies For Diabetes?

Dietary Management of Diabetes Mellitus

Diet, or the food you intake, largely determines the nutritional management of diabetes mellitus.  Being on a healthy, diabetes-friendly diet will greatly help you in diabetes management and also in prediabetes management. Here are some key principles that you can follow for dietary management of diabetes mellitus:

  1. Carbs Control: Monitor and control your carb intake. Focus on complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, and legumes, which lowly impact on blood sugar compared to simple carbs.
  1. Portion Control: For effective diabetes management, always be mindful of portion sizes of your food. If required, start using measuring cups or a food scale.
  1. Glycemic Index (GI): Choose foods with a lower GI to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Check out the complete list of low-glycemic foods here.
  1. Balanced Meals: Balanced meals are the just of dietary management of diabetes mellitus. Balanced meals include lean protein sources, healthy fats, and fiber-rich foods.
  1. Fiber: Incorporate high-fiber foods like fruits, non-starchy veggies, and whole grains into your diet. Fiber can help regulate sugar levels and help in digestion.
  1. Limit Sugary Foods: In type 2 diabetes management guidelines, sugar is your biggest enemy. Minimize the consumption of sugary snacks, sugary drinks, and desserts, as they can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar.
  1. Sugar Substitutes: Use sugar substitutes like stevia or artificial sweeteners in moderation, if necessary.
  1. Healthy Snacking: Opt for healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, or sprouts for effective diabetes management.
  1. Hydration: Stay well-hydrated with water or herbal teas.

Remember that individual dietary needs may vary. It’s important to consult with your doctor to develop a personalized diabetes management program that suits your specific bodily needs. With all these above steps, you can do type 2 as well as type 1 diabetes management very efficiently. It also helps in the management of diabetes in pregnancy.

Read More: Best Diabetes Diet Plan – Dietary Guidelines For Diabetic Patients

Lifestyle Modification/Changes for Diabetes

When talking of lifestyle modification/changes for diabetes, there are mainly two things to consider. First is dietary management of diabetes mellitus, as explained above. Second is engaging in daily physical workouts and performing muscle-building exercises. The importance of these physical workouts in diabetes management helps you in the following ways:

Boosts Insulin Sensitivity:

Exercise helps your body use insulin more effectively. This reduces insulin resistance and initiates insulin management. This can lead to better sugar control in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes management.

Blood Sugar Regulation:

Regular physical workouts assist in administering blood sugar levels. It does so by allowing muscles to take up glucose for energy without the need for insulin. This leads to better insulin management as well.

Hypoglycemia Management:

Following a minimum of 150 minutes of light to moderate aerobic activities per week is a good start. Then, start with compound exercises involving weights. A good diet and exercise schedule are good for diabetes. Along with this, it also reduces other diabetes-related complications. Thus helping you in hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia management.

Weight Management:

Exercise can aid in weight loss or maintenance, which is important for diabetes management. Workout greatly helps overweight diabetics in the proper management of diabetes mellitus. Maintaining a healthy weight can help control type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular benefits:

Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease. Diabetes management steps like exercise improve cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure. Workout also reduces the risk of many heart-related complications.

Muscle Development:

Muscle gain is another lifestyle modification/changes for diabetes management. Muscle-building exercises increase muscle mass. Muscles absorb sugar and reduce the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. This further improves blood sugar control. Therefore, gaining muscles is mentioned in every type 2 diabetes management guidelines.

Read More: Connections Between Diabetes and Hypertension.

Medical Management of Diabetes Mellitus

Medications for diabetes management involve taking insulin for insulin management and other anti-diabetic medicines. The medical management of diabetes mellitus is followed when lifestyle modification/changes for diabetes don’t seem to be effective. However, the dosage and the medicines will be solely decided by your diabetologist. The medicines can have side effects if consumed recklessly so exercise caution in this regard.

  • Insulin management: If you take insulin for diabetes management, it should be properly stored. If insulin is exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • Medications for diabetes can make your sugar levels drop and rise unexpectedly.. If so, at once, report to your doctor. Dosage and timing need immediate attention. Then, it will be prescribed accordingly.
  • When on medications for diabetes, be cautious of the expiry date of the insulin and medicines. Consuming expired medicines will do more harm than good to you.
  • Timely consumption of medicines, along with following the above-mentioned lifestyle changes, will definitely help you in diabetes management and also the ABCs.

Read More: Chart For Normal Blood Sugar Levels for Adults with Diabetes

Keep your Blood Sugar in Check

In the management of diabetes mellitus, a regular set pattern of blood sugar checks is necessary. There are mainly three tests involved, and generally, it is recommended to them weekly. However, the frequency of all the tests will vary from patient to patient. And it will be solely decided by the doctor. The three tests for diabetes management are:

  • Fasting Blood Sugar Test: This test is done on an empty stomach in the morning. The diabetic range of fasting blood sugar is above 125 mg/dL.
  • Postprandial Blood Sugar Test: Postprandial blood test is done after two hours of eating. Ideally, a diabetes patient will have postprandial blood sugar less than 180 mg/dL.
  • HbA1c Test: This test depicts your average blood sugar/glucose range over the past 2 to 3 months. A diabetes patient will have an HbA1c above 7%.

Some diabetes patients also use a home blood sugar management test known as CGM. The full form of CGM is continuous glucose monitoring. By this process, you can find out your postprandial and fasting blood sugar. However the CGM method is good for the sugar range idea, but it often remains in controversy for pinpoint accuracy. That’s why doctors also prefer lab or pathology reports over CGM readings. However, CGM is very useful for diabetics on insulin and facing low blood sugar problems.

Read More: 10 Best Glucometers in India

Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia Management

When following diabetes management, sometimes blood glucose may drop more than required. This may result from the wrong dosage of insulin and medication. When the blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, it requires immediate hypoglycemia management, as ultra-low blood sugar can be dangerous for your body.

Another diabetes complication that can occur is hyperglycemia. In this, sugar shoots much higher than the diabetic range. Hyperglycemia can damage the blood vessels and organs and, therefore, requires immediate treatment. Normally, the post-prandial blood sugar should be kept around 180g/dL or lower. Consult with your doctor if you face these complications.

Another complication that is more common in type 1 diabetes management is the management of diabetic ketoacidosis. When the level of ketones gets too high, this can be very dangerous for your body. You may face respiratory issues, nausea, tiredness, etc. Therefore, this complication should be treated on priority.

Read More: Hyperglycemia: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Diabetes Self-care

When talking of blood sugar management, there are some diabetes self-management to follow like:

Diabetes Self-care

Stress Reduction:

When we talk of ways to manage diabetes, stress management is among the top tier. Hypertension and stress increase blood sugar. When stress levels in the body rise, hormonal response increases blood sugar levels. Exercise helps in reducing stress, which can be very beneficial for diabetics. Indulge in stress-releasing activities like yoga, meditation, and counselling. Join a community practicing stress management. Keeping your stress levels in control is an important diabetes self-care step to take.

Better mood and proper sleep:

Physical activity can improve mood, so do include them in your schedule. Diabetes patients should have a good sleep pattern. A minimum of 7 to 8 hours of undisturbed sleep time is necessary. This is important for overall well-being and diabetes management.

Limiting Alcohol:

The liver plays a big role in blood sugar management. When you drink alcohol instead of management of diabetes mellitus, it gets busy metabolizing alcohol. Only occasionally drink alcohol, and that too after consulting with your doctor. Choose wines and vodka over whiskey, and don’t use mixers and other sugary add-ons.

Depression:

Depression can happen with diabetes patients as it’s a long-term disorder. Ways to efficient blood sugar management also involve keeping depression in check. When facing unnecessary questions that make you feel low, find someone to share your thoughts with. Discuss with a therapist, friend or family member whom you are comfortable with. Depression will increase stress, which is not at all good for diabetics.

Read More: How to Reverse Prediabetes Naturally?

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed all types of diabetes management in detail. Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and you can manage it with both lifestyle changes and medicines. First, we mentioned the ABCs of diabetes you need to take care of. Then, we suggested the dietary management of diabetes mellitus and then came other lifestyle changes you can make. We then discussed the medications for diabetes. And concluded the blog with the types of diabetes tests and diabetes self-care tips. Apart from the above-suggested information, the doctor’s advice and analysis will be paramount. Therefore, when managing diabetes, be constantly in touch with your diabetologist.

Read More: What is Prediabetes and its Causes?

FAQs

What Diet To Prevent Diabetes?

You can do dietary management of diabetes mellitus to prevent and control diabetes. An ideal diet for diabetes control involves foods like:

  • Non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cabbage, etc.
  • Lean plant-based proteins
  • Healthy fats like seed oils like olive and mustard oil
  • Dietary fiber
  • Whole grains like bajra, jowar, etc.
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Low and medium GI fruits

What are the 4 steps to managing diabetes?

The four steps of diabetes management are:

  • Switching to a healthy, diabetes-friendly balanced diet
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight according to BMI
  • Doing muscle-building exercises and workouts
  • Consumption of anti-diabetes medicines as prescribed by the doctor.

What is the medical management of diabetes mellitus?

When we talk of medical management of diabetes mellitus, it involves the following:

  • Insulin injections and pumps as suggested by the doctor.
  • Consumption of anti-diabetic medication
  • Constantly monitoring blood sugar levels, both fasting and postprandial.

What is the basic management of diabetes mellitus?

The basic management of diabetes mellitus involves following a diabetes management plan, which involves medication and lifestyle modifications. Being in constant touch with your doctor and taking insulin and other medicines timely is essential. Other lifestyle changes you can adopt are following a diabetes-friendly diet and doing physical workouts.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 

Disclaimer

The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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