Living with diabetes: Top five ways to lower blood sugar levels!

Although diabetes is a life-long disease and has no cure it can be managed.

Exercise and diabetes

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Being diagnosed with diabetes or knowing someone who's suffering from the disease can take a toll on your emotional well-being. The fact is that diabetes is a disease that affects the whole family, especially when a child is diagnosed.

Although diabetes is a life-long disease and has no cure it can be managed. Balancing the food you eat, exercising regularly and taking medication (if prescribed) can help you control your weight as well as keep blood sugar in the healthy range.

Here are a few tips that can help control blood sugar:

Diet – Diet plays a key role in diabetes management. For instance, cutting back on carbohydrates that can cause your blood sugar to spike while eating more lean protein, fruits and vegetables can help you control blood sugar.

Alcohol – Drinking alcohol may cause either rise or fall if you have diabetes. Stick to moderate amounts and drink it only when your blood sugar levels are well-controlled. It's best to check with your doctor before drinking it to know if it's safe for you.

Exercise – Physical activity has many health benefits, but in diabetics, it makes it more easier to control blood sugar (blood glucose). Exercise can also help people with type 2 diabetes avoid long-term complications, especially heart problems. Aim for at about 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week.

A new study suggests taking short walks immediately after meals can help people with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar.

Weight loss – This is a common recommendation for treatment for type 2 diabetes. If you're overweight, figure out a plan that will help you lose weight, including a sensible diet, physical activity, etc. Losing weight will not only benefit your diabetes-related health issues, it will also boost your energy levels, lower your cholesterol levels, protect your heart.

Medications – Apart from making lifestyle changes, people with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2 diabetes) often need additional treatments such as medication like insulin to control their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and blood fats. Your doctor will prescribe different types of medications at different times depending on the type of diabetes you have and your situation.

Whichever medication you are prescribed, it will help you control your diabetes if you take it properly and regularly.

Diabetes, if left untreated, can result in abnormally high concentration of blood sugar in the body, leading to complications such as cardiovascular disease, neuropathy (nerve damage), nephropathy (kidney disease), and retinopathy (eye disease), hearing impairment and Alzheimer's disease.