Method 2: Lifestyle change – Part 3
Perform regular medical examinations.
Diabetes is a disease that can cause complications if not treated and supervised. In addition to running a healthy lifestyle, schedule a medical examination to find out how your body copes with diabetes and take precautions for any developmental complications of the disease.
- In addition to checking blood sugar every day, you also need the HbA1c test every year 2-4 times to control diabetes levels. HbA1c test also known as hemoglobin binding measures blood sugar levels in hemoglobin so it can provide information on blood sugar levels during the last 2-3 months. Hemoglobin is a protein that drains oxygen in red blood cells. If the blood sugar level is high, the sugar attached to the hemoglobin will be more and more. The HbA1c test is a standard for measuring, managing and researching diabetes.
- You should have an eye exam and monitor serum creatinine levels (i.e. chemical waste generated by muscle metabolism) to scan for diabetic retinopathy, a retinal disease that can lead to impairment and even loss of vision, and nephropathy, or kidney disease.
- Each year you should check your blood pressure 4 times and check your annual lipid profile to detect heart disease.
- Tetanus vaccine is recommended because daily insulin injections as well as impaired wound healing ability increase the risk of the body getting infected.
- Make sure you are always immunized. Flu shots and sometimes pneumonia vaccine are needed every year. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend hepatitis B vaccination for people with Type 1 diabetes or type 2 who have not previously been vaccinated. Vaccination becomes very important because high blood sugar can weaken the immune system.
Know what to do when hypoglycemia strikes, especially when you’re outdoors. Be aware that hypoglycemia can be life-threatening. Therefore, you should take preparatory steps in case the sugar levels go down drastically.
- Save the rock sugar, juice, or candy in your bag or backpack. If you feel you will get hypoglycemia, immediately consume one of them.
- Write down the explanation and treatment of hypoglycemia on a card, and then keep it in your pocket or purse. Also, include the phone number of your family member and the doctor who handles you. When you are confused and dizzy, others will more easily understand what to do and who to contact.
- Wear a tag or bracelet that states you as a diabetic. This can make it easier for others to recognize and help you.
Plan your meal schedule.
In order to better control your blood sugar levels, you should eat the same amount of frequency and amount as well as balanced with the dose of insulin. Everything you consume and the time you take it plays an important role in avoiding the rise in blood sugar and also hypoglycemia that is a lack of glucose in the bloodstream.
- To avoid hypoglycemia, eat in small portions at 2-3 hour intervals. Divide your daily caloric needs, such as 20% at breakfast, 35% at lunch, 15% during tea time in the afternoon, and 30% at dinner.