When you were originally diagnosed with diabetes, you knew your life had to change. Sure, you could still be you, and you didn’t have to stop doing everything you love. But because you need to control your blood sugar, you had to start exercising and avoiding sugary foods like cake and cookies.
However, there are some other ways you can control your diabetes — as well as some other unusual problems you have to look out for. Managing your diabetes is a long process, so read on for some lesser-known diabetes care tips.
Diabetes Health Tips
You already know to check your blood sugar, take your insulin or other medication, and listen to your doctor’s advice. However, diabetes is a complex problem. That means there are health tips that many people do not know.
Health.com lists several diabetes health tips, including:
- Set goals for yourself that are moderately difficult but still achievable, such as losing 10 pounds or keeping your blood sugar below 150 for a week straight.
- Keep a record of your physical activity and meals. You might be surprised to see how bad some weeks can get.
- Change your daily routine slowly. If you often eat a whole bagel and some sweetened coffee, gradually change that by eating half a bagel or skipping the sugar in your coffee.
- Keep plenty of sugarless gum on hand to give yourself a sugar-free way to handle cravings for sweets.
While the idea of “reversing” diabetes has some controversy, the suggestions found in Reader’s Digest still work as lesser-known tips. Some of these include:
- Enjoy more cinnamon, which has been shown to help keep your blood sugar under control.
- Eat less red meat since high amounts of iron can make insulin less effective.
- Try doing yoga regularly. The exercise helps you control your glucose levels and can help you lose weight.
How Alcohol Affects Diabetes
As you try out different ways to keep your diabetes under control, one factor you must look into is how often you drink alcohol.
Alcohol is high in calories and often high in carbohydrates and sugars. A dark beer or big glass of white wine can have a ton of sugar that throws off all your hard work that day. In addition, alcohol decreases your body’s ability to use insulin efficiently, again increasing your blood sugar levels.
It’s not like you cannot have a few beers every now and then. But if you regularly drink a lot of beer, wine, or liquor, you are hurting your fight against diabetes — never mind all the other health complications of excessive drinking like pancreatitis or liver damage.
Dental Problems To Look For
There are good reasons to follow these tips — uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious health problems like neuropathy, blurred vision, and problems with your feet. However, one lesser-known complication is with your dental health.
This is especially true for older people who have dentures. If your dentures don’t fit properly, eating healthy, raw foods can hurt. That makes it tempting to eat soft foods that are often rich in sugars and carbohydrates.
Besides dentures, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a higher risk of gum disease. When your blood is overfull with sugars, your immune system doesn’t work as efficiently. This can lead to periodontal disease that causes bleeding gums, loose teeth, and inflammation.
Get Your Diabetes Under Control
None of these tips should replace regular exercise and diabetic medications. Always follow your doctor’s orders. But by keeping an eye on your activities and avoiding alcohol, you can help reduce your risk of health problems, even dental ones