Living with Diabetes and Lifestyle Changes

It’s important to look after your own health and wellbeing, with support from those involved in your care in order to manage your diabetes condition.

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1. Connect with your healthcare professional closely

  • Regular (6-12 monthly) check on your eyes (consult an ophthalmologist).
  • Have your feet examined and fitted with appropriate shoes (consult a podiatrist).
  • Do regular blood tests (around 3 monthly) to monitor how well your diabetes is being controlled (consult a GP, physician or endocrinologist).
  • Self-Monitoring Blood Glucose must be performed if you are on insulin and recommended if you are on oral medication for self-empowerment.

 

image credit: Stock Unlimited

2. Change Your Lifestyle

  • Healthy eating by reducing the amount of fat, salt and sugar and increase the amount of fibre (20-30 g/day) in your diet. A balanced diet should consist of 45–60% energy from carbohydrate, 15–20% energy from protein and 25–35% energy from fats. Limit consumption of sugar sweetened beverages to less than 2 servings per day or <10% of daily calorie intake. Switch diet from high to lower glycemic index (GI) foods or consult a nutritionist.
  • Regular exercise can help lower your blood glucose level. However, before starting on a new activity, do talk to your healthcare professional first because your insulin treatment or medication may need to be adjusted. You may consult a fitness trainer to arrange an exercise program for you.
  • Quit smoking as it increases your risk of developing a cardiovascular disease such as heart attack or stroke.
  • Limit alcohol intake to the recommended daily amounts and never drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
  • Look after your feet by wearing appropriate and well-fitting shoes. Avoid walking barefoot as this increases the risk of injury.

 

image credit: Stock Unlimited

2. Pregnancy

If you have diabetes and plan to have a baby, do talk to your healthcare professionals to ensure your blood glucose level is well controlled before and during pregnancy. Diabetic control can be challenging during pregnancy.

Sources: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NHS Choices, Diabetes Australia

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