Diabetes is a disease that affects the body's ability to use and store the sugars consumed in food. Glucose is released into the bloodstream after digestion. The body uses insulin to remove glucose from the blood so that it can be used by the cells for energy. In type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the pancreas, preventing it from making insulin. Type 2 diabetes involves the body's inability to use the insulin that it makes. Diabetics often experience increased hunger and thirst, along with a need to urinate frequently. Some practical advice can help diabetics of either variety manage their disease.
Professionals advise patients to learn all they can about their type of diabetes. In order to properly manage the disease, it is imperative that patients understand their recommended ranges for blood glucose levels and how lifestyle choices will affect their overall health. Individuals should have knowledge of the tests that are run to monitor diabetes and the drugs that they are taking. When patients are empowered with knowledge, they are able to make the best decisions for their bodies.
Diet is an important part of counseling for type 1 and type 2 diabetics. A healthy diet helps keep the blood sugar at acceptable levels. The American Diabetes Association acknowledges that limiting sugary drinks and snacks is necessary for both types of diabetes. The association recommends that diabetics eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. It is also important to pay attention to labels and portion sizes for the healthiest diet.
Being active each day is imperative to maintaining the healthy body weight necessary for good diabetes health. Even for those new to exercise, the ADA recommends taking small steps to increase activity such as breaking it up into short bursts throughout the day. It is important for individuals to find the best time to fit exercise in their schedules to get maximum benefits. Health care providers can provide specific recommendations for exercise that will keep patients healthy without causing low blood sugar.