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How Do I Control My Diabetes

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Get Your Minerals And Vitamins From Foods

How I Control My Diabetes – Tools & Methods

Theres no evidence that mineral and vitamin supplements help you manage your diabetes. So, unless youve been told to take something by your healthcare team, like folic acid for pregnancy, you dont need to take supplements.

Its better to get your essential nutrients by eating a mixture of different foods. This is because some supplements can affect your medications or make some diabetes complications worse, like kidney disease.

Herbal Remedies To Try

Looking for more ways on how to control diabetes without medicine? There are several herbal remedies which can be helpful.

1. Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd or bitter melon is known since ages for its effectiveness in lowering blood glucose levels. It affects the glucose metabolism in many ways and is very helpful to control diabetes without medicine. It stimulates pancreas to secrete more insulin but cannot replace insulin therapy.

You can make bitter gourd juice and mix it with some water and drink it every morning or make it a part of your diet.

2. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a very effective herb for lowering blood glucose levels. For maximum benefit, soak a couple of spoons of fenugreek seeds in water, leave it overnight and drink it in the morning. If you follow this routine for a few months you will observe significant results.

You can also make a powder of it and mix it with milk and drink it.

3. Indian Gooseberry

This is also known as Aamla and has extremely high vitamin C content and is very effective to stimulate pancreas. Take a few Indian gooseberries and remove the stone. Grind them finely, they will become like a paste. Put it in a fine muslin cloth and squeeze out the juice. You can mix it with some water and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning for maximum results. For additional benefits you can mix this with bitter gourd juice.

4. Curry Leaves

5. Mango Leaves

Create A Plan For Your Diabetes Management

Now that you have a better idea of what your pain points are, you can start making changes to your diabetes management.

Your doctor may suggest a different medication regime. For example, some people are prescribed Metformin to help with Dawn Phenomenon . Others may need adjustments to insulin dosing, etc.

If youre insulin dependent and consistently have high blood sugars in the morning, getting your blood sugar fluctuations and A1c down might be as simple as adjusting your nighttime basal insulin. Or, if you run high every day after meals, your carb-to-insulin ratio might be off and adjusting that could be what sets you on a path of a lower A1c. Until you collect the data and do the analysis, you have no way of knowing this.

I want to make an important point here: increasing your diabetes medication is not a sign of failure! Its often the best way to control your blood sugar and bring down your A1c.

I adjust my insulin up and down all the time when I change my diet or exercise routine. Adjusting your medication is an important tool in your diabetes toolbox and something you should always discuss with your medical team.

Read Also: What Is The Best Medical Insurance For Diabetics

Why You Should Care About Your A1c

Multiple studies have shown that high average blood sugars increase the risk of diabetes-related complications. Lowering your A1c to the recommended range will reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications significantly:

  • Eye disease risk is reduced by 76%
  • Kidney disease risk is reduced by 50%
  • Nerve disease risk is reduced by 60%
  • Any cardiovascular disease event risk is reduced by 42%
  • Nonfatal heart attack, stroke, or risk of death from cardiovascular causes is reduced by 57%

Achieving an A1c in the recommended range is, therefore, one of the most important things you can do to improve your long-term health when you live with diabetes.

However, the closer you get to the recommended A1c target, the less benefit you will get from lowering your A1c further. Taking your A1c from 12% to 11% makes a big difference while lowering your A1c from 7% to 6% provides a much smaller benefit. In fact, lowering your A1c too much may not be a good idea if it means that you increase how often you experience hypoglycemia .

I will explain why time-in-range is just as important as a low A1c later in this guide.

What Is High Blood Sugar

Type 2 diabetes patients can improve blood sugar by ...

Your blood sugar level can be determined by taking a blood sample, either in a fasted state, or two hours after eating.

  • If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL after an eight-hour fast or less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating, youre in the normal range.
  • If you conduct a test in the morning, after sleeping for eight hours, and your blood sugar is at 126 mg/dL or higher, youve got high blood sugar.

An estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, which is the result of blood sugar levels being consistently high. Another 86 million have prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prediabetes, however, can be reversed by finding ways to naturally lower blood sugar.

Read Also: How Much Is Levemir Insulin Without Insurance

What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels

Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:

  • Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
  • Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
  • Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
  • Drink water instead of juice or soda.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks.
  • For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
  • Control your food portions .

Diabetes Diet Plan For Long

It may ease your mind to know you will be able to incorporate your favorite foods into a healthy diet while being mindful of your diabetes diet goals . Check out our type 2 diabetes diet sheet below for an idea of the variety of delicious and balanced meals that can fit into a diabetic meal plan.

For many people, at least initially, this may seem harder than it should be and thats understandable after all, it can seem very, very challenging to change current eating habits and find the right food rhythm to fit your lifestyle.

You don’t have to go it alone: Seek advice from a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator who has the right training to help you come up with an individualized meal plan that will help you meet your self-management goals, get the nutrition you need, and show you how you can incorporate some of your favorite foods into your diet so that you continue to enjoy eating.

Hopefully, your doctor has someone on the team, but if not, call your health insurer to ask for the names of a few in-network RD/CDEs.

There are also virtual coaching programs that appear to be effective this means you can get individualized dietary guidance at home or at work. Most health insurance companies will cover the cost of diabetic diet counseling so ask your doctor for a prescription, so cost doesnt hold you back.

Also Check: Smoking And Type 2 Diabetes

Youre Hungrier Than Usual But Losing Weight

Many people with uncontrolled high blood sugar find that theyre hungrier than usual, which signals a symptom called polyphagia, MedlinePlus notes. And although youre eating more, you may be losing weight for no apparent reason if your blood sugar levels are too high, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Since your body is not getting energy from the preferred source, glucose, it has to turn to muscle and fat, Zanini explains. When your body starts breaking down muscle and fat for energy, you experience unintentional and unhealthy weight loss. In addition to these changes in weight and appetite, you may notice weakness in your muscles and experience more frequent falls, Emanuele adds.

Controlled Means Different Things To Different People

How Can I Control Diabetes?

Theres no one-size-fits-all recommendation for blood sugar control.

The ADA says that a reasonable goal for many nonpregnant adults is to aim for an A1C level of less than 7. Yet some patients may be given a more stringent goal by their healthcare providers, such as 6.5, if thats reachable without harmful side effects, including hypoglycemia.

On the other hand, if you are elderly, managing other health complications, or reliant on insulin, you may be given less stringent goals. It really becomes more important to just keep in the same place, says Rahil Bandukwala, DO, an endocrinologist at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California. Keeping A1C between 7.5 and 8.5 may be very reasonable for such a patient, Dr. Bandukwala adds, echoing the ADAs recommendations.

Because elderly people are more likely to have blood sugar that swings too far downward, with fewer warning signs, managing their glucose too tightly can put them at greater risk for hypoglycemia, says Bandukwala. When you have low blood sugar, youre at a higher risk for becoming dizzy and falling or passing out, notes the ADA.

RELATED: 10 Warning Signs of Low Blood Sugar

Recommended Reading: Treatment Of Type 1 Diabetes In Child

Test Blood Sugar And Take Action

Monitor your blood sugar as recommended by your doctor and keep a blood sugar log. With type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and those with type 2 diabetes who use insulin, checking your blood sugar will be recommended throughout the day to control blood sugar levels.

Recommendations for blood sugar testing for people with type 2 diabetes who do not inject insulin can vary. However, testing before and after meals can help you learn how different foods affect your blood sugar. Dont treat what you think may be a low blood sugar without testing first, as symptoms of a high and low blood sugar can be similar.

When you identify an out-of-range-blood sugar reading, take action. If you are experiencing unexpected high blood sugar levels, call your doctor for treatment recommendations. If you have a low blood sugar, treat it right away with 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrates to raise blood sugar levels and check your blood sugar after 15 minutes. Untreated high or low blood glucose can lead to the need for emergency care, so dont wait until you land in the hospital. The sooner that you take action, the better.

How Can I Manage My Diabetes

It is important to remember “who” has the responsibility to manage diabetes. Diabetes management can only be done by the person who has the disease. Your family, doctor, diabetes educator or nutritionist are members of the health care team who can advise you. Training in self-management is important for the treatment of diabetes. Talk with your doctor about how you can learn more about self-management.

There’s a lot to consider to manage your diabetes. How you care for yourself every day can make a difference in how you feel and how successful you are in preventing the complications of diabetes. There are seven important self-care behaviors to manage diabetes. They are:

  • Eat healthy foods: What you put in your mouth every day adds up over time. When you have diabetes it is important to monitor not only your carbohydrate intake but also your fat intake. Carbohydrates include sweets, starches, fruit, milk, and starch vegetables.
  • Be active: People with diabetes should strive to do some type of physical activity every day .
  • Manage your stress: Everyone has stress and each of us must find ways to deal with stress.
  • Prevent high and low blood glucose:
  • Low blood
  • High blood glucose over time is what causes the complications of diabetes.
  • glucoses make a person with diabetes feel terrible. Low blood glucoses while a person is driving can cause accidents. Low blood glucose can cause strokes and heart attacks in older people.
  • Read Also: How Do You Treat Diabetic Retinopathy

    Use Your Hands As A Serving Guide

    Another way to gauge appropriate portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands.

    As your hands usually correspond to your body size, bigger people who require more food typically have bigger hands (

    9 ).

    If you are eating out, you can always ask for a half portion or a childrens dish.

    This will save you a lot of calories and help prevent overeating.

    Alternatively, you could share a meal with someone or order a starter and side instead of a main dish.

    Other tips include ordering a side salad or vegetables, asking for sauces and dressings to be served separately and avoiding buffet-style, all-you-can-eat restaurants where its very easy to overindulge.

    Summary Restaurant portions tend to be at least twice the size of a regular portion. Prevent overeating by asking for a half portion, ordering a starter instead of a main dish and avoiding buffet-style restaurants.

    How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels

    My Journey with Diabetes, its end

    Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.

    Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.

    Also Check: How Many Calories Can A Diabetic Have Per Day

    Why Take Care Of Your Diabetes

    Taking care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel good today and in the future. When your blood sugar is close to normal, you are likely to:

    • have more energy
    • Ask your health care team what type of diabetes you have.

    • Learn where you can go for support.

    • Learn how caring for your diabetes helps you feel good today and in the future.

    Swollen Or Bleeding Gums Which Increase Your Infection Risk

    Gum disease is a complication of diabetes, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. It can also make diabetes harder to control, because the bodys response to infection is to release more glucose into the bloodstream, according to the ADA.

    Your saliva contains glucose and the more it contains, the more there is to feed the bacteria that combine with food in your mouth to form plaque and cause gum disease. Symptoms can include red or inflamed gums at first. If they are unaddressed, they can progress to periodontitis, which can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, the appearance of pus or ulcers, or even tooth loss, notes the Mayo Clinic. Get your blood sugar under control and see a dental professional to prevent damage to your gums and teeth.

    Additional reporting by Diana Rodriguez and Andrea Peirce.

    Read Also: How Does Diabetes Lead To Renal Failure

    What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis

    If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.

    When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:

    • Fast, deep breathing.
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Stomach pain.

    If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.

    DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.

    Diabetic Diet: Its All About Making Calculated Food Choices


    There are different types of diabetes, determined mainly by your bodys ability to produce and use insulinthe hormone necessary for getting sugar out of your blood and into your cells where it is used to produce energy.

    The symptoms of all types of diabetes are similar, so the steps you need to take to control your blood sugar remain the same. Your diet plays a very critical role in managing your diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels stable throughout your lifetime. You are in control of what you eat, so this is one area you can and should learn to manage wisely.

    For people with type 2 diabetes, your pancreas produces plenty of insulin that is not sensed by the cells so your body is unable to properly use the insulin you make. Usually, type 2 diabetes can be controlled well with lifestyle changesparticularly shifting from processed carbs to high fiber foods, and walking daily as needed with the addition of medication.

    Some people with type 2 diabetes may also need to begin taking insulin at some point, says Sandra Arevalo, MPH, RD, CDE, a diabetes expert and spokesperson with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It can depend on your age and your individual ability to control your blood sugar with diet and exercise.

    However, when type 2 diabetes is found early enough and weight loss is achieved, in most cases, insulin is never needed.

    Read Also: How Do You Screen For Diabetes

    How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar

    Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:

    • Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
    • Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
    • Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
    • Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
    • Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.

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