Eating & Exercise
Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, what you eat and your activity have a lot to do with managing it well.
The combination will vary from person to person. No two diabetics are alike. What works for one diabetic may not always work exactly the same for another diabetic. And sometimes things can even change from day to day for one diabetic.
Therefore, it is important to work with your qualified doctor and healthcare team in order to understand what, how much and when you need to eat. Things like counting carbs and exercise all fit into that formula along with medications, if you take any.
The key to a long, healthy life for everyone is eating a good variety of healthy foods. In time, you will understand the importance of the different food groups and how protein, carbohydrates, and fats affect your blood sugars.
Meal planning and portion control are also helpful in managing diabetes effectively. This does not mean you will need to deprive yourself from eating. But, in time you will become more aware of what you eat and what foods fuel your body best.
Diabetics can and should be active. Exercise is important. Again, ask your doctor about what exercise is right for you.
Because exercise lowers blood sugar, you will need to avoid low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. Sometimes this can occur if a meal is skipped, or too much insulin is taken before an activity.
Planning is important and having fast acting sugar on hand to treat low blood sugar is critical to avoid it going lower. It is important to check your blood sugar during long periods of exercise to make sure you are in your target range.
If your blood sugar is too high (also known as hyperglycemia), particularly in Type 1 diabetes, you should not exercise until the blood sugar comes back to your acceptable range. Why you may ask? Doesn’t exercise help decrease blood sugar? Yes, it does, but you may have ketones in your blood or urine, which can cause your blood sugar to go even higher. Ketones can be very dangerous, even deadly. Ask your doctor how to measure for ketones and what to do about them.
The healthier you are, the easier it will be to manage your blood sugar and avoid diabetic complications.