Type-1 diabetes is a condition that affects 300,000 people in Canada. It is typically genetic in nature, meaning that those with a family history of type-1 diabetes are more likely to have the same diagnosis. It is also a chronic disease: daily maintenance and calculated habits are required to control it.
After all, type-1 diabetes is characterized by the pancreas making insufficient insulin. People living with type-1 diabetes must constantly manage their blood sugar levels. Otherwise, they’ll be at risk of heart problems, nerve damage, and even amputations. If you have Type-1 diabetes, here are a few ways you can prevent these from occurring:
Maintain an ideal weight
Being diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes has nothing to do with weight. Still, a healthy weight can reduce the complications associated with the disease. It may even lower the amount of insulin you need to administer to yourself. People who already have a healthy weight should maintain it, while those who need to lose excess weight must invest in the right weight loss process. The most effective weight loss programs are those that encourage people to build sustainable habits. This will involve not only a healthy diet, but also the incorporation of exercise.
Do note that a healthy diet and exercise should not involve depriving yourself of the food and activities you enjoy. Instead, consume your favorite foods in moderation and do physical activities you find fun. After all, this is a disease you’ll have to live with forever. Restricting yourself in the long-term can be unsustainable and may even be ineffective.
Don’t skip meals
Since your body can’t efficiently produce insulin, it’s best that you don’t skip meals. This is because digestion is what produces insulin. Your body converts the carbohydrates you consume to glucose, which in turn is released into the bloodstream. This release signals the pancreas to create insulin. While injections are available to supplement your body’s insulin production, it is still ideal to eat three meals a day for better blood sugar management. Snacks in between these meals are also recommended, but you can consult your doctor if you want to be sure.
Eat a healthy diet
Aside from not skipping meals, it’s important for you to include healthy foods in your diet. Avoid sugary foods and carbohydrates, as these may severely affect your blood sugar levels. Instead, focus on eating low-carb food rich in calcium, potassium, and fiber. Some examples are beans, whole grains (like oatmeal and brown rice), and nuts. Citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, and fat-free milk are also great additions. By maintaining a healthy diet and eating complete meals, you can stabilize your blood sugar levels even as a Type-1 diabetic.
Get routine care
There is still no cure for Type-1 diabetes. Health professionals have been working on it for years, but none so far have been successful. Because of this, diabetics must resort to proper health maintenance. You can accomplish routine maintenance yourself by undergoing routine care at least twice a year with a doctor.
This visit must include blood pressure checks, weight checks, foot checks, and a self-care plan review. An A1C or simple blood test should also be conducted to monitor your average blood sugar levels. Other examinations you can opt for include cholesterol tests, foot exams, and dental checks. All this may seem like a lot, but Type-1 diabetics must do so to know more about their condition and current state of wellbeing. The information you gather will also help you manage your blood sugar better. Finally, health checks are important opportunities for you to ask questions and raise concerns to medical professionals.
While Type-1 diabetes is often a genetic condition, it doesn’t mean that its effects on the body cannot be controlled. Blood sugar levels can be better managed by keeping a healthy weight, having regular check-ups, and eating healthy food on time.