There is a whole different meaning to New Year resolutions for people with diabetes. For some people, losing the extra holiday pounds strikes their mind when they think of their New Year resolutions, but for people with diabetes or diabetes symptoms – there are a lot of things to keep in mind, right from bringing their A1C to less than 7%, and bringing their blood sugar levels into a range. This means they are living a healthy life with diabetes and avoiding long range complications.
Here are some realistic New Year resolutions that guarantee good health –
1. Improve HbA1c reading – the risk of developing complications such as neuropathy, kidney disease, retinopathy related to diabetes is higher in people whose HbA1c reading is high.Regular exercise and diet will help, though you have to check the nutrition labels on the food packages to maintain low calorie intake.
2. Replace lancets and needles everyday – most lancets and injection needles are designed for one-time use only for your blood sugar test . Any repeated lancet usage will not only make it blunt, but also painful when used. In fact, most people go days without replacing lancets. To avoid unnecessary pain and bruising, it’s recommended to change lancets and needles every day.
3. Cut down the bad fat – cutting away all the fats from your regular diabetes diet is unrealistic and unhealthy. It’s vital to consume some good fats every day. Certain trans-fats and saturated fats are bad fats which can directly lead to damage in the blood vessels. Trans fat develops mostly because of hydrogenation which happens when liquid oils solidify. Make sure you limit your intake of saturated fats by swapping it with reduced fat products.
4. Eat less chocolate – people with diabetes are prone to hypoglycaemia and can sometimes be tempted to binge on sweets or chocolates that might raise their blood sugar levels drastically. For all your sugar cravings, make sure you consume 10-20 grams sugar either with the intake of carbohydrates or glucose tablets.
5. Quit smoking – no matter what types of diabetes you are diagnosed with, smoking amplifies the dangers of condition severely. Nearly half a million people die each year because of smoking, whether or not they had diabetes. Smoking generally might also cause diabetes. Diabetes complications reflect more in active smokers. Quit smoking; include patches, nicotine gum,and prescription gums to help.
6. Keep a check on your blood pressure – if you have diabetes and your blood pressure is generally high, it can cause dangerous health problems if you do not keep it in control. Make sure you take your medications regularly, monitor blood pressure at home or at places you find monitors. Let your doctor decide what reading of blood pressure is right for you.
7. Exercise – exercise varies for every person depending on their blood sugar levels, and as prescribed by their doctors. 150 minutes of moderate exerciseper week is recommended to maintain blood sugar levels in place.This includes 20 minutes of muscle strengthening workout for about two to three days a week. Start slow if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle as it might take a sudden toll over your health. Always consult your doctor and discuss about your workout plan. Fun workouts such as tennis, walking, swimming, aerobics dance sessions, walking the dog or even gardening counts for burning calories.
8. Foot care – for people with diabetes, it is so vital to maintain a foot care routine and periodic visits to their podiatrist for check-ups and evaluation. Prevent amputations with proper foot care as most people with diabetes who are hospitalized come in because of a foot problem and this happens due to poor blood circulation.
9. Good oral hygiene – if you have diabetes, it’s important to take good care of your gums and teeth to prevent infections. Regular visits to the dentist for cleaning is a must because infections that occur in the mouth can quickly escalate to systemic problems. If you do not control your diabetes properly, the amount of high levels of glucose in saliva breed bacterial growth by creating a ripe environment in the mouth.
Always remember to pick one thing at a time and eventually work towards in and on it. New Year resolutions are meant to be a permanent change. So, try making these changes over the course of the next few months so you stick to it for a healthy life.