Diabetes is a lifelong health condition that affects how your body uses food for energy. In people who have diabetes, the body can’t produce any or enough of a hormone called insulin, which allows the body to use sugar for energy. When the body can’t use the sugar found in our blood for energy, it builds up, leading to greater health issues like vision loss and kidney disease.
The causes of diabetes vary depending on the type, but the need for glucose monitoring and treatment is universal for those affected with any variation of the disease. While there is not currently a cure for diabetes, many people are able to live long and healthy lives by closely monitoring their blood glucose levels and adopting healthier lifestyles.
Prediabetes is a health condition in which the person’s blood sugar levels are above normal, but not high enough to be considered a type 2 diabetic. Around 96 million Americans have prediabetes, and around 80% of those don’t know that they have it. Prediabetes is a serious condition as it raises risk for heart disease, stroke, and developing type 2 diabetes; however, with healthy lifestyle changes, prediabetes can be reversed.
The most important aspect of diabetes management is keeping a steady blood glucose level. When glucose levels are elevated, that’s when problems start to occur. The longer high blood glucose levels go untreated, the more damage they can cause. So the first order of business is keeping a close eye on your levels.
Glucose monitoring basics: https://diabetes.org/tools-support/devices-technology
Having a well-balanced diet is critical to proper diabetes management. It’s also how those who have been diagnosed with prediabetes can help to mitigate and even prevent it from developing into type 2 diabetes, for which there is no cure.
The most important factors in a balanced diet are:
Physical activity and exercise play an extremely important role in diabetes management. When you exercise, insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity. This is how exercise can help lower blood sugar in the short term.
The more strenuous your workout, the longer the effect lasts. But don’t think you have to hit the gym to be effective! Even light activities such as walking, housework, gardening, or just generally being on your feet for extended periods of time can improve your blood sugar.