Metabolic Health
Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Effect of Lifestyle and Daily Routine on Diabetes

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are conditions that impact a person’s life throughout. They are manageable conditions and are not curable. Several aspects entail the proper management of diabetes and those require a lot of effort and dedication to complete. It becomes vital to have a plan for the proper and efficient management of the symptoms from the day of the diagnosis. This will help in preventing the complications that could arise in the case of uncontrolled sugar levels. 

The causes of diabetes may differ, however, once the diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment plan for the condition, irrespective of the type, remains the same. A large portion of the management process requires massive lifestyle changes and alterations to daily life routines like – diet, sleep, exercise, etc.

Lifestyle Management

Several options dominate the management of this condition. Research and technology are coming up with newer facilities and advanced scientific benefits that people with diabetes could use effectively in their plans. Recently, the surgical management of diabetes mellitus, pancreas transplant, injecting of islet cells, etc was making its rounds in the medical journals. These measures have a certain success rate but are also equally risky and challenging. Irrespective, daily life diabetes management would require big and small lifestyle shifts to look at the everyday effects of the condition and deal with them efficiently. 

Food

All people with diabetes, first and foremost, need to optimize and engage in healthy eating. This starts with the understanding of how different foods affect blood sugar levels. Along with what you eat, also checking how much you eat and the combination of food you are looking to consume plays an important role.

  1. Carb counting and portion size – Learning how to count carbs is the first lesson of diabetes 101. Carbs have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels, the dose of insulin will depend on the number of carbs consumed. Depending on the portion size, count carbs correctly before blousing
  2. Well-balanced meals – Include a good mix of starch, fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs, fats, etc in the meals. Choose whole-grains and low-carb foods as much as possible. Avoid sweetened beverages and meals to prevent unnecessary spikes in blood sugar levels. Create a food chart with the help of a dietician for the best results.

Exercise

Exercising and physical activity must be included in the diabetes management plan. The basic physiology behind this would be that working out uses the sugar from the muscles for energy. This reduces the sugar levels in the bloodstream. Exercise can also be a good hyperglycemia management protocol for the same reason. It also helps to improve insulin sensitivity. If not strenuous workouts, even lighter activities like household chores, gardening, etc can help burn the extra sugar from the blood.

  1. Create an exercise plan – With your body type and metabolism, speak to your doctor about the type and duration of exercise best suited for you. You can start slow with brisk walking or jogging and then level up gradually. 
  2. Blood sugars – Exercise can largely affect blood sugar levels. Check your sugars before and after exercising to avoid lows. Be aware of hypoglycemic symptoms so that you can stop the workout before the sugars drop too low. Keep your plans flexible depending on the sugar levels. 

Medication

Regarding the pharmacological management of diabetes mellitus, particularly for type 1 diabetes, insulin is vital in the effective management of the condition. Not only that, but the exact amount of insulin that needs to be taken needs to be carefully considered – even 1 unit here and there can cause severe consequences. Insulin can be injected via a syringe, pen, or pump and can be taken as pills.

  1. Storage – Unopened insulin vials need to be stored in the refrigerator as they are sensitive to temperature. Check the expiration date clearly before buying and using them.
  2. New medication – If there is a shift in the medication routine or type, be cautious and be aware of any new changes or symptoms that you may be experiencing. Report any issues to the doctor so that they can be corrected and treated immediately. 

Illness

Sick-day management is a whole concept incorporated into the diabetes management plan. When you are sick, the body produces excess stress hormones like cortisol that work in two ways – they help to fight the illness but they also raise the sugar levels. Sick days also result in a change in appetite and daily activities. This affects the routine management 

  1. Plan – Be prepared for illnesses like fever, cold and cough, aches and pains, etc, and understand how you can alter your insulin dose, diet and routine on such days. Create a sick-day plan using different diabetes management software protocols with your healthcare provider. 
  2. Medication and meal – Even when sick, regularly taking your meds would be important. This can also be altered based on the type of illness you are dealing with. Reduction in the dosage of insulin can be done in case of nausea or diarrhea. Monitoring the levels at regular, more frequent intervals, is often advised on sick days.

Alcohol

While drinking, the liver is busy removing the alcohol (that it recognizes as toxins) from the blood. During this time, it may not be efficient in producing enough glucose that is required by the body. Often after the consumption of alcohol, a person with diabetes may experience episodes of hypoglycemia

  1. Medical approval – While there is no strict restriction, it is still important to get a thumbs up from the doctor before drinking alcohol during diabetes. Since it is known to aggravate issues in the eye, feet, nerves, etc, it would be better to not take unnecessary risks.
  2. What to drink and eat – Choosing the drinks wisely and not using any sweetened mixers would be the first thing. Drinks with fewer carbs and calories like whiskey would be preferred. Additionally, make sure to eat certain snacks while you are drinking to keep the sugar levels from falling. Check your sugars before going to bed to avoid night-time lows.

Menstruation and Menopause

Many women with diabetes have noted erratic fluctuations in their blood sugars during the premenstrual and menstrual phases. Any time there are changes in the hormones, even during pregnancy, you might witness changes in the sugar levels. The medical management of gestational diabetes mellitus and management of the symptoms of diabetes throughout the menses would require a different plan of action.  

  1. Look for patterns – If you can deduce any patterns that will help you understand and note the fluctuations, it would become much easier for you to manage the symptoms by predicting what may occur next.
  2. Adjust plans – More carefully planned meals that particularly emphasize low carbs would be vital despite the hormonal cravings during these phases. Checking the sugar levels more frequently is also advised to correct highs or lows timely. Symptoms of menopause can be confused with hypoglycemia, check your sugar before you eat your sweet. 

Stress

The stress hormone, cortisol, if produced for prolonged periods during a high-stress phase, can cause high blood sugars. It might also get tough to keep up with the stress and follow the diabetic management plan precisely. Different factors like hypo and hyperglycemia management protocols need to be set for effective functioning on stressful days. 

  1. Take control – Often, stress happens because one might feel out of control and uncertain. Take charge of the aspects that you can control like your diet, coping strategies, etc. Relaxation techniques and management plans can be vital to dealing with stress. Avoid common and predictable stressors
  2. Seek help – In case you have to deal with a lot of stress frequently, it would be important to get timely help to better your overall coping mechanisms 

Bottomline

Your lifestyle and daily routine play a key role in effective diabetes management. To ensure an overall optimal level of blood sugars and a better understanding of your patterns, dealing with and treating the highs and lows needs to be learned. Use a predictive approach to this issue and plan beforehand for the most optimal results.

Book a Free Session

FAQs

How do you treat a diabetic lifestyle?

A person with diabetes has to engage in a holistically developed lifestyle in terms of diet, sleep, exercise, work, habits, stress, etc. A well-planned and scheduled daily routine will avoid unnecessary issues regarding sugar levels. 

What is diabetes care management?

A diabetes care plan would help to improve the overall quality of life and health outcomes. Such plans are multi-faceted and include different aspects like – food, finances, insurance, sleep, sick days, exercise plan, support team, a team of professionals, etc. 

Why is managing diabetes important?

Diabetes management is important to deal with the short-term and long-term symptoms of the condition. Untreated highs or lows in the short term can lead to severe and fatal consequences. Damage to several organs like – eyes, feet, heart, kidneys, liver, etc can be caused as a result of poor blood sugars. 

References

  • https://middlesexhealth.org/learning-center/articles/diabetes-management-how-lifestyle-daily-routine-affect-blood-sugar

Was this post helpful?

+91 -
Book Free Consultation