The Most Common Mistakes People With Diabetes Make

Not Factoring In The Impact Of Stress Stress is a pervasive and challenging emotion to manage, particularly in today’s uncertain and demanding environment. This sensation can… Austin Alan - March 30, 2023
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Not Factoring In The Impact Of Stress

Stress is a pervasive and challenging emotion to manage, particularly in today’s uncertain and demanding environment. This sensation can trigger the release of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can impede the effectiveness of insulin. Stress can increase blood sugar levels, but studies have also indicated that these hormones make it more difficult for the pancreas to produce natural insulin, further contributing to type 2 diabetes. Given this, it’s crucial to take steps to manage stress as part of your diabetes management plan. While it’s easier said than done, it’s essential to prioritize self-care and give yourself a break from stressors when possible. Engaging in relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help manage stress levels. In addition, finding time for exercise, enjoyable activities, and social support can also have a positive impact on both your physical and emotional well-being.

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Not Getting Regular Eye Exams

No one likes going to the eye doctor. Having dilating drops put in your eyes is never a fun experience and treating eyeglasses as a prized possession is demanding work. For diabetics, this is especially pertinent, as they are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. It affects retinal blood vessels and causes vision loss. Though it won’t happen quickly, if left untreated, it will eventually cause blindness. Take extra care when managing diabetes, take supplements or eat nutrient-rich foods, and get to an optometrist once a year for a check-up.

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Not Replacing Lancets Regularly

Lancets are the needle that pokes out of a glucometer. While it can be frustrating to deal with, replacing them regularly can help you accurately treat diabetes. When getting a reading from a lancet you’ve previously used, it could have dried blood and bacteria on it. This could cause an inaccurate reading and infection. Dull lancets can also cause pain and discomfort when testing blood sugar. Keep them disinfected with an alcohol wipe and replace them when needed. It’s also important to calibrate your glucometer regularly to ensure accurate readings. Check the user manual or consult with your healthcare provider for instructions on how often to calibrate your device.

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Not Adjusting Insulin Dosage For Physical Activity

It’s essential to exercise to manage diabetes, but it is also essential to keep an eye on your levels before exercising. Working out when your blood sugar is low can cause fatigue and dizziness, so eat a small snack. If it’s too high, take insulin to regulate it. If you don’t, being out for too long with high blood sugar can cause ketoacidosis. This is a process your liver does to fuel your body for energy, but if too many ketones are produced, your blood becomes too acidic. This happens quickly and can be life-threatening if not dealt with.

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Not Getting Enough Sleep

In addition to the direct effects on blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, lack of sleep can also lead to increased stress levels and impaired cognitive function, making it more challenging to manage diabetes effectively. Research has shown that getting sufficient sleep can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of developing complications related to diabetes. Developing healthy sleep habits can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes. This includes establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding stimulating activities before bedtime, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake. It’s also essential to address any underlying sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, which can significantly impact blood sugar levels.

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Ignoring Foot Care

We stand on them, walk on them, and use them to judge diabetes management. Foot problems are a serious concern for people with diabetes, as nerve damage can lead to a loss of sensation in the feet, making it difficult to detect cuts, blisters, or sores. These wounds can quickly become infected and even develop into ulcers or gangrene, which can ultimately lead to amputation. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in the United States. That’s why it’s important for diabetes patients to regularly check their feet for any signs of damage or injury. This can include inspecting the soles of the feet, between the toes, and around the nails. If you notice any cuts, blisters, or sores, it’s crucial to seek medical attention right away.

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Large Gaps Between Meals

In addition to setting a timer for regular meals and snacks, other strategies can help regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day. For example, spreading out carbohydrate intake throughout the day can help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes. This can be achieved by having smaller, more frequent meals or snacks that include a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Another helpful strategy is to keep healthy snacks on hand, such as raw vegetables, nuts, or low-sugar fruit, to help prevent the temptation to reach for less healthy options when hunger strikes. It’s also important to stay hydrated throughout the day, as dehydration can cause blood sugar levels to rise. It’s worth noting that everyone’s body is different and may have varying needs for managing blood sugar levels. Consulting with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian can provide personalized recommendations and support for diabetes management.