You can’t cure or reverse diabetes overnight; it’s a long-term commitment and requires patience, consistency and strong will-power.
Diabetes management is a difficult, demanding and a bit strict task as it engages you in the long term. The strictness of your diabetes health plan depends on how well you manage your blood sugar level.
But you should keep in mind that even a minor mistake can set aside your entire effort list and complicates the diabetic condition. Small unhealthy habits that are even unnoticeable can disturb your health condition, and you should avoid such mistakes.
Here are 10 common diabetes management mistakes that you need to avoid to live a longer and healthier life! Let’s learn about them!
10 Mistakes in Managing Diabetes:
1- Not Getting Enough Exercise
There is a long list of the best practices for managing diabetes, but staying physically active is probably on top of the list. Exercise is vital for diabetic health, and if you are not doing enough exercise, you are doing a huge mistake.
Exercise enhances the efficacy of natural insulin and lowers the blood sugar level. You can control diabetic risk factors like obesity, cholesterol, blood pressure by staying active consistently. However, before beginning regular exercise, consult your doctor about your insulin dosage to avoid sudden low sugar conditions.
You can do either aerobic exercises like walking, running, jogging, dancing, etc., or resistance training like strengthening workouts. Both of these can lower defective insulin resistance and manage blood glucose levels. Also, exercise is a natural way to increase insulin production.
Without having enough physical activity, diabetes may take you towards cardiovascular issues. According to research, the women with diabetes who do moderate activity for about 4 hours per week have reduced the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by 40% compared to those who don’t exercise.
2- Skipping Meals and Overeating Sometimes.
You may have heard about skipping meals to lower blood sugar, but unfortunately, it’s just a myth without any factual support. Either you skip meals by choice or due to a busy schedule, it’s not good for diabetic health.
When you skip a meal, the liver starts to use a glucose replacement called glycogen. The stress of missing a meal releases cortisol, which combines with glycogen and increases blood sugar levels even more than a meal.
Similarly, if you are feeling low blood sugar, then make a food choice wisely. Don’t use your food craving to correct low blood sugar, like a bowl of ice cream or cereal. Make a healthy eating schedule, and don’t consume excessive snacks loaded with sugars and salts.
Diabetes management mistakes happen by a small careless behavior and worsen the condition. Better to avoid such errors and follow a meal pattern. Eat small frequent meals all day to keep your bloodstream adequately filled. Avoid eating excessively and then skipping meals next time; it won’t help you lower blood sugar.
3- Ignoring Diabetic Diet
Diet has a significant effect on the serum glucose level. What you eat goes directly into your body and reaches blood ultimately. So you should be conscious of following a proper diet to manage diabetes.
A diabetic diet is all about avoiding processed foods with added sugar and consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. Control your portion intake, and avoid taking extra calories and fats as they spike the blood sugar level.
Try to consume natural insulin foods that boost insulin production. Such foods include avocados, almonds, peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, salmon fish, olive oil, canola oil, etc.
Recommended food for diabetes includes those having healthy carbohydrates, rich in fibre, and have good fats. Examples include:
- Whole grains
- Milk, cheese, and other low-fat dairy products
- Oils like canola, peanut, and olive
- Fishes like salmon, mackerel, sardine.
4- Not Listening to Blood Sugar Patterns
Diabetes is a long-term illness, so you should be ready for it. Check your blood sugar daily and note it down. Keenly watch the patterns and look for any significant fluctuations.
It helps you to analyze the blood sugar patterns by small changes in lifestyle. If there is a rise in blood sugar, then it needs treatment immediately. If there is a constant rise in blood sugar, you should see a doctor and check your diabetes score directly before complicating the condition.
If you check your blood sugar frequently, you could take a walk or cut off carb intake when you have high blood sugar and manage the condition at home.
5- Poor Dental Health
Dental health is essential to keep a check on diabetes. Excessively high blood sugar and dental health have a strong relation. Several gum diseases develop due to diabetic complications, and poor gum health can raise blood sugar levels.
If you are unable to manage diabetes, then increased blood sugar can infect the gums. Later the infected gums tend to raise the blood sugar, even more, thus complicating diabetes. So it’s essential to take care of your oral hygiene and check for any infection in teeth and gums for timely treatments.
According to research, about 22% of people with diagnosed diabetes have developed the common dental disease called Periodontal disease.
6- Ignoring Insulin Activity
What if your blood sugar is going too high or falling too low? There is a need to correct the insulin dosage. Set a schedule for insulin injections according to your routine and diet.
No doubt a person gets busy and forgets to do some vital chore. But as a person with diabetes, forgetting to inject insulin on time can be a disaster. Punctuality is essential for insulin administration to avoid blood sugar spikes.
Always consult your doctor for insulin dosage to avoid sudden low blood sugar attacks. If you begin an exercise, you have to lower the insulin dose as the exercise itself can significantly reduce blood sugar.
But what should you do if you run out of insulin?
For a person with diabetes, insulin is vital for survival, and one can’t take any risk. Seek help immediately and rush to the hospital; better to stock some extra insulin for emergencies. Or else, try natural insulin substitute like a cup of fresh bitter gourd juice with added 1 tbsp of gooseberry (amla juice).
7- Thinking that Diabetes Can Be Cured
Do you think you can cure diabetes entirely with medication and lifestyle changes? Your doctor says your hemoglobin A1C test is perfectly normal, and most blood sugar has been within normal for the last three months. Unfortunately, there is no proper complete cure for type 2 diabetes.
Although management is essential along with medications, these steps can reverse diabetes. You can control the blood sugar level and prevent complications by accurate management.
Not to dishearten anyone, but diabetes takes time even to start reversing. You can’t control it overnight; it is a long-term commitment and takes time. You should be patient and motivated to manage diabetes.
Mistakes in the management of diabetes include the thought that you can cure diabetes. Although this motivation is essential to keep yourself working, still one can’t deny the fact. Stick to your healthy routine, check your blood sugar regularly and take good care of yourself even if your blood sugar is in control.
8- Not Consulting your Doctor
One of the common mistakes in diabetes management is that people avoid consulting doctors and implement things according to their choices. It may feel better for a while but not suitable for the long term. You should update the doctor about your blood sugar patterns, symptoms, and things you are implementing to control.
Diabetes accompanies several complications, which must be in the knowledge of your doctor to treat them accordingly. The heart, eyes, immune system, kidney, gums are commonly affected with diabetes and require timely treatment protocols.
What if you are adapting a few diabetes management mistakes and you don’t even know about them? A regular visit to a doctor and little discussion can help check your diabetes score and correct those mistakes.
9- Ignoring your Feet
As a person with diabetes, you can’t even afford to ignore your feet. Diabetes generally comes up with nerve damage and causes numbness, tinges, and loss of sensation, especially in the feet region.
If you ignore your feet, then a minor cut may turn into a big wound which is challenging to manage. Even sometimes doctors recommend amputating the affected feet, which of course is not a good option for you, right?
According to a Podiatrist, about 10% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers, and you should not be one of them. How to avoid diabetic foot complications? Well, wash your feet daily and thoroughly observe for any wound or cut.
10- Ignoring Mental Health
A diabetes care plan can’t function well without adequate mental health, and it’s a fact. Disturbed mental health induces stress which alters the normal physiological function of the body.
Cortisol is the hormone released due to stress, and it’s responsible for increasing blood sugar, which you can’t afford with diabetes. Undoubtedly, everyone is tired of hectic schedules. But it’s more important to relieve your stress instead of allowing stress to drive you.
Ignoring mental health is simply ignoring your diabetes, which means inviting complications. There are different ways to attain mental peace and get a rest from hectic routines. A few minutes of yoga, reading a book, a warm bath, cuddling your pet, or walking with your pet, and spending time with favourites have a positive impact on your mind.
According to the CDC about diabetes management, those with diabetes have 2-3 times more depression than those without diabetes. Moreover, only 25-50% of people with diabetes get their depression diagnosed and treated. Depression treatment has wide branches and is usually very effective. But if it goes untreated, it can worsen diabetes.
FAQs: Diabetes Management Mistakes
1- What can prolong life with diabetes?
Exercising, losing weight, healthy eating, monitoring blood sugar and following the treatment plan etc are the small steps to increase your life expectancy with diabetes.
2- Which is the most crucial step to prevent complications from diabetes?
Healthy eating and being physically active is the crucial step to prevent complications.
3- What are three potential long-term complications of diabetes?
Although there is a long list, here are the three potential long term complications of diabetes:
- Heart problems
- Foot problems
- Vision problems
4- How do you know when your diabetes is getting worse?
When diabetes complications begin to develop, then your diabetes gets worse. Complications include numbness in hands and feet, impaired vision, vomiting, and diarrhoea, etc.
5- What is the average lifespan of a person with type 2 diabetes?
According to a study, a 55-year-old man who has type 2 diabetes can live around 13.2 to 21.1 years, and in general, life expectancy is another 24 years.
Diabetes management is a slow ongoing process, and you can’t afford any mistakes. Even a tiny diabetes management mistake can destroy all your efforts to reverse your condition.
Hence, you should adopt careful behaviour for diabetes management, and you must know the impact of every mistake. Recommended to get your genetic testing done and reverse the disease beforehand.