Getting diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes can be intimidating. That’s why it’s so important to understand how to manage your blood sugar levels as soon as possible so you can live a normal life free of fear.
As a top-rated internal medicine doctor in Charlotte and Rock Hill, SC, Dr. Rajesh Kedar wants to provide you with a list of tips to help you if you’ve recently been diagnosed with type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. There is a huge difference between these types of diabetes, and everyone’s body works differently. That means what may work for someone else may not work for you.
Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, however, if you stick with our guidelines and get regular checkups, it’s very possible to get your life back.
What To Expect With Diabetes Management in Charlotte and Rock Hill, SC
Monitoring your blood sugar levels is one of the most important aspects of diabetes management. Depending on the type of diabetes you have and its severity, Dr. Rajesh Kedar may prescribe medication to stabilize your blood sugar levels. He will also recommend lifestyle changes and tell you how often you should check your blood sugar.
You may also be provided with a glucose monitoring system and asked to check your blood sugar levels a couple of times a day. By logging your results, your doctor can better understand what foods affect you the most and how your blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day.
The Distinction Between the Different Types of Diabetes and Their Management Plans
The Three Types of Diabetes and Prediabetes
Diabetes comes in different types and can have different causes. Before you try to manage it yourself, it’s essential to understand the differences between them so you can create and stick to the right diabetes management plan.
Type 1 diabetes tends to show up early in life due to a pre-existing condition or disorder. With this genetic condition, your immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. This means your body produces little to no insulin, which makes it harder for your body to maintain a normal blood sugar level.
Type 2 diabetes develops over time and often happens later in life due to damage done to the body from an unhealthy diet, excess weight gain, and a sedentary lifestyle. These factors contribute to insulin resistance and, over time, can make it worse.
Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy and is also caused by insulin resistance. Rather than having little insulin or no insulin, a hormone created by your placenta prevents your body from using insulin properly. People who have had gestational diabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Prediabetes is a condition that causes you to have a higher-than-normal blood sugar level that isn’t considered high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. While this condition does not qualify as a type of diabetes, it can lead to type 2 diabetes within 10 years if it’s not properly managed.
The Difference Between Managing Gestational Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes
A type 1 diabetes management plan focuses on monitoring spikes in blood sugar levels and introducing enough insulin into the bloodstream. Meanwhile, with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes, the treatment might first involve changing your lifestyle and dietary habits rather than focusing on supplying your body with insulin.
For some patients, introducing exercise and making dietary changes are enough to eliminate diabetes symptoms. Others require lifelong medication regimens to live a normal life with diabetes.
With that said, here are the top 6 tips for managing diabetes regardless of the type you have.
Top 6 Tips For Managing Diabetes
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Visiting your doctor regularly for physical exams is an important part of any diabetes management plan. This helps your doctor evaluate fluctuations in your blood sugar levels and catch early signs of cancer or heart disease. From there, your doctor can determine if you need long-acting insulin, fact-acting insulin, or a change to your diet or exercise plan.
Keep Monitoring Your Glucose Level
During your doctor’s appointment, your glucose level will be tested to determine the level of sugar in your blood at that moment. However, in some cases, your blood sugar level may need to be monitored every day to ensure you don’t have any significant spikes. In situations like this, your doctor will recommend wearing a glucose monitor so you don’t have to visit your doctor every day to check your sugar levels.
Typically, you will need to check your glucose level before bed or your first meal. However, we still recommend asking your doctor for the best times to check your blood glucose level.
A balanced and healthy diet is the key to managing or preventing diabetes. It’s always a good idea to watch the number of calories you expend and how many calories you consume. It’s also important to learn how to balance out your macros.
You should also try to drink plenty of water and avoid foods that are high in saturated fats and carbs. Your daily fat consumption should not exceed 30% of your total calorie intake. Depending on your exercise plan, your carbs intake should not be more than 325 grams per day.
Lose the Extra Pounds
Maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of developing diabetes and promotes healthy blood sugar levels. Studies show that even a 5% decrease in body weight can reduce the need for diabetes medication and improve blood sugar regulation. For instance, if a person weighing 185 pounds (84 kg) loses 9.25 pounds – 13.2 pounds (4.2 kg – 6 kg), their blood sugar levels can improve significantly.
Even better, their glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) readings can also benefit from losing more than 5% of their initial weight. These readings determine blood sugar levels over the past 3 months.
Stick To Your Doctor’s Diabetes Treatment Plan
As we mentioned earlier, everyone’s body is different, and diabetes management plans are not created equal. Some patients with type 1 diabetes may need to check their blood sugar levels four times daily. Meanwhile, other patients with type 1 diabetes may not even need a daily checkup.
While diet plays a huge role in diabetes management, not everyone will benefit from the same diet. That’s why your doctor needs to monitor you closely after diagnosing you with diabetes to create a proper treatment plan for your health.
Exercise as Much as You Can
Regular exercise is essential for your body because it helps burn excess calories and keeps your heart in shape. It’s also an excellent way to manage your body weight and blood sugar levels.
Even if you’re just walking, staying physically active as much as possible will help your body react more to insulin. That means you won’t need as many insulin doses to stabilize your levels. Your muscles will also use up more of the sugar in your bloodstream.
Diabetes Treatment in Charlotte & Rock Hill
No matter what your diagnosis is, our medical team at Metrolina Medical Associates is here to guide you with our comprehensive medical and weight loss services. We offer diabetes treatment in Charlotte and Rock, SC, to meet your specific needs and help you get your life back.
Schedule an appointment with us today so our team of caring professionals, spearheaded by Dr. Kedar, can attend to your needs.