Diabetic socks, diet, exercise and a host of other tasks can come like a deluge when a doctor diagnoses you with type-2 diabetes and describes what steps you need to take. Sometimes, though, knowing why each of these will help you manage this chronic condition may make it easier to keep up with a plan to manage your blood sugar sensitivity.
Diabetic Socks, Neuropathy and Sores
Clothing might not seem like it is an important factor for type-2 diabetes, but neurological damage can make it difficult to feel your extremities. If fabric rubs wrong against sensitive skin, it can lead to sores or in the case of one’s feet put you at risk for a fungal infection. Diabetic socks combat this by having non-binding tops and wicking fabric. The former reduces rubbing while the latter creates a less inviting home for bacteria and fungi.
Similarly, people who can avoid wearing watches and tight shirts or tops also benefit. Keep in mind that during inclement weather, you may have to strike a balance between protecting from cold and potential frostbite due to decreased circulation and preventing overheating or even sores.
A Doctor-Approved Exercise Program
While you may feel less able to move about when you are diagnosed with diabetes, numerous studies support the benefits of vigorous exercise for reducing the cardiovascular risk that already comes with your condition and blood sugar fluctuations. While your level of exertion should be based on a plan you work on with your doctor and either a physical therapist or a certified physical trainer, there are myths about what kinds of activities you should be doing every week.
For years, the American Heart Association has recommended at least some weight training to go along with several hours of moderate-intensity exercise and a couple of more intensive exercises. Weight training is continent on good form for anyone, but especially for people with insulin sensitivity who may have problems feeling any shifts due to an imbalance. Diabetic socks can help reduce the risk of sweat-induced sores, but men and women should also avoid magazines or watching the TV to get the most out of their exercise.
Nutrition and Type-2 Diabetes
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is pushing children and adults to have as many colors on their plate as possible. If people see greens and reds and yellows, they should be having a good amount of fruits and vegetables as well as brown grains as compared to white rice or white bread. The Harvard School of Public Health also recommends using olive oil and canola oil in dishes, especially in place of butter. To the same end, you should keep an eye out for saturated fat, as opposed to unsaturated fats when you go food shopping.
For those looking for more variety, your doctor may have a sheet with a glycemic index for various foods. The lower the number the better, as those foods will cause less of a spike in blood sugar once you are done eating them. In addition to the foods mentioned above, many people will need protein of some kind. Boneless chicken and turkey breasts and tenderloin are options for those who eat meat, while tofu is a good option for vegetarians.
A key component of following these diets is calories. It does not matter whether or not you are eating the right things if you eat too much of them. Fat deposits can be a major problem especially when there are deposits around one’s liver, so make sure that your daily caloric intake matches the recommendations of your doctor and/or nutritionist.
Make It a Family Affair
While you may be the only person you know with type-2 diabetes, you are not alone in trying to fight it and control the condition. Starting an exercise plan with a loved one helps you by providing motivation, but with so many people today it could also be the impetus for them to take care of themselves. That benefits you both and makes it a shared activity even if each person goes at a different pace.
Food and diet provide a similar way to bond and help limit the risks of type-2 diabetes. Certain ingredients may need to be prepared separately due to issues with their placement on the glycemic index. However, many scientific studies have demonstrated that dishes that are safe for those with blood sugar levels also improve the physical function of those without insulin sensitivity. The creativity required to adapt some recipes can also make cooking dinner more of an adventure, or open up new entree possibilities for the whole family at restaurants.