Tips for taming type 2 diabetes
Changing habits: one step at a time
People who are diagnosed with diabetes must learn to live with the disease. This can be a daunting task, as it requires significant lifestyle changes. However, it is important to be kind to yourself and to implement these changes at your own pace.
Pay special attention to your eating habits. In addition to lowering your sugar intake, make sure you eat enough carbohydrates. As a general rule, adults need 45 to 75 grams of carbohydrates per meal (and 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates per snack, if necessary)1. If you need to, adjust your habits gradually by checking the nutritional information to know which foods to avoid and which ones to choose.
Physical activity is beneficial for everyone, especially for people living with type 2 diabetes. Adopting an active lifestyle has many positive effects on the body, such as optimal use of insulin by the cells and better management of blood sugar. Make exercise a part of your daily routine, depending on your current activity level. For example, you may want to start gently with some stretching, yoga moves or simply walking more often.
Diabetes and sleep are closely related. The body uses this time to recover and regulate metabolic functions such as appetite and blood sugar. Conversely, disturbed sleep can decrease the sensitivity of cells to insulin and interfere with its production2. Adopt healthy sleep habits, including avoiding heavy meals late at night and avoiding screens in the hour before bedtime.
Stress is especially hard on people living with type 2 diabetes because it creates a hormonal upheaval that is harmful to blood sugar management. Glucose levels rise and lead to hyperglycemia, a state where the body can no longer properly process glucose. It is therefore essential to know how to manage your stress. Learn to recognize the causes and stressors in your environment and then find solutions. Be aware of your negative thoughts to defuse or balance them. Set aside time in your schedule for activities that make you feel good, and let go when you are faced with events beyond your control.
Your blood sugar levels are the amount of sugar in your blood. By comparing them to certain target values, you can monitor your state and prevent or delay complications of diabetes. If your blood sugar is above target, you have high blood sugar and if it is below target, you have low blood sugar. It is up to your healthcare professional to tell you when to measure your blood glucose and how to interpret the data.
LEARN MORE about self-monitoring of blood glucose
There are adaptive tools that can make managing diabetes simple, no matter where you are. The Accu-Chek® Guide Meter uses strips and a virtually pain-free lancing device to check your blood glucose with peak accuracy in just seconds. These values can be automatically transferred to a mobile application (mySugr), providing a detailed history to help you manage your diabetes simply and effectively.
LEARN how the glucose meter can make your life simpler
Getting diagnosed with diabetes takes time to adjust, but it also requires a good understanding of the disease. If you have questions, ask your healthcare professional, help organizations like Diabetes Quebec or support groups. Explain to your loved ones what diabetes is and what can help or harm your blood sugar levels. The people around you can become valuable allies.
VISIT the Diabetes Quebec website
1 Diabetes Quebec (2018). The role of carbohydrates. Retrieved from: https://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/diet/food-and-nutrients/les-glucides/. Accessed December 2 2021.
2 Diabetes Quebec (2014). Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. Retrieved from: https://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/understand-diabetes/all-about-diabetes/complications/type-2-diabetes-and-sleep-apnea/. Accessed December 2 2021.
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