Six Simple Ways to Better Manage Blood Sugar
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke are the number one causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes.
To reduce your risks, you can make some simple lifestyle adjustments to help lower your blood sugar and improve your blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health.
“A major risk factor for developing prediabetes or diabetes is being overweight or obese,” says endocrinologist Michael Koren, MD, of Bronson Diabetes and Endocrinology Center. “Losing weight, however, may reduce the risk of progression from prediabetes to diabetes by as much as 58 percent.”
- Eat better.
Many people with diabetes or prediabetes achieve better control over their blood sugar by limiting the kinds of foods that can cause blood sugar to spike. This can include reducing the number of carbohydrates you consume and eating more lean protein, fruits and vegetables. Here are more tips on healthy eating.
- Get active.
A regular exercise program has been shown to help manage blood sugar levels over time. Taking a varied approach to fitness is good for both diabetes and heart health. Aim to set aside 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week, for moderate physical activity. Here are more tips on how to get active.
- Lose weight.
If you are overweight, it will be easier to stabilize your blood sugar if you lose even a few pounds. Don’t know where to start? See our tips about maintaining a healthy weight. Or, check out Bronson’s website for classes and events for weight management.
- Reduce stress.
When you’re stressed, your body goes into action mode. When your heart begins to beat faster and your breathing quickens, your blood sugar levels can also skyrocket. No matter how busy you are, it is important to find ways to rest and reduce stress. Deep breathing exercises or yoga can be helpful.
- Quit or avoid tobacco products.
Smokers have a significantly higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Smokers with diabetes are also more likely to have problems maintaining proper blood sugar levels, because smoking raises blood sugar. Click here for more information on smoking cessation programs available at Bronson.
- Lower alcohol consumption.
Alcohol causes an immediate rise in blood sugar which drops just a few hours later. Try to stick to moderate amounts of alcohol and have some solid food with your beverage to avoid sudden highs and lows.
*Sources: heart.org, diabeticcareservices.com and everydayhealth.com
The Bronson Heart & Vascular team is committed to heart and vascular disease prevention, and sharing easy steps you can take to live a healthier life. Looking for a Bronson doctor to help you? For a complete list of providers at Bronson, visit bronsonhealth.com/find-a-doctor or call Bronson HealthAnswers at (269) 341-7723.