Skip to main content

I Was Just Diagnosed with Diabetes. What Lifestyle Changes Will I Need to Make?

It’s estimated that 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. If you’ve recently received a diabetes diagnosis, you’re not alone. 

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body processes sugar from the food and drinks you consume. When you have diabetes, you’re at risk for developing health complications such as permanent nerve damage and even blindness, so learning how to control your blood sugar levels is a huge part of diabetes management. 

At Houston Family MD in Houston, Texas, our team, led by Ranjit S. Grewal, MD, has helped many people learn how to manage their diabetes. In this blog, we review some key lifestyle changes you can make in order to keep your blood sugar levels low and your quality of life high. 

Eat a healthy diet

One of the biggest components of diabetes management is choosing healthy foods. What you eat and how much you eat directly impact your blood sugar levels. By eating smaller portions of healthier foods, you can ensure that what you eat isn’t converted to sugar in your system and that you maintain a healthy weight. 

Learn trigger foods

There are many specific foods that are going to affect your blood sugar levels. Make sure you take extra time to read food labels and restaurant labels closely. This can help ensure that you’re making healthy choices. 

A key thing to remember is that carbohydrates have the biggest effect on your blood sugar. Aim to eat a diet comprising a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein. 

Always take medications as prescribed

If you do need medication to control your blood sugar, take them exactly as prescribed. Never skip a dose or take the improper dosage. This can cause issues with blood sugar levels, similar to the effects of overeating. 

We can help ensure that your medication works to give you stable blood sugar throughout the day and adjust dosage as needed.

Make movement a daily activity

Engaging in regular physical activity helps your body use blood sugar efficiently. The more sugar your body uses, the better your levels will be. In addition, movement and exercise can help you maintain a moderate body weight, another key component in diabetes management.

Hydrate your body

Dehydration is not only generally unhealthy but can also drastically affect your blood sugar levels. Make sure to drink about six to eight glasses of water daily; however, you may need more during exercise or other physical activity. 

Keep an eye on your blood sugar levels

Tracking your blood sugar levels gives you information on if you need to make any adjustments in your diet or physical activities. Keep snacks and your medication on hand if your blood sugar levels are too high or low. 

It’s not uncommon for those with diabetes to experience sudden drops or spikes in blood sugar levels. We recommend checking your blood sugar levels thrice daily before each meal. 

Reduce stress

When you’re stressed, your body raises your blood sugar levels to fuel a fight-or-flight response. Prolonged high levels of stress keep your blood sugar levels high as well. 

If you’re having trouble managing your stress, we can provide some healthy stress-relief techniques to check your blood sugar levels. 

For expert diabetes management, look no further than our team at Houston Family MD. Schedule an appointment by calling or booking online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Here's Why Your Blood Pressure Numbers Matter

A blood pressure level that remains consistently above a healthy range threatens not only your heart, but the health of many other organs. Get regular checkups, know your numbers, and work with a professional to treat high blood pressure.
Common STDS and How to Prevent Them

Common STDS and How to Prevent Them

Worrying about developing a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can take the fun out of intimacy – but it doesn’t have to. Learn about common STDs, plus ways to prevent them.
Could You be Pre-Diabetic and Not Know it?

Could You be Pre-Diabetic and Not Know it?

With 86 million American adults with prediabetes, and a whopping 77.4 million unaware, it’s a national problem. To understand your risk of this serious disease, keep reading as we discuss if you could have prediabetes and not know it.