Does My Lifestyle Affect My Blood Sugar Levels?
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Living with any disease is never easy. It comes with complications, frustrations, and a loss of balance for your physical and mental health. Given that diabetes is a chronic illness, a consciously healthy lifestyle becomes necessary for your long-term well-being.
One of the primary objectives of diabetes management is to keep your blood sugar levels within range. It is therefore essential to track your blood sugar regularly.
Following a good diet plan along with regular exercise certainly helps keep diabetes in check. However, several lifestyle factors affect your blood sugar levels too. These include stress, quality of sleep, consumption of caffeine, alcohol and other substances, and more. In today’s high-octane world, these factors are only too easy to ignore.
Here are some of the lifestyle factors that affect your blood sugar levels:
Sickness and Illness
In sickness, our body produces stress-related hormones that raise our blood sugar levels. Sometimes, you may not even experience any significant changes in your body. However, it is always advisable to test your blood sugar.
In case of sickness or illness as a diabetic:
- Plan your medication routine and measure blood sugar and urine ketone.
- Do not stop the diabetic medications.
- Do not change your diet.
- Stay hydrated as much as you can.
When you are under stress, your body releases hormones that result in higher blood sugar. Stress triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response that can be harmful to your health, especially when you are a diabetic person.
Lack of Sleep
If you are not getting enough sleep, your body is more likely to consume more food and energy, resulting in a rise in blood sugar levels. Not only will a good night's sleep help your body reset and regulate hormones that will keep you feeling fresh and active, but it will also help you manage your blood sugar levels.
Food habits and medication
Scheduling your medications and diet can help you to ensure your blood sugar levels are in range.
Being particular about your medication is essential, taking medication too soon or too late can have adverse effects on your body. Too little food in proportion to your medication can also cause low blood sugar, i.e. hypoglycemia. And too much food can cause hyperglycemia.
When diet and exercise are not sufficient to manage your diabetes, insulin and other medicines help you lower your blood sugar levels. Though, the effect of these medicines depends on the timing and the size of the dose. Any medicine other than the ones prescribed for diabetes can affect your health and blood sugar levels. Be aware of drug interactions of newer medication with the existing ones taken for diabetes.
To create a balance between food habits and medications, consult your doctor or dietician to arrange a schedule.
A hot cup of coffee can disturb your blood sugar levels. If consuming caffeine is a part of your routine, you may need to cut down the intake to stay on track with your diabetes management.
While doing physical activity, your muscles use sugar for energy, which helps your body use insulin more efficiently. The more you exercise, the more its impact lasts. Even lighter activities like housework, gardening, or being on your feet can improve your blood sugar levels.
It is best to consult your doctor and talk about an appropriate workout plan on the safer side. It is also beneficial to check your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise to keep track and prevent low blood sugar levels.
To counteract falling blood sugar levels, the liver releases stored sugar in the body. When you drink alcohol, your liver fails to release sugar as it gets busy metabolizing alcohol. Due to this reason, your blood sugar level may not get the boost it needs from the liver.
Alcohol consumption is an aggressive diabetes complication. It’s only advisable to consume alcohol with your doctor’s permission.
Menstruation and menopause
A week before and during menstruation, you will observe significant fluctuations in blood sugar levels. You have to be careful while tracking your blood sugar readings from month to month.
Symptoms of menopause and low blood sugar can often be confusing. It is essential to track your blood sugar more frequently to have a baseline against which other symptoms may be measured.
Apart from these, some minor changes in your lifestyle can give you significant advantages in managing your blood sugar levels.
- Keep a check on your intake of carbohydrates, especially if you are experiencing fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
- Drinking 3 liters of water daily keeps you hydrated and helps you flush out the excess sugar from the kidney through the urine.
- Regular yoga and walking are recommended exercises for diabetic patients.
- A balanced diet with low-fat content and fewer calories primarily help in diabetes management. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are beneficial to consume. Focus on your carbohydrate intake to keep your body weight in check. And consumption of fibre-rich foods helps you feel more satiated. It helps keep your blood sugar, cholesterol, and lipids in check.
- You may add Horlicks Diabetes Plus to milk or water – 30 g, approx. 2 scoops. Horlicks Diabetes Plus is a nutritional beverage which has been designed for Indian adults. It contains high fibre (22% of dual blend fibre). Research has shown that diet rich in fibre helps reduce glucose and lipids in blood*. Horlicks Diabetes Plus is high in protein and contains 16 vital nutrients. Horlicks Diabetes Plus is high in protein and contains 16 vital nutrients. It contains Nutriose®^ & Fibersol-2, which are known to help reduce #cholesterol and support weight management. These fibres are known to promote satiety and reduce calorie intake.
How you choose to manage your lifestyle and prevent complications arising from diabetes is in your hands. Along with all these factors, holistic wellness of body and mind is essential for a diabetic person. Regular sleep, a fresh and stress-free environment, healthy food, and proper exercise go a long way in dealing with diabetes.
Diabetes management is a set of good habits. Make them so ingrained that they feel effortless.
Horlicks Diabetes Plus
Supports Dietary Management of Diabetic Individuals
Helps Manage Blood Sugar
DHA For Brain Helps Reduce Cholesterol
Supports Weight Management