Don’t skip meals. Your blood sugar may drop too low when you do not eat regularly. This is especially true if you’ve already taken your diabetes medicine. Instead of eating one or two big meals, eat several small meals during the day. It’s important to avoid foods high in salt, sugar and fat. Your diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, fish, and lean meats and poultry. Does this seem like a lot to think about? Then talk to your doctor, a nutritionist, or a certified diabetes educator. They can help create a meal plan that is right for you.
Mistake #5: Not Exercising Regularly
Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and feel more energetic. It also helps insulin lower your blood sugar levels. Be active on a regular basis. Then see how your blood sugar responds to exercise. Tell your doctor about what you observe. This helps your doctor know how to adjust your insulin schedule to keep your blood sugar levels steady. If you are active only once in a while, it is harder to predict your insulin needs. A random bout of exercise could cause your blood sugar level to drop too low. So, try to be active for about 30 minutes every day.
Mistake #6: Ignoring Your Feet
Many people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage. The first sign of this often is numbness, tingling or pain in the feet. These symptoms may be easy to ignore at first, but they could get worse over time. Prevent bad foot problems by checking your feet every day. Look for swelling, cuts or blisters. Moisturize your feet and trim your toenails regularly. It’s also important to keep blood flowing to your feet. You can do that by wiggling your toes and moving your ankles 2 or 3 times a day. Also, don’t sit with your legs crossed for a long time.
Mistake #7: Not Getting Regular Checkups
Don’t forget to follow up with your doctor on a regular basis. Diabetes can affect many parts of your body. It raises your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, infections, and gum problems. Your doctor may send you to a specialist to treat one or more of these issues. It’s also important to visit an eye doctor at least once a year. People with diabetes are more likely than others to have eye problems.
Mistake #8: Setting Unrealistic Exercise Goals
Set reachable goals. That’s especially important if you haven’t been active for a while and are starting a new exercise routine. Doing too much too soon can leave you sore and discouraged. You could even get hurt. Set specific goals. Don’t say you’re going to walk more. Instead, say you will walk briskly for 10 minutes every day during your lunch break. Remember that losing just 5% to 7% of your body weight can make a difference in how well your body uses insulin—making your diabetes easier to manage.