Ten Ways to Take a Bite Out of Blood Sugar (Continued)
Tip Number 6: Start Drinking.
I want you to start drinking. A lot. Of water. (Sorry for the let-down.) In fact, I want you drinking only water. Or skim milk, which tastes pretty much the same to me. Never, ever, ever drink a calorie. Stick with water and drink a lot of it. It's good for you and, like an early salad, can help keep hunger at bay. I'd also like you to avoid the diet sodas, at least on a regular basis. Although they don't have any calories, folks who drink a lot of diet sodas have a harder time losing weight. No one is sure why.
Tip Number 7: Ask your doctor if a dog is right for you.
Yeah, odd prescription, I know, but dog owners are more active than non-dog owners. Why? Well… picture those big, brown, sad eyes pleading with you: Pleeeeeeeeeease take me for a walk. Frankly, most of us have a hard time with self-motivation. We're tired, over-worked, and stressed out. But we're human beings. There's a root word of humane in there somewhere. Often we will do for others what we won't do for ourselves, and pets are the hardest to say "no" to because of the whole issue of inter-species communication. You can rationalize with your kid about why you're too busy to play in the park with her, but your dog isn't going to take "no" for an answer.
Tip Number 8: See what else is in the medicine cabinet.
You need to take your medicine, but sometimes meds for the other things that ail you can raise your blood sugar. We've got a list of them here. If you take one of more of these, talk to your doctor about whether or not there are any alternative meds that will control your other conditions without affecting your blood sugar. Remember that everyone is different. Just because you take a medication on the list doesn't mean that it raises your blood sugar, or if it does, that it raises it enough to worry about. If your doctor says it's safe to do so, you can stop taking a suspect med for a few days, carefully monitor your blood sugar and see if it improves. If you want to be a proper scientist, you should then re-start the med to see if the sugar goes up again. And don't try this at home! Do it only under your doc's guidance.
Tip Number 9: Chill out.
Back in the really old days (like in the Paleolithic) life had some challenges. Like saber-tooth tigers. What happened when your ancient ancestors encountered a saber-tooth cat? I image they threw their hands up in the air, screamed, and ran like hell. To assist in the running like hell, their bodies would dump sugar into their blood for extra energy. Our bodies, to this day, still do that. The problem is that the modern saber-tooth tiger is the overdue electric bill, the dropped cellphone call, the dinnertime telemarketer, and the annoying neighbor. You can't run away from any of these tigers. The extra sugar just sits in your body. But you can learn to defeat this ancient biological fight-or-flight response of our bodies by learning how to relax. You need to make time for you. It might be a warm bubble bath in the evening, a good book at lunch, aroma therapy candles, or even kick boxing. Take that saber tooth tiger. Bam!
Tip Number 10: Tuck yourself in early.
Not getting enough sleep will raise your blood sugar, and most Americans don't get enough sleep. But you have to. This is medicine for your diabetes, so you need to do what "Doctor" Wil tells you to. And you need to do two things to get a good night's sleep. First you need to budget enough time. That means eight hours, for most folks. The second thing you need to do is purify your bedroom, and that means getting all the electronic gadgets out. Your bedroom is a place to sleep. It does not need a TV. It does not need a computer. It does not need a cell phone.
So there you have it, ten simple things you can do to lower your blood sugar. Notice anything special about these tips? Right! There's nothing special about them at all. They aren't bizarre. They aren't difficult. You don't have to change your entire life. These are things you can integrate into the daily life you already live now. And once they become habits—healthy habits—you'll have taken blood sugar management into your own hands.
Wil Dubois is the author of four multi-award-winning books about diabetes. He is a PWD type 1, and is the diabetes coordinator for a rural non-profit clinic. Visit his blog, LifeAfterDX.
NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.
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