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Diabetes is one of the most serious health concerns in developed and developing nations today.
You may often come across facts about the disease, like:
- While the number of people with diabetes in the world was pegged at 108 million in 1980 , the number has risen significantly to 422 million in 2014.
- In Vietnam, diabetes was once a rare condition, but the number of cases continues to rise due to the economic boom in the last few decades .
- In the US, people with diabetes are getting younger and younger . This isn’t only because of genetics, as some people are genetically prone to the disease; the popularity of fast food definitely has contributed to the alarming rate of cases.
As such, it’s no longer uncommon to find people you know getting their blood sugar checked a couple (or several) times a day as part of their routine.
What People with Diabetes Can Get Wrong
Unfortunately, despite improved technology and advanced information about diabetes, people with the disease may still initially fail to do what is right for their individual circumstances.
Some people with diabetes may find it challenging to properly maintain their blood sugar. They may believe that all they need to do is watch what they eat, plus take their medication and supplements, when it fact it is also crucial to monitor habits and make lifestyle changes.
So, they are surprised to find that despite their strict diet and medication, the disease has managed to progress, some damage to their body has been sustained, and they are at risk of experiencing other health issues.
When it comes to blood glucose maintenance, there are seven areas that people with diabetes may commonly have misconceptions about:
Impact of stress
Stressing over the difficulty and potential outcomes of having diabetes, and other reasons, can cause a spike in your blood sugar.
So if you have diabetes, it would not help your situation at all if you are constantly agonizing over the fact that you have this disease.
Many who discover that they have the disease tend to go overboard when it comes to whipping their body into shape and losing the unwanted pounds that could aggravate their condition.
The problem is that high-impact workout programs can raise blood sugar levels.
So don’t be too keen on working out like a contestant on “The Biggest Loser.” Although many of the show’s participants do start out as pre-diabetic or diabetic, and they are worked to failure on the program, they all received clearance from doctors first.
It is crucial that you follow an exercise regimen approved by your physician.
If you really want to shed some pounds through exercise to lower your blood sugar, consult your doctor first so you can be paired with the right program.
Another way people with diabetes may be getting exercise wrong is by avoiding it entirely because of the knowledge that strenuous physical activities can cause a spike in blood sugar.
Exercise helps in the management of blood sugar levels and keeping the body strong, but it’s imperative to know what workout programs are suitable for you.
To achieve and maintain stable blood sugar levels, sleep is a crucial variable in the equation.
Not getting enough sleep always wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels that could go either way; for some, they see a spike in their blood sugar, while others see them plunging. Both scenarios can be harmful to your health.
Those who are trying to maintain their blood sugar tend to focus on their physical experiences more than the actual numbers indicating their blood sugar range.
If you are diabetic, the numbers are more reliable in determining if your blood sugar level is high or low, not the prickly sensation you are getting up and down your arm.
The discomforts you feel could be caused other factors, so do not assume that your blood sugar is low or high because of certain sensations. Get tested to see the numbers.
Opting for sugar alternatives may seem like a great solution for managing blood sugar levels, but over-reliance on these alternatives can yield negative results. One study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still cause your blood sugar to go high. In fact, it may even increase the likelihood of developing diabetes for some.
If you miss that sweet taste in your drinks and food, get a recommendation from your doctor on what artificial sweetener is truly safe for you to take because these not all sugar alternatives are created the same.
“No-sugar-added” and “sugar-free”
Just because something is labeled “no-sugar added” or “sugar-free”, it does not mean that a person with diabetes can safely consume it. Here’s the reality: “Sugar-free” and “no-sugar-added” are labels for foods that did not make use of table or white sugar.
Essentially, this means that the item may still contain sugar, but in other forms.
Indulging in these pseudo diabetic-friendly treats is a very common error that must be prevented.
Since blood sugar maintenance just feels like following a diet for some, a lot of people with diabetes believe that they are allowed a cheat day and that it’s not a big deal.
Complications may arise from a single cheat day.
You are never out of the woods when it comes to diabetes. Just because your blood glucose levels were normal for the first six out of the seven days of the week, it does not mean that you are safe from complications when you throw caution to the wind and decide not to adhere to maintenance requirements for a day.
Being mindful of keeping your blood sugar levels stable and steady every single day is the ideal practice.
Awareness of these common mistakes when it comes to blood sugar maintenance can do wonders in preventing harmful complications.
It may not cure diabetes, but it can help ensure better health for you.
Frank L. Jaksch Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of ChromaDex. He oversees research, strategy, and operations for the Company with a focus on scientific and novel products for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets. Mr. Jaksch earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Valparaiso University.
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