Is Diabetes Reversible? 6 Things to Know About Managing Diabetes

According to 2021 data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 537 million adults worldwide between the ages of 20 to 79 years old are living with diabetes mellitus - often referred to simply as diabetes. Around 90 million of this number are in Southeast Asia, and the organisation estimates that the number will reach 113 million by 2030 and 151 million by 2045. 

With how widespread diabetes is all over the world, it has become easier over the years to manage the condition. In fact, while diabetes cannot be completely cured because it’s a chronic condition, it can be reversed in a sense—that is, it’s possible for some people to return to a pre-diabetes range of blood sugar levels so that taking medication wouldn’t be necessary or would only be needed sparingly.

Here are some things you should know about properly managing diabetes, whether you are a diabetic yourself or are caring for someone who has the condition.

Make Appropriate Dietary Changes

One step towards achieving healthy blood sugar levels is to make the right dietary changes. Start by familiarising yourself with the types of food you should eat more of and which you should avoid or at least eat sparingly. You can ask a dietitian or your doctor for a more detailed recommendation, but generally you want to keep track of your carbohydrate intake. This is because carbohydrates have a great impact on one’s blood sugar levels, the very factor you’re trying to manage as a diabetic.

Try to avoid highly processed carbs such as cakes, cookies, white rice, and overly sweet cereals, among others. Instead, stock up on good carbs such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Be sure to limit sugary drinks as well.

Get Your Body Moving

Exercise can help significantly in lowering your blood sugar levels. Your body uses your blood sugar for energy as you move around, which also helps with the more efficient usage of insulin. Moreover, exercise can help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure; it will also help you feel better in general as it gives you that much-needed boost of endorphins.

Remember that being physically active isn’t just about going to the gym, either. Indeed, activities such as taking walks or riding a bike works just as well in getting you your daily dose of exercise. As long as you can get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, then you’re already doing your body a favour in the long run.

Of course, make sure to consult with your doctor before you engage in any form of exercise. This is particularly true if you haven’t exercised regularly previously or if you have conditions that may affect the kinds of movements you can perform (e.g., scoliosis).

Maintain a Healthy Weight Range

Somewhat related to the previous point, try to keep your weight within a healthy range. Being overweight or obese makes it more difficult to manage blood sugar levels, while losing weight can help decrease insulin resistance so it becomes much easier to manage your blood sugar. If you encounter difficulties in losing or maintaining your weight, consult with a healthcare professional so they can prescribe an exercise regimen or even medication to help you out.

Drink Light Beers or Dry Wines—or Abstain Entirely From Alcohol

Alcohol can make managing diabetes a little trickier, as it can lead to a drop in your blood sugar levels even long after you’re done drinking. If you want to drink, then do so in moderation and be mindful of what you’re drinking in particular. Some of the most suitable alcoholic drinks for diabetics are light beer and dry wines, as these have fewer carbohydrates compared to other beverages. Be sure you’re not drinking with an empty stomach as well. If at all possible, abstain from alcohol completely so as not to add another variable you need to worry about when it comes to diabetes management.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Managing your diabetes isn’t all about blood tests, diets, and workouts. The condition can also take a toll on your mental health, so get in touch with your feelings and reflect on how dealing with your condition may be affecting your mood, behaviour, or general outlook in life. Mood swings, bouts of anger, and stress are common for people with diabetes, so if you feel particularly hindered by these, then consider consulting a mental health specialist for appropriate treatment and coping strategies.

Be Mindful of Your Medications

Depending on the type and state of your diabetes, you’ll most likely be prescribed insulin and other diabetes medications. These medications require proper storage, particularly insulin, so ensure that they are stored properly away from extreme heat or cold to preserve their effectiveness. 

Likewise, monitor how you respond to your diabetes medications. If you notice an extreme drop in blood sugar or if it remains too high, consult your doctor to have the dosage tweaked or the medicine itself changed. Moreover, don’t take other medications without checking with your doctor. Some medicines may not work as intended or cause harmful side effects if mixed with other drugs.

Diabetes can be completely manageable by having a balanced diet, staying fit and active, and following your doctor’s instructions and medications. Let the tips in this article help you continue living a happy and fulfilling life as you manage your diabetes.

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  1. abe kie penghidap diabetes. Dulu 81kg. skrg cuma 71kg je, Abis semua seluar londeh. Huhuhu....

  2. Terima kasih share info. Kadang2 tak ambil tahu pun pasal penyakit ni.

  3. Terima kasih atas perkongsian adik manis. Hehehe. Baru sihat daripada demam, dekat KK haritu ada doc yang bagi talk berkaitan diabetes dekat semua patient yang datang. Kebetulan baca pulak artikel ni. Hehe