Your body is a marvelous creation, with systems in place to oversee every detail of human life, from physical movement to brainpower. However, sometimes processes can break down, requiring us to adjust our lifestyle or use medication to help our bodies maintain proper balance. One such function involves the regulation of glucose (blood sugar).
One of the many wonders of the body is how we turn food into energy. Overall, the digestive process is straightforward. You take in food and your stomach and intestines process it, sending nutrients throughout your body and eliminating waste. However, many other organs and systems are at work, including your pancreas, which rests behind your stomach.
The pancreas releases enzymes to help with digestion and hormones (i.e., insulin) to regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin helps your body decide whether to use available glucose for energy or store it, aiming for a suitable level, neither too high nor too low.
Several conditions are directly related to the incorrect amount of glucose in the blood.
Diabetes is a disorder that concerns the body’s inability to provide insulin in the right amount and at the right time. Diabetes is divided into two types.
Although most often diagnosed in younger people, Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. With this type, the body stops producing any insulin at all. As a result, people with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin for the rest of their lives and be aware of their blood sugar levels at all times.
If you were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it probably happened later in life. Your body may still make insulin but not in the needed amounts or at the right times. You may need oral medication or insulin to help regulate your blood sugar levels.
If your glucose levels are higher than they should be but not in the range for diabetes, your doctor may tell you that you have prediabetes, which means you’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, many ways exist to delay or even stop the onset of Type 2 diabetes, including lifestyle changes.
Whether you have diabetes of either type or have just been warned of prediabetes, your choices and actions can help decrease the chances of future complications.
In addition, consider these lifestyle remedies.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week for seniors, do what you can to start with. Setting an achievable goal that you can do regularly is more beneficial than an occasional splurge. For example, you can walk the communal areas of Autumn View Gardens, stroll through the outdoor spaces or join one of the morning fitness classes.
Encourage your fellow table partners to take a short walk after meals, giving you more time to socialize and providing beneficial exercise. Researchers have also found that light-intensity walking after eating, instead of remaining sitting, can help with blood sugar management.
For more intense exercises, consider visiting nearby Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park or James McDonnell County Park for some trail hiking. Golf, pickleball and swimming are also fun activities to enjoy in Creve Coeur, Missouri. The key is to get moving.
Paying more attention to when and how you eat can keep your weight in check and help you manage glucose levels. However, you don’t need to make drastic changes; little adjustments can add up over time.
Illness and stress can significantly affect your body’s ability to regulate glucose levels whether you’re a diabetic or prediabetic or you have occasional bouts of hypoglycemia.
If you’re going through a health issue, whether it’s a short-term case of stomach flu or a long-term recovery, discuss how it may affect your blood sugar with your doctor or one of the team members at Autumn View Gardens. They can help you take steps to prevent or deal with abnormal levels.
Stress can also affect the way your body handles glucose. Everyone reacts differently to individual situations, and even positive changes can sometimes make you anxious. Consider participating in weekly games, doing puzzles or watching a movie to help take your mind off worrisome events. Another option is to talk with a spiritual advisor and meditate on the scriptures.
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