February 21, 2017

What’s Like Living with Hyperglycemia?

Have you ever had the feeling that you can drink a lake of water and still feel thirsty? Or it has been your sixth visit to the bathroom in the last half hour? Are you tired all the time and get headaches more regularly than you like to admit? If that’s the case, unfortunately, chances are, like me, you are suffering from ‘Hyperglycemia.’ Hyperglycemia is defined as an elevation of blood sugar level. High sugar levels occur when the body doesn’t have enough insulin or isn’t producing insulin properly.

hyperglycemia-check

Two years back, at the age of forty, I started getting bouts of unexplainable headaches, dizziness, and experience unquenchable thirst. My wife suggested I immediately see our family doctor. After going through tests and consultation, I was diagnosed with hyperglycemia and Type-II diabetes. It wasn’t much of a surprise, after years of poor eating habits, sedentary work lifestyle and drinking without thinking twice has led me to this path.

It was when my doctor told me the serious ramifications, long-term complications and diseases hyperglycemia can lead to, such as diabetic coma, retina issues, kidney failure to name a few that I decided to change my lifestyle. I had to manage my life as a Type-II diabetes patient; these are the few things I did which have helped me so far:

Controlled Food Choices

I radically changed how I ate. I stopped binging on donuts and beers and instead replaced it leafy green vegetables, whole grain bread, nuts, beans, and oatmeal’s. I added a lot of fresh produce to my daily meals. Fiber-rich food like brown rice and brown pasta would keep me feeling fuller for longer hours. Follow few of these easy meal preparing tips and it will be an easy transition.

Regular Exercise

For a man who has lived the better part of his life at his office desk, this was a challenge. I started walking a few blocks around my house every day. A few months later, a friend suggested I get a fitness tracker. I bought one, and it helped me stay motivated. Soon I was doing ten thousand steps. My goal is to run a 5k marathon soon. You can also try meditation and yoga; it helps to control stress. However, if you have ketones, do not exercise as it may lead to even higher blood sugar levels. Ketones are byproduct produced when the body uses fat instead of insulin for energy. Please consult your doctors first before starting any exercise routine.

Always Stay Hydrated

Hyperglycemia leads to dehydration, so it’s wise to drink plenty of fluids. Keep a water canteen or bottle in reach and make it a point of drinking sufficient water to avoid dehydration. Few signs of dehydration to look out for are dry mouth, sunken eyes, and low blood pressure.

Taking Your Meds

Changing your food and exercise routine will help you keep your blood sugar level in check, but it’s not all. You have to be extra vigilant about taking the medicines prescribed to you by your doctor. Missing a dose or taking too much can contribute to hyperglycemia. I got a pill organizer and an insulin pen which I keep on my nightstand and pocket respectively. Always set up reminders on your phone or watch so you can stick to your regimen.

Prepared for Emergencies

This goes without saying, always be ready for emergencies. Get regular checkups and buy a home glucose meter. If you experience unusual fatigue, dizziness, hallucinations or hyperventilation call 911 or visit your nearby hospital immediately.

 

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