Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size

    6 Diabetes Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

    3. Working Out Alone

    “One error that people make when it comes to exercise is that they try to do it without help from other people,” Ahmann says.

    Spouses, partners, friends, and family members make great exercise buddies. They also are terrific cheerleaders.

    The same is true for your diet. It's easier to make changes when you have a friend or relative who's also on board.

    4. Neglecting Other Problems

    Constant stress and depression can really get to you. It's easy to feel too discouraged to deal with your diabetes. That can make matters worse.

    “You need to recognize depression and work with it,” Srikanthan says.

    Depression and stress can also have a bad effect on blood sugar levels. Constant stress may boost hormones that make it harder for insulin to do its job. Doing “anything to reduce stress will improve your blood sugar," Ahmann says.

    Exercise helps relieve stress, and there’s evidence that meditation and massage will benefit blood sugar levels, he says.

    5. Misunderstanding and Misusing Medications

    Ahmann says many of his patients think medications are more powerful than diet and exercise. But in many cases, type 2 diabetes can be controlled by a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise without the need for medication.

    For many people, medication can be helpful.

    Ahmann sees one mistake that stands out.

    “It’s surprising how many people miss doses,” he says. That's a risky mistake, so tell your doctor. He might be able to change your dosing schedule to one that better suits you.

    6. Poor Food Choices

    When it comes to food and blood sugar, the big mistake is not the single candy bar that you couldn’t resist, Srikanthan says. It’s ongoing unhealthy eating habits -- what you eat over and over again -- that have a worse effect on your blood sugar.

    “People think it’s a one-time diversion, but no, it’s a consistent problem that affects your test results,” she says.

    The two biggest hurdles, she says, are calories and carbohydrates. You have to control both to keep your blood sugar level steady.

    Keep a food diary to keep track of what you eat and drink, and always read nutrition labels so you know what’s in the food you choose.

    Not eating on a regular schedule is another common food mistake. Make time for breakfast and eat regular meals during the day, so you don’t lose control and overeat in the evening.

    1 | 2
    Reviewed on October 22, 2014

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Middle aged person
    jennie brand miller

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    type 2 diabetes
    food fitness planner