Did you know that every 17 seconds a person is diagnosed with diabetes? November is American Diabetes Month – so take the time to reduce your risks or learn how to manage your diabetes consistently and carefully. By practicing proper diabetes management techniques, you can keep yourself healthy and prevent any serious complications.
Managing your diabetes can be simple as long as you adhere to a few key steps.
- Eat according to a meal plan that addresses your nutrition needs as a diabetic. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats such as chicken are all on the menu. Pump up your fiber intake and lower the salt and you will find a happy balance. The internet is an excellent resource for meal planning and recipes.
- Exercise. Exercise. And more exercise. You should be averaging 30-60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. This helps keep you strong and healthy, while maintaining a healthy weight. Walking is a great, low-impact activity that can be done virtually anywhere.
- Manage your stress. Stress, coupled with anxiety or depression over your diabetes should not be left unchecked. Talk to a friend, counselor or doctor about how you feel. Find a hobby that puts a smile on your face and laugh often. Stress can raise your blood glucose, which is counterproductive in your efforts to manage your diabetes.
- Stop Smoking. Smoking is an unhealthy habit for anyone, but even worse when you have diabetes. Need help? Call up 1-800-QUITNOW for support. Why wait? Save money and your health by quitting tobacco.
- Take your medication. Sometimes it is tempting to stop taking it if you feel great. This is a sign your medication and management activities are working. Don’t stop. Keep on your regimen and it will help keep you on the right track.
- Check Your Feet. Your foot health is important when you have diabetes. Make sure to check regularly for cuts, blisters or sores and report them to your doctor.
- Oral health. Brushing and flossing daily can help prevent additional health issues.
- Know your numbers. Make sure you have a handle on your ABCs. Your A1C (blood glucose levels), Blood pressure and cholesterol should be checked regularly. Knowing your numbers is an important step in the right direction.
For more information on what you can do in your community for American Diabetes Month, visit the American Diabetes Association website. Do you have questions about diabetes management? Would you like a physician referral? Please contact Denton Regional online.