Managing Diabetes

Those diagnosed with diabetes, can manage the condition by making some healthy changes in their lifestyle and working closely with their health care providers.

  • Adopt a heart-healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, skim milk, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish
  • Include fiber-rich products like pasta, rice, crackers, breads, and cereals
  • Reduce salt and fat intake

In addition, exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes each day to help keep weight at a healthy level. It is also important to manage stress and anxiety because these emotions can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Those who smoke should quit immediately because smoking aggravates blood pressure.

Regular visits to the dentist are recommended because high blood sugar levels have been reported to cause cavities. Contact a doctor as soon as possible regarding any changes in vision or sores, blisters, or cuts that take a long time to heal. Check with a doctor about taking daily doses of aspirin since diabetics have a greater chance of suffering a heart attack. And be sure to undergo regular blood sugar testing and blood pressure checkups.

Care for diabetes can seem to be overwhelming However, there are three “check points” that make up the basic elements of comprehensive diabetes care; these are commonly referred to as the “ABC’s of diabetes”.

  • A – A1C test: this test measures blood sugar levels over the past three months; for a diabetic the goal of this reading is below 7
  • B – Blood pressure: should be monitored at every doctor’s visit if not more; the target blood pressure level is 120/80
  • C – Cholesterol levels:should also be tested on a routine basis as advised by a doctor: LDL (or “bad” cholesterol) value should be less than 100, while the HDL (or “good” cholesterol) value should be greater than 40