American Diabetes Month is recognized this November in order to educate individuals about living a full and happy life with diabetes. With daily care, you can manage your insulin levels and avoid hyperglycemia (high insulin levels) or hypoglycemia (low insulin levels). Whether you have Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes, you will need to consult with your doctor to establish a plan for diet, exercise, and treatment.
To stay healthy, diabetics need to measure and monitor blood glucose levels daily. There are many different convenient testing tools available which require small amounts of blood for immediate insulin testing. To keep these levels in check, the following tips are suggested:
Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, your doctor will suggest that you lose at least 5% of your body weight. Being at a healthy weight will minimize the effects of diabetes. You can lose weight through diet, exercise, and in some cases, medication or surgery.
Eat right to feel right. Your diet should be made up of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, low- or no-fat dairy, and lean meats. Avoid excess sugar found in snacks and desserts. You can manage your diet on your own or join a program that will help you watch what you eat.
Start a healthy exercise regimen. Consult with your doctor to establish when and how much you should exercise. Getting your heart pumping for 30 minutes a day, 4 to 5 days a week, is a great place to start. You must measure your blood glucose level before you begin your workout.
Stop smoking immediately. There is no safe amount of tobacco product you can use. You should also limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day.
In many cases, these lifestyle changes can get your diabetes under control and even into remission. Your doctor may also prescribe insulin injections or other medications to help you. Be sure to follow all of doctors’ instructions.
Connect with Others
Diabetes can be a struggle at times but you are not alone. There are many places to find support, such as a regular group that meets in your community, online chat support, or telephone advice hotlines. Talking with others who face your same issues can give you inspiration and comfort. You can share diet and exercise tips and discuss how to manage stress and worry.
Your friends and family are also there for you. Keep them in the loop about your progress and treatment program. Together you can find ways to eat right and live healthy together.
The Diabetes Center at Medical Center Arlington has all that you need to get you on the road to a happier and healthier life. For any question about diabetes management, please call Medical Center Arlington at (817) 465-3241. We look forward to hearing from you during American Diabetes Month!