8 Tips to Control Diabetes
Managing diabetes can sometimes feel overwhelming, but with the right approach and lifestyle choices, you can stay in control and lead a fulfilling life. Here are 8 tips to help you effectively manage diabetes and maintain your overall well-being:
It's not about your diabetes — it's about your life. Take a step back and reflect on what you love to do. Identify any obstacles that diabetes poses to those activities and find practical solutions. Creating an action plan can significantly assist you in overcoming these challenges.
It's not just about blood sugar. Heart disease and stroke are the big killers for people with diabetes. Here's how to lower your chances:
- If you use tobacco, quit.
- Keep your blood pressure below 130/80.
- Ask your doctor about taking a statin drug. These can be helpful even if you don’t have high cholesterol.
- Ask your doctor about ACE-inhibitors.
- Talk to your doctor about whether daily aspirin is right for you.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices.
Stress makes everything worse. Stress can get in the way of taking care of yourself and managing your diabetes. Identify the sources of stress in your life and develop strategies to reduce or cope with them. Make it a point to schedule enjoyable activities for yourself regularly.
Physical activity helps make everything better. Engaging in regular physical activity provides numerous benefits, such as increased energy, stress reduction, improved relaxation, and better sleep. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, and try to make it enjoyable rather than a chore.
Don't diet — make healthier food choices. Instead of focusing on restrictive diets, adopt a long-term approach to eating healthier. Rather than labeling foods as "good" or "bad," consider their impact on your overall health. Embrace a diverse range of foods to ensure you're getting essential nutrients, and explore portion control to manage blood sugar levels and weight. Consult a dietitian to develop a personalized meal plan that suits your needs.
Be smart and use your "flashlight". Your blood sugar monitor helps you see in the dark, like a flashlight. Regularly check your blood sugar levels to gain insights into your body's response to various situations, such as waking up, eating meals, exercising, or when you feel unusual symptoms.
Get regular checkups. Keeping regular appointments with your doctor and getting tests and screenings on time helps you be an active partner with your health care team.
- Know what questions to ask.
- Write them down ahead of time.
- Let your doctor know at the beginning of each visit what specific things you want to talk about.
- Review this checklist before your appointment with your personal doctor.
Write down your care plan. Work with your doctor to design a diabetes care plan that's right for you. Include information about the medications you're taking, their purpose, daily targets for blood sugar levels, goals you wish to achieve, and emergency contacts for support.