Author: Patricia Bratianu RN PhD RH-AHG
Here are some tips that will help you live a long and healthy life with diabetes. Complications of diabetes will be reduced or not develop if you include these strategies as part of your health care plan.
1. Keep your blood glucose levels controlled.
A blood glucose reading between 70 and 100 is considered a normal reading. Keep your levels as close to this range as possible.
2. Monitor your blood glucose levels as recommended by your health care provider.
You will need to monitor more often when ill or if you have a significant change in your level of exercise.
3. Learn and keep documentation of your Hemoglobin A1C level.
The hemoglobin A1C gives a picture of how well your sugar is controlled over an extended period of time. For example, a hemoglobin A1C means that your blood sugar level averages around 150.
4. Know what your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are.
Diabetics are at increased risk of heart and circulatory disease. Keeping cholesterol, fatty acids and blood pressure in check will decrease your chances of heart attack, stroke and damage to blood vessels and organs.
4. Learn the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar.
5. Keep a protein and carbohydrate snack available in case your sugar gets too low.
6. Let other people know that you have diabetes.
They will be able to summon assistance if your sugar levels become unbalanced. Some people purchase bracelets or necklaces to let emergency workers know.
7. Take your medication as ordered.
8. Have a plan if you intend to eat an exceptionally carbohydrate laden meal or engage in sustained vigorous exercise.
9. Learn about nutrition.
Learn how to count carbohydrates. It is easier than you may think to learn how to count them.
10. Consider learning about and adding herbal therapies to your plan.
Fenugreek, cinnamon, bitter melon, Gymnema sylvestre and Coleus forskohlii have all been used to treat diabetes. If you are on medications to control blood sugar, talk with your health care provider as medication adjustments may need to be made.
11. Keep your skin in good health.
Your skin is your body’s first line of defense against infection. Dry well after bathing. Use moisturizer. Examine your skin carefully for any open areas.
Diabetes is a treatable condition. The keys to avoiding complications are commitment, tight control of blood sugar levels, healthy nutrition, body awareness and good planning.