How to prevent diabetes problems: Keep your diabetes under control

Diabetes is usually a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems. Controlling blood sugar is key to managing diabetes and preventing diabetes complications. Let us discuss about the tips to keep you diabetes under control and reduce health risks.

Too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause diabetes problems. This high blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can damage many parts of the body, such as the heart, blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys. Heart and blood vessel disease can lead to heart attacks and strokes. You can do a lot to prevent or slow down diabetes problems.

Tips to prevent diabetes problem and reduce health risks.

Control your blood sugar level
There are many diabetes testing and management tools available to you for monitoring your blood sugar, such as glucometers, insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitors. The best way to mange diabetes and avoid diabetes complications is by monitoring your blood sugar (glucose) with a glucose meter, or glucometer.

How often you monitor your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have, or if you have diabetes complications, and your diabetes treatment plan.

Tips for Controlling Blood Sugar

  • Follow a low-fat, low-salt, low-carbohydrate diet. 
  • Pass on processed foods. 
  • Do at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. 
  • Lose weight if you’re overweight. 
  • Take any and all diabetes medications as prescribed. 
  • Following your insulin treatment program if needed. 
Work with your own doctor to personalize this general plan. "There isn’t a best way to manage diabetes — the right approach is the one that works well for you,” Dr. Taylor says. "Different people with diabetes need different treatment plans, and test results are used to watch for and prevent complications."

Choose Carbs Carefully
Diabetes doesn't mean you have to cut carbs completely. Choose carbohydrates that break down in the body slowly, providing steady energy. Reach for whole grains, beans, nuts, and fresh vegetables and fruits. Yes, you can eat fruit even though it's sweet. It's about eating the right amounts of carbohydrates at each meal. A registered dietitian can help you learn how much is right for you.

Lose Weight If You Need To
Start small. If you are overweight, shedding just a few pounds can improve the body's ability to use insulin. It'll help lower your blood sugar and improve your blood pressure and blood fats. You'll also have more energy. Ready? Aim to burn more calories than you eat. To start, try cutting fat and calories from your diet, such as chips or fries.

Get Enough Sleep
Getting too much or too little sleep can increase your appetite and cravings for high-carb foods. That can lead to weight gain, increasing your risk for complications such as heart disease. So shoot for seven or eight hours of sleep a night. If you have sleep apnea, treating it can improve your sleep and lower your blood sugar levels.

Be Active: Exercise and Diabetes
Pick something you like -- walking, dancing, biking, or just marching in place while you're on the phone. Do it a half-hour a day; work up to that if you need to. Exercise can help you lower your cardiovascular risks, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, and keep your weight down. Exercise also relieves stress and may help you cut back on diabetes medication.

Monitor Your Blood Sugar Daily
You know you're supposed to check it. And actually checking your blood glucose levels can help you avoid diabetes complications, like nerve pain, or keep them from getting worse. Checking it can also help you see how foods and activities affect you, and if your treatment plan is working. Your doctor can help you set a target glucose level range. The closer you get to your target, the better you'll feel.

Manage Stress
When you have diabetes, stress can cause your blood glucose levels to rise. Get rid of whatever physical or mental stresses you can. Learn coping techniques to deal with others. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation may be especially effective if you have type 2 diabetes.

Take Care of Bumps and Bruises
Diabetes raises your risk of infection and slows healing, so treat even simple cuts and scrapes quickly. Properly clean your wound and use an antibiotic cream and sterile bandage. See a doctor if it's not better in a few days. Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness, or swelling. Moisturize them to prevent cracks.

Break Your Smoking Habit
People with diabetes who smoke are two times more likely to die prematurely than those who don't. Quitting helps your heart and lungs. It lowers your blood pressure and risk of stroke, heart attack, nerve damage, and kidney disease. Ask your doctor about help for quitting tobacco.

Pick Super Foods, Don't Supersize
There's no single diabetes diet. But here are basics to keep in mind: Enjoy super foods like berries, sweet potatoes, fish with omega-3 fatty acids, and dark green, leafy vegetables. Look at food labels and avoid saturated fat and trans fats. Instead, opt for mono and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil. A registered dietitian can give you personalized advice.

Set Up Doctor Visits
Expect to see your doctor two to four times a year. If you take insulin or need help balancing your blood sugar levels, you may need to visit more often. Also get a yearly physical and eye exam. You should be screened for eye, nerve, and kidney damage, and other complications. See a dentist twice a year. And be sure to tell all health care providers that you have diabetes.

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