Are you a person with diabetes? Whether you were recently diagnosed or have been living with diabetes for years, this is a helpful reminder on the four things you must do to maintain a healthy blood sugar. Even if you are NOT DIABETIC, these tips can help keep you on track to avoid future blood sugar or insulin-related problems.
1) Test your blood sugar. Use a portable glucose meter to test your blood sugar level as recommended by your physician. Your provider will help pinpoint your target ranges, but most people with diabetes aim for blood sugar levels between 70 and 120 mg/dL before meals and less than 160 mg/dL two hours after the first bite of food, according to the American Diabetes Association.
2) Upgrade your diet. A healthful diet will help control your blood glucose and weight. Divide your plate into quarters:
- 1/4 whole grains such as brown rice
- 1/4 protein like fish or skinless poultry
- 1/2 non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and carrots.
- 8 oz. nonfat milk
- Fresh fruit for dessert
Small adjustments like drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables and limiting prime rib dinners to just once or twice a month can make a huge difference!
3) Get moving. Exercise is a must. It helps you control blood sugar levels, maintain a ealthy weight, lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol. Your doctor may even be able to lower your dose of insulin or other medications. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. There’s no need to buy equipment or join a gym: dance in your living room, jog down your street or walk the dog. The possibilities are endless!
4) See health care providers more often. At least once or twice a year, see your primary care provider for a checkup and tests to measure your glucose control, blood pressure, cholesterol and kidney function. See an eye professional and podiatrist for yearly exams and visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Don’t forget to stay in contact with your diabetes educator throughout the year to address any questions or concerns right away.
Diabetes education is a Medicare-covered benefit. People with diabetes are offered 10 hours of education during their first year of diagnosis and two hours every year following.
Ask your doctor for an annual referral to a Fort HealthCare diabetes educator or registered nurse. Learn more at FortHealthCare.com/Diabetes.