What do I need to do to take care of my diabetes?
The key to taking care of your diabetes is to keep your blood glucose as close to normal as possible. The best way to do this is to:
- make healthy food choices
- eat the right amounts of food
- be active everyday
- stay at a healthy weight
- take your medicines and check your blood glucose as planned with your health care team
Your doctor will tell you what blood glucose level is right for you. Your goal is to keep your blood glucose as close to this level as you can. Your doctor or diabetes educator will teach you how to check your blood glucose with a glucose meter.
It helps to know what affects your blood glucose level. Food, illness, and stress raise your blood glucose. Insulin or pills and being physically active lower your blood glucose. Talk with your doctor or diabetes educator about how these things change your blood glucose levels and how you can make changes in your diabetes plan.
Carbohydrates, or carbs for short, are a good source of energy for our bodies.But if you eat too many carbs at one time, your blood glucose can get too high. Many foods contain carbs. Great carb choices include whole grain foods, nonfat or low-fat milk, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat more of them rather than white bread, whole milk, sweetened fruit drinks, regular soda, potato chips, sweets, and desserts.
Why do I need to take care of my diabetes?
If you take care of your diabetes you can lower your risk for other health problems. High blood glucose can harm blood vessels and cause heart attacks or strokes. It can also damage organs in the body and cause blindness, kidney failure, loss of toes or feet, gum problems, or loss of teeth.
The good news is that when you take care of your diabetes, you can reduce or avoid these problems.
Do not let diabetes stop you! You can do all the things your friends do and live a long and healthy life.