DID YOU KNOW that diabetes is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States?
November spotlights diabetes prevention and control. With over 37 million Americans diagnosed, diabetes requires awareness and action. While diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and more, you can take charge of your tomorrow to reduce your risk and improve your health.
Tightly Monitor Your Blood Glucose, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
Research confirms that controlling diabetes immediately after diagnosis prevents issues down the road. Be diligent about managing your ABCs:
- A1C – Get this important blood test at least twice yearly to see your average blood sugar over months. This helps identify trends. Also, track blood glucose routinely with a home meter.
- Blood Pressure – High blood pressure exacerbates diabetes’ impact on your cardiovascular system. Monitor it regularly and discuss medications to keep it in a healthy range.
- Cholesterol – Bad LDL cholesterol contributes to plaque buildup in arteries, raising heart attack and stroke risk. Get tested annually and treat high cholesterol.
Discuss target numbers for these levels with your doctor and stick to your plan.
Gradually Incorporate Healthier Lifestyle Habits
Work towards positive habits like nutritious eating, regular exercise, adequate sleep and smoking cessation. Trying to overhaul everything overnight can feel daunting. Focus on subtle tweaks that build up sustainable, healthy routines.
Strictly Follow Your Diabetes Medication Regimen
Be sure to stay on your medication schedule and take all prescribed medications and insulin doses even when you feel fine. Skipping or altering the schedule and dosage can throw your levels off. Discuss any difficulties, side effects or access issues with your doctor to get back on track.
Achieve or Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight makes diabetes management more difficult. Ask your doctor whether losing weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise would benefit you. Even a modest weight loss can improve blood sugar control. Discuss options like nutritional counseling and fitness training.
Care for Your Overall Mental Health
The daily grind of diabetes management can feel stressful or overwhelming at times. Seek professional counseling or peer support groups if you feel down or burned out. Protecting your mental health helps you stay motivated.
Collaborate With Your Diabetes Healthcare Team
Your team may include an endocrinologist, primary care doctor, dietitian, health coach and other specialists tailored to your needs. They work together to optimize your care. Discuss referral options to make sure you are using available experts.
This Diabetes Awareness Month, take proactive steps to control diabetes and minimize associated health risks. Healthy habits, vigilant biometrics tracking, and working with your medical team can empower you to live your best life.
Not sure where to start?
Working with a healthcare team of professionals who can offer you the personalized care you need may help to improve your health and reduce risk. While it takes a team to manage diabetes, CHC wants you to know that you are the most important member in your diabetes care. We want to help you improve your family’s health by teaching you about diabetes, how to treat it and how to prevent it. CHC’s Health Education Team is here to help! Tap or click to make your appointment today.
You can download/print the helpful flyers below for tips on things you can do right now to get moving toward better health.