Oct 30, 2014 9:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

Whether you’re dealing with a new diagnosis or just looking to take control of your condition, proper management is key to dealing with diabetes. Research shows that lifestyle changes can prevent or control many of the effects of the disease. Download this form to help you track your blood glucose levels.

Timothy Graham, MD, medical director of the Utah Diabetes and Endocrinology Center at University of Utah Health, suggests these four tips to help manage your condition:

1. Eat right.

Choose foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. Avoid excess carbohydrates like bread and other baked goods.  Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products. 

2. Don’t overindulge in alcohol.

If you choose to consume, limit yourself to no more than one or two occasional drinks, and only when your blood sugar level is well controlled.

3. Stay active.

Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. You can keep it simple. Take a brisk walk or play a game of tag with the kids. Change it up and try new activities if exercise starts to feel like a grind.

4. Quit smoking.

Kicking this one habit will lower your blood pressure, improve levels of HDL “good cholesterol” and dramatically improve your circulation. You’ll also have better control over your blood sugar. 

Many people are able to manage their diabetes with just lifestyle changes like these. But you may still need to take some form of medicine. Work with your doctor to create a treatment plan that’s right for you. 

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