Aug 03, 2017 12:00 AM


Did you know that diabetes affects nearly 10 percent of the total population? And 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year? Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to serious complications—but the good news is, it's also easy to manage with a few changes to your lifestyle and regular conversations with a health care professional. Here are just a few ways you can manage your diabetes.

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Diabetes Care

The most common form of the disease, type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot regulate blood sugar levels correctly. Nearly 10 percent of the population has diabetes and the number of people who have diabetes has increased 382% since 1988.

If you’re overweight, have a family history of diabetes, have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, or exercise fewer than three times a week, you are at risk for diabetes, especially as you age.

Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can be managed through lifestyle changes, in addition to any medication prescribed by your doctor. Here are a few things you can do to help manage your diabetes.

Diet

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

Avoid 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.

Get Enough Exercise

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.

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.

Communicate with Health Care Professionals

Work with your doctor to set goals to manage your diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Schedule regular exams so your doctor can help you watch for complications. Be sure to take any medication prescribed to you by your doctor.

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