Although some try to dismiss it as just a touch of sugar, diabetes is a serious condition that occurs when levels of glucose in the blood are too high, a situation that is linked with a lengthy list of worrisome health problems. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, nearly 10 percent of Americans had diabetes as of 2015. Interestingly, seniors are more likely to find themselves battling this condition. The institute reports that roughly 25 percent of people over the age of 65 are diabetic. If you’re a diabetic, there are things that you can do to protect your health, including incorporating these tips for managing diabetes into your life.
Tips for Managing Diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, controlling your blood sugar is vital. Fortunately, employing these useful tips for managing diabetes can make that easier.
Knowledge is power, so take time to learn what diabetes is and the impact it has on the human body. Talk with your doctor and other health professionals to learn how to manage your condition. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore potential treatments. Learn when and how to check your blood sugar and take your medications properly.
Monitor Your Diabetes ABCs
Diabetes can increase your risk of a heart attack and stroke, so it’s important to be alert for red flags that could signal a problem. Monitoring your diabetes ABCs means keeping an eye on the following:
- A1C: A blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over a three-month period, the A1C gives you a better understanding of how your glucose levels are doing over time. When they are too high, your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes can be damaged. Determining whether you are on track with your A1C goals is a good way to evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts to manage your diabetes.
- Blood Pressure: High blood pressure, which is sometimes called hypertension, increases the strain on the heart and blood vessels and can harm the kidneys and eyes. If your blood pressure isn’t at a healthy level, then your doctor may want to take steps to bring it down.
- Cholesterol: LDL cholesterol can clump together in blood vessels, clogging them, so if your cholesterol numbers start to climb, your doctor may encourage you to take action.
Eating healthy is a smart choice for anyone, and it’s especially important for diabetics. Opt for an appropriate mix of nutrient-rich foods that have plenty of fiber. Pay attention to portion size, and try to limit your consumption of saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
Manage Your Stress
Stress can have many negative impacts on the body, so it is unsurprising that it can raise blood sugar. Learning to manage your stress by enjoying a hobby, meditating, exercising, or spending time with people you care about can help you keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.
Staying active is a crucial part of any healthy lifestyle, and it’s one of our most important tips for managing diabetes. As noted above, exercise is a great tool for stress management. Making it a habit can also help you maintain a healthy weight, retain more muscle and bone mass, and improve your mood. It can even improve your balance, reducing your risk of dangerous falls.
A diagnosis of diabetes can feel overwhelming, but ignoring the condition won’t make it go away. Take charge of your health and protect your well-being by managing your diabetes.
If you’re looking for a new home where you can enjoy your sunset years, check out The Shores of Lake Phalen in Maplewood, Minnesota. Surrounded by a gorgeous wooded setting between two lakes, our residence offers the community and accessibility of apartment-style housing with the atmosphere and elegance of a resort. Thanks to the team of dedicated staff members, residents enjoy a care-free lifestyle without the common worries of running a household. We offer numerous health and safety amenities, fun events and activities, a friendly and accommodating staff, and so much more. Schedule a tour of the community to explore our spacious apartments, elegant dining room, and more. We look forward to hearing from you!