is a serious chronic illness that can lead to heart attack
, stroke, eye, nerve and kidney disease, limb amputation and other complications. So take charge and stay healthy.
Why It's Important to Manage Your Diabetes
You will be a diabetic for the rest of your life. Your body will never properly produce or use insulin, the hormone that converts sugar, starches and other foods into glucose (blood sugar), which serves as a main source of your body's fuel. Instead of entering your cells like it should, glucose builds up in your blood and you secrete it through your urine, losing the fuel your body needs for energy.
But managing your diabetes helps your body digest and metabolize glucose properly so you get the energy you need to function properly and stay healthy.
Monitor your blood glucose
There are two blood glucose-monitoring tools you should use.
Discipline yourself to follow a healthy lifestyle
- The A1C. Your healthcare provider administers the A1C typically twice a year to monitor long-term glucose control.
- Self monitoring (SMBG). Use your own meter to determine how your meals, physical activity and medications are affecting your blood sugar levels on a daily and hourly basis, which shows how to best manage your diabetes every day. Ask your doctor how often to use SMBG, how to use it correctly and how to interpret the results
Managing your diabetes takes willpower. Put your health needs before anything else. Your new healthy lifestyle will become routine before you know it.
Take your diabetes seriously
- Diet: Load up on fresh vegetables and fruit, poultry, fish, lean meats and whole grains. Avoid packaged foods because they contain too much sugar, salt and fat. Follow your dietitian's or physician's meal-planning, portion size and calorie and carb limit advice.
- Exercise: Your medical team will determine how much and what kind of exercise is right for you, based on your health. Your customized exercise routine will help control your diabetes and reduce your risk of long-term complications.
Diabetes won't go away. If you don't monitor your blood sugar and follow a healthy lifestyle you'll exacerbate your condition and pile on additional medical complications. It's up to you to manage your diabetes so your diabetes doesn't manage you.
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