(RxWiki News) It's National Diabetes Month, and you can celebrate by learning how to better manage your diabetes.
Officials from the National Institutes of Health are encouraging people with diabetes to brush up on their diabetes care this November in honor of National Diabetes Month. Diabetes is a chronic condition, but it is manageable. And unmanaged diabetes can pose serious risks to your health.
So, if you're concerned about your diabetes or your risk of developing the condition, speak with your health care provider. Keep reading for more tips on how to improve your diabetes care.
Make Healthy Choices Every Day
Keeping your diabetes in check is about more than managing your blood sugar. While keeping your blood glucose at healthy levels is extremely important, you can make many other healthy lifestyle choices to boost the work your medications are already doing to preserve your heart and kidney health, as well as your health overall.
For example, keep an eye on your sodium and cholesterol intake. Too much sodium is one of several factors that can increase your blood pressure, which ups your risk for heart disease. High cholesterol has also been tied to heart disease. And heart disease is a commonly known risk of unmanaged diabetes.
The following are some other healthy choices you can make every day:
- Make healthy diet decisions, such as opting for lean meats, fruits, and vegetables instead of processed meats and fried foods.
- Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise habits approved by your doctor.
- Take your medication as prescribed, even if you feel fine.
Set Realistic Goals
You can't lose significant amounts of weight overnight; in fact, doing so could be unhealthy. And if you make your weight loss and other health goals unrealistic, you might feel burned out before long.
That's why it's important to set realistic goals for your diabetes care. If you're having trouble watching your sugar intake, for instance, don't immediately eliminate all sugar. Instead, ask your doctor what a healthy first step could be. It might be as simple as eating a little less dessert each night.
Also, if you're finding it difficult to make time to exercise, you could try scheduling smaller exercise breaks instead of one big exercise session. Of course, always ask your health care provider whether it's safe for you to exercise.
Ask Your Health Care Team About New Developments
Researchers at universities and government agencies are constantly developing and testing new diabetes treatments and medications. Many of these newly approved treatments are more effective than older treatments or might produce less severe side effects.
Your health care provider will understand your unique case and what treatments are best for you, so it's important to review your medication regimen with him or her periodically.