According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 34 million Americans have diabetes, and one in five don’t know they have it. The risk of developing diabetes, a disorder that affects the body’s metabolism and how it processes food for energy purposes, increases with age. In honor of November being designated as National Diabetes Awareness Month, here are some tips to consider for your diabetes self-care plan:
1. Eat well
Managing blood sugar is the key to living well with diabetes and healthy eating is the key to managing blood sugar, according to the CDC. To that end, it is important to eat the right amount of nutritious foods at the right time to keep blood sugar in its target range as much as possible. If feasible, work with a dietician to create a food plan for your specific blood sugar levels, weight, and preferences.
2. Get active
Physical activity helps control blood sugar levels. Those who are not already physically active should begin slowly and work their way up to the desired level. The CDC recommends getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, swimming, and bicycling. Start off slowly by walking for 10 minutes per day, and gradually building up to 30 minutes.
3. Have regular checkups
It is important to have regular checkups with your health care team, which will allow the doctors to track the condition and make necessary changes to your treatment plan. According to the CDC, diabetics are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke, blindness and other eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, and more. Early treatment can help prevent or delay those health conditions.
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