Living with diabetes

Tips for managing and preventing diabetes.

Living with diabetes

If you suffer from pre-diabetes or diabetes, you are not alone. Millions of people today have one of these diseases. Living with either can be challenging. However, following some easy tips can help you learn how to manage your health and participate in the things you have always enjoyed. The National Institute of Diabetes has resources for making healthy lifestyle choices that not only help people with diabetes manage the disease, but also encourage the whole family to stay healthy. Following these four key steps will help you control your diabetes and fully enjoy an active life.

1. Learn about diabetes: It is important to know the type of diabetes you have and how your body is affected by it. Recognizing several cues from your body will help you have control over your blood sugar levels. The more you know about diabetes, the better you will be able to manage it. You may also want to take nutrition-related classes, talk to your care provider and look for online resources. Michigan State University Extension offers several programs to help you prevent and manage diabetes.

2. Know your diabetes ABC’S: To help manage your diabetes, you and your care team need to keep a close eye on your health. This includes keeping your A1C, Blood pressure and Cholesterol in a healthy range. Learning how and when to check and record your blood sugar, schedule tests, and receive vaccines will give you control over your well-being.

3. Manage your diabetes: Many people avoid diabetes complications by taking good care of themselves. Making healthy choices and staying active can be lifesaving. The National Institute of Diabetes recommends the use of this self-care plan:

  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Ask for help if you feel down.
  • Exercise most days of the week.
  • Learn to cope with stress.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Take medicines even when you feel good.
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots and swelling.
  • Brush your teeth and floss every day.
  • Check your blood glucose (blood sugar).
  • Check your blood pressure if your doctor advises.
  • Report any changes in your eyesight to your doctor.

4. Get routine care: See your health care team at least twice a year to find and treat any problems early. Ask what steps you can take to reach your goals.

Following these simple tips and using the resources available can help you manage your diabetes and allow you to live a healthy and active life. If you would like to learn more about heathy lifestyles, visit USDA’s My Plate page. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating. For more health and nutrition tips, visit Michigan State University Extension


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