Know your ABCs for diabetes

Taking charge of your diabetes involves daily actions.

November is National Diabetes month which is a good time to look at how you manage your diabetes and take charge of your health. Diabetes is a disease that needs daily attention and what you do for your health has a big impact on your quality of life. Being attentive to your blood sugar levels can prevent or delay complications later in life and treatment of complications that are detected early is important to keep them from getting worse.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking charge of your diabetes includes the following actions daily:

  1. Follow a healthy eating plan that includes fruits and vegetables and incorporating less sugar and salt in your meals.
  2. Adding physical activity into your daily routine that includes 10-20 minutes a day at least.
  3. If you are prescribed diabetes medicine, take it.
  4. Check your blood sugar levels regularly. Check with your physician or diabetic educator about getting the supplies needed and how to use them if you don’t know already.

Make sure you know your diabetes ABCs. Managing these can decrease your risk of heart attack, stroke and other complications.

A – is for the A1c test. This test measures your average blood sugar over 2 to 3 months.

B – is for Blood Pressure which is the force of blood flow inside blood vessels.

C -  is for cholesterol which can affect your risk for heart attack and stroke.

S -  is for stopping smoking or not starting.

Taking good care of yourself with diabetes is doable and will make you feel better overall. Take charge of your diabetes! The Diabetes Partners in Action Coalition (DPAC) provides resources and information about diabetes and diabetes prevention. For more information on healthy lifestyles, please visit Michigan State University Extension.  

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