Once you’ve been told you have diabetes, your doctor will choose the best treatment based on the type of diabetes you have, your everyday routine, and any other health problems you have.
Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone. Others need diabetes medicines or insulin injections. Over time, people with diabetes may need both lifestyle changes and medication.
You can keep control of your diabetes by:
Tracking your glucose levels. Very high glucose levels or very low glucose levels (called hypoglycemia) can be risky to your health. Talk to your doctor about how to check your glucose levels at home.
Making healthy food choices. Learn how different foods affect glucose levels. For weight loss, check out foods that are low in fat and sugar. Let your doctor know if you want help with meal planning.
Getting exercise. Daily exercise can help improve glucose levels in older people with diabetes. Ask your doctor to help you plan an exercise program.
Taking your diabetes medicines even when you feel good. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects or cannot afford your medicines.
Your doctor may want you to see other healthcare providers who can help manage some of the extra problems caused by diabetes. He or she can also give you a schedule for other tests that may be needed. Talk to your doctor about how to stay healthy.
Here are some ways to stay healthy with diabetes:
Find out your average blood glucose level. At least twice a year, get the A1C blood test. The result will show your average glucose level for the past 3 months.
Watch your blood pressure. Get your blood pressure checked often.
Check your cholesterol. At least once a year, get a blood test to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. High levels may increase your risk for heart problems.
Stop smoking. Smoking raises your risk for many health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Have yearly eye exams. Finding and treating eye problems early may keep your eyes healthy.
Check your kidneys yearly. Diabetes can affect your kidneys. A urine and blood test will show if your kidneys are okay.
Get flu shots every year and the pneumonia vaccine. A yearly flu shot will help keep you healthy. If you’re over 65, make sure you have had the pneumonia vaccine. If you were younger than 65 when you had the pneumonia vaccine, you may need another one. Ask your doctor.
Care for your teeth and gums. Brush your teeth and floss daily. Have your teeth and gums checked twice a year by a dentist to avoid serious problems.
Protect your skin. Keep your skin clean and use skin softeners for dryness. Take care of minor cuts and bruises to prevent infections.
Look at your feet. Take time to look at your feet every day for any red patches. Ask someone else to check your feet if you can’t. If you have sores, blisters, breaks in the skin, infections, or build-up of calluses, see a foot doctor, called a podiatrist.
Sunshine Home Care is a home health agency serving Western Oklahoma. For more information on our agency, contact us or call us at 877-477-2014.