21 Jul STAYING HEALTHY WITH DIABETES
In 2012, 29.1 million Americans or 9.3% of the population had diabetes. Of the 29.1 million, 21 million were diagnosed with the condition, while 8.1% remained undiagnosed.
Keeping healthy with diabetes is key to effective management and quality of life. This requires:
-Eating according to a healthy meal plan
-Engaging in physical activity regularly
-Learning about diabetes management
It is imperative that one work with their doctor and a registered dietitian to set targets. This will involve managing the following keys to healthy living:
Keeping Blood Sugars Under Control
While some may be able to do this through diet and exercise, others may require pills and/or insulin to achieve this. A blood glucose (sugar) meter will help track levels.
High cholesterol and other fats in the blood can lead to the development of heart disease and stroke. Dietary fats, especially saturated fat, should be minimized and kept under control.
Healthy Eating Plan
There is no one size fits all for any individual with diabetes. Ideally, carbohydrates should come from: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and dairy products. Proteins should come from lean sources, and fats should be minimized. See a Registered Dietitian for advice on how to achieve a healthy eating plan for your unique needs and food preferences.
Engaging in Physical Activity
Engaging in both aerobic and resistance activities for at least 150 minutes a week is highly recommended. Start slowly and increase both frequency and intensity over time.
Reaching a Healthy Body Weight
Reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial. A healthy body weight will help to control blood sugars, blood pressure, and blood fat levels.
Learn about eye damage or diabetic retinopathy. See an eye care specialist to ensure your eyes stay healthy.
Have your feet checked regularly. Ingrown toenails, cuts, and sores can lead to serious infections if not treated.
Mental Health Care
Many individuals with diabetes suffer from depression and anxiety. Seek help if needed.
Diabetes and smoking are a very dangerous mix. Find out your options for quitting.
Have urine tested regularly for signs of kidney disease.
Learn about nerve damage or Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. Numb ‘pins and needles’ in hands and feet are dangerous signs.
Learning about diabetes and how to handle these conditions in a healthy way is crucial. Seeking advice from a physician and a registered dietitian are important first steps in this process.