10 Tips for Better Diabetes Control
Q. Can you give me any tips for helping to control my diabetes?
Nina McGowan, Miami, FL
A: How can you control diabetes better? American Diabetes Services, a leading supplier of free diabetic supplies, offers these 10 tips for better diabetes control to help diabetics with their diabetes monitoring. Living with diabetes doesn't have to mean living in a prison. You can have a happy, healthy life as long as you control diabetes through careful management techniques.
Diabetic blood control - monitor your blood sugar at least twice (preferably three times) a day - before meals. Check your glucose levels before breakfast, lunch, dinner or before your evening snack (about 9 pm). Bring these numbers to your doctor. Your doctor will help you with diabetes blood control by offering suggestions to improve your diabetic monitoring.
Take your diabetic medication correctly - read and following directions, watch expiration dates, and pay attention to any warning labels. Your diabetic medication is meant to help you with diabetes management, so take care in using it correctly.
Read food labels - the first thing to look at is SERVING SIZE. Then look at the carbohydrate per serving. Look also at the fat and calories, if appropriate. Do NOT look at the grams of sugar!
Eat at regular times - try to stay within 1 hour each day of the usual meal times. Controlling your eating schedule will help you with diabetes blood control and make your diabetic monitoring easier.
Learn the carbohydrate count of foods in the portions you commonly use. Use measuring cups for cereals, pasta, rice, soups and beans. Count out a serving of crackers, pretzels, chips and nuts. Consider how carbohydrates break down in your system, not just the quantity of carbs in your diet. Carbohydrate control is essential in diabetes blood control.
Living with diabetes doesn't mean you can't eat out. Just make better selections when dining out. Eat smaller portions, ask for the food to be prepared in wine, not oil, order salad dressing on the side and dip and dip your fork. Avoid "sugar free" desserts and have a bite of a regular dessert.
Exercise - with your doctor's approval, do some type of daily walking, biking, swimming, dancing or aerobics. The best time to exercise is generally about 30-60 minutes AFTER breakfast or dinner. Exercise can help improve your body's use of insulin, giving you better diabetes blood control.
Examine your feet daily - do this with a mirror after you bathe. Diabetics are more prone to foot problems, so make sure that proper foot care is part of your diabetic monitoring. Always wear proper fitting shoes. Do not go barefoot or wear sandals.
Don't forget about your heart! Heart disease causes sixty five percent of deaths related to diabetic complications. However, diabetic monitoring can help you prevent this problem. Maintain good body weight, exercise and decrease the saturated fats. This will go a long way towards better diabetes blood control and preventing heart disease.
Know your A1c Hemoglobin number - this is the measurement of sugar over the past three months which tells the degree of diabetes blood control.
If you have any further questions or concerns about how to control your diabetes, please check with your doctor. American Diabetes Services only offers basic advice for diabetic monitoring and this advice is not a substitute for your doctor's care.