Diabetes

Living with Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to change some of your habits to help keep your blood glucose levels in check.

Generally, you’ll have to do four things:

Stick to a healthy eating plan

Your doctor and diabetes educator or dietitian will help you learn how to eat nutritious foods that help control your weight and blood glucose levels. You may want to become familiar with the glycemic index to learn which foods can cause your blood glucose levels to spike.

Exercise

Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, which keeps your diabetes under better control. It’s also good for your heart, which is particularly important since diabetics have a higher risk of having heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure.

Take prescribed medication

If your blood sugar levels aren’t too high, your doctor may first ask you to exercise, modify your diet, and lose weight if necessary. If these methods don’t lower your levels enough, one or more medications may be needed. If so, it will still be important to maintain your lifestyle changes.

Check your blood glucose levels

You’ll need to check your levels at home several times a day as directed by your doctor. This is done by drawing a drop a blood and using test strips and a meter to determine your blood sugar levels. Testing will help you ensure that other changes you make are having the desired effect and lowering your blood glucose to acceptable levels. If not, you may need to modify your medication, activity levels, or eating habits.

Making the necessary changes to manage your diabetes is vital for your health. Exercise, a nutritious diet, medication and monitoring your blood glucose levels, are all important tools toward helping your control your diabetes.