Managing Your Diabetes
Your healthcare team is the first step to managing your diabetes. This team can include a primary care provider, a diabetes educator, dietitian, a pharmacist, and a counselor. All of these people can help you manage your health, from medication to coping with the emotional side of having diabetes.
The main goals in taking care of yourself are controlling your:
- Blood glucose – your levels should be checked on a regular basis, typically 3 or more times a day depending on the direction of your health provider.
- Before meals: 70-130 mg/dL
- 1-2 hours after a meal: less than 180 mg/dL
- Blood Pressure – It is also important to keep blood pressure and cholesterol at a health level. Recommended levels are 130/80mm Hg for blood pressure.
- Cholesterol – The total should be below 200 mg/DL, with LDL or “bad” cholesterol falling below 100 mg/dL.
While there is no cure for either type of diabetes, both can be managed.
Diet and Exercise
While you do not need to eat special foods if you have diabetes, you do need to focus on eating healthy. Working with your doctor, you can establish a meal plan with a variety of healthy foods like non-fat dairy products, beans, nuts, lean meats, poultry and fish. A healthy diet will help you manage your weight and prevent common health problems linked to diabetes.
Starting an exercise routine is also beneficial because it helps manage your blood glucose levels, manage your weight, and lower your risk for heart disease. The suggested amount of activity is 150 minutes a week. This includes 30 minutes of daily activity, which can be broken up into 10 minutes, repeated 3 times daily.
If you have not been active for a while, you will want to start slow and build up how much physical activity you do.