8 Healthy Habits for Diabetics – Be Heart Healthy

This article provides great advice to Pre-Diabetics and Type II Diabetics with suggestions about diet, exercise and a positive attitude.

People are being diagnosed with Diabetes every day.  Are you one of them or maybe you’ve just been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes?  Did you know just by taking small steps to manage your diabetes you can have big results?  Here are a few things you can do to develop healthy habits and take charge of your health.

  • Eat healthy but don’t deprive yourself.  Adjust your meals to reduce sugar, salt and carbs.  Balanced meals are the key ingredient to keeping your blood sugar where it needs to be.  An occasional splurge is ok, just sticks to your medications and recommended number of carbs.
  • Lose Weight, you don’t have to lose lots of weight, even a small amount, say 5-10 pounds can have great benefits in controlling your diabetes. 
  • If you are diabetic or even pre-diabetic, test your blood sugar.  It’s recommended to aim for 70 mg to 130 mg before meals and less than 180 mg two hours after eating.  You will need to have your A1C tested about every 3 months.  It measures your average blood sugar over the 3 month timeframe.  It’s recommended that the AIC should be at or below 7 percent.
  • Exercise or at least stay on the move.  We’ve all hear the old saying “A body at rest tends to stay at rest”, therefore a body that moves reaps huge rewards.  Exercise helps lower blood sugar, prevents heart damage and depression and of course helps with weight loss.  Strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.  Walk, run, dance, garden, play ball with the kids.  Get out there and move.  If you have to, start slow and work up, the benefits far outweigh being a couch potato.
  • Learn about the issues.  If your doctor hasn’t already suggested you take diabetes educations classes, ask about them.  They helped me a lot.
  • Check your insurance coverage.  Diabetes medications can cost a bundle.  Your insurance at work may help pay for it or your employer may have a flexible spending plan that can help with the costs.  If you have Medicare Part B, it will pay for supplies, including blood sugar monitors and test strips.  If you don’t have these options, check with your doctor or social worker.  They may have access to free samples and reduced price prescription programs. 
  • Watch for warning signs like skin infections, foot sores, bloody gums, blurred vision and tingling in your hands and feet.  These are sure signs of high blood sugar and can lead to serious problems down the road.  Don’t wait until your next office visit, go to your doctor and tell him about your symptoms right away.
  • Stay positive, think good thoughts and feel good about yourself that you are doing all you can do to stay healthy. 

  See you there.