Diabetes is a chronic disease requiring important changes to your lifestyle. These include diet, physical activity, managing the condition on a daily basis, and, for many people, medications.
Dealing with your condition
Taking responsibility for your diabetes will improve your quality of life both in the short and long term. Achieving the best possible control of your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and blood pressure can prevent or delay any complications while minimizing low-blood-sugar episodes and weight gain.
Many doctors encourage people with diabetes to manage their condition themselves, with the support of their family. Some diabetes specialists, in addition to giving medical care, provide nutrition and physical activity plans. Your specialist can also put you in contact with a state-registered dietitian who can help you with an individual nutrition management plan for healthy and nutritious meals.
Monitoring blood sugar
People with diabetes can easily and quickly monitor blood-sugar levels with a simple finger stick or blood-glucose meter. By monitoring your blood-sugar levels daily, you can determine what effect your food choices and physical activity have on the levels. These results can help you modify your diet and make adjustments to help you achieve blood-sugar levels as close to normal as is possible. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are taking insulin, it is best to monitor your blood sugar three or four times a day. If you have type 2 diabetes and are taking oral medications, testing of glucose levels by urinalysis is done several times a week.
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