What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-term chronic condition when your body does make enough of a hormone called insulin or does not use it correctly. Some symptoms of diabetes may include:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Blurred vision
What exactly is blood sugar?
Blood sugar is the sugar found in your blood that comes from the food you eat. Insulin brings the sugar to different parts of your body to give it the energy it needs. People with diabetes can have high blood sugar levels because insulin is not working properly which leaves extra sugar in the blood.
Why are healthy blood sugar levels important?
When blood sugar levels are too high, it can cause damage to your heart, kidneys, nerves, feet, and eyes. By taking your diabetes medication and leading a healthy lifestyle, you can control your blood sugar levels and prevent damage to these body parts.
You can maintain balanced blood sugar levels!
Take charge of diabetes with these 5 tips
Tip 1: Eat to Live
The types of food you eat and when you eat them affect blood sugar levels. Following “My Plate” can help you eat a balanced and nutrition-rich diet, limit carbohydrates and avoid hidden sugars found in many foods and beverages like sodas and alcohol. It is best not to skip meals!
My Plate Tips
- “Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.
- Choose foods and beverages with less fat, sodium (salt), and added sugars.
- Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.”
Tip 2: Mind Your Meds
Follow all medication instructions from your primary care doctor. If you need insulin, remember that temperature and timing are both important. Store insulin properly and set alarms to be sure you use it exactly when needed.
Tip 3: Keep it Moving
Staying physically active can help to maintain your weight and keep your blood sugar levels healthy. Follow your doctor’s advice on the level of exercise or activity that’s best for you, especially if you are overweight and not used to being active.
Tip 4: Stress Less
Too much stress can elevate blood sugar levels. You can’t completely avoid stress, but there are ways to manage it. Exercising, relaxation techniques, or talking things through with a doctor, counselor, or friend are all healthy ways to manage stress.
Tip 5: Pay Attention to Illness & Life Changes
Tell your doctor when you feel sick. He or she may need to adjust your medications. Life changes such as a new job, loss of a loved one, having a baby, and marriage/divorce can also make blood sugar levels high. Keep a blood sugar log during these times to identify abnormal blood sugar levels. You may need to contact your doctor.
Do you know your ABCS?
UNION HEALTH CENTER IS HERE TO HELP
Our highly-skilled, board-certified physicians take the time to get to know you and work with you to make a personalized plan to fit your needs. Under the leadership of your primary care physician, everyone at UHC works to help you reach your goals.
Call 212-924-2510 today to schedule an appointment.