Preventing and Treating Diabetes

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Do you have risk factors for diabetes? Does your family have a history of diabetes? Or do you have prediabetes? You can’t control everything that can impact your health, such as your genetic makeup, age, or family history of diabetes. However, you can take steps to reach your full health potential, adding years to your life and improving its quality, even if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthy and engaging in regular, moderate physical activity may reduce the progression of prediabetes and help control diabetes. They can also minimize other risk factors such as high blood pressure, blood cholesterol and even heart attacks and strokes.

In many instances, medications are needed in addition to lifestyle changes to control blood glucose levels, high blood pressure and cholesterol. This complementary regimen may also prevent heart attack and stroke.

Diabetes can be successfully managed. Work with your health care team to set personal goals. And be sure to monitor your critical health numbers, including your:

  • Blood sugar level
  • Weight
  • Blood cholesterol level
  • Blood pressure

Taking these steps may also help prevent serious complications that can arise from diabetes.

Healthy living tips for people with diabetes

Becoming healthier isn’t as difficult as you might think if you follow these simple tips.

  • Choose a healthy lifestyle: By managing your weight through proper nutrition and regular physical activity, quitting smoking, and finding healthy ways to deal with stress, you can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes or minimize its impact on your body. A healthy lifestyle will also reduce your risk of developing other medical conditions.

  • Know your numbers: Through home monitoring and regular visits with your health care team, you can keep track of your blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and weight. These critical health numbers provide insight into how well your treatment plan is working to manage your diabetes and safeguard your overall health.

  • Work with your health care team: Diabetes can effect your vision, feet, legs and heart and can require special medications and a special diet. So, your health care team may include a number of medical professionals with various specialties. Your team can guide you through your diabetes treatment plan and help minimize its effects on your body.

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Living with Type 2 diabetes?

Get monthly science-based diabetes and heart-healthy tips in your inbox. Know Diabetes by Heart raises awareness that living with Type 2 diabetes increases risk for heart disease and stroke – and that people should talk with their doctor at their next appointment about ways to reduce risk.