March is Diabetes Awareness Month!
What happens if we don’t manage our diabetes? Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to:
- Heart disease and a higher risk for heart attack and stroke
- Eye and vision problems, including blindness
- Kidney disease that can lead to kidney failure
- Nerve damage that can cause tingling and pain in the hands and feet
Restore Outpatient wants you to live well, giving you more time for what matters most in your life!
Do you know your ABCs1? Knowing your diabetes ABCs will help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
- A is for the A1C test: The A1C test shows your average blood glucose level over the past 3 months. The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7 percent.
- B is for Blood Pressure: The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 140/90 mm Hg.
- C is for Cholesterol: You have two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. Too much bad cholesterol can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL or “good” cholesterol helps remove the “bad” cholesterol from your blood vessels.
- s is for Stop Smoking: Not smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Blood vessel narrowing makes your heart work harder.
Make and Eat Healthy Food
From keto to celery juicing, eating healthy is trending and easier than ever. Becoming more active and making changes in what you eat and drink may seem challenging at first, but sticking to a healthy meal plan will help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Always consult a physician before making any dietary changes.
The Plate Method
The plate method shows the amount of each food group you should eat, based on portion sizes.
Using a 9-inch plate, put nonstarchy vegetables on half of the plate; a meat or other protein on one-fourth of the plate; and a grain or other starch on the last one-fourth.
The American Diabetes Association’s “Create Your Plate” is a useful tool to help plan your meals. If you’re wondering what foods to eat and in what portion size, visit the “Create Your Plate” page to create custom meals with ease.
Be active everyday! The American Diabetic Association recommends persons with diabetes spend 30 minutes every day doing aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise helps your body use insulin better. It makes your heart and bones strong, relieves stress, improves blood circulation, and reduces your risk for heart disease by lowering blood glucose and blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
- Brisk walking (outside or inside on a treadmill)
- Bicycling/Stationary cycling indoors
- Low-impact aerobics
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Playing tennis
- Stair climbing
- Ice-skating or roller-skating
- Cross-country skiing
- Moderate-to-heavy gardening
If you’re not used to exercising, walking is a great place to start. Download and print the Starter Walking Plan and lose weight and stay fit! Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Take care of your feet: People living with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing neuropathy. This can cause tingling, burning or stinging, weakness, or loss of feeling in the foot.2 Something as simple as a pebble in your shoe could cause a blister, which could lead to infection. So, be sure to inspect your feet every day.
- Look at your bare feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. Diabetes can cause changes in the skin of your foot. At times your foot may become very dry. The skin may peel and crack. The nerves that control the oil and moisture in your foot no longer work. After bathing, dry your feet and seal in the remaining moisture with a thin coat of plain petroleum jelly, or unscented hand/body cream. Do not put oils or creams between your toes. The extra moisture can lead to infection.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot, not even at home. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. You may want to wear diabetic socks, socks made to keep the feet dry, decrease the risk of foot injury, and avoid preventing or slowing blood circulation, or diabetic shoes.
Manage your stress. Stress can be a major barrier to effective glucose control. For persons with diabetes, the body may not be able to process the glucose released by firing nerve cells. If this glucose isn’t converted into energy, it builds up in the bloodstream.
Meditation, going for a walk, and taking time for yourself are good ways to reduce stress.
March is Diabetes Awareness Month and Restore Outpatient’s focus on Wellness facilitates a better quality of life for its clients. If you have any questions about your diabetes or ways to manage, contact us!