It is important that you keep your blood sugars in control. Having high blood sugar for a prolonged period of time will cause damage to many parts of the body. Some of these include the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, nerves, and eyes.
To prevent damage to your body, or to halt it, there are many things you can do:
1) Follow a healthy eating plan
Have your health advisor calculate your basic metabolic rate (BMR) and the number of calories you need to lose or maintain weight.
Limit your carbs. Each source specifies a different recommendation for carb intake. A good place to start, as recommended by the American Diabetic Association, is about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate each meal, and 15 grams for a snack.
2) Take your medicines as directed.
3) Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor and record them. Keeping your blood sugars on target, as directed by your physician, can prevent your body from being harmed from uncontrolled sugars.
Target Blood Glucose Levels:
Before meals = 70 to 130
1 to 2 hours after THE START of your previous meal = less than 180.
4) Make it a habit to check your feet each night before you go to bed. Check for cuts, blisters, sores, or redness. Because the nerves can become damaged by uncontrolled diabetes, it can be difficult to feel a cut or sore. Cuts and sores heal slowly in people with uncontrolled diabetes, and can become badly infected, and you may not feel a thing. If you find a sore, or a red spot, keep a close eye on it by checking it several times a day. If it gets worse, or isn’t healing, notify your doctor.
5) Brush and floss your teeth every day. Because of the higher sugar content in their saliva, people with diabetes are more prone to dry mouth and therefore infection. This can lead to cavities, ulcers, fungal infections and difficulty in wearing dentures. Check the condition of your gums on a regular basis. Dentists and periodontists also recommend a dental cleaning every three months, rather than six months. Dentists also recommend brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, but preferably after every meal. (http://www.studiodentaire.com/index_en.php)
6) Control your blood pressure and cholesterol. Retrain your taste buds and enjoy the unsalted flavor of foods, or use spices in place of salt. Read the labels on soups and packaged foods. You’ll be surprized how quickly you get to, and surpass, the RDA for sodium. Also, switch to low fat alternatives for better cholesterol control. Some examples include switching to skim milk, using low-fat or fat-free sour cream, cream cheese and mayo. There are many wonderful choices.
7) Don’t smoke. I know, much easier said than done. However, commitment to yourself and the health of the others around you can be a huge motivating factor. There are classes and resources available to you in your area. A good place to start looking for these resources is in your local hospitals. There are some medications that can help take the edge off when quitting smoking. Some have had success with nicotine patches. Others have had success with a medication called Chantix, which is prescribed by your doctor. However, insurance companies may not always cover the cost of Chantix. There are also side effects and medication interactions that are possible with Chantix. You and your doctor can decide if it’s right for you.
Take charge of your health. No one else is going to do it for you. You’re intelligent, and know what to do. It’s the how that often stumps people. The application is difficult, but freeing once started. Once you start, you will feel a sense of control in your life, which will feed your motivation to continue. You’re not perfect, and will fall off the wagon. It’s ok. As soon as you become conscious of your mis-step, learn from it. Why did it happen? Why was it too hard to resist? How can I avoid the trigger next time? What can I do instead of giving into my destructive habit? Don’t make excuses. Find the cause, then the solution, and move on.