Diabetes is a common yet complex disease, and while the treatment goal for all patients is the same – to stabilize and maintain healthy blood glucose levels to prevent serious complications – successful prevention and management require a treatment plan tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of each individual patient. By understanding blood sugar, communicating effectively with your healthcare team, and committing to a healthy lifestyle, you can manage, delay, or even prevent diabetes.
Understanding Blood Glucose
The carbohydrates and sugars in what you eat and drink turn into glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that helps the body’s cells take up glucose from the blood and lower blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells because:
The body fails to produce insulin correctly, or
The pancreas fails to make enough insulin
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
Family history of diabetes
Age 45 or older
High blood pressure
High cholesterol and triglycerides
Diagnosis of prediabetes
History of gestational diabetes
* African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos are among those at higher risk
Controlling Your Blood Sugar: Tips for Success
Lose Weight and Keep it Off
Decrease visceral (belly) fat
You may prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5-7% of your starting weight (Example: if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose 10-14 pounds)
Perform 30 minutes of physical activity 3-5 times per week
Increase muscle mass through strength training
Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods
Stay away from juices and sodas
When eating carbohydrates, pair with a healthy fat or a lean protein
It’s also National Smoking Cessation Month
Your first day without cigarettes can be difficult. There are steps you can take to help you stay smokefree, both now and long term.
Here are five steps to handle your quit day and gain confidence about staying quit:
Stick to Your Plan
Avoid Smoking Triggers
QuitGuide is a free app that helps you understand your smoking patterns and build the skills needed to become and stay smokefree.
Use the app to track your cravings by time of day and location, and get motivational messages for each craving you track.
People with diabetes are at higher risk for serious health complications:
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