If you have diabetes, you may be able to control your sugar levels by doing five things:
* Taking insulin or diabetes pills
* Testing your blood sugar levels regularly
* Eating healthy foods
* Quitting smoking, if necessary
* And getting proper exercise.
People with diabetes need to work at keeping their blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Studies have shown that people who keep their sugar levels in the normal range have fewer problems. For example, one 10-year study found that keeping your blood sugar level at a normal range reduces the risk of developing:
* Eye disease by 76%
* Kidney disease by 50%
* And nerve disease by 60%.
On the other hand, people who don't control their sugar levels can develop serious health problems.
Most of the problems caused by diabetes are due to having too much sugar in the blood, and other related conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to things like a heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure.
Finally, it is important to know that these problems often don't show up right away. It can take many years for the effects of diabetes to appear. But without you even realizing it, damage can be occurring inside your body. This can include things like plaque building up in the blood vessels of your heart or brain, or your kidneys being damaged. So, it's very important to watch your sugar levels every day and visit your healthcare provider on a regular basis. This can help keep problems from sneaking up on you many years later.